The best way to overcome anxiety is to do nothing

Hi Everyone,

Well the last post was a while ago so I thought I was due to say a few words.

I also have a few bits and bobs to cover before we go on to today’s post. The first being that the anxietynomore app is now available as an option on the Android as well as the iPhone. As usual I don’t push things on anyone, but it is there if anyone wishes to buy it and a few people did ask me to let them know when it was available. As it is new if anyone has any problems then just let me know.

The other thing is Doreen who posts here will now help moderate the blog. This will help keep it spam free and make sure it runs as it always has and stays a friendly and helpful resource. I do need help as every year things take off more and more. In the last year alone the book was made available on Amazon and in many high street online and offline stores and is mainly sold outside of the site these days. The book also went onto the kindle and is hopefully due on very soon, making it easier for people in the U.S to purchase it. The app was also created in different versions and has been very well received. The trouble with all this is it takes a lot of time up and I am forever on with a project and I will be the first to say certain things have suffered as a result as it takes time away from other things. Things are calming down a bit now and I promise to be around here a bit more to contribute, the blog and site is where it all started and it means as much to me now as it did when I first set it up.

Anyway on to today’s post:

Many people ask me what they should do to eliminate their anxiety or how do I get rid of this particular symptom? I was one of those people who went over and over things, trying to find a solution to the way I felt, constantly trying to stop myself feeling this way. Well that was my mistake, I was ‘Trying not to feel a certain way’. One thing that I learnt very quickly is that “Trying to rid ourselves of anxiety only increases it”. Yet this is what most people attempt to do and just end up more entrenched in the habit. I say the opposite and tell people to feel it, to go towards it, do nothing to try to get rid of it. People develop safety behaviours and avoidance techniques that can severely restrict their lives because they don’t want to feel it. How can this be the way forward? The truth is that it is not, I only turned my life around when I finally accepted that I had anxiety and it was not going to go over night, I shook it by the hand and said “If you are going to be around for a while then we may as well get along”.

To recover from anxiety we have to be willing to feel it and that’s means taking it with us wherever we go. Yes for a while we will still feel anxious, we may still feel detached or have anxious thoughts hanging around, that’s fine and only to be expected. We also have to be willing to feel it for a while, not a day or a week, but as long as it takes. I have people email me and say some lovely things about the book after reading it, but I had one a few weeks ago saying ” Paul I have just finished your book, but I am not cured”. I am struggling to understand which book she read as it says nothing about getting to the end and a magic wand comes down and cures you. This is the sort of person that will be off next week to try another miracle cure hoping that it will instantly go away, she has no intention of feeling anxiety for a minute longer.

The more desperate you look for recovery, the further away it can seem as you are putting so much pressure on yourself to feel better and making it your whole life. Why not just step back and do nothing, whilst getting on with your life as you normally would, this will do you far more good long term. I am not trying to make it sound easy, it is not at times and I used to want to hide away at home and shut out the world, but I refused to as I wanted to be part of that world again. Just so there is no confusion, when I talk about doing nothing, I mean no longer trying to fix or figure it all out, not doing nothing by sitting at home looking at the ceiling. Go out and live your life, uncomfortable or not, take all your insecurities with you and feel it all at will. You don’t have to wait until anxiety leaves you to have a life, you can have one now. If you want to be part of the outside world again then go and join it, don’t let how you feel stop you.

The constant stress and battle to feel better is what kept me in the cycle, it consumed me and my day. So just try not to become one of those people. I know we feel like we must keep on top of things, to get the better of this thing, but it has the opposite effect. One of calmest and most together people on the planet are Buddist monks and their whole belief is to just be, to not over think or worry about things. Since my own recovery I have a new outlook on life and don’t worry about trival things or things I can’t control. I am also a far more forgiving and laid back person and it is what I learnt through my own recovery.

To finish I will never forget a story I read where 3 men were burgling a store in the middle of the night and were caught and arrested. They interviewed one and he said that when he heard the sirens he was full of fear and dread, then when the police were outside shining lights in that his fear increased and they tried to hide. But he said once they had them surrounded and made it clear that they knew they were in there, then they all lit a cigarette up and felt a sense of calm. It was like ‘O.K the game is up, come and do what you have to do’. I felt that story reflected me and my anxiety, I feared the feelings for years and tried to keep them out, once I gave in and allowed myself to feel this way then there was a sense of relief and I felt calmer.

To finish today’s post  I am also going to add a list of tweets I recently put up on my twitter account to encourage people, I hope they help in some way.

Anxiety is like quicksand, the harder we struggle to escape, the deeper we sink.

A tired and overworked mind tries to drag you into worrying about anything and everything, just resist the need to get involved.

If anxiety tried to stop me doing something, I would do it even more to show it who was in charge.

Stress on a healthy body registers a small reaction and is dealt with as a problem to solve; stress on an anxious body gives an exaggerated reaction and makes things seem far worse than they really are. The problem is the same; it is the reaction that is different.

Avoidance is something you create; don’t blame it on your anxiety

Don’t keep endlessly looking for a cure to your anxiety, create one by no longer letting it rule what you do and don’t do.

Making the decision to allow anxiety into your day releases so much pressure, stress and worry and gives your mind and body the space to recover.

I created a lot of my own problems through avoidance, I uncreated them through non avoidance, it gave me my life back.

How you feel today has no bearing on how you will feel in the future, things do change.

Don’t get lost in a world of self-criticism, wishing you felt differently, the first step to recovery is accepting how you feel for now.

To overcome anxiety we have to be willing to feel it.

Fears are never as bad as we think when faced, their growl often turns into a whimper, it’s our imagination that makes us think differently.

People who suffer with anxiety tend to avoid feelings and then blame it on the place or situation, suggesting it’s that which causes anxiety. Lose your fear of the feeling and then every place and situation is the same.

Thanks Paul

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881 Responses to “The best way to overcome anxiety is to do nothing”

  1. aura Says:

    o m g
    that was just what i needed today thankyou xx

  2. Erika Says:

    Thank you for such a great post! I put those methods to practice and had a wonderful 6 months away from my anxiety. I’m in a setback right now and find myself going back to find ways to get rid of this monster. It’s made me realize that Paul’s theory is dead on. For me it’s the dreaded physical symptoms. I know that when we are stressed, we perceive sensations differently. I was minding my own business a couple of months ago and was hit with a dizzy spell. Since then, I’ve been on edge. I’ve had two other times of feeling lightheaded. Now of course I’m convinced something is medically wrong! Two years ago I had every test in the book done! Just goes to show what a tired mind and body can do!

  3. relax Says:

    After almost 8 yrs of anxiety problems and medications 2 months ago I decided I must face this ! I’m having cbt and feeling a lot better its hard but I’m positive that I have the tools to deal with whatever life throws at me. I had hardly any anxiety for weeks but I feel so run down , like I’m in a dream I hope this improves with time too :) thanks Paul your an inspiration

  4. Lisa Says:

    Im going to make this my last stop for anxiety. I’m going to take your advice and welcome it into my life from now until I beat it. I am going to buy your book as I have read some very good reviews. I have suffered for 2 and ahalf years, for the past year I have become agoraphobic, staying within my comfort zone, as I call it. I under going cbt but feel I need more. I’m going to give it all I’ve got and when I’m cured I will shout your book from every roof top :) … I don’t know why but some thing is telling me your book is going to make a difference. With what I have read alone on your site has really eased me… I was the most out going person ever before this happened to me. Can you all believe I have set up and run a party planning business in the past 6 months whilst suffering very badly. I have to have s lot of people to help me as I can only go very local to where I live. I am very fortunate to have a partner who does support me. I love to read inspiring stories like Paul’s. But again what he said is true about searching for cures all the time, it makes you worst and much more anxious. It helps me to keep a diary too. I’m so looking forward to reading this book x

  5. Erika Says:

    Hi Jimmy,
    I totally feel your pain right now. I just went through more tests t the doctors office today. I’m as healthy as can bet, yet I can’t breathe, have dizziness and feel like my world is ending. The nurse said my nerves are so tired and sensitive. I’m sure you have the same thing. For some reason that makes it harder to shut the thoughts off. I’m a wreck because last week I felt dizzy driving. I have to drive to work tomorrow and I’m scared to death it will happen again.

  6. Nicola Says:

    I read about people having setbacks and they seem to fall right back into the anxiety trap, I’ve had setbacks but I come out of them really quickly and without any real problem. I don’t know if the acceptance thing is the difference here? If I begin to feel anxious again I don’t start to panic that something is up or think ‘oh no it’s all starting again’ I just let it be and get on with it. Jimmy are you in any kind of therapy? My anxiety was so severe I was put under the care of the mental health team and I have a lot of help at my disposal, I am very lucky indeed. At the moment I am doing a therapy called CAT.

  7. Nicola Says:

    Sorry posted by accident there. Anyway Jimmy, I feel some talking therapy could be just what you need to get you through this hard time. Otherwise you’ll be on here airing the same fears over and over and getting the same answers over and over, which by the way we’re all guilty of when we are really in the depths of anxiety. I don’t mean that to sound like you shouldn’t post what you want, I don’t mind what you write, It’s just that I personally found good long talks with someone a lot more helpful :-) xx

  8. aura Says:

    STOP,its all anxiety ,i thought i had everything as paul says above dont question it anymore just go with it ,read the book again ,read some older posts it tells you your not losing your mind its your anxiety ,its rotten but just keep going,it will get easier i promise ,as i have said i feel that no one has had anxiety as bad as me ,but i know i made it worse looking back ,go on with your life dont question it just roll with it , i truly have been there its awful if you let it ,iam 90% better now thank god and life is good xxx

  9. aura Says:

    STOP,its all anxiety ,i thought i had everything as paul says above dont question it anymore just go with it ,read the book again ,read some older posts it tells you your not losing your mind its your anxiety ,its rotten but just keep going,it will get easier i promise ,as i have said i feel that no one has had anxiety as bad as me ,but i know i made it worse looking back ,go on with your life dont question it just roll with it , i truly have been there its awful if you let it ,iam 90% better now thank god and life is good xxx

  10. Sophia Says:

    Hi Ronnie , Paul

    If you are around I remember you asking me about the emotional response towards people and situations. For me it’s my mood that dictates the way I behave with others.There is no particular reason for me being frustrated or default it’s like that..and I tried to get on with my life may be watching tv cooking going out etc..I feel happy whilst I am out. But back into frustrated mood when. Am back.. And hence I dislike trying to have a conversation with my dear and near ones as for me it’s an effort to talk to them..and their response is cold at times..hence I feel why should I even bother?

    But I can see the whole thought process is taking me nowhere..but I don’t think it’s the dread that’s making me avoid being with’s the constant mind chatter about them while I am with them..
    I have started thinking that whether I have bi polar as the symptoms are the same..depression,irritability,poor judgement,mood swings…how is it different from anxiety?

    What if I am suffering from that ? Paul can u give me an insight on this?

  11. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Jimmy I agree with Nicola and maybe you need to talk with someone away from this blog, this is not meant as an attack, not at all but you are saying and asking the same things over and over and getting the same answers, which is doing the blog nor yourself any good.

    I am going to take a decision here and ask that you take a month away from posting and I have deleted all the above posts to start you off, I really don’t think it is doing you any good as you are missing the point a lot of the time and going over and over the same things is doing no one any good. So just take a month out, go out, live your life and just have a break from the subject, maybe find someone who can just sit down and listen to you.

    Here is something for you before hand though

    I also cant stop thinking about all this its with me all the time.

    You can’t stop as you are giving yourself no breaks from the subject and it has become your habit to think about it 24/7, stop trying to fix it and just go and do something else, drop the subject for a while. Also you will think about it through habit for a while, so don’t try NOT to think about it, just don’t then start obsessing and ruminating about how you feel.

    Im so scared i won’t be able to cope with it, that im really losing my mind.

    No wonder your constantly anxious if your constantly in fear and worried about your condition, you are feeding your anxiety every day with all this fear and worry, take this advice and trust me, “let yourself fall into the anxiety hole you think you wont come back from”, allow yourself to go insane if need be (you won’t), give in to it all and allow your mind and body to go where it wants without resistance, try it.

    Why cant i belive what everybody is telling me? Why do i keep fearing this thing and fight it. I dont want to go insane or lose my life!!!

    This is the problem you are trying to keep on top of this thing, stay in control and having a battle each day doing so. Fight, fear, worry just what anxiety needs for it’s fuel. STOP it , it’s the very trying to keep a grip on yourself that is making you feel worse, mentally and physically it is draining, draining a mind and body that craves rest.

    Trust me, a break from here will do you good as all you are doing is constantly looking for someone to make you feel better instantly and when they don’t another question comes along, you are going about this the wrong way and just constantly looking for reassurance.

    Take on board what I have said and come back in a month and just put up a progress report.


  12. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sophia just a polite request as I have just had to edit your post, can you please not post in text talk as google can penalise the site for it and also it is very hard for others to read. Thanks

    On your question I am unsure of what you are asking there i’m afraid so it’s hard for me to construct an answer.


  13. Stephen Shale Says:

    Hi, really good post Paul, a lot of good information in there, and I love the burglar anecdote!

    Erika, I notice you mention that you are in a setback, after 6 months away from anxiety. I am in exactly the same spot! Since finding Paul’s book in January, things have gotten better and better, to the point that I’ve had an amazing year really. So, for everyone, Paul’s advice really does work!

    And Nicola, you mention about people who have setbacks fall into the same traps; I can vouch for that, for sure! I mean, I started innocently reading Paul’s book again, looking through his blogs, but slowly I could feel myself deteriorate over the week, questioning everything again, then it hit my mood (stage 2, my brain was tiring!), and so on. I was clearly just keeping the anxiety going.

    I think this being my first big setback made it all the harder; there was a stubbornness to admit I was feeling anxious, and to then start dealing with it in the correct way. There is also a bigger fear of it returning after so long of not suffering, a case of “oh no, it’s back, it cant be?!” I think there will be more acceptance of my next setback, and this proves that you do learn over time by experiencing anxiety. But ultimately, that I didn’t need to do anything at all, just accept it was back, and that it will pass.

  14. Dawn Says:

    Hi all,

    I posted this on the previous blog but then realised there was a newer post.
    I have been avidly reading the website and blog for the past 4 months as I have been suffering with anxiety and subsequently depression. It has really helped as at first I wasn’t sure what on earth was wrong with me and was petrified I was going mad. I was hoping that anyone who has been through a similar experience to me might have some advice and reassurance for me.
    Basically it all started just before my wedding to my partner of 5 years back in April. A week before the wedding, the thought popped into my head out of nowhere “how do you know you love him?” Before this happened, I’d never had a single doubt, we have lived together for 3 years and it was the happiest time of my life, I adored him. When the thought came into my head I had a horrible panic attack and totally freaked out, and after that I felt like I was in hell. My emotions were all over the place and I couldn’t stop obsessing that I might not love him and he might not be the one. I spent most of the week before the wedding unable to sleep or eat and sobbing all the time and was totally stuck in my own head. I didn’t know what was happening to me, and couldn’t make any sense of it. The wedding day was tough, I was suffering from what I now realise was depersonalisation, I felt like I was outside myself watching what was going on and not actually believing what was happening. I knew I wanted to go through with it though as I couldn’t lose him based on how I’d been feeling for a week. My parents and bridesmaids were all adamant that it was all being caused by anxiety. I should probably mention I’d been having a stressful time in other areas of my life for several months before the wedding, with several family problems that were causing me a lot of worry and I also planned pretty much the whole wedding myself as I am a bit of a perfectionist control freak!
    We went on honeymoon and it was really hard, I felt constantly anxious, feeling breathless and nervous all the time and still struggling to eat and sleep. I was constantly obsessing and looking at my husband all the time, trying to feel my emotions but I couldn’t feel anything but anxiety which just made it worse. When we got home I went downhill quite quickly. I was still working but was on the verge of being signed off as I could barely say 2 words to anyone or do anything as I was totally lost in my own head. I went to the doctors and was put onto anti-depressants and started seeing a psychotherapist twice a week. I spent weeks avoiding my friends and struggling through the day trying to carry on but constantly breaking down in tears at work because I felt so awful. Things didn’t really improve until July when the medication seemed to help to a point where I could actually function some days without falling to pieces, the meds seemed to help me start eating again (I lost a lot of weight and was starting to look quite ill) which made a difference. I am still struggling badly though, I can’t stop testing how I feel about my husband, and asking myself all the “what if” questions under the sun about our relationship. We planned on buying a house after the wedding but now the thought fills me with fear and I don’t know why. I feel constantly like something isn’t right and feel the horrible sensations in my stomach. I am trying to take Paul’s advice and not pay attention to it but it’s so hard as I can’t stop asking myself “what if I really don’t love him and can’t admit it to myself?” I still want to spend time with him and kiss and cuddle him all the time, but I just feel all wrong and strange and it just ruins everything. I must say he has been amazing through all this, I’ve not told him the root of my anxiety but I printed the “advice for partners” page from the site and showed it to him and explained how I’ve been feeling and he has been so understanding (which makes me feel horrendously guilty as he doesn’t know about my doubts).
    Has anyone else experienced this kind of anxiety? My issue is that I can’t 100% convince myself that this isn’t my real feelings, although I don’t see how they can be. I have made my GP switch my medication (on the advice of a doctor friend) to one that is also used to treat OCD as well as depression and anxiety and although switching was hard, I am hoping they make more of a difference. I know ultimately though that meds are a crutch and I need to address the anxiety itself. My current major worry is that when I have a couple of better days and manage to get out and spend some time with a friend or watch a film without obsessing, I test myself and I still feel all strange about my husband and the anxiety kicks in again as I feel like when I feel better the feelings and certainty should come back. I am constantly tired and find myself getting very irritable and wound up (especially at work) which is difficult. My therapist keeps saying how I feel about my husband is a symptom not a cause and I need to give myself much more time, but I just feel so awful as I should be feeling great about being married and about the future and I just feel anxious and spoiling everything. Does anyone have any advice for me?

  15. Sophia Says:

    Sorry Paul

    Next time will make sure I will post in full words..unknowingly it’s happening..what my doubt was I have constant mood swings .
    For eg, if I am going to watch a movie I am all excited about it. After the movie suppose if I have to meet someone for a chat I myself decline as I dislike that for the reason I have noticed I talk a lot and it’s all about my thoughts feelings the way I see things..I couldn’t actually be in a conversation as I am constantly answering the thoughts that enter my head. I end up having a wrong perception of the person or situation.And i doubt the other person may also be finding that I am talking on a different note.

    I think I am adding undue emotions to each and every thought. Because of that I could never listen and feel for the other person. Immediately focus goes back to my thoughts..
    This is so abrupt that I never realise that the thoughts actually direct me into doing and saying things which I would not have done otherwise .

    Even here I am struggling to get my point across but I end up confusing the other person.

    I had a doubt that if I am having bi polar as all the symptoms seems similar.
    How could it differ from anxiety? As both have racing and obsessive thoughts irritability and high mood swings.

    Hope I conveyed the query properly.

  16. Doreen Says:

    Sophia – Anxiety can make us very self absorbed in the way that you are describing. I have often described it as having an internal voice with which we are in dialogue whilst trying to carry on a conversation with the real person with whom we are talking. i suspect that ‘all’ you are feeling are the manifestations of extreme anxiety, whilst horrible are not in themselves serious.

  17. Helen Says:

    Hi Dawn,
    I went through the exact same thing as you are currently experiencing and I have advised others on this blog previously on this particular part of anxiety. To cut my story very short, i basically woke up in the middle of the night once and thought ‘what if I don’t love him anymore?’ and that was it, I questioned absolutley everything, ‘what if I don’t really love him?’ ‘is this all a trick?’ ‘what if i regret spending my life with him?’ and may many more. These thoughts came at me relentlessly like a speeding train for months because when they came at me I tried to answer them, I tried to make sense of why they were in my head. When you have anxiety about anything and you think you have found an answer to one of it’s questions another one comes along and you spend your time and much needed energy trying to make sense of it. It got to a point where I was frightened to look at my partner for fear of how it might make me feel. I went through this for a long time and life was on hold as I didn’t want to get on with living until I had sorted this out, how could I carry on with my life when I might not really be happy, what was the point? And this is the problem, to recover from anxiety, you have to do two things and that is to accept that it is anxiety and to carry on with with your life even with all the horrendous thoughts and feelings that you are carrying with you.
    I decided that, no matter what, I would just let the thoughts be there and not try and work them out. I decided to go out for a meal with him even when I was frightened to do so, to watch a film together even when I couldn’t hear what was going on because of the thoughts racing around my head and slowly but very surely the outside world crept in and took some of the focus off my horrible thoughts. After that it just got better and better, as my anxiety diminished the love for my partner and my life in general came back. I am happier now than I have ever been and my partner and I are stronger than ever.
    Dawn, what you have is anxiety and it has focused on the most important thing in your life because it will get the strongest reaction from it. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t react to it.
    You won’t feel this now but having and recovering from anxiety will teach you so many things and you will be a stronger person from the experience. If someone asked me if I could change ever having anxiety I would most definately say no as I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it.
    Accept that the thoughts and feelings are anxiety, it will take time for you to do this but you will. Don’t try and work everything out, it is a waste of your energy and of your life. Carry on with your life as you had planned, don’t put it on hold, life is too short. Don’t be impatient for recovery, it will come and is very much worth the wait. Don’t be frightened of anxiety, let it be there and you will learn so much from it, I promise.

    All the best

  18. Jeff Says:

    I have the same sort as you, but from the opposite end. Mine was caused by a divorce.. the LOSS of the most important thing in your life. So while it may not seem similar, I’m willing to bet that the doubts and anxiety stem from the same place: an inability to face the reality of a situation that is questionable, new, causes intense vulnerability, and basically changes the parameters of who you’ve established yourself to be over the years. When I met my ex, I fell in love, and in so doing I gained a deep sadness, the sadness from knowing that nothing lasts forever and that to give yourself over to that love is a type of surrender of the self. You can’t protect yourself from something that powerful and it can be horrifying. BUT, the reality is that you are lucky to feel that way, that many people do not have the chance to feel that way, and that you must take big risks for big rewards. I envy you this time in your life, you are obviously very in love and have found someone who returns that love. If you didn’t love him, none of this would have affected you so. It would have come as a realization of truth and you would have walked away. Instead it manifested itself as doubt, and began a cycle we are all very familiar with. In time your nerves will settle down. But you have to ride this out a while now that you’re in it. Once I accepted that she was gone, once I was ABLE to accept that she was gone, I got better and better. In order to do that it took rest and time. You’re exhausted right now, but things will calm down. Don’t pay it too much attention and try to do what you do. Things will calm down and you will find what a treasure you have in giving yourself to another person. Helen is right, all of these awful experiences you’re having right now will actually teach you things about yourself and you will come through it as a more complete person with a more accurate self-image. All best to you, and good luck.

  19. Ronnie Says:


    That post is wonderful. I’m in a place where accepting I’ll come through is difficult sometimes. Occasionally there are fleeting moments however memory and habit bring the old horrors back like a lightening bolt. It’s these aspects I have to learn to be comfortable with so that eventually they cease to matter. I’ve recently had to stop seeing a girl I really liked because of the anxiety coming back! The feelings are awful because they are so powerful. I liked her but the emotions are now so exaggerated about what I’ve lost that its on my mind all the time. There’s a difference between liking someone and an emotional response brought through anxiety which gives signals of so much loss and upset. I know these are anxiety based and I just look forward to the day when balance returns and I can live a life where the various events and situations we find ourselves in as part of our natural journey can be accepted as such, where they only bring a response that merits the situation itself and not one which brings so much angst and bewilderment. We can only go onwards and that is where I intend to proceed.


  20. Stephen Shale Says:

    The biggest issue I have with anxiety, and what I think is really holding me back from fully recovering, is how it affects my appetite. (Unlike all your wedding issues, I actually managed to get through my wedding last november, and that was before I found Paul’s book, so imagine what I can do now I have it!)

    My appetite seems to have such a control over me. I just lose my appetite so much, it makes eating a struggle. The flavours are exaggerated, its hard to swallow, my stomach grinds to a halt. So on one hand i shouldnt avoid certain foods, right? But surely being easy on myself and having a soup, or blander foods will help me out, but is this safety behaviour?

    Its those places i go however where i know different foods arent available (or i just dont know what is available), which tend to make me most anxious. Beforehand I hope that i dont get anxious, so i can eat normally, but this expectance usually makes me nervous.

    I can deal with all other symptoms so well now, its my loss of appetite that seems to be such a big deal. At christmas time in particular, because you visit families for a big lunch. This period has become troublesome for me, i couldnt bear to not eat xmas dinner, thats just rude. Or say i’m anxious, thats just embarassing. Christmas has inadvertanly become a kind of gauge for how much I’ve improved, which I dont think is a good thing.

    Would be interesting to know if anyone else has appetite issues.

  21. Dawn Says:


    Thank you Helen & Jeff for your responses, I really appreciate it. My current worry is that for the past few weeks I have had some better days where I can turn my attention to other things, concentrate at work and try and life my life and also I have had less symptoms (less racing thoughts, breathlessness,knotted tummy etc.) but my feelings for my husband haven’t returned even when I feel calmer. I feel numb when the thoughts come into my head rather than anxious and just have a feeling of things being wrong rather than full on anxiety. I feel like because the thoughts aren’t making me anxious they might be true. I still find myself looking at him and constantly checking my thoughts and feelings and assessing every aspect of his looks and personality.I am also very aware of every thought that comes into my head and how I am feeling, I struggle to just “be”. My overriding fear at the moment is that I can’t see a future for us but before that initial panic attack we had been living together for 3 years and I thought we would be together forever and we had everything planned out. I don’t see how my feelings could change in an instant from adoring and loving him to thinking we might not have a future together.I’m so scared this is real though and that I’ll never feel the same way again about him :(

  22. Carlie Says:

    I hope you guys don’t mind me reposting what I posted a few days ago on the last blog! I was just wondering if anyone has some advice for whenever I feel this way and I can’t calm myself down:

    Hey everyone. I’m currently struggling a lot. I sometimes wish I could just end it all. I know I won’t, but I’ve been dealing with this for so long now. And before the DP, I had already been dealing with anxiety and depression for years. It just seems impossible at times. I feel DP worse now than I have in awhile… it really does feel like I’m sort of in a dream. I haven’t gotten much sleep lately and I’m having hormonal issues, so maybe that’s it, but I just feel like I’m going to panic. But most of the time I just feel empty, like a zombie. At times I’m almost convinced that maybe I’ve already died. Because I definitely don’t feel like I’m living at all.

    Jeff, thank you for your long post in response to mine, it was very encouraging even though I’m obviously having a hard time now.

  23. natalie Says:

    fantastic post paul and just what i needed to hear, dealing with a lot of insecurities at the moment with a new job and all and yes been guilty of arguing with myself because the “internal voice” is quite negative at the min, and then i argue back but am thinking for this post that just is the wrong way to go about it because it is knackering i know and i feel very emotional and keep crying. So will try from today just to let it ramble and ignore it as best i can. Thank you for coming back always lovely to hear your updates and congradulations on your increasing success, all born from your desire to help!!!

  24. Josh Says:

    Hi Helen

    I cant agree with you more. Even i am at the fag end of my anxiety and looking back i would rejoice having gone through the expereince because of the many stregnths that it brought to me. I know many of those here would feel that i don not know what i am talking and anxiety is such a big monster and can never be good, but its one of those downs which makes us much stronger rather then weak.


  25. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Thanks Natalie, the site started out as a hobby site and was never meant to grow so big, word of mouth has helped more than anything and it’s great that it has hopefully helped so many.

    On the negative voice, I recognise that one. I remember once feeling rough after a night on the beer and my anxiety levels went sky high the day after, the negative voice started, my lifes awful, I hate this, I will lose friends, blah blah blah and then I said ‘Boy my thoughts are negative this morning, yesterday I was fine’ Then it hit me, I am the same person as yesterday, these negative thoughts come and go, they arent important and don’t shape who I am. The day after I was fine again and then in the future was able to then let them bob along like ships in the ocean without taking them too serious, a postive day, a negative day, an ok day, I was always the same person. So try not to let those negative days pull you back in, in doing this they don’t last as ong or come with the same force.


  26. Stephen Shale Says:

    I’m having troubles with my inner voice today too. And my appetite has disappeared again. My and my wife have next week off work, we’re heading up to a nice hotel in kettering, just to get away for a couple if nights. But because of my lack of appetite, my inner voice is worrying about what i’m going to eat up there if i still feel anxious next week. Like i said in my earlier post, my appetite has such a hold over me, i hate it when it disappears, and makes me anxious about future events. Its what is holding me back right now, from fully escaping anxiety. Any thoughts?

  27. Doreen Says:

    Stephen – your anxiety has attached itself to the eating/lack of appetite problem. In another person it could well be something else.

    So relax, accept that right now you are not hungry, just eat small regular amounts possibly whilst your focus is on something else such as a book or TV.

    Enjoy your time away without making meals too important. There should be other nice things to do to take your attention

  28. Stephen Shale Says:

    Thanks Doreen, I see what you’re saying. I definitely need to concentrate on wht happens between meals, more than eating itself. I’ve just always found eating a chore, so its even more off-putting when i’m feeling anxious.

    I do eat though, and i guess if i look at my diet, i probably eat a similar amount of food when anxious as when healthy, its just A LOT more awkward. It’s just those times when i’m expected to eat, like going out for a meal, or going to families for christmas dinner (a time that has caused me particular discomfort over the past few years), there is more pressure on me then.

  29. Dawn Says:

    Hi Stephen,

    I had a lot of difficulty eating for a couple of months and lost a good 10% of my bodyweight (which wasn’t a good thing!) I knew I had to eat something but found it really hard. Like Doreen says I got through it by eating little and often and also by distracting myself whilst eating a meal, by watching tv or reading a book perhaps. The more you think about it the worse it seems, your appetite will come back in time. When you’re out with your family,just eat as much or as little as you like,its no-ones business but your own so you shouldn’t put pressure on yourself.

  30. jc Says:

    Hi Stephen

    I can identify with you on the appetite thing that is exactly how anxiety effected me,im slim anyway and the thought of losing weight made me worst and the more you worry about it the worst you get,for some reason Christmas and Sunday lunches were the worst times,I finally realised i would have to accept my appetite wasnt great,and if people noticed so what. on bad days when I had no appetite I would just have things easy to swallow like yoghurt, bananas,soup stuff like that. I realised that if I relaxed about it my appetite would come back and it gradually went back to completey normal. try not to think to much about situations where you are expected to eat. if you cant eat you cant its no big deal really, people dont take as much notice as you think.

  31. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Carlie – You just have to go with the flow and follow all the advice Paul and so many others give. Sometimes it’s awful and you think you can’t do it (and, yes, hormones and lack of sleep don’t help), but you can. Paul’s most recent post is awesome and so true! You have to be willing to “feel” all of this for now. Even the emptiness. Yes, it’s part of DP. I’ve seen so many posts from people talking about the same thing. It’s just your bodies way of compensating for the exhaustion. Your normal feelings and thoughts will all come back little by little. Hang in there, girl! If I can do it, so can you!

  32. Nn Says:

    Hi everyone I’m new here but I found this site and blog about a couple months ago. I’m hoping someone can give me their opinion and input. Earlier this year In february i got real dizzy in the shower for no reason. I even went to the hospital and they performed all kinds of tests and said I was perfectly normal and contributed it to stress. Ever since I had that episode I would constantly feel dizzy by just thinking about it. I even saw and ear, nose, and throat dr and thought maybe it had something to do with my ears but all was normal. Anyway I just tried not to think about it and then it would dissapear just as fast as it came so I know it was due to stress and just constanntly thinking about it. Earlier a few months ago in July my husband had a major back surgery which made him unable to walk unassisted. The first couple of weeks I had to help him with everything including bathing and getting dressed. I think that took a major toll on me cause I just couldn’t believe what I was going through and Just felt so alone. But he has progressed very rapidly and is going back to work soon. Anyway my big problem is ever since after the surgery I just wake up feeling so fatigued and exhausted and my legs constantly feel like jelly. I’m constantly lightheaded and dizzy and I have these episodes sometimes where I would just be doing something and then I would feel like a sudden drop” feeling in my whole body. Kind of like the feeling you get in an elevator. It’s happened a few times followed by like an intense fear and the need to escape. But I just take deep breaths and I calm down afterwards knowing that it’s just stress. I know I have dp because I’m constantly just aware of myself and my surroundings and just don’t feel ” real sometimes. So my question is: how do I get rid of the feeling of having jelly legs and feeling real weak?? It goes away once I start moving around and being active. Also, i wake up everyday dreading about feeling weak and as soon as I get off the bed, I’m weak again. Is this a common symptom of anxiety?? How about the heart drop feeling? It really scares me sometimes because I’m always afraid that I’m gonna pass out!! It has really gotten me depressed and I just hate feeling weak and being afraid of passing out! Are these common symptoms? Has anyone had that sudden ” drop feeling?? Sorry to make this post so long and I would appreciate who take time to read and respond.

  33. Tommy Says:

    It has been almost a year since I have been to this site. I want to start off by thanking Paul for writing such a great book and helping me tremendously !!!

    I had a very bad case of Anxiety/Panic for over a year. It was the hardest thing I have ever dealt with in my life. It started with just an anxiety/panic attack every now and then and quickly snowballed into what I call “HELL”. I had the trembles,DP,Intrusive thoughts,agoraphobia, thought I was going insane the whole nine yards. I was scared to live anymore, every day was an act.I thought I was gonna be like that for the rest of my LIFE ! After reading Pauls Book , he made me realize that I was fighting a battle that I Wasnt gonna win . So I had to give up the fight with myself and just man up and conquer it on my own . NO PILLS! The best thing I ever did was get back to living my old life and getting back doing the things I once loved. I know it sounds hard , but you just dont understand how quickly you start seeing recovery. Please TRUST ME ! I was so bad, I felt like It could’nt have gotten much worse . Anyway I came back on here to tell my story bc I feel like if I can do it then anyone can. And I owe it to you cause I almost 100% have my LIFE BACK. There is no quick fix so quit Looking for it and just do it. You are the fix . Get back to living your life Now and quit fighting with yourself . it was not long ago and now I cant even remember a lot of the ways that I was feeling then. I try to think about then(about 8-9 months ago) and a lot of it is a Blur . There Is hope for everyone of you ! and its hard bc you are making it harder than it is . So give up the fight and go face your fears. I promise you will start feeling better.

    Thank you Paul for all your hard work and helping us all
    Peace, Tommy

  34. Kathi Says:

    Hey everyone,

    I’m only sixteen and not from England, so I’m sorry for mistakes.
    I’m suffering from anxiety for 4 years now, but I have to say that there was also one really good year, where I felt like completely cured, but at the beginning of this year, my fears came back.
    They came back with a bit worry and a big anxiety attack with depersonalization. This attack was really bad. I couldn’t feel my legs and my arms. I was always telling me my name, my adress, to see, that I’m not crazy.
    Well, after this attack I struggled with depersonalization every day! One day it became so bad that I suddenly felt into depression. I cried about one week, felt hopeless and didn’t knew what was going on with me. I thought I was crazy, mental ill and I was afraid of hurting myself. I went to a doctor, who gave me some pills. I was shocked! How could he give such a young girl like me these pills?! I never took any of these pills!
    After one week I felt better. The fears were still there, but I wasn’t so depressive anymore, because I found a great healer, who helped me a bit.
    Until now, there were good times, but mostly bad times.
    My last week was actually great. I felt like: ” wow, you made it, anxiety is gone!”, but now there it is again. Last night I couldn’t sleep, because my thoughts were so bad. I thought about dead, the future and because of this dreamlike feeling I really thought, that my life couldn’t be real. I thought, that it could also be an imagination, or something like that.
    These thoughts made me feel like frozen. It was horrible! The mornings are actually always better. I wake up and of ‘course my thoughs come back everyday and follow me! Sometimes I feel very very hopeless, but I already had good times and that’s what gives me a bit hope that I can maybe recover!

  35. DCYL Says:

    Let me add something for those who struggled with their appetite. When my situation first started, I noticed I wasn’t all that hungry. I tried to eat like I normally did but just couldn’t do it. The funny thing was that I didn’t really feel too anxious about that.

    What did get me was that I (like others) lost weight. I personally didn’t notice the weight loss BUT other people did. I had people ask me “Did you lose weight? You look thinner.” Normally, that would probably be a compliment but with me being in anxious state, I was like “Crap, is something wrong with me?”

    The good news is that my appetite eventually returned so things will get better.

    Additionally, as I have gone through this, anxiety sometimes hangs on to things and you may not realize it. For example, I remember I bought a self help / spiritual book (for non-anxiety stuff) a while ago. Due to how I was feeling, I wanted to avoid reading / thinking too much.

    Decided to open the book up yesterday and I think my anxiety kicked up a little bit. I stayed with it and glanced at the book for a while before stopping. Main point is that if you feel a little weird doing normal day to day things, just go ahead and do it anyway. :)

  36. Stephen Shale Says:

    Thanks dawn and jc. It was my weight that kicked things off about 6 years ago. I started getting symptoms, noticed i weighed a lot less than i thought i did, so put 2 and 2 together and, with a lack of knowledge of anxiety, got about 10! Spent two years sorting out my diet (which needed doing anyway), getting my weight up, but blaming al my symptoms on my diet/weight/sugar levels.

    Since then I realised it was anxiety, but my eating had a hold on me. The seed in my head was planted, and missing meals brought on anxiety. This whole cycle was found and broken during my therapy sessions last year, and I feel so much more free with food, when anxiety free.

    I guess when i get a bit anxious, that fear of “not being able to eat = weight loss/illness” creeps up on me. Its just dealing with the awkwardness that would help lose my fear more. Thanks everyone.

  37. Jamie Says:

    Hi Paul! Comforting info…I had severe anxiety for the first time at age 20..I learned how to deal with it that yr, no meds,just with advice from others..It was a hard time…..Well, Im 40 now and just had my first bad setback 2 days ago…Sometimes I feel better for hrs, then the symptoms return..esp with the thought of eating meals, as my major symptom is nausea…Not sure why I entered this setback, but trying not to let the symptoms worry me…Though difficult, because it brings me back to the way I felt when I was 20…I tend to get more nervous with thoughts of eating, but trying to eat small meals and face it…Just shocked as I thought I knew how to deal with my anxiety..This attack seemed to set in strong, and couldnt shake it off…Thoughts? Advice?

  38. Nn Says:

    Hi everyone. Just wanted to ask is feeling weak common with anxiety. Have only been suffering for a few months. Also sometimes I feel like a sudden ” drop feeling. Kind of like the feeling you get in an elevator. I’m constantly waking up every morning dreading feeling weak and I’m always weak just by thinking about it! It has made me depressed and not enjoy the things I used to. I always have a terrible fear of passing out ? Is this common?? It has only been a few months with these symptoms it’s just hard to accept when I feel so miserable all the time. Have had everything checked out and I’m perfectly healthy.

  39. Natalie Says:

    Mornin every one another sleepless night for me due to worrying about work again x have to say anxiety levels very high and causing me to feel scared i guess hence the need to post x paul work is very stressful and no matter if i say just do your best etc cannot seem to shake the fear which brings up other issues part of me wants to just leave but that not the right way and am lookin for another job x but not sure why i cannot accept this time and know it makin me worse am scared will go back to the begining and want to just let it all go but the thought of going in fills me with dread x dont want to go on as not good for any one but this road back got me stumped x

  40. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Just got round to moderating a few first time posters and that’s a great story Tommy and a real inspiration to others, so glad this place and the book helped so much and well done to sticking to the advice and not looking for the quick fix.

    Stephen I wont add much as there has been some good advice, but the appetite thing is like the sleeping thing, the more we worry about it then the less likely it is to happen. As you say ‘that fear of “not being able to eat’ is the same as ‘The fear of not been able to sleep’. The more we worry about it then the worse it gets’ My anxiety jumped on the sleep problem. ‘Ill never sleep and then be awful for work tomorrow’ , ‘What if I lose my job?’ , My anxiety levels will be so high without sleep’ , ‘Please sleep tonight, this will ruin my life even more’. This started through me going over and over things at night and finding it hard to switch off, then anxiety grabbed hold of it and a new worry was formed and the harder I tried to sleep and the more importance I put on it, the worse it became. I overcame it by firstly letting my mind chatter away, letting it ramble on but no longer getting involved. Then secondly saying ‘if I get no sleep, then I get no sleep’. The pressure to sleep was then off and I found myself drifting off far easier without the pressure to do so.

    When someone is anxious their stomach muscles are affected and they can lose their appetite a little, this can happen with anyone. If you then worry about losing weight, all future events etc and make a far bigger issue out of it than it deserves, then you will struggle even more.

    Say you have a meal out with your partners family and then worry, worry, worry days before about eating, then you will find it hard to eat, your not in the right frame of mind, your stomach has tightened and you find you lose your appetite. As you say you have been through therapy and probably been told the reason you find it hard. The advice I would give is firstly no one round that table will care if you just have a light meal or leave some, not everyone is a big eater and is it that important what people think anyway? And secondly go with the attitude of ‘I eat what I eat, I am no longer going to make a deal out of it’.

    Both statements take so much pressure of you. Take the advice or leave it but what is more important, you or what others think?

    To finish my biggest fear by far was what people at work thought, I was at an awful place at the time and people thought I was odd, I can’t blame them as I would ramble on or just try and act myself through conversations whilst hardly making eye contact. My thinking was that I had to come across as normal, but the harder I tried to come across as normal the worse things got. I thought I would lose my job if things carried on, I would have no one to talk with, no friends, I cared so much what they thought of me I would go home in tears. Conversation like your food then became the enemy, the thing I dreaded.

    Then one day I thought I no longer care what they think and I was just me odd or not, I no longer tried to act my way through, no longer thought about the consequences of not coming across as normal. Also I could sort out friendships when I was ok again. Once I stopped caring and put far less pressure on myself then the difference was amazing, I felt far more normal and able to cope and far less anxious.

    The moral really is stop caring what others think and stop putting pressure on yourself to eat, don’t worry about losing weight and you might find your appetite come back. Anxiety has just attached itself to something to worry about, but just let it know you arent falling for it this time.


  41. Galina Browning Says:

    Hey Nn, just read your post…i felt exactly the same as you have described and still feel on occasions but not as bad as it was. It is the anxiety playing tricks on you! I have also been suffering from anxiety for 4 months now and like your also been told from my doctor that nothing is physically wrong with me. Paul says it all in his post here and in his book. Just take the symptoms with you, relax into them, don’t fight them and you will be fine! When the importance is taken away from these symptoms they start to fade away!

    Take care!

    Best Wishes,

  42. Dawn Says:

    Hi all,

    As I have posted before, my anxiety relates to my relationship with my now husband and I have been suffering badly since April. I have been taking sertraline for nearly a month after switching from citalopram (which helped lift my depression but didn’t do much for my anxiety) and the last couple of weeks I have actually been able to sleep through the night and the physical symptoms of anxiety (constant rumination, breathlessness,knotted stomach, crying all the time) have faded to a point where I can actually do things and behave more normally.However I am still very aware of myself and my thoughts,I still feel wrong and every time I look at my husband I question what I feel and feel quite numb. It frightens me that I feel calmer but I still don’t feel the love again. It is a constant worry sat there all the time rather than the full on anxiety I felt before.Does this mean it might not be anxiety causing me to feel like this?I don’t see how it could be as before I had yhe panic attack a week before the wedding we had been engaged for 2 years and it nevet crossed my mind that I might not want to marry him, I was sure he was the one.

  43. Michelle m Says:

    great post tommy. gave me a lump in my throat. i still get the odd day where i am obsessed with the fact that i have had the most.scary thoughts. but as i.speak to other people there are so many that have the same symptoms.

    i am quite open with my thoughts as there was no way i could have dealt with this alone. sometimes it is good to get away from this blog but when im feeling a little bit too “thoughtful” i will always come back here.

    wishing you all the best to everyone that is suffering at the moment. it does and definitely will get better. just carry on living.

    Michelle xx

  44. Krys Says:

    Hi All,

    I am 30 years old and 28 weeks pregnant with my third child. I had anxiety prior to becoming pregnant but I had only been on meds for about six months, which helped. I went off the meds prior to becoming pregnant but in July I had a panic attack at work. I had only experienced one panic attack prior to the one in July so being pregnant and new to this panic attack experience I was bad off. It took me almost three weeks to step foot back into work. My doctor put me back on meds which took time to work but most of Aug and until yesterday I was doing good. I keep feeling a bit dizzy/light headed which then brings me to start thinking “what if I pass out” “could this be something worse” etc. Its hard enough having anxiety without being pregnant but I fear more because I have a baby to think about. I try to keep my thoughts in check by awknowleging them and doing proper breathing but this is NOT easy. I am due in December and believe me the due date cannot come quick enough.

    I appreciate eveyone’s posts because its hard to find someone to relate to.


  45. David Says:

    First post for me. I’m very confused and could use some guidance on the concept of ‘doing nothing’ to rid myself of anxiety.

    From the momnet I wake Im consumed with thoughts that just go round and round – a little like this, ” Oh god I feel it again, ok just ignore it David it’s just anxiety, oh no now Im thinking about anxiety, ok stop it, just ignore the thoughts, oh no now I’m thinking about ignoring thoughts, ok think about something good, oh no now Im just trying to think about something good to stop thinking the thoughts…blah blah and on it goes every day…

    If I do nothing then these thoughts just go on and on. And that’s not good. So I try things like ignoring my thoughts and letting them float past. But then that feels like im doing something and so just reminds me that Im trying to get rid of anxiety… Which makes me anxious…

    It’s so confusing…..

  46. natalie Says:

    hi paul
    thankyou for your last comments about work I know they were not meant for me but it was as though you were talking about me that is exactly where i am at this moment at my new place of work. Was fine at my last place because i already had friendships and could be honest and they accepted me so no pressure, but because at the new place people dont know me or the fact i sometims get anxious puts more pressure on me doesn’t help that i am sat across the office all on my own and the job is really three peoples work but they not hiring anyone else so already pressure but your advise really helped as it is out of my control. I can only do my best at the job and will not push myself any further as it not good on my health and chat when i am spoken to but no more pushing to make friends already last nite i slept well today i just feel tired and low but that is because my body and mind are exhausted, i know am looking for another job so this is not forever and this time will go for something in the field i have experience less hours and working in a team so that all the factors that are stressing me now can disappear and hopefully know I WILL be better able to cope. Like you said your health must come first good to push your comfort zones but my priorities are my boys and being fit and able to be a good mum, not coming home a mess stressed and worried they need me to be well as can be. Thank you so much for your post and so glad you have to time to speak to us all again. Here’s to a calm and accepting day for us all xxx

  47. Doreen Says:

    David – I think you are expecting the anxiety to just disappear because you are trying the techniques suggested by Paul. It is good that you have understood that letting the thoughts float past is the way forward and of course that is in some ways an active thing and something you know you are doing. If you were riding a bike you would be aware that you are doing it for a reason, likewise at the moment you know that you are working at trying to live with anxiety. Because that is the 1st stage – living with it instead of trying to push it away. Very uncomfortable but at the end of the day that is the best way through and does over time make the anxiety less intense, until it is barely there at all. Good luck

  48. Sophia Says:


    I am right now not able to bring myself from the irritated anger mode. I am going on with day but the thoughts goes on about people who are injust in their dealings. It’s ok to think these thoughts but for me after five minutes I am totally agitated making myself at the receiving end. I am not able to speak to them and make them understand. Instead the fault comes on me due to my inability to focus on the situation and speak..I get overwhelmed with emotions at that point and break down.

    This has been very disturbing as I am not able to speak what I want..does anyone experience this?
    Can anyone tell me what you do when you get stuck and focus only on the mind chatter unable to break free from it.

    Many a times I felt handicapped in situations.pls help

  49. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    David says: If I do nothing then these thoughts just go on and on. And that’s not good. So I try things like ignoring my thoughts and letting them float past. But then that feels like im doing something and so just reminds me that Im trying to get rid of anxiety… Which makes me anxious…

    There is your answer above David ‘These thought go on and that’s not good’ so you are saying you are not accepting them as they have to go. The more you don’t want them, then the more they will stick.

    Why are thoughts so bad? Give me some anxiety based thoughts tomorrow and they would not bother me as I would understand they arent real. You are trying to stop the mind chatter as Doreen says.

    Let your mind chatter and go where it want’s like a tv in the background but don’t get involved or try to understand it all. Your attitude should be ‘These thoughts go on and on but I no longer care’ they can be a little nusience in the background, but do they deserve so much respect and wasted mental energy?

  50. Bill Says:

    Hi all,i am afraid i have not grasped the plot yet,i am feeling worse as time goes by.From waking up with the mind chatter to getting up and feeling immediately light headed with a headache and severe tension at the back of my neck.My eyes are blurry/out of focus etc .I cannot even type this post without feeling extreme tension at the back of my neck.I am struggling big time to divert my thoughts away from myself.I feel so tired and dizzy i find it so so hard to do anything constructive with my day,i feel lots of head shocks etc which make me frightened and feel i am passing out or worse.I am not sure if it is the fear of dying or the fear of trying to live my life with this.Please anyone out there point me on the right path or kick my backside for me,best wishes to all.

  51. Jamie Says:

    I WROTE THE BELOW STATEMENT A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO..WAS LOOKING FOR SOME FEEDBACK :) Also, my question is why would anxiety return if Im the happiest now I have ever been? Things are amazing, I was just saying last week how happy I am, esp that Fall is here..I dont get it..I have been thru major career changes, marriage, a baby, death in the family, tons of issues since I had it badly at age 20, and no major anxiety…..Yes, now and then I would feel it but after an hr it was gone…So I feel confused, as I dont get it?
    Hi Paul! Comforting info…I had severe anxiety for the first time at age 20..I learned how to deal with it that yr, no meds,just with advice from others..It was a hard time…..Well, Im 40 now and just had my first bad setback 2 days ago…Sometimes I feel better for hrs, then the symptoms return..esp with the thought of eating meals, as my major symptom is nausea…Not sure why I entered this setback, but trying not to let the symptoms worry me…Though difficult, because it brings me back to the way I felt when I was 20…I tend to get more nervous with thoughts of eating, but trying to eat small meals and face it…Just shocked as I thought I knew how to deal with my anxiety..This attack seemed to set in strong, and couldnt shake it off…Thoughts? Advice?

  52. Katie Says:

    Been on here a couple of times before, just really wanted to get some things off my chest. I tend not to come on here very often because I don’t want to obsess about my anxiety but feeling like I just need to release my thoughts and this seems the best place to do it. I was seeing a councillor but ended the sessions because every time I had an appointment, I would spend all week analysing myself and how I’d been feeling and this seemed to just bring me down so would be in tears every session, I’m not saying it didn’t help me but I felt like she’d told me everything I needed to know and some good ways of dealing with panic. I feel alot better when I just get on with my life like I would without the anxiety.

    I was feeling great for ages, keeping busy, been creative, and living alongside my very annoying thoughts and feelings. But the last couple of weeks I’ve been quite down and seem to be letting the thoughts and worrying get on top of me. The sensation which is annoying me the most is this moving feeling as if I’m on a boat, it’s hard to ignore because my body is moving. And now when I’m walking I get a flash of fear like I’m going to fall down and my legs go abit jelly like. I know me fussing over this feeling is making it hang around for longer.

    I’m just sick of been asked to do something or go somewhere and the first thing I think is will I be okay and start worrying about where I’m going and talking to people. I know you can’t give a time limit on recovery but I can’t stop thinking when will I be normal again, I’m so frustrated and feel like I’m annoying and boring my friends with always talking about it.

    The only time I feel myself is when I’m really drunk, I love going out and dancing the night away, I was surprised at myself that I went out to a club 2 Saturday nights in a row as I hadn’t been out to a club since like April. Had such a good time, felt awful at first until the alcohol took over and then I had the best time. But then the week after I was down and felt crap, so i’m behaving now and only drinking every now and again.
    Now I keep thinking that Christmas is coming up and that means lots of social situations which I dread.

    I think I’m just going to try my best to laugh at all these intrusive thoughts and carry on living my life the best I can.
    I just try and smile as it makes me feel better. And apparently it takes less muscles to smile than frown, so keep smiling people!
    peace & love xxxxx

  53. Stephen Shale Says:

    Hi Jamie, I’m 27, have been dealing with my anxiety for 6 years (incorrectly until Paul stepped in). I have just had 6 amazing months, but just had my first setback. Now although you’ve had a setback 20 years on, much of what you’ve said matches my thoughts. I believe that anxiety it a natural response, its in built in us all, although useless nowadays! So with that in mind, it is possible for it occur again, at any time, for no obvious reason. However, from what I’ve learnt, a lot can happen subconsciously, particularly with memories, which might not seem so obvious at first.

    Though the point is not to try and work out the reason, and definitely not so think to hard about “i thought it was gone” (which i definitely did), as i said above, its just built into us all. to much thought towards it and the cycle starts again, to fight to get rid, which only lengthens your setback.

    Although I just have 6 months of success to push me forward, i can feel a bigger confidence inside, now the setback is passing. Just rememer the 20 years you’ve had! Hope this helps.

  54. Jamie Says:

    Thanks Stephen! Feeling slightly better the last day or so, trying to accept the symptoms and feelings, and not to be scared again, which kept me in the cycle for awhile when I was 20…..I think my knowledge about my anxiety is why I went 20 yrs without it, but I guess this was just a setback…Who knows maybe I will recover a lot quicker this time…Trying to accept the symptoms, and have no fear, esp with the eating….Which is funny cause I normally have a huge appetite and just last week was saying I could lose 5 lbs…LOL..Well, this surely isnt the way I would want to lose the weight…But my appetite is slightly better, the more I accept the anxiety…Pauls thoughts are very similar to a book my grandmother gave me when I was 20, Hope and Help for your Nerves, by Dr Weekes…She and my mom had some time with anxiety, also my sister, so I swear its hereditery sometimes….The book is right on with everything Paul is saying, and that book is the book that helped me recover when I was young ….So glad I found this blog…Hang in there! it is possible to recover which I know because I went a very long time going thru lots of changes that woudl cause anxiety, and I was always fine :) After I recovered when in my 20’s, I really had a lot more confidence…Which sometimes I really do attribute to having the anxiety…

  55. Stephen Shale Says:

    Jamie, I have also read all of Claire Weekes’ books, she was revolutionary regarding anxiety back in the 70’s, although some of her information is slightly dated nowadays. Thats where Paul brings it right back up to date. But the messages are the same. At any time people have adrenalin in them, but a spike in those adrenalin levels can bring on anxiety-like symptoms. The thing to remember is not linking those symptoms to anything, which would cause you to worry further. Of course, i’m probably a huge hypacrite right now, as its hard to take my own advice, even though i fully understand what is happening. I can wait to have had 20 years without it though! I guess a final point though is to not force it away, knowing you’ve been fine for years. It’ll go.

  56. Jamie Says:

    Thats great! i think my grandmother relied on those books… You will get thru this…I had it so bad…But instead of panicking every morning why I still didnt feel well, I just learned to live with it that nervous, no appetite feeling in my stomach…Those were the biggest symptoms, I never really had a true panic attack….Except when the overwhelming feeling hit me for the first time, and I was eating at college, and I was like what is going on? It started from not wanting to be away from home while I had a new boyfriend…I was able to come home and finish my last 2 classes, they were just some easy credits and the teachers let me do papers to complete the class..But as I recall, I still wasnt 100% when I came home, and then the cycle stayed, As I got better, then my boyfriend wanted to go away out of state for the summer to do college classes, well then it started all over again, and that is when it was the worst, he eventually came home, but it didnt resolve then 100% either..So point being, the entire time it wasnt fear that I had to be with my boyfriend, I was just stuck in a nervous cycle…I kind of just lived with the feeling, still did all the fun things I loved, and eventually I cant even remember how it went away, but I never worried about it……And after all that I broke up with that boyfriend anyway, and moved on..LOL..Over the years, yes, I will admit anxiety came over a new event, any new excitement etc, but it was a different anxiety, it was the normal anxiety people feel now and then, it never gave me the dreaded fearful feeling, and if it did it would pass in an hr…I was nervous more then a few mornings with a career change and such, but after an hr or so I always was back to normal ready to eat, etc..I just never ran when I got a little anxious, I continued with my job change, and all other kind of changes in my life…..And that is the key, you have to face any fear in life, otherwise you always fear it…i think what happened to me this week, was it hit me hard, then I was confused why I felt overwhelmed, I lost my appetite hard, then of course I started worrying about the symptoms, and my appetite…But I know they will go…When I feel the stomach symptoms, I just say to myself, this isnt so scary, this isnt so bad, and 5 minutes later I already feel back to normal…I am waking with the bad feeling, but I think my body is remembering the pattern from when I was younger……The early morning feeling was never great…But this shall pass….Also, sometimes I would feel strong adrenaline rushes in my body, but they never made me feel anxious…Sorry this is so long, but dont lose hope, and keep moving forward ..Since you are still so young, you will be facing many exciting events, just move forward…My 30’s were the best yrs of my life :) just go with your heart on your decisions …and you will be fine..In the end I do think it makes us stronger people

  57. Jamie Says:

    Sorry for the typos :)

  58. Stephen Shale Says:

    Sounds like our anxiety is very similar, i too only get a nervous gut and my appetite disappears. When i think of it though, i still eat a similar amount, its just a lot more awkward. And i too have never had an actual panic attack. I hate the mornings most, can bring you down if not treated correctly. I mean i’ve just had two really good at work, felt so much better, the setback was passing. I now have a week off work, yet woke up this morning feeling more tense again, slightly less appetite. Surely my body would love this chance tp relax for a week!? Though i try to remember that Claire Weekes said there was a kind of “morning syndrome” where the body waking up is a bit of a shock to someone with anxiety, causing a rush of adrenalin. And that will only calm down eventually.

  59. Jamie Says:

    Yes, the meals will get better……You are just paying more attn to them now……I used to do the same thing……After awhile, the appetite gets better and better, and you just look forward to the food more and more……I right now am eating, and have hunger, but not really enjoying the food as much as normal.And I seem to think about my appetite, which makes me more anxious around the food..So dumb, when you really think about it….With the morning issue, that is a good point, and you are probably thinking subconciously that you should feel good cause you dont have work…Also, anxiety remembers old patterns, so if you dont feel good in the morning, its probably because of that, but it will eventually go away…I am a stay at home mom, but my little one is finally in school 3 full days, and Im almost thinking that me being separated from her is the cause of my recent anxious feeling..She is my only…I seriously have an awesome life, and should be stress free as Im a stay at home mom, and thats what is so strange about it all, but me worrying about that , I know will keep me in a cycle …Good luck to you!!

  60. Nicola Says:

    Paul, I was wondering if you could tell me if my questioning existence, what we’re all doing here, how we came to be and what happens when we die, is this all a part of anxiety? Do other people get anxiety about this sort of thing? It doesn’t bother me like it used to, it’s more just uncomfortable. I am doing so well in my recovery otherwise and I have you, Claire Weekes and of course ME to thank for that 😉

  61. Jamie Says:

    Nicola, Dr Weekes is who helped me overcome anxiety 20 yrs ago :)

  62. Jamie Says:

    Stephen, I also just saw the above about you going away this week for vacation…Dont worry……Do you know that you already worrying about what you are going to eat there is the only thing keeping you anxious at this point? :) Just remember, when you go to eat, the very worst possible thing that could ever happen is that you wont eat anything at all, and whats so bad about that..It wont be the end of the world……And, I bet you do eat perfectly fine…Try not to order a safe dish that goes down easy..Challenge yourself to a rich dish, and once you eat it you will feel amazing about it…If you keep doing things like that you are kicking the anxiety out…You are showing it that you are the boss :) Have a great time!!

  63. Kathi Says:


    I have the same thoughts like you! I know how bad they can be and if I have depersonalization the thoughts become worse.
    I think I am also by the way to recover. Weeks ago I had only bad days, but now there are already good days and weeks, what gives me really hope.
    Until now, I didn’t found an answer of these thoughts about existence..the only thing I do and what helps me is distraction, living my life, going to school..I just go on with my life and never stop, also if I wake up in the morning and feel like I will never make this day, I go on!
    I’m sorry for mistakes, I’m not from England 😉

  64. Stephen Shale Says:

    Thanks Jamie, and yeah i’m sure it will be fine. My eating really has improved so much this year. I used to be so fixed to an eating routine, and would get anxious when it seemed like i wouldnt be able to eat something at my usual time. That mindset just does not exist anymore, and so my anxiety has hardly existed this year. It was just my setback making me reconsider everything, to make sure i’d figured it all out, so i wouldnt have any more setbacks. Of course this was all wrong and i shouldnt have worried so much. I know my setback really has just been because of my effort to rid the anxiety, rather than anything else actually making me nervous. I mean i managed to go to the Maldives in january for ten nights for my honeymoon. I’m sure i can manage a couple of nights 2 hours down the road!! Thanks for your advice.

  65. Jamie Says:

    Stephen, your welcome! and I know you already know everything I said, but sometimes its good to hear it from someone else again ..:)

  66. Jeanine Says:

    Hi everyone I have had anxiety for 8 months now,pure O OCD I believe and its only getting worse.I don’t think I’m on the right path because I haven’t been able to do what Paul says. I just ordered the book today but I’m not sure if it’ll get here because the address came out wrong I put two addresses in and the jumbled them together. My thoughts and anxiety have been getting worse and worse,no improvement to the point where it’s making me really sick,hopeless,and exhausted. I wrote some of NY story in “will my anxiety ever go away” since it’s an old post no one responded. I did the wrong thing because of my desperation and googled stuff. It says OCD is a brain disorder and I’m afraid I’ll have this forever as it feels so out of control,I’m alot worse than the majority of people. I also worry about chemical imbalances,I don’t want to take meds but what if it’s the only answer,my thoughts are so disgustingly horrific. Can pure O OCD be overcome like all anxiety disorders? What about chemical imbalances, are they true? I’m sorry I’m really desperate and afraid. This site is so amazing and supportive but I sometimes feel I’m worse than all of you. I can’t even function anywhere anymore even though I still try and go out and do things but I’m always panicked. Paul can all thoughts be overcame because I know yours were of the obsessive type not disturbing.?

  67. Stephen Shale Says:

    It is definitely. Its the first time i’ve really used the blog to talk to other people in our situation. It is good to get the encouragement, and know we’re not all going mad! Just sometimes feel like i’m verging on being a hypacrite, as its much easier to give the advice than take it ourselves!!

  68. Jamie Says:

    Stephen, I hear ya :)
    Jeanine, is your family aware? I believe OCD is completely controllable with help…You probably do need to speak with a Dr to help him explain everything…

  69. Nicola Says:

    Hi Kathi. Sorry to hear that you have the same thoughts as I do. It’s the worst feeling isn’t it. Where are you from?

  70. Jeanine Says:

    Jamie, yes my family knows but doctors only want to put me on drugs

  71. Jeanine Says:

    Let me explain further I don’t have compulsions so I don’t have ocd only pure O ocd but not anxiety started from a side effect of a medication for my acid reflux called reglan. I started getting anxiety when I was alone and in darkness or silence. I get daily panic attacks the shaking and heart palpitations I experienced at the beginning diminished but recently ive gotten the dizziness and blurred vision. My.anxiety git worse after a trauma of seeing my sister looking crazy in the hospital after an attempted overdose of Xanax prescribed to me. I couldn’t get her image out of my head and started being afraid of harming myself or others. I started getting horrible thoughts from there. I was barely dealing with those thoughts when like a week ago I got another one,. I feel like it’s anxiety and something else like I’m sick in the head. I feel like I’m too far gone to reverse this.

  72. Jeanine Says:

    Just noticed all the errors, so hard to write on this phone!!I also get afraid when seeing or hearing awful things I think I’m like them. Stephen I feel the same way I can give advice to others but can’t advice myself.

  73. Jeanine Says:

    Sorry for all the grammar errors,it’s so difficult to write with this phone. Stephen I feel ya too,I can give advice but not take it. I also forgot some stuff like about dp because I don’t have the relationship I once had with my loved ones. I also get overwhelmed with thoughts and in a daze with noise and crowds. These other symptoms only happened recently. I also can’t hear or see horrible storys because I think ill do those things.I was such a normal nice girl 8 months ago,I’m only 21 and from California, USA by the way.

  74. Gem Says:

    Hi Nicola,

    I’m the same when it comes to the whole death and dying thing and I’m certain it is anxiety related. I’m still certain to this day that my health anxiety is some how related to my mam dying of cancer when I was just 6. I’m 32 now and have always felt like a lot of my life is clouded in lies around her death and the following massive fallout with the whole family, everything is so very patchy. So I have decided to have a one to one with a medium in the hope that she will put my mind at rest once and for all. I’m also starting spiritual healing too. Have heard some really great reviews on this. I’m willing to give anything a go at the minute that’s not medication cos that’s all doctors are good for, trying to stick pills down our throats. Xx ????

  75. Doreen Says:

    Jeanine – I suggest that your are thinking obsessively about your current state of anxiety and DP. However, that is not at all the same as having OCD so please let that be one worry you let go of.
    Some people do find a short course of drug therapy can help take the edge of the tension and other symptoms, so that does not need to be ruled our completely. It does sound as if you could do with some talking therapy help. is that something your GP can arrange for you?
    Yes, you are feeling very dreadful, I can tell but no worse than many other people who are using the site and have done in the past. Many have felt past the point of no return and yet with acceptance practised on a daily basis they have come through that wall and on to better things.

  76. at K. Says:

    Hallo Paul and Doreen.,
    Am making slow progress, thanks to Paul,s. Lonliness is not helping, of course and every one else seems to have many friends etc. Tend to obcess about this, as I like being with most people, so this makes me feel I,ll lose my reason. I have very few friends, who, luckily for them, have never had any GAD disorders, so cannot understand the disabling effect it can have. (Every day). Anyway, best wishes.

  77. Nicola Says:

    Yeah we all think we have it worse than everyone else! :-)

  78. Kathi Says:


    I am from Germany and yes these thoughts are horrible!
    They often come in the evenings. There are questions like: ” What if my life is only an imagination?”, “What is our universe?”, “What if there’s really ni life afer dead?” … My biggest fear is that my life isn’t real. I try to calm myself down by thinking of the past when I had no anxiety. In the past I also didn’t had these fears and thoughts and I knew that my life was real, so why shouldn’t it be real today? You know what I mean? 😉 That’s the only way I found to deal with it, but it helps a bit 😉

  79. Jeanine Says:

    Thank you Doreen but it’s really hard to get help around here,talking to my loved ones is better than talking to a stranger who charges me a lot of money.I don’t know why it’s gotten so much worse lately. Hopefully some of the people on the disturbing thought category will come on here and give me advice I can relate to a lot of them.hopefully I don’t annoy Paul aswell with all my errors.

  80. Jeanine Says:

    Gem I agree that’s all doctors are useful for at the moment and not to mention charging a lot of money. Hopefully you find a good medium,wish I could find one as well.

  81. Jeanine Says:

    Kathi we all get horrible thoughts,some worse than others but their all unique to each of our anxiety situations. Doreen I don’t have ocd but the pure O ocd does describe me well itsebetter than thinking I’m just sick in the head.

  82. Jeanine Says:

    *useless I meant lol

  83. Doreen Says:

    Our experience of doctors will differ and certainly not all are useless. People have found great help from the medical profession and have been signposted to appropriate therapeutic help that has not cost money. Whilst doctors may be prescribing pills more than they should, some are very responsible and careful to offer drugs as one option. Hopefully some people’s negative experiences should not put others off at least giving their Dr a try.

  84. Stephen Shale Says:

    One other thing that does slightly bother me (and i only just remembered this because it just happened), and its more of a mindset/ thought issue. Now i’ve come through my setback (my symptoms have gone, my appetite is back) there’s a small problem in maintaining a positive outlook on the future, knowing that i’ll most likely experience anxiety again in the near future.

    It isnt a constant worry but more… If i can explain…. I’m sat still and feel a relaxation, a calmness, then happiness that i’ve passed through anxiety again, that i’m feeling back to normal. But within a split second of that feeling is almost a small fraction of dread. Or a bit like when you hear some news and are disappointed, you head/spirit drops. So basically a sudden downness but without the literal head drop.

    I’m guessing this means i’m still fearing the anxiety? Or is my mind still tired and recovering? Or is this created by adrenalin still, just needing a release, therefore not to pay any attention to it?

  85. Nn Says:

    Hi everyone. Just a quick question hoping Paul or someone can give their opinion. Last night I felt like I had a shortness of breath. Kind of like it was hard to take a deep breath. The more I notice it the more I feel like I’m trying to control each breath. This is a new symptom and just wanted to know is this common and why is this new symptom suddenly coming around when I’ve been trying to just accept how I feel?? It’s making me really lightheaded. I don’t want this to be another habit that I form. Maybe I’m just paying too much attention to it. Any replies would very much be appreciated!!!

  86. Jeanine Says:

    Nn I get that too but I think with anxiety were just overly alert and analytical about everything.

  87. Erika Says:

    Hi Nn,
    I get the same way. My doctor thinks I’m hyperventilating without even knowing it. I get lightheaded and dizzy too. It actually happened while driving. That really freaked me out! I’m trying to just ignore it. Let it be. I’ve had every test done. Doctors say I’m healthy. It’s anxiety. I am currently weaning myself off zoloft. I was on it for 18 months. The highest dose I took was 37.5 mg because I feared the process of getting off. Well, most days I never felt dizzy. Clearly my anxiety is causing this.

    We need to just welcome it. I know it’s hard. I’ve been nervous driving now and my work commute is 30 mins each way. I have two young kids and my husband and I both need to work. No matter how hard it is, I still go. I tell myself that its ok to pull over if I need to. I’m seeing a woman tomorrow who specializes in CBT. I hope she will be able to give me tips that I can use in addition to Paul’s wonderful advice. I’m not on half a pill of Zoloft. I don’t want to mask my anxiety anymore. I want to feel its worst symptoms and move on.

  88. Erika Says:

    *now. I’m half a pill away from being off medication!! Do I feel more on edge? Yes, but I have to in order to move on. No more band-aids.

  89. Emma E Says:

    I have dipped in and out of this blog for a few years and have found it really helpful. I have only ever posted once before. I felt a real desire to post after reading a post from Krys a few days ago who is pregnant. I have recently had a baby (4 months now :-)) and my anxiety levels increased significantly from about 31 weeks onwards. I am not sure whether it might be helpful Krys to get in touch via email perhaps, just for a bit of support and to share some of your concerns. I know everyone is different but my anxiety reached the highest it has ever been before in the latter stage of my pregnancy but I live to tell the tale. I was so worried about the effect it was having on my baby but he is the most settled and relaxed baby, and of course gorgeous!! My anxiety is still around, which doesn’t surprise me as this is the biggest life change I have ever experienced. I have experienced many setbacks in the past 5 years and continue to work on greater acceptance every time they happen. My experience is that acceptance has been a journey and process in itself. I hope you have someone to talk to Krys as this can lighten it a little. Thinking of you.

  90. Jamie Says:

    Stephen, I think thats part of the recovery…Its like you are so happy that you feel so well, then you slightly doubt yourself and it can cause a little worry and nerves again…That slowing goes away…Its because of course there is a little fear left…Just know, that when you experience a little anxiety again over bad news whatever, you wont think of the anxiety as the same anxiety..It will just be because of the bad news, you normally wouldnt say here it is, now Im back in the cycle…Hard to explain, but its not the scary anxiey feeling when things are great, and you are in a fear cycle…

  91. Nicola Says:

    Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Dr Amen. I was really anti-med before I read this book. I think people need to be a little more educated in the application of medicine before they slam doctors. True, medication is over prescribed, but for some it is a necessity unless your still living with the attitude of ‘survival of the fittest’. Many people with mental health issues would be driven to suicide were it not for prescribed medications, I for one would have saved my family and myself a lot of unnecessary suffering had I just accepted that I needed an SNRI to get me out of my PND. However I still firmly believe that the only way to combat anxiety is to follow the advice given by Paul and Claire Weekes, anxiety is not a mental health illness.

  92. Nicola Says:

    Personally I think medication should be considered if the anxiety sufferer has a co-existing depression which gets in the way of recovery from the anxiety. This is precisely what I had. It’s difficult to deal with obsessive negative thoughts if you have depression, as depression by it’s very nature causes negativity in a person.

  93. Nicola Says:

    Also it’s funny how we all come to obsess over certain symptoms of our anxiety. There are hundreds of them, the thing that needs to be eradicated here is the anxiety itself, not the symptoms. You can overcome one symptom but the anxiety will just shift it’s focus onto another, and so on. I know because I spent a year and a half forcing myself through one symptom after another before I finally learned just to give in to it. Anxiety draws it’s strength from your resistance to it. You literally just have to stop paying attention to it. Like a child that acts up to get your attention, know it’s there, but ignore it, it will eventually stop trying.

  94. Nicola Says:

    Sorry me again. Just wanted to say that I don’t think meds should be looked upon as ‘band aids’ For me anti depressants NORMALISE my functioning, allowing me to get on with my life as I am entitled to. They don’t give me any special powers or make me ‘happy’ they allow me the choice to create happiness in my life should I so wish, without being stuck without choice in the constant negativity that is depression. I tried every other available option before I resorted to meds. I am not trying to defend my choice. I just don’t think people should be made to feel meds are wrong. Ok I’m done :-)

  95. Stephen Shale Says:

    Jamie, to be honest (and this will sound so stupid, and really sums up how stupid and illogical anxiety is sometimes)…i’m feeling good again now, so i know i’m going to be fine for my trip this week, so my mind is now looking past that, kind of for the next possible threat. And as you’ve read, that is basically xmas time. Stupid, i told you!! But, as i’ve said, it’s a time when a loss of appetite and anxiety could affect me, and i have memories of bad past years.

