Letting go of yourself and anxiety

Before I start today’s post a lot of people have been emailing me asking why the app is no longer available. Well it is a fault on apples side and after numerous phone calls trying to sort it out they have promised to get it back up by next week.

O.K on to todays post which is entitled;

‘The battle with myself is over’

A lot of anxiety sufferers are in a constant battle with themselves, I was on a daily basis also. This battle can take many forms.

It can be;

Trying to figure out why they feel a certain way.

Trying to come across as normal

Trying not to think about anxiety

Trying to hold on to who they are

Trying to feel a certain way

Trying not to feel a certain way

Trying to think a different way

Trying to be somewhere else

Trying to use mantras they have learnt to help ease how they feel

The list goes on, but there is one key word there and that is the word ‘Trying’. That word is what causes the battle as they never accept their current state, it’s always about feeling different. This tires the already tired mind, this stops you engaging with the world around you, this adds pressure to feel a certain way. This keeps you stuck on the subject daily until you feel you can think of nothing else.

I also went through these daily rituals, each day was another battle to get through the best I could, to try and figure it all out, maybe today everything would just slot into place, maybe today I would wake up and it would be all over. Then one day after tiring my mind and body out it hit me that the only way to stop thinking and obsessing about it was to allow it. Not the half hearted attempts I had done before, but a full on allow.

Firstly I understood that allowing would not have me feeling great, forget that, that was the mistake I had made before, I had used it to feel better in the past. Also I wanted to move on from the subject, after years of thinking about it then it would not go over night, my attention would stay on me for a while but this was a long term thing. Last, but not least I had to let myself collapse fully, this meant let my thoughts think whatever, let my feelings go haywire, no more thinking I can accept that, but not that, no more trying to hold on, keep a grip on myself, I had to allow myself to fall in a hole, feel as yuck as needed without going back to old habits of trying to fix.

The statement that I wrote down at the time was ‘The fight to control my mind, my thoughts and my feelings is over’ and I meant it. I could no longer care if I felt good or bad, alert or distant, clear or foggy headed, anxious or not, a racing or still mind, nothing was off limits anymore. How could I worry if I had completely allowed? how could I try and fix if I had fully allowed? how could I keep going over and over things if I had fully allowed? This was a process and a lot of feelings surfaced stronger than ever as they were no longer suppressed or controlled and had the space and freedom for once to be felt and then to escape.

It’s the need to control, the instinct we are born with that kept me in the loop. It’s not always easy to stay calm and not get involved when your thoughts and feelings are racing around, but these feelings are not you, they are just surface feelings, an off shoot of anxiety and are totally harmless, they can only hold the respect you give them. They actually want to be left alone so they can go ahead and heal, they don’t need your constant worry and intervention, the best way to fix yourself is to stop trying to fix yourself.

Hope that helps in some way

Paul

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

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http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/anxietynomoreapp.html

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691 Responses to “Letting go of yourself and anxiety”

  1. Bryan Says:

    I always love seeing a new entry. Great piece Paul. Letting go completely definitely is a challenge. I’ve been in and out of total acceptance. I still come here to read how others did it.

    Hope the app situation sorts out soon. Oh, also… add me to the chorus of people who wish you would do some audio versions of blogs or lessons. Would be a huge help and a way to generate extra money to keep the lights on around here.

    Cheers Paul!

  2. Marcus Says:

    Great post!

    I’ve gotta say I have definitely been making some huge progress over the past couple of weeks. It all started with this site and the support you get on here.

    I had very intrusive scary harm thoughts frequently and was constantly afraid of them. Or it would switch to a fear of developping some major mental illness. I now identify those thoughts as just what they are thoughts and try to let them be. Even if i find myself chasing them with the constant “what if” i gently become aware of it and keep busy.

    The advice on here definitely works. I am nowhere near fully recovered but my progress has been huge. I still have to work on my constant fears of snappipng and hurting everyone around me 😛 but definitely on the right track.

    Oh and people another wonderful thing i did for myself was to…STOP GOOGLING EVERY SYMPTOM… it will definitely keep you in the fear loop. We have no illness therefore there is nothing to cure. We must fake it til we make it :)

  3. Candie Says:

    Great post Paul :)

    I used to obsess how I would stop worrying, it was awful. Worrying about worrying as you say. In the end I allowed the worry thoughts but chose a new attitude of what will be will be. If I die, or go crazy etc then so be it as no amount of worry ever helped. I recognised I had developed a habit of always thinking the worst and I allowed it but no longer delved into any of it. After a few weeks I felt great,the physical sensations disappeared and I started to feel positive. I did the same with panic and all the other strange thoughts and sensations. Saw them as moments that would pass rather then obsessing and they did pass. It’s strange how when you stop looking for anxiety it stops nocking at your door.

    I know Christmas is coming up and that often meant for me a huge setback as I desperately wanted to enjoy it and be anxiety free. But the act of worrying about this and being on alert for it meant it always made an appearance. So for those who might be doing the same recognise this and decide not to try keeping it at bay. Instead accept and let down your guard. My guard is completely down now, that’s why I don’t think of anxiety anymore really

  4. Bryan Says:

    Thanks Candie! Always love your advice too.

  5. Simply Bre Says:

    Hello Everyone! I have to say I’ve always been a worry wort, but am rather new to this level of daily anxiety. This anxiety all started in July 2013 on a regular trip to see my doctor, when I got back some lab results back saying my cholesterol was a bit high. So my doctor put me on a strict diet, and strict workout regiment. I immediately freaked out, after all I was only 29 years old, and was always pretty active. So I began to workout 5 days a week, and went into overdrive on watching everything I ate. I even began to get scared to eat because of my fear of increasing my cholesterol, and heart problems already run in my family. In addition to this I had a whole bunch of upsetting life events happen my life personally. Needless to say this turned me into a nervous wreck. One night I began to have tightness in my chest, and next thing you know I experienced my first panic attack. I went to the E.R,and the doctor confirmed that i was fine, and was just experiencing a anxiety attack. I now am just a total mess. The hardest part are the irrational thought patterns, I feel like I’m losing myself. The thing i struggle with is i know that these thoughts make no sense, but i feel like if i don’t fight these thoughts i will begin to believe them because I am so mentally exhausted. In the past i have always been the strong one in my family. Ive always been independent, and in control of everything. Now i just feel so depressed. I also find my thoughts wandering to thoughts like, “what if this isn’t just anxiety, but another mental illness?” I know this is a rather long post, but if anyone can please respond to my post with any advice, or words of encouragement I would greatly appreciate it. I would also like to thank you Paul for a wonderful book, it is truly insightful.

  6. tony Says:

    Hello to everyone

    I need help with old memories of suffering i am stuck in it i don’t know what to do i am confused if i let them in i am overwhelmed and scared of goin back to old me when i suffered what to do please help

  7. Rich Says:

    Great post Paul – this is exactly what I needed. I want to accept, I want to ‘let go’ but it is so counter-intuitive and against my ‘problem-solving’ attitude I am finding it difficult. But I know this is the only true path to take to allow my mind to heal and see through the illusion that anxiety tricks me with.

    I think it’s important for people coming to the blog to repeat a link Joe Pro posted on the last post – for anyone who is yet to understand why your mind and body are doing what they’re doing, and how to overcome this, Google ‘A Letter To Myself – Nothing Works’ and read it. This is a MUST READ in my opinion. Please take the time to do this.

    SimplyBre – I would highly recommend you buy Paul’s book ‘At Last A Life’ and read the pages on his website ‘AnxietyNoMore’ before you do anything else – this will teach you so much about your symptoms and thoughts, and put you on the right path. I would also recommend you buy and read ‘Self Help For Your Nerves’ by Dr Claire Weekes – these books are worth their weight in gold and will be the best things you’ve ever bought.

    Tony, I worry about worrying (Is it no surprise I therefore worry?!) and put myself in the loop as a result. I worry purely based on past negative experiences (“This happened last time, so it will happen again” or “this happened last Christmas, so it will happen this Christmas”). I am seeing a therapist where we focus on looking forward positively – positive thinking. Thinking differently. Dismiss negative thoughts as anxiety based and not reality based. Your past holds no control on your future. Try to remain in the present. Talking this through with someone definitely helped me exercise some of the demons. I’m not cured, I’m not recovered, but I am on the right path.

    Good luck to everyone.

  8. Rich Says:

    Elaine, you are one of the pillars on here people like me look at with hope and optimism, so I am scared to see that someone who has gone through this and out the other side has had a setback.

    But this is all it is. Please forgive me if I misunderstand.

    You may feel like you’re having a breakdown, as your mind is shutting down parts of ‘you’ to protect itself. They’re still there, but at the moment your mind is concentrating on what it deems to be more important stuff to protect you.

    The difference this time around the block is that you’re armed with the knowledge and understanding of exactly what is going on, and why.

    My advice would be talk to someone you can confide in. I like you lost my appetite (and 1st. in weight) a few times over the last 2 months but am doing a lot better now. Eat little and often (I eat apples, yoghurts, soup, chocolate!) and your appetite will slowly return – don’t worry about this.

    Re-read Paul’s book, Claire Weekes’ book, the ‘Letter To Myself’ I posted about above, and above all, realise that this too will pass if you do nothing and allow your mind to heal itself.

    I know it’s scary as hell when you’re at a low, but it’s like you’ve broken your leg and need to let it heal and learn to walk again. Rest. Heal.

  9. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Not been on here for a few weeks so thanks for the people who have been asking about me.

    I had an awful setback in September which pretty much lasted until the early part of November. I got out of it though just by being okay with how I felt at any point and sometimes that was horrendous. The setback was followed by feeling great for 2 weeks, almost myself. The difference is astounding, I was enjoying work, enthusiastic about my business, enthusiastic about leisure activities. I’ve felt a bit crap this week and felt my enthusiasm wane and it really does take over your mind. I’m just taking the rough with the smooth and know that the good days will come back. I’m just glad to be out of that awful setback.

    Elaine,

    You’ve been a rock for everyone on here. Don’t be fooled into thinking its back for good, its most likely going to be short term.

    Mark.

  10. Dominick Says:

    This is great advice. But will this work with sleep anxiety?
    So I tell myself “okay, I’m done with the fight. If I sleep, I sleep… if I don’t, I don’t”.

    But when I don’t sleep then it just becomes that much harder to keep my head on straight.

    I close my eyes and my mind immediately goes on high alert. Like I’m trying to consciously make myself fall asleep. Which clearly doesn’t work. Your mind needs to be peaceful and mine is like a war zone.

    I’ll give this a shot. But sleep anxiety is different from social anxiety. One doesn’t leave you like a zombie.
    I know some will say, “Dominick, I struggled with sleep too for a bit.”
    But I’ve been struggling for close to a year now.
    Sure, most nights I do get some sleep. But the fear, doubt, anxiety all dance around my head mocking me saying, “we’ll be back tonight”.

    I miss my peaceful mind.

  11. rachh Says:

    Im not doin too great at the moment. My tired mind is hanging on to everything and all thats negative i hear i automatically start the what ifs. I had a very peculiar moment today where my body went all tingly and i felt like i was going to faint. I hope i can come through all this one day because i feel like im losing hope thick and fast.
    Tryin to treat it like a petulant child and not rise to its baot but its quite hard when the symptoms are so severe.

  12. Dominick Says:

    Also, I read on some post on here where someone said something along the lines of, “when this anxiety first hits almost all people have all of the symptoms at once: inability to sleep, over concern about their heart and health, uncomfortable in public situations, inability to eat…. but the fear and anxiety latch on to that which bothers us the most.”

    Would you folk say this is true? Did the most of you initially have sleep problems. But that that problem didn’t bother you all that much, so the anxiety didn’t latch on to that but on to some other problem like heath or social situations?

    Thanks

  13. Bryan Says:

    Hey all,

    I’m dealing with a cold/flu… but the upside is that my anxiety usually takes a bit of a break when I’m actually sick. Odd, isn’t it? Seems like I’ve heard this from other people, too. Goes to show you it’s not permanent and can be mitigated when the mind/body decide.

    Mark,

    Glad to hear you’ve made progress! I’m also what I’d call “out of the setback” that hit me around late Aug/early Sept. However, I’m still in a bit of a holding patter. My bad days are still worse than they were prior to the setback, however… I’m back to having much fewer bad days and more “eh” days… with some good ones sprinkled in. So, just working on containment, acceptance and getting on with life. Went to a thanksgiving gathering yesterday and felt fairly normal in the process.

    For me right now, it’s still all about the mornings and dealing with anxiety that comes out of a sleep state. Waking with panic, or having the “reset button” hit while I’m asleep. (Usually late in the sleep cycle) If my body can calm down and get passed that symptom, I really feel like Ill be on my way back to normalcy. But, my job is to accept where I am now, so that’s the work I’m doing.

    Elaine,

    Claire weekes talks about panic returning years after recovery. It’s a normal bodily function, so while we may be “recovered”… it’s always there capable of flaring up if our lives dictate that it does. Try to think about what’s been happening in your life over the past month or more. Could there be a reason stress built up? Holidays coming? Etc? In the end, expect you to overcome this like you have in the past… and be right back here helping us recover. Only, you’ll be much stronger for having done so. Many, many people who have recovered have bouts of the condition returning. Not all, but many. You may not see it during the peak of this flare-up, but you will be back on course soon. Hang in there.

    Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it. Keep in mind, holidays are stressful so try to get yourself a little down time to do relaxations, naps, meditations, etc.
    Mostly, enjoy the time off work and your friends and families.

    We’re all making our way towards recovery on day at a time…

    B

  14. Rich Says:

    Rachh I am exactly the same today. Yesterday I was anxious but optimistic. Today started ‘ok’ but have got worse. I think this is due to a very stressful and anxiety-inducing event I have this weekend. I have fallen into a habit of worrying about worrying so much so that the symptoms build days in advance, and the worrying and fear of anxiety far surpasses the fear of the event itself! I worry about everything – GAD.

    I only visit this blog and only read the reading material I already have, but think I need to distance myself from it all and try to pretend more that I am ok.

    Really though, I’m scared to death of this never ending and my life becoming empty and wasted. I feel like there is no hope, that I am not mentally strong enough to ‘recover’ and cope with this – it’s too much.

    This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my entire life. Ironic then that the solution is to ‘let go’ and ‘do nothing’. I find it so hard to ‘accept’ and ‘float’ and ignore the horrible thoughts and constant feelings – when they consume my day, every day.

    I just have to believe in my minds ability to heal itself if I let it. Stop fighting. Stop worrying about the worry. Stop putting pressure on myself to recover quickly. Stop constantly looking at myself and how I am feeling. Stop. Let Go. Do Nothing. Let Time Pass.

    Our conscious brain can process around 7 different things at any one time. our unconscious brain (that’s in charge of stress, anxiety and fear etc.) can process millions. This is a fight we cannot win, so the answer? Don’t fight. Then there is no battle.

  15. rachh Says:

    Thanks rich by the sounds of it lots of people having a rough time. I think im trying trying trying to feel good all the time.

  16. Mark R Says:

    Bryan,

    Yeah sometimes when I get a cold the symptoms of the cold take my mind off the anxiety, that’s how it works for me.

    I’m confident I’m out of that setback and last week was probably the best period I’ve had in this whole episode since April 12. The reason I wasn’t on here is because on good days like that anxiety bores me and I can’t be bothered to think or talk about it.

    I’m having good and bad days and the same where I feel this seems worse than before setback. The last two have been particularly tough on me. For me they always seem to start with a few thoughts, noticing symptoms and then a few bad days occur. They seem to peak and die down.

    Need to take the rough with the smooth though and accept whatever it throws at me.

    Rich, seems you’re a new poster on here but you have a real good understanding of the whole process judging by your posts.

  17. Simply Bre Says:

    Thanks Rich,
    I have both books,and have read them. I believe they are both very informative,and useful. I trust the information, but just have a REALLY hard time applying it. I find myself often thinking that “No one can have it as bad as me.”I try to apply the method of giving anxious thoughts their space, but that is so much easier said than done concept. I feel that if I don’t constantly remind myself that these irrational thoughts are completely false, and just a result of my anxious mind that I’ll begin to believe them. That scares me because then i feel so overwhelmed in this thought pattern that I feel like I’m losing my mind. I truly just want to be back to my regular self, I know everyone else feels this way too. I just don’t know what else to do.

    Elaine-
    I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. I will definitely keep you in my prayers, I hope you feel better.

  18. Rich Says:

    Mark R – Thank you for your kind words. I’ve had anxiety 20 years mainly due to IBS (or was that just anxiety all along?) but recently the GAD has gotten all-consuming. I’m very new to the idea of ‘acceptance’ etc after before being on SSRIs alone and a rather useless run of CBT.

    I’ve read the books and know what I need to do, but wow it’s hard. Simply Bre I can relate so much today with what you’re saying. I think we’re in the same place right now. I don’t feel mentally strong enough to change my attitude and behaviour, but likewise don’t want to prolong this any longer – pressure.

    Today has been general anxiety all day, a loss of appetite at lunch and tea – which has been coming and going these last few weeks. Just as I get momentum fear of anxiety comes and robs me of it again.

    I feel far from in control. I don’t feel strong enough to get through the day feeling like this. It’s a rollercoaster I want to stop and get off. I know I’m holding the ‘ON’ button myself, but I don’t feel able to let go. Yet.

    I’m going to leave the blog for the weekend to give others a chance to comment. I wish you all the very best in your recovery.

    “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass – it’s learning how to dance in the rain.”

  19. Rachael Says:

    I too have had bouts reoccur years later. Even tho you feel like you are sinking back you arent I promise. You have been thru the worst of it before and got better and you will do again. Think of it as a blip not a bout. I have had many. After the initial shock and upset of having it back you will naturally accept it and remember what you learnt before. My worst blips went in a few weeks they never last long.. What makes them go quicker is not googling anxiety and trawling the internet..you can’t find the answers and think logically when your brain is tired. Tell urself u can work it all out when u are better (you won’t need to). Remember stress hormones cause a dip in feel good brain chemicals so ignore your catastrophic despair thinking. Keep doing everything you normally do and gradually you will think about it less give your brain a break and u will quickly get back to how you were. Its not the relapse thats the issue its ur response to it. Final bit of recovery I think is losing the fear of relapse…learn how to cope with blips by doing what u did before and they will pass quickly. ..when you go thru them enough I reckon we will get used to them and lose the fear completely. I am having my worst blip after two and a half years of being ok..in the space of a few days it can improve quickly if we let it. Don’t panic…it will pass pretty quick. Mine started when I found out I was pregnant 8 weeks ago which is a bugger as I cant feel happy in what should be a good time. But…hey ignore all thoughts till brain is back to nornal and keep to the drill getting thru each.day till ur brain sees there is no danger

  20. Rachael Says:

    And a couple more things that help me thru blips are..whats the worst that can happen. You believe a thought and you feel a strong emotion. Emotional sensations can’t hurt you. ..they can’t upset you either really when you think abour it as you control how you react to them..adrenalin junkies enjoy fear its a sensation only. If you feel a wave of fear relax your whole body and ride that wave, it peaks then goes. Finally find something that occupys ur mind to give it a think break when u can. Don’t be worried if u can’t fully concentrate at first that will come. Build that habit of outward thinking and before you know it u will focus on other things. Apologies for my ramble…better put this into practise myself and stop my googling

  21. Charlotte Says:

    .

    I had 18 months clear during which time I had a lot of stressors, getting a new job, getting promoted, falling pregnancy, putting on 6 stone while pregnant(lol it’s true!)traumatic labour(not really it just hurt a lot lol !), new babyetc etc. I coped and loved every minute then when things were much calmer and baby was 8 months my anxiety returned again. It doesn’t figure or tie up with anything, it’s just one of those things that happens.

    I think I’m right in reading you don’t sleep great ? I really recommend listening to claire Weekes CDs at night or the u tube clip they are really great.

    Tomorrow is another day to practice acceptance again

    Take care

    C

  22. Charlotte Says:

    Lucy

    Lovely news on your wedding escapades ! Good for you, I’ ll bet the flower girl enjoyed it too and was a little star !

    You are doing fab

  23. elaine Says:

    charlotte ty. what do i type in on youtube. i cant find it

  24. Charlotte Says:

    Just type claire Weekes , check your spelling. There are free clips of her CDs and also an interview she did mark r I think you blogs on herd found them ?..

    they r all great.

    X

  25. Bryan Says:

    Elaine and others…

    Youtube has removed the 4 part interview with Dr. Weekes due to “copyright infringements.” What a joke. It’s so disgusting this woman helped so many people and now it’s so hard to find her books/recordings.

    That said, I have a copy of her old MP3 that was made public at one point. (I also have what she’s put out on youtube.)

    I also edited a bed-time MP3 of her that is more soothing and helps me get to sleep. Kind of a custom made thing.

    I don’t know if I’m allowed to post links, but you can email me.

    I can shoot you over a couple of things since Youtube removed it.

    Hang in there, Elaine. You know very well what this is and that you will overcome this bump/setback/blip whatever we choose to call it. Part of being recovered is being able to deal with these when they come up. You were well for 18 months or so which means you’re WAY ahead of me in recovery. I’d give anything to have 18 DAYS of normalcy.

    But, I’ll get there. We all will. Email me if you need the audio. I can relate to needing assistance, believe me.

  26. Charlotte Says:

    Hey Bryan

    I can’t believe it re removing the interview, that awful. Would u mind if I emailed you as I found that interview great. I can see someone has put bits back on, but they r very short segments….

  27. Bryan Says:

    Charlotte,

    You can definitely email me. Though keep in mind what I have is not the interview. I have a version of her audio book and a few bits and pieces. But happy to share.

    It’s criminal that her interviews aren’t widely available on YouTube.
    Someone keeps close tabs on it too because an time something goes up on YouTube someone pulls it down. Of all things to be greedy over!

    Luckily we can find ways to share her brilliant work among ourselves.

  28. Mark R Says:

    Bryan,

    It’s disgusting that her work isn’t available, but lets face it anxiety is a real marketable and profitable business nowadays. It’s sad to see that people are charging for her legacy……those interviews were from 1983!!.

    It’s a messy business anxiety. I’ve gone from a few days ago feeling positive and elated, and making plans to feeling awful and really insular these last three. When you have the bad days you just want the good ones to come back again and can’t remember feeling good, vice versa too!!

    I feel total crap this morning, loads of DP, churning stomach, worried etc. Total blurgh!!!

  29. Nicole Says:

    Hi all,

    Haven’t been here for a while, up down up down you all know the pattern.

    I really recommend letter to myself, read it really slowly and digest it, it makes a huge amount of sense.

    To the rest of us, just keep doing our best, Christmas is a toughie for me as it will be my third “anxious” Christmas. But I am back at work and I’m just looking at how far ive come. I struggled to walk to the car two years ago with my jelly legs and now I’m back in the work place. Let’s just use our creative minds that have after all created so many false images and fears to create some calm positive ones x

  30. Rich Says:

    I thought I’d treat myself to a lie-in this morning, but alas instead i spent 3 hours in bed with surging adrenalin, feeling hot etc – not an ideal start to the day when you know you then have the entire rest of the day to get through.

    Felt a lot better for getting up. My appetite deserted me last night (I get anxiety about mealtimes it seems now!). Trying to do household chores with my partner, but doing a crap job to be honest, which is frustrating me.

    I need someone to tell me everything is going to be ok, to tell me that this isn’t how it’s always going to be. Bryan, if you could get Claire’s audio onto DropBox or something where you can share a link, I too would love to get a copy if at all possible?

    To everyone, I have also found a free e-book by Bronwyn Fox online in PDF format which I have found really helpful in understanding the emotional connection (or lack of) with our anxiety and the benefits of meditation. If you’re interested in it, google ‘Bronwyn Fox ebook’ and open the PDF. You can then save a copy for offline reading.

    I cannot imagine being recovered. I don’t believe I have it in me. The fear I have over these feelings is the worst thing I have ever felt.

    I wish everyone out there all the very best. It is SO helpful being among people who are going through the same thing who can relate to how we each are feeling. I’m glad I found you guys.

  31. Sally Says:

    Hi Guys you mention u tube and Claire Weekes and her interview there is a Claire Weekes page on Face Book with lots of videos of her. Mentioned this before but perhaps not all saw it.Think we are all a bit in set back reading the posts me too.

  32. Sally Says:

    Rich had this all my life Claire Weekes says you are what you think and in my experience this is true to a certain extent.Think bad feel bad think good feel good.xx

  33. Bryan Says:

    Wow Elaine, 80% better is a huge jump back towards normalcy in a short time. Glad to hear it and I look forward to learning from you as you continue your recovery.

  34. Mark R Says:

    Elaine,

    That’s a massive improvement in just one day!

    I feel like I’m in a hole at the moment, I’ve just done 18 holes of golf but then came home and collapsed in tears on my bed. For some reason crying always makes me feel better.

    I’ve gone from going the gym 3 times a week, enjoying work and my business to feeling awful and barely being able to function in a matter of 3 days. Its hard to take sometimes isn’t it.

    Sorry for being so negative but I’ve been feeling so much brighter lately.

    Mark.

  35. Niki Says:

    Hello All,

    This is my first time posting and don’t know why I feel nervous about it. It’s nice to be able to communicate with others who feel the way I do. I have been having really bad anxiety since May. I have ok days and bad days having a few bad days right now. The hardest part is letting go of anxious thoughts and just letting them be. Also, I find myself constantly thinking during the day what would I do or say when I was feeling normal. Any advice on the best way to handle the bad days, what to do, etc? And is it better to pretend and smile your way through it? I went through this about 8 years ago and was able to get through it, so I am trying to keep my self positive that I will get through this again.

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories, sometimes I feel like I am the only one that is going through this and no one knows how I feel. Going to re-read Paul’s book this week.

    Niki

  36. Teresa Says:

    Elaine – it really goes to show that when you are filled with anxiety you lose your ability to judge things rationally. It is good to see you bouncing back so fast and really is a good way of showing how the memory of your recovery has helped this happen. You have earned and learned a recovery and although fear may make you think that you are back to square one – you never are. I love reading your positive posts and if you have been there before, you will be there again – it’s just sometimes we can find it difficult to believe this.
    Candie – great to see your post, and lovely to hear you are doing so well.
    Paul – another great post. I have been meaning to get in touch for a while. I keep my eye on the site from time to time. I’m doing ok, but always find posts from the people who are doing well are inspirational. Thanks for everything.

  37. Lucy Says:

    Thanks Charlotte, I would even go as far to say if we didn’t have to leave when we had to on the night I would’ve been happy to be there longer! When we emerse ourselves in the moment the brain hasn’t got as much time to produce all of the “what ifs”, even if it on just a boring every day task. Hope you are doing well :)

    Elaine glad to see you are feeling better, and that you can recognise to shift your attitude to a more helpful one. You have been amazing on here with your no nonsense advice. I’ve followed your posts and if you made it out before, you will again. It’s just silly how when it’s good, we forget how bad it was, and when it’s bad you can’t seem to picture the good. I know you will be fine. X

  38. Charlotte Says:

    Hey Elaine

    Great news ! Don’t know who is the latest night owl u or me !!! I’m not a morning person but I love the evenings !

  39. Matt Says:

    elaine…remember me? I was anxiety free for over a year and all of a sudden the anxiety came back full force. My problem was that I was trying to figure it all out…I think it was you that asked how I could be recovered for over a year and be back to, or feel like I was back to, where I was. It’s all crap I figured out.

    Anxiety can be so strong that it can make us believe things WE know aren’t true, I’m not back to being recovered yet…but trust me it will happen cause I have faith in myself and I have faith in the people on here that we can all make it through it.

  40. RachelT Says:

    Elaine, you sound like you have a handle on it again but just thought I would send you this;

    “Even months after a patient thinks she is cured, she may unexpectedly flash panic in a moment of stress. This can so shock her that she may think that she has had a setback. The agoraphobe should be warned about the traps memory can set, and be taught to recognize and not be fooled by them. The patient should also be taught that overcoming setbacks is an invaluable part of recovery, and that with enough experience in negotiating them, she will learn the way out so well that she no longer fears the way in.”
    -Dr. Claire Weekes

  41. Rena Says:

    Hello,
    this is my first comment. Sorry for mistakes, because english isn’t my native language. This blog helped soo much.I am not afraid of panic attacks anymore. But one fear is left- sometimes I feel so low, I don’t have energy. and then the mind chatting begins- what if I am depressed, what if I be like this forever. I know that the only way is acceptance- but is so difficult to accept … This is my last fear-I am not afraid of panic, anxiety , insomnia, other scary thoughts. But this scary thought really scares me.
    I want to thank Paul for his wonderful blog and all the people who writes here and helps others

  42. eliza Says:

    Does anyone here find the Christmas season a time when that old anxiety with all it’s too familiar symptoms seems show up after being free of it for months?
    Pre Christmas and post Christmas are really tough on many people for different reasons. It can be a happy and sad period, busy getting ready for and taking part in family festivities and then the sad end and wondering how things will be when the next Christmas rolls around.

  43. rachh Says:

    Yehh eliza.. I usually love christmas but this year i just dont feel excited happy or anything. Which makes me feel worse cus everyones enjoying it. I want to enjoy it too:( ahh well maybe ill get a glimpse when im not lookin for it

  44. eliza Says:

    This is just the reminder I needed today “….the best way to fix yourself is to stop trying to fix yourself”, thanks for that Paul, that hit home, very helpful.

  45. Doreen Says:

    Eliza – times like Christmas and other special events have a big sign over them saying ‘enjoy’. Well how is that for pressure for you to be ok and anxiety to be absent? On ordinary days, all being well we we just go about our business and are hopefully not striving to be feeling great, in other words just letting anxiety ‘be’.
    But Christmas as you have said is a hard time for many people, not just those with anxiety and the big build up all over the media and the shops just emphasises that we should be jolly. Don’t strive to feel ok and you may find peeps of good times just popping in.

  46. eliza Says:

    So true Doreen, thanks.

  47. Rich Says:

    Hi Everyone, I posted quite a negative post yesterday morning, because I felt like I was at rock bottom.

    Today started much the same – I woke full of adrenalin, my body shaking. Upset stomach. I got up, ate breakfast and sat shaking for 30 minutes.

    Then, I got my things sorted and went and photographed a wedding for 12 hours. Unlike other times, I didn’t take any tablets to help me through – not even for the upset stomach I began the day with. I realised that the anxiety was a bluff, that I was in control.

    I worked hard, I was focused, I chatted to people and I think I did a good job. The only time I felt like anxiety was creeping back in was when I had my break and I sat on my own not eating (still no appetite). I knew what was going on and didn’t let fear take over. I wasn’t hungry – “so what!”

    I’m now home, happy I faced something so stressful and with so much responsibility. I am amazed how well I was to be honest based on the last few weeks.

    Anxiety is just a bluff. See through it and you realise this. 12 hours without giving my thoughts a chance to creep in has given my mind a short rest it needed from all of this, but most of all has reminded me of what it is like to be without this disorder, and how much I want to recover.

  48. Bryan Says:

    Elaine,

    I did through past posts to read Paul’s advice. Keep in mind. He was teaching the same things then he is now.

    Check the Facebook page too. He posts there at times. He’s only one person but his message is universal among those who have recovered.

  49. Robbie Says:

    Hello,

    It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on here, but I do check in every once in a while. First off, what a great post!

    Anyway, I had been “anxiety free” for almost three years, when all of a sudden it hit me again! It happened this past Thursday and threw me for quite a loop. I have been trying to wean off a very low dosage of medication I was taking and that may have been what triggered this latest round. All the familiar sensations came back – headache, churning stomach, adrenaline pumping though my veins. It caused me to fall into all the traps we fall into sometimes – trying to figure out what was wrong, getting re-assurance from my loved ones, “googling symptoms (big mistake, by the way – if I give one piece of advice, it is to NEVER do this – it only perpetuates the fear), etc.

    To top things off, I had a pretty good day today, but then got a phone call this evening telling me that one of my employees passed away after a fight with cancer. Well, this sent my emotions into overdrive!!

    The accepting thing can be hard when you have been so used to feeling great for several years, but we have to realize that setbacks are part of the recovery process. It’s taken me several days to get over the initial shock of returning anxiety symptoms, but I’m finding that when I welcome the feelings and if I just go about my day without trying to figure things out, I feel so much better. Don’t get me wrong, I still have doubts as to whether I will get over this, how long will it take, will I let my family down (my #1 fear by the way – along with the fear of harming myself or others, which kind of goes along with the whole letting my family down thing).

    I’ve seen it mentioned several times on here, but going through this at Christmas time is tough because you wonder how you will feel, which puts a lot of stress on the mind. I have to remind myself that I will feel how I feel, and I cannot predict how I will feel on Christmas or the days leading up to it. I can tell you this, though, I guarantee I will feel worse if I try to “make” myself feel good.

    To be honest, I’ve only had a return of anxiety symptoms for 4 days now and they are nowhere near as bad as when I first had anxiety over 5 years ago (and a relapse 3 years ago). I’ve learned a lot and know this is just a bump in the road. I just need a little encouragement right now as doubt is starting to creep in. I’ve also had trouble getting a good night’s sleep, so any advice on this would be great, too.

    Thanks everyone and keep staying positive.

  50. Rena Says:

    So true Robbie! Acceptance and patience-that’s all we need. It seems simple, but sometimes it is very hard to be patient. I want anxiety disappear right now. And I think it is one of my mistakes
    Today I decided to give up my CBT trainings. They didn’t help me, I felt more confused and frightened. These guestions and analysis about my anxiety made me feel worse. I don’t want to talk about when and why my anxiety started anymore.The more I think about it the stronger I feel it.

  51. rachh Says:

    Rena i agree im havin CBT and i feel worse afterwards because i delve into issues which arent really issues just what my counsellor feels is contributong to my anxiety which is a load of cock n bull if im honest

  52. RachelT Says:

    Hi, Rena and rachh, CBT made my anxiety rise too but I think it’s supposed to my therapist said and it’s also very much down to the person delivering it as to how much it will click. I paid for 7 private sessions whilst I was on the waiting list for NHS treatment. She wasn’t very good at all and delivered the sessions in a text book fashion leaving me very frustrated and feeling worse. The NHS one however, despite the fact I actually wasn’t even going to go, was really good. I can’t catch my initial thoughts so by the time I could “thought stop” I was already anxious. There were some massively valuable lessons though. The exposure for agrophobia was excellent therapy It did help me to recognise how I was making it worse through my thought distortions and also reassuring to be judged by a psychologist to “only” have anxiety. However it isn’t a cure and it wasn’t ever going to make me “better”. I wish they had told me that. I think it’s a mixture of education, cbt and acceptance which will lead to a sustained recovery as you’ve covered all the bases.

    Somebody posted on the last link about their anxiety being effected by hormones. I can tell you mine is massively. For two weeks a month I make improvements and feel much better. Then one day all of a sudden my brain starts to slow down and I become hyper aware and jumpy, then I start on MY scarey thoughts, laugh at them at first and then thenthought spooks me and sticks. For the next two weeks I am awful. It gets beyond my cycle and again i get relief. I don’t know how to stop this so that I can make some proper headroom with my anxiety without these peaks and troughs. Does anyone have any experience of this?

    Thanks

    Rachel

  53. Stephanie Says:

    Hi Rachel & everybody!
    I havnt posted for a whole because like you my anxiety up & down especially when I’m hormonal! So frustrating! It’s basically like I’m 2 different people one fine then 2 weeks before emotional mess irrational thoughts cannot motivate myself at all.. Suspicious of my partner super sensitive, insecure clingy the list goes on!! I’m also on the mini pill which Iv read reviews in people’s symptoms and there pretty matched to mine. It’s like my anxiety is completely heightened can’t sleep few days before very anxious. Does anyone else have this peoples? Obviously females sorry guys! I don’t know whether to stop putting hormones into my body and see what outcome is? My anxiety at minute is playing heavily in my relationship and is prob 90% of it actually feel unwanted etc pathetic really! Go really into myself numb almost this is kind of new to me has anyone else experienced this like a proper sad feeling that I can’t shake off! Really do need to give my head a wobble right now and stop moaning about this! Any advice much appreciated!

    Thanks Steph x

  54. rachh Says:

    Yepp! 100%.. Sorry to the guys on here..

    This week i have been absolutly vile. I just have this constant heavy feeling like my body is lead im tired irritable irrational the lot. To be fair i think normally i am like this but because i am soso self aware and my body is in a heightened state things are or feel 10 times worse. Im nearing the end of this dreaded monthly malarky however got home today and my head is throbbing.. Major migraine.
    So difficult to remain positive when you feel like this but just get on with it i suppose.
    Trying to remind myself i am being irrational and that my thoughts and obsessions are rubbish.

  55. honey Says:

    Well I was feeling quite positive in the last year but seeing how many of you have been recovered and have had setbacks quite far down the road has made me lose all hope. I feel so low. I have been accepting but nothing is getting better really and although I know I am meant to let time pass I have let so much pass wothout questioning it that now im getting frustrated! Will this ever end? Is there any hope tht we will get rid of this problem?

  56. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Going through the mill at the moment, today has been the very worst I’ve felt in months. It’s so hard when one week/month you’re up and then it literally tailspins and you’re back in the thick of it again. Only a week ago I can honestly say I was myself again for the first time in nearly 2 years. Of course this didn’t last and after some silly stress regarding work I’ve had another flare up of symptoms (as Bryan would say!)
    I’ve cried my eyes out today as I felt so bad, but I’ve got this voice at the back of my mind telling me it won’t last even though my anxiety is screaming at me it will.
    My acceptance has been poor today, very poor and I’ve been fighting the symptoms, trying to push them away which clearly makes them worse. I went to the driving range at 6 with full acceptance and found my mind drifted off me a few times which I’m pleased about.
    I’ve had a few good weeks where I felt better than ever, and I don’t say that lightly so I should take that as a positive to fall back on. Has anyone who’s recovered felt that they had a real bad time towards the end?

    Mark,

  57. Charles Says:

    elaine, saw your post, and wanted to say that has happened to me before, with 7 years in between. The first time around was health anxiety, and it just kind of went away by itself. Then recently after working at a stressful job, I had a panic attack and it kind of went downhill from there, but I feel fine now.

    I don’t think having anxiety again means anything at all, it is just a crappy feeling, I don’t think the crappy feeling itself is anxiety, it is just a feeling, it is not even necessarily crappy, it just feels a particular way and we don’t like it so we think it’s crappy, some people (adrenalin junkies?) might even enjoy it. I think anxiety is just us not being at peace with our feelings and we are anxious about where it’s going to take us.

  58. Rena Says:

    Mark R,
    I know how you feel, it is so frustrating, especially when you were so next to recovery. You are not alone :) My simptoms are very similar.After 3 months of being “me” again, I have a real setback now. For 2 weeks I was so low and frustrated,so despair. But I don’t give up. I know that these feelings someday will go away. Yesterday I had few hours when I felt strong and happy. And I am grateful for that. I know that day after day I will have good days, weeks , even months. So don’t give up – in this blog there are so many people who felt the same sensations and now they are happy ant don’t afraid of anxiety anymore!

  59. Rich Says:

    I feel that me and my anxiety have struck up a slightly better relationship and we’re co-existing. The symptoms are still horrible, but they aren’t going to magic themselves away so I may as well aim for a truce until they fizzle out. Don’t get me wrong – we’re not best friends, but my attitude towards it is changing. My attitude is changing from ‘what if?’ to ‘so what!’.

    One thing I wanted to write down for others is how beneficial I’ve found talking to people has been for me. I have a partner who although doesn’t understand what it’s like, or why I feel the way I do, is there for me and listens. She doesn’t need to understand though – when I talk about how I feel, how it’s all a bluff, how it’s just my thoughts and tired nerves, it makes more sense TO ME. Just reading about it is ok, but saying the words seems to hammer it home to myself.

    Not having to pretend, to get all your frustration and fear out of your system and to tell someone your wish to recover and your wish to get through this really helps me.

  60. Lucy Says:

    Just a quick reminder to us all – last night I barely slept, got 3-4 hours in max. I had a day full of appointments and attended a course too, I anticipated so much last night that I got myself in a right state over it, then of course I thought, “and I can’t even sleep which means it’ll all be 10 times worse in the morning.” Well, I’ve arrived home after a busy day and I’m fine! It’s ALL a bluff. I am awful for anticipating sometimes, then the actual event comes and it goes nowhere near as bad as you had made happen in your head. Yeah, I felt a bit rubbish and my attention kept coming back to me, but there were times where I was focused on what I was doing, and I was okay. I always love Candie’s posts and although addressed to Elaine, I think it applies to us all. It is our call! Maybe not all, but definitely our reactions to it. Just live along side it without adding fear to fear, anxiety to anxiety etc and realise we DO have at least some control to a degree :)

  61. Bryan Says:

    Rena,

    Nice post. Keep up the good work!

  62. James Says:

    Hi everyone – this is my first post on this blog. I bought Paul’s book about a month and half ago and it really helped. The one issue I am facing is I seem to always be “checking in” with how I feel. First thing I do when I wake up is check how I am feeling. How can i avoid this, or do I not need to avoid it at all?

  63. Rich Says:

    Hi James, Welcome to the blog (I’m new too). I am also worst in the mornings. You don’t need to avoid the thoughts you have, but instead accept that they are there, but then float past them and acknowledge that they are only thoughts, and the thoughts of an anxious and temporarily unbalanced mind. This is hard to do, but with practise you will not react to them as much. Live with them (don’t fight them or force yourself to think of other things). Before you know it, they will lessen – just like all the other symptoms.

    What you’re experiencing is completely normal given the circumstances. Don’t fear it, don’t worry about it. Just accept you doing it, but don’t react.

  64. Dominick Says:

    I read on some post on here where someone said something along the lines of, “when this anxiety first hits almost all people have all of the symptoms at once: inability to sleep, over concern about their heart and health, uncomfortable in public situations, inability to eat…. but the fear and anxiety latch on to that which bothers us the most.”

    Would you folk say this is true? Did the most of you initially have sleep problems. But that that problem didn’t bother you all that much, so the anxiety didn’t latch on to that but on to some other problem like heath or social situations?

    Thanks

  65. Candie Says:

    It’s ok you have lost interest, don’t worry that has happened. It’s normal when in the thick of anxiety. Just get up tomorrow, don’t wish it away or try figure out why it’s back. Allow it and move through your day and eventually your focus and interest will be on other things and it will pass.

    The only difference with someone who recovers and has setbacks every so often and someone who recovers for life is that the 2nd person realises what they did to get better. The first usually had some sort of distraction and it just went and they stopped focusing. The 2nd is more aware of the process so if they sense an old symptom etc they know exactly what to do to avoid the spiral and don’t fall into a state of deep despair. Use this setback to practice a bit more and you won’t fall victim to it again. Now recovered I’ve had a few moments of normal anxiety and had I pondered, freaked out and dwelled I would have been in the centre of a full on disorder again. About 18 months ago I had a hangover so bad I didn’t eat for over 20 hours. The low blood sugars coupled with dehydration brought on a wave of adrenalin then depersonalisation whiles I was on a day trip to the seaside. By this point I was pretty wise and knew I wasn’t going to dwell. So I decided it’s fine, will pass and I had some food and continued day with zero obsession as to why I felt off and it passed within an hour or so.Sometimes a recovered person has a symptom after months or years and goes into full fight or flight mode as to why, that’s probably what you have done when in fact any anxiety symptom is a normal part of life when ill or stressed or in shock etc.

  66. ludawg Says:

    Please help! I suffer from social anxiety. Had it all my life. It got better a lot last year but it’s still a constant battle and the fear of how I come across. I am actually a confident person but when I’m with people I get so insecure. Even really shy people are not that insecure like I am! I don’t know what to say and I don’t know what to talk about! i automaticallly think that people judge every single word I am saying. Well it doesn’t surprise me. My mum always yelled at me and was not caring about what I wanted to say when I was a little kid. It was all ignored. Making my opinions down. She is still treating me like this and is getting angry when I critize her or share another opinion than she does and I guess this is what caused my insecurities. I don’t know what to say or tell anything becuase I think people will react like my mum. I’m popular in school and not even my closest friends know about the fact that I’m thinking constantly about the subject. Please can you give me advice on how to deal with it and learn the things I never learned??

  67. Claire Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I posted a couple of weeks ago as I’m currently suffering a setback after 5 years of being ‘normal’! I decided to go back to the docs and they put me back on sertraline and referred me for CBT. I was back there yesterday seeing a different doc for a check up and she was horrible!! I felt worse coming out than I did going in!! I tried to explain my ‘thoughts’ and that I always need to tell my boyfriend every single thing that crosses my mind – it’s so exhausting :( Anyway my sisters friend recently killed himself so this made me feel ill!! I had allsorts of thoughts going through my mind like what if I did something like that and it petrified me!! So when I explained this to her she turned round and said if it ever gets too much I should take myself to A&E!! Also get my boyfriend to hide any tablets if I am going to self harm!! Obviously I will not do anything of the sort, it’s the thought that I’m so scared of! The doc just didn’t understand what I was trying to say! I had an appt with a therapist for CBT and he was very understanding so I was pleased. It was a rough day yesterday….All I seemed to do was cry!! I didn’t get much sleep either as my little one is poorly so I was lay awake ‘thinking’ and felt terrible when I woke up this morn, so out of myself. My thoughts were going wild,’ I’m having a breakdown, I’m going mad’…just awful.

    So what I want to know really is do I carry on as normal? Go to work and act normal even though inside I feel like breaking? I don’t want to sit at home and be off work as this will just make me worse doing nothing. But do you all just get on with it no matter how bad you feel?? I’m working myself up now about going to sleep. Oh dear. x

  68. Dominick Says:

    Hi Claire,

    The reason why accepting the negative feelings and thoughts is so important is because it doesn’t create extra tension.

    When you resist a feeling/thought/symptom of anxiety you create more internal tension.

    Those feelings are pulling you one way while you’re trying to pull yourself another way. Think of it as a game of tug-of-war. That action of fighting/resisting/pulling against those feelings/thoughts/symptoms is what perpetuates the stress.

    So, when you’re getting pulled one way stop resisting and allow yourself to be pulled along. Be at peace with it. This will stop the cycle and allow your body time to heal.

  69. Claire Says:

    Dominick

    Thanks for your reply. So do I just carry on as normal as I can be and let the thoughts be in my head regardless of how I feel? I’ve forgotten what to do! It’s so hard to accept it! I know I will eventually but it’s just so hard. An awful game of tug-of-war!

    Elaine

    It’s terrible isn’t it. Hits you out of nowhere! Hard to carry on as normal when you’re feeling so horrid. We’ll get there though. Gotta think positive but like you say it’s easier said than done. x

  70. rachh Says:

    Am i right in thinking that not fighting the thought means…

    Not looking for thoughts to counteract prove that the thought is not true.
    Not believing it.
    Not trying to not think it.

    And the way to deal with it is to see it as a passing silly thought exagerated my anxious feelings/ what if rubbish.

  71. Kyara Says:

    Everyone,

    Go to google and type in nothingworks.weebly. This TRULY has been a tremendous help. Please read it!!