    So thats why my internal head drops, and the doubt is there, and i guess i’m still fearing the anxiety returning, and long term positivity is hard to fully come by. I dont think i fully have the acceptance there, because my mind wouldnt flick to future events (not that there is any prolonged worrying to cause anxiety before december!), itmwould be more open and saying “whatever”.

  96. Stacey Says:

    Hi all, this is my first time posting on the blog but I have even suffering from mild anxiety (that has been feeling as if it has gotten worse & worse) for about 2 years & bought Paul’s book a few months ago. I was just hoping for some advice really, I have been really pushing myself to follow Paul’s advice and have pushed myself into doing things that were out of my comfort zone, like most people with anxiety I was terrified I was going crazy so I forced myself to volunteer with vulnerable adults who suffer from mental illness. This made my anxiety a whole lot worse as suddenly my mind was opened to all these really horrible circumstances that other people were in so I began to fear this would happen to me. I am no longer there due to other commitments and have expectedly felt better because I am no longer confronting my darkest fears but I have become really upset with a recurring childhood memory that keeps cropping up. Its such a vague memory & one that I have never paid any attention to before (at the time as a child when it happened I remember thinking it was strange-nothing more) I suffered from anxiety. I am just worried whether I should ignore the recurring memory as an off shoot of anxiety clinging onto negative memories or to confront it by talking to a counsellor. Also I was quite a bad teenager who did some pretty stupid stuff & have always felt very negative & worried about my body image/life in general & I wonder if this is therefore just part of my personality rather than anxiety? I really hope it’s not as I would love to feel secure in myself and my relationships. I do have good days & bad days since I have started reading Paul’s book but some days it’s harder than others to remind yourself it’s just anxiety and nothing to fear and it’s difficult to think clearly with intrusive and disturbing thoughts popping up in the most awkward situations! Any friendly words of advice would be much appreciated, thank you.

  97. Jamie Says:

    Stephen, I think its normal to do that…I think I did the same thing…Holidays are an exciting anxious time anyway….But eventually, its really weird, but you actually just forget about anxiety completely…After that bad experience I had with it when I was young, once it faded 100%, its almost like I forgot how horrible it all was..And I stopped associating things with it ..I guess cause I felt great, and confident, and honestly just didnt care about it at all….Though, because the first time it struck me while eating an everything bagel, it did take me about 5 yrs to ever enjoy a bagel like that again..LOL.I swear, if I tasted a bagel like that, the feeling would come back…Kind of like if you eat something and you associate it with a bad stomach virus…The food is just not as appealing anymore for awhile..

  98. sam Says:


    I wanted to ask-

    Pretty much my biggest anxieties are that ‘I should do activities’. Eg. this voice in my head telling me not to be afraid, I should eg. sign up for this or that course. Or telling me I should go up and talk to this or that person at a party. I don’t know whether this is me being afraid of an activity, and I should get over myself and ‘just do it’, or whether I should ignore the voice as another anxiety and just do what I want (which may mean staying in ‘comfort zone’. I know from experience that ‘just going and doing’ something I don’t want to do often was a bad choice.

    Thanks so much guys!


  99. Jamie Says:

    Nicola, I agree…I never went on meds, cause I never had depression…I guess I was alittle upset cause anxiety can cause you to be down, but I still functioned and did everything thru it..

  100. Erika Says:

    Hope I didn’t come across as anti-meds, because Zoloft saved me for about 18 months! Then it just stopped working. I’m at a cross roads. Do I take another and hope it works or do I stick with a drug that only sort of helps? I think if a person has other issues (depression, etc), then the drugs are necessary. But for straight anxiety, how do they help if once we go off all the horrible symptoms come back? My tune could change tomorrow and I try a new SSRI, but right now I just want to try. I hate side effects. I have health anxiety enough as it is!

    Again, sorry if I came across as anti-medication! Band-aid for me means that the meds just provide a blanket to my anxieties. No cure.

  101. Erika Says:

    Has anyone heard about the link between anxiety and gluten? There are some interesting findings out there. I’m not sure how true it all is, but I’d be curious to know everyone else’s thoughts on it.

  102. Nicola Says:

    Hey Erika, yes I think if you have just anxiety the meds aren’t gonna be the solution. Best of luck, you’ll be just fine! Do you have any talking therapy?

  103. Stephen Shale Says:

    Thanks Jamie, i’m hopin it does fade. And over the course of this year it really has started to. I actually had and appetite in me that i never knew i had! Verging on being greedy!! And that feel of confidence, and not caring anout anxiety, really was there, but then my setback happening, out of the blue, stronger than i thought it could suddenly return, on what i thought was a healthy body. I guess i just need to build up thay confidence again, i just cant see that happening again until next year now, which i know sounds stupid also, seems like such a waste of time.

    Oh and i dont think 5 hours of Ryder Cup golf, and a late night last night, on an already sensitized body, was a good idea. Wow i feel tense today!

  104. Jamie Says:

    It will..Just dont put pressure on yourself to get better, because that pressure may keep you in the cycle…Im no expert of course, but just my experience..Im sure Paul may have some thoughts :)

  105. Stephen Shale Says:

    No you are completely correct, and paul has already said the same! And i know it too, deep down, what i need to do. Just did some housework to help burn off some of this adrenalin from the golf last night!! Thanks anxiety for making me clean the house!! Appetite gone again, but no pressure on my eating today, is what i need to keep up.

  106. Nicola Says:

    Stephen you could try drinking Complans when you feel unable to eat, they have all the goodness of a small healthy meal.

  107. Jamie Says:

    Stephen, yes, just keep busy :) Have a great day!!

  108. Stephen Shale Says:

    Thanks nicola, i have wondered about things like that. Usually when i feel much worse, one of my meals turns in soup instead to help. I just think there is a fine line between changing what i eat to lift the pressure, and ease my anxiety…and creating safety behaviours.

  109. Erika Says:

    I’m meeting with a woman today! I hope it helps!!

  110. Michelle M Says:

    Hi Stacey

    Just a quick note as I am at work but I know what you mean. I used to have false memories and tried to always find a reason for the anxiety I suffered. Always looking for excuses even though I know what caused mine…stress!!!

    If you can, leave the past alone. I saw a CBT lady who said that the past is the past and just leave it that way….if you can :-).

    When you feel anxious your mind tries to cling to and dig up anything it can. I had a wonderful childhood and nothing bad ever happened but go back 6 months ago I could have convinced myself that everything must have happened to me to make me feel like this.

    Pay it no attention and get on with living. It really does help.

    Good luck to everyone,


  111. SarahS Says:

    Hi Paul/Helen etc

    Would you be able to give me a pointer in the right direction please? I’ll try to keep it brief. I had anxiety pretty much all my life until I firstly found Claire Weekes books and then this brilliant site about 3 years ago. I’ve made slow but great progress and achieved so much in the past couple of years. I manage really well for the majority of the time and 99% of the time I face things and move forwards. I’m having a bit of a sticky point though at the moment and have been for a couple of months. I’m pretty sensitive and finding things much tougher than have in a good while now. I sometimes find it hard to put a brave face on and I think look for others to be the happy ones who guide me and make the decisions (ie myhubby). He’s been diagnosed with a condition though and quite unwell and therefore, low. I’m now finding it hard to be around that sort of atmosphere, due to the fact that that’s how I feel currently. Like I say I’m over sensitive to how others (hubby) feel and pick up on itquickly. Not sure what to do and wondered if you could help please?

    Thank you.

    Sarah x

  112. SarahS Says:

    PS: In a nutshell he’s pretty grumpy and hard to live with at times, mostly not to being well and partly due to him being him. It would just be helpful if I wasn’t so sensitive to this He says, and is right, that I look to see how he is, is he okay today, how was he with this or that comments and he says most of the time he’s okay until I start questioning him and then he’s not okay anymore! ha! I hope this makes sense, just not sure why I do that but know it’s part of feeling anxious and would be grateful if you could understand me/advise? Thank you x

  113. Michelle Z Says:

    Man, for the most part, I’ve done well the last year and a half, even in the midst of a boat load of stress. However, it appears as if the stress is getting to me. I’m having really awful scary thoughts again. And the thing is they are nothing like what people on here talk about. They are really odd and for some reason I am letting them freak me out. I am scared once again of my thoughts. Argh! Sorry, but I just needed to vent for a minute. :)

  114. Nicola Says:

    Michelle Z. Would it help to discuss your thoughts with us? Whatever they are I’ve probably had them! :-)

  115. Michelle m Says:

    hey Michelle!

    pay these thoughts no attention no matter how mad or bad they are. they mean nothing. i have heard some thoughts of my “normal” friends lately and i realise that i have nothing to worry about!!!

    everyone has strange thoughts at some time its just they dismiss them. don’t let them fool you Michelle as you know better than that xx

  116. Michelle Z Says:

    Thanks, Nicole & Michelle! I guess the anxiety has just gotten worse so the weird thoughts are back as well. The problem is that I’m letting the thoughts upset me and so I’m feeling a bit down and like I’m never going to get over this. You will probably laugh at my thoughts or the fact that I am letting them bother me. :) When this started a couple of years ago, I read this story that everytime this lady drove over a bump she thought she hit somebody and she’d actually go back and look. Honestly, I thought that was so odd and how could someone think that. But the thought was planted in my head. Within like a week, I was stressed to the max and driving and out of the corner of my eye saw a tree, but then I questioned was it a tree or a person and from then on I became afraid of trees. And I love trees! I eventually got passed it, but it’s sort of come back. I keep freaking out if something catches my attention out of the corner of my eye. I’m like what is the deal? Do I think a person is there that is not there? So then I think I’m paranoid. And that I think a shadow above my head is a person. I mean I know it’s not. But why do I keep thinking such odd, stupid stuff and even worse getting scared over it? And so now I’m scared just looking at anything. Or scared that I will think something odd. I know I’m doing all the wrong stuff. As I said in my previous post…Argh!

  117. Ciara30 Says:

    Hi guys haven’t been on here for awhile, but I think I need to share my story with others who ‘get it’ . My rocky road began last year with the break up of a relationship, then nursing a patient at work who had the worst anxiety who got very sick and started panicking which made me panic on the inside so he wouldn’t notice which then lead to constant worry for about 6 weeks ending in a massive panic attack on Xmas eve, which ruined christmas for me. Although i really don’t remember any of it now! I took some time off work and started seeing a counsellor and my gp regurlarly which helped for a bit, then I found Paul’s wonderful book and life began again. I was doing really well for 3 months or so when I had to do an interview for a new job ( my first interview ever) it would have been life changing if I d got the job so once again the worrying started leading to a pretty major setback, of course this happened when my entire family were home for two week s and I had the responsibility of taking care of my niece, this time though it was the scary thoughts that got me, such as I’m allergic to everything and anything-not true I have no allergies. I m going to choke to death while eating never gonna happened. I felt completely disconnected from reality felt no emotions until they came pouring out in a crying rampage that lasted two days! I managed to get over that but doing what Paul says, laugh at the thought feel the churning stomach the shakin hand s and legs etc, and went back to my normal routine. Things were pretty good for awhile until about 2 weeks ago, I decided to run straight into my fears and completely outta my comfort zone and go back to university while working full time, I was studying one night when the word fear popped up and my heart skipped a beat now I m feeling that if I take on new things am I going to create a setback , the fear of not being able to breath or collapsing for some respiratory illness ( which I don’t have) is really beginning to get to me ! I know that the sensation of having difficulty breathing is a symptom but I s one I m finding very difficult to overcome any help or advice would be greatly appreciated! Apologies for the length of my story but just had to get it out. Thanks guys

  118. Nicola Says:

    Michelle Z, you are just in a state of heightened anxiety, anxiety is like an energy that is in you that can’t express itself without a focal point, unfortunately it will grasp onto anything. I’ve slipped back into my obsessive thinking about the universe, it all began when I was in the midst of a really bad panic attack and I just suddenly thought ‘I shouldn’t even exist, nothing makes any sense’ since that happened I have been uncomfortable with my own existence and that attack happened over 8 months ago roughly. My anxiety only began to improve when I was prepared to accept it could take a long time and decided to be ok with feeling like crap. I would literally sit on the couch freaking out but I’d have this inner voice saying, it’s ok, relax into it and let it be, I would normally put my mental energy into something else like study, and get through minute by minute. Eventually the anxiety began to fade. Now I’m having a set back but I’m not anxious, just uncomfortable. When I was at my worst I went through some crazy shit, I was scared of everything, I was scared the iron was gonna fly off the board and hit me in the face, I thought cartoon characters faces looked sinister, I felt claustrophobic even outside, i imagined my partner knifing me in the back. I was scared food might get me high, I still can’t eat mushrooms. Anxiety messes with your logic!

  119. natalie Says:

    hi guys
    am feeling a bit scared and highly anxious this early morning. Have been on here on and off for past four years really, was making head way for the last ten month prior to this recent set back, started with me changing jobs after 15 years at the old one, i felt that strong. But the job is stressful and i am sat on my own in a large open plan office, i get to talk to hardly anyone for 6 hours and no break so am left alone with my thoughts, been there 8 weeks and since that last six have steadly got more and more entrenched in this anxiety habit. Its like this:
    wake up worry about how i will feel
    get three try to say will be ok just anxiety get on with my work
    feel detatched and like i cannot speak when someone comes over to sort out work
    have to do something new and nearly have a heart attack and want to cry
    feel really low
    leave for the day and try to tell myself what a good job i did it
    get home exhausted and just haven’t got the patience to think abou the boys
    feel guilty about that
    go to bed have a little sleep wake up just thinking about the next day and believing that i have to get another job as working there making me feel ill and i feel trapped as cannot just leave and even looking for a job makes me highly anxious

    at the moment i am thinking if this carries on will have a break down.. which i know is rediculioius but in the middle of the night seems real

    am just feeling shocked that all that hard work before seems to have gone, low that i am here again and cannot seem to switch off my mind my whole body is tingling and i feel sick writting this
    it seems to be all i think about and alerady my partner (whom has really been trying to make things work after a history of us breaking up etc) is being detatched as he usually gets annoyed at me but is trying to let me deal with it.

    really tryiing to put pauls words into practise but hard to handle this kind of fear level at the moment as i feel so right back to the beginning and when i read you wornderful comments its hard to take them in, but don’t know where else i can express myself as feel so very trapped in my head and know that i am not accepting this because the future at the moment to me looks very bleak.
    part of me didn’t want to post on here as don’t want to discourage others who are doing so well, it takes times i guess and for some reason even with all this wonderful knowledge am like a dog with a bone and will not let this go.Thank you for listening just want ot feel that i am ok and that i will be able to ocpe i guess xxx

  120. natalie Says:

    ps i guess what i am trying to sort out is, is there a point when you maybe have pushed yourself to hard ?? like your not ready for so much stress ?? i don’t know but i keep breaking down crying and feeling like i am dispairing the longer this is going on and that only way out is to leave my job as i need to take care of my health. Paul when do you know it is just anxiety playing its tricks or that you should listen to your body and get out ? although then i think i will probably stress about finding a new job, its never ending at the moment, cannot express how low i feel that is what worries me most x

  121. Jeanine Says:

    Michelle z,I’m glad you’re here!!I feel the same way as you do!!I think a disturbing thought (mine are horrible in fact there making me sick. I think it once then for some reason it sticks and my.mind adds to it, elaborates on it and totally convinces me that I’m that way.I’ve been paranoid lately too like from the corner of my eye I thought I saw a spider on my arm and then thought I was hallucinating. Whenever I hear stories too like you they stick in my mind andsomehow I become part of the storyline. The tricks anxiety plays on your mind is amazing and horrible. You are not alone.

  122. Jeanine Says:

    Nicola I totally agree.I’m scared of everything (myself included) it starts with one thought and one fear and before you know it you’re scared.of everything!!!

  123. Doreen Says:

    Michelle Z, Jeanine and Ciara 30 – Reading your posts I think that whilst the focus for your anxiety are very different it all boils down to what Nichola said – the anxiety is like a pesky imp waiting to jump onto something, anything to attach itself to. And the more ‘crazy’ the thought the more a vicious circle is set up as you then fear that you are mad, paranoid or whatever word you give to feeling this way. So please try not to pay attention to the content of the thoughts, just see them as not relevant.
    Natalie – I think you may need to consider whether to carry on with this job. It does sound very stressful and the stress is a reality, not just your anxiety playing tricks.

  124. natalie Says:

    Morning Doreen

    that has just made me think i need to get out quick but i cannot as need the money.. so catch 22, trying to look for new job but hard as want part time hours, so confused and i know it is the anxiety, just want a breather. must be another way than just leaving my job and if i go on sick only get sat which is not enough. Just need some positive feed back please guys if ciara can do a full time job and study then surely i can do my job ?? x feeling so upset at the moment could cry x

  125. Doreen Says:

    Natalie – this is the point where I would see my GP who is very caring. I know this is not what everyone would do but I would think about medication for a while to try and break the cycle of fear and depression you are experiencing. You might then be able to think more clearly about ‘what next’ regarding your job. The other route could be to see a counsellor who might be able to help you unravel what matter most at the moment and help you get a sense of perspective. Meanwhile we are here

  126. Stephen Shale Says:

    Just out of interest, how do people deal with the terrible mornings? Waking up feeling back to the beginning, when you went to bed feeling so much better. Although I understand (from what claire weekes wrote) that there is a sort of “morning syndrome” and waking up is a shock to the body, releasing adrenalin. I know that not fixing on how i feel, the adrenalin will fade and i should start to feel better. But it really dents my confidence and motivation for the day. And, some of you will have guessed, dents my appetite for breakfast!

  127. Jenny Lee Says:

    Hi Nicola,

    I’m a newbie, have had anxiety for just 9 months. Just reading your post makes me reassured. I haven’t come across info about questioning existence and anxiety before. I guessed they must be linked, and just another symptom of anxiety.. but its so hard to accept! Should we just let our mind chatter, allow the thoughts to come? It’s hard not to pay attention to a thought that seems to have so much importance to me! I feel like how can i just carry on with life when I don’t even know what it means!

    Paul and others, can you help explain this a bit better? How would you approach this situation?

    Thank you all for your words of wisdom that encourage me so much!
    Jenny Lee

  128. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi All – Thanks for the words of wisdom! For some reason, I still am stuck, but am hoping that I will begin to believe once again that this method works and will get back on track. Have any of you heard the notion with obsessive scary thoughts that it is a distraction? In other words, our brain is using it as a distraction from something that is going on in our lives that we either don’t want to deal with or aren’t dealing with. An anxiety coach I’ve talked to in the States uses a method that has this belief. I personally find it hard to believe and find Paul’s method much easier to follow. Was just wondering.

    Natalie – I’ve continued to work throughout my bout with anxiety. It has been very difficult at times and very stressful, but I do believe with all my heart that you can manage it. It may take longer to recover, but I know it is possible. It’s challenging right now as it is still new for you, but I bet if you hang in there, it will get better and better.

    Have a great day!

  129. Jeanine Says:

    Doreen yes I agree anxiety does attach itself to anything and everything, it’s really hard to feel sane when the thoughts ate racing ,disgusting, frightening,intense,and disturbing. Wish Paul would make a new post about the thoughts to elaborate more on the subject as I found the others the most helpful also a post about the different types.of anxiety disorders would be helpful aswell. Without this site I would be lost because I wouldn’t know what at all was wrong with me before finding it I would have never thought that anxiety was the culprit in causing the thoughts sometimes it’s still hard to believe ,hopefully I receive the book.soon.

  130. lorryt Says:


    I have just read Doreens post wih regards an internal dialogue with yourself. It is so true, I am still struggling with it all, and my health just seems to roll from one thing to another, I have had a bad back which every time gets better and then goes again. I am beginning to feel like my health will not get better any time soon. i also have really bad toothache over the past week or so.
    I guess our mental wellbeing has a big impact on our physical health too. I just feel like no matter what i do nothing changes. I am tired when i wake up and really struggle throughout the day, but I am still functioning and still at work, but feel extremely heavy headed and cant escape the feeling of wanting to cry today. my mind reverts back to when i was well and how normal and stress free i felt. I truly am being hounded by thoughts all day and I have forgotten how to let thoughts flow. being in the moment , how good that felt. why is it all getting on top of me again??….. i just seem to have lost all that i have learned and although am not panicky as such , feel very edgy and very very tired. Sorry to moan, but i can’t see a way out at the moment. Any comments would be very welcome and reassurance in abundance.xx

  131. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Not posted in a while, a lot of new faces now compared to a few months ago. I have been really strict with myself and not come on here and tried to live alongside it, this method really does work.

    The reason I am on here today however is that I am having a bad few days. I truly hate days like this and reading other posts it does make you question things. The bad days seem to happen once a month now, which is a big improvement. Anxiety does attach itself to everything, and tries to blame how you feel on things. I can’t stop crying my eyes out today and anxiety is making me think I have taken the wrong career route, after going part time in accountancy in March to have a part time business.

    Any advice is really appreciated.


  132. Jamie Says:

    Stephen, not sure of advice..You kind of just have to accept it in the morning for now……Its because you are always thinking about the mornings now, that I believe it is still happening…….You are almost out of the fear cycle, doing so well from what you state, but still slightly frightened still, because I know you want to wake normal……But I think the more you want to wake normal, the more it will stick to a bad morning……I would like to see what others experience is…

  133. lorryt Says:


    I can sympathise with you, as have recently returned to work full time after getting back on my feet ( i was only working part time and anxiety eating me alive). I can only say that I am so caught up in my head at the moment and i have been in this situation fro a while. It has only been this way since I have returned to work full time. I get the guilty feeling that my kids are suffering ( although they are 13 and 9 and pretty much self sufficient to an extent) , its all created in my head, and I need to let things go. There are lots of lessons I need to learn, not to be so hard on myself and accept that I struggle from time to time and moving on to another job wouldnt solve the problem. It may be the same for you, you hav ebeen workign part time and full time is a big responsibility , as well as trying to study too. we are all different as human beings, some people can do lots others cant do as much. dont compare yourself to others. you have to feel comfortable in what you are doing, it only adds pressure to think others can do it why cant i. middle of the night is the worst time as everything in your head feels real, in the cold light of day you can dispell some of your fears. as hard as it is just give yourself a break and not be so hard on you. I truly understand your situation, but please have faith that things will get better, and you can get endlesss support on here , as we have all been there too xxx

  134. Dawn Says:

    Hello all,
    I am looking for some support from anyone who has experienced a similar form of anxiety or indeed anyone who has some further advice for me (thank you Helen and Jeff for your posts).
    As I have posted before, I have been suffering from anxiety about my relationship with my husband. Basically I had a panic attack a week before my wedding in April when the thought “how do you know you definitely love him?” popped into my head out of nowhere. Before this we had been living together happily for 3.5 years, engaged for 2 years and together for 5, and I was the happiest I’ve ever been in those years. After that I felt like I was going mad, I couldn’t sleep or eat and was constantly obsessing that I might not love him and emotionally I was a complete mess. We got married but the wedding day was hard, I felt so anxious, and it just spoilt it. We went on honeymoon and it was really hard, I felt constantly anxious, feeling breathless and nervous all the time and still struggling to eat and sleep. I was constantly obsessing and looking at my husband all the time, trying to feel my love for him but I couldn’t feel anything but anxiety which just made it worse. When we got home I went downhill quite quickly. I was still working but was on the verge of being signed off as I could barely say 2 words to anyone or do anything as I was totally lost in my own head. I went to the doctors and was put onto anti-depressants and started seeing a psychotherapist twice a week. I spent weeks avoiding my friends and struggling through the day trying to carry on but constantly breaking down in tears at work because I felt so awful.
    Things didn’t really improve until July when the medication seemed to help to a point where I could actually function some days without falling to pieces, the meds seemed to help me start eating again (I lost a lot of weight and was starting to look quite ill) and stop me crying every day which made a difference. Since then I have been quite up and down. I am constantly checking in on how I’m feeling and my thoughts and when I feel better in myself and calmer for a couple of days (normally when I’ve read something or spoken to someone who reassures me) and am able to see my friends, concentrate at work etc. , I keep testing myself and when I still can’t feel my love for my husband (I just feel quite numb) and picture our future I start to worry again and go downhill and start questioning everything again, whether I love him, the idea of spending forever with him (which made me really happy before), whether I even really loved him in the first place, etc. etc. etc. and I sink back into depression and anxiety, feeling exhausted, constantly ruminating etc. I don’t understand how this can be how I really feel, surely my feelings can’t have changed in an instant. Nothing has changed about him, he is still the same man and everything I love about him is still there (although I have nit picked him to death, trying to find a reason I feel like this). I still want to hug and kiss him, but there is just an empty hole where my feelings of love used to be. I know rationally he’s great and we’re perfect together so why do I feel like this? I want and need to get my feelings back but I just feel like they’ve totally disappeared and I can’t stand it. I can’t quite convince myself that this isn’t real as even when I feel calmer and more like myself I still feel nothing for him and am still questioning everything and then I think it can’t be anxiety if my feelings don’t return when I’m calm and my mind feels less tired then I start to worry again. I feel cheated, like someone has taken away the most important thing in my life. We were meant to be looking to buy a house soon and when I think about it all I feel is anxiety and doubt and I don’t know why. I’m worried I am like this as my intuition is trying to tell me that I don’t love him enough and will have to leave as it isn’t “right”. The feeling is constantly nagging away at me.  Has anyone got any thoughts on this? I am doing my best to carry on with life but I just feel this constant dread hanging over me that something is wrong.

  135. Jeff Says:

    I think there is something in the air right now. After reading several posts from others: Dawn, Michelle z., Nicola, Jeanine, Natalie, Ciara 30, Mark R., and feeling the way I do right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if if there was just some overall “mood” to things in the world this week. I feel the exact same way as all of you. I have been doing well with the occasional minor setback, but this is a little different in scale since Saturday. It’s bigger, more unpleasant, accompanied by all those thoughts like Michelle z. questioning the reality of seeing a tree and Natalie not wanting to introduce any new stressors into her life to keep from tipping over the edge. Like Nicola, I have been experiencing depression off and on and it has gotten really bad occasionally. Suicidal, felt like I was going insane, etc. Blech. This is all such a gross feeling.

    I think I could use some help here.

    One thing that gets me: since I had my first panic attack a year ago I have never stopped doing the things I love to do. Though I have felt CRAP on occasion I never stopped seeing my friends, I never stopped working, I play in a band for crying out loud and I have never stopped doing it even during mild panics (though I enjoy it less and less). But, and here’s the thing, I think a year of this up and down stuff (one ok week, one rough week, one great week, one completely rubbish week, two great months, one terrible day, wash-rinse-repeat) has worn me down somehow. I have been letting it happen, and I’m just frankly fed up. The depression is the worst part. Woke up today after dreaming about lobotomizing people and thought “well something is so off here that it might be psychosis.” Then THAT train of thought wouldn’t leave.

  136. Michelle Z Says:

    I agree with you, Jeff. It surely seems like something is in the air. I’m slightly depressed right now, but I do know that I had depression really bad with the thoughts & anxiety two years ago and it did get better. In fact, I haven’t had the depression back anything like it was then except for a minor day here or there. So there is hope. And I did just continue to live my life. The thing you need to know also about me is that I have been under extreme amounts of stress the last 2-1/2 years. And have gone on despite that. I mean it’s no wonder that I continue to struggle with anxiety. I do know and believe that Paul’s method works. It just takes some of us longer than others. And I believe that it works for anxiety, as well as depression. So hang in there! We’ll get through this!

  137. Jeff Says:

    Hit “enter” accidentally. SO, I went to work and here I am at work trying to work through this. I am beginning to think I need to go the route Nicola has taken and begin medications to control this depression. I am seriously thinking it for the first time.

    Things shouldn’t be like this right now. Work is going well, I just bought a house (I move in in two weeks), my band is doing great, I met an amazing woman last weekend whom I am absolutely going to start dating because she is, well, amazing. I am in grad school one night a week. You see… this is why I feel like Natalie: am I taking on too much stress right now with school, work, band, moving, and now a potential relationship? Is that why I feel like I’m losing it? True…today I am fighting it, I am going against what Paul says to do because I am incredibly PISSED OFF that this is still happening. WTF!!!? I’m sorry, but it makes me really angry.

    I really could use a hand right now. Nicola, please tell me your experience with SSRI’s. You and I seem to have very similar types. I try and stay away from here because it has fed my negativity in the past. But I really could use some advice. I want to feel comfortable again. I hate being around my friends and not feeling connected to them because I’m awkward and mentally clouded. I want and deserve to make things work with this girl without her thinking I’m a loon. I run, exercise, eat right, sleep enough… I do everything right (except smoking), and yet it comes back. Someone said these thoughts might be a distraction from something you’re trying to avoid. Well that something is reality, and I want to live IN it. If I sound frustrated, I am incredibly frustrated today. Thank you for letting me vent. I am sorry if it seems like I’m yelling as I type. It would sound like yelling if you had one of those voice reader thingys for your computer. Like a robotic Joe Pesci or something… at least I still have a sense of humor. I really do think you are all awesome and I hate that we struggle. We are all better than that and deserve better.

  138. Jeff Says:

    Thank you Michelle. I hope you’re right. I will stick to it despite my rant. I am glad it works for you, it does for me too most of the time. I just feel like things are about to change for the better, like they’re REALLY going to get better, you know?, and then I feel like this again. It has to be connected somehow…like I’m sabotaging my chances for happiness. I’m so sick of punishing myself for my mistakes. I just want to move on.

  139. Natalie Says:

    Sorry guys seems i started something here today x but if we all feelin the same and still about to talk to and help each other maybe not as bad as we think x am defo going to see my old counsiller to help me to stop panicin i know wat i want a part time job and less stress but for now i need to take each day as it comes am realise can be strong x lorry thanks for your kind words meant a lot x gonna try not post for a bit need to see can soothe myself and have a break for subject x hope we all more accepting tomorrow wwwy

  140. Nicola Says:

    Hi Jeff, I understand your frustration. You do have a lot on at the moment and I know for me all you are going through would more than likely make my anxiety worse on a subconscious level. I am currently on a low dose of Effexor. 75mg a day. Ssri’s didn’t work for me at all and one of them, Escitalopram
    actually made me a lot worse, I was then moved onto an SNRI, which is the one I am taking now, the Effexor. It is a seretonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, although I am told the norepinephrine is only affected on doses of 150mg +. It is commonly prescribed to women with post natal depression, which I had along side the anxiety, and seems to work wonders for this condition. My sister in law actually recovered from debilitating anxiety using this med. There is another med out specifically advised for anxiety conditions although it’s primary use is for the treatment of epilepsy. It slows the brain activity down I believe. However I decided against this as I was only interested in alleviating the depression. I personally don’t believe anxiety is a mental health problem.

  141. Jeanine Says:

    Jeff I feel ya I’m feeling worn out too as my anxiety has only been getting worse,I’m like ” what happened to Jeanine “? The funny,sweet,kind,wouldn’t hurt a fly kinda girl now I’m not so sure I’m a good person or sane. I don’t know what happened. Jeff it is good to vent here to let it all out without judgment, this website is like informative therapy. I was looking for a therapist like Doreen and Jamie suggested but haven’t had any luck all are very costly and I’m afraid that they’ll think I’m insane and lock me up in a psych Ward or even jail. Jeff I still do things too and go out but it’s not pleasant at all anymore. Just last month I could still go out and enjoy things but lately I’ve been getting really odd panic attacks,severe anxiety like I’m gonna explode,and horrible racing disturbing thoughts when I’m trying to do things. I get overwhelmed and come home. I don’t know what Halloween is gonna be like it sucks for a 21 year old girl who used to be so outgoing. Excercise used to help but not anymore I don’t know why the anxiety is increasing and not burning out.

  142. Nicola Says:

    For me the Effexor was a life saver but one should be cautious about beginning this med as it can be very difficult to come off of. It’s not addictive, but apparently withdrawals can be a bitch, pardon the term. However my sister in law found it worse coming off ssri’s and had virtually no withdrawals from Effexor.

  143. Nicola Says:

    Jeanine are you in the Uk?

  144. Jeanine Says:

    To add to the above post my anxiety was getting slightly better because I wasn’t getting many of the physical symptoms. Lille shakiness,heart racing all the time etc and I actually was beginning to think that my thoughts were anxiety because of this site. Then wam this month a lot of new physical symptoms hit like dizziness, blurred vision, and severe anxiety. Accompanied by new and worse thoughts that I don’t even feel comfortable talking about. I thought I was gonna get better but I guess not now I’m questioning if it’s just anxiety or something anxiety plus something else.ho hum.

  145. Jeanine Says:

    Nicola.yes I am,I’m afraid of meds because of my sisters attempted overdose,it was a.huge trauma for me and also I’m extremely sensitive to medication can’t tolerate most medications. When I was 18 I also attempted an overdose but that was just because I was overreacting and being a stupid dramatic teenager not because of anxiety because at the time I only had normal anxiety.

  146. Stephen Shale Says:

    Loving jeff’s comment about something being in the air, my anxiety has been the worst this week, since probably last december. Which is great i know, and am trying not to get too frustrated. Thanks again Jamie, i’ve always known that the morning symptoms are the last to go, so i guess the past few days i’ve the morning feeling getting worse, rather than better, despite doing what paul says! But i’m sure its all because i’m getting nervous about my trip tomorrow.

    But dont you just hate how much things seem to happen subconciously?? I mean today, i have been doing everything right, been active all morning, keeping occupied (though not enough that i’m running away), i’ve been dealing with my lack of appetite more calmly. But this afternoon i’m suddenly sooo nervous about going tomorrow, and that strong feeling of butterflies right scross my gut, its so off putting. Now this has surely all come on subconciously, because i’ve not followed my thoughts, etc, all day.

    I know that a big thing with me is the anticipation of an event, where i get affected, and kind of once the time arrives and i’m finally getting on with it, i’m feel so much better. Its just annoying that i thought i’d been dealing with it all ok today (not expecting my anxiety to disappear altogether), but it seems my body is heading in the opposite direction.

  147. Jeff Says:

    Stephen, I also anticipate events and that tends to set me off. I move in two weeks, have a big assignment due next week, alot going on at work, two big shows in Chicago and Milwaukee this weekend, and have an important date tomorrow night. That’s alot on my plate. Appreciate the comments from Nicola Jeanine and Natalie. Day is getting better by degrees, but it’s a pretty serious wobble.

  148. Jeff Says:

    fyi…I don’t necessarily believe in this, but astrologically there’s a lot happening with the full moon last Saturday.

  149. Jeanine Says:

    Hi guys I feel worried now because I was reading up.on “pure O” ocd and I read that the thoughts never go away so now I’m worried that I have to deal with this forever,feeling very hopeless and helpless at the moment.

  150. Jeanine Says:

    Jeff I heard that about the moon too maybe there is something in the air.

  151. DCYL Says:


    One thing I would avoid is reading up symptoms on the Internet. If you are feeling anxious, reading things will make it seem worst than it is. I did the same thing last year and it was not the most helpful. This post Paul put up is probably the best way forward. Just accept you are struggling a bit but go on doing the stuff you would normally do.

    I was quite like you last year but have made it through (for the most part) ok in recent weeks. I think I still check in on myself a bit here and there. For the most part though, I feel OK, though still ‘worry” when I feel my heart racing or other things that happen.

    Up above, I read that everyone may have hit a “down spell”. I can’t say that I did myself but maybe because it’s the fall now? There’s a little less sunlight during the evenings so maybe folks can get out a little bit more earlier in the day. If you’re feeling down, call a friend and talk to them. I am lucky I have a friend I can call on almost anytime (and vice versa). We talk at least once a week (more if need be).

  152. Nicola Says:

    Jeanine, I asked if you were in the uk because you should be able to get a referral for some talking therapy through your doctor. Free of charge. Also don’t pay too much attention to the pure o ocd thing. My thoughts run rampant when highly anxious, but they do go when I’m not anxious. It’s just another symptom of anxiety.

  153. Dawn Says:


    I just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on my earlier post?

  154. Stephen Shale Says:

    Dammit, why, when in this situation do we allow ourselves to carry on doing something we know is complete wrong. Sorry Paul I have disobeyed you. Was getting so nervous this afternoon, I just could not keep my mind on anything else, so went to have a nap, but just ended laying there dwelling on things. About how i was feeling, about why i was getting nervous, and getting frustrated that this is all happening again. Now feeling terrible, the evening before my trip, trying to eat some soup for dinner.

    I can tell you now though, this was all my fault completely, nothing to do with the full moon. Unless it drew me into bed?!

    I’ve not had a big dwelling session like that in probably 18 months. Even before i found paul’s guidance, i cut that habit out.

    But whats even worse is that come midday tomorrow when i set off, i’ll probably start feeling loads better, making the dwelling and how i feel now, even more pointless.

  155. Jeanine Says:

    Thank you DCYL !!much appreciated as I’m very worried right now that I have to live with this forever I read it on a psychologists website and he talks about acceptance and do like Paul does but says that these thoughts never go away that you have to live with them and I’m thinking “what a horrible life if I have to live like this forever” I’m still going on with my day to day things but I feel insane just last. month it was so much more tolerable. Nicola I wish I lived in the U.K. health care here in the U.S is the worst in the world,its so hard to get help around here they only care about the money.

  156. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Dawn – I would read and re-read what Helen wrote to you. She went through the exact same type of anxiety and came out the other end. She is still with her partner and very happy. As you can see from reading all our posts, we each latch onto something. It’s just an obsessive, scary thought. The best thing you can do for yourself is to follow Helen’s advice…as hard as it may seem to do. And at some point, your anxiety will lessen and your feelings will come back little by little. Hang in there and try to follow the advice given. Have you read Paul’s book yet? If not, I would highly recommend it. Take care!

  157. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Jeanine – I would agree with the advice DYCL gave you. No looking stuff up on the internet. There is a good blog on this site about obsessive scary thoughts. If you haven’t read it yet, please find it and do so. Then when you get Paul’s book, I think that will help as well. It’s a process, but I believe it can be overcome. I had a short bout of scary thoughts many, many years ago and overcame it. I haven’t again suffered with it until now. And I believe deep down that once I get over it this time that I will be done with it. Because as Paul said in an earlier post above, if anxiety thoughts were to hit him tomorrow, he would be fine with it as he knows what it is and he knows the way out. You’ll get there, too. We all will. Take care!

  158. Jeanine Says:

    Thank you DCYL your reply is much appreciated as I’m worried I have to have horrid disgusting thoughts all my life “what kinda life is that?” I read it on a psychologists website and he talks about dp,acceptance and other things Paul talks about but he says that the thoughts never really go away and I’m like “how am I gonna live with this forever?” I still do my day to day things and try to enjoy myself but Its hard because of the thoughts and anxiety I don’t enjoy anything anymore. Nicola I wish I lived in the U.K because here in the U.S its hard to find help we have the worst most expensive health care and they only care about the money.

  159. Jeanine Says:

    Michelle z thank you so much!!I have read the obsessive scary thoughts post and it is what made me realize my thoughts were anxiety in the first place,very helpful. I had about a month were my thoughts were going away a little bit after my trauma with my sister passed but after that they just got worse and worse. I feel like a.good person trapped in an insane persons brain. Hopefully I for get through this but right now I’m kinda hopeless because I think I’m too sick in the head to come through, if only you knew the horrible thoughts that come through my mind.

  160. Stephen Shale Says:

    Hi Jeanine, to keep it short, i think being told “this is something you have to live with” is the worst thing anyone can tell you, especially coming from a doctor. I’m currently in the middle of a big setback, but even so I can whole heartedly say, it is not something you just have to live with. I have tasted the freedom, and it is amazing.

    You should of course understand that becoming anxious is an inbuilt emotion everyone has, so of course you will get anxious again. But by following the advice in paul’s book you can recover, and will only experience any anxiousness like any other healthy person.

    My frustration to get back to how i’ve felt over the summer, is what is continuing my setback at the moment, but should be taken as a major positive that i managed to do it. And i am sure you all can as well.


  161. Jeanine Says:

    Hi Stephen,thank you very much for your reply. I do have some days like one or two a week or every two weeks that are OK so maybe I will get through it but my thoughts are so overwhelming, vivid,and horrid its hard to be like whatever about them. To add to the last post I.wrote I actually found out about “pure O” ocd ob the obsessive scary thoughts post someone posted a link about it and I totally related. My question is for Paul or anyone, can all anxiety disorders regardless of what they are or how bad they are like OCD,pure O ocd,Ptsd ,panic disorder, gad,sad can all of them be overcame regardless of how bad they are?

  162. Mark R Says:

    Hi jeff,

    I understand your frustrations, I too have stuck to my guns and never given up anything I love. From your posts I can sense that you feel that you should be recovered despite everything you have kept doing, please tell me if I’m wrong. Just remember its very important to keep doing stuff and this is all part of recovery but it will sort itself out. It sounds like you have found a girl you like, good luck with that. I haven’t got round to dating yet, may do this weekend.

    Hope you feel better soon pal.


  163. Mark R Says:

    One other thing (I’m actually Colombo!)

    You say you are anticipating things coming up in the next few weeks. Try not to do this if you can. It’s better to take one day at a time, it’s an important lesson I’ve learnt, after all you could be feeling great in two weeks.

  164. Stephen Shale Says:

    Mark, i’ve really tried to take things one day at a time. It does really help, no point predicting how you are going to feel weeks in advance. Unfortunately i’m now going on a trip for a couple of days with the wife, only a couple of hours down the road, but have got so nervous the past few days, it’s really brought on my anxiety. It seems that no matter how i’ve tried, those couple of days before some event, the nerves tend to really over power me, its the butterflies across my whole gut. Do you get this? How do you deal with it?

  165. ty mitchell Says:

    Hi all
    i am very new to this but have almost finished pauls book and i am the first to admit that if you really listen to what he is saying you cant help but feel better,i have only been on this book for 3 days but allready i feel 40% better just having read it,i actually let my self slide into anziety last night for the first time and it was the weirdest feeling but i just kept on reading my book then after about one hour i started climbing back out,the amazing thing was that when i was in the hole i felt bad but that was all,i couldnt believe it,it really does work,i relize that this will a struggle at first but i honestly believe that this is very winable

  166. Jamie Says:

    Stephen, is your wife aware you feel this way about the trip…Talking it over with her may help :) I bet you will feel better once keeping busy on the trip..

  167. Jamie Says:

    Jeanine, I think so? I had it bad 20 yrs ago, when i was 20, and have had a happy 20 yrs.yes, alittle anxiety now and then, but nothing scary….I had my first bad, scared feeling bit of anxiety, last week..That is why I found this blog, but Im just about 100% fine now a week later…You really have to learn that its just anxiety, and there is nothing scary about it..Once you do that, your body relaxes and moves on….This post really by Paul is sooo soooo true….

  168. Jeff Says:

    Thanks Mark, that’s really nice. I think alot of this has to do with the fact that I’ve met a girl I actually like. I’ve been recovering from the pain of a divorce that has caused all of these problems in the first place. Now I meet a girl that I connect with emotionally and it cripples me? That’s no accident. I do feel like I should be recovered, Mark. I really do. I know that I need more time, etc., but I really do feel like I’ve paid my dues here and I’m ready to go home and be comfortable with myself again. I will keep doing all the things I enjoy despite all this, and I’ll try to take things one day at a time. I was doing so well, and then this…grrrr.

  169. Stephen Shale Says:

    Jamie she is aware. She has been so supportive over the years, dont know where i’d be without her. But think i’ve tipped her over the edge today, it brings her down too, and makes her not look forward to things. Which puts pressure on me even more, because i dont want to ruin things for her. I hope once we get going, it’ll all ben fine, though how i’m feeling now, i know it wont be an easy few days unfortunately. But no avoidance, and all that…

  170. Ciara30 Says:

    Natalie, your story sound s very similar to mind I am on an ssri at the moment and have been since may, I got myself into such a mess I needed a little help outside of Paul’s techniques! I plan on being on this medication for at least a full year, I m beginning to fully accept that I m going to have set back s, as horrible and all as they are they are serving a purpose, which is full recovery! Please see your councillor or just talk to someone who will let you unleash all the ‘crazy’ without judgement, I am soo lucky to have 4 fantastic friends who listen to my rants without question. I am struggling right now but I will recover again, stronger than before and ready to beat the hell out of the next setback! It will pass u will recover, just see the positives in your life, like your children your partner and anything that brings you joy in any shape or form. At work regardless of what your occupation is just let your thought s come let them scream and shout at you all they let the panic come your body had more than likely already done it’s worst so you have nothing new to fear , you will recover don’t fight it just let it come whatever x

  171. DCYL Says:


    You are welcome. If you were to read through every post where there are comments, you will see others (even me) that have asked about this in one way or another.

    For me, there was were certain things that I had gotten so sensitive about. Any mention of the word or reading someting set me off. It was quite scary. That is why READING about things feel so bad to you. You are already sensitive and the issue FEELS TEN TIMES WORSE than it really is.

    Personally, I found that exercise and having a friend there helped. Therapists are fine BUT I’m a little wary if the issues get overanalyzed which could be a bit of a negative.

  172. Jeanine Says:

    DCYL, I agree about the therapists because when I have gone I’ve come out feeling worse than I came in. The two I’ve gone to were very judgemental, he told me my thoughts weren’t normal and that if I had a chemical imbalance I would for sure.have to be put on meds and go to the psychiatrist. I worry about chemical imbalances because of this. I also worry that by going to a therapist I’ll end up in a mental hospital. So I’m not sure what rowdies because it’s getting hard to deal with on my own. Excercise used tor work but not lately. I do have to admit that today and yesterday weren’t that bad so that’s good. Can someone especially Paul answer my question. “Can all anxiety disorders regardless of what they are or how bad they are be overcame even OCD or purely obsessional ocd otherwise known as pure O OCD aswell?

  173. Jeanine Says:

    I meant *not sure what to do

  174. Doreen (Moderater) Says:

    Jeanine – I cannot answer for Paul but I would be loath to get into answering questions regarding the diagnosis you have given yourself after reading websites. Like others who have posted I am not sure you are doing yourself any favours by latching onto separating anxiety into different disorders and wondering if some can be overcome and maybe others can’t. If he did say ‘no that cannot be overcome’ how would that make you feel? I think what matters is that your anxiety has attached itself to this question and left you ruminating. He does write really good stuff on that so why not go back and read it? Also the message you took from the doctor about having to live with it could be translated into ‘accepting the presence of it’ which is one of the ways forward. Acceptance rather than fighting then the stress levels decrease and eventually so does the anxiety.
    Dawn – someone else has suggested you re-read Helen’s post. I really think you have made this hole where love once was the focus of your anxiety and you are continually checking it out. The love is probably masked by anxiety and will come back over time I am sure.
    Stephen – I really hope you have a good enough time whilst you are away. When we really want something to be ok over and above the usual daily ‘grind’ then we often sabotage that by building it up into something far too important. I have learnt to just keep calm and low key about special things because even getting excited can turn quickly into anxiety. I don’t strive for appropriately good feelings and then feel anxious and awful if they don’t come. Then often they just pop in which is a real pleasure.

  175. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    ty Mitchell

    Thank you for your lovely comments and I am so glad the book has made such a difference to your outlook and life.

    Well I have an interview at the RSPCA to volunteer a few hours a week doing ‘Dog Agility classes’ I adore animals and being out in the fresh air so it is ideal for me. *Fingers crossed*

  176. elena Says:

    Hi everyone! This is my second or 3rd post…I just want to ask you one think…does any of you have the feeling that everybody is looking at you…Today i went out for a very long ride and i got this impression that everyone is looking at me…This was no good for my anxiety…i was feeling so odd like never…Also the thoughts of going mad seems to enjoy their stay…i am afraid of let them be there because i am afraid of not going mad…Can anyone explain to me? I can’t wait for your answer.Sorry for my english!

  177. Jeanine Says:

    Thank you Doreen, that does really bother me because who wants to live with this forever? .

  178. Jeanine Says:

    Oh by the way Doreen, where did he write about that on?

  179. Jeanine Says:

    Ty Mitchell that sounds great!!!hopefully I’ll get there someday and hopefully I get there because right now I have not been able to help myself. I have another question for everyone there is a center for ocd and anxiety in Los Angeles, CA. I was wondering if you think it’s a good or bad idea to try it?

  180. Jeanine Says:

    *get the book I meant

  181. DCYL Says:


    Glad to see there’s a Californian on here. I’m up in Northern CA but the weather the past few days made it feel like I was in Southern CA! :)

    As far as stopping by the center, that’s entirely up to you. You mentioned that you haven’t been able to help yourself. Well, remember that Paul said you really don’t have to “do anything”. You just have to let things be.

    This doesn’t mean sitting around and just surf the Internet or visit this forum. Get out and just do your regular things that you normally would do. There really isn’t anything wrong with you. The main thing is to turn your focus away from yourself and onto the regular things.

    Also, you mentioned that ‘exercise didn’t help”. Well, don’t do the exercise expecting it to “fix the problem”. Exercise burns off some adreanline and makes you feel better about yourself. Plus, it’s another activity to put your focus on.

    It took me a long while to understand this. Most people think (at least initially) that anxiety is something that will go away if they just “get some rest”. You’re young, get out there and just enjoy life in the sun. Plenty of things to do in Cali. :)

  182. Nn Says:

    Hi everyone. Hope everyone’s gettin through alright. I have a quick question hoping someone can just put my mind at rest. Is it normal to not really have panic attacks but just feel the symptoms of anxiety. I mean all day. I constantly feel like my body is weak and my muscles feel like jelly. I don’t experience panic attacks it’s just the symptoms of anxiety. Is this common? It’s really a miserable feeling and I know that I need to let my body feel this way in order to be on my way to recovery. I really appreciate anyone willing to answer my question.

  183. Jamie Says:

    Nn, definitely Yes.!..I have never had a panic attack , but when I was 20, Im 40 now, I had very bad anxiety that started from me wanting to be with my boyfriend at home and I didnt want to be at college anymore….I was eating, and it struck me suddenly…I then had a very bad bout of anxiety…Once I was taught what it was, it slowly went away…Im back on here cause I had a bad scare last week, have no idea why, but 100% better this week..It can be overcome, and without meds… I was 20 then, I lived 20 yrs, anxiety free even with major life and career changes…So for those who are young, please dont feel this is a forever thing..I swear it happens more in the 20’s and college time cause life is so uncertain at that time….Just try not to be scared of anxiety…Yes, I still get anxiety now and then, i think Im more prone to it, but its not the scary anxiety I had at 20…Please go out, have fun, with the anxiety, make it part of you, ignore the scary thoughts for those of you that have them, and move on…I know its hard, but it can be overcome…

  184. Jeanine Says:

    DCYL thank you so much for your replies there always very helpful. Im glad were both in California maybe we could meet up one day.I still try to do things I normally would but it’s hard with the disturbing thoughts I get about anything, everything, and everyone. I have an extremely supportive boyfriend and he’s so optimistic about my recovery no matter the thoughts I tell him he says it’s just anxiety and that I didn’t have them before so I won’t have them after.wish I could think like him I used to be such an outgoing, funny,kind girl 8 months ago I don’t know what happened to that poor mom too,she’s so depressed and doesn’t know what to do when I try to talk to her she stares at me blankly,we used to be best friends now not so much.I am trying to do nothing but it’s hard with the invasive thoughts. I’m not so sure about therapy too DCYL for the same reasons your. Weary of it,us Californians think alike. I’m weary of it because I feel it will exasperbate the symptoms and that is doing something not nothing. What I think I should do is just go. Along with it and ride it through, maybe I’m onto something here.I think if I just move forward normally then maybe the thoughts will normalize,let it ride it’s course kind of. I

  185. Jeanine Says:

    To add to my last post I feel maybe even if I do have purely obsessional ocd it’s still anxiety, all anxiety causes thoughts just different in subject so I think purely obsessional ocd is just a label, another name for anxiety and anxious thoughts. I’m not going to listen when they say the thoughts never really go away because I don’t think they really know and all the ocd therapists are gonna do is tell me wrong information and put me on the wrong path. I’m sure Paul’s method is the right path.

  186. Jamie Says:

    Jeanine, that girl your talking about is still there, she is just hidden under the anxiety…Please read all my posts…:)

  187. Jeanine Says:

    Jamie ,OK I will,thank you

  188. Doreen Says:

    Jeanine – the blog to which I refer is the one about obsessional thoughts

  189. Jeanine Says:

    Oh OK Doreen, will do

  190. ty mitchell Says:

    To jeanine
    Dear jeanine,i have been reading some of your posts about ocd and anxiety and i believe that in my opion they are the same thing or under the anxiety label but i am not a doctor,i will tell you about me which might help,i first went to my doctor about 8 years ago and he said that i had ocd,so he put me on zoloft for a year then i came good,this happened about3 times in my life and every time i responed well,except for the last one and the most recent,the most recent one is where i lost my business about 4 months ago as well as a few other things,so like anyone else i went to the doctor and he put me back on zoloft,when that didnt work he tried something else then that didnt wrk,so i then had to go and see a psychiatrist which scared me even more as o thought i was going crasy,he then put me on 200mg of zoloft and 45 of avanza,i was on this for abnout 1 month but i just felt sick all the time and like paul said was waking up all the time saying why do i feel like this which made things even worse.
    Then just last week i found pauls book online and wothout thinking i just bought it,believe me when i say this,it is the best thing i have ever done,the way he tells you how to treat yourself is simply amazing,i can tell you that i have read the book in 4 days and the last for days have been the best i have had in 4 months.I have read alot of his blogs and of course peoples storys and think when people read this book that they should treat is as there bible so to speak,as i am 100% convinced that if people follow pauls words that they can not help but become better,power of the mind is truly unbelievable sincerely ty

  191. ty mitchell Says:

    To paul
    I just thought i would let you know that yesterday i found the zeng factor,that place where i felt like i was on a cloud,no stress just complete calm,i have never been that calm and i am assuming when people do yoga are thai chi that they must also find this place it was truly amazing,and i have your book to thank.I have been telling people about your book online in australia so dont be suprised if you sell a few more books hehe,p.s have fun at the dog classes sincerely ty

  192. Jamie Says:

    Well said TY :)

  193. Michelle Z Says:

    Why am I so stuck? I agree with Paul’s advice, too, Ty, but for some reason, can’t treat these scary thoughts as just thoughts. I keep reacting as if they are real. :(

  194. Lisa Says:

    Hi all… New to this site.. I bought the book 2 weeks ago. Down loaded the sample first on my kindle and already I felt better. I have suffered for over a year with pa/anxiety/agropohia. Im only half way through this book and already I feel so much better, my anxiety has lowered so much. If it wasn’t for you Paul I wouldn’t of gone through having an MRI today and doing the journey I did. People on this blog are still looking for answers. They are all their in the book, every last one. Like Paul says, you have to stop fighting it, it’s do powerful. Some of your quotes in your book are so lifting.. If people are getting stuck read the book again. I know more than ever this book is the answer… Tommy I loved your story and I know in time that will be me also posting that on here… The only way to get over your fears is to face them…. Just keep on reading the book. Thank you so very very much Paul, I know more than ever I can do this thanks to you and your book x best of luck to all of you on the road to recovery x

  195. Jeanine Says:

    Ty Mitchell, thank you so very much that has given me so much hope!!!that is the same reason why I haven’t gone to the therapist because I feel there gonna put me down that same road,I sure hope I get the book soon but I’m not sure because the address got jumbled up. Michelle z I totally understand, it’s. Really hard to ignore them I like you react everytime they pop in my head.

  196. Jeanine Says:

    Hi Guy’s it’s me again just wanted to say that if anyone is struggling with the horrible obsessive/scary/disturbing etc. Thoughts like I am please read the obsessive and scary thoughts post and its comments. The last girl that wrote on there Carly made me hold back my tears,her story is extremely similar to mine. Please read if you are struggling like me I highly recommend it and now I know why I shouldn’t be watching or Googling things,my anxiety attaches itself to everything!!

  197. ty mitchell Says:

    To jamie
    thanks mate hope you are doing well

  198. ty mitchell Says:

    To michelle
    Hi how are you,i do not have those mind games that you are describing as i have not sufferd that myself but i have had severe panic attacks where i have rushed myself to hospital so i kind of understand where you are comming from,but as paul has said,this sounds like the symptoms of an over tired mind that just needs a break,my view is that it is better to do it hard for a few months and recover than prolong the constand barrage of useless emotion,but as i said i am not a doctor,hope you start what paul is saying and before you know it you will be back to your old self,,,sincerely ty

  199. ty mitchell Says:

    To Jeanine
    you can get pauls book on E bay and just download it or do what i did and go to pauls site and download e-book

  200. ty mitchell Says:

    To jamie
    Sorry i thought you were a guy my fault for not reading further

  201. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Interview went great and I start in a couple of weeks, can’t wait to get started. Working outdoors with animals is something I have wanted to do for ages.

    Jeanine says: I sure hope I get the book soon but I’m not sure because the address got jumbled up

    Jeanine if I read that right you have ordered but not received it yet, if so any problems with delivery then let me know through my main site using the contact form.

    Also to anyone who lands here there are old posts that are worth looking through that concentrate on different aspects of anxiety.

  202. Jamie Says:

    Ty, no Problem :)

  203. Jamie Says:

    Paul how long have you been recovered? What are your thoughts about my bad bout last week after about 20 yrs!…Good news is, this week, Im really back to myself about 95%….

  204. Ronnie Says:

    Hi guys.

    Having a really hard time of it at the moment but trying to remain positive in the midst of it!! I went back to work for a day yesterday but came home feeling ghastly!! I’m still getting out everyday and doing as much as I can which I hope is the right way to do things! I’m gonna give work a miss for a while to relieve the extra stress!! Do you think I’m making the right descision?? I’m not going to wallow in my own self pity but just feel that recovery would be better served out with work at the moment. The anxiety is kind of reaching a peak however my anxiousness lasts for days and weeks on end without much respite and completely debilitates my life. I hope this time through doing things anyway and accepting my condition which is easier sometimes than others that I’m on the right road!!

    Any advice would be appreciated people??

    Hope your all well.


  205. Jamie Says:

    Ronnie, not sure…As with most anxiety the best way to get better is to face the everyday things..I know its not pleasant, but I had it bad yrs ago, and I jsut forced myself to go to work, etc…Eventually, I overcame it

  206. Ronnie Says:

    Hi Jamie.

    I’m an abseiler!! It’s the at height thing with the possibility of getting it wrong a 100 feet in the air because of the terrible feelings and mind chatter that bothers me!! Haha!

    I really appreciate you getting back to me.

    How are you getting on?


  207. Jamie Says:

    Ok :) Doing great! Had it bad 20 yrs ago for a year, but had a bad bout for some odd reason last week, this week Im back to normal :) well, about 95%

  208. Ronnie Says:

    Hi Jamie.

    That’s great to hear. Gives hope to the rest of us to hear that your getting on so well. I suppose we just have to get on with things as best we can and keep on moving forward. That’s all there is for it.

    Really pleased to hear your doing so well!!


  209. Jamie Says:

    Thanks! I can totally relate to most of these posts…Everything Paul says is close to what I learned from a Claire Weekes book that my grandmother gave me when I was younger…It helped tremendously! Good luck!!

  210. Ronnie Says:

    Thanks Jamie!

    I have her books at home. It’s the initial acceptance of how we feel that’s the hard part. I think once I’ve mastered that then the process should get easier.

    We live in hope!!

    Take care and thanks for listening.


  211. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Ronnie rather than use the word acceptance, try more to experience the anxiety. Acceptance can make people think they just have to put up with it or they can use the word to try and make it go away.

    Just allow it to be part of you, experience it, don’t push or wish it away. Try and reach the point where ‘if it’s there it’s there and if it’s not it’s not’ it becomes a built in attitude over time.

  212. Ronnie Says:

    Thanks for the advice Paul it’s greatly appreciated.

    Congratulations on the job by the way!

  213. Erika Says:

    Hi Nn,

    I’m the same way! I feel it daily to some extent. Constant fatigue. Sore muscles, tiredness, headaches, hard to breathe, off and on lightheaded. I’ve just recently gone way down in my meds, and I’m trying this without the help of drugs. The physical symptoms have really been present. I guess we just embrace them. Welcome them into our lives. That’s helped me a bit. This morning I said “hi anxiety. I guess you are coming to work with me. Just so you know I’m very busy, so don’t get in my way.” It kind of makes it seem a little less scary.

  214. Jeanine Says:

    Thanks Paul!! I will let you know, I wish we could keep some of the old posts going like the obsessional thoughts one as I’ve find that one the most helpful. I’m considering cbt too because I’ve heard it’s helped a lot of people but I’m not sure.

  215. Bill Says:

    Please,anyone suffer bad with head sensations and light headedness.I feel i am sinking deeper rather than learning to cope.I get loads of different head feelings and feel constantly unbalanced.Even typing this out my head is all over the place.Add tension and i just feel so frightened that the next one is the end.Can anyone please offer any advice,i am starting to obsess over these feelings and i do not want that,thanks.What makes it worse is when these feelings present themselves slightly differently,thats when panic mode kicks in for me.Its very hard to just accept.Sorry to moan.

  216. Jeff Says:

    Just thought I’d let everyone know that my blip ended. I’m back to normal and I know what caused it: I allowed myself to get into that spiralling thought-cycle of questioning my actions and my motives and inventing expectations out of thin air. Sometimes it’s so hard to just be in the moment, but it really is like riding a bike. Once you get the hang of it you bounce back quick from the blips. Reality sucks, and it seems like the anxiety and depression are an attempt by my brain to protect myself from it. But it’s not so bad, really.

    Anyway, Mark R., I’ve been thinking about you and I hope you’re doing well. Wish we could all just meet and have a beer and sort out our woes. Round trip to Heathrow from O’Hare right now is just over a grand. Maybe someday:) Thanks to everyone for the kind words of support. One day at a time, people. Be well, and get out and have some fun this weekend!

  217. Fiore Says:

    Hello all,

    A year and a half ago, I started to suffer from anxiety. I felt helpless, unhappy and in constant fear. Words can’t even describe how bad I was feeling.

    I read Paul’s book and it wasn’t automatic but with time and patience, lots of patience I gain my life back.
    Now I feel totally myself again I can even say I’m an improved version of myself since anxiety taught me lessons that will remain with me forever and made me a better person.

    Things that helped me overcome anxiety:
    1) Understanding that how I feel in a certain moment is not how I’m going to feel always, emotions come and go. That is a fact!
    2) I stopped questioning myself about why I was feeling that way. I do not need to find reasons and answers about everything I feel, I learnt to feel the way I was feeling without questioning everything.
    3) I started to pay no respect to all those horrible and catastrophic thoughts crossing my mind. I just let them be there but not believing in them.
    4) Understanding that anxiety can cause physical reactions on you body (back pain, ringing ears, dizziness, etc) was really helpful to me, I didn’t have to worry about every little symptom anymore, I knew they were caused by my anxiety and I just accepted them for the time being.

    With a lot of practice and incredible amounts of patience specially towards myself I was able to overcome it.

    I know that when you are in the middle of it, you feel like nothing will be fine again. That you will never feel fine again.

    Trust me, I’ve been there and I promise that yes, you will. Just keep going, keep living and practice, practice a lot.

    Thank you Paul!

  218. Evelyn Says:

    Good Afternoon all:)

    I would like to start off by saying that this site is by far a true blessing, and a true gift to all of us that suffered or are suffering with Anxiety and depression.. i want to introduce myself, i am 29 years old and i suffered with anxiety since the age of 16.. i had good years and i had horrible years. I cheated myself from so many oppurtunities, and lost so many jobs due to my anxiety, long story short, i was lost ina world of fear due to my what ifs,, which let me explain can be our worst nightmare if we feed into it. my life changed 2 years ago when i started googling anxiety and depression.. Pauls site popped up, which i thank god often that i did.. i remember reading and reading and reading. i would read the recovery stories and i would think. hmmm maybe they recovered because their stories arent as bad as mine, or their symptoms and levels are minor, i always had excuse after excuse.. i decided to buy the Pauls book, i think i read it in 2 days and expected to recover in those days, whcih let me tell you its not going to happened! i also purcahse Clair Weeks, both are awesome books that can lead you in the road to recovery.. all my life if i can remember i suffered with panic attacks and anxiety but never to the point were i felt like not even waking up in the mornings, i knew this was not a game anymore, i saw therapist, changed my diet, purchased supplements, purchased sooo many books, and let me tell you the biggest NO NO.. googling my symptoms all day long, literally all day long, i came across some good sites, and i came across some very scary ones, and also some that all they did was take my money sad to say. i always thought in my head that i was never going to recover, i felt i was different from Paul, Scarlett, Helen these are just a few who helped me sorry if i didnt mention your name.. i want to give you all a few symptoms that i felt just so you know you are not alone

    1.) Unreality which by far was my worst symptom:(
    2.) mind chatter. things songs replaying all day
    3.)lost of appetite
    4.)not being able to sleep
    5.)heart palpitaions
    6.) what if thinking , always thinking the worst case
    7.)fear of loosing control
    8.)fear of hurting someone
    10.)fear of being alone
    11.)looking in the mirror and not recognizing myself

    These are just a few, but as you all know the list goes on, how i started my recovery was simply letting go, i gave up everything one day and said this is it anxiety, you have been my friend for way to long and its time we break i dont hate you but im ready to love, smile love and most of all LIVE!!! i started going to parties dinners, playing at the park with my kids, and guess who came with me, my unreal feeling, my anxiety was there all the way, i didnt care anymore i ignored it, some days were good some were still bad, but and the end of the day i said hey what the heck, i didnt loose anything right? as days went by i felt layers and layers of anxiety diminsh away, believe me you can do it, it takes time and efford, i started walking everyday which i believe was a good help, it helps keep a calm mind, i know im going through pretty fast but i can garuntee you i went through the worst times, i was in such a whole that at one point i did not want to even wake up… but im here to tell you there is life, and its beautiful filled with so much joy and happiness, you will get there it just takes Time, time, time, ..How do i know im recovered? because i dont come on here anymore for comfort, im living a normal happy life, there is never a perfect life because theres so much we go though, but i do what i want, i have a voice now, i came on here because i told myself ONE day Evelyn ONE day when you recover you are going to help all those millions of suffers just like Paul, and im here today, my wish came true, Im here giving my recovery story to all of you, i will be checking in from time to time if any one has questions i will be glad to help :) Best wishes to all and dont loose faith, you can do it!!!

    FEAR is your biggest nightmare, do not feed into it>
    Sometimes we go over fearing things that have no impotance whats so ever!!!


  219. Jeanine Says:

    Thank you Evelyn for such a beautiful and inspiring post.I think I’m how you were at the beginning because I always think the same thing you said about others not being as bad as me so that’s why they recovered like I.think in this post I’m the worst one because my mind is so messed up with its thought process. I continue to do things like you said and miss anxiety always tags along usually I’m able to enjoy myself but lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and come home instead because my thoughts and anxiety just increase and increase. Hopefully if I just keep going and keep at it I’ll end up like you Evelyn.

  220. Bill Says:

    Congrats Evelyn,a super story.Anyone relate to these strange head shocks and frightening feelings at all,i cannot stop tensing to them,they frighten me to the extent that i cannot go far,i even had a couple whilst watching the telly.The only peace is when i am asleep.

  221. Jeanine Says:

    Bill I havent had those thankfully but I do know it is anxiety, nothing else.look at Paul’s main site where it says “anxiety symptoms “

  222. ty mitchell Says:

    Hi all
    This is my story about last night
    I was sitting at home last night feeling very tired when i started to feel strange,i have noticed that when i am really tired anxiety seems to come on more,so i was out the back and just said to my self,ok,just let it happen,i could feel this force grabing me so i decided to go to bed and lay down so i could really enjoy the ride hehe,i closed my eyes and slide deeper into the abys,it felt like i was floating and my body was moving around,but instead of panicing i just said is that all you have,so i then said to myself picture all the anxiety as a monster which i did,then grabed the monsters hand,then pictured myself skiping down the road into the sunset with me and this monster hehe,the reason i am telling everyone this is you have to use all means nesesary to go along with your fear.
    I have heard some people talk alot abut there weird thoughts,but at the end of the day i bet there not skipping down the road with a monster hehehe. sincerely ty

  223. Jeanine Says:

    Ty Mitchell, how cute!!great way to put it!!

  224. Nicola Says:

    I don’t know if I am in the midst of a setback or whether this is a realistic fear. I have started to think obsessively about reincarnation. Back when I was well I read a book called Journey of Souls which brought me great comfort. It’s (apparently) about life between lives. Since the anxiety and two years of hell I went through the idea of reincarnation makes me feel sick and extremely depressed and scared. When I die I want that to be the end. No more suffering or consciousness. Just nothing. Why am I obsessing over this?

  225. Nn Says:

    Hi everyone. I hope someone can give me some advice and put my mind to rest as I have been struggling with this symptom for a good while. Lately I’ve been feeling very faint as if I’m about to pass out but I never do. This symptom started when I got anxiety a few months ago. My legs feel like jelly and I feel weak and I’m always just fearing that I’m goin to pass out any second. Someone please tell me this is normal with anxiety and that I’ll be ok!!! I can’t seem to shake this feeling that’s really giving me a hard time moving forward! Any replies would be amazing and helpful and put my mind to rest hopefully.

  226. ty mitchell Says:

    To nn
    I get these head things i call them where i get a slpit second rush to the head and it feels like you are going to pass out,i was so concerned that i had my blood pressure checked a few times and everything was fine.
    As paul said it is just anziety and i have found if you ignore them they start to go away,,hope this helps ty

  227. Emma E Says:

    Hi Bill, I think I have what you describe. Most of my anxiety symptoms are in my head…it’s like a strong feeling of tension that moves around and can sometimes feel as if my head is moving. I also have a feeling of being unbalanced. They are really uncomfortable, especially when I am trying to watch tv or reading. I don’t particularly like them but I know that it’s only anxiety. It’s hard at times to ignore them because they feel so strong. I do alot of mindfullness meditation and see a psychotherapist who focuses on the how we experience our emotions in the body. So we spend time feeling in to the tension, which takes the fear away…it’s only tension at the end of the day which I have when I am less anxious but pay less attention to. I have noticed that my mind has been obsessing over the last few days about these symptoms, not thinking that there is something else wrong but
    wishing them away. I then noticed I was getting worked up about not accepting but realised pretty quickly that this is just my anxious mind wanting things to be different. Bill, if you feel able to, try to feel the head symptoms that you are getting and notice how they change, move around, come & go. This might help you to get used to them a little more and fear them less. Hope this helps a little.

  228. Bill Says:

    Thanks Emma,sounds very similar.It is the constant tension in the back of the neck that makes these head zaps worse.I actually find i automatically tense up when i get in front of the computer which then makes matters worse.The constant worrying/checking on myself is like you say also not helping.I will try and feel the symptoms like you say.Do you suffer with your vision at all.Thanks again,Bill.

  229. emma e Says:

    Hi Bill, yes my vision is quite blurry at times and ripply. I get alot of floaters too. It of hard to stop your mind from worrying and checking in on yourself as this is what your mind wants to do. As Paul often says, don’t try to not think about it just let your mind do what it does but try to trust that this is all anxiety that will pass in time. My mind is really on one today! I am trying as best I can not to get caught up on it. In my experience it takes alot of practice to not react to the mind and to just let it chatter on & on & on! These are the most difficult days for me but if I just let it be it tends to pass without me knowing it :-) Back a few months ago my neck used to shake and feel so tense and I would feel my shoulders up around my ears. This has eased loads now and so will the head symptoms when they are ready. I like the term living alongside my anxiety and an better at going this some days than others. For me, it’s a journey where I am learning an incredible amount about myself and my insecurities.

  230. Bill Says:

    Emma so much of what you write sounds very familiar,thank you for your time and words.I will try and follew your lead,best wishes and thanks again.How would you rate yourself now compared to a few months ago.

  231. Jeanine Says:

    Nicola it’s just anxiety attaching itself to reincarnation. Lately my anxiety has me thinking and obsessing over everything I hear or see about. Anything that disturbs I heard that some people with ocd fear being attracted to animals, objects, children. Etc. Now for some reason my mind has tricked me that I’m the same way too. Then images start popping in my head and its a vicious and very tiring cycle. I know it’s different than reincarnation but it’s basically the same thing because anxiety attaches itself to anything. Don’t worry about reincarnation because you’ll only find out when you pass.there’s no point in worrying about it now just live in the moment. I know it’s hard to deal with these obsessive thoughts, believe me I’m struggling a lot as my mind just keeps jumping from one thing to the next and it’s all piled up in my head.

  232. Stephen Shale Says:

    Hi everyone, thought i would drop in again, now that i’m back from my short trip, and it went pretty well considering how bad i felt tuesday evening before i left. (I’m still annoyed that i let myself lay in bed and dwell like that).

    I relaxed a lot more once I got to the hotel, and did indeed have a rich flavoured meal, but becuase I actually had an appetite for what I’d chosen, Then keeping busy helped burn off some adrenalin, and keep my mind off any further dwelling. I guess the biggest hiccup was dinner last night, didnt feel up to it, so was a bit of a struggle, was a bit panicky, but did have a big lunch, so i guess i was forcing dinner on myself, which only made me tense up.

    The biggest thing to come to light though, is that my biggest problem is with the anticipation of an event, waiting for something to happen. This of course i already knew, from many events in the past, so i guess i’m finding it annoying that my brain has not learnt, that things will turn out fine, and nothing bad is going to happen.

    The other thing i’ve learnt, which again i also knew, is my fixation with my appetite. Only when i am anxious though; my lack of appetite does cause me some stress. I do seem to have a mindset that missing a meal, or having just a small amount for a meal, will have a bigger knock on effect to my well being, and appetite for the next meal. Of course when i’m not anxious, i’m a lot more relaxed, and i just eat what i eat, without a second thought.

    And now that I am home again. Feeling very tired, though a little put off by going to try and have a nap, because i dont want to end up laying there dwelling, and make myself worse. My mind is also still racing slightly, looking forward to “what will i feel like for dinner”, “i’ve just got the weekend left now to sort myself out before i’m back at work again”, etc. that impatience in my is there through and through! Despite me being back from trip and relaxing again. I can feel that i’m trying to push it away, as i know in the past i have recovered from anxious periods quite quickly, once the event has passed. Though i know this time round i have done things wrongly, and made my anxiety worse than some previous times, so i do need to give myself longer.

    Overall though it has been such an up and down week, really glad i managed to enjoy my trip, despite the level of anxiety, i just need to do what i know needs doing now, to get healthy again, and i think a lot of my mind rambling, etc, is down to a higher level of tiredness, bacause that is how i see my anxiety, its just my body being tired, and the more symptoms just mean i’m more tired.

  233. Jamie Says:

    Stephen, Glad it went well….Try to just accept the feeling when eating, and it will get better…..Try not to focus on the next meal……The very worst thing that will happen is you will skip an entire meal, but eventually you will have hunger, even under the butterflies, and manage to eat fine….I know nothing about your situation, but you do remind me of me when younger, I was getting thin, and the anxiety always focused around how I would feel eating…I feel like the only thing holding you back totally is the eating issue…And yes, I also anticipate events…Excitement and happiness is also of course known to bring on anxiety….I sometimes feel overwhelmed unless I write everything down in my planner about things I have to do on a certain day…It can be anything to remind yourself to do something, from go buy a birthday card, to start Christmas shopping…Good luck! I am totally back to normal now after one week, but I still feel compelled to read all the posts and offer advice :)

  234. Stephen Shale Says:

    It’s the trying not to concentrate on the next meal, when i’m anxious, that is the problem! 😉 But i think you are spot on Jamie, if i wasnt scared about possibly losing my appetite, then i wouldnt get anxious, and the anticpation factor wouldnt be as much of an issue. I used to have a bit of a weight issue, i mean i once noticed how little i weighed and got freaked out by it, and tried to amend my diet to gain weight. I’m past that now, but i guess i see missing meals possibly making me detriorate and make my anxiety worse.

    I did not know that excitment and happiness could bring on anxiety?!? I’m glad you have stuck around and continued with your advice. Thank you.

  235. emma e Says:

    Hi Bill, this setback started around April time just, a few months before a had my little boy. I have lived with anxiety on and off for many years and each time learn more acceptance of me. When it first hot me in April it was really awful and I my mind was completely fixated on the damage it was doing to my unborn baby. He is actually fine and is the most relaxed & contented baby! Looking back I realise how far I have come since then despite feeling down today. I still get alot of the head symptoms, poor vision and some unrealness at times too. I am now better at letting others know when I am not feeling good which takes the pressure off – no pretending anymore. What also helps is being forgiving to myself when I have started to obsess about the symptoms and generally more self compassionate.

  236. emma e Says:

    Hi Bill, this setback started around April time just, a few months before a had my little boy. I have lived with anxiety on and off for many years and each time learn more acceptance of me. When it first hot me in April it was really awful and I my mind was completely fixated on the damage it was doing to my unborn baby. He is actually fine and is the most relaxed & contented baby! Looking back I realise how far I have come since then despite feeling down today. I still get alot of the head symptoms, poor vision and some unrealness at times too. I am now better at letting others know when I am not feeling good which takes the pressure off – no pretending anymore. What also helps is being forgiving to myself when I have started to obsess about the symptoms and generally more self compassionate. Give yourself some time and space Bill. You can do it :-) x

  237. emma e Says:

    Sorry Bill…pressed send before finishing!

  238. Bill Says:

    Thats great Emma i wish you continued success.I need to take a leap of faith when i go out,i do it but basically just want whatever task i am doing to be over so i can get home,i need to start getting some pleasure from these outings.I guess the tension is already there just waiting to happen.Thanks for your advice i will try and follow it.

  239. Bill Says:

    Sorry forgot to wish you and your baby well,i became a grandad 10 weeks ago and he is gorgeous.

  240. emma e Says:

    Congratulations Bill…if you feel tense when you are out, that’s ok. Just try as best you can to not add to that tension and don’t worry to much about not getting pleasure at the moment. Try not to force pleasure and it may gradually creep on without you noticing! My baby is great thank you…

  241. Jamie Says:

    Stephen, yes….I read about it in the Claire Weekes book too…Any excitement, can cause adrenaline, which in turn can turn into actual anxiety, esp anticipation…….I know what you mean about the food thing, cause when I was 20, I was already thin, and I started losing weight from the anxiety..I am petite, so I went from a normal 110, to 96 lbs I think, from not eating really much at all from anxiety….But I never lost anymore, and even though I was too skinny, it didnt affect my life in anyway…Once I felt better, the lbs came back quick..and of course over the yrs there were times I actually had to lose some weight….So I definitely think the pressure and your fear about being too thin, is definitely keeping you in an anxiety cycle….You probably feel slightly relieved once you eat, and then you are already thinking about the next meal..How much will I eat? Will I be nervous? Why shouldnt I have an appetite? What if I waste away to nothing?
    All anxiety…..

  242. Stephen Shale Says:

    When i am anxious, i feel it build in me before i eat, then get a relief, once its clear the first bite has gone down well, so i keep that in mind, that the feelings i feel before i eat, will subside, then eating will become easier. Then i do feel better, but yeah, its not long before random thoughts project to future meals, my brain just doesnt seem to learn!

  243. Kathi Says:

    Dear Evelyn,

    I have exactly the same symptoms as you! My biggest problem is also this unreal feeling and my depressions. I feel so hopeless and then there are my strange thoughts like: ” What if my life isn’t real? What if I’m actually not alive and everything is only an imagination?” It’s terrible, but I’m a fighter and I want to keep going! I am also afraid about hurting myself or other people! Sometimes my thoughts are so bad, that I feel like frozen! I try Pauls tipps and I try to give anxiety no attention, but it is so difficult! By the way, I am not from England so I am sorry for mistakes!

    @Paul: I am also doing dog agility! It’s really a lot of fun and I also love animals, espacially dogs! you can teach them so many things, it’s awesome!

  244. Jamie Says:

    Im also not from England :) Im in the US

  245. Nicola Says:

    Thank you Jeanine for your reply. Xx

  246. Kathi Says:

    Dear Nicola,

    I have the same fear as you! I also fear, that there is no end after death.
    I fear that there’s another strange life and so there would never be an end. I fear that there is a life after this life and this thought is just very strange and makes me anxious, I don’t really know how to explain it, but I hope you know what i mean:)

  247. Jeanine Says:

    You’re welcome Nicola I don’t know if I was of much help but I tried.:)

  248. Nicola Says:

    Kathi I know exactly what you mean. You are not alone! It’s a horrible heavy feeling of dread for me. I suppose it’s bought on by the fear that this fear will never end. All the suffering and fear of anxiety and how horrid it makes us feel. I don’t feel this way all the time so it must just be the anxiety. It comes in waves. Is it the same for you?

  249. Jamie Says:

    Nicola, Yes, that is all it is fear of the fear!!!! Please, please, stop fearing it…It will pass….I suffered 20 yrs ago….The only reason I stayed in the cycle was fear of the fear…I did have a bad bout last week , 20 yrs later, Im almost 40 now, and I am out of it after one full week…I just had to tell myself not to fear the fear…I will admit I was frightened badly , as it was the same feeling of dread and sick to my stomach feeling I had yrs ago..But I just accepted it, went thru the day feeling like that, and slowly it lifted away….The more you fear the fear, the worse it stays….Best of luck!!!!

  250. Jamie Says:

    Also : yes, even last week it came in waves, I just ok, it is what it is, and accepted it..

  251. Nicola Says:

    Thank you Jamie, yes I am just riding it out. It doesn’t escalate into panic as it used to.

  252. Jamie Says:

    Nicola, Good luck!!! I feel your pain cause I know how devastating it can be..Keep the faith :) Does shopping help? Try to focus and obsess about something other then your symptoms..

  253. peter Says:

    Morning Everyone,

    Not been on here for ages but I thought I would offer some encouragement. I had anxiety bad, I mean really bad. I just couldn’t function. I nearly lost my marriage, everything. Look at the symptoms on Pauls Home page, I had them all…in abundance.
    I was desperate, constantly crying, in pain, it was horrid. Did I have a bad life? No. I have a beautiful wife and two gorgeous daughters. Anxiety totally took over my whole life, it consumed my every waking moment. I spent hours researching everything about it. I labelled myself with Pure O. A form of OCD. I was convinced. Life over.
    One day whilst having my usual google session I stumbled on Pauls site. I was amazed, the information could have been written about me. I purchased the book. I read it in one sitting. I put the advice into practice. Slowly I got better and better. Where there many set backs? Of course there were, loads of them. But as time went on they got easier to bear.

    I am now fully recovered. Do I get anxious? Yes of course, its a natural reaction to stress. We need it to survive. Do I suffer from anxiety? Not any more. No matter how bad you feel you are you can recover, you just have to want to. I’ll list some of the things that helped me.
    1) Read Pauls book, thats all you need. Stay off the internet and don’t make this site your life. Clare Weekes books are really helpful too.
    2) Be patient, it doesn’t happen overnight.
    3) Fill your life with positive things, do things you enjoy. Don’t use them as distractions. Do them because you enjoy them.
    4) Talk to someone. But don’t talk about it all the time
    5) Have faith, you will get better.

    Anxiety is a natural feeling, it keeps us safe. It is not a monster. Live alongside it. That doesn’t mean putting up with it either. Accept the feelings and it will become totally inconsequential. If I can get better than anyone can. Accept the feelings and be patient. You will get better. X

  254. Kathi Says:

    yes it’s the same! Sometimes when I am outside, doing things with my friends I suddenly forget all the anxiety and feel ok. Then suddenly there’s just one thought of axiety and I get really anxious for a moment. Then I am also afraid to pass out, because anxiety comes so sudden and I think : ” oh noo..why do I have to think of anxiety now? It went good for a while and now?!I think I will never get better, I am in the cycle again, it’s hopeless”..
    But when I am really distracted I sometimes just try to think my anxious thoughts and when I feel good, they actually don’t make me so anxious.
    So, that shows me, that when I am calm and when I feel good, all these thoughts aren’t so scary for me..I think the key is it to just live your life and let it all be, but sometimes this is really difficult..

  255. emma e Says:

    Peter, really insightful post. I love the way you still get anxious but don’t suffer from anxiety. Thank you for your story and encouragement.

  256. Jeanine Says:

    Thank you peter very helpful post,seems like I’m doing everything wrong.I’ve labeled myself pure O OCD too.

  257. Stephen Shale Says:

    It’s amazing how much a good night’s sleep can have such a restorative affect. Feeling really good today, but also not forgetting that this is mainly due to my anxiety event/trigger having now passed. I do find it so easy to pick up Paul’s advice after the event, I give myself the relaxation it needs to repair and build strength again, and very quickly get back to normal. I guess i should take this as a big positive, that even if my anxiety does get bad, it quickly passes once in clear air.

    I just really need to work on fully taking this approach before an event. I think i’m just a particularly nervous person, and need to just learn how my body reacts when nervous, and to not put any added pressure on myself. With this setback though ending up worse than expected, my confidence has certainly taken a dent, and i can feel a slight fear to it appearing again whenever my next “event” is that brings on my anxiety. I really feel like i’ve not got the acceptance down yet, or the willingness to “feel” anxiety, and the symptoms. I guess i just know how horrible it is, why would i want to feel it again. Any tips?

    Another thought i had, would be interesting what others thought…is it possible/useful to use bigger life positives (great family, wife, house, career, etc) and that others in the world have a lot bigger problems than us, to spur us on to recover from anxiety? Surely seeing past the pointless worrying, where nothing bads ends up happening to us, and being inspired, etc, by a larger perspective, could help the anxiety just fade? (Although i know for most, we all become quite short sighter, when trapped in our head).

  258. Jamie Says:

    Glad things are better! I do think thinking about the positive , and knowing people have other bigger problems does and will help…:)

  259. Jamie Says:

    Small setback yesterday..after anxiety returning after 20 yrs, only 2 weeks ago, then recovered again after a week, just yesterday, felt great, started to eat a bagel, as I love to on Saturday morning, and the really sick to my stomach feeling hit me again…I was fine after I rided out the bad feeling in my stomach, my only usual symptom, but now I am annoyed, as I was fine all week, in a great mood, so now that this happened while eating, it brought some fear back again…does anxiety remember? Why would I have trouble eating if I felt totally fine , and was not thinking anything at all?? iIs it possible in my subconscious mind that it brought It on? Or is my body still slightly sensitized, even though I felt fine all week? Oh, well, I went 20 yrs without anxiety,so I keep thinking about that….advice?

  260. Stephen Shale Says:

    My turn! I do believe anxiety has a memory, or moreso, you have memories of those times of anxiety. Which i think kind of links to your point about it happening subconciously. Firstly my setback originally crept in a month ago, i was off to horse racing for the day with friends, which i’d done the previous year, with anxiety. This year i was so excited, no anxiety at all the day before (actually out for a meal with family, and you know about my eating problems!) But the next day, bam, symptoms, no appetite. To me this appears to be because of memories of the previous year, but also the reaction happening subconciously.

    I feel that anxiety doesnt fully respond to logical thinking, otherwise i’d be recovered years ago. So i fully think a lot more is happening subconciously and out of our control. But ultimately, what we should remember is that is can be out of our control, anxiety should not be controlled, and our reaction should be a calm one, whenever it appears, and for whatever reason. It does not matter what happened in the past, just how we react now.

    I would say that you were probably a bit sensitized still, those memories coming to the forefront recently, but try not to get answers for it all, because they are not all there, just relax, keep distracted, and you’ll be fine. 😉

  261. Jamie Says:

    Thanks Stephen!!!

  262. SarahS Says:


    Peter’s post is really inspirational thank you Peter.

    I posted a few days ago and still a bit stuck in fact feel pretty much back to square one in terms of the strength of how I feel and how it has brought back all the old memories of that time, after I had slowly but surely crept towards almost being recovered. I’d be really grateful if some one could offer a bit of advice please?

    Anxiety affects people in different ways I know that. For me one of the big things has been wanting/needing to be around people who almost carry me and make me feel as though everything is okay. I couldn’t stand noise, upset, argeuments, disagreements and so at home I’d want my husand to be pretty much 100% fine to ease things for me and so I wouldn’t feel such guilt about not being a good wife and mom. This caused so many probs especially me as he saw it as always checking in on him that he was okay, questioning him, are you okay, are you sure, you do n’t seem it. I got better at trying to let go and not use him one of my safety nets in terms of checking on his mood.

    The thing is he has a condition which causes alot of pain and exhaustion which in turn affects how he feels in himself. He therefore can’t be this perfect, happy, friendly person and to be honest can be quite grumpy. Now, if I was anxiety rid then I’d get it, of course he can be grumpy, who wouldn’t with all tha pain but me no, I feed off how he feels, I am sensitive and end up feeling grumpy if he is, happier if he is and so it goes on.

    We are at the moment falling out which isn’t what I want at all.

    Hope this makes sense and would be really grateful for a little pointer in the right direction.


    Sarah xx

  263. Rachel Says:

    Hi Sarah-

    It sounds like you are struggling to find a way to be strong for your husband while also wanting to feel secure and comfortable with your own issues. As hard as it is, try to get out of your own head for a little maybe and try not to be as sensitive. Take care of your husband while also taking care of yourself. Do things that make you happy and don’t analyze how he’s acting from moment to moment. Let it be and this too shall pass. Don’t try to control or put added judgment, just be loving and kind to him and yourself..

  264. SarahS Says:

    Hi Rachel

    Thank you. You are spot on with all that you say. I’m so fixated on how he is behaving, if he’s in a grump, was he sharp then etc etc. And you are right I am sensitive with this. If things go wrong then I get in a state and want him to fix it. I will try to be less sensitive and loving and kind instead of trying to have this perfect family I’m striving for which is unrealistic. I try to be cheerful and happy for my son and not be too sharp with him as I love him a million time over but also have guilt still for being poorly when he was younger.

    Don’t get me wrong I’ve made huge strides in recovering, it’s just this issue keeps arising and I think I’m having a bit of a blip at the moment which makes the issue a little more sensitised.

    Thanks Rachel x

  265. Nicola Says:

    Sarah, I don’t want to sound harsh but your husband may feel better if you take the pressure off of him to be a certain way all the time. What I mean is, once I began my own recovery and began to take the pressure off of my partner he also improved, we now smile and laugh again, things aren’t 100% yet but guilt is only going to take you back to that dark place and it won’t just be you that it affects. You have to let the guilt go for your family as well as yourself. I was severely ill with anxiety and PND with my baby, but I don’t feel guilty, hell I did my best to survive for the sake of my baby, I considered suicide about 10 times during that period. I’m still here and I have my own strength and will to thank for that. Now let the past go, admire the strength you have that has got you this far and instead of ruminating and feeing guilty begin to make some new, positive memories for you and your family to treasure.

  266. Jamie Says:

    Oh gee, I’m back to square one..and I know it’s only out of fear of the fear…this is difficult for me, because I have not had this in 20 yrs, so I understood and was stronger then anxiety…why am I being weak now and giving into it? Didn’t sleep well the last 2 nights, and usually I sleep kind of good even with bad anxiety..I think I’m reading to many horror stories, such as one blog s girl has that she has had it everyday since teen, and throws up every day..that makes me feel hopeless ….my story is I had a bad anxiety attack, not really panic attack, 2 weeks ago..don’t know why..for some reason I couldn’t brush it off…I found Paul’s info, and I read Claire weekes when younger…so that week I accepted it, and it slowly lifted in layers, felt fine basically all last week, then sat, 2 days ago, that strong nausea feeling in my stomach appeared out of no where…since then, I went kind of downhill..even though sat night, went out o church and dinner and was fine…This morning, no good, nausea, shaking, woke up at 5..just trying to fold laundry, to get the edge off..I’m telling myself, hello anxiety, give me all that you got, trying not to fear it but that is difficult when you go 20 years without having this

  267. Jamie Says:

    By the way only 7:30 here, in US

  268. Jamie Says:

    what is even scarier is I have no stress! Before this happened 2 weeks ago I was saying how happy I am right now…

  269. SarahS Says:

    Thanks to you also Nicola. That’s exactly what my husband says – that he would be fine if I didn’t keep asking him every 5 minutes if he was fine then questioning what’s wrong if he doesn’t appear to be 100% fine until eventually he’s no longer fine!

    I have felt so much better for so long now that this has shocked me a little, especially the strength of anxiety feeling although I do recognise it’s an old habit which I can break.

    Thanks for speaking sense when my mind has been in a bit of a state.

    Well done to you also for doing so well in recovery.

    Sarah x

  270. Nicola Says:

    I am in a set back also at the moment, but I know I am still on the way to recovery, I find the trick is to let the crappy feeling just be there, you will come out of it a lot quicker than if you start freaking about the fact that you are having a set back, if you know what I mean.

    You will come through this again just as you did before, and you will be stronger for it.


  271. Stephen Shale Says:

    Nicola. I am in a setback right now. I wondered if you felt the same… The fact that this is a setback means i have had a period of time when i’ve felt recovered (6 months in fact), i guess now i am feeling more pressure to recover again, and that i’m doing it correctly, because i have managed to do it before. There is a place i want to get back to. And i’m kind of trying to find the mindset i had at the beginning of the year, which obviously worked! Its almost as if its harder to come out of a setback now that I have a really good place to get to, nowthat i know it is there! Does that make sense??

  272. SarahS Says:

    Nicola, I know I’ve said thanks but it’s really helped me to get it off my chest and hear some sense when my mind’s been in such a whirl. And when you are going through a setback too, I really appreciate your kindness. I think you are already showing how strong you are by helping others when you’re having a tough time yourself.

    I already feel a bit better especially when you’re reminded me that coming through this I will be even stronger.

    This site is an amazing support.

    Thanks again Nicola. xx

  273. claire Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I am in a massive setback for the last few weeks..I thought I was accepting but obviously not!
    In summer I was actually sending posts of encouragement to other’s and now I’m in a state again I feel such a fraud!
    Feeling positive is a distant memory and I’m very anxious and tearful my nerves are shot I need to re read Paul’s book..
    I think this is the first major setback I have had so it feels like I am back to square one! I am ruminating lots and feel a sense of guilt and sadness and want to remember how to let go again.x

  274. claire Says:

    Sorry for a negative post I really hope everyone is getting themselves well x

  275. Mark R Says:


    I’ve been in a setback for just over a week now, remember setbacks happen to everyone, it DOES NOT mean you’re not accepting. I know it feels like you’re back at square one but you’re not. It only takes a few good days and you’re back to where you were. Setbacks seem to do everything to make you feel you’ve slipped back when those crappy feelings and thoughts come back. For me it takes a setback to show the progress I have made, in hindsight September was a really good month.

    I’ve been reading more about meditation and mindfulness and always like to part useful information. What I have leant is that we have a ‘being’ mind and a ‘doing’ mind. The being mind is in the present and the doing is the mind that plans the future and uses the past as a guide. Apparently when these thoughts and feelings occur the doing mind tries its best to think its way better, ie volunteering for a job it can’t do, this is why these states carry on as we join the party and fuel the doing mode by thinking ways out. This is where acceptance and Paul’s method are paramount as we learn not to join in and accept the feelings for what they are….an overworked mind, body and nerves etc.

    Another point I’ve noticed on here is that when a good indicator for people doing better and other interests claiming them is they drop off the blog, the likes of Marc, Debbie, Doreen and Jo have all gone. This is a good sign if you’re struggling that you just don’t know how you’re gonna feel in a few weeks or months and by accepting big improvements can be made.

  276. Stephen Shale Says:

    Wow, mark, i know that was aimed at claire, but that has really helped me today. Stupid setback happening this end as well. I know i can do it, i’ve felt how good i can feel, just putting too much pressure on myself to recover again and get back to where i was. Just finding it harder, nowthat i know what i need to do.

  277. Doreen Says:

    Hi Mark – not gone, just standing back and commenting from time to time.

  278. Nicola Says:

    Mark, absolutely right. I can vouch that setbacks are a normal part of recovery. Nothing to get worked up over, I just accept I feel crappy and carry on as normal. Not like in the old days where I’d panic when they occurred, only to get worse and worse. Ugh they were terrifying days. I’ve come so far since then. I’m so much stronger for it all though.

  279. Nicola Says:

    How are you doing these days Doreen?

  280. Mark R Says:

    Hi Doreen,

    Sorry I don’t know why I mentioned you, I know you’ve had a promotion and you’re the moderator on here. As you are I need to ask a favour if possible. It’s still not letting me post from my IP addresss for some reason and I have to log onto the neighbours internet to do so. Could you look at that for me? I like to post on here to help people.


    I’m glad that helped. I know how setbacks can throw you about, last week the tears of frustration came back and it too my mom to put me straight to say that it was a rough few days. I needed reassurance even though in the back of my mind it was another temporary hurdle.

    I read on here all too often that people think they are not accepting if they feel crap or anxious etc. In my opinion acceptance is letting the feelings be there along with the thoughts and getting on with your life.
    Some seem to think that when they accept, their thoughts and feelings should disappear, thats recovery not acceptance. Recovery lies in wait when you accept.

  281. claire Says:

    Thank you for your comments Mark x

  282. Doreen Says:

    Hi Mark R – not sure that promoted is quite the right word. I just help moderate a bit but am not able to help with the problem you have mentioned with your IP address. Hopefully Paul will take a look.
    Nicola – as with most of us there are days when I wish I felt less anxious and uncomfortable but there are times when I feel as good as it gets. Thank you for asking

  283. Sophia Says:

    Hi Mark

    I agree with you that mindfulness really helps in accepting the aweful thoughts and feelings by watching them as a witness and by not reacting to them. It is one thing i found solace in . Trying to overly analyze our negative thoughts or change our thinking may be a form of resistance. A mindfulness practice invites us to take our attention away from the specific content of thoughts and ruminations which needs practise. It makes us a witness of our thoughts .

    Somewhere I have read that we can identify the ranting voice as an insane person on the phone line. If we identify with the irrational ‘person’ on the other line as us, we will feel scared. And its a never ending loop.Yet, dis-identifying with the mind and simultaneously allowing it to rant, creates an empowering space to dwell in.

  284. Jamie Says:

    Well, I’m doing what I shouldn’t…but I’m a stay at home mom, and asked my husband to stay home from work , so I can rest today …my daughter is off from school, she is 4….I just went really backwards since last week, and feel like I can’t deal with living with it today..I’m so tired, barely slept..and so upset with myself that this scaring the crap out of me..the stomach symptoms are really bad, I almost feel like vomiting…how can I let my daughter see me like this..I think it’s harder for me cause as I said I have been anxiety free for 20 yrs! So, going thru this again, Is really getting to me..I was totally back to normal last week, until I felt a surge of nausea Saturday, and since then I went totally downhill..I think I might see a Dr? Do anyone of you go to drs? Please know my anxiety is not because of stress, and I have no fear of facing anything, the extreme fear I have now is just of the fear of the fear…yesterday I even forced my self to go ear lunch and mall an hr away with family, and my daughter, I was so sick to my stomach. Couldn’t eat lunch, but still ad fun walking around ….thoughts? Will a dr help, not sure if meds would help, I always refused them in the past when I had the problem at 20

  285. Sophia Says:

    Hi Jamie

    Just make sure that you don’t have any problem with your stomach. if not it will be anxiety as it comes with different physical symptoms.Dont analyse it one by one. Those feelings of tiredness is due to the fact that you are emphasising on the fear factor. Don’t worry about it.It will slowly wither away.Meanwhile take care of yourself.Take enough rest. Take your little one out for play.Keep yourself engaged.

  286. jc Says:

    Hi jamie

    try to stop working out what has brought on this bout of anxiety because the more you worry about it the more adrenalin you are producing which keeps the fear going.It could be something as simple as hormone changes that are happening as you go in to your forties. you will be fine I know how horrible that rush of nausea and loss off appetite is but please carry on with your life as you are doing and things will settle down, and try not to read too much about other peoples symptoms as this will just add to your anxiety. you will be fine xx

  287. Jamie Says:

    Thank you so much!! I have been in tears today..I know only feeding the anxiety…
    JC : my sister said the same thing..about going to be 40…I’m wondering If I should call my regular dr….get hormone levels checked.?? .just maybe for a prescription for something to help take the edge off..? my sister feels maybe going to a psychiatrist may make matters worse..she feels they may make me go every week, and push me more to nervous feelings….
    As I guess my family knows I have been fine for 20 yrs, and I really don’t have any major stress in my life..I am happily married, and only one daughter…she is stressful at times cause she is so high energy…but I don’t have any anxiety disorders per say, to make me feel this way…..any other opinions?

  288. Mark R Says:


    I feel for you at the moment because I was like you about 4 months back. I spent so much time working out why it happened and how long setbacks are supposed to last etc. You are chasing your tail so speak. Don’t waste any energy on this, it’s pointless trust me.

    I note the point as well where you so there is no reason in your life why you should feel this way, this is really common I find with anxiety. Anxiety has happened to me twice where my life was going really well, due to this fact I gave up looking for triggers and realised that it can happen to me at anytime. If you read the posts on here the gist is that most people have generally good lives but anxiety makes you think otherwise.

    I’d say go to the doctors and get checked out, they may prescribe something in the short term to help take the edge off.

    Don’t beat yourself about crying, it’s a natural stress release and you’re very stressed at the moment. I always feel better after I’ve had a good cry.

    You mention in your previous post that you’ve not suffered for twenty years, well that’s amazing to be fair. Mine comes back every two years. Just imagine when you’re through you may get any twenty years of peace. Very few people can say that.

  289. Jamie Says:

    Thanks Mark! Yeah, when small anxiety came back over the yrs, I just brushed it off…….this time it came badly… first arrived two weeks ago, but I must say I was fine all last week after finding Paul’s blog and IMO and reading my old Claire weekes book, but then felt a slight surge of nausea again, 3 days ago, and since then downhill….what should I have done not to get it so severe again 3 days ago? I think because it reappeared again, when I thought I was fine that freaked me out more…I try to accept it but very hard to function, and cook and eat with nausea…..

  290. jc Says:

    Hi Jamie

    have your self checked out by a doctor just to put your mind at rest but anxiety what ever its cause has to be treated the same just let it be,, carry on with your life and try not to question it, yes it will catch you off guard with those sudden rushes of nausea,at the moment its all new to you, it will calm down, I know Ive been there, ive gone through days of feeling so sick,in the end I just got fed up with it and thought oh well if I have to live like this I will but my life will carry on , I know not easy when you want to curl up and cry, but it works not over night, but it will ease off xx

  291. Jamie Says:

    Thanks JC! Yes, when you dont experience bad anxiety for yrs, when it comes, wow, does it come..Makes me appreciate everything I had and still have..I am kind of a perfectionist and control freak kind of woman anyway, so I think I will learn to tone it down from now on…I guess I just thought since I have experience with anxiety already that I would get over it quickly..I always said in the past, how bad anxiety was but that it would never get to that point again because i know all about it…I guess I was wrong, and that scares me a bit..trying my best to move on…I dont really have panic attacks, but it comes on severely where I have tons of butterflies on my stomach and legs shake..Once i calm down Im slightly better, but the nausea stays..I guess because i started fearing it..Now the nausea jsut stays all day…Some hrs are better then others, then it kicks again…Mornings seem to be the absolute worst..

  292. Tracy Says:

    I remember talking with you last year! I think we were in similar places…So happy to hear you are doing well. I haven’t been on here in a long time and like you have come a long way. I check in once in a while to give myself some reminders because you forget how it was in the bad days so I also forget some of the things Paul taught me when I have little flare ups. All it will get better if you go live your life…Evelyn. and I are proof!

  293. Nicola Says:

    Tracy it is good to know that once recovered you forget what it was like in the bad days. X

  294. Jamie Says:

    Nicola, you do totally forget…I think that’s why when this hit me again, it was extremely hard….

  295. Nn Says:

    Hello everyone. Just coming back hoping to get some feedback on a particular weird sensation. Sometimes when feeling anxious I get a sudden ” drop” feeling. Or like a split-second feeling like I’m falling. I feel it in my head and sometimes in my whole body. I know this is due to my anxiety because it started happening to me at a stressful time in my life when my anxiety first started a couple months ago. It’s a very weird sensation and feeling and can feel quite scary! They are more intense if I’m stressed or really thinking about them. Does anyone relate to these weird feelings-sensations?????????? It would help to know that I’m not alone. Hope I hear from someone soon!

  296. Bret Walters Says:

    Quick question for those who have been through recovery. I myself am quite far along on my recovery, in fact I haven’t been back here in so long…but I did have a question pop into my head.

    Is it normal during recovery to have like a few good days, then a horrible few days, then suddenly right back to a good day? Like I can be having a bad day, then suddenly I feel okay and calm and it turns into a good Now I fear I am like bipolar or something…? Is this anxiety trying to sneak back in? Or is it something I should get checked out?


  297. ty mitchell Says:



    I lost my business 4 months ago along with 80,000 dollars,then my girlfriend left with my 6 month old baby,then i had this major anxiety hit me

    I have read pauls book and it has been two weeks since i have read it,and i feel great,the reason i think i feel so good is that i felt more scared doing nothing at all,so i treated my book like my bible and just made my self believe,,,, I have had family members astonished at my recovery and my out look on life in the past two weeks and for some weird reason i know in my heart that i will never go back to the way i was,,,paul if you are out there all i can say is thanks but you deserve so much more

    Sincerely ty

  298. ty mitchell Says:

    To NN
    I had this weird sensation in my head where i would get a really quick rush,like a slpit second and you felt like you were going to pass out,it was really scary as you would not want it to come back so you then started the anxiety circle,as it stands at the moment i still get them but not as bad,and the weird thing is that i really dont notice it any more,,,hope this helps

  299. Doreen Says:

    Bret – I very much doubt that you are bi-polar. You are hyper aware still of your mood changes, that is all. Everyone has mood swings during the day but because they are focussing on other things, they are not nearly so aware, or if they do notice they don’t worry about it.
    For instance, I went to my usual choir practice last night and was feeling quite flat and tired. After a while my mood picked up and I was really back on form. I felt like quite a different person. I just observed both states but didn’t let them worry me.

  300. Jamie Says:

    I think its easier to have and get over anxiety if you did have a tragic event…for me there is no reason…as you read, my day was horrible yesterday, but felt normal last night..of course I anticipated the horrible morning feeling, and I’m sick to my stomach again…

  301. Sophia Says:

    Hi Doreen
    Even amongst anxiety sufferers they go through bad days and good days right?
    I feel hyper aware of my moods..all that I do or say reflect the mood I am in.And unfortunately I cannot switch off my mood status.Am I also suffering from bi polar?

  302. Nicola Says:

    I think every person who has had anxiety thinks they have bi polar etc etc, I was even diagnosed by a psychiatrist as having bi-polar, and emotionally unstable personality disorder. They were wrong.

  303. Nicola Says:

    Ask to see a psychiatrist about it if you are really worried.

  304. Dawn Says:

    Hi all,

    I am still struggling with anxiety and the accompanying depression and I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts.As I have posted before my anxiety focuses on my relationship with my husband. I was so happy with him and felt so much love towards him before I had the thought “are you sure you love him?” a week before our wedding and had a panic attack. Now all I can feel is doubt and fear of a future with him. I am now at a stage (largely due to antidepressants) where I can behave fairly normally at work (although I am aware I can be more irritable or quieter than I normally would be) and do things but I always feel wrong and am constantly checking in on how I’m feeling. I’m so worried that it might be my intuition telling me that he isn’t right for me but I can’t come up with any reason why. Surely if that was the case I would have gradually realised rather than it coming out of the blue and shocking me like that.

    My current issue is when I have a couple of better days and manage to live alongside the feelings I end up checking in on mysef and when I don’t feel better about my husband I start ruminating again and feel really low and anxious again. I don’t have many physical symptoms any more but my main one is a burning tight feeling in my stomach, which is really uncomfortable and can hang around for hours. I am so frightened that my feelings for him won’t come back, I feel so flat and empty a lot of the time and can’t stop worrying about the future.If Helen or anyone else has any advice or encouragement to offer me it would be much appreciated x 

  305. Jamie Says:

    Feeling better today everyone..The morning was horrific, but by 11am I was Ok…I was able to eat a decent lunch…Funny how just when I think I feel 100% a get a surge of adrenalin rush that causes new little butterflies in my stomach..But Im ingnoring it, and moving on with my day…

  306. Jamie Says:

    Dawn: I just posted a post for you but it didnt show up :(
    Anyway, what I was saying is, I think the only reason that scary question popped in your head was just from anxiety over the wedding…A wedding is a huge deal, and a big impact in your life, so you may have been slightly anxious, then the scary question popped in your head, then the panic attack…
    Just know that anxiety causes lots of scary thoughts, so try to ignore the rechecking of yourself…If you were in love and happy with your fiancee before that anxious moment, Im sure you are still in love with him..Of course I cant answer that 100%, but try to go on your gut feelings way before the wedding..

  307. Kathi Says:

    Bret Walters,

    I think it’s all from anxiety. Two days ago I also had a pretty bad day. I cried, felt horrible, but then the next day was just great. After I was distracted I didn’t felt any anxiety for hours. I was the happiest person on the world, but this morning I woke up and felt bad again.
    I actually spent this day alone with my thoughts. Tomorrow I will meet my friends and I hope this will distract me, so that my mind gets a rest.
    I also fear having bipolar or something like this, because it always goes up and down and up and down..but I think it’s only anxiety.

  308. Dawn Says:

    Thanks Jamie, my therapist thinks the same,the problem is it feels so real. I didn’t have any doubts before the panic attack,we’d been happily engaged for 2 years. It worries me that the obsessing and worrying has now calmed down from hours a day to being on and off during the day as it makes me wonder if it might be real.

  309. Dawn Says:

    Sorry I didn’t explain that very well,what I mean is that it worries me that even though I’m not obsessing as much and can now think of other things I still feel down and strange and can’t feel love for my husband.

  310. Jamie Says:

    Kathi, I think the morning thing is anticipatory anxiety…When I got over anxiety 20 yrs ago, I felt liek I was always really anxious in the morning, then as the day went on i was fine…eventually it disappeared…

  311. Jamie Says:

    Dawn, just chalk it up to anxiety….You have a right to be slightly anxious…Being married is also a huge change…The reason you are probably feeling that way towards him is because oyu are anxious…

  312. Maryse Says:

    I’m new here and I would like to have some feedback regarding relaxation and sleep. I’m doing better and better as I stay up and active. My biggest challenge is when I relax and/or go to sleep. The changes of position trigger dizziness (but not when I get up), which in turn makes me afraid. I’ve just started to use the “whatever” attitude. Has anyone dealt with relaxation issues? Thanks!

  313. Maryse Says:

    For Nn: I’ve experienced the drop feeling. In fact I’ve experienced almost everything. It’s as if my body tries to trick me one way or another. right now it’s the dizziness in bed. So I’m applying the “whatever attitude” and live my life again. It’s all very scary but it goes away.

  314. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Mark says: Hi Doreen,

    Sorry I don’t know why I mentioned you, I know you’ve had a promotion and you’re the moderator on here. As you are I need to ask a favour if possible. It’s still not letting me post from my IP addresss for some reason and I have to log onto the neighbours internet to do so. Could you look at that for me?

    Mark I have you in the Birmingham area using Sky Broadband at the minute, If this is your neighbours house, what is your ip address from your house (you can check online) and what happens when you try and post?

    I can guarantee that you are not blocked, so its odd


  315. DCYL Says:

    Paul – posting from my phone. I mentioned I had the same problem a while back. I tested from home and I got a comment number: 26571 and 26572

    Do you see those posts at all? Is it possible that our posts are hitting the spam folder? Even though you are not blocking by ip address perhaps something is identifing us as spam?

    BTW – is this blog on WordPress? I read online that WordPress. Logs had some issues with comments being seen.

  316. Kathi Says:

    I actually feel better in the morning. Depersonalization isn’t there when I had enough sleep, but in the afternoon it always comes back. Some evenings are horrible, because when I lie in my bed my strange thoughts about us and the universe come back.

  317. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Paul – posting from my phone. I mentioned I had the same problem a while back. I tested from home and I got a comment number: 26571 and 26572

    Those numbers arent your ip address, do you say you can post from home and not your phone?

    Do you see those posts at all? Is it possible that our posts are hitting the spam folder? Even though you are not blocking by ip address perhaps something is identifing us as spam?

    No they are not in the spam folder, only posts with links in them go directly there and I see everyone

    BTW – is this blog on WordPress? I read online that WordPress. Logs had some issues with comments being seen.

    It is wordpress

  318. Nikki Says:

    Gosh I am struggling so much with my life these days. Hormonally things started to change for me two years ago which has resulted in lots if migraines, night sweats, irregular bleeding, crashing fatigue and horrendous anxiety. I have tried all that the medical world has to offer but nothing has helped. I found Paul’s site over a year ago and really believe that this is the way forward in terms of my anxiety at least. But it’s so hard. I have managed to make huge progress in that I can now go anywhere with anyone and not really care how i feel. However doing anything on my own feels impossible. I have defo created a habit of not going out on my own. When I try it the anxiety overwhelms me. I am also finding that being on my own at home is quite difficult too. I am finding it so hard just to get on with my day as I don’t always feel well – could be the anxiety making me feel dreadful or the hormone imbalance it’s hard to know but I can’t get beyond it some days. I have hard a really hard week and am almost at the point of going back to gp to get ad’s – stupid really because they make me worse – just so desperate to feel better – and yes I know in my head that I must stop trying to get better but how to do that I don’t know – aagh! Encouragement please. Xx

  319. Alison Says:

    I have just read ‘A life a last’ and loved it. Your words, Paul, really resonated with me. It’s early stages yet but I feel like I’m on the right path now. Thank you! I do have a question in regards to plane travel. It is my major fear, as I had a bad past experience. I do have to fly on my own in a few weeks and, needless to say, am a bit terrified! I feel I can face the fear in so many other situations but am not sure I can do it when trapped on a plane, alone. Do you recommend taking any medication for flights or do you think that is going backwards? Any tips for flight travel will be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks again and all the best, Alison

  320. Jeanine Says:

    Nikki I feel ya my hormones are totally out of whack they always have been imbalanced but lately a lot worse.I went to a natural medicine doctor and instead of helping with my hormones he made it worse. Also my anxiety and everything that comes with it gets worse around menstruation. Taking Paul’s advice is easier said than done too.I’m with ya girl.

  321. Jeanine Says:

    Nikki to add above post I feel the same way it’s so hard to put into practice and not do anything about it,I always react.I’ve had a horrible week too yesterday I spent my day screaming and crying. My boyfriend was.totally calm throughout the whole thing he poor thing I feel so bad that he has to deal with this but he loves me so unconditionally.Nikki if you need support and companionship I’m here for you.

  322. Kathi Says:

    Hey everyone,
    Does anyone of you also suffer from nearly constant depersonalisazion?I can’t remember when I really felt alive!I’m pretty depressed because of that. I have a work experience in front of me and I am so afraid of passing out there or that I can’t concentrate. When I am depressed this dreamlike feeling is very bad and I am already afraid of having the next breakdown.

  323. Rachel Says:

    Hi Kathi-

    I also get the feeling I’m going to pass out A LOT. It’s worse in work meetings, dinners or closed in places. Especially bad when I feel I have to impress others (which is most of the time). I’m still working on the acceptance of sensations. It helps to talk to myself in the moment and say – oh yeah, there’s that feeling again that I’m going to faint. It’s just my mind playing tricks again! How funny and delusional! Anyways, back to the present… even if I have to say that 20 times in 2 minutes. And trust me, most of the time I’m REALLY dizzy and it’s a challenge. I’m also trying to meditate more to feel calmer, hopefully that will help with embracing the “whatever” attitude while in the scary moment.

    As for depersonalization, I get that too but not as often as you sounds like. It really stinks – feels like you’re watching the world from your own planet. Again, try not to analyze and just say to yourself – this is weird but whatever, it’s all good. It’s kind of cool actually that I feel spaced out. Don’t try to change it, just accept it and go with it.

    Hope some of this helps.

  324. DCYL Says:

    Hey Paul – I can post from phone but not home. You told me previously my IP address was not blocked. The two numbers appeared in the URL bar after I tried to post from home. However, the posts were not there. Just mentioning as Mark R. Said he had the same problem.

    It may be a WordPress problem but not sure how to fix it. I just read about it before but I don’t use WordPress personally.

  325. Kathi Says:

    Thanks for you post Rachel,
    I will try your techniques today, when I got to town :)
    As I already said, my biggest problem are these strange thoughts and questions if my life is real or if it is only an imagination. These thoughts make me feel crazy and depressed, it’s hard.
    I know that thoughts won’t just pass, because they are thoughts, they can always come back, but if I make it to a calm mind and if I can calm my nerves one day, will these thoughts also stop scaring me? I think normal people without anxiety also have strange thoughts, but they don’t get scared from them. If I will ever make it to a calm mind and calm nerves, will these thoughts stop scaring me? Or will they stay forever?

    I actually don’t want to ask for advice here, but I can’t find an answer of these thoughts. Paul is writing about the fear to hurt someone, but not about questions if my life is real..

  326. Jamie Says:

    Kathi, Its impossible for Paul to come up with every strange thought…questioning whether your life is real, is no different then other strange thoughts anxiety may bring on….Do not try to find answers as Paul says…Just accept the thoughts and move on with your day….

  327. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Jamie says: questioning whether your life is real, is no different then other strange thoughts anxiety may bring on….Do not try to find answers as Paul says…Just accept the thoughts and move on with your day….

    BANG ON Jamie

  328. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Kathi says: I have a work experience in front of me and I am so afraid of passing out there or that I can’t concentrate. When I am depressed this dreamlike feeling is very bad and I am already afraid of having the next breakdown.

    Twice in 2 sentences you are using the word afraid, anxiety feeds on fear so you stay stuck in the cycle. You fearing another breakdown, well your day and week is fillded with it. Allow yourself to have a breakdown, have the attitude of if I do then I do. Instantly all the fear has gone away as you are allowing yourself to. Your afriad of passing out, another day and week filled wth fear and the cycle continues. You havent passed out and you are extremly umlikely to, so again ,’If I pass out then I pass out, worrying wont make a difference’ again all the fear has gone as you are allowing yourself to.

    This is why things don’t change overnight, you have to learn a new attitude and put it into practice, anxiety without fear and worry cannot survive.


  329. Kathi Says:

    Thanks for your posts Paul and Jamie! Reading that it’s all anxiety helps.
    I think I will start filling my life now. I wanna try to meet friends, go to town, just go outside. I often spend my days at home, thinking about anxiety and I feel that this is absolutely wrong. My holidays started and I have so much time to do something, maybe going out with friends helps me :)

  330. Jamie Says:

    PAUL :
    , I was wondering what you think of my situation…I only had a bad bout of anxiety at 20, and finally got over it by reading the Claire Weekes book from my grandma, that many yrs ago..I am now approaching 40…It hit me, 2 weeks ago..Bad bad nervous stomach, and I knew it was anxiety, I also had the shakes…Of course I have experienced anxiety over the yrs and I brush it off, go on with my day..Never think about it..But 2 weeks ago it hit me bad..I found your blog and website, and followed your advice, plus, my knowledge from yrs ago, and the entire week I felt fine..Till Saturday, I was eating, and I got a strong wave of nausea, since then it freaked me out again…Which I know deep down has me in the cycle…And have felt bad until yesterday…Monday I actually made my husband stay home with me…Would you consider 20 yrs later, a setback?? Confused as how I could go so long, then have it again so strong…..I think it was brought on by fearing catching a bad stomach virus..That thought popped in my head before the nausea hit…I had a bad virus, 2 yrs ago, and ever since then, I now and then think about it…That entire night of vomiting I guess scared me since I am not one to ever vomit..LOL…..Im staying strong, but its hard, I guess because I always said, Bad anxiety will never hit me again cause I know all about it…But the fact it had a bad impact , already lasting 2 weeks, I tend to have it on my mind, and I know its keeping me in the cycle…No panic attacks, Just flat out naseua and strong nervous feeling..And of course affecting my appetite, then I think about my weight, cause Im petite as it is, and want to keep my weight up….Advice?

  331. Lucy Says:

    Hi Dawn, I have read your posts above and just wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone and that I am also experiencing the exact same thing as you.
    My anxiety is much better than it was, but the thoughts surrounding my relationship just don’t seem to want to go. I think I have accepted the thoughts for what they are – anxiety – but I find it incredibly hard still to not let them bother me. My boyfriend and I are talking about moving in together at the moment which is making me very anxious as I can’t ‘feel’ love towards him. Like you, before the anxiety hit (after a very stressful time for me) I had never had any doubts and now I seem to doubt and quetion every single aspect of our relationship. It makes it very hard to just get on with your life, when really your relationship is the biggest part of your life!
    I’m afraid I can’t offer you much in the way of advice as I am still sturggling myself but all i can say is that we KNOW it is anxiety that is causing our horrible thoughts, otherwise why else would they upset us so much! Helen’s posts are really inspiring so maybe go back through previous posts on the blog from last year and read some of them. They have certainly helped me. I’d be interested to hear how you are getting on so keep posting! Lucy.

  332. Anthony Says:

    Hey Lucy and Dawn. I understand how you feel. It’s really hard not fear disturbing thoughts, especially when the memory of the first time of it happening will always be there. The “Whatever” attitude has been great for me desensifying thoughts after a while. But then after a while when I’m feeling better…WHAM. They come back after I’ve been feeling great and forgetting about them. What I seem to fear the most in some cases is not the thoughts themselves, but the thoughts disturbing me by going in my head over and over.

    Or when I once again apply the whatever attitude, but they keep coming and coming to the point where you buckle under the its force and start panicking.

    But since I’m new to this, I’m guessing that the fear of disturbing thoughts will gradually pass as I pull out of each setback that could happen.

  333. Ann Says:

    Kathi, I too have those same thoughts about life and would question it often myself. I spoke to a friend of mine who suffers as well and she experiences the same thing so Im pretty sure its just the anxiety playing tricks. This thought is the one thing that has kept me in the cycle for so long. Just like you I have my days now when I am not anxious and those thoughts do not scare me. I think it’s time we move on and stop giving that thought so much attention.

  334. Nn Says:

    Hey you guys. Hope everyone is on the road to recovery. I hope someone can give me input. I’ve been doing my best trying to accept my anxiety and symptoms and I am starting to gradually not fear them anymore. I had a few decent days last week where I felt happy and normal and like myself so I know I’m on the right track. However this week my anxiety has been attaching itself to a tramatic event that occurred four years ago with my sister. It was such a horrible and frightening experience and something that we all have moved on from and got on with our lives. I would rather not go into detail about what happened to her because i just don’t like reliving those days. It’s like my mind is replaying what happened to her over and over and yesterday was the anniversary of that traumatic event. My sister is very happy now. She has gotten married and had a baby and she has put the past behind her and is extremely happy and joyful in her life. But it’s like I’m reliving those moments and I’m always so paranoid that it’ll happen to me too!!! A couple of months ago I wouldnt even give this a second thought but once my anxiety came along it wants to take me back to those days. It was four years ago! Why am I feeling like it just happened yesterday?? I don’t know why I find myself scared and obsessing about those days for they happened years ago and my sister herself has forgotten. I know it’s just my anxiety attaching itself to this traumatic event that happened and trying to make me fearful of it but how do I let go of this feeling? Of that fear of it happening to me?? I hate thinking this way. It never bothered me before. I was completely happy and confident and strong. I wanna be that way again!! It’s like once I lost the fear of my symptoms then this new fear showed up!! How can I be confident and lose my sudden fear of this event. I’m sure this week being the anniversary of it played a part and my anxiety has def attached itself to it. Any replies would be so helpful. It feels good gettin this off my chest! Hope to hear from anyone soon.

  335. Jeanine Says:

    Hi Nn I had a similar situation happen to me around may of this year. I had to see my sister. In a terrible state and I suffered a trauma from that event which lead to me getting the harming myelf/others thoughts, I had them persistently and horribly for a couple months.I was just starting to accept them when bam I was hit with a new fear and new thoughts which are far worse and much more confusing, I have a tendency to be a hypochondriac and for some reason I become the things I hear or see. Now I’m having unwanted intrusive sexual thoughts accompanied by confusion and body reactions.I was telling my friend Carly from this blog that our body and minds seem to get used to having anxiety it seems like when the anxiety is not present or fading. that it grabs hold of something either in the past or present which can cause us anxiety again in your case it’s your sisters trauma. It’s just a theory of mine.

  336. Jamie Says:

    NN, not sure of the advice to give you..But I do feel when having anxiety, and not wanting it around, it does dig up past events, even if minor that disturbed our normal routine…I have never had a major tragic event yet, but I can tell you that even thinking about a bad stomach virus I had 2 yrs ago, makes me nervous, and actually I think thats what bought on the anxiety…which Im not really nervous about getting sick, but since the anxiety came so bad while thinking about getting sick, 2 weeks ago, now when i feel better, I always think about catching a bad virus again, then my stomach gets nervous..I think anxiety just trys to find something to make us stay in the nervous cycle…I know Im only in the cycle now out of fear of anxiety..Im not fearing anything else at all..Even though I see how people can, because when you have anxiety, you almost fear doing anything..Everything seems so exaggerated….But, I know my issue is just fear of the fear right now..Which sucks…..

  337. Diane Says:

    Hi all, been doing ok, still get anxiety sometimes though when I am out of routine, or comfort zone. I am not complaing though I am so much better than I was this time last year when I was off work, Pauls book and this blog helped me so much and I am so grateful. I still have anxiety sometimes and my thoughts can be irrational and and over the top, Istruggle sometimes with trying to let them just be and find myself doing ocd and thought patterns to try to ‘nutralise’ the thoughts, I have been trying cognitive bahaviuoral therapy and mindfulness to try not to do ocd sometimes it works and others it doesnt I suppose I have done this sort of behaviour for years therefor it is habitual too and it will just take more effort and time to overcome this…. can anyone else relate ? There is so much this blog has to offer, the advice and the comfort that we are not alone, thank yu Paul for setting this up you have helped me so much and your app is really good……take care all and any words of wisdom much appreciated

  338. ty mitchell Says:

    TO NN
    Hi again,i am not sure what happened with your sister but in my opion you are trying to fight these thoughts,again in my opion it doesnt matter how bad things are they are just thoughts and as soon as you try to stop thinking about them of course they come back(anxiety)….
    I have only read pauls book two weeks ago but found it the best thing i have ever read,haveing said that i thought that i was over the worst of it when i had a shocking 3 days when my girlfriend left and took my 6 month old baby with her,it really hit me hard but i said NO i am not going back and now i feel great,in a weird kind of way i am glad i am going threw this as i now know what i can take on the anxiety trip and come out smiling..
    If i can lose my business lose money lose my girfriend lose my baby and lose my job in 3 months and come out smiling then i can do anything,thats why i am glad i got this anxiety as it has showen me i can do anything i pt my mind to,hope this helps,,,sincerely ty

  339. Rachel A Says:

    Diane it sounds like we’re in the same place – I was also off work this time last year and although it was a struggle going back it was the best thing I ever did. After reading Paul’s book and coming across the blog I felt like I had a new direction in life and his words help me everyday. I’m not fully recovered and still have bad days, the anxiety is always there but I just don’t let it affect my life like it used to and I know with time it will disappear. I agree with you that we have been experiencing anxiety for so long now that habits form and they are hard to break but we will break them! I had a panic attack the other day and rather than calling my husband to come and rescue me (I was on my way to my evening college course) I just went right ahead and went to the course and the panic and anxiety subsided. It was a great achievement for me and made me realise how far I’ve come. I’m sure you’ll have had similar times when you’ve broken an anxiety habit and you have to remember to give yourself a high five for these achievements! It’s so easy to remember the bad days/phases but you must remember the good days and forward steps you have made too and celebrate them.
    Every single person on this site, no matter how severe their anxiety/depression/DP/OCD will come out on the other side stronger than ever – I feel like I have changed in a good way to a more compassionate, understanding person.
    Hope you all have a great day today
    Take care
    Rachel xx

  340. Jamie Says:

    Do any of you not get panic attacks, but just have a generalized anxiety state????
    I have never had what I call a true panic attack..But i have been thru bad anxiety of just nausea 24/7 , so bad at times i couldnt eat at all…And for no reason at all..I dont consider myself having General Anxiety Disorder, as the anxiety doesnt stay cause im worrying about a million things, and i still go about my life…I had it bad at 20, from college/boyfriend issue, that was 20 yrs ago, and this time it just came for no reason…I always seem to stay in anxiety longer, just from fear of the symptoms of nausea I have, and the overwhelming feeling from it…The past few days I have been almost 100% again, but if I think about it, sometimes it comes back…I do have a slight fear of getting a bad virus again that I had 2 yrs ago, I think thats why it came on almost 3 weeks ago now

  341. Jamie Says:

    Nicola, Are you seeing a Dr?? if you are having those thoughts it may be best to speak with a professional..

  342. DCYL Says:

    Nicola – anxiety latches onto a lot of things. At one point last year, I thought about a rather weird experience I had as a youngster. With anxiety, just thinking about it made me scared and I thought there was something about the experience that was affecting me.

    You will be fine and just have to ride it out. Talk to someone you trust and have faith!

  343. Will Says:

    Hi everyone, hope you’re all staying strong and doing well. I haven’t been on here in a good while, I’ve been pretty anxiety-free since starting my second year of uni last month (apart from some work stress but you get the idea, no anxiety). I think it’s because I’m in a routine of doing work, of actually doing something instead of lounging around thinking about my anxiety. Having said this, I’ve recently noticed that I become quite angsty when I’m doing nothing or stay in the same routine for too long. Certain thoughts come back (but not affecting me anywhere near like they used to), I feel tense and slightly shaky, and my attention shifts to things like my heartbeat and/or breathing. Now I can’t help but feel like I’ve just been distracting myself. Does anyone else feel like they constantly need to be doing things, like a distraction?

    Jamie – I used to have horrible panic attacks, my first one happened when I was just 11 and it was the single most horrifying experience of my life. I’d call it a near-death experience as that’s what it felt like. I could barely eat for nearly a year afterwards. Now however, I know how to control those feelings of panic when they start to build up thanks to relaxation tapes and understanding of the reaction.
    But yes I know what you mean by a generalised anxious state – sometimes I just feel a vague, generic feeling of unease that I can’t put my finger on. As a result I tense up and feel a bit shaky. But what I’ve learned from many people on this blog is to just go about your business and pay it no heed, and soon you won’t even know it’s disappeared.
    I can also relate to what you said about worrying all the time. I’m the same, I overanalyse almost anything, analysing the negatives and the negatives only. It’s not a nice habit I know, but it’s hard to focus on the positives of a situation when there are so many negatives that you know your anxiety will react to. I’m all too familiar with that symptom.

  344. Jamie Says:

    Thanks Will, Glad you are doing well! :)

  345. DCYL Says:

    Will – I can relate. I do believe a routine is helpful initially to improve. But as you found out, when there is quiet or downtime, you tend to feel more anxious. For me it was memories of downtime where things were bad. Additionally, when I was busy, I didn’t focus on how I felt. When I was not busy, my mind automatically went back how I felt.

    All of this being said, I think I am getting close to recovery. Last week, I made an intentional choice not to work out as I was tired. I normally work out to burn off stress and it was a routine. Today was one of least active days ever in the past year. Watched TV all day and only left the house for an hour for some groceries. Overall, I felt fine! So things can and will get better. Just takes some time

  346. natalie Says:

    hi paul

    what you were saying about if i have a breakdown so be it .. etc, am trying that at the moment obviously still have the fear but guessing eventually the message will get across. My problem is i keep feeling like crying all the time .. not sure if i feeling sorry for myself but i kinda go with it have a little cry and carry on, before i would get annoyed at myself and try and be brave but just made me agitated. Difficult time at the moment and feeling very spent .. know its a set back and eventually it will fade but just wanted to ask if you struggle to much with a certain aspect like me at the moment at work feel such a failure and eveyone seems to avoid me or at least thats what i am thinking .. makes me feel so sad and feel like i am loosing confidence, looking for another job because i know it is not good for me there and have prob taken on to much but its just the waiting for next job an having to go to a place i dread everyday. you mention about changing your attitude, any sugguestions you think would help ?? x thanks

  347. Michelle Z Says:

    I’m struggling again the last few days. Up and down, up and down. Sometimes I am capable of allowing the scary thoughts to be there and not allowing fear to come in. But suddenly every thing I even look at scares me. And the depression has re-entered the equation as well. I feel like I may be the one person that will never get this. I don’t mean to sound so down, but I see others recover and I feel back at square one. Thanks for listening. x

  348. Dawn Says:

    Hi Lucy, Thanks for your message. It does help a little to know I’m not alone, as this type of anxiety isn’t something that is talked about very much. I can totally understand your anxiety about moving in with your boyfriend, my husband and I are planning to buy a house soon and thinking about it really sets off my anxiety and then you question why you are anxious and the cycle of worry and anxiety continues. 

    I have read most of the blog posts on the site over the last few months and it does help to read about other people’s experiences. The fact there are people using this site (like Helen) who have recovered from this type of anxiety does give me hope. I am intrigued to know what happened to Kat, I have read most of her posts and can completely identify with most of the things she talks about. I sincerely hope she isn’t posting any more because she is now recovered and living her life happily with her partner. 

    I am now at a point where I am calm enough to focus on other things (like work) instead of ruminating for hours and hours a day (probably mainly due to the sertraline I am taking) but I can’t shake the feeling of worry that I don’t love him and can’t see a future with him, it is constantly with me and is a nagging feeling of everything being wrong. I can identify with what Will says about feeling like I constantly need to be doing things as a distraction, as its like any time my mind is unoccupied by something the thoughts and the worry comes straight into my head. I feel very empty and tired and am so afraid these are my real feelings about my husband, although I can’t see how they can be. I have only started sleeping properly again over the last 4 weeks, after sleeping really badly since April, which has helped a little but I still feel quite worn out the majority of the time. I know you’re right when you say it must be anxiety causing us to feel like this as the thoughts and feelings upset us so much but there’s part of me that can’t seem to accept this and thinks it might be true. For example I’ve felt a bit better in myself today
    and the thoughts have been less frequent meaning the anxiety has been much lower, but then once I’ve felt a little better for a couple of days I test myself and how I feel and when I still feel worried about the future and whether I love him I start getting anxious again as I feel like once I feel calmer the feelings of certainty should come back and the fact they don’t means that the doubt must be genuine and means I need to end it. Also the longer it goes on the more I worry its never going to get better. I know this doesn’t help me but its so hard not to. I have been having psychotherapy and I have just started CBT which I am hoping I find useful. I would do anything to get my feelings and certainty back about my husband, its so frustrating and painful. I have found a useful site that deals with relationship anxiety, if you google conscious transitions you will find it, along with Paul’s site it has provided me with some reassurance that I can get through this with my relationship intact. I’d love to know how you are doing and how you have been coping with the situation.

  349. Chris Says:

    Hey all, I hope you mare all doing stupendously well :)

    I’m gonna lay this down straight away. I’m a recovering cannabis addict… Sounds stupid I know, but i’m finding it very difficult. Pauls book has helped me a great deal when coming up against the anxiety I feel now I don’t smoke pot. But there is one symptom that scares me above all others, and that is mood swings. Maybe it’s just the anxiety playing it up, or maybe it’s an actual symptom of anxiety, I really don’t know, but it’s scaring the hell out of me… Going from feeling relatively good to downright irritable as hell makes me feel as though i’m on the absolute edge of my psychological seat and i’m genuinely terrified of where this could lead. If ANYONE has any experience with this then i’d really appreciate some feed back. Thank you in advance. Chris.

  350. Anthony Says:

    @Jeanine. Pure O, GAD. Whatever. Anxiety is the root of it all either way. That’s what I’ve learned on this site. And it’s been a huge blessing to me because I used to freak out about what specific problem I have because I wouldn’t know how to treat it and stuff. But once you realize that anxiety is the root of the problem, nothing else really matters because all the symptoms stem from anxiety. In other words, you don’t get anxiety because you have OCD. You get OCD because you have anxiety.

    That being said, I can relate when it comes to disturbing thoughts. It’s also a fact that, anxiety or not, one will have all sorts of thoughts either way. So even people who don’t have issues with anxiety can have bad thoughts. The lesson to be learned here (and what I’m still working on) then is to neutralize the thoughts by realizing that they are just that: thoughts. The reason they are so disturbing to us and sticking is because of our overreactions to them due to anxiety, which seems to act like a magnifying glass for thoughts which are uncomfortable.

    And, like you, I often am scared about having to be bombarded by bad thoughts for the rest of my life. So this is what I’m currently working on:

    1. Recognizing that everyone gets bad thoughts and that it’s just my anxiety making a mountain out of a molehill.

    2. Tell myself that I’ll get over it eventually, so I’ll just have to accept my anxiety for now and go about my life.

    Easier said than done. Especially when they just keep coming at ya. But it’s either that or make myself brain dead on Prozac (and whatever else that gave me, something “-opram”) again and rid myself of emotion entirely. I hated that so much.

  351. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Anthony – Very well said! And thank you because right now I’m stuck in allowing the thoughts (any and all) to scare me again. The site seems to be pretty quiet the last couple of days so it is awesome to find your positive post.

  352. Diane Says:

    Hi Rachel A,

    Thank you for your post, it does help that someone else knows and understands first hand. Thank you you for the positive support, I felt anxious with anxiety thoughts going through my head, but did my job anyway , not easy but have to keep going and try not enter into overthinking and visciuos cycle again……….. good to keep in mind what we have acheived and high five to you too

    take care all x

  353. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Chris – I think the mood swings are a normal part of having anxiety. I go up and down as well. I don’t remember where it is in Paul’s book, but he talks about accepting all symptoms as a normal part of anxiety. Allow them all to fall under the same umbrella. It’s very difficult to do as the anxiety wants to latch onto something. So it seems like when I get one thing down pat, then another symptom crops up. We really have to learn to accept and believe that it is all anxiety and then believe that anxiety won’t hurt you. Once you (we) get that, we are well on our way to overcoming this. I think this is the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life…underreacting to it all.

    For me, I’m currently struggling with scary thoughts. I thought I was over that last year, but this year brought new stressors and anxiety came back rearing its ugly head. First physical symptoms, then anxiety, then panic attacks, and finally now the scary thoughts are back. I feel like no matter what I do, it’ll never go away. But I see lots of people who recover and I have to believe I will, too.

    Hang in there! We will overcome!

  354. Ann Says:

    Hi just wanted to see if I could get any advise on something I’ve been getting stuck on for a while? I feel as though I am almost at recovery and then something that is stressful (that would normally bring on anxiety) makes me feel anxious and then I start to fall into the anxiety cycle again. I am a Psych major in my last year of college and every time we go over topics of anxiety or depression I start to panic because Im almost afraid of learning new information because Im afraid it might go against what I’ve learned and confuse me more. I know that this sounds ridiculous but I think its because there is so much different information out there that its hard to know what to believe. I will say that this site has by far been the best help that I have ever received. I went a long time without getting any answers and felt like every time I mentioned going through a hard time with my family they felt as though I was being ridiculous and needed to move on. So any how… what should I do about my fears of learning about anxiety in my classes? Most of the time when we go over mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, etc my minds starts to go back to the anxiety cycle and I begin to question if I have something else. As much as I would love to change majors I can’t because Im almost done with school. I didn’t begin to have anxiety until about a year and half ago so these subjects used to never bother me in fact I was very interested in them. If anyone could give me any tips I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!

  355. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Ann – When I read your concern above, it reminded of something Paul wrote that I just recently ran across. I hope it helps.

    Paul wrote the following on February 25, 2008 on the Obsessive Thoughts blog.

    Joey….Sorry but avoiding reading scary stories is running away. Again you are letting anxiety trick you. You have anxiety so you are sensitised, this is why you get such a reaction from reading something scary, this is the only reason. This avoidence of not reading about something like murder etc again is very common. But you need to not get into avoidence behaviour and understand that its just anxiety that brings on these reactions and to go through them. My whole way of coming through things was no avoidence, this intensified my reactions at times but it also calmed me as I just went ahead and floated past any suggestion that I could not, or this might happen etc. Whatever happened anxiety was not going to rule what I did and I knew deep down to dampen the feelings and reactions I had to go through certain things a few times, to tell my body there was nothing to fear. If you avoid anything you are paying anxiety loads of respect, letting it trick you into avoidence behaviour. Joey, if there is a story and you get a reaction because your sensitised, so what, just go with it, take my advice and as scary and as silly as the thoughts are, give them their space, allow them to be there and just move on, in time you will see the reaction dampen.

    The same holds true with what you’re learning at school, Ann. Continue to follow Paul’s advice and you’ll come through it just fine.

  356. Kathi Says:

    Hey everyone,

    I think I can’t take this anymore. This night I woke up and the scary questions if my life is real were already waiting. I feel so depressed and hopeless and under pressure. I try to accept these thoughts, but they are always there and make me feel absolutely horrible!Sometimes it becomes so bad, that I feel like vomiting. Can anyone please help me to calm down, I never felt this bad before!

    Thank you, Kathi

  357. Matt Says:

    Hey guys, haven’t posted here on months I! Well, I’m doing really, really well. I feel as though I am recovered from DP/anxiety, I mean, I’m in school full-time and get test anxiety but I know the difference and it’s not that bad at all. This may sound weird, but after awhile I had fun with the DP, it was like when it hit, instead of getting in panic mode, I completely changed my attitude and realized this is so silly, so do what you want but i’m not stressing over it, I’m moving on with my life, and have. And ya know, I did a few simple things that made a huge difference for me that may not for someone else, but it really did for me. I quit smoking and caffeine. Those two things contributed heavily to my anxiety, but when quitting I became much calmer and mind wasn’t racing around as much.

    If you’re still struggling, keep struggling til you get that attitude of “who gives a rat’s ass about this?” For me I had to get pissed at it, not that it was controlling my life, that I wasn’t living it over false crap flowing through my mind, so I changed my life. Every single person on here can do it, you just have to. Like paul says, there is no easy way out, it’s scary as hell, but it’s an invisible monster trying to scare the hell out of you, and the more you let it, the more you sink into it’s fake existence. Good luck to everyone!

  358. Matt Says:

    Kathi, just wanted to say everything is already ok and will be ok no matter what, you know why? because there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Your mind is in overdrive, adrenalin out of control, and although accepting is part of the process you can’t accept and struggle at the same time. I had to say that to myself I don’t know how many times, everything is ok, nothing is wrong, and believe it! No matter what you’re worried about or how depressed you are. This is the most curable condition out there because we are the ones in control and we aren’t mentally ill. So many people have overcome this that it’s practically countless. If you feel like vomiting, vomit, if you feel like crying, cry. It’s ok, your just in overload at the moment, but everything will change for the better, promise.

  359. Jamie Says:

    I agree Matt..I had it back the last 3 weeks, first time in 20 yrs, LOL..And it had me so down…I actually had to get made at it, and said the same thing you did…and finally back to normal…And if it comes back alittle I just say who cares…Hopefully it will keep working…:)

  360. Anthony Says:

    The latest phase I’m going through is having to say sorry for everything. Even if I didn’t do anything wrong. For example, walking down the street, there was a crow. A thought said “apologize to the crow” and I replied no. Then anxiety hit me really really bad in the feeling that I would inevitably say sorry to the crow so I should just spit it out now.

    Or when I go downstairs to talk to family, “sorry” pops in my head a lot every time I say something, then it takes over all my thoughts and the anxiety comes until I either say sorry or forget. But the anxiety is all oh heck now, I’m not gonna let you forget until you apologize.

    It’s obsessive compulsive behavior and I’m getting sick of it.

    I’ve had this for a week now or so. The anxiety has tricked me, and I fell for it. I have a hard time telling myself that it’s just my anxiety amid the thoughts and feeling that I’m going to say sorry.

  361. Anthony Says:

    And I guess the thoughts just linger because of how subtle it all is. I mean, apologizing is no big deal, right? But then I go into a thought cycle of developing OCD if I had to say sorry every time I felt anxiety. So I told myself that I would only say sorry if I needed to. That’s helped out a bit. But that feeling of inevitably is still there. Like I will inevitably apologize. The anxious thoughts of forever being reminded to apologize to that person/thing/whatever after refusing to.

    It’s just a mess and I feel lost in it.

    So I’m trying my hardest to “Just Do Nothing” as the blog title states. But it’s hard because of the inevitability feeling.

  362. Bret Walters Says:

    I just want to say…I love you Matt. :) Was having a bit of a setback and was thinking of you. I always felt like we were the same person. I know I don’t know you very well, but it’s crazy how I feel like you would be my best friend in real life. Fear bonded! Thanks for the post, it got me back on track.

  363. Doreen Says:

    Anthony – anxiety unfortunately is a clever old thing. It ties you up in knots with its complex ways of engaging you in the cycle. But that is all it is – and if you can let the thoughts be there without feeding there further then that is a start. And eventually they will lessen and you will be out of the loop.