  72. Charles Says:

    rachh, sounds like you are still trying to run away from your thoughts. Am I right to understand that you are looking for a way to “deal” with the scary thoughts so you can be less scared by them when they come? But they are scary thoughts, they are supposed to be scary. The way I see it, human fear is wired in a pre-determined manner, it is a complex chemical response triggered by some stimulus, if it is triggered, then so be it.

    So I say, we should be able to think any thought we want, even dwell on it, think the worst case, picture all the worst “what if” scenarios…but we need to accept the fact that if we do this, we will feel pretty scared, maybe terrified to the point of a panic attack, but it’s ok, we knew this would happen….

  73. Rich Says:

    Yesterday for me was a great day – woke with less anxiety, stomach seemed to be behaving itself a lot better, and I had an appetite. To feel this way again was great.

    However I let it fool me into making me feel confident and further down the road to recovery than I actually am. I forgot that the recovery process is a long one, paved with good days and bad days.

    Today I don’t feel as good – stomach is off once more (a result of eating a large pizza last night I think) and confidence that was with me last night has lowered again.

    This is a process of understanding, patience and submission. You have to let your body heal in its own time at its own pace. Don’t get ahead of yourself, but don’t let it fool you into thinking you’re going backwards either. With the knowledge this blog and supporting books gives you, each day is a step forward for us all – regardless of how small that step may seem.

  74. Doreen Says:

    Rich – I am glad you had a better day yesterday and that you are able to be philosophical about the ‘not so good’ days too. However, I do get a feeling of you being watchful and monitoring how you are all the time. How you are feeling seems to get far more attention than maybe it should which in it’s turn is still making anxiety the focus.

  75. Kyara Says:

    It is not mental health issue or behavioral, it’s simply over use of the flight/fight response system. Anxiety only learns when that switch is turned on. Anxiety will never leave you, you have to leave it. You have to live your life normal so you can send that feed back to your SNS telling you’re not in danger. You’ve got this Elaine. Google nothingworks.weebly. it is a WONDERFUL blog.

  76. Kyara Says:

    That’s the last thing I’ve picked up to read. I’ve let myself be gone out played with the kids, sang, cooked acted normal and I feel so much better. I’m accepting recovery. I’ve stopped the compulsions by looking for that phrase the help me feel better. It’s true, anxiety only works when it’s turned on. The more you allow yourself to be the clearer things become and the easier it is to deal with. Let the thoughts come REGARDLESS of what they are, let the sensations be there and continue to breathe normally, if you can’t eat you need to get a meal replacement shake you have to tell your brain nothing is wrong and the only way to do that is to live normally.

  77. honey Says:

    Thanks elaine. The fact that this method works has restored hope. Ithink hope keeps me going! Good luck. You are right though. You just reacted the wrong way. Stay positive xx

  78. Rich Says:

    Doreen you’re right – I am monitoring myself to look for signs of positive improvement. The problem with this is that I sometimes see things I can label as ‘negative’ which just fuels the anxiety. I needed this pointing out to me – thank you!

    I accept the feelings and know what and why they are, but I need to relax about relaxing and just allow myself to let go and take my attention off myself.

  79. Kate Says:

    Hello everyone
    I havent posted for a while ive had a good few weeks (well better than I was) the dp is still there 24-7 but I found myself getting less anxious with it.
    Unfortunately my partner is seriouly unwell at the minute and its thrown my anxiety through the roof and silly thoughts about not being real again have sky rocketed. Just questioning myself if I was ever on the right path feel like im back to square one. Anyone with Dp felt like this….I know Matt used to comment on here and so if his reading this Id love your advice as you semmed to go through exactly what I am

  80. Kate Says:

    Rich
    You have just described me to a t!!! I totally accept its all anxiety based and I accept them and allow them in I even got to the point of laughing when Dp came on really thick. My major issue is monitoring how I feel I even think ohhh I feel so much better today it drives me nuts but my mind keeps constantly doing it. What Ive been trying is when I start monitoring myself I totally distract myself by doing something else I found this helps but Im not sure if thats the right thing to be doing

  81. Kate Says:

    Thats what I worried Elaine. I’ll just allow it to be there. Drives me nuts that I keep checking in either when Im feeling better Im always wondering if its still there. I’ve decided today that I dont care if it is or its not can’t be bothered with it all. Hope your doing well Elaine your old posts used to make me feel much better x

  82. rachh Says:

    I really feel like I can’t do this and can’t let go. I’ve had a bad day and can’t concentrate on anything at all.

  83. Kat Says:

    Anyone who may be of help: I am a college nursing student and for the past few months (I have suffered from anxiety before but got alot better this summer after reading paul’s book) I have been questioning my decision to come to the school i currently attend. I constantly go over why I came here and make myself miserable thinking I never wanted to come here I need to transfer. But I also get other thoughts like what if I dont really want to be a nurse? maybe I want to do something else. It has me so confused about my life and so scared for the future. I cant tell if it is anxiety talking or maybe these are my true feelings, then I spend hours trying to figure it out. Please can someone help me, I just want to be proud of myself and what I am doing with my life but it feels impossible. I have so much going for me and I have amazing grades but all I do is second guess myself and wonder if that is truly how I feel or if it is anxiety talking. I hope this makes sense to someone.

  84. Claire Says:

    Rachh so have I! Terrible! Wanted to run home from work but I stayed and carried on regardless of how awful I was feeling. The thoughts were going wild in my head,’ I’m having a breakdown, I’m going mad, I can’t take this anymore,’ I’m already panicking that I’m gonna have a bad day tomorrow. Finding this so hard!

  85. rachh Says:

    Thank god clair because it just seems to me as though people are telling me to accept accept accept and it doesnt help me in any way because my mind is so foggy it grabs onto the slightest thing to be fearful of i feel like im in my pwn world and i cannot for the life of me concentrate. I think i need to take myself away from this blog a bit as im using it as a tool to escape my anxiety. I was doing really well for a period and feeling much better but since my set back at the end of august i feel horrendous. Back on here every 5 mins and it does me no good. Since 4pm i have sat here looking at posts and im a bit fed up of it. Makes me feel like ive got something else mentally wrong because everyone else seems to be able to let their thoughts be there and scare them but mine try to convince me that i am my fears and that i will carry them out or that they are true in someway. I know im filling myself with self pity but i do feel like im at the end of my tether with it because i am stuck in my own mind thinking inwards.

    Sorry for the rant.

  86. Claire Says:

    I’m exactly the same Rachh. The thoughts are constantly in my head day and night and they scare me! Awful! I’ve had no appetite today either but forced myself to eat. Felt sick and funny tummy! I find it so hard to accept and don’t know why as i’ve done it before. The physical symptoms scare me too. Heavy dread feeling in my chest and headaches. I always think I’m the only person who feels this bad and feel like i’m acting when people ask how I am as I don’t wanna break down in front of them!

    When I had my last setback I didn’t come on here as much because it reminded me of my anxiety and if I was to carry on as normal I wouldn’t sit and trawl through the internet looking at anxiety symptoms, I’d be on facebook or looking at what goodies I could buy!

    But I think acceptance as far as I understand is just to carry on with your life before anxiety hit, don’t let it stop you from doing what you have always done no matter how bad you feel?

    Some days are a real struggle but I just keep going forward. There’s only you who can do this. That’s what I tell myself!

    Does anyone suffer from jaw ache? It’s like i’m always clenching my teeth?? x

  87. Josie Says:

    Hi all! I have posted one here before maybe a year ago. I have been studying Paul’s method for 2 years now. I did have ADs for a year so I could let the info on here sink in so I could have a clearer head. I had been feeling ok most of this year with my mind still on me though but trying to let thoughts just be there. I wonder though if I was ever recovering as I remember when i felt ok and still had thoughts my mind would automatically think of something Paul, candie, or scarlet or any of the other wonderful people on here who have recovered had said and would get me out of the loop. My mind at the moment is on overdrive and won’t stop, just random thoughts, lots of negative thoughts, depression, fears, just chattering away. So hard to concentrate on anything except myself. This post is so negative I know but I needed to vent. I know I shouldn’t be paying attention to the thoughts but I’m definately stuck in that loop. I think it started 2 months ago when I thought something was wrong with my tummy, had ultrasounds and everything all clear but then thoughts came up about whether I could have kids. Now the thoughts are whether I will be a good enough mum to have kids and will I cope or go crazy on them and hubby with images in my mind like they are happening omg how irrational lol thanks for the vent guys just feel so helpless xx

  88. Kat Says:

    Elaine,
    Thanks for the response, I think it is anxiety too but it’s so hard to feel like nothing I do is right. Also yes, I am young. I am only 19. I just don’t know if anxiety is magnifying my true feelings or if it is just making me think I want to transfer. I am having a lot of trouble with this and I was so close to being better.

  89. Josie Says:

    Elaine ivd read many of your past posts which have been wonderful… How did you get passed the depression and the mind chatter etc? X

  90. Josie Says:

    Thanks Elaine, I guess I have never truly accepted. Just feels hard to accept when the mind is a constant array of chit chat, thoughts, images, depression. Did you just let your mind chatter away and feel all the rushes and tingliness, light headedness, attention on yourself and got on with things even if you couldn’t concentrate or feel any emotion for anything or anyone? I guess I have to let myself ‘go crazy’ and fall into that heap if that’s what’s gonna happen without fearing it. Easier said than done :)

  91. Kat Says:

    Elaine, I am working on not worrying. Should I just trust that the decisions I have made are right and everything will work out? when these thoughts come I get very taken aback and start delving into them. Again it means so much that you are on here helping people, i truly appreciate your words of wisdom.

  92. Lucy Says:

    Hi all,
    Felt pretty rubbish early on this morning, and ended up in the loop of negative thinking and essentially, “no matter what I do or how good some days can be, it always comes back to feeling this way.” Then I realised, I can either think it’s always comes back to this OR I can acknowledge that I’ve been here enough times by now to know it passes, however awful I feel. I believe some of it is beyond out control, but the way we deal with it is always within our control! Even when you feel horrid, just give yourself a break and allow it to be there. I think it takes a while to truly reach the acceptance attitude, I’m not always fully there, but the more we practice the better it gets :)

  93. Rich Says:

    I am not recovered – far from it – so I am not talking from personal experience here – just from the knowledge I have gained from reading about this disorder and how to free yourself from it.

    RachH – I would recommend that you try relaxation techniques to help you relax – even for 30 minutes a day. This will give your mind a break (albeit short) from your thoughts. You’re not giving your mind a chance to recover by bombarding it with worry. Go for a walk, read a book, but try meditation to clear your mind. It will thank you for it. I am seeing a clinical hypnotherapist once a week and listed to a relaxation CD I have been given each night – this helps me relax and get my mind in the right place.

    Kat – try talking to your course tutor about your feelings. If your heart isn’t in something maybe you it isn’t right for you, but on the other hand if this is just anxiety putting doubt in your mind, you should ignore carry on. Nursing I imagine is very stressful but very rewarding. You’re young, so even if you change your career path later, the skills you’ll have learned will still be valuable to you.

    I was thinking this morning about what it would be like to be truly ‘recovered’. I imagine I will always fear a setback, even if I no longer fear the actual thoughts or symptoms. Does this mean at that point I am not truly recovered?

  94. Rich Says:

    Hi Elaine, I already feel like a better person because of this experience (even though it is sheer hell at it’s worst times). I think I was emotionally under-developed before I had to deal with this full-on.

    I feel a greater appreciation of life when I feel good and a better person when talking to other people about stress and worry etc, which I couldn’t empathise with before.

    I need to ensure I don’t use my desire to feel good as pressure on myself to recover, which could ultimately delay it, but as a goal, it’s something I’m very much looking forward to.

  95. Rebecca Says:

    For me I no where I go wrong, it’s fear and that’s what keeps the cycle going round. But now I’m allowing my self to be fearfull instead of trying to fight, and hide because there is no way to hide. I’m having good days and bad although I’m yet to have a normal day I’ve just come to be ok with it. Just take a deep breath and be ok with how you feel. Stop tensing and just allow yourself to think and feel anything you want. We are the one in control jst don’t let it bluff you.

    Elaine I have a lot of respect for you because you came back to help others, even after you recoverd. I no your having a bit of a wobble at the moment but you will come out even stronger. X

  96. Scott Says:

    Elaine

    I can relate. I was doing sooo good for about a year when anxiety seem to “run me over” in august. Not even sure why or how. Was on vacation and doing well. The only thing i could think of was two-fold: my family was staying at a relatives and someone in the house was struggling with sleep due to a broken bone and 2) i was due to travel to business to a place of bad struggle a few years earlier. I dont think i was worrying about either, yes, sleep was an area that caused me issues 6 or so years ago and has typically been an early marker of my anxiety returning (wake up with mind chatter). Anyway, i have been having a tough go with hyperawareness of my thoughts and cant seem to shake getting the attention off me. My sleep is choppy but i know why- my worrying by day raises my anxiety levels. I stress over having anxiety and why i get weird obsessive thoughts. I dont worry about harming anyone, or going crazy but i get those fears. My fear is not being able to get rid of anxiety disorder. I struggle with letting my wife down when i get internal like this and how i will lose another day to anxiety instead of being in the moment with my daughter and 2 little boys. I am fighting to get rid of this and not accepting. Is it simply not me accepting? Nothing i feel now i have not felt before. I can get emotional simply looking at my kids faces or seeing another dad playing with his kids outside makes me sad because that is all i want – those moments. Sorry to be negative. Just cannot believe i sunk this far after doing good and not knowing why came back in first place is disconcerting. Thanks

  97. Rich Says:

    I have my works Christmas party tomorrow night. I have been dreading it because last year I had really bad anxiety (spent most of that afternoon before it in the loo – which wasn’t pleasant) but then had a great night – it was all a bluff!

    This was me pre-Paul’s book and pre-Claire Weekes, but this has been me for most social occasions all my life. I have been looking forward to things less and less such that I am now unable to look forward to anything, as I fear I will be ill due to anxiety / ibs – as I so often have been. What a surprise when you look what I put myself through!.

    My Anxiety this for this years party is purely a ‘what if’ based on this past.

    This time, I know that if I plan to worry, I will worry. If I fear the symptoms, I will get the symptoms. This is because I am telling my body that something is wrong, so “switch on the fight/flight response”.

    It’s not the social occasion I fear per-se, it’s being ‘ill’ during it, and now based on pre-event worry, being ‘ill’ before it too through anxiety.

    If I don’t worry, the fight/flight response will not turn on and I will be OK. It’s that simple! The problem I have is not worrying about it when I have done so so many times in the past – for years, as part of a horrible habit I have ‘thought’ myself into.

    Now, It’s important I balance the above ‘doom and gloom’ attitude with how I am actually feeling – after finding the support I have…

    I am looking forward to the night out – honestly! I’m not looking forward to the cold weather or trying to dance to 80s Christmas songs with a sore bum (should I get symptoms), but I am not worrying about needing the loo, not worrying about losing my appetite (this often happens – but what do I expect if I am feeling anxious about it based on ‘what ifs’!). My attitude this week has moved from ‘what if’ to ‘so what’. I’m not recovered etc – that would be naive, but I no longer care about feeling anxious.

  98. rachh Says:

    Kat it is anxiety!!! 101!!!! If i listened to the doubt and worry that my boyfriend wasnt for me, that i am insecure and im only with him to feel secure, that his personality doesnt suit mine, that he annoys me bla bla bla then we would be split up now! It is anxiety!!!! Stop believing your anxious thoughts they are tripe!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your course because regardless if u think nursing is for u or not u will find your niche by getting on with what your doing allowing the fog to lift . U will then find your niche in this job and what u want to do to make a difference.

  99. rachh Says:

    I think we need some posts from helen and other recoverers to give us an insight on what to do with the thoughts and doubts really. By telling people to “accept” is not helping anyone. Accept is a word!!!!!

  100. Wendy Says:

    Rachh,

    that is so true, everyone tells me accept accept…but what is acceptance?
    Then they say acceptance is doing nothing..but I just can’t do nothing!
    So please, Helen, Candie or Paul..give us an explanation!

  101. Dominick Says:

    Does anyone have this?

    I struggle with sleep anxiety. Sometimes the thoughts about sleep issues don’t bother me in the least. But other times those same thoughts bother me deeply.
    I’ll lose my appetite, have a hard time focusing on anything else, and get overwhelmed by doubt that this will ever go away…. that I’m broken beyond repair. The old me gone forever.

    Does anyone have this? But, instead of yours being about “sleep anxiety” it’s about whatever your fear/anxiety revolves around?

    Thanks.

  102. rachh Says:

    I think that it is a good idea to live, keep busy, stop worrying!!! Get on with living life. I think its very easy to faff with anxiety. Faff with the thoughts. Let thoughts goooo. Very hard to apply when you are very anxious tho. Do not get involved with thoughts. They are not reality.

  103. Claire Says:

    Felt terrible again today. Sorry for my gloomy posts. Bad night sleep and early to wake so was lay ‘thinking’. Terrible nervous tummy so never off the loo and I’ve been retching to be sick!! I carried on as normal and went to work even though I felt like I wasn’t with it. I don’t want to have to go on the sick as I believe sitting at home will make me worse so do I keep continuing living my life as normal? I’m finding it so hard. I keep talking to my boyfriend about how I’m feeling and bursting into tears, I feel sorry for him having to see me mope about all of the time. I have a lovely baby boy too and feel so guilty for feeling the way I do.

  104. Robbie Says:

    All,

    I’m not Helen, Candie or Paul (nor would I ever claim to be!), but I feel like I’m 95% recovered, so maybe I can provide a little insight as to what “accept” means.

    When I first heard that all you had to do was accept, it confused me. I thought it meant to do nothing. But, what it really means is to engage in life as if you do not “have” anxiety. Do what you want to do, do what you need to do and the feelings will pass. However, it also means to feel the weird and crappy feelings that come along with anxiety and realize that’s all it is – anxiety releasing itself. Don’t worry about whether it’s a symptom of anxiety, whether there’s something else wrong with you or how you will react in certain situations. Just let it be. If you feel crappy, then you feel crappy. But don’t let it stop you from engaging in life.

    For me the worst two things were the instrusive thoughts and the fear that anxiety would return and I would be thrust into a state of total dispair. Acceptance plays a role here, too. With the thoughts, don’t fight them, don’t try to reason with them and realize they are just an off-shoot of anxiety. Sure, they are scary thoughts and you don’t want them there, but if you give them attention, then they are never going to leave. Just recognize them as an anxious thought because that’s all they are.

    As far as the fear of anxiety returning (i.e. a fear of your symptoms), it takes practice just letting it come. I realized that the more I fought to keep the feelings at bay, the worse they would become. Instead, I would let it come over me, ride the wave and then move on. You may feel bad, but the more you let you feelings be and don’t fret over them the less power they have. Anxiety feeds on fear and the more power you give your feelings, the more fear you will generate.

    I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching because I’m not. I’m more talking to myself than anyone :). But I have been through the boughs of anxiety and back again. I have had mulitple setbacks that threw me for a loop. But I finally realized to just let it be. I’m not as bad off as I thought, it was just the fear driving the anxiety. You take the fear out of the equation and you have normality (whatever that is!!).

    Wow! That was a long post. Didn’t mean to go on like that, but I was on a roll :). Basically, fear, worry, etc. are habits. Accepting means to not try to fight your feelings or thoughts as that just puts more stress on the brain. It means to understand them for what they are and then live your life.

    Hope that helped!!

  105. DCYL Says:

    Hi all,

    Disappeared for a few weeks due to holidays and just being busy. I got presented with Robbie’s long post and I have to say I concur with it. I’d say I’m about 95 to 98 percent recovered. I’ve stated that a few times over the past few months. Like Robbie, I sometimes get twinges / reminders of my past suffering and I’m like “oh crap, am I anxious again?” The good news it that my body is pretty much normalized now so that I don’t react to the situation at all. It’s all in my “head” as they say.

    Another thought on top of this. Back in late September, I suffered a small hand injury that prevented me from playing basketball or working out as I do usually. I admit I worried a little bit. When I had my anxiety, these activities had been a life saver. It burned off the adrenaline and gave me a focus other than anxiety. But when the activities were there, I just remembere the racing thoughts / etc and that was no fun.

    Fast forward a couple of months later, my injury is still healing but I returned to playing basketball last night (albeit lightly). I think the injury helped move me further along the anxiety recovery process. I think for all of us, there are certain “safety behaviors” we adopt to help us with anxiety. While my safety behaviors were healthy and good for me, it accidentally became a crutch. My injury showed me that not having my activities wasn’t a bad thing. Due to some personal family stuff, I learned to be flexible and not rely on any one or two activities. In a way, I feel even better than I did before the injury.

    It’s a process to recover so be patient and remember any feelings you have are exaggerations. If you live your life regardless of your feelings, you will get better.

  106. Charlotte Says:

    Claire , I’ve been where r u and if u look at some of my old posts they reflect what you have written. My anxiety has made me retch in the past, especially in the mornings , my mind would be full if I’m having a breakdown and I would guilt about being like that as I felt I shouldn’t be like that as I have children.

    As for the GP you saw, sometime the ignorance of the medical profession astounds me, especially when anxiety is one of he top reasons people go to the docs.

    I took time off work earlier this year and I started ads but taking time off for me was the worst thing I could have done because my anxiety had won ! It had me at home thinking about it all day and boy did I do that !

    No one can advise on your own circumstance but you will know what’s best for you.

    If you want any more help am happy to help !

    Rachh, I have never really understood the phrase accept as I hate anxiety and intrusive thoughts etc but what I do accept is that I am an anxiety sufferer and because of that I have symptoms I don’t like . Maybe if you try to think of it that way it may help ie don’t berate yourself because you can’t accept the horrible thoughts, they scare you – of course they do they are anxious thoughts. Maybe just try to accept you suffer from anxiety and this in itself will lead you forward.

  107. Simply Bre Says:

    Hey Everyone!
    Robbie I Love your post,thanks a lot for explaining what exactly “accepting” your anxiety means. For quite a long time I couldn’t really grasp what exactly was meant by “accepting” your thoughts meant.
    However, I have a question that anyone can answer but one of the side effects i have really been experiencing this past week is depression. The thought that keeps ruminating is “You might have to live like this for forever”and that depresses me extremely, in return I begin to feel more hopeless,and it really makes me feel like I’m just existing, not living. My mom keeps saying this will pass, but i don’t know if it ever will. Please any positive advice will help, i also just want to know if anyone else has experienced severe depression as a result of your anxiety,and what did you do to overcome your depression. Ive read Paul’s book, but it appears to be more geared towards anxiety, rather than depression. It seems like as soon as i got used to living with anxiety, the depression flared up. I just want to know because i feel really hopeless.

  108. Kyara Says:

    Bre,

    Google nothingworks.weebly. This will help explain a little about depression and anxiety in a little different way.

  109. Bryan Says:

    Elaine,

    That’s awesome. You will be on top of it again soon. Keep,up the good work. It’s ok to have bad days.

  110. Bryan Says:

    Rich,

    You are developing a great understanding and have excellent self-awareness. You’re going to be a great mentor to sufferers once you feel recovered enough to take that role. (If you choose to.)

  111. Karen Says:

    Hi all, I am new here but needing some support. I have permanent anxiety,not just in certain situations. I am taking sleeping tablets but think they make the anxiety worse the nxt day. But if I don’t, I literally don’t sleep. Starting cbt this week and doing mindfulness myself. But I feel desperate….. I cantdo this anymore the scary thoughts are drivingme insane. I am trying to accept but its too hard. To be honest I am now having suicidal thoughts too. Can’t work out if they are anxiety thoughts or real thoughts. Yes I am off to doc but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou

  112. Rich Says:

    Thanks Bryan! I am a logical thinker, so to finally know ‘why’ I feel the way I do means I can look at it logically instead of freak out and spiral down deeper into the worry pit. ‘Why’ is something my GP and CBT never told me. The only disadvantage is that I also like problem solving, so initially I kept trying and trying to Google and ‘think’ my way better. This doesn’t work as we all know.

    Today’s the day of my Christmas Party. I’ve been looking forward to it, but true to form I woke with an upset stomach and therefore the anxiety has risen up. I was late to work as a result, but I still came.

    The upset stomach will give me anxiety about having this all day and night long (it’s not pleasant, and socially awkward). The tension and adrenalin in me due to the anxiety will also make my legs ache and make me tired possibly before I even get there.

    So what am I going to do about all this? The answer: Nothing.

    Anything I try to do will only feed the fear and increase the anxiety – as I would be telling my mind that “yes, something is wrong – you’re right – increase the fight/flight symptoms more!”

    What I need to do is tell my mind ‘limbically’ that “actually, there’s nothing wrong here – everything is normal. Turn off the fight/flight and leave me alone”.

    So if my stomach is off, then so be it. I have an anxiety disorder after all. I’ll deal with it. Worst-case I can take a tablet to help this – if it continues into the evening.

    If my appetite goes, then so be it. I will try to eat to tell my body that there’s nothing ‘wrong’, but if I can’t ‘fake it’, I’ll just drink less alcohol and be sure to try again with food tomorrow.

    If I spend the day full of adrenalin and I end up tired and achy, then I can leave early and go to bed. I don’t have to dance all night.

    This to me is acceptance. Accepting I have anxiety and that I feel awful and not myself because I have anxiety. No other reason. Nothing to investigate here. What I find hard is ‘floating’ past it – as the symptoms I have are horrible, but I’m still going tonight. I must face it first and not hide – even if my mind is warning me of danger and telling me not to.

    I have to accept the negative thoughts and not fight them. Posting this is cathartic, and maybe a crutch, but I’m still in the mix here, so if this helps, then who cares. I’m not going to worry about it.

  113. Rich Says:

    Sorry for the long posts, but to follow up my post above with some points others may find useful:

    1) The post by me above is my plan of (non) action. I will still feel awful, I will still have negative thoughts, and my mind will be telling me “danger, danger, avoid avoid” all day long. I must not avoid. It is the fear I am afraid of. I mustn’t encourage it in any way – I must leave it to expose itself for what it really is – nothing but a bluff.

    2) Thinking ‘Limbically’ – if you are unfamiliar with this, I urge you to Google ‘nothingworks.weebly’ and read this in full. I am in the process of editing this into a condensed e-book for myself as I find it a great help.

    3) I have anxiety, but so does everyone else. This is normal. It is a good thing. It keeps us safe – even if its intentions are a little unwanted at times! It is my over-reaction (turning on the fight/flight response when it is not actually needed) that is the problem. I have an anxiety .

    Right – that’s enough. Time to get on with something else…

  114. Rich Says:

    ^ I have an anxiety ‘disorder’.

  115. Kristy Says:

    Hi! I’m new to this blog but have Been following Paul’s book and web page for about a month or so! I have had anxiety for 3 yrs due to work pressure and stress overload and in those 3 yrs I’ve tried 9 diff meds that did absolutely nothing for me at all! About a month n half ago I made the decision to come off all my meds! I did it over 2 wks with the help of my mum being here a great husband and wonderful kids! The last few weeks I have notice a big difference I’m able to laugh with my kids which I didn’t do for those 3 yrs on meds I’m kinder to my hubby ! But I’m still having the up n dwn days like nothing before! Which I guess is all part of recovery ! But after reading some of these latest post about relapse ect I’m now kinda worried I may never get to be 100% again !
    My anxiety got that bad I quit work 3 yrs ago and have not since been able to hold a job down for very long ( but I was on meds) I’m scared I’ll never get my work ethic back and that I may be mediocre for ever! On my good days it’s awesome nothing worries me I’m full gun ho and feel great, but on down idle kinda days I have that fear still ! I guess what I’m asking is this normal to feel like this ?
    Sorry if it’s all over the place !

    Kristy

  116. Dominick Says:

    Does anyone have this?

    I struggle with sleep anxiety. Sometimes the thoughts about sleep issues don’t bother me in the least. But other times those same thoughts bother me deeply.
    I’ll lose my appetite, have a hard time focusing on anything else, and get overwhelmed by doubt that this will ever go away…. that I’m broken beyond repair. The old me gone forever.

    Does anyone have this? But, instead of yours being about “sleep anxiety” it’s about whatever your fear/anxiety revolves around?

    Thanks.

  117. Nikki Says:

    Oh my word what a morning I have had! I woke up with a dull headache but that is nothing new as I am having a lot of headaches to do with my hormones just now. Anyway I got up and got on with my morning. I had a few dishes to wash and while I was at the sink I went extremely dizzy and incredibly faint. I immediately started to panic and became overwhelmed with terror. I was on my own in my house and my symptoms had me convinced I was going to die. I phoned a friend to distract myself but no way did that help. Came off the phone and was still full of terror. Managed to sit with my anxiety for a bit but it never let up. I had a friend scheduled for a visit and when she came I was still anxious. I had a full blown panic attack when she was here but was able to let it do its thing. The whole time she was here I felt like I was trembling the whole time. I am now exhausted shaken up and still quite anxious. I haven’t had a day like this in ages and it has scared me. Help!!! Xx

  118. Simply Bre Says:

    Thanks Kyara,
    I have read that article. I would just like to know if anyone here has experienced serious depression on here as a result of their anxiety, and how bad was it,and what did you guys do to get through the depression part of it.

  119. Bryan Says:

    Rich, what kind of tablets?

  120. JOE PRO Says:

    Hello all I have promised myself to take a break until 2014 and have not been on for a few weeks. Like I have said before I have recovered before and have had several setbacks along the way. I felt it was necessary to come on to help a few of you that are going through a rough patch.
    Elaine please don’t get caught up by anxiety’s BLUFF! Your simply having a temporary setback and it will pass in time. This is a chance to show anxiety that you own it and recover as you once did. As I posted before A letter to myself Nothingworks.weebly is all the scientific knowledge you will EVER need on what your body and mind is going through during the anxiety state. Under all the symptoms we are the same people we always were and just need our bodies to achieve homeostasis (balance). This take time and patience but more than anything else the attitude thats it OK to feel this way. Anxiety can never stop you from doing anything you once did and it is those VERY things that will get you to recovery.
    You are what you do not what you temporarily feel or think thats just the anxiety. Take your time go slow there is no rush and allow yourself to feel everything without judgement. Once you do this your limbic system will begin to relax and all your symptoms will lift. DP racing thoughts dizzyness heart palpitations insomnia fear dread ect ect . All will be gone! It a fact. But you have to WANT these feelings to come and know your perfectly safe. When you do this you there is no more battle with yourself and your freed from a bluff you have just called out. Open the closer there is no monster just feelings that you are creating cause your afraid of them. Don’t be there protecting you from you! Allow them to be there and play with them sing dance kissand laugh with them. Godspeed and never give up its always temporary!

  121. Dominick Says:

    Joe Pro, thanks for posting.

    So I’ve read weebly and some of your interaction with MikeStevens on sleep issues.

    So is my understanding on this correct?:

    1) I initially had a bad stretch of sleep because of anxiety from poorly dealing with stress. (I had other symptoms too but sleep bothered me the most)

    2) I became afraid of this symptom in particular (inability to sleep) and that helped to perpetuate my anxiety and cause it to latch on to sleep in particular.

    3) Then thinking about sleeping or trying to sleep would cause my amygdala and Sympathetic Nervous System to release more adrenaline…. leading me to further fear and obsess about sleep.

    so….
    4) Let the fear be there and have a “so what” attitude towards it all and I’ll recover?

  122. Rich Says:

    Hi Bryan, regarding the tablets, I must admit I have ‘coping strategies’ which I still use. If I have an upset stomach I usually let it run its course, but if I’m going out I used to take an immodium tablet to help my stomach calm down. This would also take my attention off myself and allow me to relax a little more.

    While we’re on the subject of tablets though, I am also on ADs. I have been up and down on these for 3 years – lowering the dose with a view to coming off, then having a bad spell and my GP upping the dose (I fluctuate between 10mg of Citalopram (Celexia) and 20mg) – I was on these before reading Paul / Claire Weekes.

    I am going to see my GP about coming off these over Xmas as I’ve 10 days off work, no weddings to photograph and feel I’ll be better able to handle any withdrawal symptoms at home with family and not at work.

    I don’t know if the ADs are helping. It doesn’t feel like they are. I can’t go ‘cold turkey’ with ADs though, hence my plan to withdraw slowly. I want to do this med-free, once and for all. No crutches (think Forrest Gump!).

    Finally, I was prescribed 1pk Diazapam over a year ago. I have used 1 2mg tablet sometimes before going out for a meal (a big deal for me), and 1 when photographing weddings if I feel anxious (can’t afford to run to the loo during a ceremony), and before going on holiday (when I really spiraled with this thing), but otherwise I don’t touch these. They scare me.

    I carry immodium on me to work, and have 1 diazapam in my wallet in case of ‘meltdown’. However, since understanding the condition I know I will never use this.

    This is me. Trying to cope. Clearly this hasn’t ‘cured’ me in 3 years of trying, hence this new approach – to face, accept and float.

  123. Rich Says:

    Dominick – you’ve got it. Let the fear be there. Fear is scary, so if you feel scared don’t worry about it – this is completely normal. Everyone is the same.

    The key is not to react to the feeling. Look at it, allow it to be there, but then think ‘oh, a thought – that’s interesting’, then let it fade away. If it lingers, then so be it.

    The trick is not to react to it – don’t try to force it out, don’t be scared if it enters your head. distance these thoughts – anxiety thoughts – from your own true self – realise they are not your thoughts, and that they are temporary.

    Also, don’t ‘try’ to get to sleep. If you’re tired, you will sleep. Try concentrating on your breathing or look into meditation techniques to help clear your mind to give it a chance to sleep.

    I recommend a free e-book called ‘Power Over Panic by Browyn Fox’ which has a chapter on meditation in this context. Google it and enjoy. Perhaps read it in bed?

  124. JOE PRO Says:

    Dominic—You hit the nail on the head. Now take your understanding and apply the principles. What you resist persist and don’t try and force things that we consciously cannot control. Our limbic system works very simply and we need to feed it good signals by not getting worked up and worried about symptoms. We don’t ever have to “fix” our symptoms cause there not real or have any underlining cause just overly sensitized at the current moment. Focus on other things leading upto bedtime but never worry or try and sleep. Thats not your job just look at it as a chance to rest and your Sub conscious will do the rest. It takes time to get your sleep patterns normal but your body will always rest regardless of how much you worry over it and thats why things like anxiety DP/DR come upon us to slow us down when we over do things. Slow down and take things slowly and one thing at a time.

  125. RachelT Says:

    Hi all, I’m hoping somebody may have had similar experience before. I have noticed over the past couple of days (slightly more anxious days) I have been thinking to myself about something normal and will fleetingly think, “oh didn’t this come up in conversation this week or didn’t I see that or hear that before”. Then realise I haven’t and it sparks my panic cycle by me thinking im a bit delusional or something. I’m sure my mind is just tired. I have been getting on with things as per ” nothingworks” and I don’t believe I am showing signs of any mental health issues but I just want some reassurance this is normal for anxiety. Will really appreciate any responses.

    Hope everyone is well today

    Rachel

  126. Dominick Says:

    Thanks for the advice, Rich.

    I’ve tried so many different types of meditation for this but it only seems to reinforce to my mind that I’m trying to run from the scary thoughts that i’m broken, that I’ll never be able to sleep like I used to, that my mind will always get in the way of me being peaceful again.

    I’m not saying meditation is the bad thing. It just seems like my brain is getting that I’m trying to distract myself from those thoughts which seems to serve to strengthen them.

    But, I have had better nights where I’ll just lay there and if those thoughts come to allow them to come.

    Sometimes it’s just my obsessing about it during the day that really seems to bother me. But, from the sounds of it…. this is really no different than anyone else and their anxiety. They’ll obsess, have fearful thoughts that they are broke beyond repair, that there’s no hope.

    So, it’s kind of comforting. It makes me think that “hey, sleep isn’t really the issue. You obviously can sleep. It’s just that your fear/anxiety latch on to that issue in particular. No different than anyone else but their anxiety latched on to that which scared them the most.”

    —– does that make sense?

  127. Dominick Says:

    Thanks Joe Pro.

    It’s nice to talk to someone who had the same issues with sleep.

    What’s frustrating is that I’ll actually have these moments where it feels like I could truly careless about the whole thing anymore. I’ll feel free. I’ll even find myself snacking close to bedtime (how I used to be before all of this hit)….

    Then the next moment I’ll be filled with doubt, fear, and uncertainty that I’ll ever get better and that I’m doing the right thing.

  128. JOE PRO Says:

    To Rich—-You have come a long way and you truly understand the anxiety bluff. I would suggest that you break all your crutches you don’t need them and they are an avoidance behavior. Nobody should ever avoid anxiety since it can never harm you and by facing it true nature (a bluff) you send the right signals to you Limbic System which is ultimately responsible for all of these crazy sensations. We can’t control these feelings and more than we can stop our breathing or heart from beating. Yes we can make them go faster and focus on them so much that we feel we have to regulate them! Its the exact same with anxiety we focus so much concentration that of course we are more aware of our symptoms that what’s happening in our lives. I’ve been there and nothing changes! It never gets any worse than a panic attack followed by DP/DR more brooding trying to fight coping bargaining pleading begging with anxiety! Hahah its so ridicules that when your recovered you will wonder what in the world you were ever worried about? Simple facts anxiety cannot hurt you ever mentally, physically or psychologically. It can never stop you from doing anything and will leave as soon as you stop fearing it. Those are the cold hard facts. Don’t be afraid of yourself be confident that you can and will face anything. .life can dish out.

  129. JOE PRO Says:

    Dominic—-Those up and down feelings are normal. Focus on the good and just do all the things you did before. Your body wants good sleep and will get it as soon as you focus on other things. Focus on life and your sleep will be a direct result of how your reacting to your life when your awake. Peaceful happy life leads to peaceful happy sleep. You cant have one without the other. I am not worried at all about you and you shouldn’t be eithier. Your on the right road and enjoy your good results.

  130. Dominick Says:

    Thanks Joe Pro. That means so much.

    I’m thinking about if I were to try to go to sleep I wouldn’t be able to and it’s boosting my fear and anxiety.
    But I’m telling myself, “Fine feel the fear… it’s a bluff. This came on not because you’re not able to sleep but because you went through a bad spell of anxiety from something you could handle (poorly handling stress). Then this bluff latched on to sleep. You turn it off by not further fueling it.”

  131. JOE PRO Says:

    Rachelt——I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have gotten that deja vu feeling! Its just an old tired mind catching up with all the information you receive through out the day. I remember feeling like OMG what month or day is it? How can I forget something that should be automatic? Well its very simple our brains have shut or slowed down many of the processes that we take for granted when we are recovered. There is just an information backlog and we never actually forget any of it. Its just not a priority at this time. Relax its your reaction to these simple things thats important not the thought themselves. Just laugh it off and refocus on whatever you are doing and take your time doing them. You will be fine I promise nobody has ever been harmed by anxiety or has gone crazy/lost control. It just cannot happen. Believe me I have tried and they wouldn’t take me!

  132. Claire Says:

    Charlotte,
    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one although I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. I must say I’ve felt ok today. Just got on! I’m not going to take time off work because I’ve been there and done that the other year and it made me worse. Sat feeling sorry for myself and moping about all day long. Does you no good. Just gotta take the rough with the smooth I suppose! I just get so scared at times and feel like I’m in my own world! Awful! We’ll all get there though.

    There’s some lovely people on here helping others and offering sound advice. Elaine, Joe Pro, Rich, Rachh to name but a few!

    Keep calm and carry on so the saying goes! Love to you all xx

  133. Karen Says:

    But why do we put scary thoughts in our head. Does anyone else have them every minute of every day? I will sort one out then it will morph into a new one! I hate it, know I should try to accept but just want to be bettrr.

  134. JOE PRO Says:

    Claire—Your not in your own world your in OURS! We are all going thru the same temporary feelings. Please do not deviate from your routine. Keep going to work and take your symptoms with you since they cannot stop you from doing anything EVER. Doing is what stops anxiety not thinking or feelings which are always temporary. Focus on the external world not the buzzing of harmless sensations. Not once has any of the 10,000 sensations or 1,000,000 thoughts have ever hurt me and never will. Go straight towards them and bring down the falsehood that they represent and your mind/Limbic system will reward you with peace.Remember when your going through hell keep walking until your eventually out the other side. Its is not forever and your body and mind are on your side always. Their just confused as to why your sending fear signals when there is no threat. Act like your not afraid and your body doesn’t know the difference. Our minds our infinite and can never be bottled up. Let free your thoughts and emotions knowing that your minds needs freedom to create imagine love and enjoy this experience called life.

  135. Jack Says:

    Can anyone suggest the best way to deal with the lightheadedness and dizziness associated with anxiety attacks? This is my biggest issue, I know its most likely caused by holding my breath and tensing my neck and shoulders!!
    Thanks

  136. Dominick Says:

    Hi Joe Pro,

    I don’t mean to badger you with questions.
    But when your sleep anxiety was bad did you ever find yourself obsessing and worrying about it during the day?

  137. RachelT Says:

    JOE PRO,

    Thank you for that. Yeah it is like a déjà vu feeling, for a split second I’ve had that conversation and then think oh my goodness, I really haven’t. My heart hits my boots and the fear cycle starts. I am pleased to say it hasn’t gripped me, previously I would have followed it through and been stuck in the terrifying loop for days. I also have you to thank for that too as you posted the nothingworks link and its changed my outlook on the whole thing! I’ve had days recently where I have just “been”. No judgement, no adding to anything just being.

    Rachel

  138. Nikki Says:

    Well after my horrendous day today (see above) I have just been out to grab pizza for dinner. Hubby came with me and I was still very trembly. Suffice to say my physical symptoms of anxiety have been awful today. Not felt this out of control in ages. I am trying soo hard not to question ‘why’ but it is hard to make sense of my extreme symptoms. I have been very busy for weeks on end so am putting it down to exhaustion! Am heading to the north of Scotland for a weeks break tomorrow and it would be nice to be less anxious in my body. Xx

  139. JOE PRO Says:

    Dominick—Yes when you have any type of anxiety you tend to go over and over it in your head which is normal until you realize its just the anxiety loop. You cannot think your way out of anxiety since its not very rational. You need to forget about sleep until your tired and even then go to bed to rest not to “sleep”. Sleep of course happens as a result of your body resting and your mind switching off and the serotonin switch gets activated and

  140. JOE PRO Says:

    cont..then your taken into sleep. You should not be thinking about sleep rather have a healthier routine leading up to sleep. Your whole day should be about other things and a few hours before bed should be your unwind time. Hot bath relaxing book a little warm milk or a glass of wine with dinner and most importantly the correct attitude of I’m going to allow my body and mind the chance to rest and I will not get in the way of it anymore. I have done my best today and look forward to tomorrows challenges but today is over and I have earned this rest. Then just day dream no forcing of thoughts and whatever feelings come let them wash over you and give them there exit. There making room sometimes for the serotonin to kick in. Noting special here and the best thing is that you don’t need to do anything but allow this to happen naturally.

  141. Nikki Says:

    Its the physical symptoms that scare me elaine. Wish they didn’t. I do understand that it is only adrenaline but it is so hard to ignore them. Xx

  142. JOE PRO Says:

    Glad to hear your feeling better Elaine. Anxiety is no fun especially after you have been recovered for awhile. But we simply dust ourselves off and face the challenges of the day. I believe that the worse anxiety is the stronger a person becomes when they face it. Anxiety can only get so bad since it runs on adrenaline and then calms down. I am now trying to have the worst anxiety possible by drinking a triple shot of expresso while going to Macy’s with kids to see Santa. We all have to push our limits to show our bodies what we can really handle and see that anxiety and adrenaline are not the least bit dangerous. I am turning anxiety into excitement and its a empowering feeling!

  143. Kat Says:

    Does anyone have tips for dealing with indecisiveness and over analyzing decisions? I’m so obsessed with not making mistakes and I overthink decisions to the point I end up becoming paralyzed with fear and ruining good things I have going in my life. Decisions are inevitable in life and every time I have to make one and even after I make one I still over think it. Paul doesn’t talk about this and I don’t know how to deal with it. The advice elaine and rich gave me before helped but I’m just having such a hard time I worry about so much.

  144. JOE PRO Says:

    Anyway I just came back on to give people a boost or two and hopefully I have done that. But alas I need to take my own advice and get away from anxiety for awhile to get over my own setback. I wish you all the very best during the holiday and will check back in 2014! Remember face all fears head on and feel everything fully with a great big smile.

  145. Karen Says:

    Hi everyone. I made a couple of posts earlier today but as they were being moderated have only just appeared. Please would you look back at them to see if you have any tips. Feeling bit desperate on only one or two hours sleep a night.

  146. Charles Says:

    Karen, everyone has scary thoughts, and everyone is capable of thinking about them all day and all night if they really tried, there is nothing wrong with you. You need to realize that when you are sorting out your thoughts, you are making new thoughts to diffuse the old thoughts, that’s why there seems to be an endless supply of thoughts for you to figure out.

    All the answer you are looking for is on the site, and some of them are even in this very blog post we are replying to. Stop trying to think differently.

    Also keep in mind that giving up the battle is not about making your thoughts stop, it’s not about stop fearing your thoughts. Acceptance is accepting the fact that as a human being you will have scary thoughts, and when they come they will scare you, but it’s ok, because fear is not a sickness it’s a human response.

  147. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Karen

    I think most people on here have had scary thoughts, it seems to be one of the main psychological symptoms that people have and do not like. I certainly have had the same as you, thoughts all day long like incessant mind chatter. Suicidal thoughts are also really common and you will see them mentioned a lot, anxiety plays on your worst fears .

    I didn’t sleep for weeks at one point ( I still have little sleep as I have a baby who doesn’t sleep a lot !) .

    You are not alone and it’s great you are seeing your doctor and gettin cBT , all will help, but read the posts on here they will be a great help tp you

  148. Diane31 Says:

    @Kat,
    yes big time. it can be with little things or big things like buying a house for instance . it s normal and people go through that every day except they dont analyze the decision analysis back and forth . one of my docs said smthg like – it s normal – it s stress and anxiety playing tricks- there was a patient that basically couldnt decide over whether he wanted his new kitchen delivered at home versus him picking it up. simple decision right ? but anxiety and stress just makes us more indecisive and makes us into thinking we cant take a decision . if there s something i learnt is to make decisions when i m calm and relaxed and look at the situation itself as is ,make a decision and go with it . will you overanalyse or question it – yes, and even people without anxiety do ,but they dont just catastrophize over it. i ve now sold my old apartment and i m searching one just before holidays – i know it s not the best time to buy but hey. i ve taken the decision to sell because i realized i want to travel more and paying off the mortgage on the old one didnt allow me to do that. for me travel is the “living ” that Paul mentioned about . I still am anxious but more preocuppied still with seeing and learning etc rather than why do i feel anxious. it also surprised me because it made me get out of the hotel ,see things , museums -the “i want to see it all ” type of feeling , climb that 360 m hill even though my heart was racing and i even chatted people up which also was unusual for me . i dont think it s running away from anxiety , it will still be there through setbacks but like for others going out , playing sports etc is living ” my living is more to do with seeing places and cultures it may seem . i think i m going through the setbacks alright but i noticed i m going out more and forcing myself to do it sometimes without expecting to feel better,talk more to people etc but also from a pure physical perspective. when you sit in the house and do nothing your muscle tend to get weird on ya s if they re praying for some serious stretching. also if you thin you re running out of energy you might be surprised sometimes how much you ve got :)
    i m still going through the apartment decision making – buy this buy that, location location location ,keep it in budget, what IFs etc and all the pressure and stress and i know it s ok. It s stressful for those without anxiety as well let alone for one with anxiety :))) and the biggest one for me is whether i m gonna buy smthg for the fear of not being able to sell quickly if i want to, rather than buying what i like etc. and i m aware that this fear particularly clouds my decision making process.

    so yes it s so normal to be indecisive because anxiety plays tricks on you into thinking that you re not taking the right decisions based on your experience, intuition,feelings and wants and common sense. they are there ,they wont go away , it s just the anxiety playing in the background.