  364. natalie Says:

    just wanted to say way to go Matt !! thats fantastic news and you can hear your confidence in your post.. am so pleased that you are back on track. Me still here lol but just seeing your post helps alot as feeling quite low and guilty for my kids for being this way. But keep telling myself its ok to feel like this and my boys probably don’t realise their mummy is not quite herself. Just need to stop feeling so sorry for myself and worrying that people don’t like me.. because its not true just my daft head talking crap!! good luck with your exams am sure you will do really well xx

  365. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Glad things are going so well Matt and you have the total correct attitude and this sentence below from you is so very true

    ‘but it’s an invisible monster trying to scare the hell out of you, and the more you let it, the more you sink into it’s fake existence’


  366. Katie Says:

    urghh feeling very down today, well the past week has been pretty bad which is annoying as I’ve been doing well but somehow I’ve let anxiety take hold and keep getting fearful of everyday things like walking down the street and going in shops. Its so frustrating, it started in feb this year and since then I’ve come so far, I went on holiday which i worried about until i got there and then i loved it but when i got home felt terrible again, its like when I have a really good few weeks, I’ll then get hit with a really down and anxious few weeks.
    I probably know everything you need to know about anxiety and know that avoidance makes the anxiety worse but knowing this I still keep falling back in its trap.
    I know I’m feeling worse because I’m giving it more attention but I can’t seem to ignore it like I could before. The summer seemed easier because I’d want to be out more because the weather was nice but now it’s come cold I don’t really enjoy going out but now I feel panicky if I don’t go out I’ll get stuck indoors and will never wana leave.
    I think I’m feeling more rattled because I’m full of cold and been taking cold and flu tablets which are full of caffeine which I stopped drinking in feb so my body isn’t used to it. I’ve also started today which makes me anxious too. At work at the moment but I reckon I’m guna have a good cry when I get home just to relieve some of this built up tension. Haven’t cried for about 3 or 4 months which is how good I’ve been.
    I’m trying to not think why aren’t I recovered yet because I feel I do alot of the things Paul says but still feel the anxiety. I reckon it’s coz I still fear situations so that’s why it’s hanging around, I know I need to go out more and not run away from the fear by drinking as I seem to do that alot if I’m out with friends, it seems so scary in my head though, to go out for a drink with friends and not to drink, I just feel like I’ll freak out and make a scene or feel so bad I’ll want to run away. I know I have to stay in the situation and the anxiety will pass as the councillor told me this and I’ve experienced it before so know what to do but for some reason seems alot scarier this time around.
    Any encouraging words will help alot today.
    Thanks xx

  367. Doreen Says:

    Hi Katie – tough on you at the moment. You know the way forward really but don’t beat yourself up because just now you have dipped again. Maybe it feels more scary because you are thinking that there are 2 distinct states. One is ‘recovered’ and one is ‘not recovered’ whereas it is more fluid that that. And consequently you think that in the good few weeks you have ‘recovered’ only to find it back again. So maybe you need to accept the drift too and fro and will find that the good weeks get more regular and that bad ones less regular. But the main thing is not to scared by feeling anxious again, you are only feeding the fear. And any physical illness which perhaps mimics the symptoms of anxiety such as feeling shaky with cold and flu may trigger off anxiety again. Too much alcohol is not a good idea, but don’t think you have to be alcohol free. I hope the fact that we are reading your post helps.

  368. Jamie Says:

    Agree with Doreen….I try to think of anxiety as something that can be triggered at any moment..Which happens to everyone, everyday….Try not to think of recovered, and recovering….Hope you have a better day tomorrow..Remember as soon as you give up the fear of the fear, your body is ready to go totally back to normal…

  369. Ann Says:

    Michelle Z, thank you so much! That was just what I needed. It’s so nice to have some support from someone who understands. Later that day I ended up feeling much better after writing on the blog. I did nothting about those scary thoughts and eventually they were gone. Granted I didn’t enjoy the feeling but it didn’t destroy my day.

  370. Dawn Says:

    Feeling very low today, can’t stop thinking if I truly loved my husband I would just know and wouldn’t be questioning everything like this.If I’m not feeling anxious I just feel empty inside.How can I have gone from adoring and loving him and being so happy with him to this? I am so bewildered still by it all but it is nearly 6 months since the initial panic attack and the longer it goes on the more I feel like it could be real. I can’t stop checking in on myself and how I feel, I at least can distract myself some of the time now but as soon as I’m not the self awareness comes straight back. This is ruining my life and potentially my marriage. How am I ever going to know how I really feel? I don’t see how love could just stop like that but this feels so real.

  371. DCYL Says:

    Hey All,

    Just reading some of the posts and wanted to echo what some of the folks said about “recovery”. Just because you have “recovered” doesn’t mean you won’t get into any more “issues” in the future. I am reluctant to say I am “recovered” to anyone (though I have been thinking I am better).

    I mention this because I was feeling quite good on Sunday. I sat around watching sports all day and only left the house for a brief time (an hour or so) for groceries and to get a little air.

    That same day, my good friend call to talk. She had some personal things recently so we hadn’t talked in a while. While I was fine when we were talking, after we were done, I suddenly got tired. I broke out in a sweat too. I wasn’t sure if I was just hitting coma as I had eaten dinner while talking or was just tired overall.

    I went to sleep Sunday and woke up the next morning feeling like I didn’t sleep too deeply. It kind of affected me Monday. The good news was that I didn’t feel super anxious, it was just the sweating that got to me a bit. After a while, I figured I must have gotten a little bit sick.

    A few days later, I am alright, thinking clearly, but sweating off an on. I’m going to work out later and get some energy burned off. Overall, I’m alright but this is just an example of someone trying to get back to normal. However, our past experience makes us think “is something wrong?”

    We have to ride through these things, even when they pop up out of nowhere. :)

  372. Helen Says:

    Hi Dawn,
    As someone who has been through the exact same thing as you; i could have written all your posts a few years ago, you have to understand and accept that this is anxiety. It is nothing to do with your husband and the sooner you stop trying to work it all out, the sooner you stop reacting to the thoughts that are coming into your head, the sooner you will start to recover. You are tiring your mind even further by trying to answer everything in your head and you need to stop doing this so you can give your head a much needed rest.
    This is anxiety, nothing more. Your feelings for your husband haven’t changed, it is just that they are buried by anxiety and you are burying yourself deeper into anxiety by trying to work it all out. Once you truly accept that this is anxiety your mind will automatically start to rest and once that happens your true self will start to come through. It is a slow process and you must be patient but it is worth the wait and the pain.
    The thoughts won’t stop and neither will the ‘what ifs’ that come into your head but you have to say to yourself ‘i’m not going to react, you can be there but I’m not responding’ and carry on. Slowly but surely the thoughts subside and so do the ‘what ifs’ and everything becomes clear.
    Stay patient, accept that you have anxiety and look forward to the day that this is gone because it will go, there is no doubt about it.

    All the best

  373. Jamie Says:

    I totally agree with Helen :)

  374. Rachel A Says:

    Helen is awesome! Another great post, thank you. X

  375. Katie Says:

    Hi again,
    Thanks for the reply was nice reading your post. Feeling alot more positive today, just read some of Paul’s book to refresh my mind. I know I’ve been avoiding doing things which is why the fear seems worse. I’ve just got to feel whatever comes my way and let it go and not try to control the feelings.
    Because I have a cold this week and yesterday in the post office got really hot and flustered and then started worrying and wanted to run away because I thought I was going to pass out, I probably just was hot as I’m not very well and just rode my bike there but I always start panicking like its the anxiety taking over. I should just relax and let it happen. It’s like before I had anxiety and if i got hot n bothered I’d just be like yeah that’s fine I’m ill, its too be expected. Don’t know if I’m making sense hehe
    I’ve meditated this morning and been on the cross trainer so feeling a lot calmer. I’ve told myself to make more of an effort to do things and go places without worrying about me all the time.
    Does anybody watch The Only Way Is Essex, I know it’s very silly but I’m hooked, last nights episode, one of the characters Kirk was talking about anxiety attacks and went to see a therapist, well like a healer, not sure if it worked but just thought it was good to see how he spoke about it and so that it’s more in the public eye, for some reason I feel better when I hear celebrities go through it too.
    Hope everyone has a good day today :)
    Positive thinking xxx

  376. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Dawn Helen is right, I constantly tell people not to try and figure their way out of anxiety or why they feel this or that, as this just tires your mind further and shuts out the rest of the world, making you feel very self aware and detached from your surroundings. Trying to figure everything out when your mind just wants a rest is like trying to do a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle on the floor whilst being blind folded, you will get nowhere so just walk away from the puzzle and leave it.

    Also remember with anxiety and especially deep thinking our mind cannot take all the stress of all this deep thinking and worrying and shuts down emotions to protect you and itself, it is being over worked and this is the reason you find it hard to feel love and emotions. I was EXACTLY the same and it was like thawing out, emotions and feelings came back in time, but only when I stopped the worrying and questioning, my body then no longer needed to protect me.

    So please take the advice on board, if you feel no love or little emotion at the minute then just put it down to the anxiety, the real you is just buried under symptoms at the minute. Once you slow the worry and deep thinking then the emotions will start to come back trust me.


  377. SarahS Says:

    Hi Natalie

    Just read your post. Nice to be able to chat to you! You and I have spoken before and been really helpful to each other/gone through similar things so just wanted to say hi and stay in touch and offer a few of my thoughts. I posted on here a couple of weeks ago after my anxiety flared up for a couple of months. I got some really good advice as was in such a state about my hubby being this way and that. At the time of feeling bad you become so consumed by it that it’s easy to let the anxiety do the dictating and that’s how I felt this time, although really it wasn’t not when you look how far you and I have come. It might have been a stumbling block but after suffering for so long it’s understandable that it may take me a while to get through some of the issues that have come with my long term anxiety. Part of the fab advice I received this time was a reminder that each time you come through a “setback” you become stronger and that advice gave me a little more strength to stop with the resistance to the feelings I was having and to allow it a little more to all happen, knowing that I would be stronger again, a little stronger each time, which actually adds up to alot stronger after a while. There were also a few other slight adjustments that I’ve been making recently and they are helping. I’ve learned a little more about just allowing things to be. Before I felt so wound up about being relaxed ha ha ha that obviously I wasn’t, weekends were difficult a I was trying to have a good weekend, for me, hubby and my son and inevitably they weren’t! Trying to laugh alot, I ended up not, trying to make the house fun, it wasn’t really. So I decided to stop trying and let whatever be, just be. So, my weekend up with it being alright, quite nice, not absolutely brilliantly funny and ace and fun which was what I was striving to get and failing but quite nice, which was so much better than it being a weekend with everyone upset from my over the top trying for perfection! ha ha. I’m also not worrying so much about other people and what they think of me. I’ve got a good family, some good friends, done really well at work and I’m pretty alright! The rest can just buzz off (see I didn’t swear), most people are odd/funny, some are lovely. Let the funny ones be funny, you can’t control them, it’s not your fault, you’re fine, let them be. The other thing is my thoughts, I had picked up a habit of negativity, so rather than going straight for the negative habit of wanting to moan or think about that in depth, say when I was in the shower, driving, etc I’ve begun to not, in fact I now don’t think so much at all, I bring my thoughts back to what I’m doing and I don’t buy into the negativity at all. Anyway, hopefully this all makes sense, I’m just trying to say that it’s okay, we are making progress, it’s okay to have the “setbacks”, to remember when having them that they’re necessary to come out stronger, that we can make small changes, that it’s okay to just be and that we can change the negative habit. You’re doing well, keep smiling.

    Sarah x

  378. natalie Says:

    arrh thanks sarah that was so lovely of you xx am feeling a bit stronger recently thanks and your advice is spot on.. you just have to let it all be, so what if you feel pants so what if you cannot be bothered to talk, so what if your day is a bad day, it will all come round in the end. YOu sound like you are getting there Sarah and yes we are alike all that trying to make your house fun.. i’ve done just the same thing because i worried for my boys that my mood would effect them but then i realised they just happy to have you there whatever and they prob don’t understand anyways. as for work they finally agreed we need another person and so are putting an advert out, the people are still aloof from me but now i don’t care as much, as trying to fit in caused me to feel stressed and one thing i am learning is i don’t need to be stressed abuot anything. Glad you are doing so well and thank you again for your kind and supporting words. How old is your little one ?? my two boys are soon to be 7 and 8, they are the love of my life, and yes i agree think less and do more lol, who said to think was so important anyhoe 😉 x hope to speak to you soon maybe learn more about what is going on in our lives rather than having a moan ha ha xx

  379. Doreen Says:

    Hi Sarah and Natalie – don’t forget the coffee lounge which is somewhere to chat about things other than anxiety. Just click on the blog link, scroll all the way down and you will find it at the bottom

  380. SarahS Says:

    Hi again

    I had the guilt thing too, still creesp up on me sometimes, but basically you’re right, our kids are fine, it might affect them a bit but we’ve gotten lots better now and it’s okay. I reckon it’s the sign of a good mom to worry and feel bit guilty about our kids anyway and it’s also something the anxiety latches onto, so again it feels real but it’s not! My son’s 11 now, not so little anymore really , but I did have anxiety all through his younger years although things are much better now thanks to strength and determination. Glad your work is getting sorted out too, yay!

    And thanks Doreen, will have a look at that.

    Sarah xx

  381. Lucy Says:

    Hi Dawn
    How are you doing? I hope you’re not feeling too low; Helen’s post is great and has really offered me some comfort. It sounds like you are doing better, especially now you are getting some proper sleep. Tiredness always makes my anxiety really bad so I always try to get a good sleep.

    How is the CBT going? I’ve also had some and found it useful to a certain extent, although i’ve also had some counselling sessions which have really helped me more. My counsellor recommended practicing mindfulness, so i’ve got myself a book which i’m working my way through. The theory behind it makes sense to me but it’s hard putting it in to practice! Would definitely recommend that you look in to it though, as it really helps to calm you down and get an understanding of the way your mind/brain is working which helps.
    I totally get what you are saying about not being able to feel the love for your husband as that’s exactly the position i’m in. Just like you, even when I feel better and much less anxious, I still can’t feel anything! Then the thoughts and ‘what if’ thoughts come and I think surely if I can’t feel love, then I must not love him! It’s so hard but if Helen and others have got past it, then we can too! x

  382. Kathi Says:

    Hello everybody,

    I think I made a mistake by reading about anxiety on other pages.
    People write that it’s harder to recover from anxiety if you have it already for a long time and that anxiety, depression and stress can be bad for your heart.
    I also read that anxiety is not really curable and all these things scared me to hell! I really see, that I am stressed. My face is always so white..I also heard that you can die from too much adrenaline. Can my body cope with the adrenaline anxiety is causing?
    By the way, I was climbing today and it went pretty well, also if I had dp and my strange questions if my life is real for the whole time, but it was okay and I made all the difficult and very high parcours!

    Thank you, Kathi

  383. Jeanine Says:

    Kathi, no more reading!! I did the same thing and all it git me was more symptoms, fears,worries just gives us more doubt.stick to Paul’s site,I know its hard because like me for example have some symptoms that I don’t see on hear so I go looking. For answer and I have found some helpful stuff but also some stuff that makes me feel worse so it’s very risky,don’t do it!

  384. Anthony Says:

    Hi, it’s me again. I’ve been doing a bit better lately. I also got my hands on some kava kava (the liver thing was just a myth that was never proven, but was blown out of proportion) and that’s helped take the edge off and help me more with the “whatever attitude”.

    Anyways, my last few posts have been me complaining about my problems. I want to take the time in the post to thank Paul. Without this site, I would still be cowering in my bedroom all the time. But no, this year I’ve made incredible progress. First, I learned a bit about anxiety. Second, I started to take it in stride and start looking for jobs. I still have lots of anxiety and especially disturbing thoughts that never seem to go away, but I’ve been picking myself up and doing things IN SPITE of it. In other words, I am no long a slave to my anxiety!

    This year I started looking for jobs, learning from this site that waiting around until anxiety lifted was the worst thing I could do (because it comes and goes) and instead show my anxiety who’s boss and not let it keep me down all the time. I’ve applied for two jobs. The first one fell through. But this second one, I just got a couple of hours ago and they want me to come in for training starting November! Woo!

    A new chapter of my life begins, and I owe a lot to because of that!


  385. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Kathi says: I also read that anxiety is not really curable and all these things scared me to hell! I really see, that I am stressed. My face is always so white..I also heard that you can die from too much adrenaline. Can my body cope with the adrenaline anxiety is causing?

    Kathi are you sure you have even read the above? I nearly deleted your comments as they are such nonsense and I did not want others believing there was a grain of truth in them.

    If you show me one case of a person dieing from too much adrenalin ill pack up and live in a cave for the rest of my days. It’s total nonsense. Also Kathi I don’t mean this in a funny way but it’s not your anxiety causing so much adrenalin, it’s you, your whole day is filled with worry and worry creates adrenalin, you and only you can learn to worry less. Take Jeanines advice and stop reading and worrying needlessly yourself, go for a walk, a cycle, a swim and burn some excess adrenalin off instead of creating more.

    The part of not being able to recover from anxiety is total rubbish, if you followed this blog from the start you would have seen hundreds who have and that’s in their own words. I started out working voluntary helping people and saw many people recover.

    The only person who can keep themselves in the cycle is themselves by spending all their day doing what you are doing and that is worrying and going over and over the subject, your whole day is filled with worry and deep questioning. There was a post just above yours telling you the exact same thing and to no longer do it. This comes from people who did the same thing and got nowhere.

    Again I an others can only advise, the rest is up to you, if you wish to go down your own road that is fine, I can’t force anyone to take notice and follow what is said on here. The reason most people do go their own way is that they want the quick fix, they don’t want gradual improvements so off they go google and trying to figure it out, thinking there must be a quick answer, instant relief. Trust me if there was you would not have to search for it, it would be instantly available and sites like mine would not exist.

    Anthony well done and another post that is filled with the total correct attitude and proof again that it does not only take an application of advice, but time and you will continue to improve, but the most important part of your post is you seem happy with progress. Please keep us up to date with the job situation and keep showing it who is in charge, never let it stop you achieving what you want.


  386. Jamie Says:

    Kathi, I agree with Paul….Honestly, for the most part, you yourself is the only one keeping you in the cycle….When I had bad anxiety at 20, about 20 yrs ago, The only reason it stayed so bad cause I was clueless..I was so scared everyday of the symptoms, that it kept me in the cycle…..Once I spoke to my grandmother and she gave me the Claire Weekes book, I learned all the info Paul gives…Yes, I had a bad bout starting 3 weeks ago, and part of me being too scared again kept me in the cycle, (I actually stayed in bed mostly all morning one morning ) but because Im more informed about anxiety, I eventually just kept moving, even with the nausea, and this week Im 100%..Im telling you..It is just adrenalin…Thats all it is…It is so funny how as bad as you can feel one day, your body is prepared to recover, even after months of suffereing, you can wake up and feel 100% once you are not scared of the symptoms…Trust me , I know its hard, but if you keep busy, you learn to overlook the symptoms, and eventually the adrenalin stops and you start feeling better…Even yesterday I felt a little odd again, but I jsut say oh well its anxiety, and within 20 minutes, it subsides…You can t keep fearing it or things…In life you really do have to face most of your fears, cause if you dont, you start becoming fearful of even more things….And that jsut adds more anxiety…

  387. Kathi Says:

    Thank you so much Paul and Jamie!

    I am sorry for all my posts and I think I will stop posting for a while.
    I already recovered a year ago, but anxiety came back. But I recovered!! And this shows me that I CAN recover! Today I did some cross training and afer that I went to town. The first hour was really bad and I felt like nearly running out the stors, but I just thought of everything I learned from this page, that it’s only adrenalin, nothing more and that I know already know this feeling. If it would be something really bad, I would have it always and not only in social situations!! I bought me an internat flatrate for my mobile now so I can read some posts everywhere I go. Reading some of Pauls posts just calms me so much down and by knowing that I can read them everywhere now I feel much safer!

  388. emma e Says:

    Fair play Anthony…it feels very liberating to start moving on in life even if there is still lots of anxiety. I feel pretty similar. I have had anxiety on & off for many years and only during a recent episode have started to get the acceptance thing! My habit has always been to try to relax when the feelings are coming over me or breathe differently so now I am learning to not control the feelings just go along with them trusting that my mind & body will settle when they are ready. My mind is still very focussed on anxiety but I am now much more aware if just letting it do what it needs to do and noticing more quickly when I am starting to get involved. For me it has been about patience & practice. My anxiety is still pretty high but it no longer dominates how I spend my time. I am gradually building in confidence again & enjoying my beautiful baby boy :-)

  389. Ronnie Says:

    Hi everyone,
    Hope alls well.

    I have a quick question I’d really appreciate some advice on!!

    I’m currently in the midst of an episode of anxiety with all the associated trimmings such as depression, irrationality, emotional upset a lack of confidence, self esteem etc…. However, having read many of the posts here it appears to me that many of you manage periods of respite where there is little if any anxiety?!?! My particular experience bring very little respite for months at a time taking me from the peaks of horrific and uncontrollable fear to a deep depression, hopelessness and general unhappiness!! This state while rarely alleviating itself does fluctuate in degrees to stages where it’s not as intense however it never relieves itself completely giving me any sense that my efforts to follow the many techniques Paul suggests have actually had any beneficial effect. I still truly believe that the condition is as the book states and thst it will pass in time. I simply wondered if anyone else had a similar experience. Remarkable when you think it’s all just thoughts and feelings!!

    Take care everyone

  390. Sam Says:

    Recovering from anxiety is an adventure. Firstly the world is a dark hopeless place. But as time goes on you start to discover things you used to feel or do and you see them in a whole new light. And even though I haven’t recovered I can still imagine what life is going to be like when I’m better.

  391. Kathi Says:

    I can’t imagine how much better I feel after exerciting today! I don’t feel perfect, but better, and that’s first of all enough!

    I think nobody can say that reaching recovery is easy, but I think it will be worth it and if you have hope you have everything, so now I try not to focus on what is tearing me apart, but on what makes me happy and holds me!

  392. Ronnie Says:

    Thanks Sam.

    That sounds worth waiting for!!

    Take care.

  393. emma e Says:

    Hi Ronnie, thank you for your post. It is something that I have thought for a while. Like you my anxiety fluctuates in intensity. For example most of last year I was living with very low level anxiety where it felt very much in the background & didn’t really bother me. But the patterns were still there. Sometimes reading other posts where people seem to have periods of no anxiety at all has made me think that I am doing something wrong. But, in the past this just got me into more mental beating myself up & questionning. Now I just think that everyone’s journey is different & unique to them. A friend has said to me “my pace is my pace” and I am learning to be ok with that. Thanks again for your post…I can really relate. I say a little prayer every night for continued faith, courage & staying with it. My anxiety increased again this March just before the birth of my little boy. It has never been so high before. Things are still unsettled but I am having more ok days now. This setback has taught me more acceptance, which can only be a good thing! Take care Ronnie.

  394. Doreen Says:

    Such helpful supportive posts at the moment. Thanks all of you

  395. Stephen Shale Says:

    Hi so I’m out my setback now and on the road to recovery again. It’s amazing, once you know what to do, how quickly your body responds and feels well again. I went from probably feeling about 15%, then 10 days later was at about 75%. Just through knowing the right ways of reducing stress, relaxing, and giving myself time to recover.

    Unfortunately though, i’m just kind of feeling stuck at the moment. Another two weeks have gone by, and i can still feel it in me, just. I kind of feel like i’m stalling in my recovery. The problem is, this year i got myself to a point where i was the best i’d ever been, through using paul’s advice, and now that target is there, its impossible not to think of, or want to be back there again. Yet i know i should give myself as much time as my body needs. And trying to force recovery will only extend my anxiety.

    I guess when i first used paul’s advice at the beginning of the year, i didnt have any targets, i just allowed myself to recover, with no idea how long that would take, and of course that worked. So it’s almost like i’m at a further disadvantage now, knowing how good i can feel, there is just this internal fight to get back there, no matter how hard i try to calm that.

  396. Jamie Says:

    Stephen, keep it up..I know how you feel….For me it has been a month, and Im craving to be my normal self again as I have bee for 20 yrs LOL…I am going a week on and off with and without it…I know what to do, Im offereing good advice on here I shoudl be taking, but I guess deep down maybe Im still scared if it…I was 100% fine all last week, had a great time with family on Saturday, then for some reason yesterday morning the nausea…Last week if it came alittle I worked thru it, and it went away, but yesterday it got worse, and of course I tried to keep busy etc…But still couldnt eat a good dinner, which bothered me, and no sleep last night at all….I may go see a Dr, as I want to be sure physically with my hormones that all is OK, and its jsut anxiety…Not sure if its cause Im a woman and approaching 40? Im sure its just anxiety…The nausea is so hard to handle…Its like having a stomach virus almost all daySee for me when I had 20 yrs ago, I had it everyday, and it slowly went away…I never had this experience of feeling 100% then it coming back…I think that is what is deep down in my memory…Once you feel great, then when it comes its like back to square one again, and it feels so much worse..Wondering if going to a psychiatrist would help? i really dont want meds though, but maybe I need them? I know I may go in and out of this, but not sure how to handle it when its coming every other week, I feel liek I am going longer though feeling better….

  397. Stephen Shale Says:

    The pattern of a setback is to crave more answers and starting to question things again. That is what started my setback really, i felt a few symptoms returning, and innocently read paul’s book again, and read his blog, but that questioning and reviewing went on for a couple of weeks, and only made my symptoms worse. Now that i am past that questioning phase, i’m relaxing more, but i’m just so used to recovering quicker than this, so the impatience is starting to kick in. It doesnt help that i’ve had a cold this weekend! I do need to be more reasonable with myself, and not expect to be recovered just yet. And i know i should forget about recovery altogether really, and just let it happen, but most of the time i have a thought about recovery not coming, before i’ve even had the chance to argue otherwise.

    The thing to remember though is that we have both done this before, we have got to a stage where we’ve felt recovered, so really there are no more answers out there, deep down we know what to do. So i am quite sure you dont need pills, you dont need to see a therapist. I guess i would check the hormones thing, but you have said that for a few weeks now, on here. Get on with it, get that question answered, so you stop thinking about it! Go out today and book in with the doctor. Apart from that it is anxiety.

    A small note on the nausea, i have anti nausea tablets, on the rare occasion its that bad. They cancel the gag reflex in your stomach, and also let food out of your stomach quicker, to help bloatedness. Its called Motilium, maybe over there you could find something similar?

  398. Jamie Says:

    Thanks Stephen! Yes, i guess Im procrastinating on the hormone check, as I think deep down I know its probably just anxiety, or anxiety caused by hormonal changes, that Im not sure they can do anything about….

  399. Stephen Shale Says:

    I guess it just kind of feels like i’m losing my will power with it this time round, like i dont have the strength to beat it like i did at the beginning of the year. And like i said, i now have targets to aim for, and i know there is a person inside me whom i want to be again, which is just making it all harder than before. Though by trying to do “nothing” i guess i have kind of felt like i’m walking on eggshells, and trying not to doing something that disturbs the anxiety inside me.

  400. Dawn Says:

    Hi all, Thank you so much to Helen, Paul and Lucy for your responses, they really did help me. I was in a very poor frame of mind when I last posted and I really needed someone to help me see the wood for the trees, so thank you. 

    I have been trying to follow the advice given by you all, and just let any anxious feelings and thoughts be there whilst getting on with other things. When the thoughts have popped into my head, I have gently turned my attention to something else to stop myself engaging with them. It has helped and I have felt less anxious and in a better mood the last few days. I had a nice day out with my husband on Saturday and actually managed to go out with my husband and some friends on Saturday night, which I haven’t done for months. 

    However, my issue is that there is always an nagging underlying feeling of uneasiness hanging around and I find it very difficult not to test and monitor my feelings about my husband as soon as I start to feel better and less anxious and I still can’t feel anything, I just feel numb. I can’t stop questioning my love for him and the idea of spending “forever” with him, this used to fill me with happiness, now I am just filled with worry and fear about it every time I think about it, which starts the cycle of worry again, especially when I can’t feel anything. My CBT therapist has given me the same advice as everyone else in that I should let the thoughts and feelings be there and accept them. He made me write a list of evidence that I love him and evidence against and the only thing on the evidence against list was the worry and doubt I am feeling now, there was absolutely nothing tangible on there. This made me feel better but I can’t stop worrying it’s just not “right”, although I never doubted it was right before all this happened. Things couldn’t have just changed in an instant, surely? I can’t stop thinking back to the past and wondering if I just thought I was happy and I wasn’t really but I just don’t see how that could be true. 

    Lucy, I am finding the CBT OK so far, it does make you realise how many thinking mistakes you are making (always looking at the worst case scenario etc.) I have bought a book on mindfulness, it arrived today so I will try and work through some of it and see if that helps. I find the lack of feelings very hard to accept too, and I feel like even though I know I won’t feel them if I am looking for them, I can’t stop myself looking for them because I am so desperate to feel them! I guess this is where the “don’t care” attitude comes in. It’s so hard not to care though! How have you been doing lately? 

    I am still getting horrible tension in my stomach which is where the anxiety seems to manifest itself most, my muscles go really tight and it feels like they are burning, and it can last for hours. Has anyone got any tips about how to ease this?

  401. DCYL Says:

    Hey All,

    It’s funny about timing as I see Stephen’s message about setbacks above. I probably hit a setback last week as I mentioned in a previous post. I was talking to a friend for a while, then felt tired / sweating out of the blue and I started “focusing on my feelings again” (that bad habit we all have).

    I had finally shook it last night BUT fell right back when my mom got annoyed with something (not me) and got into her negative mode. That sort of got to me and it didn’t help me.

    It’s funny how little things get to you and then you start to focus on the feelings and you think you’re starting all over again.

  402. Stephen Shale Says:

    DCYL, how many setbacks would you say you’ve had? Not to compare but just wondered if you found them easier to deal with? This is my forst major one. I feel like i’m not strict enough with myself now, to stop doing the thingsthat i know will increase adrenalin in me. Like i’ve lost some will power i originally had, when i first came out of my anxiety, at the beginning of the year.

  403. Jeff Says:

    Definitely relating to the conversation about setbacks and recovery. I know I always say this, but it’s true: with each setback comes a longer period of relative calm between. I had a horrible moment a week ago, followed by three of the best days I’ve had in a year. It’s odd, but recovery does seem like riding a bike. I’m getting the hang of it more and more, but I still fall off occasionally. One thing I’ve noticed is that recovery for me means not thinking about it at all. I have days where before I got to bed I say “geez, where was all that nonsense today?” and those are great days. The worst part about setbacks is that I know how to ride the bike now, and knowing that makes the setback a little harder to take. It kinda seems like I sabotage my own recovery; like I think I don’t deserve it or something. Once I feel that super-comfortable recovered feeling I get lazy and start doing crap that I know I shouldn’t like staying out late and drinking or over-eating or not exercising or neglecting my journal: all this contributes to the setback.

    I just want to say that I think patience is the key but as humans we have a definite shortage of that precious resource.
    I read this and thought it might help someone. It helped me. From “The Four Agreements:”

    “1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
    Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

    2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
    Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

    3. Don’t Make Assumptions
    Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

    4. Always Do Your Best
    Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.”
    ? Miguel Ruiz

    Happy Monday!

  404. Stephen Shale Says:

    Thanks jeff, fantastic. I can relate SO much about “feeling super good, them getting lazy. I’ve made a major mistake today. I kind of think that feeling recovered actually puts you out of practice with dealing with anxiety.

    Ok so i’ve had illness over the weekend, still felt a bit off colour this morning so had the day off work. But i knew deep down it was my anxiety controlling, avoiding the work place, not wanting to struggle through another day. So i actually felt alright this morning, but as the day went on i’ve slowly gotten worse and worse. Being at home all day, stuck in my head, i done things i shouldnt have, and along comes the adrenalin.

    Boy, have i shown today that avoidance is not the way forward. Had i gone to work, i’d have been distracted, and have no time to do thing i shouldnt. I bracing myself for an uncomfortable day at work tomorrow, but i need to go.

  405. Jeff Says:

    Yes Stephen, you know you have to go. I have days here at work where it’s just unbearable but I drag myself in. I’ve missed about one week of work in the last year due to anxiety. I feel lucky that I haven’t missed more. The important thing is to forgive yourself for whatever you did that you know you shouldn’t have. It’s super important. I know it’s hard. I do the escape and avoidance thing all the time and kick myself every single time, but you just have to try and do your best, and forgive yourself if you can’t. Some of my escape mechanisms are computer-based, so one thing I try and do is manage and limit my useage. Sometimes you can work around being tempted to do stupid things, sometimes you can’t. Best to you, and go to work tomorrow!

  406. Sophia Says:

    Hi Jeff
    Spot on..!! Cannot agree more..!
    You have given the answer to it..there is nothing more we can ur best and leave it at that..
    but as you said getting accustomed to the recovered feeling makes us lazy, hesitant to venture out anything more as if we have done it all.To get on with life always follow the four principles throughout..!
    Otherwise there is an easy chance to get carried away with all the crappy thoughts and get back into the anxiety cycle and not knowing what is the cause!…

  407. Stacy Harper Says:

    I am so grateful to have stumbled upon this blog! I say ‘stumble’ , but as it goes with anxiety and panic disorders..I have been searching…searching for that “cure”…in the past year or so..anxiety and panic have tore though my world..lost jobs, staying in the house due to fear of an attack, missed events…and the list goes on..and have to mention the numerous medical tests, doctors, cllinics that I went to for help, only to highten the need for better help, a better answer, get it. I feel I have come such a long way from when the first panic attack hit me…which sent me running for the emergency room only to find that this was panic. Leaving that ER room, in that mind condition, changed the course of this past year for me. Medicines that my body doesn’t tolerate, therapists that don’t care, doctors not understading that saying,”you’re fine”, doesn’t ease a anxious mind..Nothing helped but like I said, I’ve come so far. I do know have a wonderful behaviorial office with wonderful doctors and therapists that upon visiting them, you’d think they’ve been through all of this..they just “get it”, and I’m so thankful. But this disorder, If you will, is so an addiction..and difficult but the words on the most current update on this blog sit heavy with me..; like quicksand, the harder you try to get out..the further you sink; all of that blog..I continue to re-read it..some of the things he put in that blog are like “God-smacks” or epiphanies! It’s amazing and has me hopeful..I do not doubt for a second that I am going to have a bad day again, I had a half-bad one yest (ie:panic/anxious day) but that blog is ingrained in my head, like I have fresh bullets for a gun I did’nt know I had. I will continue to move forward in my recovery..Hope anyone that reads this continues to be well and keep your head up!!! I can clearly see that I am not alone, I hate that anyone else has to go through what I do and have but just knowing someone truly understands..means the world!!! Have a blessed day.month.year. Thanks again!! Stacy

  408. Jamie Says:

    Stephen, yes, going to work is probably better…I have to say as a stay at home mom, part of my issue may be that now maybe I do need a job now that my daughter is in school almost full time

  409. natalie Says:

    morning guys

    just reading the last few posts and know you are all speaking the truth. But at the moment its very hard to impliment what everyone is saying. I am still struggling with my new job. Luckily they have agreed to take another person on board which is good but my anxiety is at all time high. I am nearly crying every day that i head to work, manage to get through the day come home exhausted and then spend all night trying to calm myself down from the scary thoughts. Like i know and can feel my confidence going everyday. Think due to the fact that i am back into the questioning and taking my thoughts seriously. Its hard cos i was doing so so well and this set back has taken me by supprise the hardest thing is my family are all so exhausted with me now and keep telling me to leave the job and just get anything else . This makes me start to quesiton. Then i think cannot afford to leave and my husband woudl be annoyed. I do think maybe a part time job better because alot for anyone to work 30 hours with no break and come home to my young boys. But even just now looking for roles i am telling myself oh no that will be to demanding i cannot do this and that.. and getting all worked up to the point i want to cry. Just don’t knwo what to do for the best but do know don’t want to get as bad as before as not fair on my family. Keep saying go with it but now i not accepting as am getting worse and work is the trigger i know. The people there are not very friendly and i know they prob think i am weird which upsets me and know it shouldn’t. Just getting up to go to the printer and walk past everyone is a big thing for me and this is why i get upset cos i don’t recognise myself. Doreen i know you said get another job and am lookin but even though i would love to not go back to work part of me knows if i give in to that it raises a whole other issue of problems and will probably make me even worse. I just feel like i don’t know how much strength i go left to deal with this. and probably sorry for myself. Paul i know you probably have given up trying to advise me cos i am not doing as you have spoken about before but any advise on how to handle the work situation would really help me just now. In particular you say you decided not to care about what people thought about you, i tell myself this all the time but still it gets to me, any advise at the moment would really help think i need some practical and positive advise that i can follow to steer me back out of this cycle. Thank you for reading this and am so sorry it is negative but have no where else i can discuss my inner feelings, just started back with my counciller but it bit costly so cannot always speak with her.

  410. Stephen Shale Says:

    Jamie, Jeff, i am off to work today, dont feel as bad this morning as expected. I am going to need to forgove myself today, for what i let myself do yesterday. It does really show though; a) what paul say is correct, things he told us not to do, i did, and it made me worse, back in the setback again, b) how quickly i can go from feeling pretty good to bad again. My one worry is that is easily let myself do these things yesterday, i feel like i’ve lost some strength in dealing with it this time round.

  411. Sophia Says:

    Hi Ronnie

    I go through all the above said feelings be it unhappiness, emotional turmoil, irritation. It’s been with me for a longer duration. I couldn’t releive myself from the above..All this effected me badly perhaps I was listening to the crappy talk which goes inside my head. It keeps justifying the way I am. Never stops. And I guess that’s the reason for my everlasting sadness.
    One day, I got so tired of it and said enough is enough! I started being conscious of how I am feeling. Asked myself is there any reason to be upset? No . Then don’t give a damn! FOCUS on what you want.Speak on what you have to.Atleast this way it’s giving me some mental rest. Not sabotaging myself to the end..!

  412. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Jeff says: Yes Stephen, you know you have to go. I have days here at work where it’s just unbearable but I drag myself in. I’ve missed about one week of work in the last year due to anxiety. I feel lucky that I haven’t missed more. The important thing is to forgive yourself for whatever you did that you know you shouldn’t have. It’s super important. I know it’s hard. I do the escape and avoidance thing all the time and kick myself every single time, but you just have to try and do your best, and forgive yourself if you can’t. Some of my escape mechanisms are computer-based, so one thing I try and do is manage and limit my useage. Sometimes you can work around being tempted to do stupid things, sometimes you can’t. Best to you, and go to work tomorrow!

    Excellent advice Jeff and spot on !!!!

  413. Stephen Shale Says:

    The funny thing was, I sarted yesterday not feeling so bad, i really dont know why i didnt just go to work. It felt like the whole day i was watching myself, like an out of body experience. I was watching myself doing these things, saying “i shouldnt be doing that”, but still carried on. Where did my will power go, and on a day where i wasnt even that anxious?! Do people find there will power just ups an leaes some days, and how can we keep the strength there, to endlessly stop ourselves from doing what we shouldnt?

  414. Jamie Says:

    Yes, the willpower is hard…Even though, are we supposed to have willpower…We are to just go on with these feelings, but for me its hard to act normal when I have nausea and no appetite…Considering I felt normal for 20 yrs this is very disheartening to me..

  415. Jamie Says:

    Ya know what is so funny with my situation…I am only anxious, cause Im now afraid of being anxious….LOL……That is my only issue…and I know once Im over that my body goes back to normal 100%…I have really no worries, issues, or deep stress….

  416. Stacy Harper Says:

    Natalie, I am sorry to hear you are having a tough go right now..from your post I can clearly see how heavy your world is around you.. you have got to find a way to calm need to breathe! I pray you find a way around all of this stress or at least a way for you to get through this hard time..this will pass..try your very best not to give in to all these negative feelings. I get that way and have to catch myself…I think of it like a drug addict with all the cravings ..being sober then bam! have that drug..what a setback but even with people like us it’s’s just a setback..not the end. you can do this Natalie!! You can! Breathe, remind yourself of all you’ve learned on this blog, re-read all the stories, and breathe..Hope to read you’re better soon..You are definatly not alone Hang in there honey! :)

  417. Aniana Says:

    I’ve been following the blog for 2 weeks now, as I am a suffer of anxiety! I have good and bad days. I’m currently having a bad 2 days and feel so bad. Thoughts won’t stop. Negative thoughts. Thoughts telling me I will never get better and ill end up in a ward. Of course the “what if’s” are out of control too. I feel so confident some days and others I feel HOPELESS! Someone with expierence please help!

    Ps. Is it normal to feel depressed with Anxiety? Blah! I see no joy in life right now.

    Thanks for being the best bloggers ever! You guys rock and give so much encouragment. Love you guys. Thanks.

  418. SarahS Says:

    Hi Natalie I’m on iPad so difficult to type much. when reading your post from an outsiders point of view it’s quite clear that your anxiety is heightened and things just appear worse than they are. Ok work is bit rubbish and may not be working out but hey, it’s okay I know it’s pants but its not the end of the world. You are fine, you are just letting your feelings rule everything at the mo. anxiety is intended to do that and you are forgetting its just one big bluff. It’s okay Natalie, let it all happen, go with whatever you feel at whatever time and at some point it will pass. You are still afraid and affected by anxiety and that’s why setbacks happen, but look at it as this gives you a chance to practice again how to go with it, the right way. You are adding secondary fear to your already anxious state, that’s all it is. No big deal Natalie it just feels like it is, it’s trying to trick you. So what to feeling stressed and tired, go with the flow knowing you will come out the other side. At the mo you are looking for that magic sentence from Paul to make it go away and for you to feel better. The only way to feel better is to stop looking for the answer, the answer lies in you going towards how you feel like an old buddy and not against. It really is okay xx

  419. DCYL Says:


    I can’t quite give you an exact answer on setbacks. Let me explain why. Prior to talking to my friend last week, I was feeling good (you can see it in some of my posts). I felt I was close to being 100% but was reluctant to just announce it or say anything about it. I did say it to my friend because we are close and she’s helped me out a lot.

    But in reading the most recent posts, I wouldn’t say recovery makes you lazy. HOWEVER, as you feel better, you want to KEEP that feeling. However, when you get a bad feeling or something else, you immediately wonder what’s wrong.

    Sometimes I think that there is really NOTHING WRONG except that our memories / worries / habits keep us in the cycle. Stephen you noted you were analyzing yourself and so did I. I’m trying to focus on other things and I’m doing better. Just got to take my mind off of “how I feel” and let things roll. Not easy but we’ve all done it before, just need to be reminded.

  420. Jamie Says:

    Well said Sarah….

  421. Doreen Says:

    Hi DCYL – I completely agree with you over ‘set back’. Of course feeling ‘better’ is so great that anyone would want to stay that way. And so that sets up another anxiety along the lines of ‘what happens if ‘it’ comes back?’. I think we need to be at ease with drifting too and fro and eventually the time will come when being ok is the norm. I am ambivalent about the word ‘recovery’ as it can be really hard for people who are in fact doing pretty ok but don’t believe it as they are not fully free of symptoms. They then get anxious about that.

  422. Jamie Says:

    Agreed Doreen…You are so right, and thats what is happening to me..I was fine for 20 yrs! Seriously..I had it bad at 20, and now Ill be 40…For some reason it hit again, but hard, and this last month ive had it..Ill feel fine one full week, then it hits again, but I think only cause Im thinking about it in the back of my head…Trust me you can recover fully..I had a Dr when I was 20 say I had Generalized anxiety Disorder…Thats a bunch of crap, i was fine for 20 yrs! Sure I had a little anxiety now and then , but nothing big…I also didnt have the symptoms of GAD…I never worried about everything possible..I only had anxiety cause of a situation with me being away at college from my boyfriend my senior yr..The reason I had bad anxiety then for over 6 months was because of the fear of the fear…Slowly it driftly away, after a yr, I never felt it again..I went 20 yrs, with big life changes, and no anxiety problems..Till now..But I am almost 40, and Im wondering if hormonal changes are bringing it in my life….

  423. Stephen Shale Says:

    Thanks Doreen. Of course it is natural to want to stay feeling better and keep yourself that way, its seems that surely we are always going to be setting ourselves up for a fall when we begin to feel good again? I guess ultimately, we all suffer from something we hate, and symptoms we dont want; so how can you possibly lose fear for something that we clearly dont want around?

  424. Jamie Says:

    Stephen, you do lose the fear…..because what eventually happens, is once you keep going on with your life, and you live with it long enough, and you dont analyze it, it slowly, starts disappearing…..It gets to the point that you kind of stop thinking about it all together, and you basically forget the feeling of the symptoms…..You just stop caring, and once that happens, you start realizing that you feel fine…Youll always remember it as a bad experience, but you forget how you felt…And its really hard to bring the symptoms on even if you think about it..Ive thought about my bad anxiety now and then over the yrs, but it never brought it back….And this may not work for everyone who has deep anxiety, depression, events with trauma, but for most people it works..Once you release your fear of the anxiety…

  425. Teresa Says:

    Hi , i have not been on here for a while as I am trying to ‘accept’ and live life as it is. Lots of moving foward and lots of slipping too but I think that some important points have been made on ‘recovery’.
    As this is a habit – like any other habit whilst we are absorbed mentally by other things we don’t focus on anxiety and therefore it is not the main focus of our thoughts – I have learned lots and the more i learn the more I understand (although there are lots of times when I lose my way and become fearful of symptoms again). Yet other times I look at it and think – yeh it’s only an exaggeration of normal problems/symptoms.
    Something I have learned recently and I wish I had realised it in the past is that it is the striving for ‘recovery’ that can increase the tension for things to be ‘right’.
    What a couple of posts above have said and i have noticed too is that you have to be at ‘at ease with the ‘too and froe’ – not easy I know as I am currently finding it difficult, but really empathise with what has been said about people doing ok but get anxious because things are not completely gone.
    I think a lot of us tend to ‘strive’ for recovery and perhaps a lot of the time we miss the gaps where we are doing really ok.

  426. Jamie Says:

    Teresa, Exactly…The more you think about getting better or being perfect for an event, etc, the more pressure you put on yourself….Great advice in this entire thread

  427. SarahS Says:

    Jamie – it must be really hard for you to be confronted with anxiety again after 20 years but you give some really good advice and so obviously know alot about it. For what it’s worth, and it’s just my opinion, but I’d say that the first time it happened it probably went away eventually as you didn’t really take that much notice of it, as bad as it was. I’ts great then that you were fine for 20 years however you didn’t really get chance or much practice from setbacks by the sound of it to really ingrain the new habit of not caring about the symptoms into your brain. This way, although you are suffering again, on the upside it’s giving you a chance to really learn that anxiety is one big bluff, symptoms that feel “bad” but aren’t really, make things appear worse than they are, thoughts that go round and round and all the baggage that can go with anxiety. Bit by bit you will learn that these symptoms/thoughts don’t really matter, and bit by bit anxiety will start to wither a little, rise again, wither a bit more, rise again etc and each time you will become stronger. One thing I like to remember is that with each setback it always feel as though it is there forever, it isn’t, but that’s the nature of it, remember though it isn’t.

    You probably don’t need my thoughts anyway ha ha so anyway good for you, you really sound as though you are doing well.


  428. Jamie Says:

    Thanks Sarah! But I really did have it bad ….Some days were worse then others, so over that year, it was an up and down thing too…So I Did Actually have Setbacks…I was very aware of my symptoms, and that was the only thing keeping me in the cycle….Because there were days I was normal, then days, it was there….I was scared then that I was never going to be the same…..Esp after some Dr tells me I probably had GAD….I just learned to live with it…Even with bad nausea, I would go to work, get down food, and just actually thought I was going to live it it forever…..But eventually, it just started going away, because I stopped thinking about it after going on with it so long….I guess cause I wasnt forcing myself to be myself….its a little more rough now, only because in my head i thought I was informed enough never to get it bad again..But honestly, the only reason it got bad this time again, on and off, is because Im fearing the fear..I do know its a bluff, thats the funny part.its onyl been a month, and 2 full weeks of this month I was 100% fine, the other days so so, able to eat, but not a huge appetite, and only about 6 days thru this month I had it really bad..My only major symptom is nausea and bad butterflies in the stomach for me…I can’t understand true panic attacks, etc, cause I’ve never had one..So Im unfamiliar with panic disorder….As far as someone who has true GAD, I dont know if the anxiety ever leaves without meds and help…These people have a general disorder of worrying about everything excessively…As much as I an a worrier, I am not a worrier to that point….Most of us only have anxiety because we had one bad episode, and then we only fear the fear….The fear of the fear is the only thing keeping us being anxious, and this is what I had 20 yrs ago, and in this type of anxiety, it is really easy to recover , esp without meds I believe..its jsut about making yourself accept and believe that its only you keeping you in the cycle…Hope that helps someone reading this :)

  429. Teresa Says:

    Jamie – yes it is a good thread lots of really plausible reasoning. I think the fact that when we realise we are doing this to ourselves – or at least it seems that way we then believe we are in ‘control’ (I know we are to a certain degree) but what happens to me is that realisation that I am capable of doing this to myself by thinking makes me try to ‘handle’ myself. So it means going against my instinct to try and prepare/think correctly inorder to rid myself of symptoms. It’s a case of realising there is no separate threat and then getting on with life – I know i fear fear more than anything so totally identify where you and Sarah are coming form. It’s when you unmask the fear and realise that this is a phoney – you start to see things in a different light and feel ok then as Sarah said it withers and returns and its a pattern. also yes, when it has you in its spin you do really believe this is you forever – it’s not, it’s just like someone has hypnotised you for the time being, that’s why we all seek reassurance .
    I also think it is a danger that we give ‘anxiety’ too much of a ‘personality or identity’ it is an over reaction/ a habit/ and in time perhaps its a good thing to realise that it’s not a thing we are trying to get away from or recover from, but it is more to do with changing our behaviour/attitude towards life/us/things.

  430. Clare Says:

    Nicola are you ok not heard from you for a long time

  431. Will Says:

    Hi everyone, just having a minor worrying thought right now.

    Today in uni we were having a lecture on horror, and at one point we were shown a clip from A Nightmare on Elm Street. I hate horror movies, especially psychological ones that play with the mind, and I’ve seen this movie before years ago and didn’t want to see it today, but I did.
    Throughout the day I’ve been fine, but now it’s coming up to going to bed, the thoughts of the movie has come back into my mind. Vaguely having that “unreal” feeling that I know is just a combination of fatigue and anxiety, but it reminds me of the film and makes me anxious.
    I guess in life I try to avoid negative things, hence the only programmes and films I watch are mostly comedy; anything but horror, I’m easily disturbed by most of it. I haven’t seen a horror movie in years so my vague anxiety from thinking about the film is probably perfectly normal, but to me it’s strange. Does anyone else feel that they overreact to horror films and other things like this?

  432. Jamie Says:

    Teresa, Agree totally!
    Will – I can understand..Even without any anxiety, sometimes horror movies do bother me deeply….

  433. Brian Says:

    Hey Paul/Mods
    Just wanna say once again that I love the book. It was so unnerving to just realize all the things Ive been consumed with as a child, the worrying, the what if’s can all be traced to anxiety. Ive posted on here before, and as a professional athlete its always been very taboo to talk about the ‘lack of mental toughness.’ People who don’t have anxiety dont understand that our thought process has nothing to do with toughness, but excess adrenaline over otherwise normal situations.

    Anyhow, Paul/all, i was wondering if you have ever suffered from self doubt anxiety thoughts that involved basic everyday activities such as talking…. As I type that I can just see how ridiculous it is. Unfortunately this is where my anxious thoughts always go…right to a ‘what if’ thought about not being able to talk or have a normal conversation. I get caught up in these thoughts because they are so damn frustrating and if I get attached to them, I feel a lot less confident with my ability to converse with people. The frustrating thing is that Ive always been the MOST personable person, and the LIFE of the party… I would just like some support and advice if you have ever dealt with these self defeating anxious thoughts. Once again, love the book! and no matter how down I feel or how frustrated I get, i will always continue to push through and move forward! Thanks again guys


  434. Candie Says:

    Hi everyone :)

    I used to post here a long time ago and thought I would come back and give everyone some hope as its possible for everyone to recover.

    I stopped posting for a while, got on with my life and still had bouts of anxiety. I realised I knew everything about anxiety but I was consoling myself with this information during bouts of self pitty regarding my anxiety rather then facing it. Sort of talking the talk but not walking the walk. So over the past few months I had a massive set back and told my anxiety to come get me basically! If anxiety said don’t go out u will feel bad, I went out and felt bad but thought up yours anxiety I feel bad but I’m allowing it. Over time my attitude changed from self pitty to one of acceptance.

    Today I’ve drank way too much coffee, got a racing heart- before I would of tried to reason with this and talk it down in my head. Obsessing! Today I tell my heart to beat away and I don’t even see it as an issue. It’s normal for some people to feel like this from hangover or too much coffee etc.

    I also suffered terrible negative thoughts and obsessive odd scary stuff. Again before if I had them I would be full of pitty and think here we go another setback. These days I realise its normal to think negative and odd stuff and I don’t try to reason with it or disprove the content.

    I came to the realisation my sensitised nerves would over react to very normal thoughts and feelings. Rather then blame the anxiety and pitty myself I changed my response to bring it on. Anxiety will scream alarm bells, ofcourse it will. But if you don’t bite and dwell on it all then you will desensitise.

    I see myself as recovered now, yea I still have odd thoughts now and again, sometimes dizzy after a long day but this is all very normal fleeting parts of been human. I removed the self pitty and fear and can experience any if it now and embrace it. With no pitty or fear of fear. I had anxiety for nearly 7 years too- as soon as I changed my attitude all resistance was removed and I feel like a new person. I know I can wake up tomorrow and feel it all and I’d never suffer again as its all normal bodily and mental reaction to stress and I created my suffering reacting how I did with self pitty and fear.

    Not to say that it’s my fault or anyone else’s for self pitty, adding fear or fighting. We are built to analyse and resolve so its instinct to fight. So don’t feel bad if you don’t get this straight away :)

  435. Jamie Says:

    Candy that is great and you are soooo right!

  436. Lucy Says:

    Hi Dawn

    I’m glad that you have managed to feel a bit better recently. I’ve found that drawing your attention away from your thooughts and on to something else can be really helpful.

    I am exactly the same as you in that I’m also just numb all the time. Even on my less anxious days I can’t feel anything and like you, that sets me off worrying again. I am finding it incredibly hard to just accept how I am and not care about it! I don’t think our feelings have changed, I just think that the anxiety isn’t letting them ‘be felt’ at the moment. I often try and reason with myself by thinking that it’s no wonder I don’t feel anything because all I do is worry! When you are anxious, it seems to just override any other feelings. And anyway, we know it’s all caused by anxiety otherwise why would be on this blog!!

    How are you finding the mindfullness book? I’m still going through mine, but so far I am finding it pretty hard to get my mind to focus on the present; my thoughts are always wandering! I’m going to keep at it though, as I’ve heard it can be one of the best things for anxiety. I’ve had a good look on the conscious transitions website and it’s been really helpful, so thanks for the recommendation! It’s nice to know that we aren’t alone and I think her views on relationships are really refreshing. I definitely think my anxiety could be caused by my fear of leaving home for the first time!

    You mentioned that you suffer from stomach problems caused by your anxiety. Luckily I’m not affected much in that way, but I do get awful tension headaches so I can definiltey sympathise with how the physical symptoms make you feel. I also get a tight chest quite alot and find that I struggle to catch my breath. Hopefully the mindfulness will be able to help with that! x

  437. SarahS Says:

    Hi Candie

    It’s great to hear from you. I used to read your posts when I first found this site about 3 years ago and as I was so poorly then I just used to stick to reading the more positive posts, yours mainly! You helped me so much then so glad I can say thank you to you! You make so much sense, you are spot on! Really pleased you are so well and have such a good attitude to this, yes times can be tough but you are so right it is part of being human! I had a tough few months also recently and got a bit scared and used this site as a crutch, although I did get some great advice and then thought that’s it, stop with the pity, feel it all which is the only way through it (not trying to get round it as I was) and onwards! I’ve also come a long way. Really good to hear from you.
    Sarah x

  438. DCYL Says:


    In regards to horror movies, chalk it up to your nerves being over sensitive. Not to over generalize, but just about everyone’s situation is due to this. I once questioned something like this too. I like to watch those “paranormal TV shows” and while they aren’t super scary, there’s a lot of negative things that are mentioned. I stopped watching for a while but I’ve gone back. I will say that those paranormal shows are kind of boring these days! :)

    A few other things:

    I also wonder what happened to Nicola. In fact, I see my response to her message above. But the original message seems to have disappeared. I remember Nicola being somewhat down. Hopefully she is ok.

    Jeanie (California Girl) – I never did respond to you! If I recall, you’re a young college aged kid. I’m quite a bit older than you, but if the opportunity ever arises, it would be interesting to meet someone from here.

    Jenny Lee – I noticed this message last night and no one responded. Seems like you were a new person and not familiar with some of things that were discussed. Read around the blog (there are other articles that are good). Ask questions and most people will usually respond. There are just so many messages that things occasionally get missed.

    BTW – I am a fellow “Lee”, though not sure if you are Asian or not. 😀

  439. Candie Says:

    Hi Sarah glad u are doing great :) that’s exactly what I used to do. I knew every last thing about recovering but rather then putting it into practice I would use the information to console myself through setbacks and self pitty. It’s a really common thing that I have seen often, I wasn’t even aware I was doing it until recently. Sort of using the concept of recovery as a crutch rather then embracing what it meant. I know I am fully recovered now as I no longer think ‘maybe it’s over now, maybe it’s gone’. My attitude is now ‘come if u wish’.

  440. SarahS Says:

    Hi Candie – that’s a sure sign of recovery, really pleased. The consoling ourselves I think is common like you say and it’s a normal part of the process but at some point to really move forward we have to go against our instinct to resolve and to make a conscious effort to not do that. For me there has been alot of having to take a big leap of faith as, maybe because I had had anxiety for a long long time of maybe it was just part of how it would work for me, or maybe that’s just anxiety but it took a long time for any benefits to show. I don’t want that to put people off, I wanted to encourage people because sometimes it feels like all the information makes sense but we feel so awful that we wonder how on earth doing nothing or not consoling ourselves by asking for advice on here, facing things that make us terrified etc etc will ever help, so we try it a bit but it doesn’t work, so we retreat and hold on a little tighter and sometimes feel a bit worse, but then are told again that we need to go towards the feelings, go with it, stop trying to sort it out so we then gain a bit more courage from somewhere and off we go again, trying to not try! I wanted to re-assure that all this doing it the right way (or rather not doing) is all adding up to future success, it’s all going on in the background and by taking that leap of faith and not expecting to feel better, just practising what you know, letting go then at some point, whenever that is, things really will start to improve, little by little, without you really realising it and it’s all part of the process.

    If I can do it, then I know others can too. Forget perfection, go with your own journey of recovery, knowing what you are going through is all part of the process but that at times you will need to make a conscious effort to go against what your instincts are telling you and like Candie says, don’t feel bad if you don’t get it right away!


  441. Matt Says:

    Listen guys, regardless of what you are going through your brain is sending you false messages! I went through the worst, toe to toe with paul in his misery, and came out the other end. You have to realize that it is all nonsense!!! don’t believe what your adrenalin or anxiety state produces. Am I going to hurt my kids? no. Am I going to run over someone? no. It takes your fears and magnifies them. Realistically, there is nothing wrong with anyone on this board, anxiety has taken over your life and your fear it and do whatever to manage it. Don’t manage it, let it go, accept that you have it, and before you know it, it will be gone. I speak from experience I went through the worst, was homebound, lost all contact with friends, etc. It is all anxiety. Whatever symptom you’re having realize that it isn’t going to hurt you and you have to find a different approach of dealing with it. Fighting won’t work, going over in your head with positive phrases wont work, you truly have to accept it and move and before you know it, it will be gone. Thats what happened to me, I stopped caring about it, and it left. you guys have to do the same thing it isn’t easy, I know. It took me months to get the right attitude, but once you do, you will realize it has been weeks months with no anxiety. Like I said before, this condition is curable, we don’t have to live with it, so please let whatever nonsense is going through your head and adrenalin your feeling and allow it!!! I wish the best for all of you and know for a fact that everyone on this board can recover, if I can then anyone can.

  442. Candie Says:

    Sarah u sound like u are doing fab :) you too Mat

    I promised I would not post here anymore till I knew I had recovered as I felt like I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching so to speak.

    About 5 years ago I first visited this site, instead of embracing what I was told and downing tools and living beside it I used these pages and book to as another tool to try mentally positively talk my way out if feeling anxiety. Then I’d feel positive for maybe an hour and self pitty would take over again and back to pondering. I pondered so bad a couple of months ago my mind went blank, I felt like I had no soul and disconnected from myself. Thank god I knew what it was and I actually accepted it and let it be there. When I saw improvement I applied this to more and more of my
    Symptoms and my attitude changed from fear to a willingness to pass through whatever was thrown my way. It only takes tiny steps to build on and before u know it you realise you was always in control and its not something that u unfortunately got- it was all in your reaction to it.

    Every symptom of anxiety is normal mental and physical experiences- but the anxiety disorder develops when you try push it away. It’s normal sometimes to get sensitised nerves from shock or stress, it’s normal to be depersonalised if you are in shock from a loved ones death, it’s normal to think strange/perverse/paranoid/ odd things. When adrenalin levels are up its our instinct to try fix these things as adrenalin levels trick you- but you have to not follow the bluff and get on with your day refusing to analyse or be impressed.

    I liken it to how I feel after watching a scary film- the film will raise your adrenalin levels and even after the film is over the adrenalin lingers and makes u irrational.. I know monsters aren’t real but once the film has hiked up the adrenalin levels I freak out and have even been known to look under the bed and in cupboards before I get in bed.. Then obviously every noise I hear I’m worried its an imposter! Then I go to sleep and wake up and my adrenalin from the film has burnt out and I think ‘what on earth was I thinking been so scared over a daft film’. Can u see anxiety is a bit like that, the adrenalin tells us every thought and feeling is the worst case scenario.. That can’t be helped and it does go away eventually. Just don’t take the bate and investigate your symptoms. I’m baffled now as to why some of my thoughts and feelings terrified me, but at the time I was so sensitised any minor symptom seemed huge!!

  443. Teresa Says:

    Candie – how lovely to see you on here and with such a positive message for all. How is your little boy doing? He must be 3 now. A really good post which made sense to me. In fact I think you have to reach certain stages before you can appreciate some of the fine lines in recovery. I have been ‘recovering’ for a while but not recovered fully as I have been doing what you and Sarah discuss which is consoling myself with ways to recovery, like a map or a route plan. i realise this is not the answer now – it is not about recovery it’s about understanding there is nothing to sort out and then going against the instinct of ‘thinking’ there is something wrong with you. I have had difficulties with anxiety latching onto physical stuff but recently i have realised that trying to remove them completely inorder to be recovered is not the answer. I think that we also attribute ‘anxiety’ to be something it isn’t. Well I do – i have had an injury this year and anticipated that it would not go because of anxiety which really frightened me, and I have had problems with letting go of it even though I am almost physically recovered but bit by bit it reveals itself to be anxiety and the more it does that the more I need to let go, which I am doing.
    So – the posts from you and Sarah about there not being perfection/clear cut recovery, which was also mentioned by doreen i think will be very helpful to many on here.
    I am starting to see that ‘anxiety’ is not an ‘it’ it is an over reaction to a thought or a feeling by trying to cancel that over reaction we are increasing our attention on the thought or feeling. It’s only the ‘I can’t cope with this’ – I won’t be able to cope’ attitude that keeps the fire burning. we will cope – and as Sarah said even when we think we won’t because we are in the midst of the ‘eye of the storm’ the storm passes and we move foward that bit again.
    It’s also encouraging to see that both of you suffered for a long time, which I have, and that this change of attitude evolved over a period of time – i have often wondered because of the length of time i have had it that this ‘is me’ – although i do remember a time when it was not.
    That’s ok though as I am improving and my outlook has improved even more by the fact that I can see others have had these thoughts too, have taken time and have come through.
    Good post Matt – glad things are ok with you.

  444. Doreen Says:

    Super posts going on. It is now a year since I felt I was in a stressed state most of time (for very laudable reasons) which grew and then became the constant anxiety which could then attach itself to anything. So even when the initial causes for the stress became less worrying the anxiety was in full flow and was my almost constant companion. If I had thought back then that I would still be feeling anxious a year later my heart would have dropped into my boots. However, the reality is that yes, I do still have difficult times but have accepted that as being how it is now. I no longer think ‘OMG’ how much longer is this going to go on for. Instead I manage (on the whole) to get on with life and in so doing can feel enjoyment again.

  445. Verity Says:


    I was wondering whether anyone could offer me some advice. I currently suffer from over-worrying/anxiety and I’m really afraid that I am going to lose my boyfriend because I am not the same fun person I was when we met.

    We have just moved away for his work and I am finding it a little difficult being away from my friends. Recently he says that I am always grumpy. Because of this I am constantly trying to be like the old me but it just makes it worse. I feel like it’s a vicious cycle – I am scared he doesn’t love me so I become more anxious and the more anxious I am the more different I become. I feel like everything I do at the moment is to please him, I get anxious over the silliest things like ‘what if he doesn’t like what I’ve got us for dinner’.

    How do I approach talking about this with him? I obviously really miss the old me and want to get better, I just feel like I need him to understand in order to get there…

  446. Candie Says:

    Hi Teresa :) sound like you are well on the way to recovery :) I have two boys now! One is 3 and the other is 7 months.. I’m now also a single parent and feel very proud and fortunate to have experienced this and learnt from it as it really has changed my outlook on life and once u have learnt to effectively manage anxiety the minor problems and stresses of life seem to be taken care of with a calm attitude. I guess acceptance is a skill u can apply to any problem as I’m a much calmer person and tend not to get overwhelmed by stress of emotions at all now.

    Doreen that’s what happened to me, years of stress followed by a breakdown and then anxiety. Paul once said he could wake up tomorrow and feel it all again and not question or fight. That’s how I knew I had done it as I was waking up and able to do that.

    Hope everyone has a lovely weekend :)

  447. Teresa Says:

    Candie that’s wonderful, two little boys, bet they keep you on you toes. My grandaughter is the same age as your little boy – and she’s fab too. I think you are right about applying this attitude to ‘life’ – it is an important learning tool, it’s hard learnt but over time you understand why. I feel what you say about the years of stress, inward thinking, breakdown followed by anxiety is my explanation too – not that i need an explanation anymore – just feel that ‘I cared too much’ about everything and tried to ‘control’ everything I don’t do that now, i do my best to ‘let it be’ as the song says. We can’t fix everything – we can’t predict the future or control it, recognising that is a big step foward in life.
    Take care x

  448. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Candie – It is so nice to see you back on the site and posting such wonderful things! You have a way of putting things that makes it very clear in my mind. Thank you and so glad to see how well you are doing!!

    Here’s to an awesome weekend for all of us! :)

  449. SarahS Says:

    I agree Doreen, fab posts! Thanks ever so much for sharing your stories Candie, Teresa, Matt and Doreen they will be really helpful to people especially to hear what you’ve been through and how you have progressed so much.

    2 boys now Candie how lovely really pleased for you! Can’t find a smiley face to put here!

    Teresa, I used to think the same about recovery and whether it would ever be achievable for me as I had suffered for most of my life and habits were so ingrained and I’d picked up so many fears and all of the trimmings that go with anxiety were well established! I do think because of that that it’s taken me longer perhaps to make progress but then that’s not a bad thing. Its provided me with the time to really practice a new me, and in turn this has given me the assurance in myself that my recovery has been down to me and is the new habit that is ingrained. New attitudes are born. I’ve come such a long way, I may struggle sometimes, but I’m certainly getting to almost welcome the feelings now and I know that I’ll be stronger each time. I struggle sometimes still, but then that’s simply because I’m human. Thanks again to you all, really helpful posts. x

  450. Teresa Says:

    Sarah – tried leaving a post last night but it wouldn’t accept it. I think your calm atitude towards recovery is a credit to you and is what is getting you there in a steady manner. I can really identify with you over the length of time having this. , habits, fears and trimmings, yes I know what you mean. I have come a long way from the beginning with it but not as far as I would have liked – however, a ‘bad’ year which threw me has also turned out to teach me a lot too so all of a sudden my understanding is opening further and I understand ‘why’ a lot of these feelings have been around. I love the phrase you use ‘new attitudes are born’ – and yes, life is a struggle sometimes for everyone, and sometimes we can forget that and attribute it to anxiety. Your message has strengthened my ‘new attitude’ and helped any doubts that I may have about my recovery.
    It has been good to hear from you all.
    Others on here who have not had this a long time – do not feel it will be the same for everyone, many recover a lot sooner especially if they have not been suffering for a long time. But the main thing for us all is that it is to do with realising this is our response to a sypmtom/thought – inorder to change our response we do nothing. LOL – i know it’s hard, but that’s all it is.

  451. Aarons Says:

    Hi all! Have just finished Pauls book, I have found it truly inspirational, I now know what to do, altho having read the posts on here and from my experience of anxiety I know its not going to be easy, but with help from this blog I know I wiil get to where I want to be. I look forward to sharing my posts with you all, Take care… Arrons

  452. Jenny Lee Says:

    Hi everyone,

    DCYL – Thank you for seeing my message and replying.
    I do often come on the Blog and read what people say, as I find it helpful, but, like others, I do use it too much as a crutch I think!

    Just a question – does anyone ever feel really overwhelmed, with stress, or just with life in general, meaning of life etc? It builds and gets so much that sometimes I just want to curl up, or just have a break, or something! Then my brain just seems to go into shut-down mode, so slow and confused and odd. Is this normal?

    I worry that my life is relatively easy now, I’m just 23 with no responsibilities, so how overwhelmed will I feel when I have children, mortgage and everything!!

    Thanks for your support everyone.

  453. Teresa Says:

    Jenny – you cope with what life presents to you and funnily enough the less time you have to ‘brood’ on life itself the more time you spend living it and not worrying about it. Please don’t let anxiety frighten you into thinking you won’t cope with what life is about. you will – and you will enjoy it too. look at Candie – she is handling life better than someone who had never had anxiety, she has learnt what to take seriously and what not to, anxiety is an over reaction which is a habit – you can unlearn this habit and once you have you will be in a better position than most to cope with all life entails. What you describe is quite normal – even for people who do not ‘belive’ they have anxiety. I am sure you will be fine.

  454. SarahS Says:

    Hi Teresa – thanks for the post back. You’re right that some people do progress and recover a lot quicker than others. I think I’ve mentioned on here before but just as further encouragement to you I hope, my mom also had anxiety for many, many years, she was sooo poorly. I found a Claire Weekes book which helped me alot so I told mom about it, she ready it and totally got the message of what she needed to do and that anxiety was one bit bluff, she’d been terrified of her feelings, tried time and again to get rid of it, that had been her focus but she read the book and the change in her over a very short period of time was incredible. I then found this site, told mom about it and she read the posts on here a couple of times and off she went on her journey of recovery. That was about 3 or 4 years ago and she’s done wonderfully well and is now recovered. She has the odd bout of anxiety but thinks of it as just totally normal. She’s a whirlwind my mom, loves being busy, helping others, taking part in activities, groups, looking after the family, friends, etc etc. To be honest I think that’s the reason why she recovered so quickly as although she had extreme anxiety she still kept busy, always went out, went on holiday, she thought keeping very busy and not stopping would cure it at that time. I, on the other hand did a lot of avoiding, didn’t go on holiday or even away for a night, cancelled alot of nights out, really did the bear mimimum in socialising. So, when it came to recovery my mom had really only her attitude to change so even after years and years of anxiety she recovered pretty quickly, having not avoided in being a part of life. I think this stood her in good stead. I on the other hand have taken longer to change my habits and fears, my biggest fear being to the way I felt. It’s been my recovery though, I’m not my mom and for me it’s been the way forward, for me.

    I understand how you feel, if you have been anything like me I’ve been so frustrated at times about my progress not moving along more quickly. At other times however I’ve been so proud of myself and the strength I have shown. I think the doubts and frustrations are a part of the process, completely normal and part of our recovery.

    We’re doing more thank okay Teresa.

    having trouble submitting this so hope it doesn’t appear more than once.

  455. Will Says:

    Sorry for the late reply.

    Yeah my nerves might be responsible for my lack of resistance to horror movies. It’s partly the watching of the film itself, but mainly the after-effects – the thoughts that linger in my mind. I seem to think that if the thought of some fictional horror stays in my mind long enough, something will happen. Of course it won’t happen, it’s just the imagination. We went through the same thing as kids, imagining monsters under the bed and such, and they never existed and we weren’t mentally programmed into believing those thoughts were real – we grew up and realised they were imaginary. This is the same thing.

  456. Teresa Says:

    Sarah – I do remember you and your Mum,s story now – your Mum sounds an inspiration.
    I did not avoid much and kept going to outside things – when i was heavily involved in outside things it did make my anxiety less important. I am presently trying to find new ways of getting involved outside of my family – life changes and sometimes shrinks your outside activities without you noticing – children grow up, jobs change etc and I am almost recovered from an injury but it has affected my anxiety which mimics it.
    I have been abroad on holidays now for many years but I did shrink from it many years ago – but to be honest found that when i approached it things were a lot better not worse. I think the worse habit I have picked up from all this is that I need to differtiate between what is ‘real and what is ‘anxiety’ once i can find the right attitude to that it will be a page turner for me.
    It must be a wonderful inspiration to see your mum do so well and yes we are doing very well, patience and being prepared to accept things as they are for the moment is the way foward. we are on the right road and as long as things are getting better there is no need to frett-
    Lovely to hear from you Sarah and yes I too had probs posting over the last few days but think it is sorted now.

  457. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Hi Candie nice to see you back :-)

    You are right on this ‘Paul once said he could wake up tomorrow and feel it all again and not question or fight.’ It’s an attitude built up over time and as someone said recently on here ‘Anxiety is just one big bluff’ it did not deserve my time or respect

    Congrats on the new arrival hopes he is well

  458. Sara Says:

    Hello Everyone,

    My first time posting on here. I have had Paul’s book for about 5 months now and I believe that it has truly saved my life. I have suffered with anxiety for a little over a year now. From experience I can say that your own mind will be your worst enemy yet bestfriend towards your recovery. One of my main problems is that when I am having a bad day my thoughts will run wild and go to the worst case scenario everytime to the point where I make myself physically sick. But eventually it passes and I realize that when I am in a not so anxious state these thoughts never even pass through my mind once prooving that they are false and only powered by anxiety. It takes time for normal thoughts to over ride the irrelevant anxiety induced ones but the trick really is to not give them any respect. Basically to do “nothing.”

    I was just wondering if someone could give me some insight to this problem that I have been struggling the most with and that is when I do go out regardless of my anxiety, I feel a bit apprehensive at first which is totally fine because then I find myself having so much fun as time passes. But without fail everytime something in my mind comes up and says “Helllo?! Are you forgetting Sara, you have anxiety… You shouldn’t be having a goodtime” and then I instantly become quiet and start to check in with myself more throughout the night. I struggle with the most during the mornings because I am still only 19 and am in college and find it to be a huge nuisance when I am in class trying to lose myself in the task at hand. Also if anyone has any advice when it comes to driving with anxiety, it will be very appreciated.

    Best wishes to you all, it is such an up and down process but the ups are worth so much. Also if you have any questions I will be happy to give you some advice from my journey!

  459. Michelle m Says:

    hi all.

    hope your day has been good. having a setback at the moment. thinking that i am suffering with more than anxiety. haven’t felt this bad in months. have booked off sick from work today as i feel so down. started suffering with the harm intrusive thoughts again which feeds my anxiety. have rebooked an appointment with my cbt lady nd am seeing the gp on Friday which i am nervous about. i don’t know what to say to her. i am scared to tell her my fears in case i get hospitalised. i know i will never harm my daughter but its as though my mind is urging me to. its making me feel so sick.and so scared. any ideas would be appreciated. i have spent most of the day feeling sad and cannot seem to get myself out of this.

    thanking you

    Michelle x

  460. Teresa Says:

    Michelle – this is anxiety trying to frighten you. The best suggestion I can make is to calmy sit down and either read Paul’s book or look through the blog for the notes on disturbing thoughts. It should give you some reassurance. Hope you feel better soon.

  461. Jamie Says:

    Well, talk about anxiety, we are bracing for the largest storm ever to hit the east coast of the US! Wish me luck! :)

  462. angela Says:

    hi michelle, i had the exact same feelings and thoughts towards my 10 year old son, i wont go into all the details but i had a massive panic attack 2 years ago which left me with a thought of stabbing or harming my son, this sent me out of control and i lost it i just sat on the settee all day trying to stop the thought and thought i was going mad, i didnt tell anyone except my husband like you scared of them not understanding me and the fact i would never hurt my son :( but the pain for me was intense, i feel your pain.. i got a bit better then a bit worse i trawled the internet for help, then i came across pauls website, i immediately ordered the book!! within in days after being in bed for literally months, i got up and i remember taking my dog for a walk with my little boy who was 8 then and my husband and for the first time in months i was not locked into (my world) im not saying it cured me but the fact that its common was enough for me to no i i could beat this and it finally had a name (ANXIETY) that was what i needed :) from that day on i have got much better, yes i have setbacks but every one i have now i no that its not as bad as the last one and if it is i will deal with it.. i do occasionally have the bad thoughts and terrible negative thoughts towards my son and i have a thing about a particular knife that i am scared of it, sounds crazy but you will all no what i mean :) anyway to help you on your journey you wont hurt your daughter you are just charged with adrenalin and fear and your mind plays terrible tricks on you… the doc prob wont help you if im honest, i come off all medication (supervised) and i spend loads of alone time with my son now and i bloody love it :) your not abnormal because there are thousands of people who think the same way as you, it will get better just beleive its anxiety and go with it you wont do anything about that thought but the more you fear it the worse it gets trust me.. just dont give i priority in your head, give your self priority instead.. going of sick makes it worse as your playing into its hands.. the more you just let it be the less it will attack you because it loses its grip and stops shouting so loud.. it will get bored michelle… good luck and your not alone i have them thoughts … angela xx

  463. Michelle m Says:

    hi Angela and Teresa

    thanks so much for taking the time to reply. i have trawled through pages and pages of symptoms the same as mine but for some reason just don’t get it. its as though i am waiting for insanity to strike! sounds ridiculous i know. what a waste of life. i feel able to cope with it all today thank god.

    i am now 40 and know that it is very rare to be diagnosed with a serious mental health problem so late in life. but me being me thinks that i am differen :-).

    i also have the fear that i will feel so low one day that i will take my own life. i certainly don’t feel suicidal. my sister in law dying at 38 and leaving her 3 children 6 years ago is what started this nightmare for me so i know 100% that i will never leave my kids. this is just awful but thankfully its not here all the time.

    thanks again Angela and im glad you are doing so much better. my thoughts are with you.

    Michelle xx

  464. Candie Says:

    Michelle I had loads of thoughts like that, it really is just adrenalin latching on. If you wasn’t so sensitised the thoughts would be laughed off. The mistake your making is trying to prove u wont harm anyone. Anxiety will urge you to figure out your thoughts. What I did was told myself I will not try and prove this thought isn’t true any more. When thoughts cropped up I accepted I had them, accepted I would for a while and over time just realised its fine to think anything but anxiety will blow it up bigger and I let it blow it up too! If it told me what if I go crazy and harm someone, I would often try prove it wasn’t true etc and it made me really ill. Try change your attitude to one of, yea I have anxiety so for now I’m going to think scary stuff. Let it seem real, the adrenalin will see to that. Never try be rational as its a game u won’t win.

    Thankyou Paul, it’s nice to see all the familiar faces on here doing so well :)

  465. Michelle m Says:


    thank you too for taking time to reply.

    i just have to accept that i have had these thoughts. that i am not going to act on them and that this is how i am for the moment. i think i am just full of self pity that all this crap started in the first place. thanks again and glad you are doing well.
    Michelle xx

  466. Sam Says:

    Hi all,

    It was last Sunday that I found this blog and I am grateful for that. I just want to introduce myself, so please excuse the long first post. A little bit about myself, I’m 24, happily married to a wonderful woman, and have a child on the way (wife is expecting in May). I have a solid and BUSY job with a lot of financial stability. All in all, I have a lot going for me and a very loving and supportive family.

    In transitioning from being a college student to being a professional, things began to get a bit shaky. I’m a long time worrier – nothing chronically harmful, but I have always reacted a bit more to small things. I’m an analytical and deep thinker by nature and an overall sensitive person. This personality has helped me connect with many people and has helped me built some amazing friendships along the way.

    Last winter, I began to notice that I felt a bit rundown, unexcited, lacking energy here and there, and my parents thought maybe some mild seasonal depression. I sought out a psychiatrist to help me decompress and gain some strategies moving forward (I had used a psychiatrist before for managing some anxiety when my wife and I were in a long distance relationship and he was great – just gave me some relaxation tips and helped me better understand what I was feeling). This new doctor diagnosed and prescribed within the first 20 minutes. He told me that I was an anxious worrier and that all of this thinking, talking, and explaining I was doing was toxic and needed to stop. Have you ever had somebody tell you that who you are is bad? Well, it hurt like hell, but I believed him. Then he told me he had a pill for me that would make all the thinking and pondering go away. Up to this point, my thinking and pondering was pretty harmless – I have always been a rational kid and one that can step back from a situation and see it for what it really is even if my mind wants to believe otherwise. Well, he put me on a medication called Triavil, a sub clinical dose meant to just “sedate the thinking.” He had convinced me that this was the right path and I was so trusting of him. I was on it for 2 months, but also practicing meditation and just living and was feeling great. I had noticed, before beginning the medication, that my mood had begun improving with the end of my school year (i’m a teacher) coming to a close. I think a large part of how I felt during that winter was due to being run down, it being winter, and just being tired in general. That said, this new doctor had convinced me there was something wrong with me that this drug was helping me with – the whole experience began an inner dialogue for me filled with pondering, ruminating, and highly self critical worry. I decided after two months that I would stop the tiny dose of the drug and did so. I felt on top of the world for two days, being in control, happy, and living life. Then I came down with extreme nausea, insomnia, extreme feelings of being on edge, and an inner intense restlessness. I had no idea what was happening and tried to just put up with them. It was one of the worst experiences of my life and it only ended when I took a half a dose of Triavil. Magically, in 45 minutes, I felt fine again. My doctor told me that it was NOTHING to do with me stopping the Triavil as the dose was so small and that it was all anxiety. I continued to believe him and took Triavil all summer.

    Over the summer, there were two instances where I began fearing that initial experience and worrying about every little feeling that I had. It seemed to build up and build up until I was able to relax and then it passed. Overall, I continued on with old habits of worry and feeling a bit trapped and held down by the drug. This built my anxiety. Then the school year began and I woke up that first day with tingly anxious feelings all over. I called my doctor and he tried prescribing yet another drug and then a sleeping pill and then xanax. I flipped out. This was NOT the answer and I no longer believed him, because he kept just saying take this and move on. I was a wreck and could hardly sit at work or engage in conversations and felt like my life was hopeless. I went from being a confident, outgoing, and sensitive young man (one that never stops smiling) to an anxious and internally focused worry wort. This motivated me to find new doctors who could help me move forward. I found two, a LCSW and a local psychiatrist that is not a pill pusher. Upon meeting the psych, he first had me slowly wean off the drug and said it was doing absolutely nothing but making things worse and said that I was likely highly sensitive to the anti-psychotic component of the drug even at such a tiny dose. He then said the exact opposite of everything the first doctor had said – sure I am an anxious guy with a lot going on, but he saw the person beneath all the layers of crap and wanted that person to come back out… the person that walked into that first doctor’s office with the intent to get some support with some winter blues.

    The LCSW is another person that GETS me and has been slowly introducing me to mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. It largely follows the same principles outlined in this blog. It’s about living, getting into the moment, changing the way you relate to thoughts, and not trying to actively change how you feel or get better. She is really great and has worked with my new psychiatrist in the past – I see her regularly and the psych just checks in once every couple weeks to just see how I am doing over the phone.

    It has been a month and a half since I woke up at the start of the school year feeling like I do now. I go in and out of feeling anxious tingly sensations and worrying about my health and the little things in my life. I have a worry habit and one that wants to rigidly follow a perfectly healthy and in control life. Over time, I have become very uncomfortable with uncertainty and over think things in a big way. I should say that I eat a very healthy diet, exercise in some way each day, try to connect socially every day, meditate daily, and spend time in nature whenever possible. I am also a man of hobbies, I fell in love with coffee and craft beer 2 years ago and they have been a lot of fun for me. The mantra associated with these things is moderation and appreciation. Enjoying that one cup of coffee a day like it was your last ( I roasted the beans myself until all this hit me a month and a half ago) and that beer with dinner every once in a while. When my anxiety seemed to punch me in the stomach in early September, I immediately began searching the web for answers and every single thing I read demonized coffee and alcohol – this further threw me into an anxious tailspin. Was I really losing two things that I love so very much? I have always had a healthy relationship with them and still do, but the worry associated with them has been awful. Each time I have a beer with dinner, or decide to have a cup of coffee in the morning, I question whether I am harming my health or making things worse… the funny piece of that is it is not the beer or small cup of coffee, it is the worry surrounding it that is making things worse.

    I worry about everything in this same manner. If my wife wants Chinese food, I think about how it is not good for me and I can’t eat it and begin stressing out and worrying about how it will not be good for my anxiety. It’s not that it will actually make me feel anxious and awful, but the worry and thought surrounding me make me feel anxious and awful. I take everything so literally and at times and far too comfortable just letting my thoughts be truths and facts. When this all started, my LCSW had me just return to living life as normally as possible and this helped tremendously. I was having a cup of coffee in the morning, and enjoying it, I was exercising, and I was getting my work done. It was when I began feeling so good and getting back on top of things that the worry habit and cycles of anxiety snuck back in and got to work and I lapsed back into things this past weekend.

    Getting to the end of my “quick” writeup here, I just wanted to say a little bit about who I am and what I have gone through. I am off the drug and have been for 3 weeks. That in itself was a step forward for me and one that did not come easily. Even weaning off of it for 3 weeks saw me struggle with sleep and some added anxiety that I don’t think was all coming from me. I have continued working every day and have even done some international travel, using mindfulness to help ground me in the moment and really enjoyed the experience. I decided to reach out to the wonderful people on this blog as a way to have a little support outside of my weekly meeting with my counselor. She helps me, but she has helped me understand that it is not our meetings that help me move forward, but rather that I need to do my best to live in the moment, enjoy life, and just accept how I feel. I get it. I just need some support from folks that have lived it, are living it, or know people who have lived it. I personally don’t know anybody that has gone through what I am going through and it makes me feel a little lonely.

    Thanks for reading – I just wanted to introduce myself.


  467. Sam Says:

    I forgot to mention that one thing I have done my best not to do is avoid. I have pushed myself into things that make me anxious whether that be social situations, work situations, or other things.

    For instance, I noted in the above post how I have worked myself up about coffee being this terrible terrible thing for anxiety. Even in my extreme level of moderation, I have constant worry that I am harming myself in some way. I will add that it does not make me jittery in the least bit and almost is calming to me because I enjoy the flavor of the coffee I make so much. Obviously this does not mean I drink 2-3 cups a day, but rather I stick to one cup a day and sometimes decide not to have it at all. I have put a lot of love into learning to brew my morning cup and have quite the setup in my kitchen and at work (a real coffee geek!). I also really enjoy Chinese teas in the same way. There is something so calming about slowing down the day to enjoy something that is such a “quick fix” in our culture.

    As the anxiety gathered steam, I began analyzing my life style and pin pointing all of the things that could be causing problems. This hurt me a lot. It made me feel like I was losing things that bring me a lot of enjoyment to anxiety. Even with my LCSW and Psych both telling me not to worry about the caffeine or alcohol, because I am using them in such careful moderation, it did not matter. My worry was there and I was almost stuck listening to it and believing it. There is a fear of losing these things to anxiety. This past weekend, I got so worked up even after a great week of just having my cup in the morning without second thought, having some tea in the afternoon, having a great work day, and then enjoying my night with my wife. I allowed those things to become non-factors all week and let the worries subside.

    This form of worry applies to many things in my life. I analyze things as good and bad and stress out about living in that perfect balance. I’ve been like this for a long time, but it never created anxiety. I was just conscious of my health. I eat healthy, enjoyed trying out new foods, but also loved how I could integrate a beer and coffee into a healthy lifestyle. I preached moderation and felt really on top of things.

    With the onset of the anxiety, I just want to avoid all of these things that make me anxious. On one hand, I just want to push them far away feeling that it will allow me to heal, but then I see this as avoidance and not a solution. The issue isn’t that a small cup is making me anxious, or that a burger once in a blue moon is making me feel jittery and fatigued, but rather the thoughts and worries that swirl around the experience. This can be applied to any experience in my life that makes me anxious. It’s the worry habit and not the things themselves. I’m sure it would be much different if I was chugging coffee all day, drinking no water, and just eating junk food all day, but that is far from the truth.

    Ironically, I obsess about balance and moderation. Sometimes you just got to step back and smile at yourself.

    Thanks again for reading through this lengthy writeup and introduction. I am already well on my way having found the professionals to support me and am excited to have a group of amazing folks here as well. I know that I have the potential within me. I think of this whole situation a lot like a really badly scraped and banged up knee. It hurts like hell right now and makes daily living tough as times and even makes putting pants on difficult. That said, it is not permanent and my body holds the power to heal. I just need to step out of my own way.

    Have a fantastic day – if you are on the east coast, like myself, take care of yourself in the face of this storm!

  468. Jeff Says:

    Michelle M. says: i am now 40 and know that it is very rare to be diagnosed with a serious mental health problem so late in life. but me being me thinks that i am differen .

    This all hit me at 40, too, Michelle. As far as being diagnosed with a serious mental health problem, I would try and not think of it as that. I think of it as a bump in the road, and one from which I will recover. I read this not too long ago and it seems to be a good way of looking at our situation: “Depression is not a sign of weakness, it is just a sign that we have been strong for too long.” Time to let the stream carry us for a while instead of struggling to swim against the current:)

  469. Michelle m Says:

    hi Jeff

    i don’t think of us being seriously mentally ill. what i meant is to be diagnosed with any thing other than anxiety or depression. i don’t mind having anxiety if it is just that! what i don’t like are the thoughts that go with it. hope i make sense. wish i didn’t fight so hard!.

    thanks for your help Jeff xx

  470. Dawn Says:

    Hi Lucy,

    Thanks for your response. I hope you’ve been doing OK the last few days.

    I had a bit of a breakthrough (well, I consider it to be a breakthrough) on Saturday, in that I had a day where I wasn’t really anxious, and just had a lovely day with my husband and actually felt somewhere closer to happy again. I still couldn’t feel that much towards him and still had that niggling feeling but I felt more certain that things were improving and felt much happier about the future. However, as I expected, I’ve gone downhill again but I expected this would happen so am trying not to pay too much attention to it (which is hard but I know it’s the right thing to do). My sleep has been quite disturbed the last few nights so this hasn’t helped the situation. I think the sertraline I am taking is starting to kick in properly now as I am finding it easier not to latch onto my thoughts but I am hoping in time my emotions will sort themselves out once my nerves have had more of a rest from worrying. Are you taking any meds at all, if you don’t mind me asking? I would prefer not to be taking them but for me the anxiety and the accompanying depression had got so bad I literally couldn’t function so to me they have been very useful.

    I haven’t read much of my mindfulness book yet, I have been reading a book that my CBT therapist recommended called “the worry cure”. It is pretty good, and in parts mirrors what Paul recommends. I have read so many parts of it and almost laughed out loud as it is as if they are describing my exact thought processes. I have also been to a meditation class a few times and I would recommend that as well if you can, I find it very hard but the teacher assures me with practice it will get easier.

    I have found the conscious transitions site really useful, I don’t agree with everything she says but most of it makes sense. The key message I have taken from it and also this site is that we need to accept the uncertainty and stop fighting it by trying to find an answer or some kind of guarantee that we do love our partners because we’re never going to find it. I knew before all this that I loved him to pieces and that tells me it must be anxiety causing all this. Like you say, why would we be on this blog, spending money and time on reading books and going to therapy and in my case at least, taking medication, if it was simply a case of not loving our partners? I laugh to myself a little as I read what I have just written as rationally I know this is true, but then part of me is saying “but what if it is that you don’t love him and can’t accept it?” That’s the voice I need to stop paying attention to that has got me into this mess in the first place!

    It is also heartening to see people writing on this blog who have recovered from anxiety like Candie, I am grateful to them for posting as it gives me hope that I can get past this hellish experience and regain my happy life with my husband. x

  471. Sam Says:

    Hi Dawn,

    Regarding your mindfulness and meditation, it WILL get easier. I started mindfulness meditation and some mindfulness training about a month or so ago and am learning new things every day. I am right in the thick of anxiety and getting my feet back under me, but really enjoy the mindfulness training. The key is to not force your mind to stay in the present. Being aware of the fact that your mind has wandered IS being in the present moment, as you are no longer following your wandering thought. I once heard mindfulness meditation described in this way, “Being mindful means that if your mind wanders away 100 times, you gently return to the present 101.” Mindfulness is by no means a cure for anxiety, but rather a tool that helps us reshape our relationship to our thoughts! Also, mindfulness meditation also acknowledges the fact that on some days, your mind will be overly active and anxious during meditation while on others it may be calm. Regardless of the state of your mind, just being aware of how your feel or how busy your mind is and continuing on is the way to go. It has gotten easier for me, but it is a tool for life – not just anxiety! Also, much of what mindfulness meditation teaches is perfectly in line with what Paul talks about. It’s the act of being in the present, living life, and being non-judgemental towards how you feel. That last part is sooooo hard, but I know it will get easier for me.

    Anxiety can be so consuming and makes you question your connection to reality. For me, I get similar questioning thoughts about whether or not I still have interest in things… granted, mine are around things other than my wife, but the form of worry is still the same.

    You will get through this, Dawn. After all, you are doing something about it and are seeking out support… and we are all in it together!


  472. Des Says:

    Hello.. This is my first time posting to a blog… For quite sometime now I to have been suffering from anxiety.
    I’ve always been a worrier and have always been told I think to much and worry to much :(
    i’ve been having horrible thoughts about my relationhsip and keep doubting my boyfriend, one day i’ll be worrying about his feelings the next i’ll be worried whether mine are really there… which I know deep down and I love him so so much and want us to work out so bad but this anxiety is getting in the way. I find I cant fully be happy and open up. I’m always to scared it wont work and focus on the WHAT IFS…. please help before I push him away!

  473. Will Says:

    Hi Sara, your post caught my eye, mainly because you’ve detailed a lot of anxiety experiences I can relate to, but also because you said you were only 19.

    First of all, I know what it’s like to be young and have anxiety. I’ve just turned 21 a few days ago and I’ve had anxiety since I was 12. It goes up and down – I can be anxiety-free for weeks, months, even a whole year – only for something to spark it up again, in different forms.
    I can relate to many things you’ve written about. I too have a lot of “what if” scenarios that crop up, and I roll with them, making them worse and worse, feeling as though they will actually happen. My main anxiety sympton right now that started last Summer is obsessive thoughts about things I’ve done in the past I’m not proud of, ridiculous what-if scenarios, and worrying about fears like fainting and throwing up. Like you, when I’m out and having a good time, my anxiety is forgotten. Even when I try to recall these worrying thoughts, they don’t bother me and I can easily dismiss them. And then when it’s over, I seem to remind myself that I have anxiety and it comes back. The best thing I’ve learned from this blog is to let them be and they’ll dissipate. This is true and it HAS worked, but then my anxiety searches for and latches onto another thing for me to obsess over. Sometimes I’m barely aware of these thoughts, yet I still feel a vague, generic feeling of uneasiness that I can’t quite pin down.

    You also mentioned driving with anxiety. The first time I drove a car alone, I began to feel panicky (I used to suffer from panic attacks, so I’m no stranger to the symptoms), and I already began planning what to do “in case I panicked”. But I thought to myself “I have to deal with it. I need to stay in control so I can keep driving”. After a short while, I found that while concentrating on driving, my mind was off my panic and it faded away. When I had panic attacks, I found distraction to be the best solution, as well as slowing down and regulating your breathing.

    As I said, currently my problem with anxiety is obsessing over thoughts about ridiculous scenarios, stuff from the past, and holding myself back with stupid “what ifs”. And they themselves are terrible. I once convinced myself I had cancer 3 years ago and that thought alone was enough to bring back months of panic attacks, and the thoughts I have now do worry me. But now that I’ve found this website, I feel I have a much better understanding of the condition, and that is what I feel is the key to recovery. Had I not found this site, I hate to think what I would have been like.

    All the best :)

  474. Joe P Says:

    Hello Everyone, I haven’t posted on here for a while but I’ve still had a few quick looks on the blog. I just wanted to update on my progress. Eversince the latter part of summer holidays, things have started improving a lot!!, I’ll give you one big example. I study Drama and english and american literature at uni and I’m in my first term of second year. For the past three years really, because I’ve been so socially anxious,I have, often avoided acting, I know that sounds ridiculous for a Drama uni student but true! Specifically, things like not going for auditions, not contributing that much, and not volunteering for performances. And I would beat myself so much for it, as its not the real me.

    The reason why I avoided this was, because I have a slight stammer, though when non-anxious its seem to be gone completely, but for the last five years now, in social situations it has constantly fluctuated from sometimes good to mostly really bad. To the point where I will literally block on words half way through a sentence or am unable to get a word out, so I would have to use another! Horrible, its happened thousands of times. Because these things kept on happening automatically, I just felt very hopeless because I thought I had no real control over it.
    But I realised that I had created this all by myself, through my own worrying and obsessing about the first initial times when the block and stammering happened, all those years ago. I had worried about it that much, that it had become an automatic bodily habit. Where whenever I was in a social situation my body would warn me of the danger that I might stammer or chock on words, which in-turn made these things occur or a lot of the time scared me so much, I would just avoid talking. I would say the least amount possible and then just ask questions about the other person, putting all the talking off me :(.

    So in order to overcome this social anxiety, I understood that I can decrease the symptoms, by realising my avoidance behaviour was the very thing that was keeping these fears and behaviour alive! Now I had developed a habit of being fearful of the what if thoughts about being unable to speak fluidly (block, choke) or feeling like i was going to stammer or rush my words. So to change this, I’ve started consistently attacking these fears and started saying what I wanted to say anywhere and if I stuttered or rushed my speech, so what! ANXIETY IS NOT CONTROLLING ME ANY LONGER!! (You really have to mean it), and through doing this over the past couple of weeks, I’m getting MUCH better in social situations. For e.g I don’t choke on words half as much and when saying what I want to say without mostly now with ease rather than finding it a struggle. I still have a very bad days where i feel like I’m straining to get my words out, but i think what the heck, I’m changing a very old habit. Theres going to lots of bad and good days.
    But for once with this symptom, I’m finally seeing progress and it feels amazing. Also one thing that really helped with this, is as paul says not caring what people think of you. I used think constantly beat myself up for stammering and coming across nervous, and thinking negative things like ‘god i can barely get my words out I’m so nervous, I bet my classmates think I’m why the hell his he doing drama!” etc, don’t fill yourself with self pity like that, it best to accept all the negative thoughts, be your own best friend and just not care what people think. As it won’t be you forever and when you recovered there’ll see you the real one! Just as paul says.

    And so far this year with this new attitude, I been cast in a play called the weir as brendan and I’m been cast as a main character in a new web series about seven uni students!!! I can’t believe it, my life is becoming so much open and better! I still sometimes get a little nervous with my lines in rehearsals but things are getting better much easier and I know in the future i will be completely over my social anxiety! IN YOUR FACE ANXIETY, YOU AINT THE BOSS OF ME IN THIS PARTICULAR AREA NOMORE!! :)

    Hope this helps people, just a quick thought to finish on aswell. If i didn’t react with worry and obsession when my stuttering initially started, and i was given a explanation to why it was happening, five years ago. A habit wouldn’t of developed and my fear of the stutter would of passed, and the stutter would have aswell. Its our overreaction to anxiety that is the problem.

    Sorry for the mammoth detail, I can’t help being very detailed at times!
    Hope this helps and All the best
    Joe P X

  475. Joe P Says:

    anyway not anywhere*

  476. Sara Says:


    Thank you so much for your response!
    I too share that same fear of throwing up amd fainting especially while in class. But I tend to just follow it with a so what? So what if I throw up? People do it all the time. And in regards to fainting I have yet to hear of anyone who has fainted due to anxiety. So the fear in that for me is pretty small especially after realizing it was no big deal if it happened anyways.

    What you said about driving makes alot of sense. I should stop putting it off and just go through with it anxiety or not! I as well always made a plan for “if” I ever panic. Just added extra un necessary stress. I no longer do this because I keep the mind set of “Take care of today and tommorow will take care of itself” which helps alot during my obsessive what if thinking.

    I too feel on edge or uneasy even when I’m not feeling anxiety. Its almost as if Im waiting for it or expecting myself to feel it because it is what I have become so used to.

    Speaking of your Halloween post, I recently was a bit apprehensive to go to a haunted house with some friends thinking that the creatures popping up at me would send my anxiety through the roof. But I went through with it anyways. It is more of a mind over matter kind of thing. You know that your nerves are sensitized , you know the creatures are non existent. Its just the anxiety tricking you :)

    I appreciate your post, and wish you the best Will! :)

  477. Doreen Says:

    Hello Sara – I think it took a while for your post to appear hence the delay in responding. Please believe me – checking in when having an ok time is so common and also so frustrating. You are reading the words of an expert on that habit here. I would be feeling ok and then it was as if my mind would run down a shopping list of all the things that could trigger off anxiety until it found one. And then of course I was back into feeling anxious again. It was as if being ok felt strange and feeling anxious was the ‘norm’ so I would induce those anxious feelings again. Fortunately I recognised even then what I was doing and most of the time didn’t ruminate on the content of the anxiety but just ‘let it be’. It still happens sometimes and I do the ‘what if’ but try not to pay it any attention. I guess I am still wary of anxiety rather than welcoming it as Paul says but life is a good deal more enjoyable and comfortable than it was.

  478. Nick Says:

    Hi folks,

    It’s great to see Candie back. I’ve looked at a lot of your posts from the past few years to encourage myself but i think i have fallen into the same trap as you in not putting things into practice! The acceptance thing as soon as you give it a try seems much easier then you have a little setback and it tests your acceptance again but i know it will get better! Just a quick question for you candie, or anyone who has experienced this…. I have trouble when i feel irritable with my girlfriend and seem to snap at her, i seem to get anxious if i lose my temper over something so pathetic and tiny, something which i can see as something that i don’t ned to get annoyed about (as personally i see getting annoyed at things as completely pointless), so when i find myself getting annoyed, i get scared of losing my temper or shouting. Is this just another thing to accept for now?

    Hope you can help.


  479. Candie Says:

    Hi Dawn

    I’ve had that exact thought u are hAving :) Infact I think I’ve had every thought going!! You have to face the thought by acknowledging your thinking it and accepting your anxiety is creating false doubt and be willing to feel the doubt whiles the anxiety subsides. Don’t try prove the thought Is anxiety, or not real. The best thing to do with these thoughts is mock them! If anxiety told me I didn’t love my other half I told myself ‘well maybe I don’t, maybe I don’t love my kids too and maybe il never love anyone!!’ Then I would not rumernate at all. It sounds mad but by agreeing with the uncertainty you desensitise to the occurrence of the thought and then they pop in and out without anxiety eventually and fade. The more importance you place on answer finding the more sensitised u will become to the thought and the more anxiety u will feel.

  480. Teresa Says:

    Well done Joe – you should be so proud of yourself and good luck with the play.

  481. Sara Says:

    Hi Doreen,

    Thank you for responding!

    I think it also has to do with the time difference as I assume that the majority of you are from the United Kingdom whereas I am from America.

    I too need to focus on inviting it in more. I know that it will make a world of a difference.

    I almost feel as though it is a blessing yet burden to have had anxiety the age that I am. I am 19 and feel like this is something that was meant to help me become stronger for the future and develop a tougher skin. I have always been a very quiet and timid person. My anxiety has almost made me a bit more outgoing and sociable because it makes me not take life for granted. But at the same time because I am young my obsessive thoughts are “what if my anxiety never goes away and I don’t graduate, then I won’t get a job no one will want to marry me with anxiety ” etc etc always thinking ahead of the future. But I have come to realize that I never thought these thoughts pre anxiety. Still doesn’t make them less upsetting though.

    Also in terms of driving I tend to visualize myself stepping on the gas during a red light and ramming into things, would any of you say that this is similar to women who imagine themselves harming their children, solely based on adrenaline?

  482. Stacy Harper Says:

    Good Day to you guys.. I haven’t posted in a bit. Having a trying week but i’m noticing the anxiety is getting weaker. I’m assuming i’m not believing the lies like I was before. Which is exciting! I’m again grateful to find this blog. I feel like I have a new found hope. I was in a major retail strore the other day..very busy..and I felt the anxitey monster creeping up. I just took a breath and pretty much ignored it. I got my shopping done and before I knew it I was on my way home and forgot all about the incident, well, there’s wasn’t much of an incident this time. So very encouraging!!! I felt powerful!
    WILL:: Just want to let you know that I do not watch horror movies. period! lol!
    I find the movie just lingers in my mind and then the images get worse and scarier..I find since I’ve had the anxiety issues, I won’t even look at a commercial for a horror flick! I do know since I’ve been a parent . movies like that are just not entertaining to me..Will, just don’t watch them…I don’t give them a chance ,ha! I’ll stick with my kind of entertainment! Give me a comedy!!! Have a great day guys!!

  483. Dawn Says:

    Hi Candie,
    Thanks for your response. It does make me feel better to hear from someone who has been through the same thing and come out of the other side. I feel I am improving slowly, by trying to do as you and others have said and just accepting the thoughts and anxiety but there’s always that doubt there that this is my real feelings. I am hoping as time passes things will continue to improve (although I know there will be a lot of ups and downs!) I will try agreeing with the thoughts as well, uncomfortable as that makes me! x

  484. Will Says:

    Stacy – Same here, I only watch comedy films! I’m just one of those people who wonders why the hell anyone would want to scare themselves. Even to a point where I have never been on a ghost train! Silly I know, but I avoid even those!
    On top of horror films, there are certain things I just can’t look at anymore, like needles. I blame my fear of fainting cos I feel like I’m about to when I see them. They never bothered me before so I’m really confused. It’s like I’m going “certain people are sensitive or afraid of needles, therefore I should be!”

    Sara – Hi again! I just noticed what you said about anxiety being a sort of blessing yet burden, having it at a young age. I agree entirely, but I sometimes can’t help but feel like it’s more of a burden to me. After having it for 9 years I feel like it’s become a part of who I am, since I’ve always been a shy, anxious person anyway. Sure I’ve had years where I’ve been fine, but somehow it keeps coming back in different forms. But then again, it’s sort of like “experience” in a way, and with an understanding you can help and support people who are going through the same thing.
    I also worry about my future too. I have loads of scary “what if” thoughts that make me fearful of moving forwards with my life, that make me question and doubt myself. Also similar thoughts to yours, in my case it’s “what if I’ll never find someone because of my anxiety? Is this why I haven’t had a girlfriend in years?”

  485. Jamie Says:

    I just want to say that those of you who are young, dont think it will consume your life..It doesnt have to..I had it bad at age 20, and went 20 yrs with no anxiety at all….So just try to move on as best as you can..Get out there dating, and face all your fears..Slowly the anxiety will fade…:) As long as you are not fearing it..Its all a bluff, it brings on the thoughts etc, as you know…and makes you fear everything so much worse then you woudl regularly..

  486. Sara Says:


    I understand whete you are coming from completley. But I feel like if we continue to see it as more of a burden then that is exactly what it will become. I remeber Paul saying something about us making it our friend. Something that will help us, not something that we should look as the enemy. I am not sure of how long you have had Paul’s book or how long you have accessed this site during those 9 years but I assure you once you get the hang of it and truly understand is when it will slowly but surely stop coming back. You have come this far anyways! You are a very strong person for having it this long and still having it together. And I feel the exact same way! But instead of thinking no girl will want you because of your anxiety think of it this way, if someone can not accept you with or without anxiety than they are not worth your time! I am just focusing on being the best person that I can be, and focusing on my life, I’m sure the right person will come when the time is right, anxiety or not the real you is still there. :)

  487. Will Says:

    Jamie – Thanks :) I’ve gotten over anxiety time and time again, so I know I can do it again. As I said I’ve gone as long as years without it, only for it to return from a particularly scary thought. I feel like I’ve wasted my teenage years with anxiety, so I’m gonna try and make up for it now. I’ve been a lot more social since I started uni so I feel like my confidence is going in the right direction at least :)

    Sara – I only discovered this blog last year in June when I was going through a particularly rough patch. You’re right, it’s not helpful to think of it as a burden but sometimes I wish in the back of my mind that it never happened. I often find that lounging around doing nothing makes me focus more on it, whereas when I’m out I’m perfectly fine and the thoughts don’t bother me and disappear altogether. I just sometimes feel like my anxiety is reflected on the outside when it most likely isn’t.
    And thanks, I’m sure someone will come along soon. :)

  488. Sara Says:

    Good to hear.

    Sending positive vibes to you all.

    Keep Going,
    This Too Shall Pass


  489. Stacy Harper Says:

    Try to be present(the best you can :/) in the moment when you are or have to be around a needle; in a doctor’s office,etc…seems like your anxiety tries to take over you in those times..I sure hate to hear that you feel that way and sure hope it gets better for you..I’m not a big fan myself!!
    I will share that i went today and saw my therapist..such a loving woman,,I shared with her the encouragement I’ve gotten from reading everyone’s posts on this blog..She was so happy for me to have found such positive reinforcement. I will say that I truly wish that I had found you guys sooner!!
    Have a great night everyone!

  490. Matt Says:

    Like i’ve said before, anxiety is a false illusion that plays tricks on your mind. If you become afraid or believe it, it will take you down to the pits. I recovered by going back out to society, finishing school, taking care of my kids, no matter how I felt…and guess what? it slowly diminished. Adrenalin is the factor that keeps us going for most cases, what if? and those what if’s can be compiled into a million different questions, but who on here has actually hurt someone else? did something out of the ordinary? We become so enclosed on the inside, not allowing life to take place that we shelter ourselves from it. I guarantee you it is all a false illusion!! I allowed anxiety to rule my life for 3 years, and don’t believe those years were wasted, because I learned from them, experienced growth and became a better person as a result. The anxiety will convince you of many things, but none of them are true! For me, it was the fact that I was having those thoughts to begin with that scared me to death. I had to learn to adapt to it, allow it to be there, and move on with my life regardless if I felt like crap or not. Once you develop that attitude, it dissipates and, for me, I forgot what it was like for the most part. It’s really weird, it consumed my life, but once you recover, it’s almost like it was never really there and you begin to see it with a clear mind. Once you step outside of your anxiety box, you see the truth, and it can’t harm you in anyway. Sure, it feels uneasy, but it won’t last as long as you move on and develop the right attitude.

  491. Jamie Says:

    Matt, everything you are saying is true, but for me the hardest part is that I let it get to me after 20 yrs of being anxiety free….Not sure if you know my story but Im now approaching 40, and had a bad bout last month…It scared the crap out of me as I always thought and said, I know about anxiety, it will never control me again…Well, since this scare, I have let it scare me..I go on with my normal activities then for a week i felt back to normal, then out of nowhere the butterflies were back in the stomach, that bothered me really bad, then I went thru another bad week, got over 100% again, then it came back…I feel like Im trying not to fight it, but unsure why its coming back when I feel Im accepting it…The worst part of it all is my only symptom for the most part is a nervous stomach..So its really interfering with my appetite, I get stomach pains, I think Im also Lactose Intolerant, so have to check into that…And I would do anything to feel like myself again…Its only been one month, but cant understand why it has taken a hold of me…I have no direct stressors…I have the perfect life for the most part…I know now the only reason it is sticking is fear of the fear, i guess…But once feeling 100% fine, why do I get butterflies a week later???? Then the cycle starts again….I did feel this in May as I was sitting here on my daughters last day of preschool, but I didnt know why, and talked myself out of it, and was fine all summer…actually that day I was thinking how this yr she would be in school longer and I would be alone..Im a stay at home mom, so maybe some of it Is fear of her growing up, and ne deciding am I goign to stay home, or get some kind of job next yr…Im having a rough week again, but then again Im in NJ we had a bad hurricane, and things are a mess here on the news, even though I was lucky, my home is fine, and we have had power, even though most of the state doesnt…

  492. Dawn Says:

    I have been having a bad couple of days,thought I was getting somewhere but now I feel awful again.I was talking to an old friend from uni today on facebook who I’ve not spoken to for ages and she told me her and her husband have split up.When I asked why,she said “nothing happened,it just wasnt meant to be”.I went to their wedding 5 years ago and they were one if the most stable couples I knew.This has totally freaked me out,I can’t stop thinking maybe I feel like this because my husband and I aren’t meant to be and I need to end it.I’ve been riddled with anxiety and burst into tears when I got home from work as I am so frightened.How am I ever going to feel like myself again with this worry hanging over me?

  493. Sara Says:

    Hello! Just a quick question,

    Did anyone ever have the symptom of a burning sensation in the stomach? Not even a pain just a burning. I would like to just put it under the umbrella of anxiety as Paul would say.

    Just wanted to make sure!

  494. Conor Says:

    Hi Paul.
    Can I just say I bought your book, and it’s the single best thing I’ve ever read on the subject of anxiety. It was like reading my life story, and I can see it will lead to full recovery. Thank you so, so much. You’ve done a great thing, and I thank God for you. Again: thank you, thank you.
    Kind regards,

  495. Maggie Says:

    Hi Sara,

    I had and I still have that feeling time by time.
    Burning or just like someone pouring hot water in my stomach.
    I wanted to tell you all, if I partially recovered you WILL as well. I’ve been through every single symptom Paul described on his book (disturbing thoughts, nausea, shaky, insomnia,….)I still experience anxiety but it is much better than before. My only advice to you out there try to stay away from medication except when you really have to.
    This is an emotional state not an infection. Don’t get yourself used to pills.
    Again Paul, Thank you for your help! I read your book in the middle of my nervous breakdown back to 2008 (getting closer to God, prayers,…) helped me a lot as well.
    Cheers to all,

  496. ginger797 Says:

    MATT……where you said above that you had terrible thoughts did you have bad thoughts about your kids and if so how did you go about these thoughts because that is what my anxiety is sticking to at the moment i guess i think that if im thinking horrible things that maybe somewhere in my head im really wanting to do these things to my kids?……i used to be worse as in i used to think right into these thoughts and id keep away from my kids in case id hurt them…but now i try to just let the thoughts just be there but in the back of my mind i think”is this me am i losing my mind do i really want to hurt my kids am i a total nut job”…… love to hear your view on this thought of harming the kids?……im a single mum and i cant afford pauls book as ive already spent so much money on other things anxiety related but it seems like it has helped alot of people on here

  497. Helen Says:

    Hi Dawn,
    Throughtout your anxiety you will hear lots of things that will throw you into turmoil but every time you hear something like this you have to react to it in the same way and that is by doing nothing. Hearing that your friend split up with her husband will make your adrenelin pump as this is your fear. When the adrenelin starts your natural reaction is to fight or run but when you are recovering from anxiety you musn’t do this, that is why it is so hard. For anyone who has a fear, it is natural to want to either figure it out and solve the problem or to run away from it and hope it goes away but with anxiety you do the opposite. Your fear is just a thought and you have nothing to fight.
    Dawn, when you really know that you have to make a difficult choice in life because it is the right thing to do, you just do it, there isn’t the massive turmoil that you are going through (and what I went through) so I know without a doubt that this isn’t about your husband. This is anxiety, please keep remembering that. You wouldn’t be feeling like this if you weren’t so horribly frightened at the thought of splitting up with him. It would feel like a sad inevitability.
    Learn from these episodes, learn to react in the same way to anything that gets your adrenalin pumping. Do nothing. Don’t run away from it, don’t try and work out all the questions that come at you. Do nothing, this is anxiety and you will be free from it one day.
    When you have recovered and you can feel the real Dawn is back, you will be so happy and will have learnt so much from anxiety that you wouldn’t want to change a minute of it. I know this is hard to appreciate when you are in the thick of it but it really is true. Learning from anxiety is the best thing that ever happened to me without a doubt.
    Remember, this is anxiety, nothing else. Stay strong Dawn, it will all be worth it.

    All the best

  498. Jamie Says:

    Dawn, agree with Helen totally…
    Ginger..these thoughts are so common with anxiety..anxiety will pop any weird thought and fear in our head, ESP when we start feeling better…
    Sara, yes..lately my stomach hurts and burns more then being nervous…

    To all of you..did your anxiety start from a tragic event, or we’re you just happy, and it occurred out of nowhere?

  499. Shaun H Says:

    Hi. This is my first post.

    To start off with, I’d like to say how much help this blog has been for me so far.

    I am a 28 yr old male. I have always been worried about many aspects of my health from the age of around 17. 3 years ago, I went to see the Doctor as my health worries had escalated to a point where I couldn’t function with day to day life. I had avoided the Dr for years and had convinced myself I had terminal diseases. Seeing the Dr that day was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I was given the all-clear as all the symptoms I had were due to other harmless things rather than the terminal diseases I had feared for so long.

    Following a week or so of relief, all of a sudden I had worries about stuff I had done in the past and overwhelming guilt about stuff. I was really confused as the health worries I had for so long were no longer there, it was as if my brain looked deep into my memory to look for new stuff to worry me. I had no idea why these thoughts came. I should have been on top of the world after the all clear, but I wasn’t. After about two or three months of feeling guilty about things I had done in the past and worrying, these feelings went. I now understand that I had anxiety, but I didn’t know that at the time, and due to me carrying on with my daily life the best I could, it eventually went, and the guilty feelings and horrible thoughts also gradually went.

    I then enjoyed 2 1/2 years or so of a normal happy life.

    This Summer I met an amazing girl. I fell for her straight away. We started seeing each other and we have been together for the past 3 or so months. It is really going well. The problem is that since meeting her the anxiety has returned. It’s as if I’ve found something perfect and I’m trying to spoil it for myself by worrying. I started off by worrying that I wasn’t good enough for this girl and that she was never going to like me. It then escelated to worrying about anything and everything. Health anxieties returned, I have had blood tests to check I’m ok, and I am. I have had loads of irrational worries e.g. that a previous girl I had been with being pregnant, some horrible thoughts (I don’t even want to mention them, they are so bad), worries about stuff from the past etc etc.

    I had stopped enjoying life and everyday was a battle. I eventually told my mum and dad who have been very supportive.

    I went to see the Doctor who diagnosed me with general anxiety and health anxiety. He was good and asked me loads of questions. He gave me Paroxetine to help me, but said that it is up to me if I take them or not.
    He also arranged for counselling, which I’m still waiting for through the NHS.

    I decided not to take the medication, and decided to try to sort things out myself, even though I was very very tempted to take them.

    I fould Paul’s site and book about 6 weeks ago, and it is gradualy making a difference. I have had strings of very good days, when I can deal with all the horrible thoughts, anxieties and guilts floating around my head. But then a new memory or thought will enter my mind, before I’ve even thought them almost, and I’ll worry about this new thought. It’s as if my brain is constantly trying to think of stuff to upset me and hinder my good progress. Trying to come up with even worse stuff than the last time. It’s usually stuff from my past, which in a normal state of mind I would dismiss and laugh off almost, but in my anxious state, they worry me untill I find it hard to function at general life, at work, with friends and while I’m with my amazing girlfriend.

    It is getting better though, slowly. I am letting myself get better in my own time, and am setting no targets for myself. My parents are amazing with this. I have been tempted to tell my girlfriend, but am scared that I’ll scare her off! I find that her not knowing forces me to be “normal” around her if I’m having a bad day, which I think is helping me, although it’s horrible at the time.

    Anyway. I’m having a bad day today as a random, horrible thougt from my past has haunted me since last night (I had a really good week prior to last night). I have noticed that I’m able to deal with these thoughts quicker that I was 3 months ago and they seem to fade and lose significance quicker that they were, but are still upsetting when they come.

    Thank you for all the posts that have/are helped/helping me. Thanks to you Paul for helping me identify whats wrong with me and for your work with this website and the book. I am definitely seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

    All the best, Shaun H

  500. Jess H Says:

    Hi Dawn, Lucy and Candie.

    Reading your ost brought a tear to my eye and such a relief that someone else is feeling exactly the same as me, i can relate to everything you have said in every post. I do not know where my thought of not loving my boyfriend came from but it has been a struggle ever since. I question daily this thought and find it so difficult to not worry about it, beleiving it is real even though i know deep down i love him. (we have been together 6 years). I feel reassued by Helens posts so helen thank you. I have had so many horrible thouhts throughout my anxiety but this one has stuck more than most as i am so and still become so disturbed by it. I question everything and try to push for a good feeling to outway the bad. I feel so guilty when i look at him knowing these thoughts have popped up.
    I have had anxiety for nearly 3 years on and off good and bad, up until now though i have always seeked reassurance from someone, i have just started CBT where they have explained i have some OCD due to the fact i obbess over the intrusive thought and have to in my head try to justify why I have had it. I just want some advice in letting it be……. i completly understand what everyone on this post says about just letting the thoughs be but how……. do you say a sentence, do you do other things, do you say come on then do your worst, i try these but i constantly have the thought in the back of my mind so worry i am unable to do this and get on track. Some days are so good ive had months anxiety free and then wham back to constant worrying about these intrusive thoughts. Any advice would be amaizing. And lucy and Dawn it is so good to see your posts on here.

    Jess xxx

  501. Candie Says:

    Jess, u let the thought be scary- it will be as u are full of excess adrenalin. The key is to allow the feeling of doubt, observe your thoughts as anxiety driven rather then getting caught up in rumernating if they are real. Dismissing isn’t trying to stop worrying, it’s allowing worry and not obsessing why your thinking this way. Hope that helps :). When I was anxious I would notice my thoughts where all worrisome.. To recover you recognise they are anxiety driven, you dont force rational thinking.. you choose to allow doubt and fearful thoughts. mine where everything from obsessive to negative depressing thoughts. all anxiety driven and not the cause of my anxiety. anxiety will try seduce you into beleiving if you illiminate the thought, worry or feeling than you will be free.. but in fact it’s the worst thing you can do.

  502. Carlie Says:

    Hey everyone, it’s been over a month since I’ve posted here, I think. I’m currently having a really REALLY hard time.

    I’ve mentioned it before, but I had an ear infection a few months ago, but since then I’ve continued to have problems with my ears. Lots of pressure, some pain, etc. Right now I feel like I can’t hear that well out of my left ear and this has become a real source of anxiety for me. I’m going to see an ENT next week and I’m getting over a cold/sinus infection, so I know my ears are probably just stopped up from that, but I of course jump to conclusions and convince myself that something is seriously wrong with me and I’m losing my hearing or something.

    Last night, I had somewhat of a nervous breakdown. I’ve been dealing with DP for over a year now, and during this time my anxiety and depression have been worse, of course. Yesterday I was running on little sleep and just felt the DP more than usual, and I think a few things set me off… eventually I reached my breaking point. I cried the entire way home from school and told my mom when I got home that I don’t think I’ll ever be normal again. I felt bad because I was just crying and I think she was unsure of what to do to help me. :( Anyway, I went to bed much earlier than I usually do last night. I actually think I got TOO much sleep. All day today I’ve felt drained, disoriented, and I feel the DP worse than I usually do. I wish I could just snap out of this. I feel so helpless and I’m starting to give up hope. Everything seems so difficult, and I have so many problems (both mental and physical) that I don’t know where to start.

    Does anyone have any advice? I think my body/mind are just exhausted right now.

  503. DCYL Says:

    Carlie – hang in there. As been suggested before, you need to live your life regardless of how you feel. One additional piece is that when you aren’t busy, find things to occupy your mind: Games, books, etc. You can it’s a safety behaviour. I think that’s it a way to change our habit of focusing on our feelings.

    If you can get past how you feel, things will slowly get better. And if you struggle, it’s ok. We all go though it! You know you have support here, so never feel like you’re alone.

  504. Wendy Says:

    Hey everyone,

    I found this page a few months ago. My anxiety was extremely bad and I had breakdowns where I just felt so depressed that I couldn’t go to school. I also have these strange thoughts about hurting other people or hurting myself and questions about existence. Another big problem is depersonalization. When my anxiety started I also had a lot of panic attacks, but they are nearly gone, because I went to the hospital and they checked my whole body and everything was absolutely fine! I also saw a psychologist, who said I should take drugs. I got the pills but I never ever took them, because I was very afraid of the side-effects and I also knew, that taking pills couldn’t be the answer.
    After a big breakdown I went to a healer, which was the first person, that really helped my by giving me hope and building me up, but I soon knew that this still wasn’t the way.
    I started looking in the internet, found tons of pages about anxiety and many programs, but I didn’t want to pay so much money for them..
    One day I found Pauls page and I read and read and read and after that I just felt soooo much calmer. I had an explanation for every symptom! I read this blog for maybe three or four months now and now I see I am really moving forward!
    My last week was nearly anxiety free! Of course I also read abou the setbacks and WHAM, this week was full of anxiety again, but well..I learned that setbacks are normal and today I already feel better by just accepting this setback.

    I just want to tell everybody that this is the right way! You have to reprogram your mind and this will take a while, well it took me moths and I still have weeks where I feel hopeless, but it gets better and today I just feel I nearly have the right attitude and with the right attitude I’m sure it’s only a matter of time..

  505. Wendy Says:


    You still go to school like me, how old are you? Believe me, I also had these breakdowns and they were so bad that I nearly missed a classtrip but I realized that this classtrip will be something that will never happen again, so I went there and yes I had anxiety, I felt depressed sometimes, but at the end of the week I cried, because I was so happy that I did it and it was actually a nice week.
    You may think now that you will never recover and maybe you also fear becoming more and more depressed, but believe me if you stick to this side you will get better!! I also go to bed a bit earlier than other people in my age, but I just take some time to read Pauls posts and after that my sleep is better and the next moring I don’t feel that worse.
    It takes some time but you will get better!

  506. aura Says:

    carlie hunny
    it will get better i promise .live with it ,dont give it respect to cry over it ,i know how ure feeling and that is all it is ,your tired and your wee mind is playing tricks on you ,ignore it .iam in recovery ,sometimes i get a set back but each one is easier to handle i have one now but i dont fear it anymore i dont feel good right now ,but iam going out with my husband as the anxiety free me wants to go out and have fun ,please keep going you are not alone i wish i could give you a hug ,i promise it will be ok it is ok ,i had it bad i think no one had it as bad as me but i know this is not true as we all have suffered it but NO MORE IGNORE IT DONT QUESTION IT JUST CHANGE YOUR THOUGHT xx

  507. ginger797 Says:

    Carlie,ive been where you are and i too remember like it was just yesterday that moment when i just broke down in tears i couldnt think clearly at all or remember anything i felt my identity was lost my mind was worn out i didnt even remember my kids names and i just sat there and cried wondering “where am i”..after that night i just thorght to engage more with what was around me eg:i sat and played uno with the kids and i can tell you it was very funny whaen i couldnt even remember how to add lol but all these little moments of comeing out of your “head” and letting the fear sit on your sholder but try to engage in something else like a book games even have a conversation with your mum, go and bake something thats something else i did with the kids even thought i felt like crap i still did it and really tried to focus on the baking…my anxiety was like an onion had/has heaps of layers but pretty much the same as everyone elses..i agree with aura when she said “ignore it” as at first its hard to do but does get easier and now i just say piss off and get lost in the present moment i even make sure i laugh out loud with the kids…but a tip is that if you feel like crying then do if you feel like screaming out then go in your room and do it if you feel like punching into something then grab your pillow and call him “mr anxiety” and punch away! let all that tension out hun…

  508. Carlie Says:

    Thank you everyone for your advice/nice comments, it really does mean a lot. Today was a little better, I actually felt like getting up and doing something. I did go somewhere last night, but it was really difficult to get myself to do so. Occasionally I just have these “episodes” where I have a big emotional meltdown followed by a few days of feeling really depressed. I hope I feel better soon. I can’t continue to let my anxiety attach itself to anything and everything. The DP is also exhausting but I had reached the point where it was just a nuisance more than anything else, and then I kept asking “Well, when is it going away?” I know that asking that probably isn’t helping, but I always end up doing the things that make me feel worse. My mind is such a mess! Every day feels the same.

  509. Jess h Says:

    Candie thank you so much for your reply! I will take that on board actually before posting I got the thought again as I cuddle my boyfriend and I allowed it and just focused on a film that’s on! Thank u again it means a lot to know someone has had these horrible thoughts too! The thoughts really are the hardest to deal with aren’t they?! Regards,
    Jess x x

  510. Wendy Says:


    you still go to school? Can I ask you how old you are?
    Believe me, I also had these breakdowns and they were so bad that I couldn’t go to school, I was just liing in my bed, crying, feeling depressed and absolutely hopeless.
    It’s hard to see everyone around you being happy and living their lifes without anxiety, but it will get better!
    You just have to stick to this side, read the posts again and again and if you feel better go out, spend time with friends, distance yourself from anxiety!
    Also if you feel DP, it can’t harm you I also have it and I know how frightening it can be, but believe me you will get better! It only takes time to get the right attitude, it took me months, but if you stick to this side, read Pauls posts, one day you will see that something is changing.I feel it at the moment.
    You will suddenly see that DP isn’t frightening you so much anymore because you have reprogramed your mind and you understand that it’s nothing more than a tired mind!
    Anxiety is playing tricks, every sensation you feel, don’t fear it, always remember it is only anxiety! It’s only a feeling, nothing more! A feeling that will never ever harm you!

    Wendy :)

  511. Stacy Harper Says:

    Hey guys..I’m really needing some insight ..just need to know if anyone has had a particular symptom I have been having…Yesterday, I believe it was brought on because I got over tired. Friday night, went to bed a bit late and got woke up to a friend needing my help..So, I woke up, helped her (needed $ to pick her husband up from out of town..long story) Helped her with what she needed and with it being almost 4 am..I stayed awake because sister and I had a garage sale to handle early that morning..Went to sister’s house for the sale…did what I had to do . I was clearly exhausted! By 11am..I’d had enough and went home but before I was leaving I felt this Jolt in my chest. Felt like my heart was like a stress ball..felt a quick, odd squeeze of my heart..This is the second time I’ve felt that. It did throw me for a second but knowing If this was a symptom of anxiety , I knew not to freak out but by the time I got home, my brain was scattered from it. I ended up having a tough day. I took a long nap and when I woke up the anxiety was still trying to poke at me. UGH! I got through the rest of the day and made sure I went to bed early. This morning I’m feeling decent and I don’t plan on stressing about yesterday. I know this won’t help anything..Just really would give me a breath of air if I knew I wasn’t the only one that has felt that kind of symptom.. Throughout the past year my anxiety has tried to tricked me in so many ways..If I ignore one symptom, it seems to try to figure out symptoms that would get my attention more..has a mind of it’s own, ha! I appreciated any response…Thank you Thank you!!

  512. Sam Says:

    Hey everyone,

    I just wanted to say from my experience, which was reaffirmed today, that setbacks and breakdowns really do not affect your overall progress. I really had improved after a couple of weeks, and then the morning had a total breakdown where I doubted everything and started searching for solutions. However, I got moving again, and realise that I am back to the same place I was this morning- nothing had been lost at all in terms of progess!!! So anyway, just a bit of encouragement to anyone who is also struggling with setbacks..

    much love


  513. Sara Says:

    Thank you Jamie and Maggie!

    I just need some advice on something if anyone can help.

    I’ve had anxiety a little over a year now and Paul’s book for about 5 months.

    I am 19 years old and attend college. Right now I am attending a college that is only about 5 minutes away from my home. I have my drivers license but I do not drive on my own yet so I get dropped off to class everyday. I do not drive due to a little bit of anxiety and lack of practice.

    Next year I have to transfer to a new University to further my education except this university is about 20 minutes away, and I would need to drive myself there and go on the highway.

    I get extremely anxious just thinking about being on my own especially driving to a city (which has a bit of a dangerous history). All these what ifs rush through. What if I get in an accident…What if I get lost…What if I get an attack and not be able to drive myself home etc etc.

    I know that once I accomplish this I will be able to achieve anything with anxiety. Having the college that I am at right now being 5 minutes away, it has always been so easy to phone someone to pick me up when my anxiety got too much for me. That was last year though and I have learned through Pauls book that I should never run and am proud to say that this new school year I have not ran away from class once!

    Any advice on how to begin to even tackle this?
    I can not imagine going from not driving at all to driving on the highway to downtown.
    I am extremley anxious yet excited because I know that this will change everything for me in an amazing way.

  514. Carlie Says:

    Wendy, I’m in college! I’m 22 but I’m living at home and going to school right now. I’m sorry you went through that too… it’s such an awful, hopeless feeling. And then I feel even worse because there’s not much that anyone can do to help me, so then they feel helpless. But thank you so much for your encouraging post. I think this whole thing with my ears hurting/ringing is my newest anxiety obsession, because it’s like I’m convincing myself that my ears are ringing when they’re really not… I’m super sensitive to noises around me, like I’m listening for the ringing. And it’s not really there! I hope this passes soon. At least I’m not panicking over it right now, which is good. And I go to the doctor in 2 days to get it checked out so that if something is wrong (I think it’s mostly sinus pressure), it can be fixed. It’s like I constantly need to be worried about something!

    Sam, your last post is so true in my experience too. I’ve had setbacks (I guess this would be considered one), but they didn’t really affect my overall progress.

  515. Matt Says:

    ginger…I am a single father of two kids, one I have full custody of and the other joint custody. If you were going to seriously harm them would you be questioning it? no, it is anxiety and what it does it takes your worst fears and multiplies it times ten. it’s a thought, that’s all. The fact is that you won’t hurt your kids, and the fact is that it is all anxiety, every bit of it. But because it is coming from your own mind you question it and think is this me? no, again, it isn’t it’s anxiety. What I did to get through that mess is allow those stupid thoughts to be there, because I knew where they were coming from. You first have to keep the truth, info, about what’s going on with you and then apply it, before long the thoughts will dissipate and you will probably laugh at yourself.

  516. Stacy Harper Says:

    If anyone could read my last post with any advice, I’d truly appreciate..
    Thanks so much!!

  517. Doreen Says:

    Hi Stacy – sounds like you are in the place that so many of us visit when anxious which is to notice something which may normally have passed us by but to focus on it and then believe that if we can resolve this worry, then we will be ok. You are so right when you say that it is as if the anxiety is waiting there to give you something else to fear once the previous one has been put to bed so to speak. In terms of this specific worry, yes I have had the jolt in the chest a few times and there is no physical problem with me at all. I also seem to catch my breath with it. I don’t worry about it at all, so hopefully by the time you read this, you too will be accepting it for what it is – another anxiety symptom. Try and relax and get on with life with anxiety along side for a time.

  518. Shaun H Says:


    What you are saying makes so much sense:

    “anxiety and what it does it takes your worst fears and multiplies it times ten. it’s a thought, that’s all”

    “sounds like you are in the place that so many of us visit when anxious which is to notice something which may normally have passed us by but to focus on it and then believe that if we can resolve this worry, then we will be ok”

    “If I ignore one symptom, it seems to try to figure out symptoms that would get my attention more..has a mind of it’s own”.

    These statements make so much sense to me.

    I am able to recognise that my worries are all anxiety driven and that in a normal state of mind, I would probably laugh them off and not give them a second thought. However, when they do come, it is very hard not to react to them. When you do react to them the fear kicks in and then it takes over your mind and you struggle to function with daily life.

    Once I have put one worry to bed and I’m able to dismiss it as anxiety nonsense, it’s as if my brain will try and think of something new, worst than the last thing to worry me. It’s like being in a mind battle with yourself!

    I’m definitely getting there slowly though. Hearing statements like the above helps so much, knowing other people are going through exactly the same thing.

    Cheers guys.

  519. Stacy Harper Says:

    Doreen/Shaun…THANK you so much for the replies! I am feeling tons better the last few days. Yes, it sure does help Shaun to know that other people truly know how we feel..and like I said before, I hate that anyone else has to go through this but glad I’m not alone….neither are you.. I myself, have come so far in my recovery. Each pass of a “new” anxiety symptom (with me finally not “giving in” anymore)..I do feel stronger! And Shaun, how true that it to be doing so well..thinking “I got this” and some days those feelings are so strong, we can tend to revert to that initial feeling of fear..I literally shake my body, and say, “Shake it off Stacy” haha! Then go about my day..some are harder to shake but the goals are all the same..I want ME back and I intend to do just that!! Get me back! :) I’ve fought doctors all this time…knowing there had to be another way. Other than all those strong meds they told me I had to take in order to get better…my gut was telling me there was another way..When I saw this site, I literally got giddy!!! I KNEW IT!! This was a God Send…I appreciate you all!!! Have a great day and Shake it off!!! :)

  520. Stacy Harper Says:

    BTW..I ordered Paul’s book, At Last A Life..can’t wait until it gets here!!

  521. Lucy Says:

    Hi Dawn and Jess H

    Jess, your post made me so sad because I totally get how you fee and I relly feel for youl! Dawn will agree too I’m sure. Something I seem to be struggling with too is just letting the thoughts be there. I almost feel as though as my anxious/panic reaction to the thought is automatic and so I feel powerless to stop it!
    You’re right – thoughts have definitely been the hardest part of anxiety for me and are pretty much the only thing that still hang around.
    I’ve had a fairly anxious weekend spent with my boyfriend. I seem to get a horrible thought come into my head, like I don’t love him anymore, which panics me (more so in the middle of the night for some reason!?) but I can tell myself it’s just anxiety and the panic goes, however I am still left feeling just not quite right, like Dawn says a mildly uncomfortable feeling I guess of anxiety that just won’t seem to budge.
    OCD is something that was mentioned to me too by my counsellor and a lot of the advice I felt I could relate to. Relationship OCD is definitely worth a Google! Dr Philipson ‘I think it Moved’ is a fantastic article and has really helped me a lot!!!!
    Dawn – hows the mindfulness and meditation going? I seem to have lost my way with it a bit, probably because it is so hard to get the hang of! Sam’s advice is really good but I just can’t quite get it, any more tips would be much appreciated!
    I’m really glad i’m not alone in this – it makes such a difference to know that there are others who feel the same and posts from Helen and Candie are so encouraging – you both inspire me so much!

  522. Trish Says:

    Hi all,
    I havent logged on here for a long time so forgive me i havent read all yer posts. I found this site a few years back and it helped so much and i understood what i needed to do. Ive had a set back for the last year or so and feel i have slipped back into the trap but this time its disturbing intrusive thoughts that is my problem which hadnt really been before. I have just had a baby four months ago and couldnt be more happy about that but now i guess lack of sleep and very busy days has left me vulnerable in terms of anxiety. I feel thoughts stick so much and i can spend days and weeks dwelling on scary thoughts that come into my head. I know i also suffer from OCD so the two combined has my head fried!! My recent thought was for example…a few days ago i was driving to an apt and i passed a few people on the road and as i passed them i heard one of them shouting (problem just mucking about) and I got it into my head after i drove by that i had injured or knocked one of them down……knowing in my heart i didnt but my tired mind made me drive back to check and there was obviously no one there lying injured…the people had gone by time i went back..but i cant get this thought out of my head even though evidence shows otherwise. its sooo frustrating cause i know what i need to do which is allow anxiety to be there and pay no heed however i cant stop going over the event again and again in my head to rid myself of my anxiety which is the total wrong thing to do!! i feel it gets stronger than me sometimes which is exhausting. any advice apart from what i know i need to do….really just wanting to write down my feelings. I have considered CBT for OCD side of things because I have had it a long time and would love to learn coping skills especially now its such an amazing time with my new baby. thanks all x

  523. Stephie Says:

    Hello everyone. I’m Stephie, I’ve been living with anxiety for a couple of months now. I think what makes it so hard to deal with is that you just have to learn to stop caring.

    I’ve made a lot of progress on my own, but my biggest difficulty is just to stop worrying so much, to stop caring so much and just letting myself be. The symptom that I don’t like at all (pay the most attention to), and have the hardest time dealing with are intrusive thoughts. I’ve managed to come to the point where I can finally breathe, and accept that I’m not turinig into an evil person, sometimes I do get pulled back into negative thinking, what if this is more? But it’s not as bad as it use to be, sense I have a better understanding of what I’m dealing with, when I didn’t know what this was, I was really scared and ccouldn’t trust myself.

    I guess, I feel that maybe that’s mostly what fuels my anxiety my lack in confidence, or faith in myself. So it’s hard for me to believe the truth sometimes. It’s very challenging, I wish it was easier, but now that I have a better idea of what to do, I can deal with it better.I just need to get over myself I guess?

  524. sam Says:

    Hiya Stephie,

    From my own experience, what helps/helped me was just moving on with small activities during the day, which is what non-anxious people do.

    It is totally normal to be filled with negative thoughts- that’s fine and shouldn’t affect things too much as you go through the day. When you start just doing some things alongside all the mental turmoil, you should find that negative thinking starts to chill out by itself and you feel a bit calmer.

    Take care,


  525. natalie Says:

    hi sarah and candie

    Not been on for a while as trying to just deal with things as best i can still doing my job and still hangin in there. It seems the anxiety has eased or rather i just get on with it but the crying bouts still happen, its like the simplest thing has me crying or feelig like crying, i tell myself it is because of all i been through and just to ride it out but have to admit scares me something as i don’t feel in control. Any ways candie ws just reading some of your older posts on here and its amazing how you have come on and i can see the positive comments in your posts. Love it and will continue to read to help me feel more positive. Sarah hope you doing well and your comments always are inspiring!! keep up the good work hunni x anyway don’t want to go into this and that as this is a support network and not a moan zone, lovely to know can come here and speak to people that understand and not like the guy at work today who made me feel so uncomfortable and treated me like a freak !! some people have no compassion but then i have to learn to let it go and trust in the good people out there. much love and comfort to everyone remember it is not forever it is our own body so why be scared by it ?? and life doesn’t always go to plan but so what maybe this is the way it is meant to be x

  526. Sara Says:


    I understand how you feel.

    But the more you learn to let go and just let these thoughts be, the less they will come. I gained so much confidence by realizing that when I am not in an anxious state that I do not have a single intrusive or disturbing thought, prooving that they are completley fake and solely anxiety induced. The more you just let go and let them be, the more confidence and faith you will gain in yourself knowing that they have no power and will do you no harm. Give them no respect, you are not your thoughts!

    Hope that helps!

  527. Jamie Says:

    Trish, having a baby is a big change…..So the anxiety and odd thoughts are so normal……Its funny you mention that becuase I really do not have OCD< but maybe a tiny bit of it thru out my life, but not problematic..I remember thinking the same thing once..then thinking why woudl I think that..after that happened..I read so many times on OCD sites, that the thought of thinking you hit someone while driving, is a very common OCD thought …That me feel much better…Good luck!!

  528. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Just thought I’d log back in and give an update really as its been a while.

    Candie, nice to see you back and giving advice, your posts helped me a fair deal in the past.

    As there are a lot of new faces I’ll just say that I’m a veteran of anxiety having suffered on and off since the end of 2001. I suffered quite a bad bout of it again back in March 2010 but managed to get myself a lot better over the next 18 months or so. For whatever reason I had quite a nasty setback/bout back in April this year which scared the hell out of me and pretty much put me back at square one for a few months.

    It’s taken a while, almost 6 months to get myself back to a point where I can function fully where the anxiety is still there but it doesn’t stop me doing anything. In fact I pretty much live the same life prior to this setback except feel as comfortable and at peace with myself.

    There are a lot of positive posts on here at present which is great, so I just thought I’d add that if you follow the advice set out by Paul you will feel better, without a doubt. The best thing to do is nothing, anxiety is like a bully, if you don’t react then it will lose its force. I know how hard it is to try and carry on your life when you feel tired, agitated, stressed, distracted, apathetic etc but it’s important to go through the motions and not expect to feel a certain way.

    I’m not recovered but I feel a hell of a lot better, I’ve had a few moments of peace, where I have been completely myself. When I have moments where I am really anxious and low I remind myself that it is how I feel at that moment, that I will probably feel better in a min, hour, day etc. It’s been said before so try not to be impressed how you feel at any one time, peace will follow. It’s the fighting to get better that keeps us in the loop. A good analogy of this is when you’re trying to sleep, the more you try the less you succeed. When you just let the mind settle you will drop off.

    A massive positive for me is that I have learned so much about myself over the last 6 months, from this site and mindfulness. Just before I go I’d like to share a couple of things that have helped a great deal…..

    The first, and sorry if I am repeating myself from above is not to be impressed how you feel. When I feel well I find it almost impossible to feel anxious, anxiety doesn’t matter. The total opposite of this is when I feel anxious and impossible to imagine feeling well, life doesn’t matter. It’s important then not to try and feel well as it’s ultimately pointless, you can’t change how you feel. The best thing to do is roll will it and peace will come.

    The second thing is when I have a very busy mind, I listen to outside sounds which has a calming effect, be it cars outside, birds etc. This kind of separates your thinking mind, it shows that storm is going on in your mind and not the world. I realise that this won’t work for everyone so please don’t be despondant if it doesn’t work for you. Also please don’t try and get it to work, I don’t want to go against the grain of the advice on here, it’s just something I’ve picked up through meditation and it seems like a natural skill.

    Anyway I wish everyone well, if you’re having a tough time and trust me I know how that feels (like wading through snot!!) keep going as it does get easier. Just three of four months ago I was suicidal and crying my eyes out everyday, so time and patience are key!!


  529. natalie Says:

    morning everyone

    another brisk morning with frost on the car and a nice winter chill in the air. Hope you all doing ok, for some reason feel the need to keep coming back to the blog at the moment and share although not sure i am taking the advice fully on board ;(. Love all the positive posts as i read them to show it can be done which is what i think we all need when going through a ruff patch. Had no sleep last nite so feeling a bit delicate but am sure it will improve as the day goes no, i know what is causing this bout of angst and it relates to my job as it only started back full force after 3 weeks starting there. Its like i cannot make up my mind what to do does anyone else struggle with this ? i tell myself to just stick it out until something comes a long but then i go to work and feel so stressed come home feeling crap and wanting to cry and the whole circle starts again. If i could do this for myself i know i would leave but my husband is worrying about money as so close to christmas and just keeps getting angry at me as he has never really understood how i get, he just distances himself and that makes me feel like if i don’t sort myself out he will walk out (on going issue) can anyone shed some light its like if only i could make my mind up one way or another my angst would calm as i finally made a decision but then read what candy said about it tricking you into thinking you have to solve the issue to be ok. just know at the moment i not accepting and don’t know how to do this.

  530. Nick Says:

    Hi guys, wonder if anybody has any advice for me today…

    As i have mentioned plenty of times before, a lot of my anxiety tends to revolve about my girlfriend. I love her to pieces, been together for 4 years and recently moved in together. I have trouble with accepting sexual thoughts about other people. This may sound ridiculous to some, but I don’t want them, i don’t want to look at another woman and see them as attractive, because as soon as I do i start having these thoughts which fill me full of guilt! I have a friend’s stag do next weekend and my worries go onto what if i get too drunk and cheat on my girlfriend? I have tried accepting them but then i worry that i’m enjoying them too much! I have tried posting this before but it didn’t get put on so i’ve tried being as clean as possible!