  149. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Been a while since I posted so just thought I’d give an update. Still feeling pretty crap at the moment and seem to have gone into self pitying mode a little and crying an awful lot. I’ve realised though that this is not the right attitude.

    I’ve been suffering for just over 18 months now, which basically consisted of 12 months of feeling really awful with no breaks at all to 6 months of being up and down. Since about May I was okayish for around 3/4 months then slammed into an awful Setback in September which lasted until mid November. At the end of the setback I felt great, 100% for around 2 weeks or so and then really thought I was on the way only to feel really bad again about a week ago.

    Over the last few days or so I’ve been kind of pining for my good days, leading me to feel miserable. I realised the error of my ways today and rather than do that I need to rejoice in the fact that I had a period of feeling great and hopefully there will be more to come. Just like Paul’s recovery it will be up and down for me.

    Hope everyone is doing well.

    Bryan, how are you pal?

    Mark.

  150. Dominic Says:

    Hi guys
    This is really for Dominick
    My story is exactly the same as yours. I suffered badly with sleep anxiety and worried, fussed about it all day. I slept badly, tried all the breathing, meditation routines, alcohol, pills. I had the crazy thoughts, avoided all types of caffeine. My heart would beat like crazy as some as I got into bed.
    Let me tell you now I sleep fine. I fall asleep when I’m tired and that’s that. I still get anxiety about it and have silly little thoughts but I just ignore them. Sometimes my heart starts to beat fast when I get into bed but I just ignore it and know that sooner or later ill fall asleep.
    It’s only when I let go of worrying and obsessing over it that things started to change.
    I do sometimes have the odd bad night but so does most of the population.let whatever happens happen. If you don’t sleep then so what, the worst will be you will feel anxious and tired the next day.
    Trust me I’m almost 100 per cent now and I’ve been to that dark place but slowly and gradually you care less and your time awake will be more important than your sleep. Let everything be there and focus on life and the good things around you. This goes for all types of anxiety. I used to believe all the crazy thoughts” if I go to bed late I won’t sleep” or if I drink this coffee at 5pm I won’t sleep” I stopped going out with friends and used avoidance behaviours. It doesn’t work.
    Once I stopped all this and just went back to doing what I did before taking along these feelings and thoughts, that’s when things started to change. It’s not overnight but it will happen.
    Hope this helps
    Dom

  151. Rich Says:

    Hi Everyone. Today is the day after my Xmas party. I busied myself at work yesterday and ate my lunch over a couple of hours to make sure I ate it. I had conflicting emotions – excitement of the party ahead, but fear of anxiety at the same time – a real tug-o-war.

    Guess what – I had a good time. It is like all this fear of anxiety and irrational thoughts is just a bluff! I had one minor ‘blip’ when I self-checked myself during the dinner, but I allowed the thought to be there, didn’t react to it (well to be honest I thought “oh for f***s sake get lost! You’re not ruining my night!” and then it went and i was ok. It knocked me a little as it popped into my head out of the blue, but my reaction (or non-reaction) this time was different, and the result was better.

    Today I feel awful – stomach is a little delicate, tired, I ache, I am doing a lot of self-checking and I still fear I will have this forever, but I’m hungover – I drank alcohol (a depressant), red bull (full of caffine – a stimulant), I only slept 3 hours (not rested) and I was dancing to 80s Xmas songs all night – it’s no surprise I am like this! So this is OK to me. It will pass.

    When I had my ‘blip’ during dinner (I still fear eating, or losing my appetite in social situations), I caused it myself:

    Me: “Hey Rich, You’re eating your dinner. Any signs of anxiety?”

    Tired Mind: “None – but why are you asking? Should there be? Are you in danger? I best switch on the fight/flight response to sort this out! Thanks for bringing anxiety to my attention – because until then I was in ‘rest/digest’ mode.”

    Me: “You’re not ruining my evening! I know this is my own fault for self-checking and thinking myself into an anxious state. There is no danger so I’m going to stay put and not react – this time, I am right, and you are wrong”.

    Tired mind: “Oh, ok, sorry – my mistake. I’ll leave you alone now”.

    Me: “I don’t fancy eating dessert, but this is because my body just switched into fight/flight for a moment, so not to worry. I’ll go dance to ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ instead.

  152. Bryan Says:

    Hey Mark,

    Thanks for asking and I’m glad despite your ups and downs you are keeping at this the right way.

    I’ve stabilized from my bad setback in Aug/Sept that seemed to last so long. The last month has been more stable. Not great but far fewer peak-suffering days. Hasn’t been great and not as many up-peaks as prior to setback but more stable and tolerable. I’m trying to give myself enough space to rest and let my body settle. Life stress has remained a bit high so trying to mitigate that influence.

    Overall optimistic and just trying to take it day by day. Good luck and let’s both keep on track, and let our systems recover without interfering with additional worrying and fretting.

    Be well!

  153. Sam Says:

    Hi guys I’m really in need of help again.. I’ve stayed away from the blog until last few weeks as I’ve been in the longest setback ever, 7 weeks!! And I’ve had two of the hardest days ever in a row both leading to me breaking down in tears in public but out of sight.. I really don’t know what to do as I always seem to second guess myself and always wonder if I’m doing the right thing. I’m doing Paul’s method of letting go today but I’m so physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted I’m not sure if can let go otherwise I’ll be bed ridden like I was 3/4 years ago again.. I should be happy with the great girlfriend, fanily, great car, secure finance etc but it doesnt seem to make a difference.. il l feel desperate again now.If anyone can help or do anything I’ll be eternally thankful.

  154. Mark R Says:

    Bryan,

    Yep, with you on that one. I’ve stabilised since that setback but not as much as prior to it to be honest. What I’ve experienced over this last week or so is like a fraction of that setback, it almost feels like it’s last ditch attempt to drag me back into it if that makes sense?

    I’ve noticed though that if I am busy it’s far easier to cope with, as it just buzzes in the background like an annoying wasp. I’ve taken up golf, even playing on my own to pass the time and I have noticed that sometimes my mind drifts off me and onto what I am doing. I find concentrating at work and relaxing in the company of others the hardest.

    Sam,

    I had my longest setback in September and October, well it lasted around 10 weeks in total so it’s nothing unusual. Bryan also had one at the same time. My advice is just keep going, don’t let it trick you into believing you’re back at square one, that’s its favourite game. It will get easier and when you’re through it you just push it behind you and go forward.
    In terms of what you listed with your life, anxiety doesn’t care if you are living in a ditch or in a mansion, it affects everyone. Just remind yourself that when you recover you will have these to enjoy fully.

  155. Kate Says:

    Hi Guys
    Just wondered if someone can answer a quick question.
    I think Im on the right track Im seeing improvements although this week isn’t too good but that’s due to upset at home. I’ve finally realised that Im using always checking this and other sites as a way to make myself feel better as that’s no good so Im taking a break and carrying on with my own life for a while while letting Dp just be there the problem is Im constantly checking in with myself wonderin how Im feeling. Any ideas how to handle this? Just let it be there? I really dont care if its there or not so no idea why i keep checking back in its usually when I’ve been distracted for a while and realise my mind hasn’t been on me. Any help appreciated x

  156. Karen Says:

    Kate, I am the same x

  157. Kate Says:

    Karen
    Im glad its not just me. It makes me think Im not doing things right but i know I’ve accepted. It doesn’t mean I like how I feel but I know this is just me for now so I dont understand why I keep checking in :(

  158. Kate Says:

    Thank you so much Elaine I thought I wasn’t doing things right. When I check in the weird feelings whack me but I dont care I just carry on with what Im doing I was just worrying that if i had truely accepted that i shouldn’t be checking in still. Thing is I know this is all a bluff as when I get into things I totally feel ok and forget that I even have Dp I just need to learn to trust myself more. Hope your doing good Elaine you were a big part in me getting this far x

  159. Rich Says:

    Kate, as you may see from the comments on this post and the one before it, I come on here daily. I find it really useful to write out ‘how to recover’ when I can help other people with their problems. Partly thought because writing about how to recover helps reinforce the process to myself too!

    I think it’s in ‘Letter to Myself’ where they ask you to ask ‘non-sufferers’ if they visit anxiety websites, or ask them what they do when they have anxiety. They don’t think about it or research it at all. However, we are not ‘non-sufferers’ and understanding the anxiety disorder and how it conjours the thoughts and symptoms is essential knowledge we need for us to build recovery on top of – to see through the bluff that it is.

    The balance is to make sure we’re not reliant on the site to give us a small ‘feel good boost’ to help ‘fight’ anxiety short-term – as this will actually stop us from recovering long-term, which is what we really want. Imagine if you lost internet access, or the website went down. You need to know you’ll be OK without it.

    I am probably on here too much – I need to ‘watch catchprase’ and do ‘normal’ things with my time – I do, but I really enjoy the community here and the support offered by people really helps – especially when it’s a bad day.

    I will wean myself off the site in time to fewer visits. I don’t Google symptoms or the ‘miracle cure’ at all though – this is my only online anxiety destination. I read ‘letter to myself’ sometimes to help drill the points home what I do and don’t need to do (I’m set in my anxiety ways and need it hammered home what to do).

    The aim should be to think about anxiety less and less – to ‘act normal’ like non-sufferers, and you will become one. ‘Fake it until you make it’.

  160. Kate Says:

    Rich
    That’s me its only here and the link Joe Pro posted that I visit. The problem for me is I do use it as a crutch. I love this site but I come on when Im feeling like i can’t cope and I feel like that’s holding me back. I’ll still come on just less and less as time goes on I need to live life like I would without anxiety no matter how uncomfortable I can’t relay on someone else to make me feel better only I can do that x

  161. Rich Says:

    PS do I stop myself from coming here? No. Do I worry I am on here too much? No. Don’t ‘force’ yourself away as this is ‘fighting’. I accept I need support from you guys, but I know this won’t be forever. Naturally visits to here will be replaced by looking at funny cats on YouTube etc.

  162. Rich Says:

    Coming here is like when you go online to learn how to fix a PC problem. You research it, learn how to fix it, then you fix it. When its working, you don’t keep reading about it unless you want to help others fix their PCs. You don’t even think about it when it’s working OK.

    The only difference is that with Anxiety disorder, we have to fix our own ‘problem’. We can’t take ourselves to the local repair shop and ask some expert to swap out our Limbic circuit board for a ‘normal one’. We have to fix the one we have.

    I’ve tried fixing mine my taking a hammer to it and banging it over and over again. This time, I’m reading the manual…

  163. Kate Says:

    Rich
    Love the way you put things :)

  164. Godiva Says:

    Hi! can anyone suggest how to deal with anxious stomach, nausea and loss of appetite? It’s killing me… :(
    Thank you!

  165. Charlotte Says:

    Rich

    I did laugh ! I’ve tried the hammer technique and agree its a bit rubbish !!

  166. Dillon Says:

    I guess I don’t get it when Joe pro says he has recovered many times and has anxiety again when alot of posts and what paul says that once you are recovered you can never suffer again.

  167. Rich Says:

    Thank you for your kind comments everybody.

    Godiva – anxious stomach and loss of appetite are my two worst fears, and therefore are my two worst anxiety symptoms! Anxiety disorder is a real b**ch! If I had a normal stomach and a normal appetite at all times, I’d be perfectly happy and wouldn’t have anxiety issues.

    These symptoms are completely normal for someone with sensitised nerves such as you and I. It is a natural reaction of the fight/flight response being triggered. Because they’re symptoms of anxiety, they too can be removed as we recover, like any other symptom.

    People say ‘anxiety cannot, and will not ever harm you’, but having to run to the loo and a resulting sore bum and embarassment to me is damaging – not just to my bum but to my confidence. It encourages agorophobia. What if there’s no loo, or on the bus, or walking etc.

    Read my comments on the last blog post here and on this blog post (in chronological order), then read ‘Letter to Myself’ – as this has sections on eating. Summary: Eat little and often. Build it up from scratch. I used immodium when I absolutely had to for my stomach, but now I accept that these symptoms are all because of anxiety, I just deal with them and don’t fight them if I can afford to. I’m new to this idea, and I’ve been suffering for around 20 years with ups and downs, so its early days.

    Everyone’s symptoms are different, but the road to recovery is the same for us all. Sort out the anxiety disorder and your appetite and stomach will fix themselves.

  168. Mark R Says:

    Elaine/Dillon,

    I think you were recovered, I’ve recovered 3 times in the past but its come back, for some people its the nature of it. Claire Weekes says you can considered yourself recovered as long as you can cope with it returning under times of stress (setbacks).

    My periods of recovery from a bout has never been less that 2 years at a time, what I want to try and do in the future is mitigate a bout into a setback. I don’t want to suffer every few years for 2 years at a time.

    Although it’s not returned for Paul, he doesn’t make the claim it can’t return for everyone, each person is different.

  169. Dominick Says:

    To Dominic (with no ‘k’),

    Thank you so much, brother.

    You’ve got me in tears over here. Tears because I feel some hope. First time in a loooooooong time.

    I hate the feeling during the day when I have the thought, “will my mind let me drift off tonight to sleep” or, “how will my conscious mind allow itself to drift off”.

    Your words mean so much to me. I’m going to stop he researching and just refer back to your post.

    You don’t know how much it means to me.

  170. Karen Says:

    So is it normal to have to drag yourself through every minute of every day? I just feel like I can’t cope with it anymore. Managed to get out with the kids yesterday anyway.. it is such a struggle looking after them and doing normal daily functions. The doctor has given me sleeping tablets but I feel so rubbish the next morning. How on earth do you accept this and not want it to go away!

  171. Karen Says:

    And really, horrible thoughts nearly every minute of eery day. Find it difficult to believe anyone else suffers this badly. I guess that’s naieve and selfish though. I have got sleeping tablets at the moment and diazepam. I suspect paul would not condone that but I have to be able to function for the kidd. So sorry am so pessimistic, hope I am not bringing others down. Just needing support. X

  172. Karen Says:

    What’s the name of Claire Weeks book?

  173. Charlotte Says:

    Karen

    You are not bringing people down you are just on here needing support, apt on here have been where you are. This time last year I was same as you every minute felt like a struggle my mind raced all day, I couldn’t eat or sleep. I had panic attacks and feelings of unreality.

    Of course you don’t want to accept feeling like that it is horrible, but it is just anxiety, by just acknowledging its anxiety will help you out of it. Claire weekes CDs are really great and I think someone had posted that she has some audio free on her Facebook page.

    No one will condone you for taking tablets you do what is best for you. I take ads as for me I need them to help me sleep and take the edge of anxiety, and I am in recovery .

    Hope u maybe get a bit of peace today, I think you will find the CDs great for you

  174. Karen Says:

    Thanks Charlotte x

  175. Godiva Says:

    Rich, I’ve read your posts and lots of them seem as if I had written them myself. I am not sure, if the recovery from anxiety disorder is possible at all for me, as I suffer from it for more than 20 years, since my early teenager years… So I’ve never been normal…. And it gets worse with age :( I thought that it would get better when I get older and more mature, but no…

    I suffer from social phobia and have low self-esteem and every social situation worsens it. I’ve got good education and good work, but it doesn’t help my self-esteem.
    When I am NOT in socium, I usually calm down – then the anxiety and the symptoms are not so sharp. But avoidance is not the best way-out, as far as I have a family, I need to go to work and to be among people. So it ends up in this blind circle. (Sorry for my English)

  176. Stephanie Says:

    Hi all,
    Im currently in setback at minute having a lot of new physical symptoms back pain numbness in face tingling and numbness. This has been going in for few months coming and going and iv got into the habit of googling my symptons every day iv diagnosed myself with different illnesses the list is endless!! This is a fairly new habit for me and really taking it’s toll. I’m worrying and being ridiculously uptight paranoid and sensitive about everything it’s pathetic!constantly worried what others think about how iv acted it said certain thing.. Really feeling it at the minute because I havnt had setback like this for a long time so I’m questioning new symptoms and thinking are they because of another cause. When I’m dropping off to sleep hear noises in ears which jolt me awake then start thinking is this start of bipolar schizophrenia! I know as I’m writing this that it’s me doing this to myself and iv been here before and it’s anxiety but then when get new symptom if wave of anxiety it throws me like I have forgotten everything g and feel really weak! The depersonilation is the worst I’m like walking round numb in a daze all day it’s frightening at times I’m completely away with fairys. Feel like Iv lost memory forgot how to speak as I stumble call people wrong names mind goes blank so annoying! If anyone has had any if these symptoms or has any advice it would be really helpful thanks x

  177. Dee Says:

    Hi all, I have not been on here I am proud to say for about a year as I feel the blog/webpage and book has been the most helpful and inspiring to me and helped me beyond word…. but for the past few weeks I feel I have started to slip back into old thought patterns and am forever telling myself that this is norrmal and to let the thoughts come and go but it seems to be controlling my everyday and I am AGAIN!! waking and for the first 5 mins thinking to myself, is it there has it gone am I feeling ‘normal’ today and I hate it!!!, it’s almost as ifI have started analysing life again and thinking ‘ what is this all about? please tell me this is normal SOMEONE!!!! as I dont want it all to spiral out of control again as I feel I have come a long way?? I have come back as the support you gain from here is priceless.
    Thank you ALL for listening and any advice would be greatly received xx

  178. honey Says:

    I wonder if paul could explain a little more about setbacks… or particularly setbacks that occur after periods of what one thinks is full recovery. Am i right in sayung that full recovery is the total loss of fear? How could you have a setback if you have stopped being afraid of fear? Of course you will still feel normal levels of anxiety but you wouldnt engage in the fear because you are no longer afraid? Someone who has a setback is not recovered completely right? As they still have the setback because they have more to learn?

  179. Shashank Says:

    I love all the posts of Paul….They have been and are an inspiration to me.Well i would say that another great post Paul….I feel I am recovering…All I say just follow what Paul says….He’s saying correct…I also follow what he said and still says and am on the path of recovery….I used to worry a lot earlier about my anxiety and its symptoms but not now.My anxiety levels have dropped now..Yes somedays I do feel very much anxious…But it is not a problem as there even have been days when I have felt less anxious..I am on the path of recovery and I am confident that gradually and gradually I will also become anxiety free…One day I will also be anxiety free…

  180. Shashank Says:

    Hi All..I love all the posts of Paul….They have been and are an inspiration to me.Well i would say that another great post Paul….I feel I am recovering…All I say just follow what Paul says….He’s saying correct…I also follow what he said and still says and am on the path of recovery….I used to worry a lot earlier about my anxiety and its symptoms but not now.My anxiety levels have dropped now..Yes somedays I do feel very much anxious…But it is not a problem as there even have been days when I have felt less anxious..I am on the path of recovery and I am confident that gradually and gradually I will also become anxiety free…One day I will also be anxiety free…:-)…

  181. Bryan Says:

    Honey,

    Go to Paul’s main site AND this blog front page. He has 2 long and concise explanations of setback. He also covers it in his book. Claire Weekes also covers setback extensively.

  182. Bryan Says:

    For those who have recovered and then had setbacks after a long period of feeling good my guess is there is generally a reason. Example, getting back to a hectic and healthy lifestyle because we feel “ok” and think we can.
    Not giving the body proper time to rest can rekindle symptoms in my opinion.
    Life stressors can cause flare ups too.

    And as much as I am a huge fan of Paul’s work, there is an add-on to his teaching that some may need to consider and that is underlying factors.
    If we recover via acceptance but never change things like being people pleasers (for example) the body eventually builds up stress again.
    Another popular and very sensible anxiety site out there teaches addressing underlying factors for SUSTAINED recovery and I believe both aspects compliment each other.

    Paul teaches a modern version of what Claire Weekes taught: losing fear and resuming life.

    The other aspect some need to consider: changing behaviors and life situations that made you anxious in the first place.

    Because for some losing the fear is enough. Others may need the add-on work or they tend to see more setbacks.

    Just my two cents and I am not fully recovered yet.

  183. Bryan Says:

    Elaine that’s probably a deeper question but if you truly feel you have no life stress and you have no anxiety behaviors… first off that is very rare and you are very lucky. I don’t know anyone who can say that.

    Then that leaves acceptance which you know cured you once already. The setback has already happened. We can’t take them away. So… if you truly believe nothing in your life contributed to it… why talk about it at all?
    What would you want Paul to say?

  184. Charles Says:

    Bryan, are you the scuba diver that used to post on here a year ago?

  185. Mark R Says:

    Sometimes even something could trigger a setback, such as a memory. I’m the same, it always seems to happen after a period of doing well and I am in a good place. It’s really frustrating.

    My last setback was in September just after coming back from holiday, I was feeling good after having a great time. It came out of nowhere, no warning, nothing. Lasted two monthsn, then had 2/3 weeks of bliss before those awful feelings resurfaced.

    I’ve been in the thick of it the last 3 days, feeling really really awful and at a low ebb. I was crying so much on the golf course I left and came home.

  186. Karen Says:

    Oh Elaine don’t say that. It was a perfectly sensible question. I have read and been encouraged by your posts. X

  187. Dominick Says:

    To Dominic.

    Thanks again. Last night I must have got over 6 hours of sleep!!!
    So that’s a good feeling. I had this fear and doubt in my mind that I will ever be normal with sleep again. I let it be there, paid it little respect and put up my Christmas tree. Which I wasn’t going to do.

    So I’m happy about that.

    I still hate that feeling of shutting my eyes and having my mind or brain go on high alert. As opposed to freaking out when that happens and trying to distract myself from it, I just let my brain do that if it wanted to. And you know, it actually stop an anxiety attack from hapoening

  188. honey Says:

    Elaine from reading some previous posts about setback I can now see that you are still frightened of the symptoms and Paul is not. He said if he felt anxiety he would not like it but he would not fear it and I think thats the difference. You have had a setback so welcome it with open arms because with it comes acceptance and you are learning to lose your fear. You can’t overcome it for good unless you feel it so think of it as an opportunity to practice what you have learned. Dont think of the great year you had because that is self pity and dwelling on why you’re feeling bad again which keeps you in the anxiety loop that Paul talks about. Just take each day as it comes. You will come out of this much stronger and hopefuly fully recovered this time :-) xx

  189. Dee Says:

    hi can anyone comment on my post please xx

  190. Charlotte Says:

    Elaine

    How are you tonight? I completely understand and agree that you do not need any life stressors or issues to experience and have an anxiety disorder, as you have rightly said so many gems it’s a habit your mind has ! Some people may have stressors in their life and others may not, everyone is individual. There is one thing we all have in common though is that we have anxiety

    You need support at this time more than ever and you know you get it here.

    I agree with Honey above, I think it’s the fear of symptoms that is sometimes the final piece of recovery , I wouldn’t say I’m recovered because I am still scared of the symptoms and I know once I’m not I would be recovered but it is the fear that I think holds some of us back.

    Hope you ok tonight x

  191. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Dee

    I am with you on the recognising though patterns and hating the monitoring, and as I said above I think it is this dislike and fear that can sometimes keep us in the loop

    You have so much knowledge and experience now that you know how to recover and keep improving . I could say try and use it as experience to practice and I will say it but I totally understand all you want is for it not to be there – I do the same thing !

    As we can all see many people are having set backs at the moment, I would like to guess that this time of year can also be a factor.

    Hope you well

    X

  192. James Says:

    Hi, I could really do with some advice please.

    I’ve had anxiety disorder for 10 years now, and it’s basically stayed the same all this time. However, now I have a new symptom and I really don’t know if this is caused by anxiety.

    The skin on my legs from my knees downwards, and my arms from the elbows to my hands is extra sensitive. It’s a strange feeling, and at first I thought it was numbness, but now I realise it is almost like a ‘sunburnt’ feeling. It makes clothes feel very uncomfortable against my skin, and even just moving is unpleasant often now.

    It’s got worse and worse since it started about 4 months ago. It also effects other parts of my skin too, but these bits are the worst. I’ve bad numb hands and feet since my anxiety disorder began, and I know that is common. However, I’m not so sure that this is at all.

    It’s very unpleasant for me and is ruining my enjoyment of life further (obviously anxiety already does that a lot).

    I have seen the doctor and have had blood tests. Nothing has come back and they think it is stress, but since I have remained with the same symptoms for a decade I am not sure why I would now develop something new.

    James.

  193. Doreen Says:

    Gentle request – as someone who helps moderate this site could folks do a spell check and a punctuation check before they post (Capital letters, apostrophises, full stops etc) I spend quite a bit of time tidying up posts, so that they are understandable. Many thanks

  194. Dee Says:

    Hi Charlotte, thank you for that and when you read it, it makes perfect sense just need to put it into practice, do you ever feel like boredom or general daily routine makes you think about it more as i have always thought when i am busy i dont feel the symptoms as much? x

  195. Rich Says:

    Godiva: We sound very similar in our symptoms and our experience with anxiety disorder. I have had it for 20 years since a teenager. My main fears in life is my wedding (I am engaged but am putting off the wedding until I am better positioned to deal with it all), and having a family (I can’t imagine having dependent children if I am in the crux of a bad setback).

    Seeing people who have ‘recovered’ having setbacks to me suggests that they were not 100% recovered in the first place, but as this is subjective it’s impossible to know. True fearlessness of setbacks and the reappearance of symptoms is something I cannot imagine having. Too many bad memories and bad experiences to draw upon or associate with so many things.

    I completely agree that with a lot of people, underlying issues also have to be dealt with. For me, this would be ‘eating out’ or socially. I have only for a short time never worried about this. I need to erase my learned behaviour to worry and to learn a new thought process – some how. Maybe this is where CBT and exposure helps.

    PS today I spent 8 hours Christmas shopping with my fiance – sheer hell on earth! But not because I was anxious, which I guess is a positive (I wasn’t anxious at all, even though I knew I was self-checking a lot).

    James – go to the Drs about your skin.

    Dominic(k) – I don’t think anyone has ever died from lack of sleep, so don’t worry about it. Sleep is controlled by your sub-conscious, not your conscious – so you can’t control it even if you tried. Just trust your body to do what it needs to do. Allow it.

  196. Bryan Says:

    Charles,

    No. Not a scuba diver. Maybe some day. :)

  197. Charlotte Says:

    Hi James

    I think you should go back to your doctor and keep insisting they investigate until you are satisfied, with such a specific physical symptom it won’t be possible for anyone on here to advise

    I hope you get it sorted.

    Rich – 8 hours shopping is my idea of total bliss – with a young family and a stressful job I never get to go but I would have loved a massive shop like that !

    Dee, I do agree with being busy etc but as you probably know we all have to have down time and we then can’t avoid being with out thoughts. I think its a balancing act because I rarely have any spare time or routine really and I think it keeps me in the anxiety loop as I never take a break.

    Just watched last I’m a celeb – am gutted I love my reality tv !

  198. Bryan Says:

    Charolette,

    No one has anxiety without stressors. By it’s very definition that is impossible.
    We may not know what they are, and sometimes they are caused by our own personality traits… but 100% of anxiety disorder sufferers have stressors.

    First off… worry…. of any kind… is a stressor. I’ve yet to meet an anxiety sufferer who has no worries.

    Without stressors the body recovers. Yes we can have relapses for various reasons but at the core it is because the body/mind are under challenge and the fight flight response has been activated.

  199. Charlotte Says:

    Bryan

    People can have anxiety and will say they have no stressors, a stressor to one person is not a stress to another.

    You can’t tell people they can’t have anxiety without a stressor, everyone is different.

    Many people are saying they have setbacks and they don’t know why, that’s fine, if they feel they cannot identify an issue then that’s their choice.

    I know I have loads of stressors, so many I often don’t know what to worry about next but I realise I do it and I know that’s why I get anxious.

  200. Bryan Says:

    Charlotte,

    I certainly understand that people can SAY they have no stressor. But, this does not remotely mean they don’t. Jim Folk is one of the premiere speakers on anxiety on the planet, and he himself said that when he first came down with the disorder… he laughed when people told him it was stress-related. He assumed his life was perfect.

    One of the biggest problems with anxiety personalities (which we all are)… is that we have in-built personality issues that contribute to stress. Worry of course is at the top of that list. But, there are dozens of others…

    -people pleasing
    -not resting enough
    -worry over status
    -worry about social issues
    -burning the candle at both ends
    -need to achieve
    -poor eating habits
    -poor stress management
    -use of alcohol and caffeine (or other drugs) to self-medicate
    -relationship issues
    -issues with family, parents
    -tragedies in life
    -stress on the job, with co-workers, about the job
    -desire to always be somewhere you are not

    The list is absolutely endless. I have yet to meet a living human being who didn’t have some of these traits, and anxiety personalities have LOTs of them, whether we are able to see it or not.

    I totally agree… MOST of us have trouble identifying why setbacks happen. Sometimes they happen because like Rich said, we’re just not completely recovered yet. Our bodies can stay in a state of partial stimulation. I know that from personal experience. I have mostly good or OK days, but get awful days and setbacks as well. I used to wonder why, stress and fuss about it. Now, I realize… its’ all stress. Whether I realize it or not and sometimes that stress can just be a body that hasn’t recovered completely.

    But usually, I suspect that it is coupled with life habits that contribute to the stress.

    After all… we know anxiety is not genetic or a “chemical imbalance.” That has been proven over and over. So, if we know it’s behavior-based… and we also know that people CAN AND DO recover all of the time. Then, we must also know that there is a REASON people come down with anxiety. In the opinion of the dozens of experts I’ve read and followed including my own life experience… that reason is often invisible to us.

    I’m only offering something to think about. If we find ourselves in setback, acceptance and Paul’s techniques are always the best place to start. (In my opinion.)
    But, if it’s a setback after a long period of good, I also believe there may be underlying lifestyle issues worth looking into.

    I simply offered the opinion because I want to see people get well. Not to cause any bickering. I wish everyone here the best, and will continue to try to help give.. and seek advice.

  201. Charlotte Says:

    Bryan

    Thanks, I know what you are saying and I do agree cause I think I can tick nearly all the boxes above, except for substance abuse as I’m too square lol !

    I just think its hard to categorise all peo

  202. Charlotte Says:

    Lost the thread now of what as I thinking ! And have probably made loads of spellings etc as I use my iPhone mainly and I don’t know how to spell check on it.

    Anyway glad you all sorted now, guess all us anxious people also all quite opinionated and strong minded as well!

    X

  203. Bryan Says:

    I agree Charlotte, we are all different and yet if you read enough posts… all so similar. Paul stresses this quite a bit in his posts.

    I always feel like my condition is more severe and trickier than others and yet it seems we all think this. My therapist (anxiety specialist) says he’d be rich if he had a nickel for every time he heard that. :)

  204. Pia Says:

    Elaine,

    I know exactly what you’re saying. I’m 34yo, I have financial problems when I was in my early 20’s. I dealt with it by myself land handled it really well. About a year later, I had what was probably my guest panic attack. Tgings worked out great with the house and money and I was finally doing great. I really didn’t give it a second thought but dud stop driving the highways out if fear.

    Years later my dog had cancer and I was spending so much tine taking care of her and plus other really bad things happened. Once again during the whole time, I was perfectly fine. Awhile after she passed and things settled down, I could finally relax. Then one day I felt like I was gonna pass out in the supermarket. I told my mom and she completely understood what I was going through because she went through the same at my age. She said it was my nerves. I told her it’s not, because I have nothing yo worry about finally and if it was gonna happen it should have happened when things were going bad.

    She said that was the reason why it happened at that time. I knew I needed to hold it together during tough times and it hit me all at once o
    When I could finally relax. It took me a little yak be comfortable going out by myself again but I did. I was never 100% comfortable but did it anyway.

    Last year, my 2nd dog passed after a long Turing bout of diabetes, blindness, paralysis etc. is kept on the couch fir 4 years between the 2 dogs. I was sleeping about 4-5 hours a night. Felt great!

    Then this bout happened in jan. This really through me through a loop. Every other time I could just get oast the physical and I was fine. This time it was the mental that got me bad.

    I had almost a year of peace and relaxation after the dog. There was no reason for this to happen. Once again my mom and a therapist reminded me that it’s delayed reaction from extreme stress. All I kept repeating is, I’ve been through some bad times and was fine why now???????

    We’ll here I am, bills paid, great job and family, beautiful house, etc. and a nervous wreck.

    I’ve actually been feeling great not feeling great, if you know what I mean. I keep trying to find an answer from other people to live my own life and it wasn’t working. All I have to do s look at my mom, who has been through it and see proof that’s it’s going to be fine and nothing’s wrong with me.

    When it happened to her, she didn’t have the internet or other people to rely on. She did it in her own. She still doesn’t drive the highways but you can bet your a@@ she can find her way anywhere by streets. She still get nervous and doesn’t dwell on it. She knows it passes. She doesn’t google or ask for reassurance. She just goes on her way not caring.

    I don’t think there’s anyone who can tell any of us how to feel better completely. Each person needs to find there own path. If we still fear something’s along the way, that’s fine. We can always “take the streets” like my mom!

    By the way, I am known to be great under pressure. I thrive during stressful times. I’m the go to person in an emergency. I guess I’m just bad relaxing, lol.

  205. Charlotte Says:

    Bryan

    Snap ! My counsellor says the same, says we all think we are unique but issues all the same! Infact to prove it to me on my first session he read to me all the symptoms I hadn’t told him about yet, and the exact processes my thoughts go through and then said, ‘see its so common they have even written a book about it !’

    Still I manage to convince myself I’m different…….

  206. Pia Says:

    Oh and, I love shopping on Black Friday,for the past 6 years I worried the whole time was out about the dogs being sick while I was gone. This year I was worried how I would feel and it would be ruined. I went out and had a great time. Of course I had crazy thoughts but let me pass. I even drive in the dark! I slept 3 hours and went back out shopping, came home and decorated my whole house. Crazy thoughts and didn’t care. This week the same. I know I’m fine in all aspects of health. I’m letting thoughts pass but that’s sometimes not enough for me. I do have to reassure myself that I’m going to be fine. I don’t have an inner battle, just a gentle reminder of who I really am. And that these thoughts don’t at all reflect who it am or will ever be! I stayed alone last night for the first time since this happened. I felt nervous at tines when I was checking in but reminded myself that I’m not going crazy and am indeed fine!

  207. Val Says:

    Thank you all for your comments… I have been suffering for 6 months but am moving forward,,,thanks to Paul and all of you. Am on medication but still trying to float through. I ,too was outgoing and independent and being like this is awful…..But……we are not alone….best wishes to each and every one of you.

  208. Bryan Says:

    Pia,

    Very encouraging story about your mom. Thanks for sharing.

  209. Rob Says:

    Hi guys. I’m new with this and was just wanting some advice or if any of you could relate. But I’ve suffered for the past couple months and now seeing big changes, like I feel like I have my life back and I could do anything without having to worry or fear over. But lately I’ve been noticing to be checking in how I feel. Sort of like knowing my mind is off of anxiety, then the second I realize it I revert back to me, even though I feel fine. I don’t know, I just like a day where I didn’t have it on my mind all the time and was just wondering if anyone else is the same and what should I do? And will this also pass like other symptoms?

  210. Doreen Says:

    I am wondering two things

    The first is that I suspect there is an over dependence on Paul for some people. I am not sure why a response from him should really make the magic difference, when in fact he probably has said everything we need to know about anxiety already.

    Secondly, as I have said before recovery means different things to different people. Maybe for those who have felt they had been what in a completely anxiety free time in the background was a niggle about ‘what happens if this comes back’ which itself is a stressful thought. The strain of holding on to being ‘recovered’ may just be too much.

    And what a pot at the end of the rainbow is that – to be completely anxiety free. Maybe unattainable and puts extra pressure on those on this blog who haven’t got there and feel they have failed in some way.

    And if anxiety is not an illness but a state of mind, then why use a medical word like ‘recovered’ at all? I wish in some ways we could ditch that word and leave people to find the place where they are most comfortable with themselves even if in many cases anxiety will still be part of their daily experience.

  211. Kelly Says:

    Feeling a bit anxious at the moment. Lately I’ve been feeling a lot better but I still let those thoughts of “I’m not feeling anxious right now” into my mind which can then turn into feeling anxious because I’m thinking about it. My main area of anxiety is feelings for my husband. I’m scared that I don’t love him. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just too scared to admit that maybe I don’t and I wouldn’t want to put him through the pain of not being together. We have a 1 year old child and I just couldn’t bear the thought of breaking our family up. I have Paul’s book and I’m 3/4 through it and it all makes so much sense to me, just hard to put into play sometimes.

    I read some old responses from a post from last year, in particular a lady by the name of Helen. She seemed to have had the same anxious feelings that I have had and I completely related to her experience. Reading her response made me feel a whole lot better.

    Does anyone else question whether it’s anxiety or guilt and are scared of the feeling? Helen wrote that anxiety attacks the most important things to you sometimes, in my case my marriage. She also said in her response to someone else feeling the same as me that if you didn’t care then you wouldn’t let it affect you so much.

    Can any of you regular responders give me some advice?

  212. Rich Says:

    Kelly, feelings of anxiety for me makes me feel closer to people and more ‘clingy’ – I think it’s due to childhood instincts of not wanting to be alone and to have someone maternal ‘make it all better’. Everyone is different however, but don’t forget that your thoughts are those of a tired mind. I’d give yourself time for your mind to settle anxiety-wise before making any lifestyle changes.

    Regarding recovery, anxiety is like a ‘prison’. Some people leave this prison and never return (‘recovery’), some leave but come back for short stays (‘setbacks’), and some stay in their prison, but lead long and happy lives regardless, and make the most of it. Most of us are stuck in our cells, others are exploring and learning about it, either planning our escape, or are escaping, and some have popped back for a short stay before they leave once more.

    Everyone’s symptoms are different, but I think everyone’s symptoms are based on the same thoughts – and the fear of fear. The fear of feeling rubbish and all it does to our heads.

    I believe true ‘recovery’ is a total loss of fear of anxiety. Totally letting go, with no fear of setback and no fear of symptoms or thoughts. This doesn’t mean we don’t get setbacks – I think that anxiety is ingrained upon me now after years of (not) dealing with it, but it is knowledge of how to deal with them when they inevitably happen with the trials of life, and being able to stop and apply that knowledge when our minds are telling us to freak out and fall down the rabbit hole again.

  213. Kelly Says:

    Thanks Rich, I don’t want the alternative, being a breakup, so I don’t feel that I’m at the point where I want to make any drastic changes. I actually feel that I’ve suffered from anxiety all my life but I’ve never really known what it was. I absolutely despise being embarrassed in group situations and I know now that I’ve felt anxious on the odd occasion when someone has done that on purpose.

    I can recall my 6th grade teacher humiliating me in front of our whole class and going into full blown panicky sweats embarrassed like you wouldn’t believe. But at 11 year’s old I had no idea that’s what it was.

    I kind of know what I need to do but I struggle to put it into play. Most of the time I’m ok but I just hate that awful feeling that comes over me when I’m feeling anxious.

    I can relate to a lot of the points that Bryan listed in response to Charlotte yesterday. This blog has made me feel much better over the past 6 months which has been tough. I’ve had a mild case of post natal depression which I’m managing. One thing I have looked into and found rather interesting was after having a baby then going back on the contraceptive pill my anxiety went through the roof. I decided to stop taking it after doing some research and found that I feel exceptionally better.

  214. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Feeling really down and defeated at the moment. Had two setbacks on the bounce which I’ve found very hard to take. The past two weeks my mood has nosedived and my anxiety levels have increased, I’ve lost interest in things I love and feeling really fed up.

    Mark.

  215. Rich Says:

    Kelly, I think things from my childhood were the seeds that my current anxiety has grown from. I think where I am now has been worsening slowly over 20 years from these initial few moments, to a point where my life is so constrained and my GAD is so bad, that both my mind and I have just had enough – something has to change.

    At such an age things have the ability to drastically affect you (you’re not emotionally mature to deal with things like a wiser adult would) so you try to deal with them, unknowingly in the wrong way, or making a mountain out of what actually then is just a mole hill.

    Whether you want to talk about these things with a psychologist etc is up to the individual. I am not bothered – I know I reacted to things too much, and now I know not too. No need to go over the past, as the future is where I am heading.

    Mark, I have been where you are. 1 week before I holiday I had a full on breakdown – scared the hell out of me. I then had a great holiday, but when I got back I crashed again. My ‘get up and go’ had ‘got up and gone’ and I didn’t want to do anything – everything was an effort. But, this will pass. My advise would be to ‘fake it’ as best you can, but accept you’re suffering at the moment, and just allow yourself time to recover at your own pace, and don’t beat yourself up about it.

  216. Dominick Says:

    My wife’s patience is running thin with me. Going on a year with struggles with sleeping. Last night was one of my worst nights in a long time. Just couldn’t fall asleep. Is start dozing off and I’d then get pulled out of sleep immediately with a racing heart. My mind started to focus on dreadful thoughts that I was forever broke. That I’m going to get back to my worst days again.

    She’s put up with so much from me. Waking early to get up with our child while I lay exhausted in bed still not able to get back to restful sleep. Lat night I went from fear to rage (which has only happened twice before). As I laid there I slapped myself in a fit of anger. My wife woke and was understandably sick of it all. She wasn’t mean but just distant and tired of dealing with this.

    Please pray for me and my family.

  217. Marcus Says:

    Hey all,

    Well after a great past month with very minimal intrusive thoughts. Im getting hit hard these past couple of days and feel Im falling back. My main fear of having some severe mental illness, starting to hear voices and snapping at my loved ones…I keep having thoughts of what would people like that hear? and then boom my brain emulates all sorts of stuff which i cant even write.. Scares me to death..I really have to try hard and not isolate myself from my significant other which would just reinforce the fear…

    I know I have to view those as thoughts and let them be but they seem so real during those times hard not to panic….

    Hope everyone is doing better than I am 😉

  218. Rena Says:

    I can say that that i’ve finally stepped out the setback .
    I noticed that I feel the setback when I am tired and have no energy.Then I started to question myself these what if questions- what if it is a setback, oh no – I feel anxiety again, what if it is the depression and so on…
    So be patient and kind to yourself. Be grateful even for one hour a day when you don’t feel anxiety. Encourage yourself-that these fleeting moments are the beginning of your slow recovery. If you feel angry or sad- say to yourself that this is Ok , this is temporaly.
    This blog helped me so much, but I know that only I can accept and embrace the anxiety.
    Another goal for me- don;t judge myself and don;t be so self-critical.
    Sorry for my mistakes It is so difficult to write not in native language:0

  219. Doreen Says:

    Sadly not all people have lives that give constant happiness and are wonderful. Again that is asking people to strive in some cases for the impossible and accepting life as it is warts and all is in itself an achievement.

    Life events can be very stressful such as the loss of a child and can leave people very vulnerable to anxiety. So what they might need help with is not letting the anxiety flow onto all situations and scenarios thus become overwhelmed.

    My maxim is to be able to say in such a situation ‘given what’s happened no wonder I feel crap’ which then gives the horrid feelings permission to be there rather than fighting them.

  220. rachh Says:

    Im going to have a whinge but i need some support.
    I feel so down and depressed and i feel it rubbin off on everyone else too. Just want to feel my normal happy bubbly self but i cant seem to find it. I have no energy no memory i cannot get my brain to function at all its just dead.
    Ive started a new job and im really struggling with it but i really want to do it.
    Wish i could pick myself up.
    Also i have these ocd thoughts that if i enjoy myself at work and not at home i wont love my boyfriend. Am i right in thinking if i am able to pick myself up again everything in my life will seem more positive. Im back to fighting analysing and trying and i dont know how to reverse or not try.

  221. Marcus Says:

    Hey all,

    Well after a great past month with very minimal intrusive thoughts. Im getting hit hard these past couple of days and feel Im falling back. My main fear of having some severe mental illness, starting to hear voices and snapping at my loved ones…I keep having thoughts of what would people like that hear? and then boom my brain emulates all sorts of stuff which i cant even write.. Scares me to death..I really have to try hard and not isolate myself from my significant other which would just reinforce the fear…

    I know I have to view those as thoughts and let them be but they seem so real during those times hard not to panic….

    Hope everyone is doing better than I am 😉

  222. Rena Says:

    rachh, I know how you feel.These depressed and full of anxiety days are so difficult.But please, be patient, believe me-it will pass. First there will be some fleeting moments a day, later-few good hours, then-good days and even weeks and months. Don’t force yourself to feel good, it’s ok to be like this now. Don’t forget it is temporarily

  223. rachh Says:

    Thanks rena so hard to get motivated

  224. Candie Says:

    Marcus

    I used to do the exact same thing. You have to decide enough is enough, if you end up going insane or whatever then no amount of worrying will fix it. I don’t know I won’t go insane tomorrow or in the future and try take half my home town out in a hit and run or I won’t be like one of those people I hear about in the news that snap and kill their family. I decided to live in the moment. Deal with what I can, which is now and as I’m not crazy now I can relax!

    I still often ponder after watching a crime programme what it must be like to think like they do, I imagine the voices etc. it’s normal. I aren’t worried I will as I refuse to worry about something that might never happen. I can’t prove I won’t die tomorrow, but I also won’t worry about it or my health. You have to change your attitude to the questions your mind comes up with to a more relaxed response rather then going down the route of saying the thoughts are back I’m anxious. I’m recovered now but I can still think or ponder this stuff, totally normal thing to do. So let the thoughts in and adopt a new attitude of what will be will be, as when it doesn’t matter what you think there is no anxious radar keeping this stuff at the forefront of your mind. It fades!

  225. Marcus Says:

    Candie,

    Your post has given me so much confidence. I’d hug you until tomorrow 😛 You’re definitely right I need to stop worrying about the future. I’m always seeking some sort of guarantee that nothing will happen which further deepens my problem I guess as in life there is no such thing. I get anxious about what my imagination creates and when it finds something that triggers great fear then it gets stuck in my mind on “repeat”.

    I’ll definitely keep this in mind.. No matter how awful the thoughts are ill try and just let them be without engaging..

  226. Kyara Says:

    Hello All,

    Been having a rough couple of days. The intrusive thoughts have been very persistent. It’s so hard to stay calm during them. I know a fear will always be scary, it’s supposed to be, and due to the ‘time lag’ with our subconscious it will take a little while for our brain to realize that things are ok an take the anxiety down a notch. I guess I just needed some encouraging words as I found myself fighting it again last night. Telling myself I need to just start back on my meds because this ‘recovery’ process is tiring in a way. I know I’ve come a long way but I have troubles recognizing that. I want to be happy and enjoying life again. I know this is all of our goals and I know it is possible. It’s so hard to not try to ‘fix’ it when your brain is going on with the worse thoughts ever. Hope all of you are well.

  227. Dave Says:

    Who ever recommended nothingworks.weebly.com a massive thank you are a legend. The way the information is explained is logical and reassuring and have felt a lot more connected to myself and the world even after a week of following it instructions. Plus it’s very reassuring to hear similiar advice to Paul’s and it generally covers every worry I had and puts me at ease brilliant. Once again thank you

  228. Rich Says:

    Dominick – Go see your doctor. Get some lavender oil for your pillow, some Nytol or similar sleeping aid, and stop reacting to your fear – you’re just making it so much worse for yourself. You’re thinking yourself into the state you’re in, but you can’t think your way out – it doesn’t work like that, so stop thinking.

    Kyara, I am on ADs and am looking to come off them. If you think you need a little help while you find your feet, go see your doctor and see what options you have. Medication is a crutch which won’t ‘fix’ the problem, but can help you regain balance before you set about doing it yourself. Some people need it, some people don’t.

  229. Kat Says:

    Candie or someone who has recovered or anyone who may be of help. I realized I have developed some more anxious habits than I thought. I have become a perfectionist in all areas of my life and I never used to be before anxiety. It is really hard on my self esteem and something I struggle with now on a daily basis. Since my fear seems to be of failure should I approach these thoughts with Paul’s method? Let them be there in the background and not care, and just live in the moment and say if I fail or if I don’t end up doing this in my life than that is ok. Any advice will help. The more I try to perfect my life the more I feel like this may be a way for me to try and escape my anxiety.

  230. Bryan Says:

    It’s interesting to me how many people are finding the Nothing works piece lately. I read it a couple years back and thought it was the best thing I had read since Claire Weekes. Oddly, it took me until recently to really discover this blog which I also am so glad about. M

    For me, Paul, Weekes, Nothung Works and Jim Folk’s site are the best resources out there. Everything you need to start recovery ismon those sites.

  231. Bryan Says:

    Kat,

    Scan up to my post about anxiety behaviors. Perfectionism is one of the most common. We all have anxiety habits/behaviors even if we can’t see for ourselves. These can keep us stimulated with worry and stress chemicals so working on these is the other aspect of recovery in my opinion.

  232. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    I do like the nothing works piece, some good info in there but find it a bit too waffly.

    I have a question for some people and that is are folk on here able to track their own progress?

    The reason I ask is this is my 4th bout of anxiety and my recovery period from each has never been less than 2 years. The previous 3 were easy to track as they followed a similar pattern – terrible at the start with no progress for months and months, and then rapid improvement. This time round though it’s been really, really up and down, with setbacks all over the place. It’s been hard to track my progress as one minute I think I’m close then get delivered a crushing setback and seem further away from the prize than ever.

    Has anyone experienced this?

    Mark.

  233. Rich Says:

    All,

    I’m in the process of putting ‘Nothing Works’ into a PDF. I’ve stripped out all of the waffle and am working on the grammar. I’ve only a few pages left to go.

    When it’s complete I’ll put it online and put a link on here for anyone to download it. This way you can read it offline and a lot quicker and easier. I’ll ask permission to reproduce it, but for those interested, I can send you a copy.

  234. Kate Says:

    Hiya everyone
    Just a question especially to anyone that’s recovered.
    I think Im doing well even though I have good and bad days. This time a month or two ago I couldn’t eat sleep or think straight. Now my appetite is back I sleep straight through and my mind chatter is much less than it was. My anxiety is now based pretty much on Dp although this has lessened and I dont really get the visual effects now I still get the constant feeling strange and distant. Its always with me 24-7 but then I’ve noticed I can get totally distracted and totally feel normal for periods of time. Its only when i check back in with myself it comes back. I’ve noticed when Im driving or alone I check in and some days i check in lots. I get an overwhelming fear of not feeling real like Im stuck like this etc. I think its only now Im starting to realise that its supposed to be scary as its a scary thought. So I’ve been allowing it to come but almost smiling to myself and carrying on with what i was doing. I just worry that Im not doing the right thing. I now analyse everything as though Im not doing what Paul says correctly is anyone else having this problem. The weird thing is, is that Im actually quite positive and I know I’ll recover in time.

  235. Rich Says:

    Hi Kate, I think the worry of not ‘doing nothing’ correctly is inherit in most of us, as we’re worriers! It sounds to me that your attitude towards it is perfect.

    Continue to not fight the feelings – accept that they are there but not reacting to them is all that is needed. This gives your mind the chance it needs to then concentrate on getting better, and the thoughts will subside naturally.

    All you need to do is to now let time pass, so your brain realises there’s nothing to worry about, and sorts itself out. It will.

  236. Kate Says:

    Rich
    Thank you so much your all a great group of people on here. Think I just need reassurance some times. Hope you all have a good week x

  237. Mark R Says:

    Kate,

    I’ve recovered from anxiety 3 times before and DP is always the last to go. The best thing to do about it is nothing and then you gradually notice it less and less until your mind is bored of it. It sounds like you’re almost there!

    **Anyone got any thoughts on my post? Sorry to bump**

  238. Marcus Says:

    Rich that sound great!!! Let us know when it’s up I definitely want to read it!

  239. Kate Says:

    Mark R
    Thank you so much its the Dp that bothers me more than anything else but Im learning to let it be and not bother me as much. There are times when i feel like Im getting there and then the next day my mind is always on myself again but I suppose that’s just recovery for you :)
    Thank you very much and hope your next recovery isn’t very far away too x

  240. Mark R Says:

    Kate,

    I’d love to have those days where I just have DP and mind on myself, since September I just find myself in setback after setback where I am having really awful days again, almost as bad as the start 2 yrs ago. Didn’t think I would so far into recovery!

  241. Kate Says:

    I had a pretty awful week last week when I thought I was back to square one but Im keeping positive and it seems to be getting better again. I really feel for you I’ve only had this at all since August. Wishing you a speedy recovery x

  242. Mark R Says:

    Kate,

    Setbacks favourite party trick the old ‘back to square one’ worry.

    I’ve had a better day today and things dont seem as bleak! x

  243. Dominick Says:

    If you google: David Carbonell amygdala. You’ll find a really useful site on the role the amygdala plays

  244. Charles Says:

    Kate,

    I can answer your question of “am I doing the right thing”. I used to think that all the time, I used to go get a glass of water when I feel a wave of anxiety coming, but then I would think “is it fighting? Am I not facing my anxiety? Should I just sit tight and not get a glass of water?”

    But now I realized that there is no right thing, there is only the wrong thing. The right thing is not to do the wrong thing, hence “do nothing”. You need to be aware of what you are doing to yourself, one rule that I use is asking yourself: would I do this if I don’t have anxiety at all? If the answer is no then stop doing it because it is the wrong thing to do.

    So to use your example, when you start questioning: “Am I using Paul’s method correctly?” Before you dwell on that, stop and ask yourself would you entertain this question if you never had anxiety? If the answer is no, probably it is not important, just leave it and do something else, hence “doing nothing about the thought”.

  245. Matt Says:

    Mark…I wanted to thank you for the encouraging words from before, i’m off alcohol and feel tons better. On your recent posts, yes DP is a pain in the butt….but, we both got to points in our lives where it didn’t bother us. Heck, I was recovered for over a year and it returned, not to scare anyone, but I went with pauls method and just did like I did when I was feeling like myself again…understand what I’m going through, accept it, and develop the right attitude towards it…which for me and the others that recovered is that they gave up the fight and just moved on with their life til it disappeared like it did with me for awhile.

    I don’t know you, but you seem to have strength in you that even you don’t realize…I didn’t realize it myself til a week ago..now, things are great, I still get the DP moments but it’s not ALL day like it used to be cause I don’t care anymore, I’m focused on my life…good luck man.

  246. Kelly Says:

    Kate, I can relate to some of the anxiety you experience. I find that I’m good most of the time but those moments where I’m alone I find difficult. I find that I’m even thinking things like “I’m going good, I feel good” which then makes me think about my anxiety. Whereas when I’m busy I don’t have time to think about it at all. This blog helps me immensely. I’ve taken screen shots of some comments that have helped me and I refer back to them if I’m starting to feel anxious.

  247. Kyara Says:

    So I decided I was going to start my Zolfot again and boy was that a mistake. Been up since 200am from an intense panic attack. The side effects is something I just can’t deal with. Here’s to a sleepless night. Does anyone else just find this hard at times? I’m past the stage if being scared and having the anxiety all day it’s just constant thoughts and feelings of DP. I let it be but I feel like I don’t have the confidence I did when I first started practicing acceptance.

  248. Charlotte Says:

    Kyara

    Sorry to hear you had a rough night. I find it very hard especially the thoughts and dp. Physical symptoms I can cope with they hold no fear but the psychological are by far the most difficult for me to accept and I think you are saying similar.

    I take sertraline and I had very bad anxiety when I started it for about 3 weeks.

    You have been doing really well as I know you give great advice and posted not long ago about just accepting.

    Hope you feel a bit better today

  249. Rich Says:

    I had a mini blip last night and this morning. I felt bloated all afternoon and feared an unwelcome stomach experience was looming for me that evening. I ate dinner, then sat there, almost waiting to feel bad. Then I thought “what the hell am I doing?!” It’s like I’m resigned to the anxiety even if I don’t have any! So I got up and wrapped Christmas presents.

    This morning I felt ok, but knew I was anxious about my stomach still – like I suffer from poophobia or something? I realised this was stupid, so got on with it, then busied myself to take my mind off it.

    With GAD I tend to worry about anything and everything. If there’s nothing major to worry about, I’ll look at little things and worry about those instead – making mountains our of molehills. It’s like worry is inset in me and it’s all I’m used to! I’m slowly trying to practise a new approach, but it’s like I’m trying to break bad habits of a lifetime. I’m looking at myself and realising this with a new perspective.

  250. Kyara Says:

    Thanks Charlotte. I have weeks sometimes where I feel impatient with the process and that gets me worked up. I get confused with the thoughts because they scare me they always will so what’s the right way to respond? If there’s no real danger shouldn’t we not be afraid? I did realize I was ‘trying’ to keep myself happy telling myself this is just a bluff there’s really nothing to be upset about and I was doing fine up until last week. I started getting a little more anxious and I realized that trying to feel happy wasn’t going to work. I’ve been on Zoloft before but the side effects didn’t bother me this much. Maybe I was really desperate the first time around. I can keep calm now so the tingling extremities bother me tremendously. Any who I will get on my with day as tired as I am. Maybe take a nap later.

  251. Rich Says:

    Kyara, I am on Citalopram (Celexia in the US I believe). It takes 3-6 weeks to settle in to your system, and probably the same to withdraw from it, so to go onto meds is commitment you have to make. Often they make you feel worse before they make you feel better, and one of the side effects of ADs is anxiety – great hey!

    I am looking to come off them, or at very least lower the dose, but I’ve been there before and have gone back up again. Don’t be put off by the initial side effects if you want to continue – you have to ride out that phase.

    In regards to scary thoughts, I often talk to myself to remind myself of what I’ve learned – I still have to catch myself slipping into bad habits (self-checking, negative thoughts, panicing about symptoms etc) – I see no harm in this. Instead of fighting it, I’ve opened up peace talks. That’s how I see it anyway.

  252. Mark R Says:

    Rich,

    I am with you on that one. My anxiety is always focused around my stomach – I have IBS and the symptoms for this are much like anxiety.

    I go as far as to say that everytime I have a stomach bug I have the most vile anxiety and a setback, without fail, this kind of leads me into my next question……

    To cut a long story short last Xmas I had a winter vomiting bug for about 5 days, when this cleared I woke up on Xmas day with the worst anxiety ever……..square one stuff. I had no xmas dinner, just walked around the streets crying. I have a niggle though that the same thing will happen this Xmas so I’m kind of dreading Xmas day.

    Anyone have any thoughts on that?

  253. Rich Says:

    Mark R, I am in a similar situation – last year, Xmas morning was fine, but before Xmas dinner I needed the loo. No big deal, but for some reason it triggered my anxiety and I was stuck there with stomach pains long enough for me to be late for the meal. I didn’t eat much, and had to go back to the loo afterwards – fear had taken hold. I still don’t know if it’s IBS, or anxiety – maybe sometimes it’s one that triggers the other. It took me by surprise. It was embarrassing, but I was then fine for the rest of the day.

    Anyway, this year I have had ‘what if’ thoughts based on last year. Also, this year has been worse anxiety-wise than last year, which helps fuel the fear. But, there are some important things to remember at this point.

    1. It doesn’t matter that it is the same time of year, and that I’ll be in the same place as last year. If we thought like this you could say “I’m going to have anxiety every Sunday” or “I’m going to have anxiety every day at 10am”. These are just dates and places. It doesn’t matter where or when we are – it is our thoughts that trigger the IBS not the location or time etc.

    2. I am better prepared this year to handle anxiety – if I do have stomach problems Xmas morning, I’ll not react to them as badly – I’ll as I know that its anxiety and that it’s a natural bodily reaction (even though it’s a PITA).

    3. I will try to eat better over the Xmas period to help keep my stomach settled and things running as smoothly as possible.

    4. I now know that ‘what if’ is basically us preparing to be anxious – fearing the worst. Will it be any wonder when we feel anxious, if we tell ourselves we’re going to be all this time?! I will be worried about it, but I know these are just thoughts, so will treat them as nothing more.

  254. Dominic Says:

    Sorry Dominick
    I don’t really come on here that often but let me tell you my wife was at her wits end with me.My constant whining and complaining, breaking down in tears. I couldn’t even look after our 2 year old child. I was a total mess. Even when I slept well I had terrible anxiety. I was buried in research about it and saw therapists etc.
    I decided to let it all go. Started to feel and sleep better for periods of time then have bad nights and wham back into the obsessing mode. Seriously let it all go.once you do this things will start to change.not straight away but bit by bit.
    I worried about having more children and how it would affect my sleep. Now we re having another baby and I’m not giving it a second thought. It’s not easy but you re not broken. Your sleep will get better and you will start to think your over it. You will have bad nights and they will drag you into setbacks but just keep going and you will be fine.
    The more you obsess and let it bother you the longer it will remain a problem.
    Trust me. A year ago I never would have imagined I would be saying this. Move on and things will be fine.
    The key point is stop researching and obsessing and go back to doing what you did before. Don’t feed insomnia as it’s only thoughts creating adrenalin.
    They will still be there and so will the feelings but bit by bit they will go.

  255. Charlotte Says:

    Mark
    Do u have any plans for Xmas day ? If not is that something you could do cause I suspect if you don’t plan then it would be easy to let anxiety take over on such a day when there is so much pressure to enjoy it.

    Have a schedule or a plan, and try to focus on it rather then how you are feeling, and remember it’s only a day ! So much pressure is put on people for this day.

  256. Kyara Says:

    Rich,

    I now see that the Zoloft is my way of trying to fix this. I’m scared of the thoughts and I’m not doing ‘nothing’ by starting my Zoloft again. I go through these patches about once a month where I feel impatient and I get tired of going through the cycles because I don’t see the improvements. It feels so terrible. I still feel crazy, I still have thoughts that I need to go to the hospital and be admitted because my thoughts make me feel like I can’t be alone. I’m going back to my old habits. I will carry on feeling so terrible and put all the faith into this working. I will pray for strength for all of us. I don’t think I would wish this on an enemy. Bless you all!

  257. Bryan Says:

    Matt,

    Really glad to hear things are settling out for you. Your setback experience will be a great teacher for you and all you share the knowledge with.

  258. Rich Says:

    Kyara, There is no problem in using medication to help you through bad patches. Just be weary of side effects – don’t read into these as anything else should you get any. Realise that they will pass.

    Remember however that medication will not ‘cure’ you – it will only serve to help you through the bad patch and take the edge off the symptoms. When you come off the meds, you will still the same person you always have been, but so will your anxious thoughts. It’s important that while medication gives you breathing space and may help you relax, you realise that it is just a plaster over the wound. You still need to learn not to keep picking the scab, and to let your mind heal for long term success.

    Finally, bear in mind that when you come off the meds, you will be facing fear once more (the fear of doing this alone), but you will also have to contend with withdrawal symptoms on top – which often stop people from becoming med-free, and so they become stuck in a loop. Another loop!

  259. Dominick Says:

    Dominic, your words mean so much to me. I’m taking your advice and moving on with my life. Sleep or no sleep.

    God bless you!!

  260. Rich Says:

    Dominick, Regarding sleep, try to introduce positive thoughts into your head to change your perspective about sleeping. Look forward to the good points instead of the bad ones. If you get back thoughts, then don’t push them out, just offset them against good points. Things like being with your partner, the warmth, the cosyness of the bed, the ability to lie and relax – knowing that your mind is inside thanking you for it. Try reading a book in bed that you then start looking forward to reading again the next night.

    Also before you go bed make sure you stay off the caffine, cheese, chocolate and other things. Make sure you wind down each night so your mind isn’t racing. Don’t ‘try’ to sleep, but don’t do anything that could make it worse. In time, you’ll settle into a routine and nod off without a second thought.

  261. Kyara Says:

    Thank you Rich.

    The thing is I have been on medication before. I took Zoloft for 11 months and stopped cold turkey because my anxiety was the same. I was happy but still had anxiety. I did well for about 3 or 4 months off of the medication and then I hit a setback. I didn’t know as much about anxiety as I do now. I was still very afraid of anxiety. Now that I’m calmer I see the pattern and so does my coworker. I have weeks of being able to cope and then comes a week where I feel so impatient and get to thinking I wish I was better already. Anxiety has never kept me from doing anything, going out of the house, being in social situations, eating certain things, etc etc. I’ve kept on with my life through all of it. The biggest problem for me in the thoughts. I’ve never just let them be and let myself calm down and get out of the mess. It scares me to feel sad and to have the intrusive thoughts. But that’s what this post is about. To stop the fighting and let yourself go. Let yourself do what it needs to do to feel better. I’m fighting and not allowing myself to be by starting the Zoloft. I wanted to start it because I’m scared, but that’s what anxiety is all about, the fear. It will always be a fear of mine if I never let my body fix it’s self. I will never be able to truly say I will not have a bout of anxiety again if I don’t allow myself to fully heal. I am in no way putting anyone down who uses medication. I just know for me personally I hated having to take it. I’m just to the point where I want happiness already and I get a little worked up.

  262. Marcus Says:

    Hey all,

    Today is an exceptionally horrible day for me. Woke up feeling all foggy and had some weird nightmares. So obviously my anxious tired mind started thinking and resulted back on my biggest fear of going schizo.. Got up and went to work anyway.. feelings of unreality all over which of course made my anxiety peak as my mind kept saying what if youre currently losing it.. maybe these of unreality mean something… maybe youll snap and do something horrible.. maybe youll start to hear voices soon..etc etc etc

    I still went to work and acted normally which was very damn hard I must admit…I try and let go as much as possible but I always have that damn fear that if I let the thoughts be there and dont argue with them or try to reason them then I’ll end up losing it for sure and getting locked up in some mental institution… crazy imagination i know 😛

    Anyways just thought i’d post this on here if anyone has/had similar issues. Sometimes knowing youre not alone goes a long way and writing what youre feeling feels pretty good :)

    Hope everyone is having a great day :)

  263. Rebecca Says:

    Marcus,

    I understand what you mean, I let it be sometimes but then it creeps back on me like, is this the start of going crazy, am I goin to end up in nut house and so on. Your not alone its so frustrating but there’s only one way out for us all acceptance, easy said than done i no. X

  264. Simply Bre Says:

    Well hello everyone! I hope everyone is having a good day. I am pleased to report that I’m not as troubled by the physical symptoms that anxiety brings, and my sleeping is improving. I have also learned to live alongside a lot of the intrusive thoughts, but now it appears a new thought has decided to emerge as a side effect of the depression, which is suicidal thoughts. Let me just say i am very grounded Christian, and would never attempt to take my own life, but even the fact of that thought entering my mind scares the living daylights out of me. I know it is just anxiety playing another one of its tricks on me, but it has really sent me into panic mode. I would like to know if anyone else has experienced these kind
    Of thoughts, and if so how did you deal with them? Did you just simply follow Paul’s advice for scary thoughts, or did you try other things as well? Please anyone respond.

  265. Dominick Says:

    Hi Simply Bre,

    I regularly had those thoughts at my lowest. I can assure you that those thoughts leave. I still struggle with sleep anxiety, but pretty much all of my other issues are gone.

    One time, at my lowest, I accidently broke a drinking glass in my kitchen. I saw the glass shards and I collapsed and started crying. Because all I could think of was ending my life…. I have a loving wife and a child who was only 7 months old at that time. And I STILL had thoughts of just wanting to be gone from it all.

    The good thing is that those thoughts will leave you too.
    I’m a devout Catholic….. I would regularly have those thoughts and they did go away for me too

    Isn’t it funny how the fear latches on to that which scares you most?
    Suicidal thoughts bothered me greatly, but not as much as the not being able to fall asleep issue. So, the suicidal thoughts left sooner…. while the sleep anxiety is still lingering.

    I think it just goes to show that these fears are indeed irrational, and once we stop caring about them they leave.

    I bet for you that the sleep issue, while imporant, doesn’t bother you like the suicidal thought issue.

    While I am the reverse of that.

    We should take comfort in the fact that these thoughts are mere bluffs simply perpetuated by our reaction to them.

    Because if you and i were reversed with those fears then sleep would linger for you while suicidal thoughts would linger for me.

  266. Dominick Says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Rich.

    I know what I’m doing wrong with this now. I know that this sleep issue will end and that all I need to do is go on living my life despite how good or poorly I sleep. And to expect the fears to linger for a bit. But as long as I take a “so what?” attitude towards them and stop paying them so much respect that they too will leave.

  267. Simply Bre Says:

    Dominick
    Thank you so much for the feedback. It really is true what you’re saying. I’ve only been having these thoughts for maybe 4 days or so, but they really freak me out. My mom says i should get out and do stuff to take my mind off the stupid thoughts, but i was wondering if i should just apply the same method to these thoughts, as just living alongside them. I also used to have sleep anxiety really bad, and i just took a whatever attitude to it, and surprisingly i started to get more sleep.

  268. Matt Says:

    well today has been great for me…so has the past few weeks, not any setbacks the occasional anxiety popping up but it left within a few minutes rather then me obsessing. I feel almost free of this crap and my emotions are coming back. I cried at a dang hallmark commercial for god’s sakes!! but luckily noone else has to know about that..lol. It’s like being imprisoned in yourself and you step out into the world connect with people do things that you used to do and memories and things coming flooding back. I started spending time with my kids again, my family…doing stuff. I feel like myself again, except renewed and fearless..of anything, I mean we go through literally hell with this but coming out on the other side? I can’t even explain it. Except that it feels like freedom.

    I realized something on my path to recovery…it’s not that anxiety rules my life, it’s that I allow it to. When I just went with the flow however I was feeling, it subsided little by little until my brain started to function normally again. I don’t know if I’m out of the woods yet, I could have some bad days but I don’t care and that attitude is what is working for me…good luck to everyone.

  269. Dave Says:

    This acceptance lark is so fustrating!! One the past 2 weeks I honestly accepted anxiety welcomed it in fact. And I started to feel better. I started to realise that the real if not happier than ever me was beneath this person which I believed I was. Then come a setback. I’d never truely accepted it before but now I can appreciate how difficult they are. Once this happens the acceptance phase has to start all again. I know the the real path to recover is acceptance and the way to be to be healed is to honestly not care either ways so that when you finally do it doesn’t really matter to you. It’s just feelin normal was brilliant. I felt connected to everything, laughed at things without faking and just felt like I actually liked myself. As I’m writing this I am concious of the fact I haven’t accepted anxiety at all. It Just felt like I needed a rant and a bit of tantrum to clear my head. All I need is you get to a stage where I’m so fed up so down right fed up with this whole ideal I do not care less whether I have anxiety or not. All it is is a tired mind, body, over active fight/flight response, no time using rest/digest response which has taught my body that normal situations are goin to harm and hurt. They are not!!! Not in the blooming slightest. And yet I’m scared and I know I should be scared. If my flight and fight response didn’t make me scared my ancestors would have a made a very tasty snack to a sabre tooth tier or some other creature. And this over active creates fear of feeling socially awkward, appearing weak which in turn these fears need to be removed before I can truely I can accept. But once I do I know!! That for the rest of my days, when I look back on my foggy memory of my anxious experience that I’m probably not care what people think as that is what is truely keeping me anxious. Why do I care what people think. I do not know. Partly it’s hard wired into our nature I suppose as it was key to our survival but we can make a choice. I know because I’ve been in that mind frame. When I’m anxious that mind frame was luck, a fluke, I went strange. But it’s actually the other way round it was normal. Sorry for blabbering in but need to get that off t chest. I just thoroughly… And ironically shouldn’t look forward to the days were I look back with a strange painful/ fondness for the wisdom gained experience I had.

  270. Dominick Says:

    Great to hear about the sleep anxiety, Simply Bre.

    I don’t think it’s bad to do other things to occupy your thoughts.
    Because doing other things to occupy your mind isn’t necessarily the same as running away from those thoughts.

    Because I think the thing that is stated over and over again is, “pay those thoughts little respect”. Having something like a, “oh well, whatever” attitude towards them.

    You can still be accepting of those thoughts while at the same time saying to yourself, “fine, you can be there…. but, I have a life to live and other things I’m going to do with my time that doesn’t involve obsessing over these thoughts”. Not so much saying it in those words, but more so the attitude towards them.

    Those fearful thoughts come subconsciously from the amygdala (or where ever, the exact part of the brain isn’t as important as the fact that they come automatically and subconsiously). Those thoughts are the product of excessive fear/anxiety. Since this part of the brain that generates these thoughts isn’t under conscious control you can’t have a dialog with these thoughts or that part of the brain. You have to essentially retrain that part of the brain that those thoughts don’t bother you anymore.

    So you retrain that part of the brain by not caring about their presence in your mind.

    I don’t think accepting means that you have to pay constant conscious attention to those thoughts. Allowing them to be there doesn’t mean you can’t focus your attention on anything else.

    Think of it like a fly buzzing around your face while you’re outside enjoying the sunset. And all of your swatting is not making the fly leave.

    There’s two ways that “accepting” that situation might play out:

    1. “I’m accepting this situation. I have my attention focused on the fly and I’m perfectly fine that the fly is there. It’s okay with me.” — This is accepting, sure, but you’re certainly paying that fly alot of attention.

    2. “I’m accepting this situation. I have this fly buzzing around by my face… but, I’m not out here just to fix my attention on the fly. All of the swatting in the world didn’t chase it off, so be it. The fly can be there and maybe I’ll still notice it; but I’m still going to watch and appreciate the sunset.”

    I don’t think either ways are bad but I think one way is better. I think (2) is both accepting and living your life, while (1) is accepting but not living your life.

    I think the good news is that you’ll probably still heal given (1) or (2); but I think (2) will speed the process up a bit.

  271. Dominick Says:

    Hey Dave,

    Don’t be too hard on yourself regarding the accepting. I too have had those thoughts that, “I thought I was accepting before… but then I hit a rough spot…. but NOW i’m really accepting it in a vastly different/true way”

    I think that’s still the anxiety’s bluff telling us that what we were doing initially must have been wrong because it didn’t completely carry us across the finish line.
    I just don’t think healing works that way. We’re all in the process of retraining our minds…. of changing the anxiety/fear settings in your brains. This is, frustratingly, going to take time.

    I too have had those thoughts. “hhhmmmmm…. was I really accepting of this before? It felt like I was, but, I hit a rough skid that made me feel like I was back to square one. But now I’m out of that and my mind is feeling a bit clearer again…. I think I might have been doing the ‘accepting business’ wrong the first time around”

    Don’t believe those thoughts. The progress you, I, or anyone made initially was true progress. Not a bluff, not a fluke.

    it’s funny: when all of this started for us (the anxiety symptoms) probably very few of us gave the negative feelings the same treatment we gave those initial positive feelings. We didn’t view those negative feelings as a fluke or a bluff…. we paid them great respect. Which served to further deepen them into our subconscious mind/brain.

    Imagine how quickly we’d recover if we paid those initial positive feelings (despite the setbacks that then followed) the same great respect we paid those initial negative feelings when this whole thing first started.

  272. Dave Says:

    Thanks Dominick

    Maybe I expect to much to soon.Your opinion is honestly much appreciated.
    I wonder why the anxiety returns. It could be a mixture of that slight fear that you don’t want it to return as your feeling better and obviously as you said we are retraining our brains/fight flight response that there is nothing wrong. Perhaps it’s some sort of reset with the brain. A lot of people seem to say the worst set back comes before they recover. True acceptance is truly not caring whether you suffer countless set backs or whether you feel anything. All part of the learning curve I suppose. Once again cheers mate

  273. Simply Bre Says:

    Hey I have a question, which i would like to know if I can get a couple different responses for, just to get different perspectives. The question is something I’ve seen quite a few people post about which is the fear of “losing it” or the feeling like you’re “going mad” . I too have felt overwhelmed at times, but would just like to know if anyone else has felt this symptom, and if so could you give like an example of what made you feel that way.

  274. Kyara Says:

    Dave,

    The anxiety returns because we still have some anxiety links in our brains that have to be rewritten. It gets easier. You just truly have to recognize a setback for what it is and once you allow yourself to feel it and accept it you set the time frame for how long it’s around. The watching yourself lessens, the feelings are less intense. It’s hard I know, but it’s possible. You will find strength you never knew you had. It feels oh so tortuous but the truth is we are in control just with acceptance. I can’t give a % for my recovery level because it’s so unpredictable but I know I’ve come a long way and I still have good and bad days but it has eased up. I feel like I’m so tired of worrying I don’t care if I recover. I feel when recovery is your goal instead of living your life, recovery is farthest away. It’s OK to be frustrated and it’s OK to cry, but remember these are surface emotions for an anxious mind wanting to be healed. Don’t be scared because nothing is wrong with you, your body was made this way and it was made to heal it’s self. So next time you feel all worked up remind yourself even though it doesn’t feel like it this is natural and it will pass it doesn’t have to feel like it at the moment but just hold on to that strength and you will prove it to yourself. I will pray for strength for us all.

  275. Marcus Says:

    Hi Simply Bre just up a couple of posts I posted a couple of examples for me.

  276. Val Says:

    I have just read an article on the benefits of having honey before bedtime and I am going to try it….it works somehow on reducing adrenaline and increasing “good” hormones while sleeping.worth a try

  277. Val Says:

    I found the Honey article again…..it ensures an adequate store of liver glycogen for the brain and prevents release of stress hormones. It also contributes to the release of the wellness hormone melatonin.
    Just thought it was interesting and helpful.

  278. Rich Says:

    Just a quick post to confirm what others have said about going mad on previous blog posts here. If you fear going mad or losing it, or hurting others or yourself etc, don’t worry.

    People who go mad do so without knowing they are, and without worrying about it. The fact that you are worrying about it means you’re still very much in control (you are always in control), and this is not happening. It’s just anxiety tricking you.

    Accept the thoughts are there, but realise they’re just thoughts – and nothing more.

  279. Kate Says:

    Charles
    Thank you that makes such sense. Im just a worrier in general Im just getting on with things as normal and if the Dp is there then oh well.
    Kelly
    Yeah I know exactly how you feel that’s so me at the minute.
    Matt
    Your not the same Matt who used to comment on here last year who recovered are you? X

  280. Marcus Says:

    Thank you Rich for the response :) It’s definitely something I have to work to accept.

    Question for anyone who maybe had similar symptoms : Do you feel sometimes as if youre fully recovered for like an hour or a couple of minutes everything seems to be normal and you feel happy and then some thoughts hit you and feel like youre drowning back into it again and feel awful. Frequent ups and downs thourghout the day

    When that happens .. well maybe thats just me..but my mind goes off and starts freaking out thinking well maybe im bipolar and having a manic episodes of some sort

    Is that part of the recovery process slowly feeling better for such short bits of time ?

  281. Dominick Says:

    Hi Marcus,
    I think so…. because I get those exact same feelings.

    One moment I feel like I could truly care less about sleeping and I know that my mind is peaceful enough that if I were to lay down I could fall asleep.

    The next moment: doubt, uncertainty, fear.

    From others I spoke to this is pretty normal.
    The good thing is early on I had none of these “normal/happy” moments. now I’m at least having some.

  282. Simply Bre Says:

    Marcus,

    Absolutely, i have been having those feelings recently. I wouldn’t say i feel like I’m fully recovered, but i definitely feel a lot more “normal” , and than out of nowhere my mind begins to chatter again about the scary thoughts. I too have thought like, is this Bipolar, but I don’t think so. I think what happen is our mind gets a bit of a break because we’re not so focused on ourselves, and to us that’s odd because we’ve become accustomed to this anxious state that actually moments of feeling normal feels weird. Which brings me to my question, when you’re so used to living with anxious,scary thoughts, how do you step back into living normally. For example, i find when my intrusive thoughts aren’t bothering me, i find myself worrying about when they will return, not that i want them to God knows I don’t, but its like i don’t know what to think if im not worrying about that. Has anyone else experienced that feeling, if so any insight can help me. Thanks.

  283. Kate Says:

    Marcus
    That’s been me for weeks especially the worry of bipolar but Im actually finding Im getting less and less freaked out when the thoughts come in. I think is just down to time, your mind just gets more and more distracted and it doesn’t seem as scary x

  284. Mark R Says:

    Marcus,

    That’s the beginnings of recovery, like the sun appearing behind the clouds at the risk of being cheesy! Claire Weekes calls it ‘glimpsing’, you see normality for a while and then it goes. I know how you feel though, you see it and want it more and more!

    It does not mean you’re bipolar!

  285. Rich Says:

    Good days are great, but they make subsequent bad days seem even worse! the fear of setback, the fear of never being able to get out of the good-then-bad-again loop. I can only recommend hanging onto the good moments – either the good day, the good afternoon or the good hour. They will become longer and more frequent over time – just don’t let their temporary nature frustrate you and make you worry. Be grateful for each moment and hold onto the positive aspects they bring – even if short lived at first.

    In regards to worrying about feeling ‘normal’ again, I wouldn’t worry about this – I think once you’re on the up, you will resume your normal life, be your normal self (perhaps even better as you’re more grateful to be in that state of mind), but I think you will just settle into this situation and not consciously think about it. You will sometimes pause and think, but on the whole you’ll just ‘be’.

    People without anxiety don’t wonder if they’re feeling anxious, or check for symptoms. People who are happy don’t stop and think ‘wow, I feel happy right now’ – they just are. This is what you will rediscover as you lift out of the fog.

  286. Val Says:

    Wonderful and helpful words Rich

  287. Val Says:

    To Marcus,Dominic ,Kate etc etc ….we all seem to be going through the same experiences….feeling ok for a day or a morning or when you are distracted and then back into feeling not so ok. If only we could meet for coffee etc even tho I am sure we all have supportive friends and family. So we continue to support each other here and it’s so comforting.take care ALL of you and stay patient and remember the small improvements we are all making. Best wishes

  288. Val Says:

    Jessica Rowe and her husband Peter Overton speak so well on the Beyond Blue site……..very uplifting and practical.

  289. Charles Says:

    For anyone who thinks anxiety is harmful. I just had a simple realization today that can reassure you that it is not.
    When we practice something that our body is designed to do we get better and more efficient at doing it; When we practice something that our body is not designed to do we get worse at it. There are many examples of this: if you look at an object all the time, you will recognize that object faster and notice more details because our eyes are designed for that, but if you stare at the sun all day, you will go blind. If you kick a soccer ball all day you will become better at it, but if you kick the wall all day you will break your foot.
    following that logic, after all this time of practicing being anxious, I think all of us agree that it’s easier and easier to trigger anxiety, that means we are just practicing something our body is designed to do, so why worry about it!

  290. Dominic Says:

    Hi guys
    One thing I found during my dark days was a need for reassurance, be it from blogs, therapists, doctors etc. I just wanted to know everything will be ok.
    Over my recovery I found that it didn’t help in the long run it just made me feel better temporarily. The only way I moved forward was to move away from the subject and get on with things. If you are constantly looking for answers how can you really move forward.
    Things started to change when I just let go of things. Let myself think scary thoughts,let me body feel however.
    I still get the thoughts and I still get mind chatter but I no longer worry about recovery. I get setbacks and the old feelings reappear but I know I won’t last and if doesn’t scare or worry me.
    Things will change for all of you I promise. The good times will last longer the mind chatter will go and the fog will lift.
    I now know I can handle whatever comes my way and have more important things to worry about, like enjoying life.
    I’ve been to that dark place and I was so wrapped up in trying to fix myself that I forgot about life around me. I believed my thoughts and reacted to them.
    As I recovered I realised that it doesn’t matter so much how I felt and stopped worrying about it. That’s when things really change. The setbacks become less frequent and less intense and you start to worry about them less.
    I can’t tell you how much moving on and getting off blogs and and sites helped me. The more you search for answers the more you are telling yourself there is a problem. Get out of this loop and things will change. Live life with a ‘ whatever’ attitude. It will be words at first but soon it will be embedded and you then realise you can handle all the thoughts and feelings and get on with things again.

  291. Rich Says:

    This morning I woke up feeling a little anxious (not really sure why). My stomach was bubbling away and I thought I was in for a morning of discomfort and trips to the loo. I sat on the sofa thinking about this for 10 minutes, wondering if I would be ok to go out and post some parcels. Then I realised again “what am I doing!” I was once again falling into bad habits of looking for anxiety symptoms and negatively thinking that they were just around the corner.

    I got up, got out, and got on with it. Surprise surprise, the symptoms never arrived. I felt better for getting out of the house and better for getting a job done and out of the way.

    I still fall into bad habits – and still have to remind myself to ‘accept and float’ and get on with it. All part of the road to recovery. I must not get hung up on little things, and must not plan to worry all the time.

    “I’ve suffered a great many disasters in my life, most of which never happened…”

  292. Mac Says:

    Hi All

    Dont post here much but just wanted to chime in with what Dominic said above and that is getting off forums, blogs etc. While they have their role and can be useful to gain understanding\reassurance etc it is my firm belief that spending too much time on the forums etc can be counterproductive.

    How? because if we are constantly reading about anxiety, the horrible thoughts and symptoms etc, then we are filling our consciousness with it and it dominates our thinking. At my darkest times(and I have had a few) I was spending the best part of my day on forums etc and all this did was to make me obsessive about my condition and even get me worrying about other peoples symptoms!!

    Am I recovered? No, but I feel that I am over the worst and although I still get horrible thoughts etc I just let them be and they do not hang around too long and dont bother me like they used to. I still have a long road to travel but I am going in the right direction and dont fear the horrible anxious thoughts like I used to.

    Like most others I have good\bad days but overall the fear of my anxious thoughts has diminished as I start to get more involved with the world and focus my consciousness away from anxiety. Consequently I have decided to spend less time on forums\blogs etc. I am not so obsessed with looking for answers because that is not the way to recovery. The way to recovery is to live as normally as possible and get involved with the world around us.
    As Paul David says ‘the battle with myself is over’. Will I still check blogs etc? Yes but only occasionally when I seek a clarification or understanding.
    My goal now is to fill (NOT FIGHT) my mind and consciousness with other activities rather than anxiety 24\7. I have suffered horribly for 6/7 years now but I am convinced that being less involved with anxiety forums etc can only be of benefit in the long run so I agree 100% with what Dominic says. Is it easy? No, because we all want reassurance that we are not going mad, and will get better etc. But I feel its a huge part of the recovery process and the right thing to do in the long run.

  293. Kate Says:

    Its reassuring to know others feel the same. I agree with Dominic as since I’ve been using the site less and less I’ve seen more and more results but i think that’s just a natural progression.
    Today has been a weird one for me. I’ve almost felt normal all day and haven’t really thought about Dp much and when i have it hasn’t scared me at all. The problem being although things no longer look weird and I think the Dp has almost gone I still feel a little weird not fully back to myself and not all my emotions have returned. I do believe I’ve turned the corner now and recovery isn’t too far away :) just want to say a big thank you to all you lot as without this site id still be a mess x

  294. Rich Says:

    This is the only website I visit – and that is mainly because I want to stay in touch with people I have met on here who have helped me.

    This is because I am in a relatively good spell at the moment. If I hit a snag I imagine I will be reading Claire Weekes and Paul’s book again, but at the moment I feel I now know all there is to know – and all I need to now do is apply that knowledge to recovery.

    I started reading David Carbonell’s website today (not been there before) and I lost interest – I have had enough of reading about anxiety, so am going to stop and read some fiction or something instead.

    The ‘cure’ lies within each and every one of us. It isn’t on the internet or on a forum – it is out there in our world and in our lives. Now I’ve learned what I need to know, I now want to rejoin the world and live once more.

  295. Bryan Says:

    Excellent Rich! Please do give us quick status updates when you can. It’s been good erasing your take on things. I too go back and forth from the blog as needed. Many do. Life awaits. Be well.

  296. Dominick Says:

    Again, great advice Dominic.

    I’m not being very accepting of this if I keep coming back here and going to other websites that deal with anxiety and sleep and fear.

  297. Bryan Says:

    Edit: reading not erasing.

  298. Rich Says:

    Haha thanks Bryan. Sometimes I re-read my own posts to help my conscious self realise that it is in fact me writing those things – as I have to remind myself that I now think positively and optimistically – and no longer worry and dwell on negative thoughts or signs of symptoms! I’m sure this will come more naturally in time. At the moment it is working well, but there is still an element of ‘fake it until you make it’.

    If anyone does anything positive to change their attitude to anxiety each day, realise it, remember it, and praise yourself for doing so. If you haven’t done anything positive to accept anxiety and give your mind some time and space to sort itself out, then do it now! It’s not too late. You’ll thank yourself for it in the long run. One step at a time.

  299. Marcus Says:

    You are right.. and I have to admit I was constantly seeking re-assurance on a whole buch of websites. Which to be honest only lead me to becoming afraid of various other symptoms 😛 I now only come on this website which is a bit of an improvement lol…

    Anyhow constantly seeking reassurance definitely does not help in the long term as there is no certainty in life we just have to live the moment.

    Today was much better i had couple of hours while distracted at work that i completely forgot about my anxiety. Laughing with colleagues etc. Goes to show you how its only ourselves that create the anxiety.

    Hang in there people the weekend is here 😀

  300. Lui Says:

    Las week I was kind of successful on accepting anxiety but now I am deeply stuck on the topic again. Just can’t let off my social anxiety. I am constantly checking on myself, making myself tired, worn out and sick.
    I really improved though trough hard practice and now I can engage with people pretty well. Since then I’m really popular in school and made a lots friends. It’s ironic, cause I am scared as fuck of them and of being judged and stuff like this and always controlling my behavior. I’m getting really ill. My symptoms get worse. I am just scared that I’m gonna change so much while letting of, so that people will talk bad about me and won’t engage with me anymore. Maybe it’s stupid to think like that, but I don’t know…I’m not sure if I can risk it

  301. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Feeling pretty crappy at the moment. Think Bryan said since his setback in September he hasn’t really stablised and that’s the same for me really. My Employers are not helping either at present, I’ve been very open about my condition with them and they are being very unhelpful, questioning my work rate etc even though I said I had a problem.

    Urgh

  302. Rich Says:

    I realised this morning that although I am doing ‘ok’ at the moment (I feel like I’m out of my setback and back to my old GAD self), I am not really facing anything. I am not avoiding, but I am not pro-actively going out and doing things either. The time of year doesn’t help I guess (short days, cold weather etc). Anxiety only learns when it is ‘switched on’, and me just going to work and being at home isn’t really pushing things on.

    I don’t mind – the fall into anxiety I had shook the hell of out me, so to be over that is welcome progress enough for me (I don’t want to be over-confident) but the old me avoided doing things to avoid the pre-anxiety it brought. This for me is the next step. I’m not forcing it though, and am not rushing it either. This is a gradual process.

  303. Rich Says:

    Lui, I think what you’re fearing is completely natural. If you have an anxiety disorder your thoughts and feelings will be over-amplified as a result, but I bet that deep down, the people you see in school have the same thoughts and fears about social acceptance and saying/doing the wrong things. If they don’t have anxiety, they won’t be as self-conscious about it, so can maybe not worry about this so much.

    Sometimes it is the most confident people, the people who appear the strongest who are the least confident and least strong (look at celebrities!).

    The best advice I can offer is to be yourself – stop putting on an act as it’s too mentally tiring. True friends will like you for who you are, through good times and bad. If you do something stupid, just laugh it off, but rest assured that your best friends – the ones who really count – will be there whatever – as you would be for them.

  304. Bryan Says:

    Hey Mark,

    Actually I would say I’ve found more stability since the setback and I back to more days being “eh”‘or OK than bad. I just haven’t quite had as many spikes upward where I really feel “good” as opposed to just Ok. So there has been progress. Just not quite back in a good swing yet but close.

    Sorry about your work. That can be hard. Just keep in mind work is often hard on even “normal” people so in a sense they are treating you normally.
    Try to take it in stride knowing you eventually won’t feel this way.

    This process just takes longer for some people like you and I. But we can and will get there if we can keep accepting and gain a more “so what” attitude when bad days set in. Hang in there.

  305. Lui Says:

    Yeah I’m just gonna be myself from now on. I just don’t want to be that anxious anymore. So Imma accept it. My confident self won’t care about the opinion of other people. I’m sck of not being myself

  306. Mark R Says:

    Bryan,

    Maybe I got it wrong but I know I’m definitely not up to scratch ‘pre-setback’ as I was.

    I was thinking of changing jobs but part of me is scared due to the potential flare up of anxiety/setback atc. I know this is the wrong attitude and I should just do whatever with my life.

    Anyone have any thoughts or similar experiences?

  307. Lucy Says:

    Hi Paul,

    The contact form on your website doesn’t seem to be working

    I just wanted to say hello and to thank you. Two years ago now I was in the cycles of severe anxiety. I came across your site and it was the very first step on my road to wellness – one that I have returned to many times for reassurance.

    I wrote an article for Tiny Buddha which mentions you. Feel free to share the article on your blog if you think it will help or resonate with those on the forum.

    http://tinybuddha.com/blog/let-it-be-using-mindfulness-to-overcome-anxiety-depression/

  308. rachh Says:

    Lui i think your still in fighting mode. I have a bit of social anxiety.. Only since this whole anxiety flare up. What we need to do is get out of our own heads and absorb ourselves in conversation. You cant force this, you just need to stop giving a sh*t about how you feel.

  309. Sam Says:

    Lui

    What you are feeling and thinking is completely natural for people who suffer from social anxiety primarily. I get the very same thoughts all the time. I’ll have a good spell and I’ll talk to most people with ease and feel involved in the conversation and worry about little, then when anxiety comes i’ll question everything. What if they find out what I’m actually like? Should I keep the act up us it’s not the true me? Do they even like me? Am I good at talking to people or socially backward? What if they think I’m weird as I was normal/confident a week back now I’m acting different? It is just anxiety and these negative thoughts are produced to protect us. It is all part of ot. Accept these faults and the fact you’ll be going in out of this mind frame and you’ll eventually not care whether people think your this or that because you’ll know it’s just temporarily part of your life and it’s not the true you. The real you is in another part of your brain, but the anxious symptoms are merely masking them. That’s how people go in and out of feeling anxious then normal. The balance has corrected it’d self and your using the correct part of your mind which everyone has and you return to ‘normality’. Don’t be hard on yourself lui you are perhaps stronger than people who are not as do they deal with what you do on a daily basis

  310. Sam Says:

    Sorry about this know I’m going on. But the ironic thing is that not a lot people seem to talk about there social anxiety on here as I think everyone is worried about what people think of them

  311. Lui Says:

    Yes, I’m fighting and I really tried to stop fighting. I read Pauls book like three times and it helped me to understand. And I read all the post about social anxiety on here. But I’m fighting over it my whole life, I have thousands of avoidance techniques and I am constantly checking on myself for years now. I don’t know what to do.