    I really hope somebody can tell me i’m not some sort of pervert! :(



  531. Candie Says:

    Nick your anxiety has made u sensitive into thinking its wrong to think them thoughts. It’s perfectly acceptable for anyone to find someone else attractive. Your trying not to so my guess is your now looking at every woman testing yourself with allsorts of thoughts and then panicking that these thoughts cause a bodily reaction (normal) so further worrying that it has some deep rooted meaning about your relationship. Go out, tell yourself you can think these thoughts as much as u like as anxiety has played it’s tricks in making u worry over them. If u feel worried, accept it but don’t refuse to think like this as its normal!!

  532. Nick Says:

    Candie thank you so much. To be honest, I know this is normal, but you know as well as we all do that our tired minds prefer to make us think that we’re not normal. I’m glad to see how well you have recovered. I have found help in a lot of your past posts over the past year of struggling with obsessive thoughts. All your posts have always encouraged everybody because you’re so wise to anxiety! I know i’m not far away myself now. I thought i had recovered last year until i started giving in to obsessive thoughts, a symptom which i had never experienced, so the past year has been a huge learning curve for me. Thanks for your help.

  533. Jeff Says:

    Mark R.,
    Glad you’re coming along! Sounds as if things are going better for you and that’s good to hear. I’m on the upswing as well. Just trying to stay patient with this and let it be. No need to wonder why or question it, just letting the stream carry me.
    Best to you all…

  534. Wendy Says:

    Carlie and Matt,

    You’re posts are great, thank you!As I wrote I think I am on the way to get the right attitude, but well i still have these setbacks. I was anxietyfree for one week, but now it’s back for already two weeks.
    I think there are some last pieces missing that I need to get the right attitude.
    Now while I am in a setback I feel really bad and feelings of depressions come up again. I ask myself what I did wrong that I have it all again, what I know is wrong, but how exactly can I accept my anxiety?
    I always make the mistake that I talk to myself and say ” accept it “, but I know that this is wrong, because this would mean, that i try to rid myself from anxiety.
    I would be really really happy if you could explain me what you did, when anxious thoughts came up..sometimes everything is fine until there’s an anxious thought or I often question my existence and suddenly there’s this rush of anxiety that goes through my body.
    So what do I have to do if DP our an anxious thought comes up? I know doing nothing would be right, but how do I do that?
    By just talking to someone, watching TV? Is this right or would that be trying to distract myself and so trying to rid myself from anxiety?

    I would also like to know if anxiety is a mental illness. In the internet many people write that it’s a serious, mental disorder but you can recover without medication, right? So it is not a mental disorder, is it?
    I don’t know why, but this world scares me and now while I’m in a setback I fear that I become very depressed again..I know that I just have to let depression come if it wants, but how can I do that?
    There is this little thing that’s missing, until I have the right attitude..
    Could you please help me?

    Thank you so much!

    Wendy :)

  535. Mark R Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Generally on the up except today I’ve had a real tough day. I found it so hard to get motivated and felt utter crap all day. Usually these days generally fizzle out and I’m back to how I was.


    It sounds like you are doing the right thing, but questioning if you are doing the right thing. It’s important to know that despite doing well setbacks will crop up anyway, when the advice is to do nothing it means not to ‘try’ and feel better or push the thoughts and feelings away. Let them be there.

    In terms of talking to someone or watching tv then this is a distraction but a healthy one and something you should definately do if its your normal routine. You are not trying to rid yourself of it but you are getting on with your life, remember ‘live your life as if you don’t have it’.

    In my opinion depression and anxiety are not mental illnesses, if they were then doctors could help. To me that are a stuck state of mind, its not wrong to feel anxious, and not wrong to feel depressed so they are not illnesses.


  536. Trish Says:

    Thanks Jamie for your encouragement. The last few days I have given the thought very little notice and alot of times during day now i dont even think it. I feel less stressed because Im not consummed by it…..its not far away though i know one thought about it again will drag me back in…but I have a choice and Im choosing to go about my day as if Its not there….I always k now this is what i should do when this happens but sometimes it feels more powerfull than me and i get sucked in again! Best of luck x

  537. Candie Says:

    Wendy, u sound exactly like me a few years ago :) I would try and accept anxiety, then worry I couldn’t, then worry that I was worrying about it!! I realised I was still trying too hard and trying to accept to get rid of it.

    My breakthrough came when I was having a major anxiety attack, thought I was going mad and had all these thoughts about ringing doctor, getting family to take my kids, then I thought il go on Paul’s blog and figure out how to accept this. That’s when I realised the mistake I made.. So told myself I’m going to take a risk and go with the feeling and not look at the blog or seek reassurance. I went and bathed my kids, did the pots and got on with my evening. It passed and I was elated I had seen it through and called its bluff! So I built on this gradually. Each time I didn’t take the exit of relief seeking and resistance I was showing my brain.. There is no emergency here and it learnt to shut off the fear response. It’s the same with the thoughts, physical feelings, thinking you may go crazy etc. each time u dismiss it new habits are formed and it fades. You can’t force yourself just to accept anxiety and be ok with it, that’s a battle in itself and keeps you in the cycle. You just have to face it and see it through each time until your attitude of acceptance is created.

  538. Wendy Says:

    Thanks for your posts!

    I think what really helps me is saying “whatever” to all the sensations I have.
    I just say it and go on with my life. Is that okay? Or is it also trying to rid myself of anxiety?
    I will try that for a while now and I hope it helps :)

  539. Candie Says:

    It’s not so much what u say Wendy, it’s what u do. If you let it build and die down willingly even if your uncomfortable that is the way to go. With the thoughts I just let them seem real and float in and out

  540. DavidR Says:

    Something my ACT (Acceptance Commitment) therapist said today. “Pretend I had a pill in my pocket that would remove ALL your anxiety, forever, but in addition it would remove everyone and everything you cared about as well.” Would you take it?

    His point to me is that anxiety is part of the normal human experience and as long as there are people and things we care about we will always have some anxiety.

  541. Mark R Says:

    Hi Candie,

    Can I ask if you are recovered/in a setback etc?

    The reason I ask is that I think I read somewhere on your posts that you’ve suffered on and off for seven years. I’ve suffered on and off for about ten/eleven. It’s been posted on here that when you recover you don’t suffer again but I think thats a rarity.
    Looking at your replies you seem to have the attitude nailed to a tee. Unfortunately I think I’m one of the ones who will suffer for my life based on whats happened so far. I’m doing okay at the moment but I let a setback completely tear me apart in April and I’ve not really recovered from it. In terms of your attitude it seems you dont care if it came back again.

  542. Jess H Says:

    Hi Lucy, thank you for your reply, it really is horrible isnt it, although i have had a few good days, this site and talking to people who have the same thoughts helps to, just to know your not alone. I will re post soon, but thank you.

    Jess xx

  543. Wendy Says:

    Okay, but sometimes there come these rushes of fear and I always start fearing that it becomes worse again and I always tend to start worrying.
    How can I stop that? It feels like everything I am doing is still wrong.
    If anxiety comes up I always tend to say ” oh nooo..there it is again”, that’s wrong, isn’t it? But how can I stop fearing it?

  544. Candie Says:

    Hi Mark

    No I don’t care if it comes back :) you can never suffer again if your not frightened. It’s impossible. Even if you had a major day of stress the new habits of accepting stress/anxiety and letting it pass means it doesn’t phosphor into anxiety disorders. It’s like facing any fear once u conquer it you can never go back really. Anxiety disorders are just fear of fear :) I can have any symptom now and not see it as anxiety disorder. Because most of them are normal to have but people with anxiety experience them in excess due to fearing them. It’s a cycle you break.

    Wendy, rather then trying to talk yourself through it and control it just mentally watch it rise a few times and it will fade again. Once u master this u build upon it as you don’t feel trapped. When it happens again just choose to do nothing about it. Carry pm with whatever your doing and eventually you will notice it has calmed. When that happens a couple if times you totally lose respect for it :)

  545. Mark R Says:

    Hi Candie,

    That reply is of interest to me as the fear for me is not having a normal life. I suppose to get past this I suppose I need to just not care if I don’t feel good for the rest of my life.

    I do have days where the stuff of life is important to me and how I feel isn’t. Then vice versa when I have a bad one. When I’m in the mire I have to try and remember this although its dead difficult

  546. Stephie Says:

    Thanks Sam and Sarah. I appreciate your input. It helps to have someone confirm things for you.

    I think one of my biggest mistakes is that I’m waiting to feel normal again (but right now, even though I’m anxious I’m still me, and perfectly normal). I keep waiting for things to just magically go away one day, to finally crack it, which hasn’t been helping me. Things don’t just go away like magic, I learned this habit, so now I have to unlearn(?) it. I need to get into the process of just letting it be. It’s hard not to make it a priority, but it shouldn’t be.

  547. Matt Says:

    Wendy, and good post by the way candie, the rushes of fear come from your adrenalin. If you have DP, as I did, my own bedroom, car, tv, etc. became something to be afraid of, but it wasn’t those things that scared me, it was that I somehow attributed that fear to those things. If fear comes up for no reason then it’s just your body either protecting from false harm or you are actually scared of something. Sounds like you’re making good progress, I promise it gets a lot easier when you allow it to be and get on with your normal life and routines, it begins to fade piece by piece until it doesn’t exist. I honestly forgot what most of it was like, cant really put it into words, because my mind is in a normal place now, it’s strange to say, but that seems to happen with most people I believe that recover.

  548. Bill Says:

    Matt/Candie,anyone,once again i have been out for a couple of hours and feeling so dizzy i am planting my feet down and they feel like lead,my vision is all over the place,focusing is a problem,my neck and head is so tense because i get feelings that i am passing out and i cannot stop thinking about myself.I just feel like getting home as quick as possible but i don’t,i stick it out and feel dreadful.This is happening every time i go out,it does not get any easier,any advice please on what i need to be doing or thinking.Bill.

  549. Anthony Says:

    Thanks, Paul! I am truly happy with my new job!

    The anxiety and thoughts are still there and all. And the anxiety is always trying to find something new to disturb me (like just this morning in the shower, I became obsessed with my right hand and my attention would always go to it (how silly!) and then tried to make me worry about being more aware of my breathing so I have to breathe manually instead of automatically if that makes any sense). Or older bad thoughts that had a huge impact on me a while back sometimes pop up totally from out of the blue. The one that tries to bother me the most is a simple thought: “Destroy ____”. The blank being anything from God (when I was religious, that hit me very very hard) to the name of my mother’s boyfriend. And now recently to the names of my coworkers and boss. Or my little brother’s friend. Or the apologizing thing. Or whatever.

    But I’m starting to care less and less.

    What kept me in the loop for the longest time was when I’d desensitize a certain thought obsessively bothering me, then the anxiety would find something new and BAM! It would start all over again.

    So I view the whole anxiety searching for new things to bother me about as proof that I’m actually getting better, because it’s starting to realize that I’m not paying it so much respect as I used to and now it’s throwing a tantrums like a spoiled child not getting what it wants.

    I’ve also noticed that most of the time I can feel the anxiety coming on stronger before a silly thought pops up, so I’m prepared to not let it hit me so hard.

    I look forward to the day when I can just shrug off silly thoughts and not give a flying turd about them, and I seem to be well on my way.

    Also, Paul, I have a question. You said in an earlier blog post or reply that therapists telling you to “just ignore it” was stupid advice. How is that different from the “whatever attitude” and giving thoughts space? And your recent Tweet where you compared anxiety with bullies. I might have misunderstood things. Just wondering if you could clear that up. Because I thought the whole point is to just let it be.

  550. Wendy Says:


    Thank you, do you know what is the best thing now?
    It starts feeling right! It starts feeling as if I really start making progress and as if I really start accepting my anxiety. I still have DP and I am tired all the time! I still can’t concentrate very well, but i know that’s normal at the beginning of recovery and that’s why I just don’t worry about it.
    I think this is the first time, when I really feel as if I am making progress.

    Thanks everyone!

  551. Shaun H Says:

    There are some excellent posts being posted at the moment which are all helping me a lot especially Candie and Matt’s posts. Thanks.

    I am having a good week on the whole. I was having a good day yesterday until last night when a thought from my past hit me out of nowhere, it was something that I had done around 8ish years ago while at University. I have never given the incident a thought before! But last night I felt awful and was filled with regret and guilt. This is what the majority of my anxiety is based around at the moment, my battle with my own mind, which likes throwing all sorts of stuff from my past at me, and makes me think horrible stuff. I know that in a normal state, I would not think twice about these thoughts.

    But a sign that I’m getting better is the fact that I have been quite good today as well. It’s as if I’m able to get over these silly thoughts, memories and horrible stuff much quicker recently. I’m able to dismiss them quicker which sort of extinguishes their force. Although they are still there, I don’t care so much about them.

    It’s nice to feel as if I’m on the right track anyway.

  552. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Anthony says: Also, Paul, I have a question. You said in an earlier blog post or reply that therapists telling you to “just ignore it” was stupid advice. How is that different from the “whatever attitude” and giving thoughts space?

    I can’t remember ever saying a therapist told me just to ignore it, but there is a difference between ‘ignoring’ and living alongside anxiety. Allowing anxiety to be part of you and your day is totally different than ignoring it, you can never ignore it as the more you try, the more it seems to be present. You don’t need to ignore, just allow.

    And your recent Tweet where you compared anxiety with bullies. I might have misunderstood things. Just wondering if you could clear that up. Because I thought the whole point is to just let it be.

    The tweet said ‘A bully relies on your fear of them to keep their power – Anxiety is the same, no respect, no power’

    Not sure where you are getting confused with that Anthony, it’s just saying don’t fear or repesct anxiety and it loses it’s power, it’s nothing to do with letting it be. Respect and fear would be where it stops you doing things (fearing the feeling) or has you spending your day trying to get rid of it (paying it loads of respect).


  553. Wendy Says:

    I have another question,
    I read that if I exercite I have to do that, because I enjoy it and not because I want to rid myself from anxiety.
    The problem is that I actually don’t really like exerciting, so I really only do it because I want to feel better after that. That’s wrong, isn’t it?
    What can I do?

  554. Doreen Says:

    Wendy – I think the rule of thumb is that you just get on with life doing things that you would normally want (or need) to do rather than because they are supposed to get rid on anxiety. In that way you will feel some satisfaction and enjoyment and that in itself will help you feel better

  555. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Also Wendy just going for a walk in the outdoors can help, don’t think you have to run a marathon.

    Exercise helps on many levels, but it’s your choice. I excercised and it helped me a lot, just don’t go and exercise, then all the way round watch to see if you feel better, come home and question how you feel etc. I rode my bike, ran or swam because I felt better all round, not to rid myself of anxiety, I just felt better doing it, but with demanding anything from it.

  556. Brian Says:

    Question Guys,

    Ive had anxiety I’d say now for about a year…it all happened after I fainted at breakfast following a long night of partying for a buddies birthday. After being medically cleared by my doctor, he gave me the ole “And dont worry about fainting, or else it will become a self fullfilling prophecy!” Those are not very smart words to tell somebody who is a ‘worrying type.’ Since that doctors visit my thoughts have become extremely inward…monitoring my thoughts/constantly examining my phyisical state, and fearing fainting of all things! I’ve always been an extremely confident person. In fact my profession for many years was playing a professional sport. Now with all of these negative and anxious thoughts, I havent been able to live the life I normally live, and its the furstration of being this way that is so darn bothersome. Paul, I read your book, and if I hadn’t, I would have legitimately thought I was going crazy. I realize that all of these thoughts and feelings are under the umbrella of anxiety and I’ve done my best to not limit myself in any way. I still act as If nothing is wrong. With all of this said, I was hoping somebody on the board could give me some words of encouragement/advice about self defeating/anxious thoughts. Im afraid that anxiety is going to interrupt my ability to work/function normally. Like I said before, I realize its anxiety latching on, but its just frustrating at times having to ‘push’ through life rather than being able to enjoy it and go with the flow. Any thoughts/advice would be awesome, thanks guys


  557. Anthony Says:

    @Paul, my bad. I guess I misread a few things. I think I misunderstood because I thought of “ignoring” in a different way. For example, when I acknowledge that my anxiety is there and then my mind thinking of other things besides my anxiety. Or when I shift my attention back to what I was doing.

    So today was exceptionally bad for me in my new job. My anxiety attacked me at so many different angles and was a huge distraction when I was trying to pay attention. Came home extremely tired and depressed from the thoughts and feelings.

    But an interesting thing happened though. While talking with my boss today I brought it up and he said that he never noticed I was anxious and that I had been doing very well in training. That reminded me of something similar that you said once (where you asked coworkers about it and they said they didn’t notice).

    I love my new job and I plan on keeping it. Anxiety may be kicking my down and bumming me out a lot now, but I’ll learn to roll with the punches!

  558. claire Says:

    Hello Paul
    For personal reasons I will not be using this email address or posting on the blog again.
    It is unlikely, though if there is a post from this email address in the future I can assure you it will NOT be from myself.
    Please reply to this my final post with confirmation you can have a moderator delete potential future post’s immediatley as they will not have come from me, but please keep this one.
    This must sound relatively anxious!but thanks to all your hard work and everyone else on the blog I have come a long way in accepting anxiety for what it is, setbacks and all,though I am coming to terms with some external stress at this time.
    Once again thanks for everything.especially your invaluable book!xx

  559. Bill Says:

    Hi,any comments on my post yesterday would be much appreciated.I have churned that much over in my head i do not seem to know what i should be doing for the best,just feel as if i am sinking deeper,thanks,Bill.

  560. Doreen Says:

    Bill – if you are going out with the thoughts in your head that are about testing how you feel than inevitably you will get the symptoms that you describe as you will be on edge waiting for them to come. However, if you go out because there is an end goal such as shopping, seeing a film or whatever and accept that horrid sensations may accompany that trip then you may be less focused on how you feel. Worth trying maybe

  561. Sara Says:

    Paul if you could please add something about anxiety and driving when you add a new post to the blog it would be highly appreciated! It is just a hurdle that I am struggling with.

    Thank You!

  562. Sian Says:

    Hi Paul and everybody else!
    I’m new here :)
    First of all I’d like to say I think what you are doing is fantastic! I’m a singer/songwriter and I’d love to be able to help people in my own way, through song.
    The problem I seem to have when experiencing a setback is that my journey with anxiety has been a little different to that described in the book. I am 21 and Anxiety first started for me when I was 13 during my parents divorce and has come in bouts through my teens with different ways in which it has manifested, some of which I have gotten over – health anxiety, depersonalisation etc. There have been long periods of feeling ‘recovered’ but I’ve always been roped back in in a new way of form (currently obsessive existentialism thoughts) I think this is because I always saw a hope of getting over it but knowing even when I have felt ‘recovered’ I have been dragged back makes me feel worse and more hopeless every time it comes back. I know it’s probably to do with how fearful I am of feeling that way, having read Pauls book, but growing up with Anxiety also makes it hard for me to see the person I was before that you keep describing in your book and I worry that it is an innate part of who I am and my mind will always find something to cling to.
    I am an optimistic person and do think I can recover… I am always hopeful that I can get on with and enjoy life, I am just looking for the best ways to apply Pauls book to my circumstances :)
    Thank you!

    ps this is one of my songs that’s about Anxiety, lyrics in the info, if anyone fancies listening!

  563. Sam Says:

    Anyone seen the new derren brown on fear and faith? I think theres definately something you can learn from it about facing your fears

  564. SarahS Says:

    Hi Brian

    A few things that stood out to me from your post were:

    1. This is a really common way for anxiety to start.
    2. You are dealing with it really really well.
    3. You deal with thoughts just the same way as you are with your physical symptoms, you let them be there, by practising not getting too involved, although you will at times but it’s the anxiety that’s latching on as you so rightly point out.
    4. Overall the point I pick up from your post is that you are doing really good in the way you are dealing with your anxiety which really shows your strength of character, but you are frustrated with it. That’s totally understandable and yes you will be frustrated at times. If you can be less frustrated, it’s better as anxiety will heal better without it but don’t beat yourself up about it, it’s part of the process of recovery. Most people do feel that way as they are doing all the right things but the anxiety and thoughts are still there. Stick with it though as with anxiety it’s almost as if the benefits come later, you may feel as anxious or whatever at the time but all the good work you are putting in will show sooner or later. Whilst you are getting on with your life and feeling the feelings and letting the anxious thoughts be there you are re-training your brain that none of these feelings matter and that it’s all okay.

    Keep up the good work you really are doing a good job in your road to recovery. Try to be patient if you can, it’s not always easy but you can do it and soon enough you really will reap the benefits.


  565. SarahS Says:

    Just wanted to say too how fab Doreen, Candie and Helen’s posts have been recently, really, really well explained and helpful.

  566. SarahS Says:

    Hi Natalie – I think you do know what you need to do, you know it all too well. As far as I can see you are being how I was and forgive me as I don’t mean to be harsh but you are feeling sorry for yourself. You probably don’t know what to do about your stressful job but hey lots of other people wonder that too. If you decided to give it up then it would be a struggle I’m sure but would it be the end of the world? At a guess I’d say you are having unpleasant symptoms and letting them bother you big time which is casing lack of sleep and frustration and more so the cycle of anxiety. Your hubby is probably how mine was and frustrated about how you behave around him and doesn’t know what to do to help. You come on here and post questions but really I think you know what to do. Yes anxiety is really unpleasant but you know how to help yourself, go with it, stop taking it so seriously, go with the flow, be patient, respect yourself and others during the tough times, be kinder to yourself, forgive yourself too and I’d say things will start to improve. Sarah xxx

  567. Doreen Says:

    I could just do with a bit of TLC myself today. My anxiety jumped into full flow last year when amongst other anxiety provoking events my eldest grandson became ill with IBS and did not attend school for nearly a year. I very much internalised the stress his parents were feeling, particularly my daughter. He has over the year gradually improved and I too had become a great deal better than a year ago. Unfortunately a tummy bug seems to have set him off again and that is a worry in itself as it is his ‘A’ level years. However, my struggle is to stay more detached and not so caught up with swathes of anxiety again in what is a legitimate worry. Every time I woke in the night I felt a jolt of anxiety as my thoughts immediately turned to him and I could ‘hear’ the voice of my daughter in the stressful phone calls she used to make to me this time last year.

  568. Jamie Says:

    Doreen, Sorry to hear that..At least you can pinpoint the anxiety to something..For me I cant understand it..I was feeling totally 100% for the last 10 days…And last night, bad butterflies hit..i try to say accept it, feel it, just anxiety, but it got worse, then I didnt sleep at all last night, and Im back to the nausea in my stomach…It seems to come and go every 2 weeks…So Im wondering if when I feel 100%, Im maybe anticipating it again, then it comes..Any advice on what to do when I feel normal, then it hits…Understand its not a true panic attack that just goes away..I guess its liek an anxiety attack that comes on stron, then the nausea just says….I cant understand why I would be goign thru this after yrs of having no anxiety this strong….
    Its liek Im caught in the fear of the fear>? I have no worries really in my life..

  569. Jamie Says:

    Sorry for all the typos, so tired today….in USA, so only 7:30 AM here

  570. Shaun H Says:

    Hi. I’m having a bit of a bad day today.

    Can anyone else relate to worrying about stuff that they’ve done in the past and feeling guilt and regret?

    I seem to be searching my mind for things that I’ve done in the past to worry me. Although I am anxious about some day to day stuff and irrational worries about things that could happen etc, the thoughts that worry me the most are ones from my past.

    They are often stuff I’ve never thought twice about before, but I feel guilt and regret when I think of them in my current state, and they make me feel awful. I know that with a healthy mind, I wouldn’t worry about them, but in my anxious state I really do.

    Can anyone else relate to this kind of worrying? I’d be grateful to hear from you. Many thanks.

  571. Jamie Says:

    Shaun, Yes…I am almost 40, but I did more of that thinking when younger…I think its just the anxiety, that makes you feel that way..Or you are searching something to make you feel anxious, just when you think you are feeling better……Everyone does things in the past they wish they could change, but what you have to do is know you have learned and grown from these actions….

  572. SarahS Says:

    Hi Doreen – sorry to hear about that. I know it’s not always easy but sometimes it helps to hear from others when you are deep in thick of it. I know it’s really unpleasant and a worry about your grandson but for you, due to your anxiety, it’s making everything seem much worse. So although it is a legitimate worry, it’s still your anxiety that’s latching onto something and doing it’s best to convince you how awful everything it is. Let the worry be there, knowing you feel worse due to anxiety, don’t try not to worry but have a little practise when you can at not getting too involved in the worrying thoughts and feelings. Hope this helps, I know it’s difficult when you are tired and worn out from anxiety, I do understand. Something else that helps me enormously is to find humour in things. I find myself becoming very serious and when I’m in the middle of conversations I think “blimey, that’s heavy” so I consciously make the effort to crack a joke about it, and end up smiling and often laughing alot, even when I don’t feel like it, it still helps. Stick something fun on the tele, surround yourself with happy people, bit of exercise, it all helps I think. xxx

  573. Jeff Says:

    This is for Bill’s post from three days ago… you say “any advice please on what i need to be doing or thinking” but the title of this thread is “do nothing.” Just do what you’re going to do, Bill, and don’t let it stop you. If you start “doing” things to manage it you are paying it respect. The more you “do” to lessen it (adopt safety behavior, change routine, avoid activities, etc.) the more power it has over you. If you continue to do as you normally would even though the anxiety is there you begin to score some victories that teach you it’s harmless. I know it’s frustrating. I’ve been dealing with it for a year and I’m uber frustrated, but I’m working hard on patience and I have faith that this phase of my life will pass. Keep sticking it out, it will eventually get easier. Just don’t be in a hurry about it and don’t expect it right away. We all screw this up, Bill, or we wouldn’t be here. We all want it to go away right now, but you have to try and be patient with it and be in the here and now.

    Here’s something that affected me deeply, maybe you guys can appreciate it too. “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ? Rumi
    Best to you all, and Happy Monday.

  574. Mick Says:

    After reading Pauls book and posts on these blogs,it makes you wonder how many people have been misdiagnosed by the mental health proffesion for their symptoms of anxiety,especially the weird/bizzare thoughts.

  575. Mark R Says:


    Sorry to hear that, I’ve had IBS since 2004 and its a stress in itself, saying that though it can be managed and lived with. You just need to cut out certain foods that irritate it.

    By recognising the stress, it sounds like you’ve already started to distance yourself from it. Sounds also like you’ve already recognised the trap you fell into before as well which is good,


    Sounds like you’re doing okay. Great quote by the way, amazing how one small thing can put a situation into perspective. I’ve posted a few of mine below by a Japanese therapist, they are from the 40’s:

    “Give up on yourself. Begin taking action now, while being neurotic or imperfect, or a procrastinator or unhealthy or lazy or any other label by which you inaccurately describe yourself. Go ahead and be the best imperfect person you can be and get started on those things you want to accomplish before you die”

    “When running up a hill, it is all right to give up as many times as you wish – as long as your feet keep moving”

    “Accept your feelings. Know your purpose. And do what needs to be done”

    Shoma Morita

  576. Sian Says:

    Hi Paul and everybody else!
    I’m new here :)
    First of all I’d like to say I think what you are doing is fantastic! I’m a singer/songwriter and I’d love to be able to help people in my own way, through song.
    The problem I seem to have when experiencing a setback is that my journey with anxiety has been a little different to that described in the book. I am 21 and Anxiety first started for me when I was 13 during my parents divorce and has come in bouts through my teens with different ways in which it has manifested, some of which I have gotten over – health anxiety, depersonalisation etc. There have been long periods of feeling ‘recovered’ but I’ve always been roped back in in a new way of form (currently obsessive existentialism thoughts) I think this is because I always saw a hope of getting over it but knowing even when I have felt ‘recovered’ I have been dragged back makes me feel worse and more hopeless every time it comes back. I know it’s probably to do with how fearful I am of feeling that way, having read Pauls book, but growing up with Anxiety also makes it hard for me to see the person I was before that you keep describing in your book and I worry that it is an innate part of who I am and my mind will always find something to cling to.
    I am an optimistic person and do think I can recover… I am always hopeful that I can get on with and enjoy life, I am just looking for the best ways to apply Pauls book to my circumstances :)
    Thank you!

  577. David Summers Says:

    I slowly started recovering from anxiety after I learned to be CONTENT with with whatever I was feeling, thinking, experiencing. My mind relaxed as I stopped fighting the anxiety. Being CONTENT approach made more sense to me than the ACCEPT YOUR FEELINGS concept, even though they are both the same thing. I still get anxiety sometimes but it eases away as I focus on being CONTENT. Hope this can help someone out there, there is hope!!

  578. Bill Says:

    Thanks Jeff for your words of encouragement,i fall into anxietys traps so easy and seem to need reassurance regular,it is time to change things now,i have ramped my symptoms up so much that i am in a lot of discomfort,i am only fighting myself and as Paul says,it is a fight you cannot win.Regards and best wishes to all.

  579. Candie Says:

    Shaun I had loads of thoughts like that. About bad things I’d done in the past, they seemed more important when anxious and really stuck. Just recognise anxiety is responsible and let it go over your head. We have all done really
    Crappy, stupid and even dangerous things in the past. But we are all human and it’s ok not to be the perfect person, anxiety is having a go at your self esteem that’s all. I got over this by allowing the thoughts to pop up and telling myself ‘yes whatever I had done was daft, but I’m human like everyone else and if making mistakes makes me a crappy person then who cares’. Let anxiety cause these thoughts but don’t add guilt

  580. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sorry I have not been on for a while and have just moderated a few posts and want to welcome all the new posters.

  581. Shaun H Says:

    Thanks Candie and Jamie for the responses to my previous post.

    Somewhere in my head knows it’s the anxiety making me feel awful about past stuff because when I was anxiety free these things didn’t bother me at all. I’m remembering things that I’ve never thought twice about almost.

    One past memory is bugging me a lot at the moment to the point that I almost had a panic attack at work this morning (I had to go and sit in the toilet for a while to try an calm down). I’ve had a horrible day. I know this is ridiculous behaviour, but I cannot help it.

    I am getting really good days here and there which encourages me and this site and Paul’s book has been invaluable to me.

    I have arranged private counselling today as I’ll be waiting forever through the NHS. What are people’s thoughts on counselling for general anxiety?

  582. Wendy Says:

    hey everyone,

    my irrational and scary thoughts are still there, but they don’t scare me so much anymore. I actually feel as uif I nearly have the right attitude. Also if I habe DP I just don’t care..
    But is it normal that I still have DP so bad?in the mornings it’s still okay, but after a few hours it gets pretty bad.. Why is it still so bad sometimes, although I think I relly accept it and don’t pay it lots of respect?

  583. Nick Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Been a very long time since I last posted, mainly as I was doing a lot better with my anxiety. When it first started 2.5 years ago from a panic attack after smoking some weed, I was a completely wreck. Even looking at my reflection scared me, and I was sure I was insane, I had depersonalisation too and everyday was a living hell. I’m not exactly sure why it started but I was stuck in a bit of a rut at the time and had a few money worries etc. But generally nothing really that bad has ever happened to me in my life…I have been very fortunate so this whole anxiety nightmare certainly came as a shock. Incidently I haven’t smoked weed for years although did a lot when I was young which I think may be a contributory factor.

    Anyway, I have made huge improvements and am so much better then back then its unreal….but I am still troubled by the anxiety. Nowadays I have no depersonalisation and have had periods where the anxiety is very background (although never completely gone).

    The main issues I have though which reccur are intrusive thoughts. They are all mainly existential and all about the future and the ‘fragility’ of existence.

    I have a huge fear of suicide and the classic ‘what if that was me one day…’. A friends husband recently committed suicide which obviously set my anxiety off. For a long time news stories about suicide scared the crap out of me too.

    When I travel to work on the tube the question ‘what if i jumped on the tracks’ is a regular feature and a constant source of fear.

    I also have a huge fear that I will never be happy and free of anxiety again and that I will never be able to find fulfillment and inner peace in my life. Also feelings of everything being futile are a huge feature and the thought that I have no real passion in life/don’t take real genuine joy in anything (which is almost definitely not true as I laugh regularly, have fun with friends and have hobbies I like) and will never be able to cope having a loving relationship (i’m currently single). I also overreact to things.

    Anyway my fears are basically that these thoughts hold inherent truth (particularly the ‘futility of life’ ones) and despite me reading Pauls book and being aware that these thoughts are classic symptoms of anxiety I cant seem to shake the feeling that they hold some truth and they are just ‘me’. Its almost like I don’t know who I am or where to find myself.

    I know longing for a cure is the wrong way to do things but I cant help but wish for inner peace. There are times when I felt I could almost touch it only for those positive thoughts to quickly be replaced by negative ones. I guess I am in a setback now and I shouldn’t fight the feelings or long for recovery but the ups and downs of anxiety seem to be getting the better of me a bit at the moment and I feel I need to try and reconcile these thoughts as they have been there since the start of my anxiety and I find it so hard not to believe they hold some truth.

    Any help or advice from Paul or anyone else is hugely appreciated, good luck to everyone in their recovery.


  584. Sara Says:


    If I could wish for anything in the world it would be inner peace as well. It may seem near impossible when you have anxiety but it is something that you can and will reach. I used to have intrusive thoughts to the point where I would make myself physically sick. I know that these thoughts might seem so real AT THE MOMENT, but please try to think back before you ever had anxiety,or even a moment when your anxiety was at it’s very minimum. You probably never had these thoughts, and even if you did they never had the same effect or lingered around. Prooving that they truly are anxiety induced. I know you said that you can’t help but think that these thoughts are you but they really aren’t. I can only speak from experience when saying that I am not my thoughts. Sometimes my thoughts are so ridiculous I cant help but to laugh at them! It takes a while to develop a positive attitude. Try not to look into the future or think about a life or tomorrow with anxiety. Always remember, Take care of today and tomorrow will take care of itself. Please try to stop giving these thoughts any respect and stop reading into them.

    I hope that helps.
    Goodluck, I know you can do it.

  585. Nick Says:

    Hi Sara,

    Thanks so much for your words, yes I remember times when I never had these thoughts at all, just seems like such a long time ago now. I’m 29 too so i’m at that age where i’m really questioning my purpose in life and trying to figure out what I really want, the world just seems like a very daunting place at the moment. I’m often down on myself too and the anx just seems to make me doubt everything even more. So strange as well because there seems to be almost no concrete reasoning, as I say I had a great upbringing and have been very lucky.

    I think I really must start to try and believe that I can get through it eventually as at the moment, really i’m not sure. Going to restart my meditation and really try and push a more positive outlook and really try not respect these thoughts as you say.

    Many thanks again for responding I really appreciate it.

  586. Nicola Says:

    What is the difference between what one experiences during anxiety and a bad psychedelic drug trip?

    They both seem to involve a change in consciousness that includes a change in perception of the world around us. A bad ‘trip’ can include, paranoia, agitation, intense fear, heightened senses, feeling scared of others etc…
    I experience all of this during bad anxiety.

    The part I describe as a change of consciousness, and I don’t know if anyone else gets it like this, but I can be ok and then suddenly, whoosh.. Scared of everything, that sudden change of perception is what I call a change of consciousness.

    I’ve done drugs in the past but haven’t touched a thing for 3 years, I also stopped drinking over 2 years ago. So does anyone who hasn’t done drugs get the same feelings I am describing? It also seems to get worse 7 days before my period is due and when I am under stress.

    Look forward to your replies.

  587. Jeff Says:

    Nicola, I experimented a great deal with psychedelics in my youth; I’ve done them within the last two years, but haven’t dared touch them since the anxiety began with me a year ago. I’ve been thinking about trying them again to see if they can “jumpstart” an epiphany that will show me something, but more likely than not the opposite will occur. I do not even smoke cannabis anymore, though I used to with some frequency. I experienced only one “bad trip” and it was awful. That mental state was very similar to what I have experienced with anxiety: inability to stop your thinking, deep fear of total loss of control, physical discomfort, etc. In fact, when the anxiety first began and I had extreme dp, it was exactly like a bad trip. I saw colors and the world appeared as though I were looking through a lens smeared with vaseline. However, I have had a hundred more experiences on psychedelics that were expansive and spirtual, they broadened my cognitive palate and gave me insight into myself and the world. There has been some experimentation recently with psychedelics on patients with extreme alcoholism. It helped many test subjects greatly. In no way am I condoning their use, but the test subjects claimed it was like “condensed therapy.” Interesting.

    I work with people who are autistic. I have recently begun to see a small similarity between anxiety and some of the states reported by individuals with autism. They describe an inability to process sensory information. This information overwhlems them and they recede into their own minds in order to protect themselves from sensory overload. It occurs at a very early age (~3). This retreat from reality can be presented along a continuum of extremes. People with autism experience anxiety with an unimaginable frequency. Many are unable to control their reactions to this anxiety: they can’t shut off their physical response to it. It’s what I experience when I have a panic attack, though the stimuli is 99.9% mentally generated. I find this sort of thing interesting. It is certainly not meant to make anyone think they have autism. You would know, trust me.

  588. Wendy Says:

    Hello Paul,

    I am under 18, so I can’t order your book. Is there another way to get it? Your website and your blog already helped me a lot, but I think I still need a little more knowledge.

    Another thing is, that I really started accepting my anxiety, but I still have DP and this week it is very bad and I feel a bit depressed. Why is DP still so bad, although I accept it?

  589. natalie Says:

    sarah s thank you !!!!! just popped on and seen your comments and yes i know you are right! need to just give myself and everything else a break x hope to post more positive comments iin the future xxxx

  590. Paul McGowan Says:

    HI all , well its been some time since i visited or posted on this site , probably about 2 years age , prior to that time i was consumed by anxiety , worried day in day out about all my symptoms and what was going to become of me and the damage it was all doing !!! Well after i spent some considerable time on here i finally realised that these symptoms , experienced by nearly all of the people on the site werent infact going to kill or drive me mad , and moreso i wasnt alone or suffering by myself !! That alone , once it sunk in , and it does take time , so give it time , was what i needed to allow me to get on with my life and focus the best i could on other things , without the anxiety and offshoots controlling my chain of thought !! I am much better now , but certainly not rid of this horrible illness , i have good and bad days , though i never fight it any more like back in the day !! I also have never tried any medication to help me along the way in the 15 + yrs i have suffered , believing or feeling they make me worse or more confused !! I still suffer badly from DP and at times it gets to me , its been a long time after all and this side effect in itself is soo debilitating . I am now considering visiting my GP to see if there may be an option of a suitable medication to help me on my way , so getting back to my main reason for posting , i would be interested on hearing some feedback on experiences where this is concerned !! Thanx and keep the faith !! Paul

  591. Nicola Says:

    Thank you so much for the reply Jeff it was very interesting! I can completely relate to the sensory overload thing, however it wasn’t something I experienced prior to the anxiety, it began about a year in. Can you relate to any of the feelings I described? In particular the shift in consciousness caused by anxiety? It’s not something I get so much now but when my anxiety was really really bad I had all types of weird symptoms.

  592. Michelle M Says:

    Hi Nicola

    I have never done drugs and I have all your feelings apart from scared of others. I have intense fear that I will lose my mind, that I will hurt my daughter. These are my two that cause every bit of anxiety.

    I definately am worse nearer my period. In fact I would go as to say that I feel recovered 3 weeks of the month and awful for one week. I have been to my GP who is taking blood tests and hormone levels to see if I am going through an early menopause. Im not sure how old you are but maybe you can get the Dr to give you something for nearer your monthly. They give fluoexetine for one week of the month for these symptoms…maybe this may be a choice for you. I am going on the pill to see if this regulates the hormone problem. Will keep you informed.

    All the best to everyone that is suffering.

    Michelle x

  593. Nicola Says:

    Hi Michelle,

    My doctor gave me the pill to regulate my hormones but I decided against it, I read a load of posts from women you had begun to suffer anxiety as a result of STOPPING the pill. I don’t know whether to take it or not now. Thank you for your reply and I’m sorry to mention what I read but I want you to be aware of it before you take anything. I have a book from the library about dealing with PMS naturally, I’ll let you know if I find any good info.

  594. Michelle m Says:


    that’s fine. I’ve taken it before years ago and am definitely going to try again. will give it a few months and tell you how im doing. all the best.

    Michelle x

  595. Helen Says:

    Hi Wendy,
    I know you posted to Paul but I wanted to reply in case he doesn’t get back to you for a while.
    DP is a thick fog that builds up whilst you have anxiety as your mind is so tired, it is like your brain is trying to detach from you so it can get some rest. Once you accept anxiety, it takes a while for the fog of DP to lift and and go away. It is like being in a bubble of smoke and someone has put the smallest hole in your bubble and the smoke is gradually escaping but it takes a long time for all of it to go but eventually it does and DP will just go. Anxiety has a huge effect on you and your body and it takes time for it to leave you but keep doing what you are doing, accept anxiety and the DP you are experiencing and it will go.

    All the best

  596. jeff Says:

    Nicola, yes, when it gets bad for me it definitely changes my consciousness. My thoughts run rampant. Change in perception is more accurate. One way that I have used to describe it to a friend of mine is this: if you think of sight, and you consider that in normal perception you are unaware that your eyes are doing anything because your conscious focus is such that you are merely observing things, objects, the environment around you, etc., then when it gets bad it’s as if, first: I consciously recognize that I am observing, and then second: I actually observe. This doubling of observation creates all kinds of distortions, primarily because I’m watching myself watch and paying more attention to me than the exterior landscape. It’s like being in a bubble because you create a barrier between yourself and the world. That does seem rather vague but it’s the only way I can think of to describe it. I guess that’s dp.

  597. Doreen Says:

    Hi all – I think Helen has done a really good description of DP. I haven’t had it very badly or for very long but I almost felt as if I was in a dark room even though it was actually light. And my focus seemed to go awry like as if I needed glasses to sharpen everything back into focus. Very physical as well as a sense of detachment. I described it to my GP as being on the other side of a glass wall. But it faded without me even being aware that it had gone.

  598. Jamie Says:

    What is DP everyone keeps stating?
    Depersonalization or depression?

  599. Doreen Says:


  600. Jamie Says:


  601. Mark R Says:

    Some interesting theories on DP. I totally get the drugs reference as well, I was quite a heavy user of ecstasy and LSD in the earlier 2000’s and my first episode of anxiety started after a bad pill on my 21st birthday. The DP I suffered for around 18 months thereon was so similar to a mild LSD trip that the whole episode was fuelled by me thinking that I’d taken one too many and damaged my brain. Of course as I recovered and put it all in the past I don’t believe that any more, but I haven’t touched a drug since, I owe that much to myself.

    I think DP is subjective and for me its as if there is too much detail in things, that my vision is hard focused. The way I look at it as its like my vision has gone to HD, as in the TV’s. I also get really confused to boot, not a pleasant experience. Having recovered before, I know it will pass so try not to give it much credence.

  602. Nicola Says:

    Hey Mark, yeah I think a concern for me is whether I’m suffering some permanent drug damage or whether these symptoms are just regular anxiety. That’s why I wanted to know if non drug users had the same symptoms. If it is just anxiety then I know I don’t need to worry that the problem is permanent. How are you doing at the moment?

  603. Nicola Says:

    I developed depression through the stress of anxiety and had to resort to an antidepressant. What I didn’t know was that depression is a physical illness, in short if you overload the brain with stress, the chemicals that fire across the synapses plummet, this is when you have to consider getting help to get the limbic system fired up and working correctly again. I personally find when I feel less depressed I’m a lot less anxious, if at all. I’m considering upping my dose as I’m on a very low dose at the moment and although it pulled me back from the brink, I still feel like I’m forcing myself through each day. However for me I’m not dealing with anxiety alone. I’m not afraid of anxiety, I’ve been through two years of absolute hell with it. It can’t hurt me or drive me insane, therefore I know my problem is more complicated.

  604. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Wendy says: Hello Paul,

    I am under 18, so I can’t order your book. Is there another way to get it? Your website and your blog already helped me a lot, but I think I still need a little more knowledge.

    Another thing is, that I really started accepting my anxiety, but I still have DP and this week it is very bad and I feel a bit depressed. Why is DP still so bad, although I accept it?

    Wendy DP can take a while to ease and did with me, it was moments of clarity, then fog, then the odd hour, then the fog, then the odd day. I don’t pretend it’s something that you just pay no mind to and it’s gone. I would say the worst thing for DP, the thing that keeps it alive is the constant going over things, be it how you feel, mentally trying to fix yourself, worrying. DP is simply a safety switch that shuts off emotions and feelings, like a car that is running on fumes, your body was not built for all this deep thinking and worry and flicks a switch to protect you. This is why you feel so detached and in a bubble, why the world seems so flat and one dimensional.

    If you have no way of ordering my book I am not going to deny it you and if you email me through the site I will send you a free ebook to read on your computer.


  605. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    My next post will be in around 2 weeks and although it does not affect everyone I have to post different subjects and will cover social anxiety and how I overcame it.

  606. ShellH Says:

    Hi everyone,

    It’s been a while since I have been on the blog because I have been feeling so much better but I do have a question – Has anyone experienced hair loss as a result of anxiety and the stress it can bring on? My hair is becoming very thin to the point i am going the docs this afternoon. I just wondered if anyone has had this or is it completely unrelated to anxiety?

    Many thanks

    She’ll x

  607. Sara Says:

    Hello Shell,

    I too began to see hair thinning, I assumed that it was due to the anxiety and worry since I am only 19. I went to the doctor’s anyway but he said there is nothing you can really do about it. I advise you to just NOT worry or stress about it, this will only make it worse. I eventually began to just stop thinking about it, people go through so much, and losing hair is something so trivial.

    Eventually I saw a lack of thinning and even some re-growth!

    Also making a little changes in your diet can help a bit.


  608. emma e Says:

    Hi Shell, I have noticed periods where my hair has become thinner…my mind has then had a field day!! Something else for anxiety to attach to. Mine has always grown back to its normal thickness after many months. It might have nothing to do with anxiety. I just try as best I can to let the thoughts be there about the hair loss. The first time it happened it really freaked me out but I am now more accepting. I a currently undergoing a thinning episode but I think it is more hormonal as I have recently had a baby.

  609. ShellH Says:

    Hi Emma & Sara
    Thank you for your advice. I guess the more I worry the worse it will get. I went the docs any they are sending me for blood tests. Sara what changes to diet did you find helped?

    My hair has gone very thin to the point it looks like rats tails. Just hope it starts to grow back

    Thanks again


  610. Mark R Says:

    Hi Nicola,

    Kind of ambling along really, generally feeling crap, interspersed with say 2-3 bad days. It hasn’t stopped me doing anything though.
    I read about permanent damage, and my advice is to ignore these thoughts about it, I recovered having ‘permanent damage’ or so I thought to qualify as an accountant and start my own business. It’s just something that your anxiety is trying to pin it on.


    Just to tag onto Pauls DP post….

    You get to a stage where you aren’t anxious per se, which is where I am now and the DP just kind of lingers. It’s not frightening or worrying, its just a pain in the a**e. I just have a fuzzy feeling and a chattering mind, doesn’t stop me doing anything though.
    Just to echo Paul he is dead on where you have moments of clarity, an hour, afternoon, day etc. I’ve been suffering for a while but a few weeks ago I was driving to Blockbuster to get a dvd with my music on, singing my head off. I though, wow I actually feel good, everything felt okay. I know that’s how I will feel when I’m recovered, so on days where its really bad I have that moment in the back of my mind.

    On a separate note, does anyone ever hear advice from people that they need to change their life to feel better? That they are anxious for a reason? I refute this as I was really happy with my life until I had another setback in April, I feel that my life is pretty dead on except that anxiety isn’t letting me access it. Does anyone else feel this way?


  611. Sara Says:


    I also had blood tests done,the results were great, all healthy.

    I take a regular one a day woman’s multi vitamin and omega 3 fish oil capsules.
    I don’t eat fish so they are just extra nutrients and also great for your mind/focus and your mood!
    I would also try to incorporate more protien and amino acid rich foods such as eggs,dairy products,chicken and dark leafy greens which are all necessary for hair growth.

    Hope that helps :)

  612. Carlie Says:

    Hey everyone, I’m happy to say that my severe anxiety about my ears is way better now. I’m still having trouble with my ears, but I saw a doctor and it seems like it’s just being caused by my sinus problems. I’m having a CT scan done soon, so maybe that will reveal something.

    But unfortunately, the DP is still my biggest problem. I just feel so lost and so far from the person I used to be. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night, and that’s when it’s the worst. I just feel like someone else is in my body, and a lot of the time I just feel confused. It’s been this way for over a year now and I just feel stuck. I don’t know when it’s going to get better and what I’m doing wrong. :( It seems like my anxiety is nowhere near where it was when this all started, so I don’t know why I still feel this way.

  613. Mark R Says:


    Dp is a right pain, see my previous post. I’ve suffered on and off with anxiety for ten years and the process is always the same, the Dp is always the last thing to go even though I don’t feel that anxious anymore. The only thing to do is be patient a little while longer, stick to your life and the things you enjoy and it will go on its own, I promise you.

    Helen did a good post a few days ago with a good analogy.


  614. Sara Says:

    Hello everyone!

    Have any of you read any of Claire Weekes books?
    And if so which one do you recommend?

    Thanks! :)

  615. Wendy Says:

    Hello everyone,

    I have a question to everyone, who already recovered!
    As I already sad, I have some scary thoughts. At the moment they are about life and death again. I don’t push them away and really try to just let them be, but I would like to know if they will still scare me when I recover.

    For example, if I’m cured one day and if I would think about life and death, will I still be afraid of that, or will it be like every other thought?

  616. Jamie Says:

    Wendy, you probably wont be afraid of it….But if you have anxiety over something else, you may think about it, and it could occur, but not in a huge frightening way….I woudnt think of recovery as never getting anxiety…For instance I had bad anxiety, never knew what it was, brought on by being away from my boyfriend at college, 20 yrs ago…I slowly got over it after learning about anxiety and reading Claire Weekes book…..Did I ever have anxiety again, Yes, probably alot, but not the type of anxiety that was frightening to me that I couldnt function….Usually there was a reason….
    For me it did hit again hard recently, only the past 1-2 months, I must say its the same bad anxiety I had at 20, Im almost 40 now, but not really, because out of the 2 months, I really only had some really bad days..Im just going about my normal routine, maybe a little more anxious then usual sometimes, but nothing like it was at 20, cause I know more about anxiety now….Hope that helps….But, everyone is different, and I never had anxiety over a bad event or bad stress…really my anxiety is just fear of the anxiety…and I think for many thats true..I also have no panic attacks..My only only symptom, is I get butterflies, nausea…When I had it bad at 20, I could barely eat, I lost tons of weight, now this time around, its really not as bad…I almost think Im feeling it now again at almost 40, cause of perimenopause, or hormonal changes?

  617. Jamie Says:

    The book my grandma gave me 20 yrs ago, was Hope and Help for your nerves, by Claire…Back in the 90’s no one ever talked about anxiety…..It is so much more popular now…My friends had no idea what was happening….I was clueless what was going on .I was in college, and let me say I think anxiety strikes for the 1st time often in the 20’s when so many people are growing, and undecided about life careers, partners, etc..It is a challenging time for many….My grandmother explained she went thru a period of it, and gave me the book, it really helped me overcome anxiety, i woudl say completely…I got over the fear of the fear….To the point that I have been fine for 20 yrs! Trust me I had bad anxiety, i thought I would never be able to function, well guess what?
    After that period, ended at age 21 or so….I had many new careers, challegening times, living on my own , by my own choice for yrs before I met my husband, and so on…I was fine! Well, until a month ago I got hit with it bad againm but relaly I am fine, I know what it is is doing everything I normally do…If I have it, its only because im allowing myself to fear the fear, and really that is the only thing usually that keeps anxiety hanging on…Unless oyu are going thru a tradgedy, or severe chemical imabalances, where sometimes medication is needed…..

  618. Stacy Harper Says:

    Good day to you all…
    Just posting today because I’ve just finished reading Paul’s book…Wish I had the knowledge I do today about all that I’ve went through, then when all this started..Sure would’ve saved me tons of tears, time, money, on and on! But, I have gone through it and I am definatly recovering from it! Thanks to finally KNOWING what I have been going through and suffering with. I was clueless..this blog and the book have shown me the error of my ways, if you will, the fighting was getting me nowhere…when the whole time I thought that if I “fought”, I could get through it I know, the fight is all about knowing I will truly be clear of this…soon! I am sharing the knowledge with my family and friends that suffer with the same symptoms of anxiety and panic that I have struggled with for too long. I’m grateful to you guys and Paul to share each one of the stories. I wish every therapist/DR would get this information so that noone has to suffer either. With that said, I will share this info that I have learned with my own therapist :)
    Hoping you all pull through because recovery is there for us all!
    Happy Holidays to you all from Texas :}

  619. Maggie Says:

    Hi All,

    Wendy, I have been “fine” until today when I can say a terrible setback with all kind of questions related to death, my kids life if I die,…about my religion I am a believer and practice my religion and faith (my scariest thought is about not believing in God, removing my headscarf, and doing everything against my religion). It has been one of the most terrible days for me since 2008.
    I don’t want to go back to where I was then but I am doing the wrong things by giving the thoughts too much time. I am sometimes looking for them. I am aware it is totally WRONG.
    I feel so down today. I can not afford to lose my job I am on a contract. I was unemployed for 21 months (with the crisis in the US).
    I am relly hopping that tomorrow will be a better day.

    Cheers to all,

  620. Sara Says:


    Thank you for your response. I just ordered it and am excited to read it!

    I have hit a bit of a rough patch these past two days with my thoughts. Have any of you just felt so weak and wish you were stronger emotionally? Like you wish you weren’t so obsessed or sad about such trivial things. I look at my mother and aspire to be half as strong as she is. When I begin to think of this I start getting anxious about the future saying “If you’re like this now imagine when you have real responsibility and a job in the future” kind of beat myself about it and it just gets me anxious and a bit sick.

    Any one else feel the same?
    Any advice from Paul or any of you it will be highly appreciated.

  621. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sara says: When I begin to think of this I start getting anxious about the future saying “If you’re like this now imagine when you have real responsibility and a job in the future” kind of beat myself about it and it just gets me anxious and a bit sick.

    Sara what about ‘How I feel now has no bearing on how I will feel in the future, when I improve things will seem so much easier’ Anxiety always has you thinking the worst, feeling anxious means that your thoughts are anxiety based and you always think the worst, they are not real or based on fact, so take no notice of them.

    I truly understood this after I used to go for a run and would burn off all the excess anxiety/adrenalin and was so much more positive and all the anxiety based thoughts would dissapear. I was the same person but my thoughts and outlook were different and far more positive. That proved to me that anxiety was the reason I thought so negatively and I found it far easier to just let them go and take them with a pinch of salt. Even now I look back and smile and some of the things anxiety used to have me worrying about, they seem silly now, but at the time they seemed real. They were not, they were false and irrational and not based on fact, they were just driven by my anxiety.

    Understanding this can be a great help

  622. Jamie Says:

    Sara, Yes, Paul is correct…..When I had bad anxiety, at 20, I felt so weak, I thought the same things as you…if I cant deal with just everyday life, when I have no worries, how am I going to deal with having a family, husband, baby, career, death in the family, etc….Well, Im 39 now, and I have dealt with all of those things, no issues, at all…It is just that when you are anxious EVERYTHING feels so overwhelming, and some tasks seem so daunting….Without being anxious, it makes it easier…And trust me, when a tradgedy happens, even though you will feel anxious, there is a reason to be anxious, and you just become stronger..Your focused more on the tradgedy, then the real anxiety….Please dont worry, just remember, how you feel today, I agree, may be totally different of how you feel tomorrow….I am going thru some of this anxiety again, and I know exactly what you mean, I feel a little weak, now and then, but as soon as I feel better, its almost like I laugh at how bad I was feeling..Anxiety is such a strange thing, but you can get thru this….Is there a specific reason you have anxiety or panic attacks?? Or no..

  623. Wendy Says:


    I feel so much better today. I did some exercising yesterday and in the evening I read through Pauls book, after that I felt so much calmer and so I could sleep very good!
    Of ‘couse I had DP today, but it didn’t bother me so much..
    I will read some parts of the book every evening now. I just read it and after that I try to sleep, BUT without thinking again and again about what I just read!I just go on with my life :)..This really really helped me!

  624. Shaun H Says:

    Thanks for that last post Paul David. I can relate fully to what you’re saying.

    I have had good days and bad days in recent weeks. There have been ‘moments’ during the past week where I have felt completely back to normal for a while, only for a few minutes once or twice and for a few hours the other times. For those brief times, I have been back to my normal way of thinking. The horrible anxiety driven thoughts were still there, but they didn’t matter one bit during these ‘moments of clarity’! When they have happened, my thought process is more positive, I look forward to the future and I am thankful for my amazing life.

    Although I haven’t got this way of thinking permanently back yet, these brief moments tell me I’m on the right track, and I take encouragement from that.

    Back to an earlier post of mine, what are people’s experiences of counselling for anxiety? I am about to go to see a counsellor this week and am a bit nervous about it.

  625. Sara Says:

    Thank You Paul and Jamie.

    I know that attitude is everything and it is something that I have to definitely start to build. Anxiety makes you such a negative person so becoming more positive is a process. When anxious it is as if I logically know what is going on and remember what I read in the book or on the blog but it just doesn’t click with my brain at the moment.

    I am the same age that you were with those EXACT thoughts. Truly one of my biggest bothers.
    I had my first panic attack at 15 years old during a trip over seas. It was late at night and I was just over thinking about things at home and that was my first and only full blown attack. About 2 years later about a month before I graduated high school I was once again over thinking in bed at night and then began all my anxiety symptoms. I was completely confused at first because I had no idea what it was. It just became worse when I first began college, I couldn’t last an hour without calling my mother to pick me up. That’s when I got into the horrible avoidance behavior. But thankfully I am in my second year and have not missed a day of class yet! I refuse to run. I’ve made progress but am no where near recovered and feel like the more responsibility I will get the harder recovery will be.

    Also if you have any advice with driving and anxiety please share.

    I truly truly appreciate you taking the time to reply. It is so helpful in te recovery process.

  626. Jamie Says:

    Just keep going…For me, I was in my last yr of college, and had jsut had a new boyfriend back at home..I hated being away at school because of him..One day at school, I was eating an everything bagel, of course I can still remember all the details, and my stomach dropped, full of butterflies, and terrified, I didnt understand what was happening….Not a true panic attack I guess, but close…I never experienced the breathing thing….Now, when I first went to college, I did have an anxious feeling because it was all new, but not that terrifying feeling like I felt that last yr of college….I do feel at your age it is hard, because in college you have a lot of pressure, of all sorts, and being in your 20’s is fun, but challenging….You Will get Thru It!!! :) Good Luck!!

  627. DCYL Says:

    Hey All,

    Been reading the blog off/on the past couple of weeks but haven’t posted. Hope everyone is having a good time. A note I wanted to pass on to folks about alcohol! I am a VERY light drinker. I don’t know if I grew up this way or not but I tend to shy away from alcohol. If I drink, it usually is one mixed drink and I only do it socially. Only in the past couple of years have I started to drink a LITTLE bit of beer.

    This past week, my work offices moved and co-workers wanted to “celebrate”. I tagged along to hang out and drank one beer. But my co-workers insisted I take a “shot”. I took it a little reluctantly but fortunately I was on a full stomach.

    Man, I FELT IT. I was a little woozy for a few hours and even a few days later, I still feel a little bit of the after effects. I remember someone posting that alcohol can simulate or make you feel anxious. I definitely understand why!

    I’m fortunate that I’m at the point where I’m ok with my anxiety. However, the after effects of the alcohol is making me feel uncomfortable. Not surprisingly since we all try to rid ourselves of the anxious feelings. Fortunately, I’ve been super busy with work and other things. I’ll get in some exercise too.

    But fair warning for everyone. If you’re going to drink, keep it light or maybe just stay away from it completely!

  628. Sara Says:


    Thank you so much for your advice and positive words! They have been a HUGE help!!

    Happy Holidays,Take Care :)

  629. Wendy Says:

    “It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop”

    It think this is a really nice quote. It shows me that it doesn’t matter how much time I need to recover, it just does not matter! The only thing that is important is to go on with my life :)

  630. Jamie Says:

    Sara, Your welcome, and have a great holiday season!!

  631. Kat Says:

    Hi everyone,

    It’s been a good while since I last posted on the blog, although I have been reading periodically. I didn’t want to continually post as I didn’t want to get into the rut of relying on others to get me out of my panic pattern. My struggle with anxiety has been going on for just over twelve years, but I have had periods of stability, many of which are due to what I’ve learned from others on this site, namely Paul and Helen. My last setback had me thinking I didn’t love my partner anymore, and the mere thought of him touching me or even looking at me had me burst into fits of adrenaline I did not understand. With Paul’s reassurance, as well as the incredible and accurate advice from Helen, I am still with my partner, and while I still have a little anxiety about our relationship (it comes and goes), it has eased up enough to let me see that I truly love him, and do not want to be apart. Helen, your advice, in particular, was what held me together for the past two years, so thank you.

    My issue now is that I’m in a bit of a setback. Last week, out of the blue, as often happens, I was driving home from work and found myself struggling to swallow, breathe, see straight, etc. I knew instantly that my old friend ‘panic’ had come to call, and I tried to accept it and keep looking forward. It’s been a week, and though the symptoms range in intensity, they are definitely making sure I know that I still have anxiety/panic disorder. Prior to this, I had many, many months of relative calm, very few instances of depression, panic, disturbing thoughts, etc., though I still admittedly had some anxiety over things like driving long distances and marriage (neither makes sense to me, but there you have it). Then, last week, wham. Now, I have been doing a lot of reading on the subject (Paul’s advice as well as Claire Weekes’), and initially felt like I had a good grasp of what to expect and how to deal with things, but I have to admit, I’m not doing so great with the setback. What I realized today is that I am ‘putting up with’, not ‘accepting’, and I am very down about this.

    Today, at work, I could not shake the horrible dark mood I was in, and I knew it was obvious to others which was concerning. It seemed like if I wasn’t in anxiety mode, I was in depression mode, and thought I did my best to accept that this is a temporary situation, it felt permanent, and I had all sorts of disturbing thoughts about how I may never recover, how I’ll never be ‘normal’, how I’m weak and flawed, etc. I’m sure all of us feel this way at times, but when you’re in the middle of it, it seems so real, and it isn’t as thought you can focus on accepting when others are studying you, judging you silently. It’s all so incredibly disheartening.

    Other than venting about this, my aim in posting was to see if anyone had suggestions about how to ‘accept’ rather than put up with the symptoms. I will admit that while I am aware that my fear is what is making the symptoms continue, I am struggling to accept the symptoms and instantly try to fight them, which is making me worse. How does one think in order to develop the ability to accept? What should these thoughts look like?

    I’m a little frustrated, mainly because I feel like I’m taking too long to recover. Perhaps this is simply fatigue which has me feeling so discouraged, but I am hoping that a little advice will pull me out of it if even just a little.

    Incidentally, I tend to experience heightened anxiety during the fall/winter season. Could this be memory bringing it on?

    Thank you for the support!

  632. Ann Says:

    Try not to get too discouraged, accepting anxiety is hard if it was easy everyone would be anxiety free. Remember that Paul said the longer you’ve suffered the longer it is going to take to recover. Accepting is not about feeling great about the situation but just letting it be there. There are many times that during setback I feel absolutely horrible but I do nothing about it I just feel horrible and go on with my day the best that I can. Trust me there are times that I feel like I am getting nowhere and sometimes even new symptoms arise but I just tell myself its ok and that I need to give my body space. My recover has been a slow one as well but I try not to loose my faith. Accepting is about letting the anxiety be there without your mind getting in the way. When you start to feel the feelings of panic just feel them. Your mind is going to tell you to worry cause its only natural the main thing is to not judge your thoughts. Once you start questioning things thats when you go right back into a cycle. Just be no matter how hard it is. I think that you are getting confused because you think you should feel instantly better once you start accepting. Just because you accept the feelings it doesn’t always take the symptoms away, it takes time. Stop concentrating so much on yourself and slowly you will begin to feel a difference. Also give yourself some credit for some of the things that you have overcome before. Im sure at the time you felt just as terrible but now that your over it its not as bad. You will beat this! Just have some faith:)

  633. DCYL Says:

    Before I forget, I wanted to wish everyone (at least here in the US) a happy Thanksgiving Holiday! Whether you are doing better or struggling, be thankful you have your friends, family, job, and even this blog! I do thank Paul for creating this blog and allowing me to stumble upon it as I did last year. Stay safe and talk to you all soon.

  634. SarahS Says:

    Kat, Ann’s advice is spot on. And no you aren’t taking too long to recover. Unfortunately, or actually not, recovery is relatively slow, and I say that because when you are in the thick of it, that’s all you want, to recover. As you progress more and more though you realise that all you went through was necessary to make sure you are “water tight” and that you’ve had so much practice and letting the anxiety do as it pleases that eventually your attitude changes to more more of a so what attitude. I suffered for most of my life and I never ever thought I’d say this but I’m much closer to the so what attitude than I ever thought possible. I even find I can mock the thoughts and feelings I get now. What you are going through is 100% normal for anxiety. Everything you question and wonder about is to be expected, the more you can let it happen the better, but you will get frustrated, question it, worry, panic about it too and that’s all part of the process and a sign that you are working towards changing your attitude. Sarah x

  635. Teresa Says:

    I too am at the ‘am i doing this right’ am I the only one not getting this point Kat and yes i have had this a long time too – It is really good advice from Ann and Sarah S. It is so reassuring to hear that people who have had it a long time are finding that the layers are peeling off even further for them.
    I seem to have the revelations and when I am in that mode i can accept what ‘anxiety’ i have although it does not go away propely. I have spent the last few weeks where it has been trying to swap itself from one physical area to another – its as if all of a sudden it had got fed up about worrying about back pain so has been throwing all sorts at me and I have been not taking too much notice and keeping my focus on ‘life’ but all of a sudden it has come in with something I had about ten years ago and really got to me and I am starting to get rattled by it. I feel very emotional with it too.
    I have not caved in – but have gone out , walked the dogs for a really long walk etc – but it has been back to the ‘why is it still here’ point. Catasrophising over how and if i am going to have to live with this … I do relaise this is anxiety talking and have told myself it is normal to think like this at the moment and not to try and ‘think’ myself out of it but I am obviously not following my own advice. In saying that it is really good to see others on here saying it has taken time and patience – it does help us all.

  636. Wendy Says:

    hey everyone,

    I think I really need some advice again. My day was actually okay. I really felt as if all my knowledge about anxiety made me less anxious. I could also handle my anxious thoughts, but now I tried to sleep, because i was just extremely tired, but i couldn’t sleep and so my mind started to race again and there the thoughts were..fear of death and what happens after we die and the questions about my existence. I started crying, because these thoughts came with so much force and nobody, absolutely nobody can proof that my life is real!

    What i would like to know again is : anyone who also had these thoughts of dying and about life and existence and who recovered .. If you would think about such a thought after recovering, is it still scary and scares you? Or will these thoughts stop scaring me, when my mind and my nerves aren’t anymore so tired?

    thank you! Wendy :)

  637. Carly Says:

    I am having the worst setback I have ever had since my recovery and I am needing a little encouragement. I had this very scary fear in the summer of feeling disconnected from the people I love, like questioning the things that have always been certain to me. That scares me so much and makes me become afraid of those things. Like I was so worried of feeling disconnected from my family (who I always love) that I started to fear going home because I was afraid that I was going to be anxious and feel disconnected (if that makes sense). It is like the fear of fear.
    That thought was the worst because my family (especially my parents) have always been the safe place for me to go and now I am questioning that?
    I started to think about this again in my recent setback and it is really bugging me. I am paying so much attention to it and it feels just as bad as it was in the summer at the peak of my anxiety.
    I was doing so well for 2 weeks with NO anxiety and when it did come I implemented all of the strategies that I have learned from Paul about accepting them.
    For some reasons this time, I just feel like nothing is working for me. I feel really defeated and I want to go back to where I was a couple of weeks ago when I felt on top of the world again.

    Does anyone else ever have the fear of becoming disconnected from the things that are certain in their life? I feel so alone on this one. I feel like I have no comfort zone and it makes me afraid that I am going to develop paranoia or something and start to think that my parents aren’t even my parents or something absurd like that! Arg!

    Any suggestions? I hope people are still using this blog because it is such a great support!

  638. Ann Says:

    Those exact thoughts were the thoughts that kept my anxiety alive. I used to make myself sick because I would fear that life wasn’t real and all sorts of weird crazy thoughts. My mind was stuck on this thought and it made so sad and depressed. I talked with one of my other friends who was experiencing anxiety as well and she said she struggled with the same thoughts as well. Knowing that someone else had experienced what I was experiencing made it feel somewhat better but not completely. It wasn’t until I just started moving on and living life that that fear began to fade. The more you concentrate on that thought the bigger it will become…trust me I know I did it for months. I now am finding myself not obsessing about it so much anymore, there are times that the thought comes back but it doesn’t scare me like it used to. What you have to realize is that everyone has those thoughts about life cause we have no real answers the difference is that you have anxiety so that thought is magnified so it scares you. Just understand that in the state that you are in it is normal to feel anxious about thoughts because your mind it tired. It’s ok to have these thoughts and in time they will diminish even though it doesn’t feel like it now. Your mind is just loaded up on tons of adrenaline so it seems worse than it really is. My best advise to you is to stay busy and when the thought comes in your head just let it and move on to something else so your mind has somewhere else to go. Im not saying don’t think about it cause you need to let the thought be there otherwise you are just telling yourself it is something to be afraid of..just stay busy and less you concentrate on it the less you will fear it. You will get through this:)

  639. SarahS Says:

    Hi Teresa – What you are going through is perfectly normal especially with suffering for so long.

    It would be helpful I think if Paul or Helen, Candie etc could touch on this subject – the fact that for those who have had anxiety for a long time (and those who haven’t also) that despite putting in the practice that there seems very little shift in the anxiety? Your advice would be really helpful.

    But having said that you are going through something normal for having suffered anxiety for so long Teresa. I have too. My biggest lesson to learn has been patience as I like you put into practice all that I felt was required and I didn’t seem to have any shift of symptoms to be honest. I then discovered I had to learn another skill, to completely trust the process and that it would happen whilst being patient. It’s been 3 years or so since I found the site but my progress from the start of the 3 years has been really great. How has yours been since then? I’m sure from how you write that you are really coming along, you really do write so many positive things. Sarah xxxx

  640. Carlie Says:

    Mark, thanks for your response about DP. I’m feeling it really strongly today, but I also have a REALLY bad sinus headache, which I think could make anyone feel a little foggy. Hopefully it will feel better tomorrow.

  641. Stephen Shale Says:

    Hi everyone, I’ve not been on here for about a month now, just trying to let things pass, taking a break from everything anxiety. But I’m just approaching a time where I feel I need a bit more advice really. I’m slowly coming out of my setback, which is my first major setback, and has lasted a couple of months now, before this I hadn’t had any anxiety issues since the beginning of the year, which was my biggest healthy period to date, and all because I found Pauls’ book.

    It’s been obvious over the past couple of months, why my setback has continued and why I’ve not gotten back to my healthy self, so I have accepted that my anxiety has not gone away for those reasons. However, for the past 2-3 weeks now, there has been nothing around to make me anxious, just nice easy weeks at work, allowing me to relax loads, etc. It is this period of time that I have been longing for, because in the past it is these calmer periods that have helped my anxiety fully pass.

    However, that doesn’t seem to have happened this time, and I guess deep down I know why. I can feel my inner self watching to see how I’m feeling each day. I’m not heavily focused on my feelings each day, there just seems to be a constant inner awareness of how I’m feeling.

    I think ultimately I’m still bothered by how I’m feeling, I still care that I’m not fully back to normal yet, despite knowing that it is not stopping me from doing anything, and despite seeing the vast amount of positives with my improvement. But it is breaking me free from this mindset that seems hard. I guess also, things aren’t going as planned, like I said, I’ve not recovered as quick as I’m used to, so probably my expectations are getting in the way. Any similar experiences / tips?

  642. Wendy Says:

    Thanks for your reply Ann!

    DP and these thoughts are the only symptoms I have. DP actually doesn’t bother me so much anymore, I think I nearly lost the fear of it, but these thoughts still frighten me so much and keep my anxiety alive.
    I hope that someday, when I have enough knowledge I will also lose the fear of these thoughts, so my nerves would get a break and after that I could watch and feel reality and maybe my thoughts won’t scare me anymore then.
    That’s what I hope and I really hope that these thoughts can be cured, because I always think like ” Well, they are thoughts! And you can’t put them out of your head, they will always stay, so what if I will always have these thoughts!”

  643. Maggie Says:

    Believe me I am going through the same scary thoughts, and hell. I’ve been there before and once you don’t feel anxious anymore these questions will go away.
    Existence, people I love, God, Faith, religion,…a long list and they are so scary that I feel that I am going to become crazy. I feel like I need a pill to make me sleep and stop worrying.
    Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone, I am in the same spot.
    Hang in there girl.
    Cheers to all,

  644. Carlie Says:

    Does anyone else have extreme… health anxiety? I guess that’s what you could call it. I know a lot of us get really anxious about every new “sensation” we have, but lately I’ve had sinus problems that have gotten worse, and instead of saying “It’s just your sinuses, you’ve seen a doctor and you’re seeing another one soon”, I think of the worst case scenario. Every new problem or sensation becomes a big deal and I worry that it will turn into something that won’t go away, like one of those horror stories you come across on the internet (similar to some of the DP stories!). Which is really ridiculous if you think about it. Right now I’m having a lot of pressure around my eyes, which is making my eyes feel tired and it’s a little harder to focus than usual… but I can see fine. I also feel like I can’t think clearly. I know it’s most likely just the sinus pressure, but I keep thinking “What if this doesn’t go away?” It’s so tiring. Does anyone have any advice for these specific anxious thoughts?