  312. Rich Says:

    I’ve felt a little weird the last 24 hours – not quite relaxed. I think it’s since I’ve arranged to meet someone for lunch tomorrow – it’s all I can think of. Avoidance behavior would be to cancel for that ‘quick win’ but I’m going to see it through to get anxious and show myself there’s nothing to worry about.

    Had a bit of a blip last night before eating, but still ate (albeit not much) to show myself all was ok and I wasn’t in ‘danger’. Low and behold, afterwards I felt fine.

    Strange though how the feelings come out of seemingly nowhere – I presume it’s just a little up and down still.

  313. Lui Says:

    Oh sorry Sam! Did not see your post! Thank you so much for your post! This is actually helping for once. I feel exactly like this. I think so much about it that I get fever from it. I felt miserable over years. Even had it when I was a little kid. I know that I’m actually really confident “inside”. It’s hard to overcome something when you’ve never experienced a life without anxiety. So when I’m in school tomorrow I should just be myself and give a shit about how I feel, just accept everything? Is that the right way to go? That’s all so complicated…

  314. Lui Says:

    One more question. So this happens a lot. I’m with a person. Doesn’t matter if it’s a friend or stranger. I don’t know what to talk about. So I go crazy inside. And tell myself come on, you’ve to fix that. So I say some shitty sentences and right after that I’m thinking, omg that was just so weird what I just said. I fuckes up. So I shut up and let other people speak. It’s kinda sad. But I can’t escape this thinking pattern.

  315. Sam Says:

    Lui

    We are very similar. You actually explained my very thoughts and feelings when I found this sight. Once you start accepting you’ll start getting moments of clarity and you’ll see that the confident you underneath can live properly. In regard to you question about your stress reaction when talking to people. That is completely natural. It is the mixture or you caring about what the person thinks and the fact your mind is concentrating on that is causing the problem. When our body is in the fight or flight reposnes it shuts downa lot of our functions because are seen as useless. If you are about to be attacked what use would having a conversation be. Absolutely useless. I’m not even saying this to make you feel good but it’s not sad it’s completely natrual there is nothing wrong with you. That voice on your head that’s saying the way things our is the real you and you know how you believe things should be done. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I’ll keep an eye out as it’s nice to have someone with such a similar case

  316. Sam Says:

    *Concentrating on yourself

  317. Sam Says:

    Whatever you feel lui is ok. You are doing nothing wrong at all. If you could think or push that feeling away you’d have recovered by now. Practice accepting it. You’ll get it then lose it. Then accept it again. Then get better. Then have a set back. But eventually you will not care. It reminds me of a drug addict in a way. Eventually get so fed up with the life were leading we seriously don’t care how long it takes till it goes and just get on with our lives. Try this aswell. Type nothing works into google and it’ll be the one with the word weebly

  318. Lucy Says:

    Rich, I think it coming out of nowhere is fairly standard for most people, especially when you get further into recovery and become slightly more used to being “ok.” Tonight I’ve been laying in bed, quite alright, and all of a sudden I got the sensation that my heart isn’t “there” anymore, like it’s not beating. I don’t know if anyone else has this but I’m still alive so although it feels it, I’m pretty sure it’s just another anxiety symptom! Now it’s switching between that and racing… I think sometimes that’s it’s way of catching us guard, at a point where we’re not expecting it to test if it can get the reaction it wants! Unfortunately initially I did, but I’m feeling kind of calmer now. You’re right to still go for lunch, I went for dinner last night with a friend and although I couldn’t finish it all and I had flashes of anxiety through it, I made it and I sat through it. It is the little victories that all end up adding up :)

  319. Lui Says:

    Hey Sam!
    Thanks a lot again! It’s funny, cause I thought about the same comparisson. That one with the drug addict. I’m addicted to overthinking. Imma check out the weebly thing! It’s really nice to have someone who is suffering social anxiety as well. It always seemed to me like everybody else on here has anything else ecxept this kind of anxiety. Another thing why I can’t let off is, cuase it would feel like I’m giving up and it’ll stay like this forever. May sound stupid but I mean, I lived with the anxiety for years not knowing about it and did not get better…

  320. Sam Says:

    I do know what you mean. It’s hard because your not whether to not talk because it’s giving into the anxiety and trying to be viewed in a certain way. Or whether to talk loads and let the anxiety to do its own thing. I think balance is to talk and ignore the negative thoughts. That’s why I think CBT works because it’s not about viewing yourself as a anxious person but rather an individual who temporarily has anxiety

  321. Dominick Says:

    Isn’t it interesting how so many different modes of thought have converged on the idea of acceptance to overcome anxiety/depression/fear?

    Claire Weekes came up with her approach with the reasoning that in stopping the fight/the fleeing that you will allow your body to heal.

    Paul David saw that in just accepting all that is he slowly found peace in his trial and was eventually free from his trial.

    The mindfulness approach takes many elements from Buddhism. Which involves nonjudgementally living in the moment and experiencing those feelings/thoughts.

    Christians have the idea of “Divine Providence”. That, whatever is happening to you is ultimately the will of God. That while it is indeed painful there is purpose to it.

    All of these converge on the same idea: stop fighting and accept.
    So, when it gets dark and you’re not certain you’re making the right decision with just living with this. And you doubt if you’re even heading in the right direction…. just realize that so many traditions have converged on this same insight.

  322. Rich Says:

    Thanks Lucy, I went for lunch today after not having any anxiety all morning. I woke with no anxiety, then had a fairly busy morning and a nice lunch. I did catch myself self-checking, but my body didn’t react. Hopefully it is learning that there is no need to be anxious – despite my conscious mind still checking this is in fact the case. Step by step is the key, and don’t be put off with the odd step backwards – just keep on going forwards.

    Today I had my last therapy session, and tomorrow I am seeing my Dr to come off the meds over Xmas. This may be an ‘interesting’ time, but in a few weeks I’ll be 100% med-free and among the ranks of us doing this without. I am actually looking forward to it.

  323. Marcus Says:

    Good luck Rich!!! Please keep us posted on youre transition to no med. Im currently on small doses of Paxil and would like to come off in the next year once I get a better grasp on the anxiety. So youre experience will definitely come in handy as to what to expect.

    Once again Good luck :)

  324. Dominick Says:

    Does anyone else have this feeling:

    When you’re bad you can’t make any sense of the good times. The bad times seem to be set in stone and not going to leave. You think and feel as if you’re doomed to be this way for good.

    But, then when you’re good the bad times don’t make that much sense to you. Things seem clear now. You can think the same thoughts but they don’t carry that negative burden with them.

    Almost like it’s a switch being flipped and you’re being toggled between these two different settings.

  325. Marcus Says:

    Hey Dominick,
    I can definitely relate to that. When im feeling good my scary harm/fesr of mental illness thoughts seem silly and are easy to accept and continue on. But if lets say its the middle of the night and woke up suddenly anxious the sane thiughts seem so real that panic sets in and the circle begins..

    I guess once the recovery sets in you have more and more of this feeling and the thoughts eventually disappear

  326. Dominick Says:

    Isn’t it reassuring though?

    Because it just shows us that we don’t have to do something to get there. Nothing more than just being at peace and accepting of how ever we feel.

    So, when the bad times come it’s not because we did something wrong. They may still come for some time. We don’t need to restart the search.

    just like, when those good moments jump on us it’s not because we effectively chased away those bad feelings/thoughts.

    It’s like you’re just in this mode of thinking and it will pass when it passes. Freaking out about it just makes it stay alittle bit longer. Losing interest in it or maybe even finding some joy in it only helps to make it pass that much more quickly.

  327. Dominick Says:

    That’s also interesting that you too have those waking up in the middle of the night.

    I have those. But I assume that it’s because of my sleep anxiety. Now, you do the same thing but you assume it’s because of this health anxiety you have.

    Isn’t that just more proof that all of these thoughts are just a bluff?

    I bet we have the same experiences with getting back to bed. I’m worried that my mind is going to race because I’m focusing so much on trying to sleep. While you’re probably thinking something like “I need to stop my mind from obsessing about health concerns”.
    But in both cases it’s probably not anything we have all that much control over. We weren’t doing something wrong to make that nighttime awakening even happen.

    And the best thing we can do is just accept it, know that it will pass on its own, and maybe even smile to ourselves in assurance that we know this is just a silly bluff and that we’re still headed in the right direction.

  328. Marcus Says:

    Yes I think its a start to realizing that nothing is wrong with us. When I feel anxious I tend to believe all my thoughts to be true which then causes more fear and so on. Definitely made me realize that I am the ones making all these horrible scenarios and that thoughts are only thoughts.
    Accepting those in the midst of feeling anxious is very hard though i have to admit but im definitely tryiong or “not” trying :P.

  329. Rich Says:

    Completely relate to feeling good and the thoughts seeming irrational, then feeling bad and the thoughts seeming overwhelming. It’s just like when I have a cold – I can never remember feeling ‘healthy’. This is how setbacks can catch you out, so so long as you remember that the setbacks are temporary, and that the feelings (just like catching a cold) disappear if you just ride it out, you’ll be ok.

    Marcus, thanks for the support. I’ll keep commenting on here to let you know how the med withdrawal goes – hopefully it will be a positive story and won’t put anyone off doing the same!

  330. Lucy Says:

    Think a lot of us relate to good/bad times. When it’s good I forget quite how awful I can feel, and when it’s bad I seem to forget how it feels to be “good”! I have been having a really tough time lately with thoughts, symptoms.. When a week ago I was pretty even. I am struggling against it all and I can feel it, but it seems I’ve also forgotten how to give that up too! I also feel bad posting with not much to offer, but I think I just need that boost/reminder at the moment that it’ll be okay. I think I’ve lost sight of the main goal somewhere to just be ok with these feelings, instead I’m here convincing myself it’ll all harm me in some way! I have been doing a lot recently and maybe it’s all just catching up with me. So grateful for this blog to know I am not alone :) thanks everybody for sharing x

  331. Rich Says:

    Yesterday I went into town after my therapist appointment and booked an routine eye check for this afternoon (I’ve been putting it off because of anxiety symptoms and because 2 years ago (not the last time I went, the time before that!) I felt very anxious in the waiting room (although the appointment was fine).

    Today, I feel a little anxious before going – even though I was there yesterday. What I have just remembered is that I need to see this as an opportunity – to show my anxiety that there is no danger, and to therefore tone-down the anxiety response. Anxiety only learns when it’s switched on, so this will be a good chance to teach it.

  332. Kate Says:

    Had an awful few days after feeling I was 80 percent better. The strange feeling and not feeling real has been really strong. Woke up this morning and decided that enough really is enough I really can’t stand this anymore. I’m giving up the fight. I can’t say I like how I feel because I don’t but I know this is temporary and all a bluff. It’s all my own doing as when I’m at work and distracted being real or feeling unreal doesn’t even enter my head! I know I’m real. I may not feel it at this moment in time but I am and if I feel like it’s a dream I may as well enjoy it! I’ve been checking in and the stupid thoughts have been regular as clockwork but I’m staying positive and carrying on. If I feel bad then so be it, but I’ll do it with a smile on my face. When the thoughts come in I simply say “”oh well and carry on doing what I’m doing. I’m not sure if its the right thing, but oh well.
    Sorry for the rant just think I’ve finally got to the point where I don’t care anymore

  333. Lucy Says:

    Kate that’s been really helpful to me :) Thankyou! I too had been feeling really rather good but been rubbish since last week. I know I dealt with its return all wrong, and it’s really important to remember that it’s not forever! Yesterday I went to London (big thing for me) and today is my birthday.. Just trying to make the most of things and as you say we may as well enjoy it! I’ve also met someone new which although I want to persue, that’s a big thing too for a single mother of 3+ years! We can do whatever we like with anxiety, it does not disable us in anyway however it tries to trick us into thinking so. If you have felt good before, you know you will again. It takes time for our confidence to build but it will. X

  334. Rich Says:

    Kate, it sounds like you’ve hit the bottom – now the only way is up! This is a good thing. Sometimes you have to hit the bottom in order to bounce back up. It’s counter-intuitive to not care, but if you honestly don’t care about the anxious feelings, they’ll gradually get bored and leave you alone.

  335. Charlotte Says:

    I’ve also had a rough few days, been ill and overworking and had a return of feelings of unreality and intrusive thoughts, and once again I’ve been scared of anxiety which is why it keeps getting me !

    Happy birthday Lucy – it’s my sons tomorrow and mine on Christmas Eve !

    Here’s to all us Xmas babies !!

  336. Kate Says:

    Lucy
    Happy Birthday :) Im driving to Newcastle on Saturday which Im not looking forward to as driving with constant Dp is not fun but Im going anyway no matter how I feel.
    CHARLOTTE
    I’ve got the flu and my Hubby has been quite ill in and out of hospital so think they have contributed to how I feel too but life never goes smooth does it :(
    RICH
    I think its more Im losing the fear as Im actually finally understanding that the fear and worrying is what’s keeping me in the loop. Im just making my family my first priorty as Im sick of anxiety taking up too much of my life.
    Hope you all have a good week and sorry for my rant its the only place anyone can read my rants and not think Im crazy lol :)

  337. Charlotte Says:

    Kate

    I’ve had flu also, awful isn’t it. Hope your husband is ok he sounds quite poorly.

    You are doing really well to begin to lose your fear, it’s seems to escape me every time, I get scared of the feelings of unreality, and then start thinking am I going crazy, checking for signs of schizo etc etc and then the self monitoring kicks in. I just can’t seem to get over this fear business.

    Anyway trying to relax now and not think of the million and one things I should be doing….

  338. Kate Says:

    Certainly is :( he’s been quite seriously ill with a type of stroke being monitored for Alsorts and he’s only 35 so pretty scary without anxiety but with almost brought me to my knees but we can’t change what’s happened we just have to live for today.
    I hate the feelings of unreality the most :(
    Im off to bed busy day again tomorrow.
    Sending lots of love and positive thoughts to everyone :)

  339. Charlotte Says:

    Kate

    So sorry to hear about your husband, keeping my fingers crossed he gets better.

    I’ve had a full on panic attack tonight, the first in about 6 months, am feeling terrible as it’s my sons birthday tomorrow. I know I’ve been overdoing things lately trying to be superwoman again, so it’s all built up.

    Ah well time to get my claire weeks CDs and Paul’s book out again…..

  340. Kate Says:

    Charlotte
    Hope your feeling better this morning. Happy Birthday to your son. I think this time of year always puts too much pressure on us especially as parents x

  341. Rich Says:

    I think everything’s relative – I don’t have kids and have a very low-maintenance fiancee which is great because I don’t have that pressure to do things, however this is also a disadvantage I think because I don’t have to do things, it’s quite easy to fear them unnecessarily.

    I fear planning my own wedding, having kids and the responsibility and dependency that they bring, however I think those who have kids cope, and worry about other things.

    My fears are relatively small compared to other people’s, but to me at the moment they are just as big. I fear the future, but have dealt with things in the past. What’s important is to realise all that you do, and all that you do achieve – even if these are small achievements on a bad day. Try to maintain perspective and remind yourself of the games anxiety plays on you when you need to.

  342. Charlotte Says:

    Hi
    I’m not good today woke up with high anxiety and have bee strugglin all morning, feeling on the edge of a panic attack all the time.

    I so didn’t want to feel like this today as it’s my sons birthday, his cArol concert and our works Xmas do. I feel like I’m back to square one and have learnt nothing.

    Sorry for negative post, I haven’t been like this for a long time and it’s shaken me

  343. Rich Says:

    Hi Charlotte, you may be feeling like that purely because you didn’t want to feel like it – i.e. you feared it, so your mind thought “fear? better switch on the anxiety switch!” and lo and behold, you’re caught in the loop.

    The important thing to realise, even though you are in this situation, is to remember that it is just a feeling. As uncomfortable as it may be, enjoy your son’s birthday, enjoy the carol concert, and enjoy the works do. Take anxiety along and show it there’s nothing to worry about.

    If you feel rubbish, and think it’s ruining what ‘should’ have been a great day, remember these thoughts are just because you’re anxious and it’s your anxiety skewing your mood. Think thoughts of your own – of your son, him singing in the concert, the social opportunity tonight will bring – and enjoy on the positives as much as possible.

  344. rachh Says:

    Does anyone sometimes feel they have lost who they are? Im naturally such a caring person and love christmas especially the ‘giving thing’ i love spoiling people. This year though i am in a world of my very own and i am really concerned about what people think about me. :( go away anxiety. Hope everyone else is doing a little better xx

  345. Charlotte Says:

    Thanks Rich

    That’s lovely. I did enjoy the concert they were all so sweet ! The Xmas do is not really my cup of tea but I will go and I’m driving so I can escape whenever I want !

    Thanks again

  346. Lucy Says:

    Thanks Charlotte and Kate, really hope your husband is on the mend soon. Charlotte 6 months is a good stretch to go without a panic attack! I was having them daily at my worst, and they have always been my biggest struggle. If all my anxious thoughts didn’t lead to panic attacks I’d be 50% there! I agree with Rich and it’s probably the fear that’s now bought you back into the loop.. I know it is so hard to not be scared, but remember all the past times you have felt all the symptoms and had all the worrying thoughts, and that you were ok. They didn’t harm you then and they won’t now :) You will be fine. Christmas, although enjoyable, is a stressful time too! Glad your little one’s concert went well and happy birthday to him :) it was my little girl’s concert Monday, felt anxious all the way through but genuinely wasn’t too bothered.

  347. Kelly Says:

    Does anyone here have any advice on websites or books that I can check out in order to help my husband understand anxiety? He really doesn’t understand it and I’d like to give him something to help him understand. Sometimes I feel that I’m anxious trying to hide my anxiety from him. I’m not scared of what he’ll think, just exhausted at the thought of trying to explain it when I really don’t find it easy to explain.

  348. Sam Says:

    Claire Weekes has a chapter which is dedicated to friends and family Kelly. It basically gives an explanation of the condition and how hard it is for the sufferer. Has your husband read Paul’s book?

    Does anyone have that battle just accept the symptoms. Like I convince myself ill never be able to accept the anxiety. I have no problem with knowing that if I accept the anxiety ill recover.

  349. Marcus Says:

    Hey everyone!

    Just checking in … had a couple days which really felt great! Tonight is a different story though so I thought id come on here for maybe a little bit of advice. I guess what triggered my fears/anxiety is that my gf is sleeping over tonight(as she regularly does a couple of nights a week) and then i start thinking omg what if you go crazy tonight… and I start getting anxious at the thought of knowing shell be there when I come home…

    For those who have read my past posts you can tell my anxiety is from the fear of hurting my loved ones(fear of snapping violently) or the fear of developing a severe mental pathology which sends me into a fear spiral whenever i get those harm thoughts. Now wanted t know specifically how to react when those thoughts rise up in my mind. I understand I have to accept them …but how? Do i simply not engage them at all and let them be or should i tell myself its all my imagination trying to scare me and counter the thought ?

  350. Sam Says:

    By that I meant accepting a a battle on its own

  351. Kelly Says:

    Thanks Sam, he hasn’t read Paul’s book but I thought I might start with that.

  352. Kate Says:

    RICH
    So true we all are worrier though I guess this is why we have anxiety. Kids are the best! Im over worrying about letting my kids down Im still their mum deep down and I love them to bits and anxiety will never change that even if it feels like it :)
    CHARLOTTE
    I agree with the others I think its because you really didn’t want to feel like that. I had the exact same thing on Saturday at the kids Christmas party everyone sat enjoying themselves and Im sat with racing thoughts and super jealous of everyone and thinking of any reason to get home. I made myself stay till the end and actually join in conversation and I was actually really pleased with myself…little victories
    LUCY
    Thank you he’s responding to medication at the moment so fingers crossed it stays that way. Hospitals are no good for people with anxiety lol

  353. Kate Says:

    Im in a weird stage at the moment. I’ve had a goodish few days I can feel my personality starting to come back. I laugh and enjoy myself at work even during the bad bad days. My Dp is strange its more of a strange feeling now I still dont recognise myself in the mirror (doesn’t scare me anymore) but the visual side of it has gone. My mind still races occasionally but less and less. I can feel ok pretty much normal while Im distracted but when my attention comes back its gone from checking how Im feeling to scary thoughts coming that Im not real and dont exist which then cause panic. Im letting them in but Im wondering if this is all normal for recovery. I know I’ve come such a long long way in the couple of months since i started acceptance just wondering if the strange feeling and scary thoughts are last thing to leave? Hope that makes sense x

  354. Rich Says:

    Marcus, don’t worry about thoughts of violence – the mere fact you’re worrying about them means you won’t act on them – even if you do actually have them. Just remember that they’re just thoughts – fuelled by anxiety. You are in control. You always will be.

    I looked at old holiday photos the other night – It’s weird to look at a younger me, who still had general anxiety out living life and going places.

    Not living life, not going places for me helps the anxiety settle in me and take a hold. The thoughts it conjours are irrational, out of proportion and grow based on my inactivity to go out and disprove them.

    When I feel anxiety – either mental thoughts or physical symptoms, I just try to put them into proportion – I’m not seriously ill, life is generally good, I’m not in any real danger – so I am able to look at the thoughts and not react to them. Sometimes I forget and catch myself worrying about them, but then I remember my training and regain control.

  355. eliza Says:

    “Tis the season to be jolly as the saying goes but for many being jolly is not such an easy feat. Many of us find this a difficult time, each for our own reasons.
    Wish all here a worry free Christmas holiday in spite of it all!!

  356. Rich Says:

    There’s a social anxiety article on the BBC News website today. Although it’s good that this kind of thing is becoming less of a taboo subject and is getting more coverage (Joseph Finnes and Jenifer Lawrence have also spoken about anxiety recently), it still seems to me that the advice given is not the best advice.

    There’s a huge pressure at Christmas to be ‘normal’ and to ‘have fun’ and be like everyone we see on TV. All I can suggest is to be true to yourself, do what you want, but nothing more. Identify all that is good and positive during this time, and don’t let the bad stuff drag you down.

  357. Candie Says:

    Kate- would just like to add I had exactly the same thoughts about reality as you. I wanted desperately for them to go away, I thought if I don’t react they will go away- but I was still wanting rid of them so they always came nocking. In the end I actively approached the fear. I read about lots of theories about reality and how we all might be an illusion etc- I faced it. I then decided if we are we are, but it doesn’t change what I believe and know. Philosophers ponder this stuff all the time, the none anxious do too. I no longer have anxiety and I can think about reality with curiosity rather then fear. Embrace whatever it is you fear and you move away from worrying and obsession. I used to worry I didn’t love certain people I love whole heartily. So I decided no more, I feel what I feel and it is enough- I decided I’d not try prove different. I used to worry I would harm my loved ones or myself- I would avoid news about people doing this. Again I decided I would spend no longer worrying as anyone could go mad and no amount of worry would make a difference. I’ve still not gone mad and I never will. You have to actively decide to face head on what your scared off and underneath it all is anxiety- fear of losing control. All anxiety is fear of losing control of your thoughts, feelings or actions and you spend a great deal of time trying to fix rather then accept and move past it. When you accept and move past feelings you stop the constant battle with yourself and the anxiety subsides. It can take a while for your body to remain calm when thinking anxious thoughts, as you have most likely spent a long time telling it there is danger when you try escape them through figuring out etc.

    Hope everyone has a fab Christmas :)

  358. Kate Says:

    CANDIE
    Thank you so much for replying. You hit the nail on the head Im not as scared of the thought but then I do wish it would leave. Im going to just face it head on and have a different attitude.
    I worry why Im staying so positive even when Im having bad days lol! How mad is that!
    I’ve made massive leaps these last few weeks it just seems like I haven’t but when I read my old posts from 6 weeks ago when I couldn’t eat or sleep I know Im making progress :) I find myself thinking of other things I need to be doing etc when Im driving instead of all about anxiety (although i do still think of anxiety a lot too)
    Hope you have a great Christmas I know i will no matter how I feel.

  359. Lucy Says:

    Candie I love the way you put things so simply… I’ve had all the unreality thoughts/going mad/hurting the ones I love/what if I don’t love them. I moved past them and still get them occasionally but they hardly ever have the same effect they used to. However lately I feel like I’ve been “holding” all of my anxiety in my chest, which has lead to palpitations, me convincing myself I have some undetected heart problem, monitoring my heart, freaking out when I think something isn’t quite right! Which of course makes the whole thing worse as I end up panicking over panicking. I can see now if I embrace this fear that my heart is just going to stop at any given moment, and react with a different attitude, it will fade just like all the other symptoms/thoughts anxiety has latched on to for me in the past. When I’m slightly clearer I can recognise if I had a medical problem, I couldn’t have withstood this last year of panic and anxiety! But when I’m anxious it’s like I’m literally just waiting to drop dead. I think whatever the fear, we all need to treat them the same way seeing as they are ALL under anxiety. Move toward them, don’t turn away from them because that’s only giving them more strength for when they return (which they will if we are constantly trying to push them away.)

  360. Doreen Says:

    For those who have Facebook, Paul has put up a new post.

  361. Kyara Says:

    Having a really rough day. I’ve been feeling down for about 2 weeks and trying to just give myself time and patience to overcome this. I feel like I’ve lost a lot of hope in overcoming this naturally. I was really emotional today and days like this become overwhelming and I find the intrusive thoughts so vicious. I get scared to become so desperate for relief that I get scared I’ll harm myself. I am allowing myself to feel these emotions and going about my day but it definitely works me up. I try not to ‘try to bring myself down’ if that makes sense because I feel that’s fighting when I try to rationalize with the thoughts. Does anyone else feel like they really have hit a brick wall? I haven’t been feeling any relief and feel like I’m not getting better. It’s just wearing on me today.

  362. Kyara Says:

    Bring myself up I meant

  363. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Kyara

    I can sympathise completely as I am struggling with the same issues and have had a bad week with lots of intrusive thoughts and also feelings of unreality.

    I am reminding myself of all the basics again and especially Claire weekes CDs r so helpful.

    This time of year is very pressurised for me and I’m sure many others and I have nearly burnt myself out by trying todo everything and doing everything perfectly .

    I’m getting closer to admitting I can’t do it all and so my act of defiance is Im not going to write any Xmas cards as I really can’t be bothered! I feel a bit better having made a small decision, but a decision that is so unlike me it’s given me a bit of confidence.

    You sent me a lovely post in November I think when you said you had written like a checklist of things to remember , have u found that it may help you now?

  364. Kyara Says:

    Hi Charlotte,

    I’ve been trying not to use momentums lately. I’ve been trying to allow everything and not looking for an escape to make me feel better so I hadn’t looked. That’s why I’ve stayed off the blog for a little. I don’t feel any better. If anything I feel just as down. Today the DP and sadness got my so upset I started having a panic attack over it thinking I wasn’t ever going to get better. I’ve just let myself cry and cry. I’m trying to live my life normally and not have recovery as a ‘goal’ just letting it come as it does. The sadness hit today leaving me feeling really desperate for relief from all of this which then led to the thoughts. I’m trying to keep my head up. Talking to family and taking it easy. Just floating.

  365. Val Says:

    To Charlotte and Kara …….I wish you well …I don’t know if you are on medication….I am and am finding it such a help . I am probably a lot older but The antidepressants have certainly worked and made it easier to get going with my life again. If you are doing it without medication I admire you greatly. I know many people refuse to go on them but many find relief with depression and not sleeping. Either way…..it’s an up and down road but the ups DO eventually come. Best wishes,,,Val

  366. Lucy Says:

    Kyara I understand where you are coming from completely. Seems a few of us are having a bit of a bump lately.. I know what you mean about finding relief, but just sit through this as best you can. The thoughts are natural within our circumstances. I often find myself getting upset over them, but it is only because you want to be well again. You have more strength than you know! This is all temporary and one day we’ll be confident enough not to fall back into the anxiety hole. You sound like you are doing the right things, but don’t feel too disheartened that you’re not feeling great for it just now, ups and down are all a part of this. It takes time. X

  367. Mark R Says:

    Found a great article re: setbacks if anyone is struggling with them…………..just google ‘Pink hog Two Competing Neural Pathways in Your Brain’.

  368. rachh Says:

    Hi all
    Im having a rough time too. I went to work for the third time of being off to the same job in a school which is really tough as its a new scheme and i let alone anyone else know what in doing.
    I am now at the point where i am struggling to communicate with anyone. Im analysing to see who is confident who has anxiety yar di yar di yar and i cannot concentrate or have a conversation with anybody.
    Im struggling with striking up a conversation with people closest to me let alone strangers in a new job.
    I think i have put way to much pressure on myself and planning to leave my job to find something a bit more straight forward. I am trying to let it go but i feel so knackered its hard to stay positive.
    We will get through this i dont think things like xmas pressure and the weather help but on a positive note its the shortest day (if your in the uk) today.. Brighter days (in more than one meaning) are to come for us all.

  369. Kyara Says:

    Rachh,

    Anxiety can do some crazy things. The most important things is identifying the anxious thoughts and allowing them to be. The more you leave them alone the faster they will disappear. I’m reading a book called The Users Guide to The Human Mind and it talks about how your mind isn’t always right and how our mood affects our thoughts and thought process. It states exactly what you’ve written. When were in a certain mood (sad, anxious, depressed or happy) it is easier for our mind to find the same characteristics in others. It specifically says we cannot always trust our mind we have to allow it to take it’s course and not get wrapped up into it. So for the time being allow it to do so and don’t be bothered by it because the more room it’s given the faster it goes. I hope this helps a little.

  370. Kate Says:

    Hi everyone
    Had a fantastic weekend :) just proves that its all a bluff as I had such a bad week. Drove to Newcastle and had such a good day hardly felt the Dp at all. I think anxiety over not feeling real has almost gone its just a silly worry now that’s this is the best Im going to feel and that I won’t recovery fully. Im almost feeling back to normal just not quite clear headed and my emotions are not fully there but it will all come back I have faith. Sending lots of love to everyone struggling x

  371. Bryan Says:

    Mark, nice find!

  372. rachh Says:

    Thanks kyara spose just i will just put it down to a tired depressed mind:( i hate comin on here and whingin about symptoms i just feel like i need to let it go sometimes..

  373. Mark R Says:

    Thanks Bryan,

    Really helped me in that awful September setback when I thought I was back where i started.

    How are you? Still going good?

    I’ve had an up and down time, 5 mainly good days with a few ‘meh’ ones but pressed on whatever.

  374. Steph Says:

    Hi all
    Hope you all well? Iv been fine for a while just on & off anxiety that I doesn’t really bother me, however last few months Iv been having physical symptoms not feeling great weird vice pains in temples full pressure feeling in head and ears that’s been going on for while been to doctors said could be sinuses or nurilogical as iv had numbness in face etc. but as iv never felt like this before iv been obsessing with googling symptoms every time I feel something! Especially as my brain feels foggy keep saying wrong words forgetting things so iv diagnosed myself with tumor, ms, chronic fatigue syndrome and others it’s driving me crazy but can’t stop myself googling. This is making my anxiety incredibly intense as I’m genuinely frightened I have something wrong with me and I don’t know if it’s anxiety as iv never experienced physical symptoms like this ever. Iv worried in past my anxiety was much worse psychosis , bipolar and the rest! But this us new and terrifying me I’m withdrawing and spending well wasting time googling symptoms and I don’t know how to deal with it I’m finding it hard to just let go as physical symptoms are around a lot and DP is intense! Has anyone experienced similar and has any advice would really appreciate it as it’s getting beyond a joke ????
    Thanks steoh

  375. Rich Says:

    Hi Everyone, I’ve had a mixed couple of days. I photographed a wedding yesterday, and felt anxious on the preceeding evening, and nervous on the morning (with ‘what if’ thoughts and a nervous stomach to match), but apart from not eating during the daytime, it went ok and I felt fine.

    Today, I felt fine as well – a nice relaxing day. However this evening I’ve had a really sudden bought of upset stomach which came out of the blue – no pre-anxiety. This has shook me a little (still feel strange) and knocked my confidence. I have to float past it, not curl up in a ball on my bed feeling sorry for myself.

    I am worried that I’ll have an upset stomach or be off my food on Xmas Day and Boxing Day – when I want this least of all. I am still finding it hard to ‘remember my training’ and not get worked up about it. I need to focus on the positives and not worry about ‘what if’ or blow things out of proportion.

    I still feel far from ‘normal’, as I’ve taken such a lot of steps back these last 3 months, but still, I am improved from 3 months ago and hope to continue to improve as the weeks go on.

    This is a very tough time with a lot of pressure and stress. I wish everyone on here the very best over Christmas.

  376. Sam Says:

    Hi guys I seem to be coming on here too often, but I’ve been stuck in a setback for around 9 weeks now and 2 weeks ago broke down in tears in middle of college, just few days ago developed a cold and as I was/am unsure which symptoms are cold and which are anxiety/depression/fatigue. I had the start of a full blown panic attack yesterday after the thought of my fatigue being irreversible, but I noticed it and slowly calmed myself down, but today my emotions have been the worst in over 18months.. I have had a couple of, the only way can describe it, “dread attacks” or “depression attacks” where I suddenly feel this massive drop in my stomach and heart and feel like the world is caving in around me.. And the second time I despaired and I’m just in the after math of it now.. I know anxiety and deppression is curable but my deep worry is that I will always have bouts of “brain fog/depersonalisation or muzzy head” however you would like to call it.. The fatigue and depersonalisation is the one thing over the 4 years I’ve only briefly come out of, and I’m scared that the feeling of dullness, mental fatigue, “not with it” feeling will last on and off forever with no way out.. I know others gave probably asked similar questions but I feel desperate. Thanks to anyone in advance

  377. Val Says:

    Hi Sam ???try googling ??Nothing works and it’s the one with weebly in it…..Chris is the guy and he says this feeling is actually a good thing as it is protecting you !!…..hard tho when you struggle through it. Paul also talks about it and says it goes. I think most of us have experienced it in some form…I can go out with friends and enjoy a meal and be my old self but then it doesn’t last….but we just keep going and we will get there. I try not to let it worry me.good luck….I take magnesium supplements,vit d,vit b complex and eat lots of bananas and nuts. I don’t know if you are on meds ….I am and have improved on them…..best wishes..val

  378. Val Says:

    Hi Sam …try googling Nothing works and it’s the one with weebly in it…..Chris is the guy and he says this feeling is actually a good thing as it is protecting you !!…..hard tho when you struggle through it. Paul also talks about it and says it goes. I think most of us have experienced it in some form…I can go out with friends and enjoy a meal and be my old self but then it doesn’t last….but we just keep going and we will get there. I try not to let it worry me.good luck….I take magnesium supplements,vit d,vit b complex and eat lots of bananas and nuts. I don’t know if you are on meds ….I am and have improved on them…..best wishes..val

  379. Lucy Says:

    Steph, I used to stress over the mental symptoms much more too and worried about schizophrenia, depression etc.. Occasionally I still do but it doesn’t really bother me as much and definitely not for as long either. But now I’m stuck with what seems like health anxiety too! I guess this is because you eventually get past one thing and anxiety realises it can’t scare you that way anymore, if you are still vulnerable it will latch on elsewhere. The physical symptoms are scary because it’s “real” but if you think about it, that’s why you obsessed in the past over bipolar because that also seemed like a real possibility. All the time you are obsessing over symptoms, you are keeping yourself in the anxiety loop, thus giving the symptoms importance and keeping them pretty high. You don’t need to google any further than here, there are literally 100s of physical symptoms to put under the anxiety umbrella. My problem always focuses on my heart, convincing myself all the tightness in my chest, racing heart, palpitations or the dull ache means definite heart disease or cardiac arrest is imminent! But you know what, I’ve obsessed a good while now and I’m still here, still alive… I have just been sitting with the symptoms and changing my attitude gradually towards them. Much easier said than done but in the end they are a by product of anxiety, and adding extra stress to them doesn’t help. Let them be as much as you can, you done the right thing in visiting your doctor since you were truly worried, but in the meantime just go with them. Let anxiety do what it likes and carry on regardless. I know it is difficult, it’s taking a while for them to lose their importance to me too, but good luck! :)

  380. Lucy Says:

    Rich, you said “I am worried that I’ll have an upset stomach or be off my food on Xmas Day and Boxing Day – when I want this least of all.”

    There is a big expectation on Christmas, especially if you are eating with friends and family. I’ve had slight anticipation too but just decided if I can’t eat it all then I can’t! It won’t affect the day or how much you can partake in/enjoy the festives, whatever you may be doing. Big meals can be daunting to an anxious tummy, I know, but just take the pressure off yourself a bit. It goes how it goes, relax into as best you can.

  381. Kyara Says:

    Sam,

    I too had the same thing happen to me Friday. I’ve felt down for the past two weeks feeling like I could just cry for no reason many days. I’ve kept going though and kept telling myself this will all pass in due time as long as I let it. I found myself feeling strong DP on Friday and ended up having a panic attack and as you call it a ‘depression attack’ because I thought what if this never goes away I can’t even go to the hospital to get help and pictured myself going crazy for help. Remind you these were all a rush of thoughts that sent me into a panic. Fear is always going to be a fear and it is always going to be scary. We cannot change that. Allow it to be scary for the time being but also allow your mind to let it pass. Let it obsess for a little and don’t get too wrapped up in the thoughts. This is a setback and they say the longer the set back the more anxiety links we’re erasing. So that means a faster recovery. I’m not in the clear by any means I’m still coming out of my funk from Friday but I’m changing my attitude. Trust me I was very desperate for relief Friday. I wanted nothing more but to sit in my bed and cry but where is that going to get me? Not recovered that’s for sure. I cried and let it pass. Let the shock settle and understand it’s going to take a minute to get your confidence back. Just remember to float. It’s not at all easy I know. I often feel like I’m going to lose my mind and I remind myself that these thoughts, feelings and emotions are all a product of an anxious mind. We are bigger than anxiety and our fears and we can over come and there is nothing wrong in looking for guidance to get through those really tough days. We all do it. xx Wishing you strength and happiness through the holidays.

  382. Rich Says:

    Thanks Lucy, I’ve already said that I won’t need much, as I’m use to small lunches while at work etc, so hopefully won’t have to face a huge feast.

    I hate being a worrier – I have been all my life. I hate fearing my stomach’s weird and wonderful ways. I get caught worrying that I’ll be like this or worse forever – living in my tiny little prison with its shrinking walls and tiny windows.

    There is a big temptation to eat loads of food, chocolate, sweet stuff and generally over-indulge. I would like to, but know this would be a bad idea – if I am anxious I don’t want to heap too much on an anxious stomach.

    I’ve always enjoyed giving presents, but this year the best thing I am looking forward to it is just being with my family. I hope I don’t feel ‘off’, but to be with them even if I do is something I will enjoy even so. One good thing about anxiety is that it makes me thankful for the small things I have in my life.

  383. Mark R Says:

    Sam,

    I’ve been following your posts as your journey is almost identical to mine. I’ve been suffering on and off for almost 4 years now, aside from a period in between the mid of 2011 to early 2012 where I was pretty much ‘okay’ but not recovered. I also had a real bad setback early in September which lasted for a couple of months and then followed two great weeks where I felt really good. I know what you describe as these ‘depression’ attacks, its a gut wrenching feeling of impending doom and a futureless future. I also know the crying too, in private, in public, its awful.

    The advice I would give is the advice that is put forward on here and to go with it. Even in the midst of feeling so so awful I know that it is temporary. Sometimes I have days feeling like it, sometimes a few hrs, sometimes a few minutes but it always lifts!!

    As I have recovered before (and many more have) I can assure you that everything you are experiencing will go eventually…….muzzy head, DP, awful feelings etc.

    It’s been a long and painful journey for me, as I am guessing has for you but I chat to friends about it who can put it to me objectively in the sense that it hasn’t been bad for all that time. If I think back I’ve been to festivals, changed jobs, started a business, been on holidays, glastonbury, dated etc. It’s very hard to see this when you’re in that anxious moment, it’s like life doesn’t matter but when your head clears you will be able to.

    What I am trying to say (excuse the waffle) is to keep going, no matter how bad you feel. Setbacks are awful, they throw you straight back in the mixer, feeling the worst you can feel, questioning if you are doing anything right. Even in setback you can still have moments where you are yourself, you need to live for those moments as this will be you again.

    I also found this helped me when I was in my setback in Sept/Oct………

    Google……’Pink hog Two Competing Neural Pathways in Your Brain’

    Mark.

  384. Lucy Says:

    Rich, I saw a great picture with the O in “worrier” crossed out and replaced with an A. I think this sums up people who live with their anxiety perfectly! I do miss having a good over indulge, I worry about stupid things like the amount of sugar causing a sugar high and then maybe a panic attack… Mind you I try not to live around that and similar things anymore because the ultimate goal is not fearing them. I can dislike them, but I refuse to stop doing things if I would have done them before because they might cause said reaction. But I do remind myself, who actually does like the feeling of being overly full up of too much food?! I’m pretty sure most people regret it after, anxiety or not! I am the same and just looking forward to some family time, and I believe this is why anxiety eventually turns us into better people, with appreciation for things that we were too busy for before. Just do what you can on the day, anxiety can be there with you but it doesn’t have to ruin it. Happy Christmas :)

  385. Sam Says:

    Thank you all so much for all the support, you have been so helpful and kept my chin up. Thank you to val and kyara, but special thanks to mark for following my posts and being similar to me! Haha it is great to know someone who is in a very similar boat. I will look at that website now and keep to your advice best I can. Your like a distant brother I never knew about ! If you don’t mind me asking how old are you?

  386. Kate Says:

    Well stupid me after a great few days Im back to earth with a bump! The major thing that’s bothering me is the awful Dp I feel like I will never ever get back to the old me. Mark when you recovered did the Dp leave totally and your mind become totally clear again? I feel good when my mind is off me and then bang I feel the dread and worry I’ll never be the same again. I know its silly as I must be doing something right to have better days but I doubt everything again at the minute :(

  387. Simply Bre Says:

    Does anyone else struggle with trying not to believe their anxious thoughts? My anxiety started with a contamination scare,and now all my scary thoughts are is, “is this contaminated, is that contaminated?” and the moment i learn to live alongside one thought being completely false, anxiety brings another complete irrational thought,and I’m thrown right back into the anxiety cycle. I’ve ruled out OCD, because i don’t follow any ritiuals, and I know it’s just anxiety, but this is the absolute worst. I’ve learned to live with the DP, and the depression is gone, i rarely have physical symptoms(and even those i can handle), but the scary thoughts are unbearable. I even had sucidal thoughts for about 4 days, but i just lived alongside them, and they eventually vanished. But the stupid thoughts of contamination just haven’t seemed to let up. Another way i know it’s simply anxiety is because when the thought pops up i say to myself, “You’re just false.” and then the anxiety tries to make me picture the worst case scenario, which is believing the thought and being committed to a hospital, so then i panic extremely. I’ve also spoken to a lady with OCD, and she had told me that what I’m experiencing is not OCD, but anxiety and because it knows what thoughts freak me
    OUt it plays on that.She explains that’s why some scary thoughts stick, and others don’t. I just really need some advice on these thoughts because they are ruining my life. My mom even says these thoughts of contamination will pass once i learn to stop fearing them, but i don’t know how to do that when i feel like I’m losing my mind. If any of you could give me some advice, or experiences similar to this i would appreciate it, i feel like I’m drowning under these thoughts.

  388. Mark R Says:

    Sam,

    I’ve just turned 33 (2 months ago).

    Kate,

    In my experience with DP is it becomes less and less until it doesn’t bother you at all, then one day you notice to see if it was there and you find that it’s not and realise you’ve been feeling great for ages. I echo your frustration about being okay sometimes then that crushing blow returns.

  389. Kate Says:

    Thanks Mark just feel like I’ll be the one that won’t ever recover :( did you just go about your business and let the Dp just be there? When the feeling comes I just tell myself its just anxiety and that Im in no danger just hard to believe when everything seems like a dream x

  390. Rich Says:

    Lucy, thank you! I worry because I’ve been like this for so long, it has made me into who I am – and that I cannot be anything else now. This is untrue, but believing it is hard to do (lack of self-belief!)

    I love chocolate, and the ADs I am on (and soon to come off when I can pluck up the courage) used to give me a huge appetite and constant craving for food and chocolate. My appetite is still not back to normal, so it’s going to be a case of ‘gently does it’ over Xmas, with an aim to help myself stay on a positive track into the New Year.

    I hope you have a great Christmas – as with everyone else on here who takes the time to help us all out. It definitely helps me.

  391. Marcus Says:

    Simply Bre,

    Let me start off by saying that any sort of thoughts you are having are entirely normal with anxiety. I can tell you from my own experience that these fears of developping severe OCD, schizo, bipolar etc etc etc have been mentionned on here thousands of times. I have personally experienced(still do to a much lesser effect) them. What we have to grasp is that it is only fear that is fueling our imagination to make up all these different scenarios of being locked up et commited or doing something awful. The fear of what the future holds. I now get some on and off days where whenever im doing something I enjoy or busy at work these thoughts dont come up or if they do dont scare me. Ive been advised by people on here that they eventually disappear once recovery is achieved.

    You are definitely not alone. Whatever HORRIBLE thought you think youve had trust me I for sure had it and it scared me to death enough to go into full blown panic attacks. BUT good news im feeling much much better nowadays in general. Let these thoughts be without engaging them.

    I did a gazillion researches on this blog( I should try and stop :P) and these thoughts occur very often. Im sure youll get a couple of responses from other people on here telling you theyve had the same experiences as well.

  392. Simply Bre Says:

    Marcus,

    Thank you so much for that. I am really tired of these thoughts,and the fact that they just consume my day is upsetting. I just want to enjoy life again.

  393. Lucy Says:

    Simply Bre, I second Marcus and you will see that lots of us suffer with thoughts… You name them, I’ve had them, from the down right ridiculous and laughable to the ones terrifying enough to give me panic attacks. Infact I’d say a lot of my early panics were the result of thoughts that I just didn’t know how to deal with. When a thought is scary and causes that reaction with in your body, naturally your mind clings onto it and will label it as “bad” when infact all it really was, was a thought! It is hard to believe them when sometimes it feels as if the onslaught is never ending, but just trust in the process. It takes time to change your body’s reaction from being frightened to, “okay, I can deal with this.” Once your reaction changes to that, it then doesn’t bother you as much and then eventually they begin to fade. Remember your mind is only doing this because it’s overtired, you’re full of worry and adrenaline so it’s a perfectly natural form for anxiety to take.

    Kate and Rich, all of us have that niggling thought that we’ll be the one who doesn’t make it out the otherside, but everybody can! We all think, “but I’m more complicated than that” but it’s ALL anxiety no matter how it presents it to ourselves individual, and it can all be dealt with in the same way. By sitting with it, continuing with our lives and having patience. We all lose faith sometimes but it always comes back again. The same pace doesn’t work for everybody so we need to be kind to ourselves when it comes to the time and effort it takes to reach recovery.

  394. Rich Says:

    Thanks Lucy :)

    Last night I had a lovely evening with my Fiancee’s sister and partner, and today I feel a lot more positive, so have begun to ween myself off the ADs. I’m in no rush to do this, but today is the start of the process for me. I’ll post updates on the blog as I go for those who are interested.

  395. ChaB20+ Anxiety Says:

    Hi,

    I am a 20+ year sufferer of Anxiety and Depression, which really started as anxiety attacks and panic. I am heavily medicated and would love to get off them. I want to try Paul’s methods but wonder if it would help my situation? I am not really responding to AD’s or sedatives so need help. Please reach out.

    Thanks.

  396. Marcus Says:

    Merry Christmas to everyone here !!!

    I think i’m finally starting to grasp the acceptance and how it affects us so deeply. I’ll give one example which might apply to some of us with fear of violent thoughts:

    You’ll be having dinner or doing something in the kitchen and see the knives and instantly start having harmful thoughts about people in your surroundings. What happens is that we go into instant panic. Thinking:.. OMG why am I having these thoughts? Am i going to do something horrible? Am i going crazy and act on them? Am i going to remain like this for the rest of my life? etc etc etc It all starts when we engage these thoughts and QUESTION the reason we are having them. I am slowly realizing that our imagination creates these thoughts the more we fear them and the more they come back. What happens very often is that we seek some form of re-assurance when these happen wether it be in the form of asking your significant others if we are ok or in my case going online and researching a million things which more often than not digs a deeper for of every symptom out there.

    When i stop myself from questionning WHY these thoughts come up in my mind and just let them be there treating them as non-important automatic anxiety thoughts the fear seems to lessen greatly. I also make it a habit to force myself to confront these fearful situations for example being near knives, watching violent movies etc (all stuff i avoided doing due to the fear) . Helped me realize that nothing bad ever happenned and is never going to happen. Also helps me control my anxiety triggers and practice my acceptance. We remain in control no matter how high the anxiety is. I will try and trust in the process as much as I can that everything will fade with recovery. I get glimpses of my old self which confirms it to be true.

    I think the main thing to remember is that your imagination can create a million different scenarios to scare you. We have to remember that they are just that “unimportant creations of our imagination” and to treat them as such.

    Sorry for the long post but if it might help only one person it’s worth it. Now I am far from fully recovered but i just thought id share my experience.

    P.s Rich : Very happy for you !! I sincerely hope everything goes well for you.

  397. Bryan Says:

    Merry Christmas all. :)

  398. Christine Says:

    Hi All,

    it’s been a long time since I’ve been on here and apart from a few blips I’ve been doing well, until this morning…I started to have panic attacks again at 4am and now I feel like I’m back to square one! I thought I didn’t fear them anymore but obviously I do and I feel absolutely dreadful! I think I feel even worse because it’s Xmas day and also I don’t want the Hubby to have to go through this again with me! :( I’m so sorry to be negative but any positive help would be greatly appreciated! xx

  399. Mark R Says:

    Christine,

    I really feel for you as this was me last Xmas and it’s hard when you get a setback after doing so well. I was so bad last year I had no dinner, just walked the streets crying.

    I’ve had a pretty crap day after a better week, lot of DP and tears. Blurgh.

    x

  400. Christine Says:

    Thanks Mark…I honestly thought that I wasn’t bothered by the panic attacks anymore! Have you had bouts of panic attacks after feeling ok? Are you with family? Hope your day is better! xx

  401. Mark R Says:

    Christine,

    I’ve had a real hard day, I’m still affected by setback unfortunately, been going on a for a month now. I’ve not had a bad day like this for a week so it was looking like it was on its way out. I’ve had a pretty positive 6/7 days until now. I think I have been building this day up in my head for a while as last year was so bad and thats why it’s turned out like this. I feel really dreadful but I’ve had to make the most of it spending it with family. I hope that there are more better days to come.

  402. Christine Says:

    Me too Mark, I think we have put too much pressure on ourselves to have a good day because it’s Xmas! xx

  403. Bryan Says:

    Hey all,

    I hope most of you are symptom free today. But even if we have some, we can make nice memories that will stick over the symptoms.

    I’ve had a pretty decent last month. Not issue free at all. But a much better baseline.

    Today the Chrismas morning stuff went great with my family, daughter. So I was appreciative for that. I finally have some ramped symptoms this afternoon which could just be the result of a lot of holiday stress built over a week or so.
    So, back to acceptance mode… but this Christmas was much better than the prior few so I’m not complaining. Would have been nice to extend the month at least past this day, but it was still suffering free for the more important parts.

    So, let’s all work on getting our bodies and minds some time to ramp down from the holiday madness.

    Mark, glad you’ve seen some upward bumps at least. Hang in there and try to take the best you can from today. There are positives to take away even when we are symptomatic.

    Be well all.

  404. Mark R Says:

    Bryan,

    Yeah I have done, its been pretty tough to be honest but an improvement on last year which was a total write off. I echo you really and would have been nice to have extended this week into today but it wasn’t to be.

    I’m still in setback which has lasted a month so I’m been thrown about by that still at the moment, aside from today it looks like its been straightening out overall.

    It’s a funny business setback, since that one in Sept my days have been either really good or really bad, not found that plateau I enjoyed over the summer.

  405. Kyara Says:

    Hello all.

    Just wondering if anyone else feels like they aren’t improving? I ‘feel’ as if I’m not improving but when I sit back and think I do see I’ve come far. When I am having bad days that feeling is in the front of my mind. I’ve had some relaxing days but because of my mind going all over I feel I haven’t really relaxed. Also, does anyone else just feel down? Just some symptoms that have been in the front of my mind that make me question my ‘recovery’.

  406. Kate Says:

    Hi everyone
    I think there seems to be a pattern emerging! I’ve had an awful few days started really bad Christmas Eve and I cried myself to sleep and yesterday was just horrendous although my kids had a great time and that’s all that matters. Im still making myself do things even though I feel rubbish. Mine is all to do with feeling like Im in a dream with the Dp I know its not going to hurt me but its so hard to feel normal when I feel like Im dreaming :(
    I keep questioning if this will ever fully leave and if the old Kate will ever come back.
    Decided to take the kids to the coast today will get us all out together and stop me feeling sorry for myself sat at home x

  407. Christine Says:

    Hi all, I think there are a few us going through a bad time at the moment but prior to this I’d had at least 6 months of feeling OK, with days of feeling great and very little anxiety to some days of more anxiousness but still not too bad so I know that the good days are still out there…for us all. I think yesterday has knocked me for six and I think like a few of us on here we had put too much pressure on ourselves to feel OK and enjoy Xmas which is the worst thing we can do! Today I’m still feeling really rubbish and rather than having the panic attacks I keep having little body shock/after shock feelings – does anyone have these? Also when you’re struggling does anyone else get the same smells and seem to hear the same noises as when you were really suffering when I probably wouldn’t notice them when I’m OK?

    Mark R – you’re doing brilliantly, I know you might not see it but I see great positivity in your recent posts and you have had good days so you know they will be back again soon! :)

    Kyara – I know exactly how you feel…I feel really down now but it’s because you have experienced good days and when you feel rubbish they make the not so good days seem worse and it makes us miserable. Like you said you know you have come so far!

    Kate – I have the DP again at the moment too…it’s awful but it will disappear…I think like me you have put a lot of pressure on yourself over Christmas! Like you said your kids had a great time and you must remember that’s because of you being a great Mum, don’t be so hard on yourself!

    You really are a great bunch of people and I’ve read most of the posts on here and although we all suffer terrible I can see so much positiveness!

    This blog is an absolute Godsend! xxxx

  408. Mark R Says:

    Christine,

    I feel far from positive or brilliant at the moment. Yesterday was hard and today I woke up feeling awful and cried as soon as my eyes opened. Not sure if its the aftermath of yesterday but my body feels full of adrenalin and sickly.

    I know how hard it is to hit a setback after doing so well. I had a great summer and pretty much had 5 months of being okay and just getting on before hitting a huge setback in September which lasted 2 months. I got out of that then hit another 2/3 weeks later. The contrast of feeling okay and the awful symptoms that setback can bring are hard to take, well it was for me.

    Have to try and remember though that I’ve had some okay times over the past week or so being at work, charity shopping, gym, cinema etc. When you feel bad its very very difficult to remember these times.

  409. Michelle Says:

    Hello everyone im new to the blog although i follow paul on facebook and met kate through there who has helped me tremendously. I have suffered anxiety/panic attacks for 20 years but it was mild and my panic attacks was mainly in situations i knew like being on a packed bus or a busy queue so i knew to avoid them and it never really impacted my life. Back in march i had a lot of stress and worry over a period over a few weeks and i couldnt sleep and i had a massive panic attack at work then bang it became a full blown panic disorder new symptoms over thinking obsessed with my breathing and heart. I googled loads and stumbled across pauls website and bought his app and through that and learning about my anxiety i gradually had times of clarity, i started doing aqau fit and tai chi. And i felt i was getting somewhere i wasnt cured far from it but i tried to carry on even with this great big gremlin on my back. 2 weeks ago i went out with a friend to a meal then onto a concert and i was having a good time and the wine flowed, the following morning i woke at 4am with the most horrendous hangover ever and bam my anxiety went sky high and has hardly come down since. Im forcing myself to breath because im scared i will stop. Im waiting for my heart to stop :-( i cant live like this forever i would rather die actually i dont mean that im just sick of struggling and battling this!! Im wondering if i should see my gp for meds although ive avoided this route i dont think i can do this alone :-(

  410. Christine Says:

    I know how you feel Mark, it’s so hard to remember feeling good when you’re under this cloud! I’ve got that adrenalin, sickly feeling too and keep having mini panics/shock thingys! Hard to explain really.

    I’m in the fuzzy haze too and keep swinging from thinking I can do this and I’ll be fine to absolute despair and feeling really fearful and down! I also feel like I’m letting everyone down by being like this again.

    Can I ask what you do when you’re feeling particularly bad? Do you get up and do something or do just allow yourself to think about it?

    It’s so strange that when we feel ok that none of these questions matter but when we feel bad they all come flooding back! xx

  411. Christine Says:

    Hi Michelle, it’s up to you about the meds but honestly you will get through it! I was doing fine until I woke at 4am yesterday and started to have panic attacks and severe anxiety again so I’m in a similar situation. I’ve had times of feeling good and OK so I know they will come back and they will for you too. I think that sometimes it’s really hard to see that when we fall into the anxiety/panic cycle again. Do you have someone who understands? I find talking to someone helps. I also find this blog really helps too…I tend to read past posts and it’s amazing how many people are going through the same thing at the same time. Have you read Paul’s book? It’s brilliant and I re read that when I’m in a setback too. I’m sure others on here will be able to give you lots of good advice and don’t suffer in silence, even if it means putting something on here…I’ll check in to see how you’re doing! xx

  412. Val Says:

    Dear Michelle scroll back to my comments…I am on meds and they have helped greatly…I feel they get a bad wrap when at times they are so beneficial.wishing everyone well for the new year….exercise,vitamin sups and just small steps some days…seems like we all have times when we socialise,feel normal,go shopping etc then have a yuk day. I am fine once I am up and doing something.i am a young 70 and before this episode in June was an independent happy sociable person….am trying to float through…..thinking of you all…a bit of a post Xmas slump at present.,

  413. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Not sure today could have gone any worse, I’ve had high anxiety and depression symptoms all day. I’ve really had a rotten Christmas so far.

    Had to remind myself that I’ve had some okay times as recently as a few days ago. Feeling really fed up, these days are hard to get through.

  414. Christine Says:

    Don’t despair Mark…I know it’s hard but the good times will be back! What have you done today?

  415. Kyara Says:

    Mark R,
    Hang in there. I was the same as you from Friday to yesterday. I know it’s beyond difficult to float and let yourself be but you will get through this. Try not to think into the thoughts let them be there and remind yourself how ever horrible it feels you will get through. These are surface feelings of anxiety feel them and allow them to be without fighting and they will go quicker. Keep your head up.

    Michelle,
    Try googling nothingworks.weebly. It helped me get an oz of confidence back. Don’t give up. You’ve come far just keep reminding yourself of that. xxx

  416. Mark R Says:

    Thanks Kyara and Christine,

    This has been the very worst, a real long day of awfulness. I’m not trying to push them away, just letting them be there but they don’t half make you feel bad.

    Christine,

    Not much today which is prob why I feel worse.

    Kyara,

    You had a better day today then? x

  417. Kyara Says:

    Mark R,

    Yes today was easier than the past 5. Thick DP but the thoughts weren’t as hard to deal with. I’ve allowed myself to just feel the emotions and have the thoughts even though I wanted to hide under a pillow. I kept moving and carrying on with the day. I found I would feel terrible for an hour or so and then it would lift and then back to feeling bad to lifting again. That helped me keep the ‘these are surface feelings and emotions passing’ attitude. Same sort of thing today but a lot of weight lifted. I keep telling myself if I’m doing nothing and not trying to fix the way I feel then I have to be doing the right thing.

  418. Mike Says:

    A dune quote I thought everyone here might enjoy. Happy Holidays.

    “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

  419. Jaz Says:

    Michelle I’ve had anxiety for about 3 yrs now and I don’t take any meds I just try to workout everyday and eat healthy but my downside is that I like to drink on the weekends. I usually drink one day out of the weekend cuz my hangovers are pretty bad; pounding heart, dizziness, lightheaded and to many bad thoughts like I’m gonna collapse or die????. About a month ago I got drunk with wine and I had the worst hangover so now I only drink beer cuz wine has more alcohol. But anyways just try not to get drunk. Oh I pray a lot too.

    Anyways these new year I will not be coming on here! I will live my life to the fullest and not fear anxiety cuz anxiety is not on control God is!!! And I wanna be normal again. Hope everyone gets better next year. 2014 it’s our year!! God bless you all!!

  420. Michelle Says:

    Thankyou everyone for your replies. I dont drink to get drunk normally i think i got caught in the moment and didnt realise how much i was drinking. I think my relationship with alchohol is well and truly over!! I was doing really well and the hangover symptoms sent me into dispair. Oh well time to brush myself down and start again. Happy holidays everyone

  421. Kate Says:

    Thanks Christine
    Today is a better day for me so far I think the only problem I have at present is the dp making me feel unreal all the time. Its not a scary thought as such just a constant dread feeling. Im constantly going over things that I read on here in my head when Im alone and realise that Im making anxiety my focus so Im going to try to only come on once or twice a week.
    Michelle
    Welcome to the blog :) you do whatever you need to do regarding the medication only you can decide for me they made me worse but everyone is different. There’s some truely fantastic people on here but if you need to rant pick that phone up Im here any time :)
    We can ALL do this and Im looking forward to reading many recovery stories this year.
    Lots of love to you all I’ll be back in the New Year :)

  422. Christine Says:

    I’m glad you’re having a better day Kate :) Wish I could say the same…today has started off horrendously for me.

    I’m constantly on the verge of having a panic attack and feel very fuzzy and low. Gutted to be feeling like this again and feel like I’m back to square one! It really does make it worse when you have been feeling OK for such a long time and it seems to come out of the blue! It has completely blindsided me and I’m afraid that I’ll be stuck like this again.

    I’m so lucky to have a caring husband too, he’s so supportive but I’m worried that he’ll get sick of this. I think sometimes that him being so nice makes me worse if that makes sense because I then worry that I’m worrying him! It’s ridiculous really, especially when I have the odd moment of clarity.

    Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated and I hope everyone else is having a good day! xxx

  423. Mark R Says:

    Christine,

    Keep going, setbacks aren’t forever although they seem devastating at the time. I’ve been recovering now for almost 2 years, it took me about a year to get to an ‘okay’ place in the summer, I wasn’t recovered but I was okay, although I didn’t realise it at the time. The last four months have been really tough on me and have really tested my resolve with 2 setbacks almost back to back. If I can get to as good as I did in the summer then that will do me, not bothered about recovery.

    You are not back to square one, no matter how much your anxiety is telling you!!

    I posted a link above to a good page on setbacks, so google Pink Hog Two Competing Neural Pathways in Your Brain.

    Me and Bryan had real bad setbacks in Sept/Oct, when it passed I was as good as ever albeit for a few weeks then some daft life stress caused another. Bryan has got to a better place and hopefully I will too.

    Hope that helps x

  424. Christine Says:

    Thanks Mark…it really helps! Just feel so rotten at the moment and it’s so difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hard to believe that I used to be able to come on here and offer others advice.

    I’m off work for Christmas too so haven’t got much to occupy my mind which certainly doesn’t help and I keep telling myself maybe I should be doing something but if I wasn’t feeling like this I probably wouldn’t be doing much anyway!

    Thanks for the link I will definitely have a read!

    I’m certain that you’ll be in a better place soon too! xx

  425. rachh Says:

    Im a mooooody pig at the moment too. Depressed about everything and stressing at everyone. I think ive expressed the negative aspect of everything in my life to everyone. However i think i need to treat it like a little cloud over me at the moment and it will go once i stop concerning myself with its awfulness.

  426. Christine Says:

    Hi Rachh, I’ve read some of your posts and I get the impression that you feel a lot like me! I feel like I have been dragged under by this and I’m really struggling! Very low mood! I keep coming on here to find reassurance but everyone seems very quiet at the moment. Hopefully enjoying their Christmas break!

    That’s how I describe it too…as a cloud over me…it’s rotten! I’m sure your not a moody pig (that made me smile a little), you probably just feel you are.

    Have you suffered for a long time? Are you in a setback? Hope you’re feeling better! xxx

  427. Val Says:

    Feeling yuk too….had a good lead up to Xmas and enjoyed the day???now I am home and everyone gets on with their lives. Have never felt like this before…usually bright and happy on my own ..I have a nice townhouse,friends etc but instead o f feeling on top of things and sociable I feel shaky!lonely Which I have never felt. I am making myself do things but you really need patience to accept these feelings and float through. Thank you everyone for your posts…..

  428. Mark R Says:

    What a difference 24 hrs makes, on Boxing day I was lying on my mom’s couch feeling so awful, crying and thinking I’d never be happy again. Today (27th) I’ve got up played golf (albeit 3 holes as it chucked it down as soon as I got on the course) and gone to the pub and had a meal.

    No matter how bad you feel, it always passes. I’m feeling super chilled typing this, will it last? Who knows.

  429. Val Says:

    Good on you mark…..I played golf 2 wks ago..hadn’t played for 6 mths…left me feeling a bit stiff n sore but good mentally….

  430. Doreen Says:

    Meant to post this before Xmas, but better late than never. One way of managing the particular impact of feeling ‘c…’ on Christmas Day or any other day deemed special (and therefore must be particularly enjoyed) is to regard it as one more day in the year which happens to be 25th December. In other words you may feel great, you may feel middling, you may feel pretty awful but that could have happened on any day of the year and you may well have just accepted that. The messages we give ourselves to feel happy at this time of the year are deafening and not just to those who have anxiety but others for whom life is a struggle.Interesting Mark that you were ok on 27th when maybe the pressure was off.

  431. Lui Says:

    I experienced something really scary last week. I had lost myself, was just crying und coulnd’t talk to anybody. I was really agressive as well. I had no power anymore.
    I think it’s cause I’m figting so hard. I don’t know but I just can’t let off. I have social anxiety. I like me how I am now but on the other hand I’m just acting my my way trough the day.
    The thing is that I’m really popular in class and with people. I get a a lot of compliments about my character, my humor, and of how nice I am. That’s of course nice to hear. I was elected class speaker some time ago. And in class I’m often the center of attention.
    Before that I was in another class. I had a looot of anxiety back than, but somehow I was popular as well and also elcted class speaker.
    Nobody knows my “secret”. The social anxiety which is really strong with me and that I have no confidence at all.
    So if I would accept an truely would be myself I could lose that charismaric/popular thing. I mean, I’m myself a lot of times, but a lot of times I’m not. After school I’m so f*cking exhausted, upset, having crazy symptoms, agressive and a toal bitch to my family. It’s hard to keep up a smile every day. My sister got social anxiety too. The difference is that she’s not popular and I see how unhappy she is with having no friends and being alone. It’s hard to explain. I read all the post and the book. I’m informed pretty well. Now it’s about to use it but I just can’t cause of the reasons I explained above. I really want to finally accept but on the other hand I’m so scared what the future will bring.

  432. Christine Says:

    Woke up feeling rubbish again! Really tired and low at feeling like this again.

    I know how you feel Val, this can make you feel incredibly lonely…even if you’re surrounded by others! Are you feeling better today?

    So pleased for you Mark, that’s great! :) Fingers crossed this is the start of lots of good days for you! :)

    I think you’re right Doreen, I’ve put so much pressure on myself to enjoy it, that the anxiety has come back with a vengeance. Just finding it hard to let it go again as it really caught me off guard.

    Lui, I’m sorry you’re struggling, I’m not an expert on social anxiety I’m afraid, but I think you need to stop worrying how you appear to others (easier said than done I know) because I’m sure everyone loves you no matter what! Maybe speaking to your family/sister may help.

    Hope everyone has a good day! xxx

  433. Lucy Says:

    Christine, you will be offering advice again in time. You haven’t forgotten all that you know even when it feels that way, we all get that “square one” feeling but when you emerge from it you’ll see that you weren’t back in that place. I’m definitely very far from recovered but at the same time I have the understanding, and now all I need to apply is time. It doesn’t make feeling rubbish/obsessive thinking any nicer, but that’s all it is. There will be good days again and plenty of them if we just take our foot off the accelerator and stop trying to find the quickest way out. In my experience it takes a lot to practice just sitting with it all, sometimes this goes well and sometimes you still feel utterly awful… But you will get there again :) if your husband hasn’t already then I would get him to read the chapters in Claire Weekes about understanding others with anxiety, I think we all worry that our friends/family will get sick of us and I understand your feeling of loneliness too, even when you have people there for us. I think that’s because we can end up just being so inward, living in an anxiety bubble only focusing on that and ourselves.. But that to will lift when we just begin to look outward again, even for the smallest amount of time to start with. You will get there, as we all will :)

  434. Charlotte Says:

    Hey Christine

    Sorry to hear u r having a bad time, I’ve been there and most definately am not recovered but am better. Have had a manici Xmas and still got visitors, in our house today we have a 73 year old, two 40 something’s, two thirty someth

  435. Charlotte Says:

    Things, a 3 month old baby , two 2 year olds and a 6 year old !! Lol so just think of me and our chaos !!!

    You are already giving advice even though u r having a rough time so you have remembered and your mind still holds the memory of what it is like to be recovered, it just needs to find it again.

    Right off for mammoth visit to park, will check in later to let u know if we survived !

  436. Christine Says:

    Thanks Lucy & Charlotte, just feel like the biggest let down at the moment, especially after doing so well…it just makes it harder. I keep whinging and having mini panic, adrenaline rush things that make me feel awful and low. Do you still get these? I wake up with them and then just feel sick about the whole day!
    You both give great advice! xxx

  437. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Christine

    Yes I know exactly what u r describing , in fact I had a massive adrenalin rush/ mini panic the other week, and it was horrible. I also understand how you feel about letting people down, I used to think I was letting my husband, my kids my work, my mum – basically anyone down ! However I found the Claire weekes CDs really helpful on this point, as she said people with anxiety disorders r some of the bravest people, managing our lives aswell as anxiety.

    I had a clear year and a half before my anxiety came back, and it hit me hard, but I’m coming out the other side slowly.

    Do you work ? Are you on a Xmas brake at the moment ?

  438. Lucy Says:

    Yes Christine I know exactly what you mean, sometimes it happens several times a day, others not so much.. I find it’s how you react to them that shapes your day. When I’m in a good mood I can recognise them for what they are and they burn out pretty quick, but it’s hard on an already tired/anxious mind to not let it tailspin and dominate the best part of your day :) I still need to work on letting the fear pass me by sometimes, but my aim is not to be successfully rid of them overnight, they will lessen gradually the more space I give them. I’ve said many times that anxiety can make your contribution seem rubbish, or that you must be incredibly weak… But we are infact the complete opposite! I felt a failure to my family too, especially to my little girl when I feel like I want to be enjoying her and life, not wrapped up in this! Bit by bit those moments are coming back, usually my mind is busy with anxiety, the future and the what ifs, but the other evening I put her to bed and thought, “I can’t control how I will be in the future, but I can enjoy this moment with her right now.” It’s things like that which are like little stars in the darkness. You aren’t letting anybody down and infact it takes a lot to sit and admit “I am not okay,” especially as from a lot of people I see with anxiety, we are strong willed, want control in our lives than we can have and are perfectionists to a degree!

  439. Lucy Says:

    Charlotte, can I assume you survived the park?! Haha :) x

  440. Charlotte Says:

    Only just, now got the party games out which basically involves trying to stop the kids arguing if one thinks the other has got more than them…. Can’t wait to get to bed tonite…..

  441. Val Says:

    Thank you Christine for your thoughts. I have a couple of friends on AD!s so they understand. As you said if you are feeling ok then you are happy to sit round ,read or have a coffee but when you have this awful feeling then it’s hard…..I have been getting on with my life as Paul says and have had some great days out and socialising but then you have to be at peace with yourself when you are home alone….that’s when you have to float because nothing bad happens and it passes…take care everyone and keep sharing ideas and thoughts….

  442. Mark R Says:

    Val,

    I know what you mean, when I list the positives down about my life it doesn’t reconcile with how I feel…….I have a pretty cool life, loads of friends, good job, part time business, close family etc. I think this goes for most on here from the posts I’ve read. Try and take the positive from that though and think that when you feel better you will have full access to it.

    Doreen,

    I think i know why I had a hard time over Christmas and Boxing day. Thinking about it objectively it’s because I was poorly with the Norovirus last Christmas and had a vile setback start Christmas morning. I’ve been worrying about it for a few months now and true to form I felt bad. It doesn’t really help that there isn’t much to do at my mom’s house so there was plenty of wallowing. Just hope I’m in a better place next year and I don’t have that worry.

    Have to echo Lucy’s words with regards to good days and bad days. On the good days I have anxious ‘moments’ where it can try and take over but I can just notice it and know it will pass, it’s a right pain but I can usually continue what I’m doing. On bad days this feeling will take over all day, I lose perspective on everything, my life seems meaningless and awful. There is bugger all I can do on days like this other than accept it and know it will be over…..and they always are.

    I’ve had a couple of real good days as well, feel brighter, more productive, better appetite, sex drive (ahem). So if you’re in that crappy vacuous hole at the moment just sit tight, it will pass……..there’s always sunshine after the rain (<—— CHEESE).

    Mark.

  443. Val Says:

    Thank you Mark…keep hitting those golf balls !

  444. Bryan Says:

    Glad to hear it Mark!

  445. Lucy Says:

    Had such a bad night, awoke with a racing heart which completely threw me at 2am. Of course it burnt itself out eventually and Claire Weekes says our hearts can withstand 200 beats a minute, I just find it so hard to ignore especially when it’s at a time where everyone else is asleep! I just wonder if there will ever be a time where it doesn’t hit me with such power and force, sometimes no matter how many times it’s happened it doesn’t seem like it’s grip is lessening or losing importance. I know I’ve basically answered myself in that maybe I’m watching for it to leave me alone, in which case I’ll be waiting a long time! I just wondered who else is bothered by this one and what they do to just leave it be when it’s so physical? If anyone has any advice I’d be grateful…

  446. Christine Says:

    Woke up feeling awful again…very tearful and high anxiety! So sad to be feeling this anxious and weak again.

    Thanks for the kind words Charlotte and Lucy…yes I work Charlotte and off at the moment for Christmas…I go back on Thursday and now I’m starting to fear that too! :( Did you cry a lot? I’m a bit of a whinger anyway so I’m even worse now! Just cried my eyes out infront of my Dad who tried to be understanding but the pity in his eyes really gets to me!

  447. D-Ren Says:

    Well Hi everyone

    Must say that I’ve been down for couple days now, yesterday I felt so depressed and confused and thought I’d never pull myself out, well funnily enough I started to feel better after some time passed :)

    And this morning I felt supabad once again, but it didn’t last too long either

    I’m beginning to get more and more confidence with myself getting through these bad times, even I might hit rock bottom sometimes.

    -DR

  448. Charlotte Says:

    Christine

    I had a time do crying every single day, multiple times as I felt so scared and anxious. Then I would worry about cryin and did it mean I had depression. I finally decided it was ok to cry and infancy a good release of energy and it’s all part of the healing process. The only problem Christine is that I look awful after crying – red eyes and now all puffy and swollen , I always wants to be a graceful crier with a few tears but nope !

    Lucy, your heart is racing purely from adrenalin and you have adrenalin as you have anxiety, you really do not need to worry about your racing heart as it is such a common effect of anxiety. Have you spoken to your to about it to put your mind at rest ? I have had a racing heart a few times, I had it the other week and completely understand how is feels as I also felt really anxious about it but for some reason I can just put all physical symptoms under the umbrella of anxiety and they don’t bother me.

    I’m struggling with feelings of unreality and intrusive thoughts and mind chatter , I think I must have written that in a post so many times you would think I would be bored butno, they still get me !

  449. Lucy Says:

    Haha I always attempt to be a graceful crier but it never happens! I know you are completely right, you would think I’d be used to it by now but it still gets me. I have an appointment on Tuesday so I plan to mention it to them but I do already know deep down it’s anxiety, it just causes that little “what if it’s not?” niggle. As I remind myself many times, I’ve survived this far and if it were anything else I doubt I would have! I have unreality too but it doesn’t tend to get me too much, it’s funny what bothers some and not others, I think it just sticks to what your body knows you dislike the most. You are doing much better than before and give great advice even while still experiencing it yourself. My mind never shuts up but with the busy lives we have, plus dealing with the anxiety, it’s bound to happen and is truly harmless. Annoying, but harmless. :)

  450. Simply Bre Says:

    Hello Everyone

    I have a quick question for any of you who have fully recovered, I know everyone recovers differently,and at different times but I just wanted to know what were the last of your symptoms to leave you? The reason I ask is because the only symptoms I am still dealing with are scary thoughts,and derealization, so i just wanted to know what we’re your last anxiety symptoms to leave you?

  451. Christine Says:

    Thanks Charlotte, think it’s just really hit me so hard…I’m the same with crying…not graceful at all! :) I end up with the worst blotchy face ever, absolutely no disguising it! That bothers me too about the crying and depression, but you’re right it’s a good release of energy! You’ll be glad to hear that I had a couple of hours of okayishness after the whinge although I feel rotten again now…suppose got to be thankful for small mercies?! You sound very like me…can I ask how old you are? I’ve had/have the intrusive and feelings of unreality too, but it really does sound like you’re coming out the other side! :)

    Lucy – I get a racing heart too and there’s nothing worse than it happening in the middle of the night when it’s dark and everyone’s asleep. Charlotte’s right it’s adrenaline…I get the tingly arms and rushes of blood and have to remind myself it’s adrenaline.

    Hoping for a nice, relaxing night for us all!! xxxxx

  452. Lucy Says:

    Simply Bre I am not fully recovered but I think obviously everyone is different… In my opinion it’s probably the ones you dislike the most that hang around the longest and are the last to go once you get closer to recovery, although I have read a lot of people who like you are left with the DP and thoughts. They will go in good time though :)

    Christine I find it funny how you get adrenaline junkies/lovers who are actively seeking the feeling we are trying to resist! When I put it like that it doesn’t seem so bad to me, I’m glad you’ve had some okayish time today :) I’ve done everything I need to do, anxious or not, today.. So happy with that but hoping I get a good sleep :) xx

  453. Val Says:

    To Cha B20….. I have been on medication since June so I guess not that long…they have helped with the depression which in turn helps you get going and resume activities etc…..I am still trying Paul’s advice of just not trying so hard…just going about my daily activities no matter how I feel….but if you have been suffering for 20 years I guess that’s a bit different….it took a bit of trial and error to find the right meds for me.are you seeing a good psychiatrist.and do you have friends and family….wish I could help more…..also could anyone tell me how you email people when our email addresses aren’t disclosed……..stay happy everyone and remember Paul’s advice…..the way to fix yourself is stop trying to fix yourself…..just say “I don’t care”……..it really works.

  454. Val Says:

    Isn’t it great that we seem to be from different places all over the world,and all age groups yet all helping each other achieve a common goal…I like that!!!!

  455. Christine Says:

    You’re so right Lucy, I was trying to watch mission impossible last night and said exactly the same thing about Tom Cruise and others being an adrenaline junkie and I hate it! :)

    Simply Bre, I haven’t recovered but had a very long spell before this set back and one of the last to leave me before this was definitely the scary thoughts! I can totally empathise…they will pass eventually!

    Val, I’m not sure about the email thingy, you’re more than welcome to have mine, but not sure if I’ll get into trouble for putting it on a post?!
    Where are you from? I’m 35 from Liverpool! :) xx

  456. Val Says:

    Hi Christine…..Have to admit…..70!!! Don’t feel and look it…LOL……a family trauma caused my episode in June and up until then was happy!travelling overseas etc and aiming to get back there???I live in melbourne !Australia. I don’t think they would publish emails….maybe people have websites and that would be published….any way ….not to worry. Have been to UK and Scoltland and most of Europe,Egypyt,Vietnam …..I think you have children so they would be a joy as are my 4 grandchildren……better stop chatting as this may not interest people???take care ??Val

  457. Lucy Says:

    Val I’m pretty sure there is a post early on about just general things, where we’re from etc and non-anxiety related things .. Nice to know that none of us are different and it can affect literally anybody! X

  458. Doreen Says:

    Val – if you go onto the list of blogs on right hand side of the page and scroll down to Dec 2007, click onto that you will find right down at the bottom there is something called ‘coffee lounge’. That is for chatting about stuff other than anxiety. Shame it isn’t used more as it is good to get to know people better.
    And no, we don’t post email addresses on this page. If people wish to be put in touch with each other than I can make that happen privately.

  459. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Christine

    I’m 42 and fight it all the way with moisturizer and gettin my hair dyed all the time lol ! I also had my children very late so I have a 6 year old and a 2 year old ! I live in Cheshire . If you had a few hours of feeling better then think of that as your ‘glimpsing’ as described by Claire weekes. A really good sign !

    Val – hello in Australia ! My son is currently obsessed with Australia – we have a lot of family over there and he is desperate to go and meet his cousins !

    Lucy, I always think getting physical symptoms checked is good to put your mind at rest, I wouldn’t be surprised if your gp offers you beta blockers , you may already know about them and may not want them but other anxiety websites give you a good description of them, they are used to treat the physical symptoms of anxiety by controlling heart rate and adrenalin release.

    I can’t seem to accept that feelings of unreality and intrusive thoughts are part of anxiety, I keep fearing mental illness , I think it’s my final sticking point but it’s not budging !

  460. Christine Says:

    Wow Val, Australia?! It is unbelievable that there are so many people everywhere affected by this. I’m sure that you don’t look it and I’m certain you will be back to the way you were before June soon! You’re not alone…I hadn’t been affected by anxiety until about 2 years ago and then after a really bad few months have been ok (the odd mild episode) until now…you will get through it! If you want my email address then just let Doreen know as I don’t mind anyone at all having it…sometimes it’s just nice to be in contact with someone who understands!

    I don’t have children of my own, but lots of little ones in my family…I’ll put more in the coffee lounge if anyone is interested! :)

    Thanks Charlotte! I swear I never had grey hair before this anxiety malarkey! :)

    I’ve had this mental illness thoughts, they’re awful but I promise they will pass soon too…xxxx

  461. Lucy Says:

    Thanks Charlotte, I have looked into them and know a couple of people who have experience with them and like most medications they have their pros and cons.. I have always been anxious to take anything! I have to take allergy tablets when I go to my mums and that’s enough sometimes! Haha. I guess ultimately the problem lies in my constant checking in, and misinterpreting the symptoms. It’s definitely something to consider though.

    In the end I threw my hands up to the going crazy thought, and just decided, okay go ahead… Make me a stark raving loony! I think that one involves a lot of thinking into the future, but just try to live in today. They are still only just thoughts that have stuck because they know they have power, but ultimately you are in control.

  462. Doreen Says:

    Hey folks – Christine is ‘in’ the coffee lounge. Why don’t some of you join her there? It’s good to learn more about who you each are apart from being people who happen to have anxiety

  463. Val Says:

    Found the coffee lounge…..great idea…..thank you….

  464. Val Says:

    Hi Charlotte , hope you get to Australia some time…very different to England ..which I loved too…….cheers val

  465. Christine Says:

    Woke up not feeling so great again…but hey ho! Very shaky & on edge but I haven’t cried yet! :) Taking the day hour by hour so will see what the day brings!
    I’m feeling anxious about tomorrow now (New Years Eve) too…my friends and family have been texting asking me where we’re all going and I’m starting to worry in case I fall apart in front of them all and here’s me saying that I’m taking the day hour by hour…the joys of anxiety! xx

  466. Lucy Says:

    Christine it goes how it goes, don’t place to much emphasise on it… You are in charge even if anxiety is there with you! I have spent literally months anticipating some things and no amount can change the outcome and it’s all wasted worry. X

  467. Christine Says:

    Thanks Lucy! :) How’s your day? xxx

  468. Rich Says:

    Hi Everybody, I hope you all had a good Christmas. I have been reading the comments over the last week but haven’t replied myself. It sounded like some struggled over the festive period.

    I was ‘okay’. I lost my appetite on Christmas Eve and had mild anxiety about Christmas Day, but sat in and watched Muppet Christmas Carol and was fine.

    Christmas Day I woke mildly anxious – about having anxiety and stomach issues, but they didn’t arrive – even as I self-checked throughout the day. This happened last year so I was very happy it didn’t repeat this year.

    Boxing day and subsequent days were the same – all went ok. I haven’t gone many places or done many things (ate round my GFs parents, my parents and home), but have been ok.

    I realise I have very low confidence at the moment – not very positive. I fear the worst still, and ‘avoid’ and am sat in my ‘prison’, but I’m ‘ok’.

    I’ll settle for that at the moment.

  469. Val Says:

    Hi everyone….I find I am anxious when I wake… Improve once I am up….I live close to shops so head up for a coffee,walk the dog etc. I hate feeling like this instead of my usual confident self….but try and float and stop trying to fix.i was a teacher for 40 yrs so the old self is there somewhere,LOL. I felt good before Christmas…..lots to do I guess….I read all your comments and wish you all well..val

  470. Val Says:

    Hi everyone… Trying to float this morning..LOL will improve once I am up …will go for coffee and walk the dog.hang in there Christine….know how you feel….I was actually good leading up to Christmas and during…lots to do and had good busy days…..it’s New Year’s Eve here so happy and healthy 2014 to everyone of you…I consider you friends

  471. Val Says:

    Oops…doubled up!!!!!

  472. Christine Says:

    Thanks Val…I’m the same, mornings are definitely worse…it’s like we wake up and it all comes flooding back in a rush! I hate it too but you’re right we need to float and not try to fix! I was the same before Xmas too! You will be back to your old self soon!

    My day hasn’t been too bad up to now…didn’t put any pressure on myself to do anything and although I’ve felt agitated and a tightness in my chest up to now it hasn’t really amounted to anything!

    Rich I know how you feel…my confidence is low at the moment and fear the worst…all anxiety…but it will get better!

    I hope everyone has a lovely evening or morning in Oz Val! xx

  473. Val Says:

    Hi Christine…wondering what would happen if I put my Facebook name in that last box that says Website…..will try….I think we could be FB friends and that would be fun.i will do it and see what happens… You can always DEFRIEND if you wish.c

  474. Val Says:

    Hi Christine…wondering what would happen if I put my Facebook name in that last box that says Website…..will try….I think we could be FB friends and that would be fun.i will do it and see what happens… You can always DEFRIEND if you wish.

  475. Val Says:

    Mmmm….that didn’t work …maybe Doreen could give you details

  476. Lucy Says:

    My day has been okay thanks Christine… I get frustrated at the fact that anxiety has never stopped me doing things (although I’ve wanted to) and still I get these reactions.. You’d think I’d have showed it who’s boss by now! I also get frustrated that I can’t just sit and watch television and be fully “into” it like before, because I’m always self checking. I would just like to watch/do something and be relaxed! Ah well, more time is the answer I suppose… Soon enough this’ll pass just like everything else. Hope your day has been okay :)

    Rich I’m glad you’re having an okay time, it might not be the best but you’re showing improvement and your attitude is gradually shifting to the one we need! Your confidence will grow in time when eventually all the little victories add up to one big one :)

  477. Christine Says:

    Of course Val…would love to be your FB friend! :)

    Glad your day has been ok Lucy! I’m the same with the self checking…before this set back that along with the racing thoughts took a while to go, but eventually it all passes! :) You should be so proud of yourself that you don’t let anxiety stop you doing anything…that’s a fantastic achievement! xxx

  478. Kyara Says:

    Lucy,

    You sound just like myself. I think this is where the habit is. Even though I wake up and anxiety is what I think about 24/7 I thought the other day man I’m not anxious I have formed a habit of thinking about anxiety which in it’s self keeps me down. I kind of feel like this is where we have to leave the anxiety and kind of forget about it.the first time I recovered I had no idea what was going on and as soon as I stopped feeling physical symptoms I was no longer worried I went on with my life without a care in the world for anxiety. I wasn’t watching for symptoms and seeing how I felt. I’ve been trying to truly mean it when I say I don’t care and when I self check I’m trying to change my attitude to ‘it truly doesn’t matter how I feel because it all passes’. I’m trying to leave anxiety because the physical symptoms left me. I’m trying to just live my life 1 day at a time without worrying. There is proof in front of us that this passes in due time for all of us and from experience it goes faster when you aren’t watching it. So my new years wish is for me to change my attitude and to focus on my life and to leave myself alone to do it’s thing. I wish the same for all of us. xxxx

  479. Mark R Says:

    Val,

    The mornings are invariably hard for everyone with anxiety. You just need to take them with a huge pinch of salt, just because the morning is difficult it doesn’t mean the day is.

    Kyara/Lucy,

    As I’ve recovered in the past the stage where you are just checking on how you feel out of habit is a very good one. I say this as when anxiety stops making you feel bad and just turns into an annoying habit this is where you can lose interest in it, it just becomes a pain in the arse at that stage.

  480. Charlotte Says:

    Lucy and Kyara

    I agree with mark, checking in is often a good sign you are getting there. there is another anxiety website in the Uk that explains this checking in really well, and mentions it is very common in the recovery stages, and it is just a mental habit.

    Christine,

    you are still doing well, hang on in there doing what u r doing! So what that is new year tomorrow – I’ve always been a miserable bugger at new year, cant stand it personally ! Am going to wait begrudging til 12 then go to bed and then we are going to Chester winter wonderland on New Year’s Day !

    Have u made plans ?

  481. Simply Bre Says:

    Hello Everyone

    Has anyone ever experienced a scary thought and,then when you learn to live alongside that one here comes another irrational thought trying to flare the anxiety up again. Its so annoying, it’s like as soon as i accept one thought here comes another one trying to call my bluff. Anyone know what I’m talking about, it makes me feel like I’m losing it.

  482. Charlotte Says:

    Simply bre

    Yes I do that all the time ! U r not losing it, it’s just anxiety

    X

  483. Val Says:

    Mark…you are so right….my day is going so well now…it’s summer here..superb Oz weather…..have just been offered a cottage at the beach for cheap rates next sat Sun and mon…. This should be on the coffee shop page !!!! My g’daughters,grandson aged 4,3, and 22 mths will be down there with their parents and I am very happy….I wish this for all of you with all my heart
    :-)

  484. D-Ren Says:

    Simply Bre

    Yes indeed!!

    Cheers!!

  485. Kate Says:

    Hi everyone
    Just popping on to recommend a book Im currently reading its from a man called Will Beswick from a site called Do you Panic. I hope this is ok I believe reading his posts that a few from this site have used it too. He teaches exactly the same as Paul does but It helped me understand the thought process more. Its a bit hard to follow at the beginning but does get easier and he answers all your questions too :)
    Sending lots of love to everyone

  486. Kate Says:

    CHARLOTTE
    Im the exact same with the feelings of unreality but Im realising its the fear of it that’s keeping it with me so Im learning to let it just be there (easier said than done) Im trying to come on less and less but if you ever wanna rant feel feel to email me we seem to have very similar experiences :)

  487. D-Ren Says:

    Kate, I’ve been in touch with Will for some time already :-) He’s superb

  488. Kate Says:

    DR
    Its really helped me to understand more and i think its what I needed to understand to fully recover :)

  489. Lucy Says:

    Thanks Kyara .. I find it frustrating cos sometimes that’s what then brings anxiety on because I’ve looked for it! But you’re right whether it’s there or not it shouldn’t matter because it’ll pass again. I haven’t yet properly experienced recovery, just some much better times than others. I’m the same for 2014, no resolutions but I intend to just let everything go more.. You have recovered before so you know it’s possible!

    Simply Bre 100%!! I lost fear in certain thoughts and therefore lost them, only for the onslaught of new ones.. And believe me I feel like I’ve had them all. The main thing is it doesn’t matter what they are, just treat them the same as the original ones. Anxiety realises it’s lost it’s power on one thing and so switches to another to draw you back in but there really is no need to be. It’s all the same. You’re definitely not losing it, just thoughts sticking to an already anxious/tired mind!

    Mark/Charlotte thanks :) it’s nice to have another point of view to know you’re still going in the right direction. I’m not a new year person either, I intended to go out but no child care now… Can’t say I’m massively bothered! Haha. Hope you all have good ones though whatever you get upto. X

  490. Christine Says:

    Thanks Charlotte :) I don’t really like New Year as well to be honest, it’s normally such a let down. I’ve arranged to go the pub with family and friends so will have to see how that goes…determined to go though but trying not to put too much pressure on myself! Chester’s Winter Wonderland is meant to be lovely…I’m sure you’ll enjoy it! xxx

    Thanks for the recommendation Kate…I’ve just had a look and purchased the E book! xxx

    So glad you’ve had a nice day Val! :) xxx

    Simply Bre, I totally agree with everyone about the thoughts…it’s like you become immune to one thought so the mind conjures up another to scare you…Lucy gives great advice…it’s all anxiety! xxx

  491. Rich Says:

    Hi Everyone, today is a horrible day – so far. Worse than Christmas which is perhaps why I feel surprised by it. Last night I lost my appetite and had mild anxiety while we had friends over, but this was ok.

    This morning, I woke with the same anxiety but it has gotten worse – needing the loo, generally feeling anxious, worrying about eating lunch and dinner tonight (NYE) around my in-laws house and spending NYE with them. When I look at this situation, I don’t know why I am anxious about it!

    As I feel anxious, other anxious ‘what if’ thoughts creep in – fears of holidays, my wedding day, social anxiety – the fear this will never end – all the usual stuff.

    I’m finding it hard to practice what I’ve been reading and preaching on her to others – I just want to curl up and sleep all day. Full of self-pity, empty of confidence and positivity.

    Hopefully today won’t be as bad as I seem to think it will be, and I can get back on track.