  645. Wendy Says:


    I had the same problems! I was also in hospital, because my heart was beating so fast, but in the end they told me it was only a panic attack.
    I’ve already seen tons of doctors, because I always thought there was something wrong with me heart or with my head or what else!
    Today these fears are completely gone, I think it’s because every doctor told me I was completely fine and so I finally accepted that it was really only anxiety.
    I also have these pressure on my eyes! It started three days ago and it’s still there, but it doesn’t bother me so much.

  646. Candie Says:

    Sarah I suffered for 6 years with little progress just ups and downs. It’s because I wasn’t accepting my anxiety I was putting up with it. I was trying to accept it to get rid of it and that told my mind to fear it still. Instead of trying to accept it I decided I would just change my attitude towards it, so I did. Once I did that it no longer really mattered If I was anxious. I could mostly be positive regardless of its presence as u had faced it and passed through it to see it was just thoughts and feelings magnified by my nerves. I decided to stop trying to fix the thoughts and feelings and just knew my nerves would scream danger about anything and everything for a while. And they did!!

    Those worrying about thoughts. I thought allsorts of odd stuff. From thinking about my existence, reality, death, hurting others, not loving my family, having other illnesses, going crazy! Aswell as the negative stuff that anxiety brings. The trick to dealing with these is that your anxiety will almost convince you to investigate your fears.. But at that point you have to acknowledge that you will take a risk to not do so and let them go. They seem very real.allow them to :) I can think the same thoughts now but without anxiety there is no fuel that forces a sense if urgency to investigate and they are easily laughed off.

  647. SarahS Says:

    Hi Candie – Thanks for the help and you explain sooo well! I agree about thinking you are accepting when in fact you are not really, it is as you say putting up with. And I think when you are progressing well into recovery and have suffered a while it’s important to note this as it’s like giving 99% when 100% is required. 100% that is of allowing, changing your attitude and not withdrawing from the symptoms. For Teresa I think that’s probably where you are at – totally give in to it, look at it as it is a big fraud and don’t withdraw from any of the symptoms.

    I understand about the thoughts and fears too. However, I have a genuine worry of illness and death (sorry bit morbid but trying to explain to help) and so should my anxiety go for a while, hearing or having to deal with serious illness or death would start my anxiety over again I know it would so I think it’s also about facing the situation in some cases to de-sensitise. Would you agree Candie?


  648. Mark R Says:

    For me this is the most important post I’ve read on this thread……..

    David Summers says:

    I slowly started recovering from anxiety after I learned to be CONTENT with with whatever I was feeling, thinking, experiencing. My mind relaxed as I stopped fighting the anxiety. Being CONTENT approach made more sense to me than the ACCEPT YOUR FEELINGS concept, even though they are both the same thing. I still get anxiety sometimes but it eases away as I focus on being CONTENT. Hope this can help someone out there, there is hope!!

  649. Maggie Says:

    Carlie I apologize the message I posted was for you.
    I have been hearing recently a lot of people having heart attacks (some die when other not). Everytime I feel a shortness of breath, or a chest pain I think I am having a heart attack but instead I get a panic attack :-)
    I worry about every single pain in my body. Let’s go back to Paul’s book, he mentioned that we anxious people think that a headache is a brain cancer,….
    Again you are not the only one. I am the same way.
    Hope this help.

  650. Carly Says:


    I think you were directing your comment at me Maggie! You just said @Carla so I wasn’t too sure! But either way your advice was helpful!

    It is probably the most scary thoughts. I just remember being so depressed in the summer from questioning those things and the meaning of life in general and I guess I fear going back to that place!

    I am coming through this setback which is great and they seem to go away for longer periods of time.

    Just live through the strangeness until it passes is what I tell myself. If the thoughts come, I try to welcome them and trust that everything in my life will be ok because God has a plan for me!

  651. Alicia Says:

    I just have a quick question. I am finally at the point where anxiety symptoms don’t really phase me as much and have lost a lot of the fear I had for them, but what do u do with symptoms that don’t manifest from anxiety. Example, I have 2 really bad toothaches and they are making me very anxious to the point where a lot of the anxious symptoms I used to have that disappeared, have now come back(chest pain, palpitations, dizziness, short of breath, etc). I can’t sit there and say (about my toothaches)”Oh it’s just anxiety, excess adrenaline, etc.” because the anxiety isnt causing my toothaches. So, any suggestions on how to handle “other” physical symptoms unrelated to anxiety? (sorry if this sounds confusing…)

  652. Carly Says:

    It’s funny with health anxiety how when you don’t pay attention to the “pain” or “strangeness” in your body that you may be experiencing, it almost isn’t there.

    I just know that when I stop focusing on the part of my body that is bothering me, it feels like it goes away. Your mind is so powerful. It is like a hysterical pregnancy. You think about it so much that you start to feel some of the symptoms even though you are not pregnant!

    It is all anxiety and it is useless. And it WILL go away for ever! Let’s accept it!

  653. Sara Says:

    Hello everyone,


    How do you know that you’re accepting your anxiety and not just putting up with it?
    And if you are not accepting it how do you begin to do so?

  654. Carly Says:

    I think you know you are accepting it when you aren’t so scared of it anymore.
    I mean you are still going to be scared of them, but it will slowly become less and less.
    It’s like if a scary thought comes, you will be able to accept it for what it is even if it is scary. Like just being able to say “come if you like, you don’t scare me”
    You know once you stop attaching meaning to the thoughts and they start to happen less.
    I am not sure though.
    I just know in my healing, there are moments when I am super anxious and I feel paniky and I let the thoughts scare me and I feel like I am putting up with it
    But when I have a scary thought and I just tell myself that it is anxiety or I let the thoughts come for what they are, I am accepting it.
    Hope that helps… I’m rambling

  655. Carlie Says:

    Wendy, sorry you had to deal with that! I think the thing with me is that in this case there IS something else going on besides anxiety, since I recently had a sinus infection. I know all of the pressure, headaches, and dizziness are caused by that, but I keep thinking “What if it doesn’t go away?” Which is where the anxiety comes in. I know it will get better and go away, but anxiety tends to take over a lot. :/

    Mark, thanks for reposting that earlier post about being “content” with how you feel. That’s a great way to look at it. It’s the same as “accepting”, like you said, but it actually sounds a little better.

  656. Teresa Says:

    Thanks Sara S – you are right , my understanding has become a lot better and I am a lot better – its just the merry go round of symptoms and to be honest what upset me last week I was trying to ignore but it ended up i did have an infection but had put it down to anxiety. So I deduced from that that it is no good putting everything down to anxiety – no one is sure about anything in life and looking for the certaintity can be a problem.
    At the moment i think it is to do with reducing anxiety gradually – this year has made me understand that and I have made lots of improvements but still have difficulty with ‘accepting’ the symptoms – because once I do something else comes around. I am very positive and i feel I am getting there. Changing my attitude as Candie says and not creating a ‘drama’ out of normal blips too.

  657. Sara Says:

    Yes that does makes sense Carly, thanks for the response!

    I just have to work on acceptance and truly realize that it is okay to feel this way at the moment.

    Any of you ever feel apprehensive as though you’re just waiting for a breakdown waiting for something big to happen?

    That’s how I am at the moment. Things have been going well but it is just a little uncomfortable feeling like you’re waiting to have a blast of panic and anxiety.

  658. Carly Says:

    I was definately thinking of that today! That’s kind of funny! I feel like now that my anxiety and panic isn’t always present, that I am on the verge, like it will strike at any moment.
    Like there is a black cloud over my head all the time and it’s just waiting to storm!

    I think my biggest fear is going back to where I was before when I was depressed and didn’t want to live anymore; the place when I believed everything I thought. That is a scary place to be.

  659. Louis Says:

    Hi all, I’m new here! I finished reading Paul’s book on Friday. I was then out of the blue invited two 3 social situations (I suffer from social anxiety) I never get invited anywhere, and on the same day get invited to three. Anyway, even though I had just finished reading Paul’s book, this just overwhelmed me and I ended up going into a deep negative thinking cycle, becoming terribly anxious and then ended up going nowhere.

    So my question is for Paul, or anyone who understood the point more than I about exposure. From what I gathered, Paul suggests heading any feared situation head on. But yesterday was a prime example of how this just isn’t possible for someone who is consumed by anxious thoughts.
    So I don’t know what to do?

    Hopefully this can be cleared up!
    Nice to meet you all :)

  660. Sara Says:

    Carly, my thoughts and feelings exactly. But Paul had said something about your mind never losing all of the progress you’ve made and knowledge you’ve gained through this process. So even if you went back to that time (which you most likely wont) you have the tools to get through it and the memory of how you made it through to some normalcy!

    Hello Louis,

    Avoiding going anywhere is one of the worst things that you can do. Please do not avoid going somewhere due to anxiety. I wouldn’t suggest you going head on and going to all three events which would be a bit overwhelming at first, but it would have been best for you to go to one of them to see that nothing bad will happen. Trust me, and the more you go the more you’ll get comfortable and be able to be in these social situations. It just takes a bit of getting used to. And try not to over think before going to an event. Just go, no matter how strong your anxiety is it is just a bluff, nothing bad will happen to you. You might just find yourself having a great time with moments of peace and normal throughout the night. Hope that helps!

  661. Wendy Says:


    don’t put yourself under pressure. You don’t have to go to every social event if you don’t feel like it. Start slowly for example with meeting a friend or exerciting.
    I really try to go to every social event, also if it’s struggle, but after that I always feel so much better.
    Staying at home all the time and thinking about your scary thoughts again and again isn’t very good.
    I think we have to start going outside and living our lifes if we have anxiety, otherwise we won’t recover.
    But three events are a lot, that’s true, so if you think that this is really too much don’t go there. It’s your life and you make your own choices!

  662. Carly Says:

    That is exactly it! You gain so much knowledge through suffering that there is no way that you can ever go back to where you were before because where you were before, you didn’t have the knowledge that you do now. you didn’t know what was wrong with you!

  663. Shane Says:

    Hello Paul,
    If you have time I would appreciate if you could help me out on an issue. I found your blog about 6 mos ago and wanted to thank you for helping so much. The main thrust of my question is about a relationship. I’ve had anxiety for a little over 6 years now and finally have discovered the way to recover in the last year. The problem is about 2 years ago I met a girl who lives in another country and we began to talk everyday through the internet. I now admit that she was an escape for me and a crutch, but I came to really love her. I even faced my fears and flew to see her last year. But through this whole time i was fighting to get better and then i promised that I would marry her and bring her here as we do love each other. Well the time came for that and I felt I was inadequate to do it and it crushed her. To this day I have yet to feel like me again as I have just learned of how to do that. I have made many bad decisions and she doesn’t understand why and she is afraid of coming here now because of the instability that anxiety has brought. Well here is my question, because of our situation we either have to go through with the process now or separate, and when i think of all that responsibility, and how the beginning of my marriage will not be enjoyed because of anxiety I want to just separate because I feel it would be easier for me and for her if I didn’t have all that extra stress and weight on top of the regular anxiety feelings thus hindering my recovery. (Just one more thing to worry about) Yet on the other hand this is the woman I love and want to marry and don’t want to miss this opportunity only because of anxiety. I feel I would be pressuring myself to get better before she comes, or while shes here. I can’t trust how I feel on this one because one moment I feel I should let go of her and allow me time to recover, the next i’m thinking i should just accept the feelings i have through the process and that this would be facing the fear I have. I dont know what to do!!!! Help!!!! lol

  664. Wendy Says:

    Hello everyone,

    Has anyone some tips how to deal with anxiety and depression?
    Every three months or so I reach a point where I feel pretty depressed and where I nearly lose every hope to recover.
    What can I do?

  665. DCYL Says:


    Only you will know this, but if you love this girl as you say that you do, then you should proceed to marry her. Paul’s advice (as would many people here) would be to “live you life”. Waiting around doesn’t do anyone good. Go forward, face your fears, and let things proceed from there.

    To be honest, your fears should like many others. Not because we all share the same fears, but the fact that your fears are being exaggerated and made to feel “worse” than it really is. I am sure what many married people had the same thoughts / feelings as you. Yet they have gone through and had successful marriages.

    Let me also note that that nothing is wrong with you (no matter how you feel). I believe your girl is confused because she doesn’t any anxiety. It is difficult for people who have never felt the way we felt to understand. She may not understand how you are feeling. The only thing she is getting “I don’t want to marry you”.

    To be fair, you may want to take this subject up with a “marriage counselor”. I offer advice with the best of intentions but am not a professional! Marriage is a big deal. :) Good luck!

  666. Wendy Says:

    Could anyone please tell me who of you already recovered?

  667. Tiara Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Well this would be my first time posting on the blog. I came across this website about 2 months ago. I believe I was “Googling” stories of recovery from anxiety.

    2008 was the very first time I got a panic attack that immediately gave me GAD (General Anxiety Disorder). I don’t remember nearly as much as I was but I’ve always told people that I had anxiety for about two years. But around 2010 was when I actually felt recovered from it. Literally, I did not have anxiety symptoms at all.

    I recently got it back this August. But I believe that it was slowly coming back to me and just did not notice being that I recovered from it. I finally realized that the robbery that happened at my job last December may have brought back my anxiety, and then it just became a habit. Ever since my panic attack in August, I have had anxiety everyday. It actually sent me to the ER about 3 times that month. I lost weight, stopped exercising, dropped out of school, quit my job, and slowed down on the socializing. It has definitely gotten the best of me.

    When I came across this website, at first, it was too much for me. As I read more into it and put to heart what Paul posts on his blog, things have definitely gotten MUCH better for me. I now have good days more than bad. I also can sit through a panic attack until it pasts.

    My only issues now is the fact that certain symptoms scare me so much. For one, racing heart beats or the feeling of being in an elevator. The times I have gone to the Emergency Room, I’ve always had a fast heartbeat. Up to 120-160 bpm. In my head, I have some sort of heart problem or that, it would just randomly stop. It will skip beats as well that will cause me to jump up off my seat right away. Or, the feeling of being in an elevator will cause me to think that I am going to faint. They have done a bunch of EKGs and the doctor has said that I am just one of those people that when I get worked up, I have a fast heartbeat. Mind you all, I was very physically active prior to my anxiety coming back.

    Any advice on how to take these symptoms lightly or just go on about my day without causing myself to obsess over these sensations?


  668. DCYL Says:


    Meant to respond earlier but got caught up with stuff. Through my time going this situation, I don’t know if I ever realized I was “depressed”. I definitely was down a bit but I was lucky. I didn’t know enough about anxiety so I just kept doing most of my normal stuff even though i felt like crap. I see people throw the term around though and I admit I did worry about it at some point but I attributed it to anxiety than reality.

    So my answer to you is to just keep on going with your life. Do what you normally do and let the anxiety / etc just be in the background. I looked back at your previous posts and there does seem to be a bit of a recurring theme for you. I sense you are just overly worried something is wrong with you and there really isn’t.

    I say that knowing I still worry over the little feelings I get. I’m doing a lot better than i was last year. Still occasionally fall back but it’s par for the course. Stay strong and everyone will be here to support you as you need it. But don’t depend on this here to help. You can help yourself as much as anyone else here can. I think you already know this. :)

  669. Sara Says:


    Whenever I become depressed during anxiety, which does happen every so often I enjoy being active. Going for afternoon walks are my favorite although it has become too chilly for that now unfortunately. Burning off that excess adrenaline is great for you, and I was told by my therapist that 20 minutes of cardio activity, 3 times a week is equal to an anti-depressant pill. Excersize releases endorphins and helps your mood. Also, omega 3 fish oil supplements help boost your mood.

    Just always remember that it is okay to feel depressed, anxiety takes a lot out of us and makes us very negative people. Keep in mind that this will not be you forever. I have not recovered fully yet, but I have seen so much progress in myself. Thats all that you can really ask for.

    Hope that helps, be patient and keep your head up :)

  670. Sara Says:

    Sorry for asking so many questions, I just like to gain as much knowledge as I can, and unfortunately with anxiety as horrible as it sounds it is almost comforting knowing someone is going through the same pains and emotions as you. Not that I would ever wish this upon someone.

    Anyways on to my question…

    Has anyone had a problem with constantly worrying about their family members getting an anxiety disorder? I have young siblings still around the ages of 10-20 years old and one of my biggest fears is having them get anxiety like I do. Anytime I hear one of them complain or say anything about school I immediately get these thoughts like “Oh no I hope they don’t get stressed and get anxiety, oh no I hope they’re not getting anxiety about going to school” and I even worry about my parents sometimes hoping they don’t get too stressed to the point of an anxiety disorder. Maybe I’m just being silly and know that we’re not the same and handle stress and pressure differently but it is something I fear about all the time. I fear about their well being and safety extra just in general now. Anyone else feel this way?

  671. Jon D Says:

    Hey everyone. I was wondering if you could help me.

    I have been trying to accept anxiety and allow the feelings for 10 years now, but can’t seem to do it. I’m too scared that something permanent has happened to my brain from anti depressant medications, or alcohol or sleep apnea. How can I know that I won’t feel like this for ever if I give in to the feelings? I don’t know what to do to let the feelings in.


  672. Nikki Says:

    Oh god just had a horrible experience. My anxiety seems quite specific in that I mostly only find it difficult to do things on my own. Going out on my own feels impossible but I would go anywhere with anyone (been abroad this year!). Anyway I have been allocated a psychologist who is pretty useless but they are trying to help me go out using cbt. Today I had to drive a short distance to meet them, then we went for coffee and the plan was to encourage me to go into a shop on my own. I couldn’t do it as it felt too much – we went for a walk instead. I felt faint dizzy panicky etc when out on the walk – it did subside a bit before I came home. I did force myself to drive past my house and drive for another few minutes before i went home. On the drive home I felt so disappointed in myself – I feel like I am never going to get back out there on my own again – please help. I haven’t stopped crying since I came home. Xxx

  673. mia Says:

    Sara, I have 3 girls and I really worry about them getting anxiety,I almost worry for them to make life easier for them if you know what I mean,so I know where you are coming from.xx

  674. Jerry Says:

    Anyone get over most of their anxiety but still find it hard to be as social as you would like to be? Thats the stage I’m in. I don’t know if its emotional/physical exhaustion or another off shoot of anxiety, but it seems as though I prefer to stay in rather than go out and do something… Interested to hear your thoughts.

  675. SarahS Says:

    Hi Nikki

    It really is okay, it’s not a test. When you have a go at these things, remember you are practising. And sometimes you won’t be up to it, that’s normal. It speaks volumes that you are afraid of going out on your own but can go out anywhere with anyone – therefore if you can do that you are just applying safety measures and feel better when someone there. This should prove to you that you are afraid of the feelings and not the situations. It’ll take time and practice but you will get there.

    Have you got any of Claire Weekes books? They’re old fashioned but fabulous as is Paul’s book and the support on here.

    Keep on practising, rest afterwards, practice not test, persevere, have patience, go with the feelings as much as possible and bit by bit your attitude to the feelings will change.

    You did well to have a go and you succeeded to me! It’ll come bit by bit honestly it will.


  676. Jamie Says:

    Nikki: Yep..What Sarah said :)

  677. lorryt Says:

    Hi All
    Well, after a long time away from here i feel i need some support. this place helped me recover for a long time and has kept me on the right path when i felt things were wobbling big style. But recently after a break up of my 18 year marriage, which was partly to cause for alot of my anxiety i hate to say I am back here again. Its weird, that the very person causing the anxiety was right here doing it all along. It has taken me a longtime to face the facts that my marriage was in trouble, but although I have chosen to end it , i have to realise that there is stilla lot of raw emotion attached to it. As in I have to still deal with the emtional rollercoaster that comes with all these things. I know I have done the right thing, but in going through the process I am losing sleep , and in turn my anxiety levels rise. I know what all this entails and I am carrying on ,as hard as it is. I suppose having been through this experience of anxiety before i Know what to expect , but it doesnt make it any easier to process in my head. I am tired and have started to take sleeping tablets to help me at night, but they make me feel so sleepy during the day !!. It really seems like i am moaning, which i guess i am a bit, but i need to get things off my chest and get my head back. I start believing my thoughts and start thinking that i cant cope etc…, then i go off on one.I know it isnt going to be easy trying to bring up two kids and the challenges that they bring, i guess there is a lot going through my head and the anxiety is going to be there as i am stressed. but i have to take it with me and learn not to pay it any attention really. wow its tricky but i guess i have to go nwarsd and upwards. sorry to go on but iguess i have to let it out

  678. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Anxiety Recoverer’s

    Just to start, I am living proof that Paul’s website works and I have recovered well twice from severe anxiety over the last 3 years. So…for any of those in doubt and at the depths of despair, as impossible as it sounds, full recovery is just round the corner if you believe this information from the cut of your stomach.

    Anyway, I am posting a bit off-topic as I want some ‘impartial advice’ and wasn’t sure where else to turn and I used to love this sit and forum so much.

    I have been in a relationship with someone 10 years older than me for nearly 8 years. It was a slow burner and we moved out nearly 2 years ago. I have had my reservation and doubts about the relationship but all in all it’s the healtiest realtionship I have had, although I was 20 when we got together so don’t have much to compare it to.

    I do love and care about him but I worry that our core values are too different and this will affect when/if we raise children for example. He does have a streak of meaness about him. He is quite a negative/bitter person and doesn’t have much confidence. Although after 8 years I feel I have become used to accepting him this way. When I go to talk to him about something that has depth or is important, I don’t get the response I want and I often sigh or take a deep breath or don’t say it at all. all this I have become used to.

    We share interests and are happy at home together, but my parents and grandparents have recently expressed that they don’t think he is right for me and that he maybe doesn’t love me enough. This based on the fact that he has expressed not believing in marriages and is not fussed about having children. They want me to be with someone who adores me obviously and wants to move forward in our relationship. He also won’t tell me how much saving he has in his account.

    Does this sound fishy to anyone??
    We have two cats who are my life and I am scared to leave to split us all up. I could move back in with my lovely parents, but

    Thinkin about all this has unsurprsingly brought back feelings of anxiety/loss of appetite understandably but I don’t want to just leave it as it is to avoid feeling anxiety which is the easy option.
    I don’t believe anxiety is causing my doubts.
    Suffering with anxiety has made me a stronger person and I would love to hear from Helen or anyone who has any thoughts please??


  679. Jennifer Says:

    Lorryt – your opinion might be useful too as you have recently decided to end a relationship??

    Sorry just to add that I do love my partner but he does make snide remarks sometimes which my friends and family pick up on but I think its because he is not very sociable and doens’t know what to say so he just takes the mickey and shows sarcasm.
    My best friend has also expressed a while back that she worries he might drag me down and not appreciate my sunshine personality.

  680. Nikki Says:

    SarahS can I say a huge big thank you for your reply. It made me cry! You said just what I needed to hear. Your words were so kind – it’s a practise not a test – I like that. Today has been much better – well no tears so that’s great! I have been swimming with my one year old niece and my daughter. On the way home I made myself go into a shop alone and I bought three things – yay! Am shattered now but in a good way. I had such a shock yesterday. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. Xxx

  681. Shane Says:

    @DCYL thanks for the comment I appreciate you responding I guess you’re right I can’t let the anxiety rule my life anymore, it has ruled for too long thanks again

  682. Dave Says:

    I need some advice……..

    I have not been on the site for a long time, however today I need HELP. I came down with a cold and my anxiety has been through the roof and I have some minor panic attacks.

    is this a normal experience with a cold?
    what do I do? I have taken advil for the headache lightheadedness and dizziness and I am currently on a business and will be on the flight in a couple of hours, I am trying to accept as much as possible.

    I haven’t had a “setback” and haven’t felt like this for months what do I do.


  683. Jamie Says:

    Dave, I think it can be a normal reaction….Whenever I get sick, or have no sleep, I start to feel anxious., esp with the no sleep thing…..Just try to relax, and keep doing what you normally do….

  684. Wendy Says:

    I actually never had sleeping problems because of my anxiety, but yesterday I just couldn’t sleep. My mind was racing, scary thoughts were in my head and it was really frightening.
    My anxiety is always pretty bad in the evenings.
    Sometimes I really believe that all these thoughts are only anxiety based and so I can accept them but yesterday evening they frightened me so much I couldn’t calm down! Sometimes I really feel as if I am moving forward but then suddenly it seems as if my anxiety becomes even worse! Is that normal?

  685. lorryt Says:

    Hi Dave

    I support Jamie’s advice, as hard as it may seem just keep on doing what you normally do. It seems that when our body is ‘out of whack’ with a cold or virus or we are seemingly stressed about something, that is when our anxiety creeps in. It is a very clever thing !!. but the less attention we pay it the less repsect we give it. I think we all understand on here how it is, thats why we keep coming back for advice. it is really rubbish I know, i am in the middle of a set back too. this place is great and gets us back on track.

  686. Jeanine Says:

    I have a question, lately I’ve been getting a new symptom like. certain body parts will feel. more pronounced and I’m hyper aware of them. for example my teeth feel like their really. pronounced and I can feel them a lot and sometimes it’s. my nose to the point. were my nose starts aching. It started this week and I’m afraid. I’m developing. body dismorfic disorder. Is this anxiety? Has anyone else felt certain. body parts more pronounced. or hyper aware. of them? Oh and Sara I feel the same way about. waiting. for something. to happen like. me finally going crazy.

  687. Sian Says:

    This blog really is a great place for sharing positivity. I used to search endlessly for reassure on the internet and had to learn not to because there is so much negativity and scary information but the great thing here is that it’s so many positive people with the right information (thanks Paul!)

    Jeanine, I suffered for health anxiety for years and genuinely think that that part of my anxiety is completely gone, and has been for a long time now. I have definitely felt the way that you are describing before; I specifically remember one time being in a club and I became so overly aware of my hand that I thought I couldn’t move it and that something really bad was happening to me. It fits with all of Pauls teachings perfectly, a viscous circle instigated because you are reacting to a strange sensation rather than accepting it. I overcame health anxiety before reading anything by Paul and his teachings about it make complete sense and links with the realisations I had; I started observing how a couple of my housemates who are my best friends and to my knowledge completely anxiety free would sometimes have strange sensations in exactly the same way as me but there reaction would nip any worry in the bud. For example my carefree housemate would say ‘I suddenly feel dizzy, that’s weird, oh well’ and then it would pass after a minute.. whereas I would say ‘I suddenly feel dizzy’ then worry and obsess over what it could be and why to the point where I was completely introverted and couldn’t work out whether the dizziness was genuine or imagined. I started to tell myself that everyone has weird feelings and if there was something bad wrong there be a clear unequivocal sign (and that if there WAS something bad wrong, worrying obsessively wouldn’t have helped me or made me happier in the slightest anyway) and this really took the fear out of health feelings for me over time.

    The thing for me is that I thought that that was recovery but this year have become so bogged down with phases of endless worrying about different things.. finding Pauls book has really helped me to be positive and realise the reason anxiety has come back is because of the fearful reaction I have to it. I still sometimes worry that worrying is a part of me and something I can’t avoid but then I try and remember times I’ve been worry free where that has seemed as much of a snowballing kind of happiness as when there is a snowballing anxiety.

    I came back to the blog today because I’ve had a really strange week completely obsessing over the way I feel about my boyfriend (regardless of the fact I know that this year with him is the first time I’ve been in love and that I adore him) to the point where I can’t think coherently about it all! If anyone could offer any advice on this that would be amazing. I know it’s anxiety; I think setbacks seem so scary but are inevitable as every now and then you’ll experience something that challenges your coping strategies.. I know it’s only getting to me because I care about him and am scared of ruining things for him and myself…

    Again it is great to see so much positivity on here. Lorryt is right, it’s great to see so many people coming back to here to help each other back on the right track :)


    ps I started running and after a few weeks felt a massive difference! I didn’t go out running this week which may explain a slight dip. Gonna get out tomorrow morning! :)

  688. Carly Says:

    Hi Sian!

    We are in pretty similar spots with our anxiety I think. Mine is almost completely gone except every once in a while I have a setback.
    One of the most scary fears I have had and sometimes continue to face is feeling disconnected from my boyfriend.
    I questioned our relationship so much at one point that I felt disconnected when I was around him.
    I would kiss him and analyze my reaction to the kiss to see if the feelings were there. I did this so much to the point that the feelings would no longer be there because I was thinking about them so much.
    I knew it was anxiety because I still wanted to be with him even though those feelings weren’t there because I was overanalyzing them so much.. it almost made me feel numb if that makes sense
    BUT I got over it by telling myself to let go and see what happens.
    I told myself that I am not in the mindset to make any decisions about my relationship.
    Once I let go and let things happen the way they are supposed to, my feelings slowly came back.
    I still deal with this anxiety every once in a while, but that is exactly what it is. ANXIETY!

    Just do not get discouraged if you don’t always have feelings, or you look at another man or you question your relationship, because those are completely NORMAL feelings. People with anxiety just think they mean something terrible!
    Don’t get down on yourself about those normal behaviors because they are a part of human nature!

  689. Jeanine Says:

    Hi Sian thank you for answering I figure it’s anxiety because what else could it be but it’s really frightening to think I could develop bdd because I’m already overwhelmed with everything else I have I think I have every anxiety under the sun. I have relationship, harm,sexual,body image anxiety and others too. I’ve always been an extremely obsessive person and have had body image obsessions so that’s why this new symptom is making me think I have bdd. I know how you say other people just sort of brush things off and we react totally different that’s very true.

  690. Carly Says:

    Does anyone ever have anxiety about developing something or some type of obsession when they hear that others have it?

    And also I think it is extremely beneficial to tell yourself that no matter how bad you think your condition is, these types of difficulties can always be fixed.

  691. Sian Says:

    Thank you so much, that made me feel so much better about it! It is exactly that; I am not an obsessive, jealous or paranoid girlfriend and we have a good relationship but I find my anxious habits (that I am in the process of changing) latching on to things to do with him and because really I do love being with him I end up feeling heartbroken for a few days like I’ve worried myself to the conclusion that there is a problem with the way that I feel or that he feels… it’s completely ridiculous but like other anxietys, it becomes so hard to make sense of in the moment. I think probably the reason why that’s a particularly challenging worry to overcome for us is probably just ’cause it’s anxiety latching on to something we care about so much. Thanks so much for replying and helping me make a bit of sense of things :) I’m fluctuating between feeling anxiety free and having a set back week or so but the main difference I am noticing between this and other times in the past few years when I have felt better is that when I am anxious I no longer feel hopeless that it won’t pass and when I’m not anxious I’m not scared of talking about it or of it coming back, so I’m feeling positive :)

    Jeanine, you need to do what Paul says in his book and not seperate each symptom or worry out.. you’re just going to stress yourself out more by having so many seperate things to worry about! See all of your anxieties under the umbrella of ‘anxiety’ and deal with it as a whole.. they are all the result of the same thing, a tired mind and sensitized nerves etc. Worrying about having BDD all the time and as a result of that testing how you feel about your body all the time.. these are symptoms of anxiety, not BDD. You need to remind yourself there is no use in worrying about whether you do or do not have something.. if you did have BDD (which I’m certain it sounds like you don’t, it sounds like an offshoot of anxiety) then worrying about it wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the situation!


  692. Carly Says:

    I am glad to help.
    I think that is one of the hardest things to do with anxiety though, not question each individual symptom and try to fix each one seperately.
    I remember having terrible anxiety about that one and the only way it went away is when I started having anxiety about something else and it is so true that it only attacks you where you are most sensitive.
    I always tell my best friend that I would never fear not being able to play sports in my life, because I don’t play them anyways so it does not bother me (aka it does not have any meaning for me)
    Of course I am not going to worry about that!! it has nothing to do with me!
    It is things like children, and family and relationships that I worry about and start to fear because that is what is most important to me and deep down you don’t want to lose it.

    That is an amazing place to come to when you don’t feel scared of it anymore when it comes. I truly believe you can be fully healed and on the path you are going you WILL be!
    It’s funny how you sometimes don’t realize you are recovering. It is not like a distinct feeling you get and all of a sudden you are happy.
    It comes off in layers and I find I know I am healing because my setbacks are not as scary, they don’t last as long and the time in between setbacks is longer!

    I am off to meditate! xx

  693. Jeanine Says:

    Sian thank you very much that was very good advice and I was thinking about that,putting it all under the umbrella of anxiety but you know it’s hard to think that while it’s happening. I also share your relationship anxiety it’s all part of it. sometimes I feel like I’m an inadequate and bad girlfriend because of all my anxietys have got me confused about who I am and I get affraid and guilty that I don’t love him enough, am attracted to him,and that I don’t treat him right because at one point I had a crush on a Guy when we had broken up for a period of time and the crush stayed and I pursued him but he wasn’t. interested and I also get a fear that I’m a dangerous stalker because I look at him online. In reality I’m just very nosy haha.I told my boyfriend about it but he understands that I’m suffering from anxiety and occasionally do foolish things. There are many reasons that I feel like I’m a bad girlfriend and question my love for him but it’s all my anxiety amplifying normal human emotions I’ve written more of my story in the obsessionsl thoughts category, it’s a long story haha

  694. Jeanine Says:

    Carly, well said that is extremely true anxiety only attaches itself to things you care about it’s the same for’s attached to every single thing that I love and was certain about before. It does not attach itself to things that are insignificant to you because it doesn’t matter to you so therefore you don’t. Fear fact you are the opposite of everything your anxiety makes you think you are. The real you is the you before anxiety the person you felt comfortable being and didn’t question. I wish I was recovering but I only have like one good day or slightly OK day every month. I’m in such a confusing mess where I don’t. know. who I am anymore and I think at times its impossible but my friend told me their are two words in impossible I’m and possible, I’m possible.

  695. DCYL Says:

    Hey All,

    Let add to the last few posts about anxiety attaching itself. I got into a bit of a funk on Sunday over a girl I had talked to for a while (long story, not important to the main point). I think I got worked up a bit and had trouble sleeping into the next morning. I was tired the next day and that didn’t help and I think some anxiety reattached to my sleep. I felt my heart going pretty hard last night as I drifted off to sleep.

    Main point is that anything can happen and all of sudden, you feel a little “off”. The main thing is to try not to analyze WHY. It’s hard but that’s why we need to stay busy and let the feelings go away in time.

  696. Bret Walters Says:

    Hey Jeanine,

    I dont post here much anymore as I consider myself, mostly recovered. I have bad days still sometimes but they don’t bother me much. It always ends.

    But what I did want to say is I remember I went like possibly longer than a year without any relief. Then slowly I would maybe have a good day once a month. Then that turned into maybe 2-3 a month. Then that turned into maybe once a week. Then I would revert and have a setback, maybe back to 1-2 a month, but slowly it has gotten to where I have maybe 3-4 good days in a row! Then I’ll have 1 or 2 bad. I even had like a 2 week period of good days in a row. The one thing I will say which I still struggle with myself sometimes is “bad” days will feel much worse after a good day and even worse after a string of good days. But once you learn to expect this and just know that “if it feel this bad, I must of felt really good before!” and then it eventually ends. Also even though I dont question why I have setbacks anymore, I have noticed that sleep, work stress, my food/exercise and relaxing time all effect me. But I guess my point is to hang in there. :)


  697. Jeanine Says:

    Bret, thank you for your reply it was very nice of you. A lot of the time I feel hopeless because. I feel I’ve lost myself completely, the girl I was for 20 years is no where to be seen I just feel like a really bad person and it’s all very confusing and overwhelming I feel like. I’m already crazy and evil. I don’t give up though I just keep on living like normal and try not to let it stop me. Hopefully by just living my good days will increase. on other sites they make you feel like recovery Isnt possible like your permanently brain damaged and I think that that’s why I got so hopeless because when I saw that the symptoms I was having. were not on here I felt like I’m far different and far worse than everyone on here o I searched for answers elsewhere. I found plenty of people experiencing what I have which is sexual in nature but they just leave you feeling hopeless and like you’ll never be you again. This is a very positive site and not scary at all like some others, their are helpful sites out there but it’s very risky because there are also very negative ones aswell

  698. Nick Says:

    Hi everybody,

    I was hoping for a small bit of advice from anybody recovered or has experienced my latest troubles… Over the past year one of my worries has been developing depression. I don’t think I have ever developed it over this past year which is no surprise there (anxiety playing it’s tricks), but the worry seems to escalate after I have played sport and lost in a game, i worry I am going to develop depression! I played table tennis for my work team last night and had a particularly terrible game, didnt win any matches, a team mate who is much worse than me managed to win 2 games but I think general nerves affected my game a lot last night. Anyway, i woke in the night having dreamt about the game and i was worrying about thinking about it too much. Before anxiety I wouldn’t be too bothered, and talking to folk at work about it today I am laughing about it, but there’s the little niggle in my stomach that worries “im not ok, ive let the team down” etc. It’s like I have forgotten how to just deal with losing games and worrying I am going to get extremely depressed because of it… Do i just accept this is rubbish? Because I know from the past that tomorrow I will probably forget about it! I know I may sound silly but we all know how good reassurance is!

    Hope somebody can give me some good tips. Thanks


  699. Doreen Says:

    Great post Bret. Really rings bells with me and I am sure with a lot of other people. I remember thinking at the end of a good day ‘ I hope I will be ok tomorrow’ and of course often I was worse. So taking each day as it comes has to be the way forward. I have a friend coming over for lunch on Saturday who I have not seen in a long time but we keep in touch. She has had two bad episodes in the last 2 years and is still struggling. She has not read Paul’s book but when I invited her over which includes 2 train journeys, she said ‘why not – I may as well do things instead of waiting for this to go away or I could be waiting for the rest of my life’. Then we both laughed as we knew exactly what she meant.

  700. SarahS Says:

    Hi Nikki – Fab! I think you are doing better than you think you are! I also think the Claire Weekes book would help you too if you haven’t already got it, she’s ever so good at explaining about these sort of things. She described you having a tough day (followed by a good one, remember!) as just the contemplation of failure, the pressure of succeeding, which is why she says always practice, don’t test. You will fail, due to the fact that you are human. You won’t have a good day, then a better day and so on, life in general doesn’t work like that but she also says that you can gain as much progress in recovery as you can in a good patch. So basically, whatever you are going through and however you are feeling, you are making progress. It’s all going on in the background. Keep at it, remember you are normal and what you are going through is to be expected.

    Well done!

    Sarah x

  701. Carly Says:

    All great posts and all so true!
    I think one thing that really helped me to move on was just accept that what ever happened in my life, I would be ok.
    I once told myself when I was worried about becoming some monster, “ok Carly, if you become a monster, that is ok, you will be ok and you will be happy”
    I know that seems so stupid and many people might disagree, but by accepting that I was ok with what ever I was going to become even if it was something terrible, that fear slowly disappeared and obviously now I don’t have those fears anymore and know that they will never happen and it is all just anxiety.
    Bringing yourself back to the moment is crucial too. Just reminding yourself that this is the only moment that counts and you are ok at the present moment helps sometimes.
    And one other thing I told myself constantly and still continue to is “I WILL BE FREE FOREVER!!”
    I repeat it over and over. It reminds yourself that there is always hope no matter what!
    Paul pulled himself out of 10 years of anxiety and now he is free forever.
    If that is possible among some of the other stories I have heard, anything is possible.
    And I truly believe these things only happen to people who are strong enough to handle it!

    oh p.s. I had a bit of a disturbing dream last night and it really took me back. Has anyone experienced this before? I was involved in an act that was disgusting (in my dream) and I woke up this morning and felt gross and of course my mind thought it meant something else… has this ever happened to anyone?

  702. Nick Says:

    Carly yes the dream thing comes now and again for me. As my fear of cheating on my girlfriend is quite a big one for me, I have dreamt before that i was with another woman and in my dream I was physically enjoying it (which is normal), but i was worrying in my dream at the time. I then woke up worrying aswell of course. But dreams are the perfect place to bring up what is on your mind and what you fear, nothing more. If it knocks you back in a dream then it is NOT something you will want do in real life, so you won’t! :)

  703. SarahS Says:

    Hi Nick – no this is not silly (nor are you) but yes it is rubbish, in the sense that it’s not real, it’s just anxiety. You worry could be replaced by a million other things that people experience, especially when sensitised with anxiety, it’s just for you it’s this particular worry. It’s normal for anxiety to latch itself to something and for you it’s this, worry about depression, particularly after a game when you’ve lost. So you have anxiety, it latches onto something, you worry about that, the worry seems huge, which scares you and so the cycle continues. To break the cycle, first step is to realise this. It’s the anxiety that’s making you feel like this and the worry isn’t true. Then you can build on breaking the cycle bit by bit. When you have the worry/thought let it be there, then make a bit of an effort to move on from it, let the thought go, feeling the effects of it but knowing it’s untrue, one bit bluff, say so what. Even if you feel awful, and you will continue to for a while, still do it. Bit by bit your attitude will change. You won’t always be able to do it, sometimes you will, sometimes you won’t but it’ll get easier. The trick is to put your trust in it being a complete bluff, realise that other people are telling you this and even though it doesn’t feel true, it is because other people have experienced it and have learnt too.


  704. Nick Says:

    Thanks Sarah,

    I know all too well about anxiety latching onto different things! I’ve only suffered with the obsessive thoughts for the past year, and up until then i felt i was almost recovered from anxiety. As i have said before, looking back I am grateful to have experienced “the wrath” of these thoughts and seen how easily they disappear once you worry about something else. It is now just being patient and waiting for them all to dissolve as now and again different worries replace the last ones! I asked this in an earlier post but got no response, but did you deal with any irritability when anxious? I found myself getting annoyed at my girlfriend’s loud singing last night while making dinner, i obviously didn’t lose my temper but i get this building feeling of fear that i will do just that which i don’t want to do. Did you ever find little silly things wound you up? How do i approach these situations when i get irritated easily?


  705. SarahS Says:

    Hi Nick

    Yep lots of patience is required. Irritability has been one of my biggest offshoots (there have been many) of anxiety. I’m better at controlling it now. I try to remember to respect myself and other people, shouting at someone isn’t respecting them but then we are all human and it’ll happen sometimes. So, let yourself feel irritated, it’s allowed.


  706. Jeanine Says:

    Carly, yes that has been happening a lot to me lately, I’ve been having strange / disturbing. dreams. I believe its just how anxiety manifests into thoughts it also can manifest into dreams. Dreams are strange as it is but with anxiety their much stranger.

  707. Jeanine Says:

    Oh and forgot to put their very vivid aswell

  708. Steph Says:

    Hi everyone, great blog and posts which I can most definitely rate to the majority of :)
    I posted on here for a while a couple years ago when my anxiety was at it highest. I found this site and felt like a weight had been lifted cried with joy.. Cheesy but true! Because I truly thought everything what i was experiencing, sleepless nights,vivid nightmares,awful intrusive thoughts that I was going to lose my mind at any mInute. BUT I didn’t!
    However I still get liottle setbacks hardly ever and when I do it’s either through lack of sleep occasional hangover or a lot of stress(which anyone would probably have a little anxiety) but they do not bother me aas I know what it is and that it’s harmless and never amounts to anything!
    Recentley I have had set back which has threw me a little I have been feelin anxious or more adrenalin fuelled lately I do have a 6 month old baby which surprisingly coping fine with. I have also had the relationship analysing where I feel detached like I can’t act myself like I’m even frightened to be around my partner . Sometimes even feel like don’t want to be near him which is awful!!
    My setback started the other week my boyfriend was away for couple of nights and I was home alone the house Ive been living in for past year is quite creaky n noisy. And my boyfriend often teases me it’s haunted as he knows films with any paranormal films I have huge fear over so basically convinced myself was hearing haunted house but then started analysing imagine if I’m actually going crazy and start to think I’m a schizo and think there’s ghosts all around me ! And now writing this it sounds so silly and yes crazy too! But I know it’s anxiety just annoyed I allowed myself to get do worked up which I don’t usually do. Does anyone else experience coping really well and getting in with it even when u do have anxiety for it to suddenly take you by surprise and any tips appreciated. Thanks :)

  709. Sam Says:

    Has anyone else hear had anxiety from a young age? I always wonder if its just the way I am

  710. Wendy Says:

    Hello Sam,

    I think my anxiety already started in the age of nine or ten, where I started worrying about being ill. In the age of twelve I had my first real panic attack and today I’m sixteen and still have anxiety.
    My anxiety was away for two years or so, but at the beginning of this year it came back, so you’re not alone! :)

  711. Sara Says:

    Hello Sam,

    My real anxiety first started when I was in my last year of high school at 17 years old when I was about to graduate. Just over thinking of the future is what triggered it I believe. So yes as Wendy said,you’re not alone :)

  712. Carly Says:

    I feel like everyone’s onset of anxiety is at different times and for different reasons, but I think one think that Paul stressed is that no matter how long you have been suffering or for what reasons, full recovery is possible.
    My anxiety personally came as a result of a tragedy as I have always been a care free child with an outgoing personality.
    I created an anxious mind from that experience and then it generalized to other things.
    I have read stories of people who have conquered anxiety and obsessive thoughts after 40 years of experiencing it and others who have had it for only 1 or 2. No matter what, you can turn your life around which I think is amazing and gives us so much hope!!

  713. jerry Says:

    Sam I’ve had anxiety since age 15. So you’re not alone. By the way , I’m 30 now but its just a day by day thing but knowing the information that we have here on this site is going to help you incredibly how much. Hang in there

  714. Jeanine Says:

    I wanted to mention something about the different types of anxiety disorders like,GAD,SAD,painic disorder and especially ocd.those are all just names. or labels given to different symptoms of anxiety. In reality it is all anxiety and those were just different names given to different symptoms. If one form of anxiety can be overcame they all can.

  715. Charlotte Says:

    Hey guys, I haven’t posted for a long time now after pretty much getting over anxiety over summer. I started a new job two weeks ago, full time, and yes it can be stressful (I am a travel consultant), but because of the stress and tiredness it has started to creep back.
    I keep thinking to myself…mayb I am just not built to do a full time job? perhaps because of ‘anxiety’ always hanging over my head waiting to pounce.. that I just can’t cope with a f/t job like normal people? My anxiety started from a break-up in Feburary, and although I am almost leading a normal life again now it still isn’t fully gone. I’m still not fully over my ex either, and it does play on my mind alot as I still miss him. I just want to be at a stage where im not thinking about anxiety or ‘at any moment I could have a panic attack and freak out’ while having a country walk with a friend. Help..!

  716. Diane Says:

    hi all, hope all well. I havent been on here for a while as been doing ok, a few ups and downs but hey all part of recovery. I have been busy with work doing a presentation at a conference etc, however I was meant to go to family gathering night but the what if s and busy head took over and let anxiety win and didnt go. I spent tday beating myself up – eg i am a selfish person, not a nice person I have let every one down, although feelining anxiuos g better now I ahve called with my apologies. I notice how quickly I can get into this self beating myself up. Also there has been a sickness bug at work and I have found myself worrying about getting it. I am just aware that I overlly worry and make my anxious about things that ‘normal’ people would not. I realsise I am so much better than I used to be over a year ago, I am back at work full time etc, I just find myself still getting anxious over social things, I guess I have just got to get over this stage like all the others, I have always been over the years like this and it can also be habitual. I am so grateful for this site and Pauls book it has helped me so much and I am thankful,

    take care everyone x

  717. Clare Says:

    diane you saynnormalpeople well you are normal and you must be a lovely person you have such a nice nature.youmare the type of person, I would like for a friend hope you have a lovely week xxxxxx
    I havehadthis awful thing for years but they are only thoughts
    goodnight godblessxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  718. Sara Says:

    Has anyone here been recovered for years now?

    After reading Charlottes post as well as many others on here,

    I cant help but to think that everyone who recovers from anxiety ends up having a setback if they start to live a normal life with some stress. You cant avoid stress. Are you supposed to live your life in fear trying to not add too much stress incase you trigger your anxiety again?

    I dont mean to be negative but it is what i have been noticing.

  719. Carly Says:

    Hey Sara!
    I am no expert on anxiety as I have been only dealing with it for a short amount of time, but I really think that it is like healing from anything else.
    It makes sense that even after not having anxiety for a long period of time you have a setback because the memory is still there and the trigger has some degree of saliency.
    I guess what I am trying to say is it doesn’t mean anxiety never goes away, but when something that would usually trigger it pops up again, that memory of having it may come back.
    This does not mean that you are going to react to it in the same way and now that you know you can get over it once, it will be much easier to work through any type of setback!

  720. Doreen Says:

    Hi Charlotte. I think there have been some indirect responses to your post, so hope you haven’t felt ignored. I think the memories of anxiety are very strong as for all of us it has probably been one of the worst things we have experienced. I have been away for 10 days in Cape Town and had a really great time. Coming back home into the environment where there are not only memories of feeling anxious but real life events going on which are anxiety provoking has been a bit if a challenge. I temporarily slipped back into being watchful again and trying to push it away as I was so p……. off that it is here again. Then I remembered that accepting it would be the better way forward.

  721. Dylan Says:

    I like the point on taking your anxiety with you wherever you go, and really feeling it.

    A common malpractice issued by therapists is to try and distract yourself from your thoughts. This gives temporary relief but you never learn how to deal with the anxiety nor how to accept it since you always are “feeling it for the first time”.

    In my experience with agoraphobia, the best thing is exposure therapy without distraction. You want to learn how to cope with the anxiety while you are out until your neurons reprogram enough and you start to feel comfortable out in the world.

    I’m glad to see others addressing this.

  722. Sally Says:

    Hi Sam
    Just read your earlier post and yes I have had anxiety since I was a child.In my teens I hated school and used to get anxiety quite badly waiting for the school bus but of course i didnt know in those days what it was.I asked for help in my twenties by which time I was married with 3 young sons and the help was mostly medication in the 70s which didnt help much.I have muddled through without much help as I totally gave up on the medical proffession until the last few years when I found Claire Weekes books and then subsequently Pauls book.All these years I have been fighting it and making it worse Pauls way is truly right and I have had some very calm times thanks to this site and his book.Understanding the adrenalin thing really helps.So keep practising not testing as Claire says.Best Wishes Sallyx

  723. Carly Says:

    You have a great story Sally.
    I just had a question?
    Do any of you ever think that what you have is more than anxiety? I know that seems silly because I know we have all done that at some point (i.e. medical condition, or schizophrenia etc.)
    But I mean I do not have a lot of physical symptoms and I don’t have any social anxiety, but I do over analyze by thoughts and I do get scared that something else is wrong with me. I obsess a lot of the time I guess and I create fear where it has never been before.
    Is this under the realm of anxiety?

  724. Sally Says:

    I have obssessed about my health,dying.if someones late they have had a car crash.and what if this and what if that it is all anxiety many of us have had these thoughts and bad feelings.XX

  725. Carly Says:

    Thanks Sally!

    I guess from reading so many personal stories of how people have suffered, I am sometimes not able to relate which makes me question if something else is going on.
    I know that there is not one exact set of symptoms that people experience and I know that over analyzing it more is not going to help!

    How have you been doing these days?

  726. Candie Says:

    Hi lorry

    Only when I ended my 7 year relationship did my stress levels reduce enough to recover. He was so negative and mean that he hiked my anxiety right up! Well I had a massive set back, but it’s what made me fully recover as I faced the anxiety and saw it would pass. I look after 2 kids on my own, it’s doable! Your Anxiety thoughts will say diff. But float past them :) if you have coped so far with your kids aswell as a negative stressful relationship you can easily pull through x

  727. Wendy Says:

    Hey everyone,

    Sometimes I feel as if I’m really moving forward and in the next minuten I fall back in my deep whole.
    My scary thoughts are just horrible right now. The fear that everything, my whole life if only an imagination is so bad. I think, that maybe if I don’t believe, that my life is real I also can’t recover, because I think that this site and all the people here are only an imagination, but on the other side I read Pauls book and this blog so often, that deep down I know that it’s only anxiety, but my whole life feels just so weird at the moment.
    Even thinking about being a human being out of blood and skin scares me.
    I hope I’ll get some advice again, all posts here really help me :)

  728. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Wendy – You are awesome! The hardest thing for me on this anxiety journey has been scary thoughts. Thoughts scare me that I don’t even see people talk about on here. So I totally understand. And, yes, Sweetie, it is only anxiety. As hard as that seems for us to believe at times, it’s true. Candie used to have awful scary thoughts. But she is recovered. And basically just like the rest of anxiety we have to learn to just let it be there and get on with our day. I’ve had some great successes with doing it and then it comes back with a vengeance. But I’ve seen so many people recover on here that I believe we all will recover. So do your best to keep your chin up! Just tell those thoughts, “Go ahead and be there if you like, but I’m getting on with my day.” And then do it. Best to you! Have a great night!

  729. Sara Says:

    Hello Carly,

    You’re right. I am just in a little rough spot.

    I can handle anxiety and it’s symptoms now because I understand them, but when I begin feeling a little depressed the thoughts kick in and you just feel hopeless like it will be you forever. I felt it coming though, for the past week I was just waiting for a breakdown and sure enough I had a good cry to my mother yesterday. I don’t know if I should have because I feel as though crying is self pity but it felt good nonetheless. All apart of recovery though, I just need to change my attitude a bit more and focus on acceptance.

    Have a good day everyone!

  730. Carly Says:

    Hey Sara I totally get it!

    When I get in a rut I start to feel overwhelmed and I forget how far I have come. I feel like something else is really wrong with me and I will go mad, but I have to just keep living and never stop doing anything when the thoughts are there.
    It just scares me so much because my thoughts sometimes make certain situations that are not scary extremely scary.
    I attach fear to things that are not fearful at all, like being afraid of feeling disconnected from my parents that I start to actually fear going home.
    IT’s like having anxiety of fear of having anxiety.
    I just have to remind myself that I have come so far in half a year, so imagine how much progress I can make in a couple of years! It’s promising!

  731. Clare Says:

    Tonight I have read all your blogs and wish each and everyone of u a peaceful Xmas and happy new year

  732. DCYL Says:

    Paul has a blog post on scary thoughts from a couple of years ago (I think). It may not cover anyone’s specific situation but it applies. It’s been talked about before but not as much recently. People have thrown out all sorts of thoughts. I admit I am not a fan of talking about it. Not sure why, but it’s just seem TABOO.

    It is tough to deal with sometime. I try to let it ride but it is tough. As much as I hate to say, but I do try and distract myself with TV, exercise, etc.

    Maybe it’s not the best but it does help. :)

  733. Wendy Says:

    Thank you Michelle!

    It feels so good to have people, that do exactly know how I feel on this blog!
    Yesterday evening I exercised and so I could sleep pretty well:) I think this is a good day 😉

  734. lorryt Says:

    Hi Jennifer T

    in response to your earlier post, i had had enough of all the negativity , and lack of communciation , my hubby was mentally ill and a very angry man with whom i had known for along time was ill and was very destructive. I wanted to be happy , and my kids ti be happy, so i took a leap and ended things. I never thought in a million years i could do it , but i work full time have a mortgage and kids and cats and all sorts, as hard asi t can be i am coping ok. anxiety level are high but i know why, all i know is i wanted to be happy as i wasnt. YOu only have 1 life so live it. i could no longer stand the negativity and walking on eggshells. you are right anxiety has made me stronger too, strong enough to know what is teh right thing to do and follow it through. You have to think of what you want. My relationship wasnt normal by a longway jennifer and i now realise that, i want to move forward and find a normal relationship if you get me!??. It is hard but you either have to accept it and live or make a decision to change things and move on, i am quite hard about things as i have had to be as i put up with alot more than most. tough one , i understand. am more than happy to help if i can, and hope that you manage to work out in your head what you need xxxx

  735. Sally Says:

    Hi Carly
    Thankyou for asking how I am doing.I was flying thought its gone forever then bang the feelings are back.So for about 4 weeks have been in a bit of a set back.But I know that it is only me that can help myself so on we go better days will come.I am focusing on seeing my gran kids open their pressies we always have to focus on the good things we have in our life we have not got a terminal disease even though we have very unpleasant feelings but that is all they are nasty feelings kind regards Sally X

  736. Sally Says:

    Lorryt you are so right you have to live your life to the best of your ability and well done to you for doing so.I have travelled extensively throughout my life raised 3 sons and held down several jobs along the way.You can all do what you want if you make your mind up to do so.I wish you all well and a good and peaceful christmas and progress in recovery in the new year Sally X

  737. LizB Says:

    Hi Wendy and to everyone else!

    I am new to this blog (although have been following the website for 3 months going through my own recovery) and just wanted to share something about negative thoughts that my partner said to me that has helped when I have felt in a big hole. I too have been going through scary obsessive thoughts and he said to me for every negative thought just know that there is a positive, he then listed a whole range of things that have improved since I had anxiety (I know who would have thought it!) and I started to see things from another prespective, I guess what I am trying to say is that I am becoming a better person due to going through this. I am just coming through another setback and can see that although it feels like hell sometimes I am a lot more empathetic to others, understanding and open about things. You too will have learnt many things through it all andIhope this helps when that those thoughts come. I truly understand what you are going through. Lix x

  738. Ann Says:

    I had those exact thoughts about how if I thought my life was not real what was the point of even trying to get over this anxiety. Trust me if you keep on moving forward you will get past them. Eventually your life just does seem real again. I don’t know how to explain it but you can just feel it. I am so close to complete recovery that there are even times that I forget I even have anxiety. I think I began to have those thoughts when the depersonalisation was really thick. We turn inward so much that life doesn’t feel like life anymore. Once you start living again instead of paying attention to yourself you will start to have those thoughts less and less. Trust me it has taken some time…it definitely didn’t happen over night but now it feels real again and it was worth the wait. Hang in there, once you realize those crazy thoughts are just your anxiety you will be able to move forward more easily. Just remember to be patient…just because it doesn’t happen right away doesn’t mean it won’t:)

  739. Wendy Says:

    Thank you so much! Your post really helped me!
    I think this was exactly what i needed to hear. I needed to hear that someone had exact the same thoughts and feels real again!
    This morning I wrote that this day is maybe a good day and now I can say YES it was! I only hat a very bit dp and some strange thoughts, but it didn’t bother me so much and I actually really enjoyed this day :)

  740. Carly Says:

    Just wondering, has anyone ever been so anxious about disconnecting from their family and loved ones that they start to fear being around them? Not necessarily fear, but start to feel anxious (like anxiety about having anxiety) when around them like you are scared to feel disconnected from them so it causes anxiety and in turn causes fear? maybe I am the only one haha or the only one who understands what I am trying to say!

    Thanks everyone!

  741. Dylan Says:

    Hey Carly,

    Anxiety can make you feel anything. Anything you can imagine can be manifested from anxiety! It’s crazy.

    What you are most likely experiencing, however, is just anxiety from the actual thoughts that arise when around them. If one of your worries is being disconnected from your family, then it’s only natural for that worry to pop up and be triggered when you are around them!

    Anxiety triggers learned responses. I was one time playing my guitar and had a panic attack, then the next day I was almost frightened of my guitar because I associated it with the panic I experienced, but obviously, there is nothing frightening about a guitar, that’s madness (at least to me), but I still was slightly fearful, and every time I would see the guitar, I would think of the panic I had.

    So, now you have a thought somewhere in your head about fearing disconnection from your family, and the easiest way for that thought to pop up would be to be around them.

    This happens a lot too with people who go visit a therapist or psychiatrist. They are fine but once they get to the therapist and start talking about their anxiety and panic, they start getting panicky themselves because they are remembering times when they were anxious. It’s muddying up the waters.

  742. Carly Says:

    It’s so true! And that is something I have learned over the past little while, but fearing going home is one of the worst feelings in the world because it is a place of comfort and security.
    I also have come to realize that anxiety is only going to hit you in places that have meaning for you. I love my family and always have so no wonder this fear has manifested itself.
    I remind myself that it is only anxiety by telling myself that I don’t fear things that don’t bother me. For example, I would never feel anxious about playing sports or not being able to play them again because that does not bother me. I would be ok if someone told me I could never play sports again.
    Because I love my family so much, this fear makes sense.
    It sucks, but is the reality of anxiety I guess. I just keep living no matter how strange I feel.

    Thanks for not making me feel like I am alone on this one!

  743. Sara Says:

    Hey Carly

    that is so very true! It seems as though we have been in recovery for about the same amount of time. Although I don’t have a fear of disconnecting, I have a major fear or loosing my parents or having someone in my family develop anxiety too. It has made me extra sensitive and a bit uncomfortable around them. But you have to remember that they are not you and it’s just silly thoughts anyways.It is nice to know that someone shares in the same experiences as me. It seems like my mind totally forgets during a depressed state when logically you KNOW it’s just anxiety. But then the “ah I’m really depressed and I will have these bouts in the future and forever” but as you said the progress I’ve made is something I won’t forget and is quite the motivator!

    Anyone have anytips on living a more positive life? What changes have any of you made that have been helpful on your road to recovery?

  744. DCYL Says:


    I haven’t had the specific situation you mentioned but I agree with Dylan’s note. Your situation is family. Dylan was his guitar. For me, it was sleeping or the bedroom. There are a lot of things I sent through: sleep, being alone, heights, etc, etc.

    Just about anything can come up and sometimes it will surprise you too. Not much you can do but to manage your reactions and accept it.

  745. Dylan Says:

    Hey Carly,

    I totally understand your dilemma! It’s almost funny you bring it up, too, because earlier today I wrote an article on my blog on just that very thing.

    I love my family to death, and I love being around them, but being an agoraphobia and have an anxiety disorder, the absolute one thing I dread each year the most is the Holidays and having to go see all of my family.

    It can be a real nightmare.

  746. Jeanine Says:

    Dylan, great post excellent way of putting it. What’s your blogs name?

  747. Carly Says:

    Thanks Sara! and everyone else!

    I think once you get to a point where you have accepted your anxiety and you continue to live, real recovery begins and once you have been recovering for a bit of time, you start to desire bringing positivity back into your life.

    I remember when I was in a state where I could not even brush my teeth because I was so disconnected from everything and all that mattered to me then was getting through that.

    Then getting to a place where I was still depressed, but was feeling less anxious and all I wanted to do was get over that.

    And now that I feel like I am on the right track and it’s just about practicing this good behavior (aka train my brain), I now want to start to think more positively.

    I always feel more positive when I accept myself for all of my imperfections. I always tell myself “fly with it Carly! Embrace who you are because your imperfections are beautiful!”

    I guess by accepting who I am for the moment and who ever I will become no matter what happens to me in my life, has helped me become more positive.

    It’s hard to force these feelings and a lot of the time people tell me to be thankful for what I have and appreciate it more. Like my anxiety is silly because I am so blessed, but trying to tell yourself that does not help. It only makes you feel worse and more guilty.

    I am sorry if this was confusing!
    It is so hard sometimes to articulate how you are feeling!

  748. Gary Says:

    Hi Community,

    I thought I’d share my situation on this site and see where it led. I’m 34 yrs old and I first suffered a breakdown 5 years ago. I had no idea what was going on and my doctor gave me antidepressants. Some how I recovered, when I look back my memory is so hazy I don’t really know how I recovered. I’ve had the best 5 years of my life, however in the last 18 months I’ve got married, moved back to parents for a bit, then bought a house and 4mths ago my wife gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl (my first). 4 weeks ago I went to a friends card game and got stupid drunk, the following few days I was so panicky about getting ill again that I think I’ve made myself ill. I’m now on beta-blockers from doc. I’m reading all Paul’s material and I think I’m moving towards recovery. However it breaks my heart when I look at my daughter and realise I’m ill. It makes me so desperate to recover that I think it will hold my recovery back. I’ve managed to stay in work, but its tough with these damn thoughts running around in my brain all day.

    I just want to get better for my daughter :)

  749. Sam Says:

    After 9 months of finding Paul’s book I reliase I’ve finally got somewhere. Even though it felt like I had not improved I think back of the time in which I found the book. I was a 100% worse. I think back then I used to worry about what had happened to me, think I was going mad etc. but without that worry your body is already technically getting more rest than before anyways. So I haven’t got you worry if I’m doing it right. Overtime my body an yours will all heal.And even though it looks like the finish line is a fair distance away. My life will be so much more fulfilling and exciting.

  750. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Just an update really, seem to be doing okay, then not okay, I think the process is the same for almost everyone. I’m dating again now, been on 2/3 dates so far and also went to London on my own for two days. I’ve come a long way in just a few short months. I can also work now without too much hassle, whereas before I had real bad problems concentrating.

    Have to ask though if anyone else experience this…….

    I’ve been an IBS sufferer since i was about 24, so 8 years now. I spoke to another girl on here recently who suffers the same. I noticed the other day that when my IBS flares up it gives almost identical symptoms to anxiety………detached feeling, confusion, sweaty palms etc. Tonight I’ve come home from work and I’ve eaten a lot of bread today and also had two Chinese meals in the past two days. Any sufferer will know that this type of food is bad for IBS, and I’ve got a real heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I had this feeling at the start of my setback in April when i was very low so my brain keeps comparing it. I know its to do with IBS though so I keep that in mind.

    Hope everyone else is doing well, a lot of new faces on here which is always a good sign as people start to feel better they kind of drop of here.


  751. DCYL Says:

    Hey All,

    Something to laugh at for it seems silly to most but not us. I was feeling pretty good yesterday as I left work. I had a couple of things I wanted to buy so I headed out to a couple of stores before I headed home. It’s been cold / rainy out here so I had a few layers on. Well, one of the stores was small but extremely warm. I remembered getting “warm” and was sweating a bit and thinking “why am I getting warm?” I still get a reaction when i get warm as I still somewhat associate getting warm with some of my anxiety from last year. Had to remind myself I have a some clothes on and getting warm was normal.

    Also, the mornings can be a pain too if I haven’t slept a ton. Mind tends to bounce all over until I “wake up a bit”.

  752. Ron Says:

    If anxiety is truly related to people and places or some other area of life that has meaning then why on earth is my anxiety and depression not isolated to any thing in particular just everything! Any thought that may happen to cross my mind or from the past either makes me feel worthless or riddles me with fear that my emotional disposition will never change and that I’ll not balance in order that I’ll enjoy life! I hasten to add that these are what my feelings prescribe and not what I’m buying into! I’m for the future and living alongside the tyrant as long as it takes. However it does take an intense apprenticeship to become proficient!! I’m only learning!!

    Anyone have any similar experiences??

    Hope your all well!!


  753. Sara Says:


    I am the exact sameway. I just feel anxiety towards everything although the depression only comes once in a while. I understand what you mean by not buying into it. Its as if you logically know that its not true but the anxiety keeps telling you other wise. But its like paul said , how you feel now has NO bearing on how you will feel in the future, and this is not you forever! Just patience and time.

  754. Mark R Says:


    I came across this years ago whilst trying to find a reason for my anxiety, its called state specific memory. This is where when in a particular state of mind its very difficult to imagine another, or at least the polar opposite of the state you are in. I had a great week last week and couldn’t imagine feeling crap, but I’m here a week later feeling crap and can’t remember how last week feels. I do like how you’ve put not buying into it, that’s exactly how it should be. Just let it do its own thing.

    As Sara says the way you feel now has no bearing at all, its one thing I learned from this setback is to take each min, hr, day, week as it comes and not project it forward.

  755. Ronnie Says:

    Sara, Mark,

    I really appreciate you getting back to me. Sometimes it’s just nice to hear that your not alone!!

    I think I’ve got to a kind of place where although I hate how I feel I’m not fighting as much which I believe is the correct attitude to adopt. I’ve tried desperately to forgo questions of why me and will this ever go as much as I can. That’s a marvellous insight Mark into why my anxieties are so thought provoking sometimes. My last episode hit me like a hurricane having been built up over a while through stress and worry! First about a stomach problem then about a relationship!! My emotions were all so exaggerated concerning the girl I was seeing and the overwhelming sense of loss I feel now that we’re not going out is completely out with the any rational level, which I’m aware of at least. I was only seeing this girl for a while. We got on great had fun and I made a friend!! I made the rest up and bought into it all until it become a monster!! It’s a little disconcerting to tussle with a beast you fear you may not beat, its quite another however to have created the same monster that you fear will best you! I suppose the real issue is there’s no timeline guys, we never know when the sun coming up, the blue sky and the birds singing will make us happy again! Doing nothing with purpose would be much easier if we got just a little more in return every now and then!

    Thanks again guys
    Your ace.

  756. Charlotte Says:

    Doreen thank you for your reply, and well done for going to Cape Town. I may have to go on a business trip in a few weeks to the alps and when most people would be excited… I am bricking it! It will be my biggest challenge to date anxiety wise this year.
    Most of the time now I am okay, but I think my anxiety stems from over thinking. I was walking in town with a lunch colleague today and we had been in a shop for mayb 5 minutes, i suddenly had a pang of anxiety which lasted no more than a few seconds, but it was enough to make me take notice of it, but knowing what it was I soon payed it no attention and it went quickly.
    Thing is, when this happens it is just a constant reminder that it is not fully gone and it still pops up when I least expect it and everything in my body tells me to get out of where ever I am. This creates a constant fear hanging over my head where ever I go, a fear of another panic attack.
    I do think that the memory of what I have gone through this year being housebound with anxiety to leading a normal life again is still fresh in my mind, but I just hope not forever.

  757. Sara Says:

    Hey guys,

    Wondering if any of you can help
    Today I had a thought “You’re going to have to drive for the rest of your life” (I’ve just begun driving, I didn’t drive pre anxiety because I was too young) but it wasn’t the thought that scared me, it’s such a pointless thought. I literally told myself “what is your point?” But I got extremely dissapointed,frightened and obsessed with my Reaction to the thought, I’m having a setback right now. I’d say it is my first legitimate one where I am somewhat back to square one. I’m dealing fine with the symptoms just not the thoughts and apprehension waiting for something more or worse to happen.

    Anyone else have a stronger anxiety to a reaction to a thought more than the thought itself? Like you get anxiety for getting anxiety about a thought.

    Hahah not sure if I make sense but I just like to gain as much knowledge as I can on anxiety.

    Thanks hope everyone has a goodnight filled with wonderful sleep! I know I will. (Exam week is next week) :) :(

  758. Josh Says:


    Yes, we all have been through such equally stupid thoughts. Since i have been through it all..i can advice..even if you were driving and you had the thought…just keep on intitial reaction could be can drive with such a though lingering in my head..but believe me you can do it..the thought will linger till the time your nerves are tired..this can happen for 1 day or even 15 days continuosly with the same depends on what is keeping you in anxiety..your body is throwing out that anxiety with such a thought..keeping doing what you want and one day you will look back and luagh at all this..

  759. Nicola Says:

    I am plagued by obsessive thoughts about what happens after we die. I just want to die and not be conscious anymore. The idea of an afterlife makes me feel sick. Anyone else had this problem? It’s ruining my life. What should I do?

  760. Nicola Says:

    Sara you are in exactly the same place as I am right now. I totally know what you mean. I’m not afraid of anxiety either, just seem to be afraid of the reactions to my thoughts, which is more despair and a feeling of doom than it is anxiety.

  761. Wendy Says:


    I have exactly the same thoughts! I fear that life does actually never never end, so that there is another strange life after death..
    but I can tell you that when your nerves get a rest these thoughts just stop scaring you! I felt pretty good the last three days now and when I think this thought now it just does not scare me so that really shows me that all these thoughts are only caused by tired nerves.
    What you have to do is truly believe that it is all anxiety and that it will pass when you’re recovered!

  762. Carly Says:

    I seemed to be having some after effects of a bad dream. I mentioned it before, but about a week ago I had a disturbing dream and because I paid so much attention to it, I seem to be generalizing it to real life situations, like making it seem real in a sense.
    This might be confusing, but I guess I was wondering if other people have ever been so frightened of a dream that they begin to think it is real or they start to picture it in everyday life?

  763. Nicola Says:

    It’s funny Wendy, but before all this started I used to be one of those people that liked the idea of an afterlife. I think with me it started when I was in the worst of my anxiety, I used to get some peace in the thought that if it got too bad I always had the option of death. Sorry I know that sounds morbid. Then my thoughts went into what if there’s an afterlife… Then when I decided I didn’t believe in that, I started to worry that I’d be some kind of conscious nothingness.. and on and on it goes, these kind of ‘yeah but what if’ thoughts. I’ve become obsessed with it. Sometimes though I do feel a lot better. I was doing great for ages at one point. I’m a stay at home mum and I think a part of it is mental boredom and often tiredness as I don’t have anyone to help with bubby really. Wy do you think you have those thoughts? Thank you so much for replying.

  764. Sara Says:


    Thank you for responding. You are right, I actually feel quite proud of myself after driving myself somewhere and refuse to let these negative thoughts put me down any longer. I am not going to give them any more respect!

    Are you frightened because you think that you are going to be the same person with anxiety in the afterlife?

  765. Nicola Says:

    Sara, I don’t really know, not the same person, but maybe conscious somehow and still scared. I don’t remember what it’s like to feel good. I know I sound nuts. It’s a weird fear but I’ve been through all the others :-)

  766. Carly Says:

    I remember when I would question the meaning of life.
    I know it is not the exact same as questioning afterlife, but it is similar in some ways.
    It caused me so much anxiety that my mind shut down.
    I would just question and question and I wasn’t able to do anything but question.
    What got me to stop was just keep living no matter what and I knew that eventually the answers would come and you know what the answer was that I found with time? WHO KNOWS?