  492. Val Says:

    Rich….I do hope your day picked up……it’s ok to have a down day and as mark said if your morning is bad it doesn’t mean the whole day will be. It’s 11.50 pm here…almost 2014………. H N Y to you and all others who understand and are so supportive on this site. :-)

  493. Rich Says:

    Happy New Year Val – and to everyone else on here too!

    My day has been ok – but anxiety & symptoms have made it unenjoyable sadly. Didn’t eat much lunch, felt ok all afternoon, but anxious about eating (well, not eating) at dinner. NYE is a quiet one – which I prefer.

    My anxiety is about stomach issues & not eating. When I have to go anywhere or eat, I get anxious and my stomach goes and I can’t eat. A very hard thing to conquer. What is also a pain is that I spend all day and sometimes the day before affected by this – ruining so much!

    Very frustrating! It’s hard to imagine feeling great when I’ve had this so long, and it seems to be worse right now.

    Let’s see what 2014 brings!

  494. Christine Says:

    Happy New Year Val! :)

    Is anyone else on edge about tonight? I felt okayish this morning but as the day has gone on I have felt more and more anxious to the point that I feel sick and on the edge of panicking/losing it! Meeting loads of people at 7 and dreading it!

    Anyway, I wish a Happy New Year to you all and hope and belief that we will all float through this anxiety in 2014…much love. xxx

  495. Shashank Says:

    Hey Paul and all……

    Happy New Year 2014…..:-)………

  496. Val Says:

    Hi everyone…I have those wake up feelings again…..but had a good night ..enjoyed a couple of cocktails that one of my friends decided would be fun to make.I came home at about 10 but actually watched Melbourne ans Sydney NYE telecasts and lasted til midnight.
    I am on medication at the moment and wonder whether it would help you Christine and Rich but maybe you don’t want to go down that path and I certainly respect anyone’s decision re meds….they work for me at present as well as Paul’s advice. Hope you all enjoyed the night.:-)

  497. Clare Says:

    happy new year to everyone .from a soulmate,mark r .are you on Barnsley
    Facebook .you seem just a happy go lucky person , if it is you, I truly hope
    you have a wonderful new year .all the best to each and everyone xx

  498. Lulu Says:

    Hi,
    First post here, seems like there are many more out there like me. I have currently been suffering on and off for about 5 years now, but had some really good years in between. Had a pretty bad time coming off my meds mixed with horrendous morning sickness and here I am, suffering since End of October.
    I am currently 7 months pregnant and trying to decide what the hell to do anymore. I have a 3 yeAr old and a wonderful supportive fAmily as well. I am currently on disability from my job and staying home with my daughter.
    I was placed back on meds, one of which has really helped with the physical symptoms.
    My issue now is how to deal with th constant introspection and trying to get out of this cycle and depressed hole.
    My current therapist has been working with me doing CBT, which I know see how it is effective and a lot of my thoughts are irrational, but when your constantly introverted it’s hard to apply and exhausting. Has anyone else used CBT effectively with Paul or Claire Weekes advice?
    What about the lack of emotions and feelings, are you just suppose to be ok with not having the same emotions for your family and friends? How do you not let that disturb you? I still haven’t really connected with this baby, I just shouldn’t be concerned with that either?
    How do you remain hopeful and positive if everything around you feels abnormal, sad, unreal, and anxious? Do you guys ever tell yourselves positive things or remind yourselves why you feel the way you do and that it’s not real? I’m just having a hard time balancing CBT with a whatever additude and not allowing that whatever additude to turn me into an emotionless, depressed person more so than I am? So you never change your thoughts or hope for a better future? I’m sorry I’m just confused, maybe someone can help me out.

  499. D-Ren Says:

    Rich, I too get anxious if I “can’t” eat – it sure sucks – but it’ll pass, so I guess there’s no ‘need’ to put too much pressure on the eating thing :) Cheers

  500. D-Ren Says:

    I’ve been on AD’s for 1½ years now – been thinking of quitting, but as I feel anxiety pretty much still, I’m afraid that if I’d quit – my problems would just increase so much that I couldn’t do anything

    Anyone has experience of this? :)

  501. Rich Says:

    Happy New Year Everyone!

    Val, I am on 20mg Citalopram at the moment which I have been on an off 10-20mb for around 3 years now. I’m currently trying to lower the dosage to 10mg and then come off them, but this is giving me anxiety when I think about this (I don’t feel strong enough to do this alone – I have no self-confidence at the moment), but I want to be med-free and beat this thing (even though I’ve never been anxiety-free my whole adult life).

    D-Ren, thanks for your comments. I had an ok night last night – didn’t eat much, but was relaxed enough and not anxious.

    Today I woke really tired and feel anxious again (perhaps its the thought of going back to work tomorrow). The weather here is awful, I’ve no appetite so can’t look forward to meals or chocolate etc, so feel a bit rubbish.

    When I feel ok, I forget how horrible anxiety can be – I forget how hard it is to ‘accept’ and ‘float’ – which is what I should be doing right now.

    I think I’ll arrange to see my GP to discuss coming off meds or staying on them for a while – as I don’t feel like I’m in the right mental state any more to come off them (or is this part of the withdrawal process?).

  502. Christine Says:

    Hi Rich,

    don’t be so hard on yourself…I felt okayish last night but terrible again today…I’m the same in the fact that I’m getting anxious at the thought of work tomorrow and the weather is awful here too and no appetite!

    When I was feeling ok, I forget how horrible anxiety can be too and it’s so hard to just be with the feelings and thoughts, trying to relax now is so difficult.

    I think we all have the anxiety about the meds but I think if it helps then don’t worry about it and take them as long as you need to. When my anxiety started 2 years ago I was on beta blockers, sleeping tablets and AD’s and I think at the beginning they helped but I’m not sure if it was just me accepting more. I eventually weaned myself off them all and don’t take any now. I’m in this set back now and when I feel particularly bad I start to think maybe I need them again but I’m hoping I can get through this without them

    D-Ren, I was the same when I weaned myself off them, lots of what if’s but it wasn’t that bad and I just did it over a long period of time but you’re probably best speaking to your doc about that because it may be different for different AD’s. xxx

  503. D-Ren Says:

    Christine, thank you for the reply!!

  504. Rich Says:

    Thank you Christine that has really helped my confidence with medication. I have read some really scary things whilst researching coming off the medication, and I know there are side effects when going on it too. I don’t want to put myself through any unnecessary anxiety – because it still seems to scare me. I know it shouldn’t, but it still does.

    Before Xmas I finished a course of hypnotherapy where it was suggested I come off the meds to heal naturally. I still don’t have the self-confidence my therapist has in me though – maybe that is just anxiety tricking me.

    I could be feeling bad today because of work tomorrow, or because of my appetite deserting me, or it could be because I’ve begun lower dosages of medication, or I could just be having a bad day.

    Not a great start to the year – it can only get better!

  505. D-Ren Says:

    I’m glad (well.. not glad) that there are people who have been thinking of leaving medication, made me realize I’m not only one who has doubts of dropping off them = )

  506. Rich Says:

    I want to get off them and have the feeling of conquering this thing myself, but the withdrawal symptoms scare me, as does the fear of realising that I may actually need them and having to go back on them, with the side effects and the 4-6 week delay in benefits again.

    I’ve had a horrible day today. I am usually worrying about something, so could attribute it to one of many things – or it’s just a bad day, I don’t know. I’ve booked an appointment with my GP for 1 1/2 weeks time to discuss medication and see what they recommend (earliest appointment with my GP).

    I should grab today and show anxiety who’s boss, not let it ruin my day and float past this, but with the weather here horrible, work tomorrow and me off my food (again), I’m just writing today off as a bad day.

  507. Val Says:

    Hi to you all….I am definitely staying on meds……I guess being older I don’t worry about side effects….I am on fairly high doses and have no side effects and I trust my psych ….an interesting article in the paper here by one of melbourne’s top psychiatrists…..uni lecturer etc and he writes a long article about patients he’s treated and at the end mentions a middle aged man who returned from an overseas trip with bronchitis and lack of sleep who finished up seeing a psychiatrist and going on AD,s …….and the last line says…..and that man is me……..and he says he is now much more aware of how exhaustion etc can affect moods…..it ‘s amazing who suffers. Any way I would listen to the experts myself……..hang in there guys……small steps !!!!LOL x

  508. Charlotte Says:

    Val

    Nice post, I m also on ads and have no plans to come off at all, anything that helps is fine with me ! I also trust my psych as I found a good one.

    Is the article you refer to on the internet ? Sounds a good read,

    Kate

    Thanks for your post, would be lovely to keep in touch as I picked up we were both struggling to accept the the psychological symptoms of feelings of unreality etc , you seem to be doing better which sounds great ,

    X

  509. Rich Says:

    Hi all, I feel better tonight than I have all day (strange because work looms tomorrow) – probably because I seem to be anxious about eating and I know mealtimes are now out of the way. I’m just going to eat little and often, try not to worry about further weight loss (I’ve lost 1 stone since Oct) and give myself time to recover without putting pressure on myself.

    I plan to eat fruit to snack on between meals to help boost my appetite, and perhaps a multi-vitamin to help top up nutrients etc.

    I find it so easy to freak out when I feel anxious – all hope seems lost, massive self-pity, no get up and go, all I want to do is give up and sleep. I want someone else to come along and make it all better. It scares me to think the only person who can do that is me.

    As Val says, small steps.

  510. Charlotte Says:

    Rich,

    Good planning, good for you. I can relate to your comment on you wanting someone to come along and take it away, in my worst days last summer, I would constantly say those exact words to my husband and counsellor. My counsellor kept telling me that that wasn’t going to work, and whilst no one likes anxiety, it is only anxiety, and everyone has their own issues and problems. He taught me and still is to just let your thoughts float by, and to change your state/actions when feeling anxious.

    I hope u have a good day tomorrow , I’m not back at work til next Tuesday but with two little ones, am not sure what I would prefer… Lol ,

  511. Kyara Says:

    I’ve had a great couple of days off with my family but I feel I didn’t get to fully enjoy because I feel so depressed. I have hope and keep telling myself to just let it pass it will go keep on moving brighter days are ahead. I just feel so darn horrible. I cried a couple of times because of it just because it’s frustrating. I’ve been going through this for awhile and wondering when does it get easier? My head is pounding from a headache I feel it could pop. I’m just wondering if it’s time to start AD. Sorry to be such a downer I’m just exhausted.

  512. Val Says:

    Hi guys…..if you google…..Sidney Bloch article Sydney Morning Herald you will find the article….it is so interesting and he seems like such a good bloke……Rich ……..I eat lots of bananas,take Vit b complex!Vit D,magnesium supplement. Google anti stress foods…yoghurt,walnuts and almonds ,sardines etc. good luck to you all :-)

  513. Val Says:

    If you google Sidney Bloch article Sydney Morning Herald you will find the article…he seems like such a nice bloke too!!! Cheers Val

  514. Val Says:

    Oops

  515. Jaz Says:

    Happy New Year! Paul and everyone else. 2014 is gonna be a great year to live life to the fullest! Just live! AnxietyNoMore!!

  516. Jaz Says:

    Won’t be coming here anymore I’m gonna recover this year! God bless you all!

  517. Kate Says:

    Charlotte will pass my details to Paul to send onto you :)
    Im going through a really strange time at the minute. My old Dp symptoms seem to have gone. I no longer find places strange etc or have the double/distorted vision Im just left with a kind of weird strange feeling. I feel more myself but not totally I still have a bit of a foggy head too. Is this normal? I just worry that this is a good as Im gonna get

  518. D-Ren Says:

    Kate yeah, sure – foggy head.
    Completely normal.

    You’ll get used to it, so it doesn’t even matter if its there or not : )

  519. Kate Says:

    I’ve always had the foggy head its just the weird feeling its changed from what i used to experience :(

  520. Rich Says:

    When you feel down and depressed, defeated by the ongoing worry and lack of strength, the inability to look forward to things, and the constant setbacks when you think you’re on the way up, it is so hard to believe in yourself that you can recover. This is all anxiety playing tricks on you.

    To know that the only person who can really help you, is you, and that you have to change your thoughts and attitude to life and anxiety is really hard to accept and carry out. There is no other option that works.

    I am so used to worrying, fearing the worst and living a very limited life, I find it hard to change my approach – it’s like worry is all I’ve known. Maybe this will get easier with time – it’s like teaching an old dog new tricks.

    In regards to my meds, I am pescribed them until April by my GP. I think I’ll keep the dosage level until my appointment on Jan 13th so I can let my mind calm and not put extra pressure on it by mixing dosages of ADs. Reading about withdrawal scares the heck out of you, so I’ll avoid this and act on professional advice alone.

    I’m also going to try not to think about anxiety as much – I’ll be on here for the community support it gives me, but I will also try to focus on non-anxiety things more, to give my mind a rest from it all. This is something I need to work on!

  521. Val Says:

    Hi
    Rich…..as I have said I am going to stay on meds under the care of my psych. Have my thoughts on supplements and foods been of any help? May I ask how old you are?i find I am better when I am out socialising..I can forget about things and my old self is there….I am really trying to keep busy.Ad’s have for me and am also on night med for sleeping…..I feel I am putting in my best efforts BUT I do need meds at present to assist me. I am glad you are listening to doctors….if you need them then take them….I am sounding a bit like an expert and I don’t mean to but just want you to know how much they have helped me….this sounds like a lecture….just concerned and trying to help…….hope a better day awaits you…:-)

  522. Rich Says:

    Hi Val, I’m 32. I’ve had GAD and social anxiety (based on eating and IBS) since I was around 13 which has worsened since leaving uni around 2003 and me becoming more isolated – less friends, less socially active and more worrysome. I’ve been on ADs since 2010 after finally going to my GP for help. I have had good spells, but the bad spells have got longer and worse to the point last October I really hit rock bottom – a whole new level.

    I live with my girlfriend, who although doesn’t understand is supportive. If I didn’t have her I don’t know how I’d cope. I have 1 good friend who I talk to about this, but seeing her gives me anxiety, and I avoid going out places with her as a result, as I do with my GF sadly. As I am not very social (eating and anxiety IBS), anything out of the house is a ‘big deal’ to me and sets me off. I live in a village not a city, so have less opportunities and find it easy to have ‘nights in’ all the time. I know this isn’t good for me.

    I spoke with my therapist today who recommended staying on the meds until my state of mind improves to come off them – so I will until at least I see my GP. I honestly don’t mind if I’m on them for the rest of my life, but they don’t seem as effective any more. I am also worrying about my own wedding (which needs planning), getting older, coping with kids and other life pressures – all added pressure to ‘recover’.

    In other news, today I feel better even though I had to get up early, I slept well, feel ‘ok’ at work, nothing like yesterday. Not massively looking forward to lunch or tea, but feel more positive than yesterday – so an improvement regardless of how small I guess.

  523. Candie Says:

    Lu Lu I saw your post and I related to it a lot. I had a 2 year old and a pregnancy at the peak of my anxiety. Alls anxiety is is worry, negativity and feeling low etc and then you add to it by dwelling. For me I had to stop dwelling, change my attitude and recognise that I created it all. So if I started worrying, I decided the best thing to do was think positive. If I felt anxious, I thought positive by realising anxiety is a box we create around ourself and it can come and it will go so no need to get down about it. I had to reverse the negative thinking habits. If I wasn’t feeling much joy about my pregnancy I would remind myself firstly that what I’m going through is fine and anxiety couldn’t stop me loving my child. I had to learn not to care to control the anxiety, think positive, live again. It’s like my mind was stuck automatically in a place of negativity, self pitty, fear and self doubt. Learn a new attitude rather then awaiting it to leave you. Waiting for it to go means it always lingers, sitting with it and creating a positive outlook on life creates freedom. I’m fine now and I had it for years- it didn’t just magically disappear. I’m glad it never as well as those who get distracted without learning tools to live with it are vulnerable to it again. You can be you again, be you beside the anxiety and it will fade. It’s a bluff we do to ourself really but it’s very hard to describe the mental process to reach peace as really you do nothing to remove anxiety.

  524. Christine Says:

    Hi All,

    Back to work today and although I didn’t feel that bad this morning I’m not having a great day in work.

    Candie – you always give great advice and I was wondering if you mind if I ask you something. Did you ever have a terrible setback where you feel that you’ve lost everything you learned? Did you work while having your anxiety and did you just carry on to everyone like there is nothing wrong when inside you feel so on edge with peaks of panic?

    I know that I’ve been and got through this before, but just feel that I need some reassurance from someone who has fully recovered. I keep swaying from thinking I’ll be ok and then the next minute my stomach drops thinking that I’m going to be stuck like this again xx

    Kate – I’m with D Ren – foggy head is really normal, I’ve had that and it does fade too! xx

    Rich – I’m glad your having a better day! :) xx

  525. Candie Says:

    Hi Christine

    I worked whiles I had anxiety, studied, socialised, dated and had kids! Anxiety can only Take what you give it- your life is yours and you can still be happy and successful even though you have the symptoms. You don’t have to tell who’s around you of your panic attacks. Simply let them wash over you, don’t try to ignore them and smile when they taper off. Each time one tapers off and you have allowed it rather then trying to rid yourself of it your recovering. Il try explain how panic attacks went for me.

    Before I understood what was happening: Something would over whelm me, I’d feel anxious, I’d start thinking oh no is this the start of a panic attack. I’d keep watching myself, the feelings of dread would build, I’d feel like crying and escaping, I’d have lots of internal self pitty. If I was at home or around people I trusted I’d let go of the hold on myself and cry, curl up on my bed or sofa, saying I needed a doctor or sectioning and start pacing around thinking this is the end now they will need to cart me away. After that I would return to my baseline of usual anxiety and scary thoughts and self pitty aswell as even more bewilderment after the attack.

    After learning about acceptance: I’d have the thought oh no what if a panic attack is coming, I’d acknowledge that the thought is what is actually creating it. As at that moment I choose to run from it. So I decide not to run, not to feel sorry for myself, that I will stay put and not freak out as other then some uncomfortable feelings and some false thoughts of doom I have imagined nothing bad is actually happening. I see it through. I feel elated. I’m less likely to be looking over my shoulder apprehensive about another attack. Until eventually I stop even telling myself another attack is coming as I know it can’t hurt me and it was all an internal bluff!

    When you see that your on control all along, your response totally shifts to one of calmness and not dispair. I laugh about panic attacks now, I understand how real they feel but I also understand it was me scaring me. You can do the same just keep practicing!

  526. Scott Says:

    Candie

    Thanks for the great advice. Did u deal with a feeling of constant anxiety? While i have had a few panic attacks early in my anxiety battle, i did overcome them and then my anxiety morphed into sleep problems (which i know now are just a bi product of worry and stress) and what i am facing now is a serming constant awareness or introspection of my thoughts and where my anxiety is…i have a hard time just “relaxing” and am constantly in my head (dont think this, dont monitor…”oh no i am thinking it”) ..this episode started after many months of being good so it has crushed my spirit. I am a dad and husband and my wife has stuck by me with this and i battle with alot of guilt because of my anxiety and how it impacts her. I love my kids and i hate not being able to be “in the moment” when having a catch with my son or drawing with my daughter. Is the hyperawareness of me and being stuck in your mind familiar to you? I dont feel like i am panicking but have alot of anxiety with stupid thoughts that make me feel my brain is stuck. Stupid, right? Thank you for any advice.

  527. Christine Says:

    Thanks Candie – I really appreciate it! I think I’m just a bit stuck again and think the panic attacks just took me by surprise and I need to re practice the acceptance thing. I really understand that they can’t hurt me now but I can still feel them rising and then I become overwhelmed with the usual feelings and thoughts! When I thought I was in recovery I could actually laugh at them too but not at the moment.

    I think I’m more frustrated as well because I thought I’d cracked it and I don’t want to have to go through it all again and that freaks me out…

    Thanks again xxxx

  528. Rich Says:

    Candie that is excellent advice. I can learn a lot from that attitude.

    My current problem is worrying about everything (GAD) and worrying about things that shouldn’t need worrying about, making an issue out of a non-issue and suffering hours and days of anxiety needlessly. If I didn’t have the anxiety, I wouldn’t worry about 99% the things I do worry about.

    I need to totally change my thought process and attitude towards things I needlessly fear, and stop letting anxiety rule my thoughts, decisions and behavior.

  529. Rich Says:

    Today’s been ok, but anxiety has ruled my mind. I got worked up about eating lunch – my stomach was rumbling but I just didn’t want to eat. I eventually forced down a cuppa soup.

    I’ve been hungry all afternoon, but don’t feel like eating. As dinner approaches, I am now worrying about this – my teeth are chattering! All I’ll be having is spag bol at home with my girlfriend – which I really like!

    My appetite has been coming and going since Oct, but my weight has largely been going (I’m 10st 2lbs and looking thin). I know if I stop worrying, my appetite will return, but I keep worrying. So frustrating.

    What is worse perhaps is the fact my appetite has come and gone so many times recently – so the fear of it happening every time I feel anxious in the future really bothers me.

  530. Candie Says:

    Scott- yes I had the same generalised anxiety too. I worried about everything, then I worried about worrying as some of the stuff was so odd to worry about I thought I was going crazy. So then things spiralled. Firstly I had to stop worrying about worrying, as it wasn’t helping. Then I had to tackle the worry. I hit a point where I had to trust myself again, no more self doubt. So I decided from that point I would trustmy own intuition and my self esteem gradually built. I had to change my worry habit without getting frustrated that I was doing it. For a while my mind reverted back to worry, but I smiled and decided I would try think positive. For every worry thought there is a polar opposite. What if I go crazy, what if I don’t. What if I don’t love my bf, what if I do. What if I die of a heart attack, what If I don’t. There was also lots of weird worries like what if I’m letting myself go by not moisturising once after my shower (what on earth?!). I had to stop doubting myself and stop assuming the worst. So these days I choose not to doubt my self, take chances and just not to care too much about silly things.

    I honestly suffered every symptom. GAD, panic, negative depressive thoughts, all the physical stuff, OCD thoughts. It is possible to do this if you change your mind set :)

  531. Claire Says:

    Hi Everyone!

    I haven’t been on here for a few weeks…Been busy with work, xmas and my little baba!

    I’m pleased to tell you all that I’ve had more good days than bad! I had a great xmas and my anxiety and thoughts hardly affected me! I’ve noticed that when I’m kept busy and my mind is focusing on other things I feel like the old me! Woohoo!!

    I sometimes wake on a morning to check if it’s there which I know is out of habit but I let my mind just talk away and think all those awful, untrue thoughts and get on with my day. Yes, it’s hard but I’m the only one who can do this. No one else.

    I was wondering if anyone else makes thoughts up in their head? Totally untrue thoughts about anything and everything or about loved ones? This is the one that gets to me the most as it upsets me and because I think ‘oh why did I think that? That must mean this or it must mean that so it must be true’…I’ve always felt guilty for thinking certain thoughts and would need to tell my partner or my mother to get it off my chest. I’ve been like this since I was a child and I’m now approaching 31! I was told that it is a type of OCD and my compulsion is to confess my thoughts. Terribly exhausting as I’m sure you can imagine…every single thought I feel guilty for or whatever pops into my head. Does anyone else suffer this?

    Rich – Been reading your posts. I know what you mean about coming off the meds. I came off mine when I was 7 months pregnant as some can affect the baby and I didn’t want to take that risk. I remember working myself up and telling my boyfriend how scared I was to come off them and all the ‘what if’s’. I was fine after a few days of being scared but I had my little baby to think of. I’m now back on them and have no plans on coming off them. Been on and off them since I was 18. Do what you feel is right for yourself and don’t put any added pressure or yourself.

    I also have times where I have no appetite but I just force myself to eat no matter how bad I feel. It’s the anxiety thoughts that is keeping the cycle going of being afraid to eat. All anxiety! The naughty thing!! You’ll get there :)

    Happy New Year to you all…Here’s to a healthy and happy one xx

  532. Rich Says:

    Candie, Your reply to Scott resonated so much with me. I’m glad people like us on here have people like you on here. When I doubt, I need reassurance that recovery is still possible.

    Tonight I was so full of adrenalin before eating dinner I couldn’t sit down, had shaking legs and was in a right state. I ate some, but now feel empty, but not hungry. All anxiety, but I let it get me down tonight and win.

    It is ourselves who keep us in the loop. I love the idea that every negative thought has an equal positive thought.

  533. Val Says:

    Hi Scott… I too had that lack of interest in my grandchildren.i was a teacher and just loved seeing them and doing activities with them. As the anxiety and depression took hold due to a separate family trauma I lost all interest. I am happy to say it is coming back after 6 mths therapy and meds..I don’t try and overdo things….it’s horrible having those feelings in your own head but it does get better…I keep doing things and once you are really involved it gets better.i pushed myself to resume golf and did a meditation course…..you do feel as tho you are worrying your family but I try and think…this is how it is at present …..i will get better…….it may take time……..and true friends stick by you……and the kids adore you no matter how you are feeling and that is such a joy !!!,……..if it was a physical complaint then people would understand. Upwards and onwards guys…..I am so good at telling others what to do!!,,,,LOL………I did say I was a teacher for 40 yrs!!!!!!!! X to u all

  534. Val Says:

    Sidney Bloch article Sydney morning herald ,,,,,is worth googling for those who didn’t see it…..Kate !did you find it?

  535. Rich Says:

    Val & Claire, you are both very positive and inspirational – thank you. I am staying put on the meds for a while – I thought Xmas would be a good time to come off, but I may now wait to get back onto the road to recovery, and for some more sunshine!

    Claire – thank you for following my story and for your reply. It really does help reassuring me that I am not alone even when I think I am, and that there is hope. To read about others who have been where I am and have pulled through is a great motivator to keep on going.

  536. Kyara Says:

    I’ve been in a ‘stage’ I can’t figure out. My mood is really low. I feel really down and depressed. I keep on going though as if nothing is wrong. I’m trying to just let myself feel whatever I feel and know it will pass. I’m scared though because even though I’m allowing this I’m not getting relief. I’m feeling more into myself and more upset. I don’t know how I continue going daily. I’m scared of being so low because I feel like giving up and going to the 24/7 hospital to speak to a Dr often. I try to let the thought be but when feeling so low it’s hard to believe I shouldn’t get help. Can this low mood be reversed without help or am I digging myself lower? I remind myself all the time I need to be patient and float. I’d hope to feel better by now at least a little. I don’t have a counselor or physiologist so that’s why I’m asking.

  537. Val Says:

    Kyara please speak to your dr and you may be referred on. In Australia you get covered for 10 visits to a psychologist under a mental health plan….you have to pay a small amount. If you see my posts I recovered on anti depressants but I still need to accept and float as paul says but it’s just a little bit easier .i still need to push myself too.also read what I wrote about supplements.eg vitamins and foods eg bananas. It all helps but I would see your dr. Good luck ..it’s a bl…dy awful feeling but you will get there…x val

  538. Kate Says:

    Val
    I missed it but I’ll have a look :)
    I’ve worried myself lately that although i feel much better ill never get back to feeling me with all the emotions I’ve even convinced myself that I’ve recovered and that this is as good as it gets. Then I realised that actually No I haven’t recovered and that Im still going through this but Im allowing myself to get worried so after reading Wills book I’ve decided that when the thought comes I’ve actually just left it and I leave it alone :)
    Sick of searching for reassurance Im the only one who can make me better :)

  539. Rich Says:

    Morning everyone, I’m in the UK. I have a 3 week wait to see my GP of choice, but have managed to bump my appointment with another to next Wednesday to discuss lack of progress of my current meds. I think I definitely need a helpful boost to get a grip and address my thoughts.

    In the UK, we have around a 3 month wait for CBT, and probably as long to see a Psychologist (I’ve never seen one). I started seeing a clinical hypnotherapist from Oct-Dec once a week, but this was privately so I had to pay for each session.

    I re-read Paul’s post at the top of this page this morning and it describes me currently to a tee – every day is a struggle and a battle. I feel incredibly low about the future and life – I feel I am existing and just ‘surviving’ instead of living. All anxiety I know, but it’s very convincing! If I can get my appetite back and keep it, It’ll be a massive boost.

  540. Kyara Says:

    Thank you Val. I’ve gotten through every other part of recovery but this one. Seems like this is a routine. A depressing episode in the evening where I feel really low my thoughts are just as low and I try to let them be. I’m scared of this part though. I don’t let myself get anxious I try to let it pass but it’s hard. I’m going to call my Dr today. I’ve avoided AD bc the side effects going on them are a bit much but I think it’s time.

  541. Christine Says:

    Kyara, I’m not sure if this helps but I remember when I first went through my anxiety before this setback and I’d accepted everything about anxiety but just felt terribly low and like I was in some foggy place and I remember crying to my Husband in the park of all places and saying that I just don’t feel anything anymore, and incredibly enough not long after it disappeared too! It was like I had accepted that too! I’m not saying don’t speak to your Dr about meds as they may help too but I remember feeling like that as well! xx

    Rich – I know it’s ridiculous how long we have to wait to see a CBT specialist about this, I was referred when this all started but I didn’t get to see one until I was well on the road to feeling better…xx

    Kate – it sounds like you’re really accepting and doing so well…I’m so pleased for you. xx

    A question for anyone who’s gone through/going through a setback! I’m feeling very frustrated which then in turn freaks me a bit – is this a normal part of a setback? Is this a good sign? I hope so! :)

    Hope everyone’s day is going ok…xxx

  542. Rich Says:

    Kyara, Don’t fear ADs because of the side effects – everyone reacts to them differently and they’re not as bad for some. Plus they are only temporary while your body adjusts to them. I’m starting to think that I’ll be on them for a while yet, as right now I’m struggling to function just being at home and at work – let alone cope with anything else.

    I think I’ve fallen deeply into a setback. I’ve made so many mistakes I know I shouldn’t – googling things instead of working, going on here all the time for support, constant self-checking, massive self-pity. Even booking an appointment with my GP – I don’t know what they can do as I know the cure comes from within. This too is 5 days away. Well and truly fed up.

  543. Rich Says:

    Christine, I’m really suffering at the moment, but one of the things not helping is the frustration of falling backwards so far, and the pressure I am putting on myself to recover and not accept the situation I am currently in. This is mainly due to the pressure to be ‘ok’ for holidays, and also meals out which are coming up in a few weeks, which I am dreading (including my own birthday). I am also very worried about how thin I am and how little I am eating – again. Will this always happen to me?! (etc :))

    I read this morning the article posted higher up which you can find by putting ‘pink hog competing neural pathways’ into Google. This really helps you get a grip on setbacks themselves.

  544. Mark R Says:

    Kyara,

    Just echoing Christine’s words really………anxiety brings its own type of depression but it’s not actually depression. I’ve had full on depression before and it’s awful and it requires an actual battle where as anxiety requires the opposite. The low feeling you get with anxiety is bad too but it doesn’t stick around. I had two very bad days over Christmas but the next day it lifted and I was out playing golf on my own like a good un.

    For those going through a setback, keep going. I know it feels like you’re wading through treacle, blindfolded but they do pass. I had an awful one a few months ago but then had a sold 2 weeks which were the best I’ve had in almost 20 months. Just remember as Claire Weekes says that you can make as much progress in a setback as you do in a good spell – it’s part and parcel of it.

  545. Kyara Says:

    Thank you guys so much for the support. I kept asking is this really depression or just low mood due to all the months of anxiety. I have hope for recovery, I’m staying positive, I’m praying and floating. It seems like I get these really depressed couple of hours and my mood gets lower the thoughts come on and my mind starts racing then comes a massive headache and pressure. It’s during these times where I feel my brain can’t do this on it’s own and I might need AD. Rich, I was on AD before and stopped for a couple of months and when I hit my setback I tried starting again and I couldn’t stand the side effects. I get really jittery and even more anxious. I kind of find that a little more tortuous. I’m starting school Monday and a new job tomorrow so I have new things to look forward to and hopefully it will help take my mind off of myself. I’m going to speak to a counselor and see what they say.

  546. Kate Says:

    Thanks Val I certainly feel I understand the whole process more now although Im sure there will be bad times ahead too.
    Mark R
    I know you’ve recovered from Dp before and I was just wondering if your Dp changed mine has really lessened the feelings of doom are getting less and less its just my feelings aren’t quite back and I feel not quite myself is this how it went for you when you were recovering from it?

  547. Charlotte Says:

    Rich

    Sorry to hear you are having a rough time, you were very positive a few weeks ago so you know you can be better. You can ask your GP for a referral to a psychiatrist if you feel it would help, they are the experts in mental health and mess but I suspect there is a waiting list, but they may also be aware of specific councelling etc.

    Kate, I feel better a lot of the time but sometimes not quite me and not with my emotions as much as I want to .however I keep reminding Myself it’s not normal to feel deliriously happy all the time and ‘normal’ people have a mix of emotions.

  548. Kate Says:

    Charlotte
    Yeah that’s true its just I dont quite feel myself I still feel odd so to speak but can’t really describe it. Suppose as I fully recover I’ll feel more normal x

  549. Charlotte Says:

    Rich, I meant medication, not mess !

    Kate, I think you have such a good attitude that full recovery is very close and that the not feeling quite yourself is your mind returning to more normal thinking and feeling, just don’t rush it , you will definitely recover if you continue how you are !

  550. Kyara Says:

    Charlotte and Mark R,

    How did you handle this part? Did you allow yourself to cry, accept and float or change your attitude towards the emotions? I tell myself all the time these are surface emotions, let them pass and in time you will feel better. But last night I just cried and cried and cried I don’t know if I should allow myself to get so worked up or stay calm and say this will pass.

  551. Rich Says:

    I’m home from work, done the supermarket shop in zombie-mode and popped into the DRs to pick up my pescription. Popped in to say hi to my parents and offload all my frustration onto their ears before I got home.

    Even though It’s before dinner (I’m usually worked up about it by now to ensure I won’t enjoy it), I actually feel ok. Talking to my parents about it seems to put it into perspective and helps me tell myself what I need to do. It’s like writing on here, but more effective.

    For the first time in 2 days I feel that I’m ‘only’ in a setback, not full-on relapse, and that there is still hope.

  552. vanaR Says:

    Dear Paul,

    Today is my birthday and it would not be a happy one if I didn’t take the time to thank a complete stranger across the pond for the gift he’s given me this year.

    I can’t remember how I stumbled upon your book during my most desperate days and I can’t tell you how many times I thought how grateful I was that I had! I won’t bore you with the details of my suffering as you state many times it is up and down, feeling good, really bad, oh i got it, no i don’t, yuck, great, etc… Can I say I’m fully recovered? Who knows and honestly I don’t care! That is sooo important for me: letting recovery seek you. It was also probably the one thing I didn’t really understand until a lot of trial and error. Yet this simple understanding was very significant in shifting my attitude which, well you know where it goes from there.

    Paul David you’re the best!!! I know you work very hard in helping people that you’ve never meet. That’s very admirable and I’ll thank you forever for that.

    “Only the wounded physician heals.” – CARL JUNG

  553. Mark R Says:

    Kate,

    I don’t associate feelings with DP, in my opinion it can’t make you feel bad it can only make you feel nothing, it’s the anxiety that makes you feel bad. I’ve had a very high DP day today, very frustrating but I’d rather feel nothing than feel like I did on Xmas/Boxing day.
    In terms of it going its a very gradual process but on a positive note when you are just left with DP you are on a downward path. There was a lady on here a few years ago called Helen who was a great poster. She described it as being in a bubble of smoke and someone has put a tiny pin prick in it, it is escaping very slowly.

    Kyara,

    I think you’ve got it, I don’t stop myself from crying. I know I’m not depressed and if I need to cry I do – something needs to come out. For me crying is due to frustration and it relieves a lot of tension. I tend to cry when I’m very anxious, it’s as if the stress needs an outlet.

  554. Kate Says:

    Mark
    Thank you I’ll have a look. Its the feelings of Dp that make my anxiety worse its the not feeling like myself and then I stupidly start to worry :(

  555. Charlotte Says:

    Steph

    Don’t worry it does happen at times, it has happened to mine, it might just be held up or something and I’m sure will be put back. I read it and had to tell you that I have been described as all the things you mentioned, sensitive, a worrier and I can’t remember the third but it was me !!, I would guess a lot of people with anxiety have similar personality traits as it probably a combination of being say a perfectionist, and sensitive etc that leads us to worry and be deep thinkers.

    Planning a wedding is stressful for most people, I kind of enjoyed mine, but the best bit was the evening when I could relax , mind hi was 3 months pregnant at the time lol !!!

    Hope u ok today

  556. Rich Says:

    I’ve never considered myself to have DP but I definitely don’t feel myself at the moment. I have no energy or drive, my ‘get up and go’ has ‘got up and gone’. I am constantly feeling anxious – 24/7. I can’t wait to return to my old self – I miss me!

    I do feel slightly better, but I dread future setbacks and anything that is coming up in the future other than my basic routine (which I am now also worrying about) because I see everything as barriers that will knock me back into this state.

    I’m still hoping for a ‘miracle cure’, but over the last 24 hours my attitude to accepting my current state of mind and realising that my thoughts are clouded by anxiety is helping – a little :)

  557. JOE PRO Says:

    Happy New Year to everyone and like I promised would stay off the blog into 2014. As most of you know of me I have been through the anxiety condition several times and have always come through the other side unscathed. Once again for everyone out there suffering YOU WILL recover and go back to the person you were before the anxiety state. In fact you are that person now and can NEVER lose yourself. Your just covered in symptoms sensations and sensitization. Please understand you will never beat anxiety by trying to work it out by medications or by trying to escape it. Anxiety is always with us just not always ON. In order to turn it off you need to STOP reacting to it negatively. Do what you did before no matter what you feel think or believe will happen. Once again Google nothing works a letter to myself. It explains how the limbic system is responsible for everything you feel and how to slowly reprogram it. I’m 100% recovered and I’ve had every symptom for a year straight 3 times in the last 5 years. I know now that I will never be afraid of anxiety again as it is a tool you can use and CONTROl.Yyou are all so much stronger than you can ever realize and anxiety will make you a warrior for life. It won’t ever be harder than it is right now….

  558. Rich Says:

    Happy New Year Joe – Hope you had a great Christmas.

    To hear the advice of people on here who have recovered and have gone through this and have come out of the other side is a great comfort when you’re not yourself.

  559. JOE PRO Says:

    Indeed it is Rich and once you have a complete understanding of anxiety which only comes by what your going thru right now, you will never suffer in the same way again. Its impossible you develops almost a muscle memory of anxiety and can then automatically right yourself. Our main problem is when we focus all our time on trying to fix or prevent anxiety. When your in such a sensitized state you need to get out of the way of the limbic system that’s needs rest and normal signals from you. This comes naturally like falling asleep when you try to fall asleep what happens? Exactly you stay awake but when you try and stay awake bam you nod off on the couch/desk/bus ect . The limbic system knows you better than you do yourself…this is 100% no matter what your anxieties might be. Medication is just mask and when you take it off? Yep your face of anxiety is still there. Because its a part of us but not ALL of us. We use it to keeps us out of serious danger but there is no danger for 99.9% of the time. So please just relax and do normal activities and your limbic system has to shut off the abnormal anxiety. That’s a FACT….

  560. Rich Says:

    That’s invaluable advice Joe – I’ve read similar advice before, but to have it re-iterated when it is needed gives you the determination to carry on.

    When I suffered my setback last week, it really knocked me. I’ve read setbacks are an integral part of the recovery process, but it is only now – when I feel slightly better – that I can see that even though I’ve been set back, I am still making progress. When in the set back I lost all hope, all perspective and all understanding. It scared me. However, now I have suffered it, and am hopefully on the way back up again, I can no longer fear it again like I did. I now understand.

    Yesterday I thought my life had shrunk to having nothing left. Today I actively wanted to leave the house and do something. To all those going through hell right now, just keep going.

  561. Doreen Says:

    Joe – some people find medications helpful in bringing them to the point where they can use the advice on this page. They do not experience it as ‘just a mask’ and are well able to move onto being medication free when they feel stronger.We must be careful not to tell others what they should and shouldn’t do.

  562. Kate Says:

    JOE
    Happy New Year. Great to see you come back. Im going through a really strange time and while Im calming myself its freaking me out a bit. Its like Ive gone super aware all of a sudden after having such thick Dp I still dont feel quite myself but Im really aware of everything I feel think etc its like Im always gonna be too aware of myself and like I’ll never be at peace just wondering if you ever experienced this?

  563. Val Says:

    Wisely said Doreen….I could not have advanced and improved without medication and it helped me get back into healthy eating and lifestyle…most sensible people can decide what are the best options…..with the help of the medical profession…..I don’t think it’s worth feeling that you shouldn’t go on meds..it’s not a sign of weakness and modern drugs can work so well. Again it’s CHOICES ……GOOD LUCK TO THOSE THAT DO AND THOSE THAT DON’T.
    SENDING POSITIVE VIBES TO EACH ONE

  564. Ryan C Says:

    Hi everyone, I would like to introduce myself, my name is Ryan. I have suffered from anxiety for ten years, and throughout most of this time, I have suffered from depersonalisation/de realization. Unfortunately throughout this entire time I was unable to ever find out it was anxiety I had, I searched for so long and I guess I was in such a hole I just couldn’t make sense of it all. Somehow however I progressed to a certain level still without ever finding my answers, but unfortunately my search led me to have another breakdown on top of my current state. This has led me to fall all the way back and deeper than I ever had. However, it was the blessing in disguise as it led me to finding Paul’s book. Since then I have followed the advice, I have went everywhere at will, I have stopped all worrying/fearing/questioning. I do however for the first time suffer from a constant symptom I can’t remember for a long time, a deep hopeless, awful depressed feeling, that seems to resonate from my chest, I feel no happyness or joy or love. which I can only recognise of course as depersonalisation. With Paul’s advice though, I have already came on so far in the last few months, my mind is so much clearer but my question is, in the last week, I seem clearer and I am spending prolonged periods out of my mental haze of de realisation, but with this it feels as though my hopeless and depressed feeling has intensified. I can only assume this is because I have become so much more aware and in touch with my feelings with a clearer mind? Can anyone tell me if this is a good sign and is this the start of my depersonalisation beginning to improve? Can you still feel physically detached whilst your mind becomes more attached to everything and everyone? From what I have read I assumed the two go hand in hand so I’m just a bit confused now when all of a sudden things became so much clearer that I felt a lot worse. Once again I’m just looking for some positivity that I’m improving and that this is normal. I would also like to thank Paul with all my heart for his book and this website which without I would be more lost than ever.

  565. JOE PRO Says:

    Kate Happy New Year! First off Kate DP is the worst anxiety has to offer and its the last trick in its hand! I was there so aware of every little thing in my field of vision like being too close to a movie screen. Just information overload right? Yeah been there and it sucks big time. I would be at Costco and just had a hyper awareness of everything around me. The items, people, my kids running around became a surreal dream like experience. Completely understandable though! You mind is playing catch up with your limbic system so there is a slight delay in processing information. Your neurotransmitters have a temporary overflow of stress chemicals and bingo your mind cannot handle all the information being processed. Kate you need to slow yourself down and take your time with things. Remember all our senses our on high alert looking for danger constantly when in the anxiety state. We must believe that this is false (cause it is :-)) and simply go about our day as normally as we can. I won’t like to you Kate it does take awhile for DP to lift but please remember that DP is protecting you from the onslaught of information your mind cannot handle. So it shuts down many of the processes we take for granted when we are “normal”. Focus on your goals for the day and slowly achieve them and you will feel better. Your mind will correct itself and remember to eat healthy exercise and don’t worry its a temporary harmless condition that will go when your healed. I have been there I know how hard it is not feeling like yourself but you are still you just covered in protective services of your mind and body! Show yourself there is no danger and you will be back quicker than you realize.

  566. Kate Says:

    JOE
    Thank you so so much you just made me cry but in such a good way! Its just what I needed to hear I for one hope you stay on as I feel your advice is invaluable, just a shame you dont live next door to me or maybe a good thing for you lol!!
    I think I panicked as so many of the symptoms have subsided like the problem with lights and the vision and things feeling weird its just im hyper aware now and guess that kind of threw me :)

  567. JOE PRO Says:

    Kate your progressing and whatever comes is just the journey to healing. Allow it all and just do your best with whatever is in front of you knowing your going to come out the other side reborn. You will then have a key and can always unlock the anxiety lock. Then you can pass on what you have earned through your journey to self realization. Kate its only scary because its a new feeling but keep conquering them and you will have a strength few ever have the opportunity to achieve. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and anxiety cannot even come close to hurting you. It can only scream and shout hoping you will react with fear. DO NOT! Face Accept ask for MORE and let time heal you.

  568. Kate Says:

    Your so right Joe Im learning to face the fear id rather it take time and conquer my fear of it than it go quickly only for it to come back again. Thank you so much just reading your words give me strength

  569. Kyara Says:

    Ryan C,

    I believe this is normal because I am just now starting to feel like I’m coming out of that ‘stage’. This to me has been the worst part. Just continue to float and stay positive. It does pass.

  570. Rich Says:

    Good morning everyone, I feel I am slowly coming out of my setback (feel a little more positive and able to put my thoughts and feelings into perspective). What has happened though which I am yet to shake off is the fear of setback and anxiety again. It’s keeping me fenced inside my tiny little world.

    I don’t want to make any plans because I worry continually up to the date and time of the event. I don’t want to go out for food with anyone as I’m scared I’ll worry about it so much beforehand, putting myself through the worry mill, then lose my appetite and scare myself into another setback again. Part of me thinks I should push myself so I can face these fears and let the anxiety come, but a bigger part of me would sooner allow myself to improve in my prison without adding pressure to myself – but surely I’m keeping myself in this prison in doing this?

    I opened my 2014 diary this morning, looked at the year ahead planner and though “look at all those days to get through”. This isn’t how I want to live my life!

  571. D-Ren Says:

    Ah, I’m glad my holidays end today!

    I guess I’m not the only one who is having trouble with ‘spare’ time here 😀
    Putting much pressure at times to get ‘things done’ – ending up bored or little depressed.

    I’ve had very relaxing time during the holidays, but this holiday has been way too long!!

    Cheers =)

  572. Doreen Says:

    Rich – I think you have answered your own questions here really. It sounds like you are ‘fenced in’ and ‘in prison’ but you are the gatekeeper and the prison warder.

    All the perceived wisdom from Claire Weekes through to Paul’s book and psychologists who work in this field would seem to lead to the same conclusion ‘Face your fears and do it anyway’.

    What is the worst thing that can happen – that you will lose your appetite? Hard as it is people do ‘manage’ IBS, do ‘manage’ pain, do ‘manage’ disability and many other disorders which they refuse to allow to hold them back from living.

    But the baseline is for anxiety folk, we (you) are scared of the feelings of fear and thus put ourselves into a loop in which we are frightened of being frightened. It is not surprising, the feelings of fear are not nice but they are bearable and by bearing them they lose their power. Give it a try Rich and make a plan to go out and live, even if your are uncomfortable at least in the short term.

  573. D-Ren Says:

    Doreen, mind if I ask, what books have you readed by Claire Weekes?