    I will never know and I cannot control it so there is no point in worrying out it. I know it is so much easier said than done, but I think by just letting yourself experience those questioning and not be afraid of it, great healing will come.
    We will never know and even people who think they have the answers aren’t certain. (like religions)
    I am personally religious and I guess what I would tell you Nicola, is that I truly believe even though I don’t know, that when we die, we are at true peace, no more suffering and no more worry.
    There is no way you will be anxious when you die because you will be free.

  767. Clare Says:

    Nicola I never seem to come across as I want you replied to me a few months ago .my sister is still in hospital they still don’t know what is wrong with her say it is extreme stress .as for myself I have been back at work a few months ,although I don’t need to work it is something to focus on I do think about death and afterlife but one of my fears is being buried alive,but since being
    on medication I feel much better ,I mostlylive a normal life ,and when I look back over the years nothing bad has really happened ,just really bad thoughts
    I really feel for you please try to live for the moment especially if you have ababy you are young I am a lot older and would not want you to go through
    All this worry for nothing ,you sound likea very intelligent person use this to your advantage hope you have a lovely christmas

  768. Nicola Says:

    Thank you for replying to me Carly xx

  769. Nicola Says:

    Hi Clare, I am so sorry to hear about your sister, is she in a psych hospital? I went in one for the same reason. I wish people didn’t suffer so. I am also on medication. Venlafaxine 150mg a day. I developed depression as a result of anxiety. Thank you for your kind words xx

  770. Nicola Says:


    Just wondering, has anyone ever been so anxious about disconnecting from their family and loved ones that they start to fear being around them? Not necessarily fear, but start to feel anxious (like anxiety about having anxiety) when around them like you are scared to feel disconnected from them so it causes anxiety and in turn causes fear? maybe I am the only one haha or the only one who understands what I am trying to say!

    – I’ve had this, but mine manifests into a fear OF my family, I think it’s the pressure of wanting to appear normal to them. When I feel rubbish I can’t stand the idea of seeing my family.

  771. Carly Says:

    that makes sense Nicola!

    Mine is more the fear of losing them deep down that I fear not feeling connected to them.
    It makes sense as my anxiety started with me constantly worrying about my parents dying.

    I guess it is more questioning the idea of family that it makes me start to feel anxious when I go home.
    It is like when you question anything you start to feel anxious when that is brought up or you are reminded of it!
    just like questioning after life so much, the idea of it or anything that reminds you of it makes you feel anxious!
    That is kind of how I feel with my family.

    Anxiety manifests itself in so many different ways!!

  772. Carly Says:

    anybody ever have a constant nervous feeling in their stomach? I have one right now for no reason it feels like….
    the normal things I do to tell myself to calm down are not working

  773. Wendy Says:


    Our anxiety sounds nearly equal :) I remember sitting in my room and feeling DP and suddenly I thought “what if life really isn’t real” and then I thought about life and human beings and who we are and death and life after death and all those stuff.
    As I already said at the moment these thoughts don’t scare me and I think that’s because my mind got a little rest in the last days.
    I just read Pauls post about obsessive thoughts again and again. Also the post “how long does it take to recover” really helped me and now I really believe that all I feel, all these thoughts only exist because of my anxiety.
    I am sure I will have some setbacks and then I will maybe stop believing that it’s all anxiety, but at the moment I feel pretty good and truly believe, that it’s all anxiety and I think this is the key. Just knowing everything about anxiety, so that you really believe it’s anxiety and then you can start accepting it ! Hope this isn’t too confusing 😉

  774. Nicola Says:

    Not confusing Wendy, very helpful. It’s so good to know I’m not alone in these thoughts. My anxiety actually lets up quite a lot once my PMS has passed so I’m working on that at the moment. At the moment I keep falling back into anxiety every week before period (sorry guys) so there is a link there. It’s very frustrating. I’m so glad to hear you are doing well at the moment. Xx

  775. trez Says:

    hi everyone was just wondering does anyone study themselves the way i am at the minute,im asking myself am i really me im analizing myself 24 7 and analizing everything i do aswell i know its all part of anxiety as i have been here before.
    ive been on the blog before and its great that you can go on and chat to people with similar symptoms that understand were your coming from.
    i know its just a set back i hope someone can help me understand this feeling a bit more on what to do when it happens….

  776. Nicola Says:

    A little tip for everyone – adrenaline is not only released under stress, it is also released into the bloodstream when blood sugar levels are out of balance. Best to eat little and often and try to avoid foods that will cause spikes and dips in your blood sugar levels.

  777. sian Says:

    Hi Folks – I’ve been reading this site for about two years now and have found it really helpful and on the whole I am getting better. The problem is I struggle with other people – I am constantly wondering whether they like me, what they are thinking, how I come accross etc, these thoughts are with me from the moment I wake to the moment I sleep, I am currently thinking about something someone said to me last night and I’m sure I’m reading into it too much but I cant shake the thought off. Does anyone else get this? I am not a shy person I just seem to regret things I say afterwards!!!! I’d really apreciate your feedback on this. ( :

  778. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sian that is a form of socially anxiety and something I suffered with, in fact you were describing me there totally. Mine came through years of feeling awful in myself which lead to me avoiding conversations, my confidence dropped and I always felt people could see through me and my problems, so for many years I would always think I was being judged.

    Even when I was anxiety free I was left with this feeling and all I did to help was the following:

    Try to rationalise and understand that people really were not judging me like I percieved.

    Keep putting myself in these situations and not expect NOT to feel vunerable, I needed plenty of mixing time before I no longer felt this way.

    Regained a lot of confidence through getting fit and losing weight, generally feeling better about myself. Excerise is also a very good head clearer and confidence booster.

    Seeing these social situations as another step forward to the old me and not feeling bad that I felt vunerable or it did not go as I wished. This was important as when it did not go as I thought it should, I would then make excuses not to go again.

    This took time, but eventually the old me returned with practise. I would say the number one thing is though, is to relaise you are not being judged as if you think you are and if your worried what people think you will just become a people pleaser without an opinion which really knocks your confidence. You are better being you and carrying these doubts and insecurities around with you, they wont last forever, just stick with it and have no expectations.


  779. Blessed Kamera Says:

    Hie Wendy and everyone

    I have just read through the most recent posts and identify with your posts about death and dying etc i first came across Paul’s webiste about two years ago but opted to go for the Linden Method where i was treated badly and I most definitely dont recommend it!!!

    A year later, last year around this time, I read Paul’s book and ive come leaps and bounds (Thank you Paul) from utter desperation, constant deep DP, many panic attacks per day, at one point I slept for 3hrs a night, i was too scared to sleep coz I woke up with night terrors almost every night….it was terrible.

    Now, I sleep very well and my DP floats in and out and isnt so thick. I have actually met someone that I actually think I could marry. My question is, how much do you tell your potential patner about the experience you have had with anxiety..

  780. Liz Says:

    Hi everyone

    I am new to the blog (although have been following the site for months) just wanted to say thanks to Paul for this excellent website and book. It truly has been a lifesaver! I have always been an anxious person but have had severe anxiety for a while now after going through a re-structure at work. Anyway I am now phasing back to work after a long period of absence and finding the site a comfort to keep me going. Looking forward to being a part of the community. Liz x

  781. Gary Says:


    I thought I’d share my situation on this site and see where it led. I’m 34 yrs old and I first suffered a breakdown 5 years ago. I had no idea what was going on and my doctor gave me antidepressants. Some how I recovered, when I look back my memory is so hazy I don’t really know how I recovered. I’ve had the best 5 years of my life, however in the last 18 months I’ve got married, moved back to parents for a bit, then bought a house and 4mths ago my wife gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl (my first). 4 weeks ago I went to a friends card game and got stupid drunk, the following few days I was so panicky about getting ill again that I think I’ve made myself ill. I’m now on beta-blockers from doc. I’m reading all Paul’s material and I think I’m moving towards recovery. However it breaks my heart when I look at my daughter and realise I’m ill. It makes me so desperate to recover that I think it will hold my recovery back. I’ve managed to stay in work, but its tough with these damn thoughts running around in my brain all day.

    I just want to get better for my daughter, any advice?

  782. Gary Says:


    Did anyone read my comment on the 5th December?


  783. Doreen Says:

    Gary – it sometimes takes a while after you have submitted your first post for it to appear on the blog and so it can then get left behind so to speak. Any stressful thinking along the lines of ‘I want to get better for my daughter’ could indeed hold you back as you have already noted. You really do need to accept the cliche of ‘one day at a time’ and live with rather than fighting against the feelings you have at the moment. Your daughter will just know you as a warm cuddle who cares about her and if you can just enjoy that you will find the feelings calm down.

  784. Carly Says:

    I am in a little bit of a pickle right now.
    I am studying for exams, which I know triggers anxiety, but I seem to be feeling anxious about the idea of feeling alone. Of feeling disconnected from everyone around me and those I love the most.
    I am having a hard time with this one because they all are so important in my life.
    I now have anxiety when I think about those close to me. I am not sure how to approach this one. It is one of the scariest thoughts I have ever had. It makes me feel like I cannot be comfortable anywhere. Like I am developing paranoia or something absurd.

  785. Nicola Says:

    Carly I have had what you describe and I would describe the feeling as one of paranoia. The way I overcame it, and actually I was well on the road to recovery with this technique, I would completely accept I felt anxious, scared and paranoid and didn’t stress any further about it, I broke my life down into getting through one minute at a time, so I was being as mindful as I could, when I felt my thoughts would begin to wander too much I put my mind 100% into studying a new language, so I learned to detract my thoughts. I got loads of sleep and rest in the meantime and I began to feel much better quite quickly.
    At the moment I am having a set back because I’ve ended up exhausted again as my mum in law who I relied on when I needed a rest can no longer have my bubby as my dad in law is so ill. I had to get my partner home from work early because I ended up in tears just miserable from it all, not ideal but I’ve had a much needed sleep.
    So now I’ve reminded myself how I did it last time I better try it again :-) xx

  786. Carly Says:

    Thanks! I think the thing that scares me most is getting to a point that I think this so much that I am afraid to go home and don’t want to or that I completely reject my family or better yet develop something like paranoid schizophrenia.
    I know I need to accept the thoughts for what they are, but when they are attacking you in a place that means so much, it is so hard.

  787. Nicola Says:

    Hi Gary, I find you have to keep calm and stay in control, despite that inner whirlpool of anxiety that is starting to pick up, don’t make it any bigger by putting pressure and subsequent stress on yourself, stress will release more adrenaline and further feed into it. You’ve had a lot happen in the last 18 months and it wll take a while to adjust. I know because I had a baby and moved at the same time. I have also been severely ill with PND and anxiety throughout her whole life so far. It’s not our fault, so let it go. Do your best by your little girl, she’ll be just fine, despite my situation I remained strong for my baby and she is very happy, beautiful and intelligent. Just let her know daddy will always be there. Safety, food, warmth and love, you can manage that can’t you? In the meantime lots of rest for mum and dad, get help when you both feel too tired, tiredness really doesn’t help anxiety. You said you had 5 good years, most of us are still struggling to get 5 good months. You can do this. Everyone struggles from time to time. You’re having a little setback. Just nip it in the bud quick. You’ll be fine.

  788. Nicola Says:

    Carly you won’t develop paranoid schizophrenia. You are in a state of anxiety. The problem with anxiety is it leads to the primal part of your brain searching out a cause for your anxiety so that it can avoid it and therefore avoid harm. Once you calm the anxiety these thoughts and feelings will go away. I used to look at my partner and baby and feel so paranoid and afraid, but it was because I was in a heightened state of anxiety, they were the most important thing to me and yet also the closest, so my anxiety latched onto them. The primal part telling me they were making me anxious, therefore they must be a threat. With logic, knowledge and strength I was able to override it, until it learned they weren’t a threat. This is a symptom of anxiety you are experiencing, nothing more and it won’t become anything more. Trust me I’ve experienced fear of EVeRyThInG and have yet to go insane or develop schizophrenia.

  789. Carly Says:

    Thanks Nicola!

    I have been recovering for the last little while after I started reading Paul’s book. I usually have the power to tell myself that it will pass, but this one seems to be sticking with me. It is so hard when they mean so much to you, but I know I am also studying for exams so my mind is tired. I will be able to think much more clearly when I am done.
    My mom always tells me I am blessed to be learning these life lessons at such a young age. I think we are all blessed to be learning these life lessons, because some people never do and they are miserable for a long time.
    you really are a blessing and you give me a lot of hope!

    Thanks !

  790. Nicola Says:

    Ah thank you. My absolute pleasure Carly. Get plenty of sleep after all that studying. Look after yourself xx

  791. Carly Says:

    Thanks Nicola,

    It is very comforting knowing that someone has experienced the same thing. It is frightening, but it is just anxiety.
    I am doing a lot of meditation so that is good! Thanks for your help!

  792. sian Says:

    Thanks for your reply Paul, you have reminded me that I have progressed and I’m still making steps to get better – even if they are baby steps I am still getting there insecurities and all! ( :

  793. Sam Says:

    Trez – I get that all the time mate. And when I’m feeling better it simply goes away and I don’t think about it. Then next second ill suddenly reliase I haven’t been it and start doing it again. And that’s the problem with anxiety you’ll get a day when everything just seems so normal. And then you’ll feel like your back to square one. But that’s just the way it is. I’ve learnt there’s nothing you can do but get on with your day and try and concentrate on what your doing

  794. Nicola Says:

    Well sorry for the tmi, but I started my period today and my anxiety has gone again!

  795. trez Says:

    Thanks Sam i know ive been here before and it passed,its just that ive been doing great for so long,now that it has happened im trying everything to rid myself of all these thoughts and feeling its scaring the life out of me and bringing on major panic attacks,have you ever felt strange in yourself,feeling as if your family and friends r strange to you….

  796. lorryt Says:

    hi there

    I am struggling again, i think ending my marriage has sent my anxety levels through the roof. It is almost to the point that my emotion cant take any more> one minute i am ok theenxt i am in tears, someoen once told meit was like greiving. Blooming heck they werent wrong. I guess i hadnt bargained on it being this bad, and when i was low before i tunred to my hubby for support ( although its not always what i got) >It has thrown me into complete turmoil, but i know there is no going back , as i made the decision for a reason. i am carrying on although i have had this week off work and things have hit home even more. i want to get through this but am unsure of how to go forward

  797. Sara Says:


    Keep in mind that recovery is in your own hands.

    I used to get high anxiety when my mom would leave me somewhere. But I came to the realization that my mother won’t make my anxiety go away. It is up to me. You already know by now that it is such an up and down process. You’re going through something where it is normal to be upset. But sooner or later you will pick up and carry on. You are stronger than you think. Trust in yourself!

    Wishing you the best of luck!

  798. Carly Says:


    What was something that really helped you to overcome the feelings of anxiety that you attached to those you love?
    Did you ever get anxious to be around them out of fear of the anxiety that you would experience?
    I am finding myself now feeling anxious just thinking about them and for no reason. I don’t know what I am afraid of, but it scares me so much that I am going to detach from them and potentially reject them and maybe even get to a state where I will never be able to be around them again.
    It’s devastating

  799. Nicola Says:

    Yes Carly I went through the same feelings you describe. The main thing that helped me through was knowledge. Knowing why I was feeling the way I was and putting into perspective what you have already figured out for yourself; that it wasn’t my loved ones I was afraid of, but the feeling of anxiety I had attached to them. You are mentally tired and you need to take the pressure off yourself. If you can, explain to them how you are feeling, that you love them, but right now you might not be yourself. The way I broke that cycle of thought (that is what you are stuck in) was to distract myself when I felt uncomfortable, eventually this breaks the pattern. At the same time you must fully accept the way you are feeling and learn to be comfortable with it. It took me a whole year and a half to give up the fight and finally accept the way I felt. I remember feeling better just for taking the pressure off of myself to get well. You have to accept it, this is key because it takes away so much stress from a tired mind that is already trying to get well. So basically, distraction, acceptance, plenty of rest for your mind and a minute by minute attitude. I always think of it as keeping calm in the eye of storm. Eventually the storm dies down so long as you remain calm and focused. It takes a lot of strength but you can do it. Xx

  800. Nicola Says:

    You are afraid of the feelings anxiety brings. Nothing more. When you learn not to fear the anxiety you have beaten it. All the symptoms of it, fear of being near family included will begin to dissipate.

    An example: I don’t have panic attacks because they don’t scare me. I know a couple of laps of the garden and I’m back to normal. Ironically the real anxiety is in the apprehension of experiencing anxiety. We cause it by fearing it.

    Fear of fear is what keeps you in it.

    Hope this makes sense.

  801. Nicola Says:

    At least that’s my opinion

  802. Will Says:

    Nicola – It’s funny that I come on here for the first time in about a month, and the first thing I see is your post that coincidentally almost answers the reason I’m here.
    Me and my brother are watching a film, and I just said to him (in relation to the film) that I have a fear of my future, of becoming depressed with no job and no love and of killing myself (just a crazy fear). To my knowledge this is the first time I’ve ever said this out loud, and after I did my hands suddenly became clammy and my heart started racing. Most likely it’s just the anxiety of this worrying thought coming to the fore, but the sudden feeling really took me by surprise.

  803. Steph Says:

    Hi Nicola tot ally agree how the time of month affects anxiety I sometimes mistake these times for falling into setback when it’s not the case. Carly- I have also felt anxiety towards family, having bit of setback at the moment where my depersonalisation quite high which makes me feel detached and awkward and very irritable towards my boyfreind and kids. It’s not fair as they just think I’m being a snappy witch for nothing. I find when I feel anxious like this I sort of withdraw and go into myself much to the confusion of my poor bOufreirnd whos unaware of my feelings! Thing is I always think worst is going to happen n the fear builds n builds so anxiety is hoeightened but it never does get worse yes there maybe few new symptoms but nothing that isn’t anxiety related. Carly I had fear that it wasn’t anxiety and I was developing schizophrenia, so much I used to lie in bed terrified waiting for me to start hearing voices or hallucinating!!! Which just made me more anxious and sensitised to every little bump or creak I heard! Wasn’t untill I found this website and the countless stories from people on here all sharing same thoughts and feelings. I thought they can’t be that many insane people on one forum!!

  804. Steph Says:

    Meaning my symptoms were obviously anxiety and not going crazy as so many others had same fears hope this kind of helps?

  805. jill Says:

    Hi all I am new to all this anxiety after having my first panick attack. I want to know if you can ever fully recover from anxiety or do you just have to learn how to cope with it. I am trying to accept it and go about my daily routine but find my anxiety still comes with a vengeance and I have horrible not being able to cope thoughts. Is this normal ? x

  806. Says:

    NICOLA , im so glad you posted about your anxiety being worse around pms times as this is exactly whats been happening to me lately for a week or so after period i have a small set back and feel im back at square one but after a few weeks after period i feel on top of the world im so sick of feeling like this around this time of the month! its like all i do through the month to get feeling “normal” so to speak is all ruined at the week in the month!:/ any tips on how to manage this????

  807. Joseph Says:

    Hello, so I read Paul’s book this past weekend and have started reading it a second time. He speaks a lot of truths, much of which is a realisation for me. I know it’ll take me time to entirely understand what he means and put it into practice. I’m 24 but have suffered with anxiety for over ten years now, they come and go in severity but they’ve always been there. I came across Paul’s site by chance and really found a connection with the different message he was putting across when it came to dealing with anxiety. It’s been this past year where it’s been making me ill and I’ve had some nasty side-effects related to anxiety and worry. It’s become an habit, and I know that after ten years it won’t go away any time soon. I don’t care, if it takes five, ten or fifteen years I’m willing to try recovery because fighting it as got me absolutely nowhere. It’s tuning my body and mind to think otherwise that will take time, I’m taking my first steps here and to be frank, it scares me to death. I have arthritis and raynaud’s which unfortunately hindered me in combating anxiety over the years, no matter how focused my mind is, once severe pain hits I find I fall back down. But when you can barely sign a form because your hand is shaking so violently you realise you need a new direction and I’m determined to recover from this.

  808. lorryt Says:

    Hi Sara

    I just dont appear to have the strength this time to do it, I am tired and stressed and trying to come to terms with my decision. I seem to have lost the art of acceptance, i am impatient and angry and upset and sad and all over the show emotionally. I keep getting reminded that it is normal to feel this way, its like grief, but i chose it. Or am i overanalyzing it all again, i seem to have fallen foul of my anxiety and caught up in the cycle and i truly feel, lost in this maze. i have made a decision to go to counselling as this did help a few years ago mainly for sorting out my head. and i am going back to my GP against my better nature to get some low dose anti depressants as i just want to cry all the time. My though process is knackered and i panic and panic, that i never will get better and i can’t look forward, and for waht i have put my kids through, i guess its guilt, and i know i shouldnt feel this way, but i do. i feel like its ruling my lfe at the moment, its early days but i have never felt so alone. I sound like i am in self pity mode, but dealing and understanding my emotions were never my strong point, and i always seem to make excuses for them ohh i am gonna feel bad becasue its my birthday and xmas, and etc.. I think i need to go back to square one and start again with it all. advice please lost as always !!

  809. Lucy Says:

    hello, ive wanted to write on here for some time and just got round to doing so. i dont really know where to start… i bought pauls book (fantastic read) it really helped me alot and gave me a good base to start dealing with my anxiety. i was off work for approx 5 weeks due to stress and over loading with work etc and went back about 2 weeks ago on a phased back to work sceheme, I was doing so well getting on with my life etc and i had been taking st johns wort. as i was feeling better i decided to stop taking them and now i feel like im becoming very low again (not sure if its to do with sjw) my sleeping pattern has gone to shot again and im now worrying myself im going backwards… im hoping this is just a setback and i can get through this, has anyone else taken sjw then come off them and noticed this effect? Iam trying so hard to carry on accept all my feelings but finding it hard. any advice or help would be very much appreciated, its nice to know im not alone in all this! x

  810. Sara Says:


    Believe me when I say that you are going to be fine.
    You have gone through a marriage and children, something that I can’t even imagine going through while having anxiety. You are stronger than you think. I think that it is a good idea to go to counseling just to set you in the right direction while you’re feeling alone. Although I wish you wouldn’t take anti-depressants, I am no doctor. But you could truly come through it on your own. When I am in a depressed state such as yourself I have the same exact thoughts and feelings, On the verge of tears and just feel complete doom and dread. But you get through it. This probably sounds like meaningless words to you but can you think back to the times where you felt like this? All the times that you thought you couldn’t? Sometimes when I am at my lowest point, I makeout a list of all the times I thought I couldn’t do something or go somewhere due to my anxiety but I did anyways. Then I read it before bed and I instantly feel more positive and ready to take on anything the next day. All I can do is give you support of course and hope that you continue to push through and disregard all the horrible feelings and see them for what they are, anxiety.

    I wish you the best and hope you have a wonderful Christmas and holiday, you most certainly deserve it!!

  811. Eric Says:

    Hey everyone! My first time leaving a comment. I read Paul’s book about 3 months ago. I am a freshman in college and I was living in the dorm at the time. I started having panic attacks and luckily for me my parents lived near and I would always go home and cry and wonder why my and blah blah. I came across the book and have already made big strides and I am better, however I do struggle with many things. My biggest struggle is that one of my symptoms is a CONSTANT headache. And I mean constant. Always there. Sometimes just lurking, and sometimes it is borderline migraine. I never let it keep me at home, but it proves to be the thing that gets me into my next setbacks and bluffs me again and again. I have had a head Injury 3 years ago, but this has nothing to do with it. I’ve been to the nuero has all the scans and blah blah. I know anxiety causes it. What I struggle with is that it seems even when I’m feeling great and the anxiety is very very low maybe even gone, I still have a headache most of those times. There are times when i don’t have one. But they are rare. I know it’s anxiety because when my attention is distracted my head doesn’t hurt. But it always reverts my attention back to me. I am trying to accept the headache and have gotten better at it not bothering me. But it seems like it’s always there Nd this is the biggest thing that makes me go into another cycle. Has anyone experienced this or any chronic pain anxiety symptoms? I feel like it’s the toughest symptom. I am not perfect at the acceptance yet, just had a set back a few days ago, lasted all weekend, but I’m feeling better today and getting confidence back. I’m getting good at shutting down the scary thoughts when they come, sometimes I struggle with the space thing tho. I become inpatient and want the thought out of my mind NOW! That’s another struggle I have. An no matter how many times I feel tell myself to accept and accept, I constantly catch myself thinking through it all, not really worrying about it, just thinking deeply. Is this okay and should I treat This just as another symptom and let myself do this? Or should I do something else? I feel like eveyone says “do nothing” but when a scary thought pops up we do do something because we say it’s not real and believe it. I guess I really just have not bought in totally yet, but I don’t know why because I have read so much and already had many great days even a span of a few weeks an a 4 day no headache period in that span! As always it came roaring back which brought back panic and bam setback. I just need some guidance. Thanks!

  812. Stacey Says:

    I think I generally have good practice at just living my life and getting on with things, and I have generally felt relieved of anxiety in the usual situations where I would experience it before. But now comes one of those setbacks. I have to fly tomorrow and I can’ t stop obsessing over it. I want to just ignore it and keep packing and getting ready, but I feel like I’ m being blindsided but fear of being afraid in that situation where I have no escape. Technically it’ s perfect practice, but I can’t seem to tell my brain that. Any advice, I would really appreciate it.

  813. lorryt Says:

    Hi Sara

    I guess its a scary place for me to be, never having been on my own before and holding it all together. I would have never believed about 3 years ago that i would have ever made this decision which i suppose takes a lot of strength. trouble is the negative thoughts take over totally and i believe all them, i also think it is a case of i havent really had to practice much with this anxiety on acceptance etc. so i have lost the art a bit. I need to get Pauls book out. i keep getting told that i need to give myself a break and dont beat myself up, i have also forgotten how to stop being hard on me!!!. i just have to accept and let things go. i understand your concern about the anti depressants, and feel you mayeb right, but when you are constantly dealing with your emotions it is so wearing and tiring. its a bit of a viscious circle and i cant seem to break . i do appreciate your support and guidance, this anxiety is a lonely place especially when emotionally i am drained and tired anyway!!. Christmas isnt going to be great for me , but i will try for the kids.
    May i wish you a merry christmas and happy and peaceful new year> and health and happiness to allxx

  814. Sam Says:

    Trez – yeah course mate I think everyone who has ever suffered with anxiety has worried and had anxiety about their family’s simply because the mean so much to pretty much everyone. You have to remember if you think your family’s being weird it’s because they for think anythings wrong and they are simply so relaxed around you that the majority of family doesn’t really have to make that much effort with each other. You used to get problems with my dad but as time has passed I’ve learned to relax regardless of anxiety

  815. Sara Says:


    I had constant headaches as well to the point where I would start crying when someone would be loud near me. But they truly go away when you stop giving them respect. They were one of my most annoying and constant symptoms. But once you go to the doctor and find that you are completely healthy, you know it is just due to anxiety which is relief in itself! As for the thinking everything out, don’t. Let it all be. No need to think or work things out. Just gain as much knowledge as you can and give them absolutely no respect. Deep thinking will only lead to worrying. And telling yourself to accept is different than actually accepting. It should just be a whatever attitude not something that you need to always tell yourself to do. Work on acceptance, so you will automatically accept that you will have strange scary thoughts due to anxiety. It will be a relief.

    Hope that helps!!

  816. Eric Says:

    Sara, thank you so so so much for the reply. I’m so glad I am not the only one who has experienced this, not to wish anything on you :) lol but anyways a few questions, first, did you also feel like the headache was always lurking? Maybe it was very dull and maybe not really there but always in your subcon? This is how I feel. And I kept tellin myself that it’s okay to have it on my mind because eventually It won’t be, and I just kind of keep going. But it’s annoying as hell. Is this the right thing to do? Or do I have to say no get off my mind, I feel like that would be the wrong thing to do. I wake up every single morning and immediately the word headache pops in my head and then I’m self aware, this usually is follow by “no you don’t need to do this, it doesn’t matter if I have a headache” is this the same thing? Should I just not say anything and just get up and go and be self aware and just be? I think this is all part of me not totally accepting yet. I feel so close though!!! I really do. Maybe the acceptance thing is just havin a bunch of setbacks and eventually just getting it. And I’m sure I will lose is plenty of time as well after I get it that first time. But it’s like I can’t stop my mind from trying to think long and hard about it. Should I just let this happen and give it no respect? Almost like it’s another scary thought? I feel like this is the right thing to do in that situation! Thanks so much again!

  817. Sara Says:


    You’re very welcome!

    The funny thing is, is that some days I’d just think to myself “hm I haven’t had a headache yet today” and sure enough give it a few minutes and I’d have one. You dont’t have to say anything! Let the thoughts be there. Don’t answer dont tell yourself that you shouldn’t think that way! It’s going to be there so you will just truly have to work on paying it no mind. Some mornings I would wake up and think I’ll probably have a headahe today but it’s just due to anxiety, no big deal. Allow it to come, so you’ll stop anticipating it. It’s like any other anxiety symptom : annoying,harmless and will go away once it looses your respect. At the moment you’re giving it respect which is understandable, we are hyper aware with anxiety and pay attention to everything we are feeling but eventually it will slowly stop entering your mind and you’ll see them go! :)

  818. Debby Says:

    eric and sara

    I seem to be struggling with pain in my back which sometimes is my neck, shoulders, middle back, lower back and top of my bottom and is pretty constant. Before this it used to be dizziness which sometimes does come back from time to time the pain comes with so much fear and I worry because dont seem to hear many people with similar symptoms so start going down the path of what if’s seem to be really struggling at the moment….

  819. David Says:

    Hello everyone, Im David im 20 and anxiety is part of my life. Ive come across a setback! I feel i can get back to understanding anxiety and live with it like i have before instead of trying to fight it! My question to you all is, “When im at work im at my worst, struggle every day, work long hours and im forever in a state of panic and worry” Do i keep going to work and carry on with the feeling that i feel and cant bare any longer or take a week off, do things in that week that will take my mind of things? The first time i come across anxiety i wasnt working, bike riding, walking spending time and talking to family helped me get through it, do i use the same method?

  820. Eric Says:

    Debby- I think Sara hit the mail on the head and I am begging to get there, very slowly, but if you got past the dizziness you can get past this too! It may take time to develop the attitude which I think is what bluffs most people. Paul talks about accepting it, but sometimes it feels like he had a magic wand! He obviously didn’t, and neither have any of the other survivors, which we will be one day. This is just a chapter in our lives. When I struggle to find the acceptance I always remind myself to view it like the flu. I think this perspective helps. You just kind of have to deal wit it and let it go over time! The hardest thing is that anxiety is way worse than the flu and lasts longer. But oh well. What else are we gunna do?

  821. Sara Says:

    Exactly Eric!

    Debby, the excess adrenaline running through our bodies can wear down our nerves causing us to feel very drained and even a little sore. Don’t stress yourself out about it. But if you are really concerned go to the doctor and check it out. I’m sure nothing is wrong and it is just anxiety, build up a whatever attitude towards the pain, it is not harmful and will go once you don’t respect it!

  822. Debby Says:

    I have just had a good 5 wk run of it started doing pilates and thought wow this seems to be doing the trick and the dizziness came in its place quite strong too which did manage to scare me and then bang it went back to pain it seems that its one or another!! Do you take painkillers? I do sometimes but doesnt do much! I keep saying to myself just accept it but then make the mistake of thinking it should be better by now so dont think i’m quite there yet!!!

  823. Debby Says:

    Hi sara,

    been to doctors couple of times and they said its a strain had this for 12 months now though, but yes your right it does make me feel weak just got to get that whatever attitude working instead of letting it scare me!!

  824. Nicola Says:

    Eric, the headaches could be due to the tensing of neck muscles caused by anxiety. If this is the case you could try some muscle relaxing exercise and see if that helps?

  825. Nicola Says:

    GINGER I know exactly how you feel, it’s like an inevitable setback that you have to work through EVERY month. It’s so hard to deal with isn’t it. I’ve only just noticed the correlation so I have only just began to study it. The best thing I can suggest at the moment is that you read a book called Natural Solutions to PMS by Marilyn Glenville. She really seems to know her stuff.

  826. Eric Says:

    no i do not take anything unless the pain gets migraine like. Then ill take layer migraine pill. I think you distracted yourself by doing.plates which is great but when it comes back you can’t get buffed. You jusr have to go through enough setbacks to get it i think. others get ot quicker but thats okay. We will get there in time!

  827. Debby Says:

    Yes your right Eric never thought it could be a distraction, thanks for the replies much appreciated:-D

  828. Steph Says:

    Hi everyone.. It’s mad how anxiety can affect us physically also. Eric I used to have headaches and tight pressure feeling around head also tension in throat and found difficult to swallow I used to constantly analyse it and stress about it thinking it was something else. I spoke to someone about it and they told me because I’m in state of anxiety my body will be tensed causing all the symptoms and sure enough I sat there and checked myself to see of I was tensing, my jaw was clenched shoulders hunched without me even aware that I was doing it! Anyway as soon as I relaxed my body the symptoms went away. Hope this helps. On a different note iv been little stressd lately and it’s affecting my anxiety my sleep especially my sleep this is one thing that I struggle with my over active mind wakes me up at daft o clock and ultimately leaves me feeling more anxious and on edge next day as sleep deprivation does! Then depersonalisation sets in just hard at min as I’m like on robot mode allrhough it isn’t freaking me out as I know it will pass and I know it’s my own mind playing and I’m actually doing my own head in worrying! But I know if I stop losing sleep ill cope better. Does anyone else struggle with this in a setback? Any advice appreciated thanks :)

  829. Gary Says:

    Thanks for the reply Doreen,

    I’ve read Paul’s book twice now and realized that he is just describing his journey to recovery and that we have our own journey to complete. We should stop holding ourselves back by trying to stay still but move forward at a pace we decide. Don’t try and get back to where we once was, when we felt well, because evidently we wasn’t taking enough care ourselves. But look forward to a new improved you.

    I have one tip to share that helped me. I got to the point where my thoughts would be completely obsessed with how I was feeling and those scary thoughts also. I decided that if my brain wanted to be fully of thoughts I would fill it with the most mundane thoughts possible. So as I started my day I would describe everything I was doing and seeing. For example fill kettle, boil kettle, get cup, cup is white, add tea bag, add sugar, etc. I would do this pretty much all morning (yes I did worry that these are the action of a mad man), but guess what my brain soon got bored of these mundane thoughts and I started to naturally drift into calm outwards thinking thoughts without me even realizing it. It took a few mornings to work, but help it did. Give it a try and if it helps you, then great :)

  830. Gary Says:

    Thanks Doreen,

    I’ve read Paul’s book twice now and realized that he is just describing his journey to recovery and that we have our own journey to complete. We should stop holding ourselves back by trying to stay still but move forward at a pace we decide. Don’t try and get back to where we once was, when we felt well, because evidently we wasn’t taking enough care ourselves. But look forward to a new improved you.

    I have one tip to share that helped me. I got to the point where my thoughts would be completely obsessed with how I was feeling and those scary thoughts also. I decided that if my brain wanted to be fully of thoughts I would fill it with the most mundane thoughts possible. So as I started my day I would describe everything I was doing and seeing. For example fill kettle, boil kettle, get cup, cup is white, add tea bag, add sugar, etc. I would do this pretty much all morning (yes I did worry that these are the action of a mad man), but guess what my brain soon got bored of these mundane thoughts and I started to naturally drift into calm outwards thinking thoughts without me even realizing it. It took a few mornings to work, but help it did. Give it a try and if it helps you, then great :)

  831. Sam Says:

    Does anyone find it really hard to laugh any more. I used to laugh all the time but now it feels like I’m faking it

  832. Will Says:

    Hi Jill, sorry to hear that you recently became anxious. Like you, my anxiety first started nearly 10 years ago when I had a horrendous panic attack after spraining my wrist at school. Since I didn’t know what was happening at the time I thought I was dying. After that day I had regular panic attacks and I couldn’t swallow solid food for about a year.
    Nowadays I’m still anxious, but I can control my panic now as I no longer have attacks. In my case I have bizarre, sometimes disturbing thoughts and fears about going mad, that I’d start hallucinating, hearing voices, and other things. But knowing that this is just anxiety and hearing from other people’s experiences on this blog is really reassuring. Understanding anxiety will help you cope with it better.
    As for whether or not you’ll fully recover, I can’t say. As I said, I’ve been anxious for nearly 10 years and it’s just up and down all the time. I could have a year of being absolutely fine, only for a trivial thing to trigger it off again and I start having obsessive thoughts again. All you can really do is to just go with it. One thing for sure is that you’re not alone.
    Good luck :)

  833. Will Says:

    However as Paul says, recovery is entirely possible. The key is to realise that all it is is just adrenaline and an overactive mind to misinterpret it as a threat. Once you realise this, you can experience the feelings without giving into fear, and eventually they will just dissipate.

  834. Vamanan Says:

    Hey Sam,

    Trust me I felt like that once. It is when you are constantly worried due to anxiety, you may feel like it. This is something we won’t care normally but when you are under worry, you just add this to your list of worries (Why I cant smile like I used to). If you give some time and don’t add worry to worry, the stress and anxiety will slow down and you would be able to laugh and do anything that you used to do. Now I realize how much things I worried unnecessarily back then (last year).


  835. Jamie Says:

    Not to discredit Pauls book, but Will if you had it so bad that you couldnt swallow real food for a yr, I do think at that point, some medications are ok…I know anxiety can be overcome without meds, but in some circumstances I do think meds would help with recovery and are totally necessary…Does anyone take meds or agree?

  836. Will Says:

    Thanks but there’s no need to worry about that anymore. That was from when I was 12, it was some strange psychological condition brought about from the massive panic attack. The only medication I’ve ever taken for anxiety these past 10 years is a grand total of 2 diazepam tablets and a week of beta-blocker medicine (which didn’t work).
    I do agree that medication can be helpful, but only from time to time. Like when I went on holiday last year, for the first night I was really stressed and disorientated from lack of sleep and food – my heart was constantly racing and it wouldn’t slow down, relaxation did nothing. That’s where I took my second diazepam to help with calming down.

  837. Jamie Says:

    Oh, Ok Will..Sounds like you have been thru alot…Interesting that the panic attacks starting after the sparined ankle..Do oyu think the spariained ankle was the cause?

  838. Will Says:

    It was my wrist :) But yeah I’d definitely say the out-of-the-blue panic attack started it all off, but I actually had the swallowing thing before, two years earlier. No idea how THAT started but I think it was the result of when I thought I was choking on a sandwich. I remember I thought there was something wrong with my throat and I had a camera down it at the hospital and they found nothing wrong.

  839. Jamie Says:

    Sorry, wrist :)..Its crazy the things that can set us off..Stay well!

  840. Will Says:

    I know… My vision just started to turn fuzzy like static a few minutes after the accident, and before I knew it my ears were ringing and I couldn’t breathe. I never even knew about panic attacks before, so I thought that when I fell I did something fatal.
    Thank you, gladly those days are long gone. You too! :)

  841. Tracy Says:

    Paul or Candie. Need some help with the sleep aspect. I was on here little over two years ago and in a bad place..and talk about trying to “fix” it I spent all my time doing that..Well I managed to take the advice and just had a great year with a few bumps in the road.I was on a very low dose AD, but stopped that 4 months ago. In the last two weeks I pushed my body and mind to exhaustion again and started making those same mistakes to fix it, and spending all my time running around in my head on how to make this go away. I can’t fall asleep and then I start to stress well should I take a tablet to help, but if I take a tablet to help will I have to take it the next night and so the cycle starts…The main reason I stress is because I am a pretty competitive runner and need to be up by 5am to train and I am now so tired, that I am having a hard time even running..I am so sad all this has started again, but I know once the sleep goes with me I start to really lose it.I am also questioning if I should go back on the AD, but I really in my heart don’t want to. Thanks for listening Tracy

  842. karina Says:

    I have had anxiety since I was around 10. It never really bothered me that much until I went to university. I went through a period of very bad anxiety 5 years ago and did come trough it. About a month ago it started again, Had a panic attack. Thank god though that I don’t have any more panic attacks and can at least control that. I feel anxious daily and seem to calm down a bit at night. I am just having the most trouble with ignoring my symptoms and over thinking. I feel stuck in the worry cycle and unable to get out. The worst worry that keeps me in the cycle is that I have a fear that this will not go away or only get worse, and when I dont see changes from day to day I worry even more. I try not to worry, and want to recover and I know that I can but it feels like something is holding me back. Any advice? I think that your website is amazing and it has a lot of good information on it, and it makes me feel a little better knowing that it is possible to recover and that others have as well. I am one of those people who also think that I have it worse than others, i feel like i am just trying to constantly think of a way to relieve my symptoms. Mostly I have negative thoughts, muscle pain and tension, feeling of anxiousness, hard to eat, feel stuck.

  843. Will Says:

    Hi Karina, I can relate. I’ve mentioned this a few times, but I’ve been anxious since I was 12 (I’m 21 now). It began with panic attacks and feeling “detached from the world”, but like you I’m also in control of those feelings now. I can also relate to your symptoms now. I have obsessive thoughts and sometimes have a generic feeling of anxiety or “unease” that I can’t quite grasp. I have many fears and worries that often cycle in my head and keep me tense and anxious, almost like a fear of fear.
    The only advice I can give is to just continue going about your business. I know how hard it can be as anxiety is so difficult to ignore, but if you continue to focus on the exterior rather than on yourself and how you feel, over time it will work and you’ll realise how less anxious you’ll feel. If you go out and socialise instead of sitting at home thinking about your condition, it will get better. Trust me, it works if you give it time.

    But I think my biggest problem is how much over-exaggeration I give to negative events and situations. I seem to think that I live in this happy-go-lucky world, and when the slightest thing goes wrong or doesn’t go my way, it’s as if everything is thrown into disarray. I overreact to the slightest negative event and it becomes a major highlight of my life. For example, about two weeks ago some idiot threw a cigarette at me from a passing van and it hit my hand and caused a small burn. For something like that to suddenly happen out of nowhere, I found it really shocking and it was all I could think about for a week. But to me it was a reminder that things can and will go wrong, although I can’t help but feel that it’s more of a personal trait that I overreact to negative events.

  844. Will Says:

    And yes, I too feel that this website is a godsend. I dread to think of how I’d be right now if I hadn’t been desperate enough to search the internet and actually come across a site with a person (Paul) who knows what he’s talking about, as well as a community of people with the same problems. I felt so alone before, and gladly I don’t anymore.

  845. Nicola Says:

    I don’t understand why I feel the way I do, I feel out of place in the world, i am overwhelmed by it. For me there is a feeling that is worse even than panic attacks and it is this feeling of dread I get thinking about how the world came to be, the improbability that life exists at all and yet it does. I feel really alone and vulnerable in this huge universe. At the mercy of something so much bigger than me. My anxiety when it hits is so strong that it has been known to almost paralyse me or knock me to my knees. I am surprised my head doesn’t explode, or my whole being doesn’t just die of fear. Sometimes when I wake from sleep I am soaking wet and freezing cold, I think it’s the anxiety. I feel like I’ll never feel normal again as the last two years of my life will probably traumatise me.

    Anyway I just had to get this off my chest.

  846. Candie Says:

    Hi Tracy, you have become worried about not sleeping so your focussing on not sleeping and then you can’t! I’ve done it before and it’s harmless. Just stop trying to sleep and by that I mean don’t spend your full day worrying if you will. Decide you will go to bed, if you wake up then read or watch tv till u feel sleepy again. Don’t lay rumernating and frustrated about not sleeping.

    Nicola, your thinking normal thoughts but anxiety is making you over react and over analyse. With the thoughts you have to observe them and let them come and go and some will come with massive pangs of fear, you have bad nerves that’s fine. Just smile at them and let them float away. Don’t let the uncertainty or pangs of fear draw you in to try figure it all out. If you can do this your not adding more anxiety to the mix and in time you will forget and then one day look back and think omg what the hell was that about and laugh! That day comes when your nerves stop throwing out adrenalin at every thought. You can’t stop them doing that at the min but by not fighting your nerves will heal :)

  847. Rick Says:


    you hit it right on the button when you said, “adrenalin at every thought.” Those who have never gone through anxiety think it is easy to just move on and just forget about it. HA! if it were that easy! The thing is, every thought seems like it brings about fear and that is difficult to deal with, to say the least. I’m currently going through a little setback and have not posted on here in a while. Last week I had a great few days. I mean I’ve had my ups and downs…my share of good and bad days but these few days were completely different. I actually had to take time to think about anxiety rather than have anxious thoughts all day and think about peace… and when I did think about anxiety and all the nagging thoughts that would bother me, I felt no rush of fear or any kind of sensation other than peace and comfort. It was a feeling I couldn’t explain…all I could do was smile and thank God for the peace I was experiencing. Honestly, I had not experienced that kind of peace in roughly 4 years even though I’ve had more good days than bad since I picked up Paul’s book. I feel a bit frustrated as I’m letting myself slip back into the worrything thoughts and constant nagging thoughts. What I learned is that your best moments come when you least expect and when you’re not trying. Those days also showed me that complete recovery is possible. It was an amazing feeling to have a clear mind. We all have to keep pushing forward and implement the right kind of thinking. We dont have to work our way out and fight with the thoughts that spring up but we do have to put the effort forth to retrain our minds. Ever since I picked up Paul’s book a little over a year ago, I have been improving slowly. It takes time and sometimes I tend to forget that and put pressure on myself to feel better. This method is counterproductive as the symptoms only seem to get worse. I will admit that’s it’s hard to especially after you have a few good days. I know I have to take the good with the bad as it all part of the process. Thank you to all who post on here and provide support and to Paul for this site.

  848. Nicola Says:

    Thank you Candie. I found something else that really helps too, maintaining level blood sugar. Changed my diet, now I’m eating little and often and have cut out caffeine and sugar and already feel way better. It’s supposed to help with PMS too. Xx

  849. Tracy Says:

    Thanks Candie
    I understand what you are saying, but when he anxiey attacks hit me as I fall asleep it makes it hard, but now that I have accepted that I am in a bit of a setback things are calming down. I really could relate to your post of not walking the walk..I guess over the last year I have still been using some crutches..example homopathy, herbal, yoga,..I guess I was and am still trying to not “feel” at what point is it okay to use some things and when should I just go it alone..Can you been doing good for a year only to have another setback that seems to throw you.? I know Paul mentions not allowing these to throw you and I am trying..guess I have just been out of practice for a while living my life..Does anyone have symptoms related to perimenopause either?

  850. Cory Says:

    Hi All,
    I am a new comer to this blog but an old timer when it comes to anxiety. I have had about 4 or 5 major anxiety flare ups over the past 10 years. I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. While I will go years without feeling any anxiety, when it is triggered, it hits me very hard. I find it nearly impossible to concentrate, I constantly worry about how Im going to feel. I have read a number times that accepting the anxiety is the best way to relieve it. For some reason i am having a hard time understanding what exactly that means. I would love to get a better grasp on that concept. My anxiety returned a few days after last months elementary school shooting. (I am a teacher, I have a 2 little girls, 1 in kindergarten, but most problematic is I have GAD) This combo made me turn this horrific incident into something that was likely to happen. While I know it’s far fetched, and something I can’t control, it escalated into a full blown anxiety flare that has been consuming me for over a week. I try to rationalize, I try to talk to myself, but nothing seems to work. While I know this too shall pass, currently it doesn’t feel that way and its preventing me from living my life freely. I don’t stop what I need to do, but I find no enjoyment in anything and I walk around with the weight of the world on my shoulders even though everything on my end is OK at this time. I am hoping to find a serene place again, I was thoroughly enjoying life until just recently and I am so beyond frustrated that I have lost that. In any case, I thought it might help to write about it with people who might have an understanding> Thanks for reading, and thanks for all the posts, I have gotten some strength from them all.
    Peace and serenity to you all

  851. Robert Says:

    I met a great girl through my work and we slowly started dating -initially just drinks/cinema etc. She had just come out of a relationship so wanted to take things slowly. Anyway, we had a great 3 months and then one morning, i woke up in sheer terror, feeling i had to get away as fast as i could. I dumped her pretty much there and then as it was the only way i could get through the anxiety attack. Anyway, after anxiety subsided, i knew I had made a mistake so begged for her to come back. To cut a long story short, this has been the pattern for the last 8 months and i think she is ready to finish it. I really want it to work out between us but despite anti-depressants (3 weeks) and CBT counselling, i cant seem to get over it. At one point, even a text from her would send me into a panic! I am better now than I was but i still can’t shake off the panics and the overriding need to finish it when I am at my most anxious. Any views on what this is?

  852. BB Says:

    Hi folks. First post. i see no one has posted for a while and just curious if this is still going? I have suffered from episodic anxiety disorder since i was 14 and i am now 39. I am a survivor but that doesnt make it any easier. Any one else out there also have OCD thoughts coupled with the anxiety?

  853. Kelly Says:

    I know this is a very belated response but I have only just recently stumbled across Paul’s blog and this post in particular. I have found this and the responses very helpful. I just wanted to say thank you to Helen for your reply to Dawn.

    I went through a similar thing when my husband and I got engaged. We already had bought our house about 6 months prior and things were going great, I was hoping he would propose in the near future. We were overseas on a holiday when he proposed and I was the happiest girl on earth. However the minute we were about the board the plane home I was suddenly hit with these feelings of guilt and anxiety and wondered if I really did love him. I’d never even doubted this before. I felt terrible, I felt sick to the stomach. I told him that I was freaking out a bit about the whole marriage thing once we arrived home but at the same time I did want to marry him. I think I was also a bit freaked out about the focus being on us. We’d been to about 10 weddings in the past two years, I’d been bridesmaid for 3 of them, so I was used to just being someone in the background and not necessarily the person up front with all eyes on them so I found that thought rather daunting too. I got over this reasonbly quick but it scared the life out of me. The wedding was fine, I felt uncomfortable at times because of the focus being on us but I did what I’m sure most anxiety sufferers do, I tried to rid myself of these uncomfortable feelings vigorously. This was about 4 years ago that all of this happened.

    We now have a 1 year old son and seeing my husband with him is just the best thing ever. However about 2 months ago I had an anxiety attack again, just randomly as I’d gone to bed one night. Worrying again about my feelings for him. I had not had a thought like this for 4 years so I was questioning it in every single way. I kept thinking that this must be a sign of guilt and that maybe I should no longer be with my husband but then at the same time I don’t not want what I have in my life right now (if that makes sense). I told him that I’d been having anxious feelings again but this time I felt like EVERYTHING had just overwhelmed me at once. Motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, nothing can truly prepare you for it. I love my son more than anything and I wouldn’t change a thing but boy can it test you in every way. I feel like I’ve just done 12 months of military training! Sleep deprivation, multi tasking etc. I have a lot of issues with my dad and his lack of being there for me for the majority of my life. That’s something that I’ve always just pushed aside, been upset with from time to time but never actually faced my issues with him and dealt with them. I took the plunge and decided to see a counsellor about my issues with my dad which then turned into dealing with life issues in general. I have purhcased your book Paul and I am finding it very helpful so far. The counsellor is helping and he hasn’t given me all of these steps to follow if I feel anxious, in fact he hasn’t told me anything specifcally to do when I feel this way. I’m not to the point where anyone has said I need medication, I’d actually prefer not to go down that road. Especially after reading about Paul’s experiences. I don’t feel anxious from the moment I wake until the moment I go to sleep at night so I don’t feel that I’m what you would call a ‘severe sufferer’. I just get these little jabs of anxiety from time to time, hot flushes and feeling a bit sick in the stomach and it’s mainly these thoughts of wondering whether I love my husband and if I’m happy with my life. I’ve found your methods helpful Paul and I feel like I’m progressing. I’ve also found it overwhelming to think that once you have kids there’s no turning back, it’s not like you’ve started a new job and you realise it’s not for you so you’ll resign and find something else. I found myself getting confused because I don’t want things to be different so why was I questiong what I have? I often wonder if these really are feelings of guilt or if it’s just the demon that is anxiety trying to make me act on these thoughts?

    I’ve spoken to a lot of people close to me about being overwhelmed with motherhood and everyone has said that their relationship suffered in that first 12 months or so. My cousellor hasn’t acutally said “you have such and such condition”. He’s touched on the post natal depression subject once or twice and I feel like that is a big part of why I started feeling this way. So I’m trying to get through this and not make and drastic changes to my life based on anxious thoughts.

    I hope this makes some kind of sense. I’m curious to know others thoughts on what I’ve just posted?


  854. Doreen Says:

    Kelly and BB – you may not get any responses to your recent posts as this blog item from Paul is now some months old. Most folks are reading his most recent one and adding their comments/queries there. Also he doesn’t have the time to answer each question Kelly, so suggest you post it as I have amended it above.Glad you found his and Helen’s advice helpful.

  855. Bron Says:

    Before Anxiety and depression hit again after 30 years recovered, I went through a horrid time caring for a Family member with Cancer, there have been other issues as well, and I can name several others with in the past 30 years. Even through those trials, I wasn’t obsessed with how I felt. They were all manageable, even challenging through the grief as well. Anxiety to me is like a huge flashlight that shines “inwards” causes us to fear our feelings. This in itself becomes TOP PRIORITY over the original problem, that under normal feelings, would have faded in time. I once read the response from a Doctor who was asked: What’s the difference between someone with “bad” nerves, and a nervous breakdown? Answer? The person who falls victim to fear from their own feelings. I myself have also been concerned with being premenopausal. Yes, I’m still learning again not to search for reasons, but …. I have come to the conclusion that hormones play a huge part to AGGRIVATE the issue! But I myself created it. I keep it loaded with fuel. Paul is dead on with his teachings, and practice makes perfect…..:)

  856. Dustin Says:

    I have been on Paul’s website many times, and it has helped me tremendously. I feel like sometimes I understand what is meant by “do nothing”, but when I fall back into the anxiety cycle, “doing nothing” all of the sudden becomes something that I have to attempt to do again. I find myself trying to recreate the circumstances and feelings that I felt when I first “did nothing”, and I find my self trying to fight my way to that place again. I guess it all comes from the fact that I can feel good one week, and at my lowest low the next week. Just something I have been struggling with. Advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and good luck to you all on your recovery. -Dustin

  857. Bron Says:

    Dustin: I think I understand, it would be nice to have proof that we have felt the exact way .. I always wonder, I think if I knew for sure, I might find so much comfort in knowing I’m not alone … I might be cured! Here’s what I find hard. Grasping the lessons one day, then loosing them the next. Confidence swings. “I got this” one minute, and the next …. questioning again. It’s been two years for me. I think people who suffer from Anxiety are quite intelligent. We feel more comfortable KNOWING the answers to why we feel this way. It’s the constant searching that keeps me on alert. exhausting, frustrating. I also call it an addiction of some sort. I “catch” myself forgetting at times. If you have at one point EVER forgotten to check yourself, or caught yourself “NOT” thinking about it … then you know it IS possible! but we don’t relax … we fight, and get worked up again in despair, because we shine that flash light right back on us! ALL easier said than done … no to get involved! I also spent a lot of time asking myself .. why do I have this doomed… “ill at ease” sad, nervous feeling? Nothing’s wrong that I can’t handle. I handled plenty before and didn’t have this Focus on myself and my feelings constantly. By do nothing, to me, means … to say … ok … I feel like this again today … instead of thinking “what if” why not think .. so what? Also … we have to come to terms that there IS no reason “that we can find” other than the fact we probably fell victim to fear. For over 30 years since my last episode, I gained control … I always felt like no matter what … I had the ability to choose how I wanted to feel, even through horrid times. Now, I feel I lost that confidence. As crazy as that sounds. I truly believe it’s fear, and considering I have already dealt with these fear once before … AND recovered, I KNOW we can get to that place again, but until we do …. Face, do nor run. Accept, do not fight or question. Let time pass, do not be inpatient with time. And my Favorite??? remember … It’s none of your business!!! If it was, you would have your answers. lol I hope some of this helped …:) I also suggest reading any book by Dr. Claire Weekes. She will explain exactly how you feel, and why….:) another thing…. remembering that God has the answers and is there, gives me comfort. There’s a reason, and hopefully this will make me stronger in the future. Do not let your hearts be troubled. We CAN rest in him, there for we are NOT alone … He sent us here to this web site didn’t he?

  858. Bron Says:

    Let me clarify my comment …. It’s none of your business … by that I mean …. we need to find comfort in answers. God knows if someone said to me…. your feeling ALL these feelings because of your Chronic back pain, or your going through Menopause, it’s hormones, or …. your car seat is too far back. I would loose all my worry, and be cured! But…. we just can’t pin point it, and this is what keeps me in the worry go round, adding to my nerves, and anxiety. It also brings depression. I am stubborn. I am trying to learn that I have done ALL I CAN!! To find a reason. I’m exhausted. So: We don’t get over a brick wall by banging our heads on the brick, I figure if I was to know, I would know, so this is where acceptance comes in. I say … It’s obviously none of my business, or I would know by now. I know me … I will always wander, but … I am also learning to let go, I feel so much better when I do, but … it takes practice, for us smart folks… LOL

  859. scott Says:

    What ever happened, Dawn? Your symptoms described mine exactly after 18 years of marriage. My therapist says the anxiety and ‘fear’ of my wife is completely irrational, but couldn’t it also be a way that someone reacts when they realize that they may be falling out of love? Anxiety is associated with the fear of separation, life change etc., ON top of the doubt of the relationship.
    Dawn, if you are out there let us know what happened. thanks

  860. Miki Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I have been reading the posts and looking for some advise. I went though terrible stress and anxiety for 2 yrs. i was so fed up living like that i was determined to eliminate all anxiety. I therefore started monitoring every thought and spent all my time 24/7 doing this. This made my anxiety and fears bad to worse. I was never in the present moment. Letting go and letting it be is making me feel better. I still get hung up on very basic thoughts and analyse why i get them. I know this isn’t doing any good, but the frustration on putting up with this is kind of making me keep myself in this vicious cycle. It is like i just want to feel confident and eliminate all anxiety this very min. Please help.

  861. Rebecca Murray Says:

    i have been looking trough this blog and feel i have found the right people to ask the question i need to. I have been suffering from anxiety for about a year so not as long as most people but its quite a bad case, im 21 years old witch makes it worse as im not doing the things a normal person my age would. However i have started getting better and things are looking up, but the thing im struggling with is the fear of going back to work, i haven’t gone anywhere on my own so its a bit daunting trying to push myself back into it, i did have a therapist for a few months but i dont see them anymore so have found that i have no one to talk to about it, and the people that are hear for me to talk to i am reluctant to as i dont want to worry them. I am really in need of some advice as its keeping me awake at night. Please help. Thank you.

  862. Arvin Setareh Says:

    Hi paul, I bought your book and i have to say it is quite an interesting yet simple method. It has helped me, however i have an OCD combination type of anxiety,
    My obsessions usually revolve around having to apologize to someone, for example, an ex-friend whom i havent speaked to in years, and the racing thoughts try to come up with a bunch of reasons why it could be my fault or why i should call them or contact them, and i hurt them, they’re waiting for me to contact them etc -_-, and if i give in to the thought and end up contacting them, the obsession just switches to something or someone else, should i just stay with the anxious feelings/thoughts until they subside? instead of acting on them? I also get threatening thoughts a lot from this, such as, “You must complete this task if you wanna go out with your friends” or “Until you contact this person, you cannot go out and have fun”” Please help, much thanks :)

  863. M. Says:

    Hi. So umm, that was very helpful… to some, but still I can’t really understand what my problem is, is this stress cause of too much fear? pain or what. Can you please help me?
    ‘Cause sometimes I feel like I’m going to faint and whenever I do I fell like my heart is becoming heavy and my stomach feels like butterflies are partying from the inside and whenever I feel this I will instantly fall on my knees and stay there until it stops hurting. This has been happening too often and I getting really scared. :( . What do I do ? :( Is this anxiety attack? I don’t know…Please.

  864. Briggs Tammy Says:



    I am very much interested on what you have to say about SLEEP ANXIETY.

    Dear Paul and Forum members, I had a relapse of my anxiety on the 4th of February 2015. My first anxiety was in 2011 when my wife just had a baby. I was afraid about a lot of things during that period, that my body simply felt I was in danger and became hyper sensitive. I started having panic attacks and all the anxiety symptoms. I became concerned about my health and blood pressure and heart etc. However I was able to get over this.

    I had a relapse of my anxiety on the 4th of February. I went to France as a masters student on scholarship. Life was a little tough. I had no friends. Do not speak French, Kept late nights chatting with friends and family back home in Africa. Also my brother kept calling and talking about if I check my blood pressure. I had to buy a blood pressure machine to regularly check. I woke up on the morning of 4th of February to use the bathroom and felt a little dizzy. When I went back to bed I felt this sensation like I was being pulled into my sleep. Like I was dying. I woke up frightened and got a mild panic attack. I was able to control myself.

    Few days latter I tried to go to sleep, but between 2-4 am (not sure) I just could not sleep. I tried and tried and tried. But could not. All that was going through my mind was how angry I was the previous day with some class mates. I tried to get myself to sleep to forget about it but could not. I had a bad night and then the catastrophizing set in.
    -If I dont sleep what will happen to me
    -will I not end up in a mental institution
    -will i not end up dead
    -how will I function
    -wont I have to quit work
    So I kept on forcing myself to try to sleep. But it got worse. I started shaking at night whenever I go to bed. My heart will race. When I try to go into deep sleep my heart races. I get a jolt in my chest which send my heart racing. I had to see a therapist who told me to go home and try not to sleep. He told me to read a Novel etc but I should try not to sleep. So I went home and fought away sleep until I was so tired. It worked for two days but on the third day it stopped working. Maybe I did something wrong. Reading the novels made me anxious. Waiting for sleep make me shake. Then the pattern changed to sleeping one night and not sleeping the next. Then it changed to not sleeping 3 days in a row. And then sleeping one night but not the next. The nights I do not sleep, I get shallow sleep. I became worried about sleeping once in 48 hours. I consulted anxiety forums. Consulted Insomnia write ups. It all did not good. I kept looking for therapists to help.

    Then I started getting scared when I see people sleeping. Almost like an excitement. Then when ever I am done at school, I get anxious about going to my apartment. I get anxious about getting into bed. I get anxious about sitting on reading table to work till I get sleepy. Currently I get anxious about not being sleepy.

    PLEASE PAUL, BASED ON YOUR EXPERIENCE AND YOUR ADVICE. What do you think I should do. Sleep and Anxiety are both paradoxes. If you want to fight anxiety it stays with you. If you want to fight sleeplessness it stays with you. Please what would you have me do to remove the pressure of not forcing myself to sleep. I know you dont come here often. But please I NEED HELP. I have read all the stuff about winding down, taking a hot shower, putting off all the gadgets. Developing proper sleep hygiene. Getting into bed and waking up same time etc.
    PLEASE BASED ON YOUR LETTING GO IDEA. WHAT SHOULD I DO. SHOULD I JUST LET EVERYTHING LIE AND GET INTO BED NOT MINDING IF I SLEEP OR NOT? SHOULD I JUST GIVE UP LOOKING FOR ANSWERS? Some say if you cant sleep get out of bed. But is that not running away from the bed and the shaking and anxiety?
    Please I need help and sorry for the long post.

  865. Briggs Tammy Says:

    Dear all,

    Please I will welcome good ideas from this forum. Because I have been able to accept the shaking and trembling by not fighting with it. By letting it be.

    But for the Sleep Anxiety where my heart races, my body shakes, I drift to sleep and my body jerks, as I go into deep sleep my heart and nerves kick in. I get a twitch near my chest and heart and a poke which sends my heart racing. I feel a cold sensation on my scalp/head. What can I do? Please what should I do?

    Should I just do NOTHING and continue living my life? Should I just keep going about my usual activities? And not bother about it?
    Please PAUL what attitude should I develop so as not to keep struggling with it.

    -Sleep Hygiene and winding down routine? These put a lot of anxiety in me.
    -Or should I just get into bed and allow the sensations and not fight them.

    Please I need you help all of you.

  866. Nicole Says:


    Wondering if you have an update. I’ve been engaged for two years and I’m down to 90 days before the wedding and I’ve been feeling everything you’ve posted. Let me know!

  867. Mina Says:

    I’m so glad to have found your site yesterday. This was the first article I read and I can honestly say it has helped me. my anxiety is such that I wake up around 10 times a night and just have heart palpitations, sweating, light headed ness,etc. and can’t go back to sleep. I tried to ‘accept’ it for a day and it was the hardest thing ever not to ruminate on the thoughts in my head! But I kept with it and I had a day that I could actually call a success. I slept better than usual with fewer wake ups. For someone who has had anxiety take over their every moment this was nothing short of a miracle. I know this will take time but I’m going to persevere. And hopefully get your book soon too. THANK YOU!

  868. Georgette Says:

    hi i had anxiety since feb 2014 and have been fighting eversince. I struggled for a year with lots of bumps along the road like bullies, schoolwork and difficult people. And now i got through all of them but this month, i felt so tired. Its like can’t accept any more paperwork, the thought of having homework and having to deal with my bullies and difficult classmates made me sick and has affected my overall health. I filed my leave for one semester now so i can relax and get back to my old happy self. Did i do the right thing/decision? or should i continue fighting and being strong? Im hoping for your response (since most of the time i always need advices and reassurances-blame it to the anxiety)
    good blog btw, this is the only blog about anxiety that made me comfortable. it made me feel better :) thank you

  869. Amjad Says:

    Very interesting dear sir, i got to know alot by reading your post. Sir i have a further question if you would kindly address it. I hope half my problem will be solved if you answer it for me. Sir you know anxiety has a number of physical symptoms which are terrifying at times. Like you feel like passing out, light headed, and of course a single twirk or tingle in the body anywhere in the body gives u the feeling of some deadly disease like cancer etc. What to do when one feels such physical symptoms sir? Hope u wud come up with answer.

  870. ken Says:

    I’m tired of over thinking I’m tired of being stuck in this loop i have severe anxiety and I worry about how people will react when if I let go mostly my unsupportive parents I feel bottled up and I keep messing up and they are really hypocritical and I’m hard on myself and have some difficulty saying but I have really bad anxiety about anxiety and I need to take the first step and I blame myself.

  871. ken Says:

    And I just keep messing up and I keep thought stopping.

  872. Jess Says:

    I have anxiety and sometime panic attacks. My anxiety causes intrusive thoughts. Like a few months ago I was convinced that I had a heart condition and was going to have a heart attack, which later turned out to be GERD. Now my anxiety is back and making me feel like I am Bi-Polar because I have the intrusive thoughts, yet I display None of the classic Bi-polar symptoms. Also anxiety symptoms are so close to Bi-Polar symptoms (freaky). If I think about the word Bi-Polar I find myself panicking and scared, that I am going to loose my mine and go crazy and turn into 2 people. I am a nervous wreck. I was doing good controlling my anxiety, but lately I have been under a lot of stress. I just don’t wont to go to the Doctor for her to only tell me it is my anxiety that has me all weirded out and give me another anxiety medication. I just want to feel back like my normal self again like before this crazy weird thought came into my head. Anyone else experiencing this problem?

  873. Tracey Says:

    This article is my go to refresher when I need a reminder to do nothing. Thankfully I havent been back in ages. I’m just here to send the link to a friend and thought I would say thank you! No need for a recap of why I first came, the point is I don’t need it now, lol.

  874. Ricky Says:

    I feel like I’ve been going crazy, i think its partially because of the resentment i have towards my ex. and this helped so much. kind of like a motivational speaker. you opened my eyes and made me realize anxiety tricks your brain. I’ve read many articles in hopes of seeing something that Made me realize and fix how I’ve been feeling and however you worded this it broke through. so thank you. soso much.

  875. Lanna Jo Neal Says:

    If these ideas were truly the way to be rid of anxiety, you would be a rich. I have read so many of these “helpful” cures and they are all the same to a degree. After reading at least a dozen different anxiety links..never changes the anxiety. “Feel the anxiety, don’t run from your feelings”. Do you honestly think anxiety sufferers haven’t tried everything to overcome this situation? Breathing, over thinking, stress from outside world, going outside, find a hobby, let go of your negative thinking, etc;,etc;. Even professionals cannot tell you what causes anxiety, though usually want you to take pills. The day that arrives when REAL guidance and freedom from anxiety will be the greatest day ever. Thanks

  876. D Says:

    I’m suppose to be going on holiday but keep going really dizzy because of my anxiety. It’s been going on for a while now and I don’t know whether to go

  877. A Says:

    I have a friend, she suffers from severe anxiety and depression. When i got in from work last night i walked past her room and heard sobbing, naturally i am not the nosiest of people so i left it. I then had errands to run, once i had done everything i needed to i walked past her room again and noticed that she was still sobbing so i went in to console her, all she was saying to me for about an hour was that she doesn’t want to be here any more and she is just ready for everything to stop hurting. This has had me in a state of worry thinking that she may do something and i will lose her, i have lost too many people that way and i dont know how to help her (if i can). Any advice from anyone wold be great, thank you in advance

  878. Jyoti Says:

    I had such an anxiety issue which lasted several years. Initially, it was the image of a girl which bothered me. Later, it was the troubling thought of imagining naked people in the road. My mind was playing tricks with me to not get me concentration. I was completely over this issue after 6 years. Then, the anxiety free period lasted for 9 years until recently when a broken relationship has started it all over again. Since, this is new now, so battling it saps all my energy. The anxiety has now attacked the most precious part of my life which is sleep. A constant nagging worry keeps me away from my sleep. It is like my mind has assumed that it won’t let me have sleep. I am battling it and have not had sleep for 3 nights now. Please advise.

  879. Charlotte Says:

    Wow, I got goosebumps reading this. It makes so much sense, it is our fear of the fear/anxiety which perpetuates the cycle, there is no magic solution that’s going to “fix” or “cure” it. It’s true, we search for this “magic solution” outside of us to fix ourselves(which really makes no sense when you think deeply about it), but we never even stop to think that maybe the solution has been within us the whole time. We really have the power to be the perpetuating problem or the solution. It’s going to take time, like you said, it’s going to be painful and scary for a little bit longer, but this new outlook has really given me hope, I feel like I’ve found some hidden treasure in a way, and its inside of us all :)
    Sending much love and light everyone’s way<3

  880. Tae Steel Says:

    Ive been having anxiety for 7 years and it’s not getting better. I feel like I can’t do anything. Presently i’m applying for a student loan for university and I was told this morning that the interview has 3 stages. That was my brink .. for years i’ve tried to cope and be positive .. i’m in so much tears rn. No matter how hard I try to be positive and find ways to fix myself, it never gets better. I read online all the time that doing a certain thing over and over again will rid u of anxiety. Never happened for me. It only gets worse. And I feel like today I just can’t try anymore :'( I feel like my life is ruined and I can’t get it back. I read this post and I wanna try this but things scare me so much, it’s hard .. Nobody understands and this is my last bit of hope. I can give this a shot but i’ll probably fail miserably :'( I’ll give it a go tho and see what happens

  881. Shepherd Says:

    Interesting post Paul.

    I agree in principle and will try to act on your advice and see if it works.
    It’s a shame I had t seen it yesterday or I would still be making my wife very happy moving in to a new home.

    Like many here I suffer from the parasite known as amxiety and it broke me yesterday. My wife and I had found a new home some 3 months ago when we made an offer and it was accepted. She was so happy. But then 2 weeks later on our second viewing I started seeing all the flaws in the house and anxiety set in. I spent all my waking hours overthinking it and managed to bring up every single little thing being perceived as a problem . Remember this things were ridiculous the tree in the garden and the ceilings that fall off it established themselves and the grass became a big issue . The residue of soap that I had detected had become disgusting . There were big things too like a north facing garden and overlooking houses and the fact that the bathroom needed updating etc etc etc – I forgot the positives that I had made the offer for and became consumed in anxiety to the point that I could not even drive past the house without feeling overwhelmed by anxiety.

    I lost weight, I stopped eating properly and did the typical thing of seeking reinforcement from everyone who would listen. These included parents at the school gates, dog walking people who I meet on my daily walks and family. Everyone got fed up listening and I kept going round and round in circles of the same thoughts ruminating in my mind.

    I would wake early and the thoughts hit at my weakest and most defenceless time of day. I could not stop them.

    As we approached exchange of contract day the anxiety became worse and worse to the point that I felt like I was in a pressure cooker and had to get out.

    My wife was distraught and angry and worried all at the same time so when we had a last minute test for asbestos in the house that came back positive she rang the agent and told them that they must drop the price to pay for the removal to be carried out by professionals. The vendor said no and we pulled out if he purchase just a week before exchange.

    I am now sitting here beginning to regret the decision as no other house offers the same size rooms, gardens front and rear and period charactor that this one did.

    I am struggling to understand whether I used asbestos as an excuse to get out of the pressure cooker.

    I just couldn’t stand the anxiety any more.
    I was self obsessed it consumed and debilitated me to the point that I couldn’t think straight. Pulling out wasn’t an optiOn and progressing wasn’t an option either. I was stuck. My wife took over and ended it because she didn’t want to see me in so much pain. She gave up her forever home.

    I am ok in my home. I am ok in my comfort zone but as soon as a change comes up I am a mess.

    So now I sit here thinking of what might have been. If how one should regretvthe things they have some rather than the things they haven’t.

    I knew all the feel the fear and do it anyway stuff but I couldmt do it

    Anyway I am so tired now.

    Time to try to sleep.

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