  574. platty Says:

    Hi All
    I posted on new years day but it seems to have vanished . Found this great place just over aweek ago and believe me when I say it has helped me so much in such a short time . I suffered badly 2 years ago when i had problems at work resulting in time off and meds . The meds took the edge off and I returned to work and I came off meds after about 3 months,

    Had been fine up to October 2013 when i started a downward spiral which led to me worying about bad things happening in the future which led me to have intrusive thoughts about my partner and kids which freaked me out last time and brought big anxiety back this time , I’m just about to finish Paul’s book and along with this site I have made great progress in the last week while I’ve been off work on holidays .

    The thing I need advice with is my first day back at work today and I spend most of my working day alone ,and also work a split shift so am home alone between 10.30 till 2.30 so plenty of time to think and worry about stuff the intrusive thoughts are my biggest problem. Do I just let it all come in my mind and ignore it?

    sorry for the long post

  575. saverina Says:

    Hi,

    Has anyone or does anyone have existential anxiety? fear of the future and unknown and fear of parents and family dying?

    Thanks.

  576. Ryan C Says:

    Hi kyara thanks for the reply, for me it always seems to get its absolute worse before a change comes. It’s like my bad days continue then I have a very bad day and then a change comes. Also thanks Joe, I read that article lastnight it was fantastic!

  577. Liz Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Great post, and thanks so, so much for this blog and your website.
    This is one of the only places of information and support I’ve found that fully makes sense to me. I’ve always felt that so much about anxiety was going misunderstood or not talked about, and so many other sources seem to inadventently trivialise and massively simplify it.

    I know that this is a big website and there are a lot of other people posting about their own anxiety on this post, but I’ll just put this out there in case any one has any suggestions.

    Without going into too much detail, I’ve been a very nervous person for as long as I can remember and never managed to make connections with people or felt like I fitted in at all as I grew up. Very early on (early teens) this problem had already developed into a pretty severe social phobia and I had very low self esteem. I was bullied and pitied by everyone in my school including teachers and/or ignored because I was different and so scared to speak or even breathe.

    I’m 23 and have not even managed to really start my life yet, and have been agoraphobic for about 4 years, on disability, unable to have/keep friends, can’t even get groceries on my own.

    I do somehow ( from a very short period after hospitalisation where I could at least be around and talk to people in a limited way) have an incredible long term boyfriend who is the only person I understand and who understands me which I am incredibly lucky for, but he’s been hanging on by a thread with it all for a long long time.
    I hate being so dependant on him and not having a life outside of our relationship as it’s massively unhealthy for both of us.

    Anyway, the main point of my post: Although I don’t know how I’m going to pick my life up when I manage to recover from this, I’m making my first full attempt putting my everything into it because if I continue to exist in this terrible, empty way I don’t think I’m able to carry on.

    A big issue with me trying to live a life despite the anxiety is how badly the severe anxiety makes me come across. Every time I push myself to go to just a shop or the post office, I completely dissociate and feel totally statue like and unable to think properly. And so when I’m trying so hard to deal with this I get stared at by strangers, laughed at, ignored. It’s the most lonely thing in the world.

    Even when I’ve accepted the anxiety and how much it affects me and my behaviour I seem to consistently confuse and freak out anyone I come across. I don’t know how to get past that as I need to be accepted by at least some people to be able to get better.

    I know, somewhere I’m still a caring and kind person who wants to be out in the world, living a life, helping people, doing good things.

  578. Rich Says:

    Doreen, You are right – I now stand at the doorway to my own happy future. I have to walk through it myself and take the first steps onto the road to recovery. The great thing is, this fills me with optimism and hope now, when only a few days ago it filled me with dread and fear. I want to do this. I’ve had enough of sitting in my prison watching people outside live their lives while mine passes me by.

    D-Ren, ‘Self Help For Your Nerves’ by Dr Claire Weekes, Paul’s ‘At Last A Life’ and ‘A Letter To Myself’ is the only literature you need (although there is other good stuff out there).

    Saverina – the fear of the future, kids, old age, losing my parents and being alone scares the hell out of me. The only thing you can do is appreciate every moment you have and make the most of the time you have. I think everybody has these fears – even those without anxiety – it’s a natural part of being human.

  579. D-Ren Says:

    Rich, you are so right about everybody having those fears, even without anxiety, as it’s part of being a human.

    And Rich,
    I’ve readed > Will Beswicks ‘The Mind Works’ , Pauls “At Last A Life”, Richard Carlsons ‘Stop Thinking, Start Living’

    and recently purchased Self Help for your Nerves.

    Good books, good books..

  580. saverina Says:

    Thanks Rich…. but do these thoughts go?

  581. Kate Says:

    Struggling so bad today. Im doubting this is all anxiety based I really dont think my symptoms are DP any more. Ive lost the vision problems etc and although I still dont feel real Im just so aware of myself everything I do and say Im just so aware and feel like Ive totally lost myself. Feel like I cant carry on like this anymore theres no way my mind can go back to not being on me all the time. Ive tried talking to my other half and hes fantastic but I sound like a mad woman :(

  582. Doreen Says:

    Kate – you may not like this suggestion but maybe you do need to see someone medical about how you are feeling. Your GP maybe?

  583. Charlotte Says:

    Kate

    I definately suffer from hyper awareness, being completely aware of everything I am saying doing etc, having a running commentary on what I am doing . At times I feel my mind will never return to normal and I am never going to be able to think normally again.

    I can say this as I have felt this today and many tea before, I wrote a post in November I think on hyper awareness, and had loads of responses from people saying they had experienced the exact same

    How r u feeling now are you back at work after the break ?

  584. Kate Says:

    Doreen
    Thanks but my Gp is useless he just gives me medication which makes me feel much much worse x
    Charlotte
    Thank you :) Did your mind return to normal last time you recovered? Did you get my email address? Its unrelenting at the minute I guess Im just doubting everything again which is crazy as my mind seems a bit clearer :/

  585. Rich Says:

    Saverina, I know that fears about the future (the responsibility and dependency of children, losing loved ones etc) is certainly with me, but I think this is something that comes and goes. You can’t do much about it, so time is better spent living rather than worrying about it. I haven’t really thought about it as much as I have recently, but think this will pass as I begin to enjoy life once more.

    Today has been a good day for me (apart from being at work), my general anxiety feeling has gone and my appetite is much improved. I am still weary of another setback, but I feel like the fog has lifted a little on me, enough to see a tiny bit of sunshine. I just hope the momentum stays.

  586. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Kate

    Yes it most definately will clear, as you have a new symptom you are just panicking over it. When I first had self awareness/hyper awareness I was in a permanent state of anxiety. I went to my gp who asked me if I was hearing voices and sent me away with a script for propranolol !!!!my husband was livid and complained on my behalf. When I saw a psychiatrist she explained really well that this feeling of watching yourself is extremely common in anxiety, she called it spectatoring. She was not concerned at all however much I tried to tell her I had gone mad she would not have it lol !!!

    Doreen could you give me email address to Kate please ? Many thanks.

    Kate, when the phone rings or someone knocks at the door do you have even a fraction of a second when you think I need to get the for etc ? My therapist made me really think about that as I was telling him how my anxiety was unrelenting . He made me admit that even if it’s just a nanosecond it does lift, have a think and try and be honest – it took me an expensive 30 mins arguing with my councellor that I had times of clarity ! His point is that is does stop, it’s not permanent and we do have some control.

    X

  587. D-Ren Says:

    Rich, yeah.. if this helps at all, I too am scared of setback. But this is just normal.
    Since I am doing ok for now, and I feel like I’m getting grisps with this thing, wouldnt it be a bummer to “lose’ it all”? Yes. Definitely.

    So I find it understandable to be scared of it. But when I realise that I am thinking about how scared I am of it, I ‘let’ those bad thoughts flow out of my mind.

    Sorry if this was too ‘deep’ 😀

  588. Sam Says:

    Thank you so much Charlotte for mentioning the running commentary I thought that was just me!! Have that a lot. I had hyper awareness during my cold but it’s calmed the only problem I’m facing now which has always been my worst enemy is mental fatigue, I lose concentration and get frustrated so easily and have permanent DP.. It’s horrible :( especially as I’m learning about abnormalities and stress in my psychology lessons at the moment -.- does anyone else really struggle with fatigue? Because I can handle anxiety symptoms reasonably well now but it is still one thing that holds me back.. Anyone else with suggestions/experiences etc?

  589. Doreen Says:

    Nobody’s posts are removed without them receiving a personal email explaining why. One of the reasons might be because someone has adopted a lecturing dismissive manner towards other people’s posts, which is the last thing people need when they may be feeling fragile.

  590. Kate Says:

    Charlotte
    Your so right! I do lose myself in the moment when Im doing something but then it freaks me when I realise and its back on me.
    Did you ever feel like you dont remember what it was like before this? Its silly isn’t it but gets me down. Its great talking to someone who’s going through it as its nice to be able to ramble without sounding like a loon :)

  591. Rich Says:

    I love this blog because people can relate to how you’re feeling. The advice you receive is invaluable. I get more hope from those on here who have been through it than my GP.

    D-Ren, I totally agree about setbacks, but even though I know that ‘in the setback’ things are horrible, I seem to be coming out of it better than the last time I felt so bad. Its comforting to know that even when you feel like you can’t take it any more, you’re actually the same as the textbook cases described in the books we read.

  592. Charlotte Says:

    Kate
    Yes I find that one of the hardest things, to keep thinking I will learn to accept just being anxious like I used to be able to , I am anxious over anxiety, which is so circular it’s annoying !

    I agree with rich though as I think by coming on here and meeting like minded people we can help each other as here is no one better placed to understand anxiety that us !

    I’m back at work tomorrow first day since before Xmas, dreAding that alarm going off !

  593. Eileen Says:

    I havent visited for some time, but could do with a little advice…..I have put up with episodes of anxiety for many years, but this episode is proving different,

    always have the usual symptoms, but for past few months have increasing tension. The tension is mainly in my back and shoulders.However this has now progressed to my head and back of eyes. Feeling off balance with ongoing headache.My eyes are continually aching.

    Visited GP and physio, without much effect. Am managing to carry out daily activities, but difficult with these symptoms.

    just wanted to know if anyone had come through these symptoms?many thanks.

  594. Rich Says:

    My anxiety is about anxiety definitely. Worrying about worrying and being stuck in the loop as a result. It’s the feeling that is horrible, but it’s the physical symptoms with me which really scare the heck out of me and keep me in my anxiety prison.

    The scariest thing for me is the knowledge that I will only improve by ‘doing’ and getting outside of my comfort zone and facing these huge fears of mine. I still try to ‘think’ myself better, and get nowhere (of course).

    Eileen, have you tried relaxation therapy for your muscle tension? Either a relaxation CD or meditation? I find I always have aching legs due to anxiety and tensing up throughout the day. I think this is natural and just another symptom.

  595. platty Says:

    hi all
    i felt good after reading the site and book over the last couple of weeks while off work on holiday , but now im back at work the anxiety is up again im struggling in the mornings i keep waking before my alarm goes off and then lie there for an hour before i need to get up for work that’s when i start to worry any advice on ways to deal with this would be appreciated

  596. Rich Says:

    Hi Platty, The mornings are the worst for me, and is the same for a lot of people with anxiety disorders. This is well covered in books etc. The advice given is to get up and do something. Don’t lie in bed and dwell, don’t listen to the negative thoughts or self-check for feelings and symptoms. Get up, get dressed and busy yourself. Tell your brain you’re ok and going ‘normal’ things, even if you just want to stay in bed.

    Go for a walk, sing in the shower – anything really. Don’t fight the anxiety thoughts – these will lessen over time, but just show yourself that you’re the one making the decisions around here, and that you aren’t going to let this thing get the better of you.

  597. platty Says:

    thanks rich
    i get hung up on the fact i havnt slept through to my alarm , as i get up at 5.30 for work and dont want to wake my partner and kids up , they dont rise til around 6.45 so i lie there and try and get back to sleep or worry about what i need to do that day or what may crop up at work that needs sorting out
    geuss i just need to start the day when i wake
    thanks

  598. Rich Says:

    Hi Platty, I’d get up to stop yourself self-checking and looking for negative thoughts – because if you look for them, you will find them. However this needn’t be a permanent thing – once you become less sensitised, you will be able to lie-in or go back to sleep without the anxiety creeping in.

    The important thing is to nip the negative thoughts in the bud – if they come, get up and do something else. If they don’t – bonus! you get an hours extra sleep. In time, the thoughts won’t need action to avoid them – they’ll just not bother you, even if you lie in and chill for an hour.

    I hate waking up for work (it’s cold, dark and too early) but if I’m feeling anxious, I get up and get going, and even leave for work early if I’ve nothing else to do in the house.

  599. Will Says:

    Hi everyone, hope you’ve all had a great Christmas!

    I’ve really enjoyed Christmas and have been relatively anxiety-free for the season, but ever since we entered the new year I’ve felt really out of sorts for no real reason at all.

    For the past week I’ve been feeling overall down and overly tense; shaky and wound up, and as a result my neck often feels tense and strained, which is a real pain while trying to sleep. I also sometimes feel a bit sick, again for no reason, the feeling just comes and goes as it pleases.

    The only reason I can think of as to why I suddenly feel this way is either some sort of “post-Christmas blues” thing, or that I need to get out of the house more, because whenever I go out for a walk or up town I’m absolutely fine. It’s just at home when I have all this pent-up anxiety and adrenaline racing around my system that makes me feel rubbish.

  600. rachh Says:

    Ive had a really funny few days but i really feel im getting the concept of telling my body that things are ok.. Finally!!! Im not there yet but all i know is by supressing my thoughts feelings and emotions is not the way forward!!! I can feel something right is clicking into place. I am not going to work anything out anymore. I am a very caring and emotional person and there is nothing wrong with being that way trying not to be that way is what is causing me stress i feel!!
    Had to get that off my chest! :)

  601. Rich Says:

    Hi Rachh, Happy New Year – I was wondering how you were doing over Christmas and New Year. Sounds like you’re making progress and moving in the right direction. Fighting anxiety and trying to figure it out will never work – your limbic system is faster than your conscious mind and will win every time. you have to work ‘with’ it and not ‘against’ it.

    As you accept your current state of mind, you’ll give it time to rest and recover, and lower its ‘protective’ mode that’s causing all of the symptoms. Once you feel better, you won’t care about trying to ‘work it out’ as you’ll be feeling so much better. The only important thing you need is to fully understand how to handle this thing, so that you will be able to cope better in the future. It sounds like you’re on the way to achieving this already. Just let it all come together, in time.

  602. platty Says:

    thanks again rich
    just had an appraisal at work and had a bit of a blub in there as it went very well and i couldnt hold it in , my boss is aware im suffering and is very understanding ive been having trouble since october but had anxiety 2 years ago which i got over with some medication and i had 3 mnths off work not taken any time off this time but just had 2 weeks off for xmas which was when i found this site just got to get up everyday and it is what it is

  603. Lui Says:

    I have social anxiety and I have new disturbing thoughts coming up. The last days I really tried to accept. I din’t work out yet, I’m always afraid of doing it wrong, so that I won’t be able to be cured. That I’m missing something. So I’m reading the book again and again. It’s kind of obssesive.
    The second thought is that imma lose all my friends and people wont like me if I am who I am. I have lots of friends but with each one them I’m acting my way trough, fighting in every conversation, and hiding my anxiety.
    I care SO much what other people think about me and I am really good at making people like me. Years of covering up, I could be an actress lol. Just recently I was elected class speaker.
    So what the fuck should I do?? On the one hand I enjoy being liked, one the other hand I hate myself for being a people pleaser who is always acting to be happy. I’m ashamed, and just wanna find peace..Any advice or any comments so I can FINALLY accept and let go. Please.

  604. Simply Bre Says:

    Hello Everyone
    I’m glad to hear some of you are doing well. I’m currently feeling okay,but find that i am really struggling with my anxious thoughts.The main one is telling myself that I’m not going crazy,and all these irrational thoughts are just anxiety. I mean i know that these thoughts are just anxiety, but I’m tired of trying to convince myself that I’m not going crazy. I am so mentally exhausted you wouldn’t even believe it. It’s like as soon as i get used to one anxious thought goes another one comes,and what makes me feel like I’m going crazy is because these thoughts are down right foolish,and something i would absolutely pay no attention to normally, but in my current state they shake me to my core. Then I think only someone crazy would let a thought like that scare them. So then i think “Am i slowly, but surely losing my mind?” Although, i know it may not sound like it i have come a long way with this anxiety since reading Paul’s book a couple months ago, I can finally eat how i used to, i go more places, I know longer have depressed feelings 24/7, i can talk on the phone more, and I know longer experience suicidal thoughts. My mom tells me in time these fears of going crazy will pass too, i just really need some inspiring words because i feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. Oh yeah, I’m also doing all of this without the assistance of medicine, i tried that and the side effects were to much for me so I’m doing it by myself.

  605. Rich Says:

    Simply Bre, You said in your post ‘I’m tired of trying to convince myself’ and ‘I’m fighting a losing battle’. The main reason you’re still in the anxiety loop is because you’re fooling your anxiety by ‘trying’ and ‘fighting’ it so hard. Mental exhaustion is no surprise. Your subconscious is quicker, smarter and stronger than your conscious – it is a battle you simply cannot win. Trying will just make you more tired, more exhausted, and more anxious. You’re not going crazy. Stop trying, stop fighting. Let the thoughts come – you won’t go crazy. It’s just a bluff because you’ve wound yourself up so tight, your mind feels it needs to protect you from yourself. Relax about letting go, and let go. Nothing bad will happen. In fact, something good may happen…

    Lui, Be yourself. your friends will stand by you regardless, and those who don’t don’t matter. If you live a lie, they’ll abandon you in your hours of need in the future anyway. It’s not worth it in the long run and you’ll tire yourself out keeping up the charade – oh hang on, your already have – that’s partly why you have anxiety. If you relax and be yourself, you’ll feel better, be more relaxed and will enjoy social things instead of having to ‘get through them’.

  606. rachh Says:

    Thanks rich happy new year! Hope you’re ok too!
    Lui when this ordeal is over you will see that confidence is about knowing who you are and not putting on a front. Dont think about what you have to say to make people like you. Take an interest in other people and care about how they are feeling.
    It is very hard to try and do anything when you are feeling this way.. You need to trick your mind into thinking you’re ok.. There is no problem.. Xxx

  607. Simply Bre Says:

    Rich,

    Thank you so much Rich, I really appreciate your kind words, you have no idea.

  608. Christine Says:

    Hi All,

    Well I’m still struggling, had a couple of OK days but back down to earth with a bang!

    Platty – it sounds like you’re so similar to me. My anxiety started 2 years ago, I took some time off work and meds and got through it. However, I’m in this setback now, and I’m not taking time off work but finding it so hard! The anxiety seems to be constantly there! xxx

    Simple Bre – Rich is right, nothing bad will happen, you won’t go crazy. I’ve had these thoughts before and they do go when they no longer scare you and can accept them. xxx

    Rachh – you are so right it’s like we have to trick our mind into thinking we are ok. xxx

    Rich – I think I read that you are still in work? I was wondering if you find it extremely difficult sometimes? I’m struggling at the moment and keep having little panics worried that I can’t get through it…but I’ve been back since last Thursday and get through each day (albeit not easily) and was wondering if you are the same? xxx

    XXX

  609. Val Says:

    Admire all you people who continue working despite how you are feeling.as I am retired I can take my time in the mornings,go for a coffee etc and don’t have to contend with a stressful workplace etc. You are truly to be admired…I hope you have understanding bosses and workmates and I wish I could have a coffee with you all. Stay strong…..the counter side is that a lot of you are young and recovery is probably easier….some may disagree….guess it doesn’t matter what age you are……positive vibes to all…Val????????

  610. Val Says:

    ???????????????????????? not meant to be ?…????

  611. Val Says:

    I keep doing smiley suns and question marks appear!!

  612. Rich Says:

    Morning all, GP appointment this morning (which gave me 10 minutes extra in the house to ruminate, so I left early and sat in the waiting room to avoid negative thinking. People watching takes my attention off myself). GP recommended I stay on the meds until Spring until at least the weather improves. This will allow me to concentrate on my relaxation and thought processes, without having to worry or experience withdrawal, so is fine by me. No miracle cure though unfortunately :)

    Simply Bre, Just to elaborate on my previous reply, by ‘accepting’ your feelings, this certainly doesn’t meant you have to like them – I hate all of mine! They ruin my life and if I could I’d pull them out of my ear and stamp on them! But alas we can’t do this – we have to let them die out through starvation – which takes time – but don’t feed them negative thoughts, worry or fear (as best you can) and don’t believe their lies, and they will slowly starve and die, replacing themselves with more positive things.

    Christine & Val, I am still in work. I am lucky that I work in an office with Internet access and a boss who allows me to make appointments etc without too much trouble. I’d sooner be here amongst other people and ‘in the real world’ than home alone in a cold empty house, stewing and making myself worse and more withdrawn. Commitments (mortgage!) force me to come here, which is a good thing. I fear losing my job not for the financial side, but the anxiety and having to get another, less ideal job.

    Nobody here knows I suffer with anxiety – I sometimes say I’m ‘stressed out’ and leave it at that. I don’t put on an act for them – only for myself in order to ‘fake it until you make it’. Sometimes I’m quiet and withdrawn, other times I’m outward and in the middle of things. Lately I have had to force myself to go and talk to colleagues, make phone calls and do work, but it always makes me feel better when I do.

    Doing all the normal everyday things you would do if you were ‘normal’ is the best way of letting your mind heal, and become ‘normal’ for real once more. Easier said than done sometimes, but small steps is the key. Just keep walking.

  613. platty Says:

    christine
    i work alone most of the day and have a three hour break at home inbetween my shifts so its seems to always be with me all day sleeping is a problem now im back in work after the hols have you thought of going back on meds ive thought about it but would rather go the natural route this time but i havnt ruled it out , didnt like coming off them last time although i didnt have any side effects when i was taking them

  614. Christine Says:

    Thanks Rich – no one knows I’m suffering at the moment, well I don’t think they do anyway! To be honest I don’t feel that they need to know because they can’t do anything and I hate people asking me if I’m ok because then I get upset! I’m the same – would rather be here than at home alone. Do you find that when you’re working and chatting that it’s still there on your mind most of the time? I just feel constantly anxious! xxx

    Thanks Platty – I’ve been worrying myself about sleeping too to be honest, but I just have to try and remind myself that if I sleep then I sleep and if I don’t then I don’t, but it doesn’t make it any easier sometime. I’ve been having camomile tea before bed. I’m the same about the meds too! Sometimes when I’m feeling really bad then I think I may go back the docs about meds, but like you I wanted to try and do it without this time…xxx

  615. platty Says:

    christine
    thanks for your words its comforting to know people are going through this as well and that we are not alone and we can support each other .we will get there

  616. Rich Says:

    Platty – understanding is the first step to recovery. Coming through the bewilderment of not knowing why you feel the way you do is the first step. With this, you will never be as bad as before, even if you have symptoms. I’m on meds – I would like to have done it without, but I don’t care.

    Christine, I am glad people here don’t know how bad I sometimes feel – as I welcome the chats and work-talk because it takes my attention off myself and anxiety. When I see my parents (who know what I’m going through) I purposefully don’t just talk about it (although it does help) – it’s important to keep doing normal things – work and conversation included.

    That said, yes I still have it on my mind all the time! I’m talking about something but I’m thinking about anxiety. This is because I’m still in a sensitised state – so should diminish over time. Sometimes I talk to people, or get engrossed in my work and actually surprise myself after that I wasn’t thinking about anxiety – and the working day goes faster too! This will increase overtime as our brain realises we’re ok, and not in danger.

  617. Christine Says:

    You’re welcome Platty – we really are all very alike – most of us have the same symptoms or thoughts at some time. xx

    Rich – you give brilliant advice – it really comforts me! Had you ‘recovered’ and are now back in a setback? I do that when I’m with other people – really try not to talk about it although annoyingly it’s always there sometimes worse than others. I think it’s just a case of remembering and practising what I did before but it’s just proving quite difficult, suppose it takes time and patience. xx

  618. platty Says:

    Thanks rich and Christine
    Im at my brorhers at the moment helping him lay some floor before I go back to work at 2 keeps me busy, he knows I have anxiety but he doesnt understand it ive just been explaining thw process I have to go through but sometimes I think I shouldnt talk about it so much

  619. platty Says:

    Rich
    Meds are ok they helped me last time and I didnt have any of the info I have now from pauls book and this site whatever works for each of us :-) .

  620. Rich Says:

    Hi Platty, The first time I went on medication I felt a great improvement, but then then I couldn’t understand after reducing them why my anxiety returned. The reason why is that the Meds mask some of the symptoms and allow you to cope, but they’re just a band aid. No actual healing had taken place in me – I was just as lost and bewildered as before, so back to square one.

    However this time I have understanding. I know about the limbic system, neural pathways and how I need to create new, positive ones to replace the old negative ones I am so used to using.

    PS Talking about it helps me – I often understand the process more when I speak the words to others – reaffirming it to myself as a result. Get it all out there, share the burden, then do something else.

    Christine, I’ve never recovered (yet!) I’ve had this since around 12-13, maybe earlier if you wanna get all deep and psychoanalytical, but it’s been a steady spiral down into a smaller and smaller world, culminating last October. This is the first time I have truly understood what is happening, but more importantly why. Knowing why; this is the turning point. I’m in new territory right now!

    You can’t speed the recovery process up – you can only slow it down (through misplaced intentions). Recovery is weird because you have to ‘act better’ to ‘get better’. You have to learn how to dance in the rain.

  621. Kate Says:

    Rich
    Just a question, I feel like Im faking that Im ok going out doing things laughing etc but worried this is the wrong thing to do? Sometimes I feel like I over complicate thing’s but my head is just so jumbled up lol
    Its great to hear you so positive too :)

  622. Rich Says:

    Hi Kate, trust me it feels great to be positive – what a difference a few days makes hey. I just hope it lasts!

    Everyone wants to recover, and as quickly as possible. It frustrates me looking back at all the years I’ve spent living with this monkey on my back, fighting it, fearing it and letting it rule my life. Re-reading my own posts, the bad ones don’t feel like me when I’m on top, and the good ones don’t feel like me when I’m struggling, but they are me – I think good or bad, this process is helping me grow as a person for the better.

    Faking it is a weird thing – because it feels so un-natural to do. I would say that to go out, to be social, to simply go against your inner anxiety feelings to dwell and ponder is absolutely the right thing to do. Don’t ‘fake it’ like with a fake laugh, or staying out to try to prove something to yourself but actually be fed up or bored – you have to be true to yourself, but likewise at the same time show the anxiety who is really in charge here, and who really calls the shots. It’ll soon back off when you show it you’re ‘safe’ – it’s just like an over-protective older sibling who doesn’t know when to loosen up.

  623. Kate Says:

    Fab advice, I dont actually fake my laugh its comes naturally but then I wonder why Im laughing crazy eh!!!
    I think Im getting to grips with this new symptom even though its strange to feel like I dont know who I am anymore I’ve figured being worried all the time about it isnt going to stop it being there so I’ll just have to carry on. Sure I’ll worry when the thoughts come in but the more it realises I wont react the quicker it will leave.
    So pleased your doing well, Its like my second family on here you all really help me when I’m down and Its great to read when people are doing good :)

  624. Lui Says:

    Thank you guys. Just came home from school. I realized that I’m myself a lot but often not. I am analysing every bit of conversation. I’m getting all tense and can’t concentrate on school or anything else. I think I rather want to be happy than putting on an act. It’s gonna be hard because I have been doing this all my life but I finally know what and how to do it!
    And when I’m confident when it’s all over imma still have friends. I’m sure.

  625. platty Says:

    Had a much better afternoon ten more minutes then home to my lovely family how do I stop self checking or does that just go witg time?

  626. Kate Says:

    Platty
    Just allow yourself to check in but dont respond to it thats what I do and it does happen less often just takes time :)

  627. platty Says:

    kate
    thanks must say i feel absolutely tired out today not sleeping well is catching up today and the mind working overtime

  628. Rich Says:

    Lui, If you stop wearing masks you’ll feel so much less pressure when out socialising. You can be yourself and stop having to ‘work’ when with other people – you’ll be able to engage more, listen more and enjoy more. You will still have friends – friends stick with each other through tough times as you would for them. If you be yourself though, you’ll be true to yourself and to them – a much better situation. Having to pretend to others – either to be someone or to hide anxiety is so tiring, it fuels anxiety and helps keep it in charge of you. If you let go, you’ll show you are in charge of it, and it will set you free.

    Platty, Self-checking is natural as you’re ‘sensitised’ and on the look out for the slightest thing or thought. This naturally ends in time as your thoughts are on other things. Sometimes you check and say ‘oh wow, I’m actually ok – I’m enjoying this!’ and it helps give you a boost, but then you don’t even do this. Ask someone who has no anxiety “how often do you check yourself for symptoms or thoughts of anxiety at any given moment” and see what the answer is 😉

    Kate, just remember that you can’t ‘worry yourself better’ – believe me I have tried often enough! If it gets too much, just let yourself have a moment or give up, or do what your body tells you – but don’t worry about it – this is the most important thing. It’s a gradual process that can’t be rushed, so just ride the waves, stop swimming against the tide and the sea will calm.

    That’s enough metaphors for now :)

  629. Lui Says:

    Thank you Rich! That’s helping a lot! You seem to know a lot about the topic! Im going to try to stop pleasing people and stop all the analyzing! Is that the right way to do it? I read all the information in this blog, it helps but it does not contain a lot of information on how to do handle social anxiety. Maybe I’m missing the point. I need kind of longer to understand cause I don’t know a life without anxiety..

  630. platty Says:

    rich
    that is what i was like all afternoon thinking this is good i feel ok got on with the tasks at hand then some negative thinking popped in there but i didnt feel any anxiety while they were there i just let then be there
    you cant beet a good metaphor :)

  631. Val Says:

    Keep up the metaphors Rich…LOL…….

  632. Rich Says:

    I work in IT so talking in metaphors is kind of a bad habit – but they do get the points across I hope.

    Platty, once you realise your thoughts and feelings are a bluff (your mind trying to protect you but getting kind of muddled up), they lose their power. Without power being supplied to them by you, they shink and die off, and the old you returns.

    Lui, I have some useful stuff on Social Anxiety that may be of help to you – I’ll let you know when I put it online so you can download and read it. However, althouth there are different types of anxiety, they are all kind of the same (I have GAD not panic attacks for example, and some social anxiety too!) and allthough everyone is their own person, and their symptoms are all different, the path to recovery is the same for us all:

    Accept you have anziety, and this is all it is.
    Float past the thoughts and symptoms
    Let Time Pass (without fuelling the fire!)

    for anyone, your health is the most important thing, so recovery should be your number one priority. You have to stop being a people pleaser, a ‘yes’ man and take time for yourself and your mind. Once you’re feeling better, you can recover friendships and relationships. You family will stand by you, as will your true friends during this time. Don’t make the fighting harder by trying to be the perfect person – as your mind is tired enough as it is.

    PS I’m no expert (although I should perhaps give up my boring IT job to be a therapist!) – all my ‘wisdom’ comes from Paul’s book, Claire Weekes book (Self-help For Your Nerves), A Letter To Myself (Nothing Works) and years of anxiety! I hope my posts help others and offer some sort of help to those who need it.

  633. platty Says:

    rich
    your posts are very helpful and much appreciated i wish you well in your journey to recovery

  634. Lui Says:

    Rich it would be awesome if you could upload some stuff on social anxiety. I read everything on the topic but I still can’t accept, so maybe the material you gonna put up is opening up my eyes. Anyway thank you so much for all the advice. Today is a day I actually feel calm as never before!

  635. Simply Bre Says:

    One thing that is the most troubling to me is that how do you allow the thoughts to float when you’ve already I guess attached a sense of importance to it by not letting it float, but rather wrestling with it in the past? I’m so scared of this thought because it is so irrational that to believe in it you would have to be crazy, but i fear that if i don’t fight it i will begin to see these irrational thoughts as fact, thus going crazy. Im seriously like torn where the rational part of me is saying” You’ll never go crazy like that,and its only anxiety trying to scare you.” While the anxious thought is always like “but what if you do start to believe these thoughts, then you sure will be crazy.”
    I’m sorry if my posts seem to be a bit repetitive, i just truly feel as if my thoughts are the worse anxiety could ever come up with. Has anyone else ever had to deal with the idea of going crazy as bad as me, if so could you share how severe your experiences/thoughts were. I appreciate anyone who’s ever offered me any advice,and its not falling on deaf ears, i just feel I’m trying to convince myself that this is only anxiety, and not a more serious mental disorder.

  636. Rich Says:

    Hi Bre, I don’t have fears of going crazy, but do sometimes in the dark moments feel hopeless and unable to imagine being ‘normal’, but then I see glimpses – flashes of hope.

    If it’s any comfort, I am sure you’re not going crazy – as you’re consciously on here telling us you’re scared of doing so. If you were going crazy, you would just go crazy – you wouldn’t know you were, you wouldn’t worry about it – you’d just go mad on your own.

    I’m sure all of us have crazy thoughts now and then – either murdering your boss, or ramming your supermarket trolley into the person in front slowing you down etc etc etc, but because we’re not worried about going crazy, or acting irrationally, we don’t worry about them.

    You’re worried about them because you’re sensitised and are looking for them – and are hyper-aware. No matter what you put on here the answer will always be the same – 100% – it’s just anxiety.

    Your normal rational self is in there, but behind this wall of anxious thinking your brain has put in place due to it being on full-alert and in need of a rest. By fighting the thoughts, wresting with them, trying to figure them out (you never will be able to as your brain is too tired!), fearing not fighting it, tearing yourself down the middle, you’re keeping your mind tired, on edge and open to interpreting the anxiety tricks as truths. They’re not! Stop holding onto the Kyptonite Superwoman and just drop the bloody thing! What’s it all about? Who cares! :) :)

  637. Val Says:

    Hi simply bre…..I often re read Paul’s words at the top of this blog……he struggled for ten years then just said…..I don,t CARE ANY MORE …..I WILL STOP TRYING…….I really believe it works….I have kept doing things and honestly when I am out and about I am fine……but…….I am on meds which I have said many times!do help me. I have just had 3 days away with family and apart from a bit yucky on waking had a great time.wishing you well…x

  638. Val Says:

    Ps it is not a serious disorder Bri….it IS anxiety and it will take time.:-)

  639. Marcus Says:

    Simply Bre,

    You are not alone Bre in this.. A quick search o?y on this blog will tell you a lot of us have these thoughts. I for one am struggling with the exact same violent thoughts and fear of mental illness . I have had some glimpses of my old self and has been great. I try and not come on here as much to avoir staying in the anxiety cycle and trying to find whats wrong with me.. The trick is to stop trying to understand why these thoughts are there and just let them be.

  640. Simply Bre Says:

    Thank you guys so much, i appreciate you all so much ,you have no idea. I thank God for this blog (and Paul lol) it really is comforting to have shared experiences with you all,and hear your words of encouragement. It feels like you guys are my long distance family. I pray that we all overcome this, and are better people because of it.

  641. Tiara Says:

    Simply bre,

    I, too had those thoughts. Those were actually one of my fears that triggered a panic attack for me when I first started getting them. All of a sudden, I got so scared that I had depression or I was going to be a schizo, I freaked out immediately. We all experience the same symptoms, same thoughts, same fears. Just in different times. And let me tell you, being how I was a year ago to how I am now, the only way to get there really is to just let them be. Know that they are there but don’t respond. Sure, it may be impossible to at first, but that’s mainly because it became a habit and/or a behavior for us to respond hat way. I had to learn how to sit through them – the waves of panic. At first, I was for sure faking it because I did not feel in any way comfortable while having a panic attack. But faking it is just how you look at it. You could see faking it as something “ridiculous” cos you’re not being true to yourself or you could see it as, this is what I’m telling myself so that eventually my brain will believe it. Perspective. Anxiety is all about perspective. We see the worst in everything. We see the dark side. But all these are nothing but the product of a tired mind. Nerves take the longest to heal. And healing is not smooth sailing. Healing is painful, especially nerves.

  642. Rich Says:

    Good morning everyone. Today is a little test for me as I am out tonight. Nothing major – just visiting a friend to fix her PC, but a chance nonetheless to practice what I’ve been preaching on here myself.

    I’ve got to wake up, get through the working day, eat lunch and dinner, then go out to her house and sort the PC whilst having a nice catch up and a cup of tea. That’s it!

    I’ve been there many times, I’ve eaten dinner there too, but each time in the past I’ve got worked up about it. My stomach kicks in and I feel anxious about the anxiety. Sometimes I’ve had anxiety attacks there and my stomach has gone haywire, hot flushes etc (my usual symptoms), but most of the time I’m perfectly fine and have a great time.

    I’ve already noticed I am a little anxious in myself, but I am counter-balancing any negative thoughts I may have with rational ones, and thinking of the positives about it. Whatever happens, I’m going to go – that’s for sure.

    This is a quite a small step as they go, but it’s a step nonetheless. I will show my anxiety that no matter how it makes me feel, or what symptoms it gives me, that I am in charge and I make the decisions around here.

  643. platty Says:

    good luck tonight rich

    im having a bit of a struggle today was fine last night slept great good when i awoke then when i got to work i started to worry i was going to do something wrong are i am not doing my job properly i let it get ontop of me and feel verry anxious . am home now as my first shift has finished but back at 2.30 til 6 ,cant seem to calm down arrrggghhh frustration should i just ignore the thoughts and feelings

  644. Rich Says:

    Hi Platty, Advice when you’re in an anxious state is hard to apply, but the more you practice the easier it gets, and the less you will have to.

    First of all, the thoughts are anxiety trying to trick you. Realise this first of all. Second, accept them because you’re anxious – don’t fight them. However, make sure you don’t fall for their trick and believe them – no matter how real or convincing they may seem. Remember you’re anxious, so your mind is trying to protect you. It wants you to not go to work, to not put yourself under any stress or pressure. It thinks your in danger. Show yourself that it is wrong – turn thought upside down rationally in your mind to create a positive thought instead of a negative one. Say to yourself ‘I’ve done this job for so long, I know it inside and out, I’m competent and in control. Even though I feel anxious, these thoughts are a lie and are not true.’

    Take your mind off it as worrying is pointless and a waste of time – it solves nothing, so make the most of your break between work and do something – even if you don’t feel like it. Rinse and repeat and this will get easier as your brain realises it’s all ok and allows you to settle down. This takes time, but start right now.

  645. Anthony Says:

    Hi Paul and everyone, new to the site but just wanted to share my experience with you all and if it may help in some small way.

    Well my story started around August 2013(thankfully only a short time ago in relative terms). I was and still am running a successful business and though i have always been able to keep things in check that period was what i would describe as a stressful period. I would not admit to myself but at that time i was running around like a headless chicken( or as Paul rightly describes a blender on full power 24/7) added to that i decided to commit to an expedition in Africa which although excited me also had an element of danger.

    Well as the expedition approached i felt myself being overcome with fear and dread for what was about to come , not for me but my family, this was a normal response as i have done these types of challenges before and usually the fear passes and is overtaken with excitement.

    Well the challenge passed uneventful and although i enjoyed the experience at no stage did i feel real fulfillment. I returned home to constant feelings of worry and anxiety and could not shake these off. I did not understand why. I began to suffer stomach complaints and convinced myself that despite the 5 bowel screening test (2 in 1 day !!!) all of which had being negative I had Cancer or some other dreaded illness. I went to the doctor and was afraid to tell him of my anxiety due to embarrassment and just said i felt unwell , blood test followed but again all negative. Still i didn’t in my mind accept my body was healthy and then did the usual google searches which only increased my fear.

    Through this three month period my anxiety was increasing , one day I recall sitting in my office becoming shaky and then lightheaded with the world closing in on top of me, I swear I nearly called an ambulance but managed to hold on and the feeling finally subsided. That was it I really was out of control in my head , why was this happening to me a fit healthy guy with no real issues , did I have mental health issues? would they get worse? how would my young family cope without me when I was gone ? I was scared to return to my GP but could not find an answer to why I had become a wreck.

    These issues continued and i think at this point i was on the road to a visit to my GP when I know he would have either said pull yourself together or prescribe ADs again a fear of mine in becoming dependent. this now was affecting my life , work, family, socially all seemed to be irrelevant to my constant thoughts of the what ifs … that was it my life as I once knew was over for ever.

    Christmas was approaching but I had no real appetite for it.. I was refusing to attend family events , making excuses of I cant be bothered or saying I would rather stay at home with the family. Then (and i still don’t know how) following yet another google search I came across the link to Paul’s site and book , think the title just struck a chord , i just impulsively bought it with no real feeling it would help just another desperate measure in me searching for the quick fix recovery and to escape this hole.

    When it arrived I hid myself away and started to read what I now believe is one of the most important and life changing events I have experienced , to the outside that may seem so over the top but to my fellow sufferers the mental pain we endure through this time cannot be explained to those who have not gone through it. Suddenly after only a few chapters all began to make sense, the rushes the headaches the stomach problems, the self consciousness, it was adrenaline not cancer or me loosing my mind – Wow !!!!!!

    From that day on 21 December 2013 !!! I began to realise this was not going to kill me , don’t get me wrong I still panicked and had doubt but as Paul said I faced the fear , at the beginning I still had all symptoms and as severe but I said you know what I just don’t care – give it your best and if you hurt me well that’s the way its got to be , but you are not controlling my life and my beautiful family any more.

    Well I’m still here, no harm has come to me and I even feel so much better. Yes I still wake up in the morning and think will today be the day I go back to the old me but then I say so what if I do, it wont harm me so if I feel bad I feel bad , get on with it and still live your life.

    On bad days I just accept the feeling and if I get chance just read a section of Paul’s book again, it if you like reboots my brain to the real world.

    I know I’m not fully recovered but the great thing is I know I will , will that be today or tomorrow or in a year ? I do not know but I honestly mean this I just don’t care !!!! I know I’m so lucky as my period having this condition without understanding why did not last very long so I feel for those who have endured their condition for many years.

    To Paul thank you , you have given me back my life when i swear I felt there was no hope or a life filled with ADs , to everyone else who may still be unsure keep the faith, follow Paul’s words and guidance as this really does work, its my view that only you can beat it , when you accept the condition the fear looses it edge and then you know there is light at the end of tunnel !!!

  646. platty Says:

    Thanks rich
    I must realise I have only been trying to implement what ive learned here and ffom the book And the letter to myself I found after your advice for one week and have made progress. I need to be more patient

  647. Rich Says:

    It takes the mind around 55 days to learn a new habit. Anything you ‘try’ to do to speed this up only serves to delay progress further. Patience is key.

  648. Ryan C Says:

    Hi guys. I was just wondering. Since we have Paul’s book, we of course have all the answers we need to recover, what I noticed is that during his recovery it was a learning process, but since we have all of the information we need is it possible that we can shorten out recovery time? If one was to go out and fully face their fears, to no longer worry and question, and when setbacks come we know what they are so never on any day do we self pity, or fall backwards, do you guys believe that by having all of this and facing it head on it can be a much faster process of course fully allowing your body and mind to do its job in its own time?

  649. Bryan Says:

    Rich, how did your trip go?

  650. Simply Bre Says:

    Thanks Tiara. Yes the hardest part for me are the thoughts. I kind of fall into the description Paul described that if I thought it it must be some possible truth to it, but the rational side of me is like no it’s totally a false thought just to scare you. It’s so good to know you’re not alone. People always say the symptom of anxiety that affects you the most will be the last one to leave I now know for me that will be the irrational thoughts.

    Ryan C,
    Yea, you’re right. Since we have all the information from Paul’s book its a possibility that we could recover quicker, but only if we’re willing to whole heartedly
    Apply the advice that is given,for some this can be easier said then done at times.

    Just out of curiosity, where does everyone reside? It seems as though a lot of you are from the U.K, I am from California.

  651. Rich Says:

    I’m in the UK (Bryan, it’s still afternoon here so I’m still at work and not out socialising yet). I’ll get an update on here to tell you just how well it went (see the positive thinking there 😉 later on).

    Ryan C, I have had anxiety for 20 years, but have only had the knowledge of what I have, and how to recover for around 3 months!! The 20 years help me realise the mistakes I’ve made, but apart from that I agree – armed with the correct resources I think recovery is possible with the minimum of setbacks or relapses (although setbacks will happen, but it’s part of the recovery process to learn from them and accept them, and help teach you how to learn from your mistakes). Gained knowledge from Claire W and Paul, and ‘Nothing Works’ saves us all so much time and unnecessary suffering – these people are saints for sharing it with us.

    I wish the health service would prescribe Claire Weekes’ book as the first response for people with anxiety. I wish I had this when I went to the Drs 4 years ago. Heck I wish I had known about the book 20 years ago – my life would have been so much better!

    Still, better late than never hey. The past is the past. The future is ours.

  652. Tiara Says:

    Simply Bre,

    I am from California too! I came across this website a year ago. Yep, I’m doing so much better than how I was a year ago, but I still get intrusive thoughts and irrational fears. My aunt, she’s an RN, calls me a hypochondriac. Lol. It will take time but just know that it will get better. Besides, if you are even afraid of getting another mental illness or going crazy, then you’re not getting them. Crazy people don’t know they’re crazy. Lol. Have a good day.

  653. Val Says:

    Feeling yuk….7am…..know things will improve…..trying to remove myself from the stressors in my life and float and accept…..a hot week ahead in Melbourne Australia …….which is good as May head to the beach.. have .a happy day everyone tho I think most of you are enjoying your evening…LOL

  654. Rich Says:

    Hey Val, Mornings are the worst for me too. If it’s any help, it’s cold, wet and miserable here in the UK, so enjoy the sunshine and the beach if you go!

    My evening was cancelled in the end until tomorrow night. A shame as I’ve felt good all day and my appetite has held out. We’ve now arranged to get food tomorrow night – so this will be an interesting time. Today though I haven’t sat worrying all day or working myself up about anything, so no matter what, this is still a (small) step in the right direction.

  655. Joe P Says:

    Hello Everyone, haven’t been on here for yonks! Hope everyone is well.

    I’am going to get straight to the point, in late august I was on the tube, was hungover, so I was very anxious but I was just getting on with it as per. Then suddenly I had like a really quick anxious thought, as if I just got a snipit of a scary thought, which was something like what if everything i look at feels different, then instantly I imagined it and it was scariest feeling i have ever experienced, (like at realy deep scary thought about what everything looks like very scary), truly horrendous and then I calmed myself down as I felt panicked by the feeling I was going to get off the tube but I stayed on until it settled, but it settled only to certain degree, ever since then I’ve had that feeling (constant) every think I look at, its there, i can manage, but when I start to think it too much its gets almost unbearable like it was on the tube. i don’t think its dp what hit me because Ive had that before this was worst .

    Everysince I have kept really strong going uni socialising etc, just following pauls advice living my life as its not even there but my god has life been hard, every since late august it’s the been the worst period of my life. i haven’t came on the blog to ask for help on it because to be honest I am very ashamed, I’m scared that people will think Im just weird and that they’ll delete this comment because its so wierd and I can’t believe something as silly as thought stuck and made me feel so weird. Its the worst feeling I’ve ever had and there pretty much constantly just different degrees of severity , I know it will get better in time and with patience, but surely after 3-4 months and still scared of the feeling i must be doing something wrong, how do i stop fearing it when I automatically fear it, its on my mind 24/7 as the feeling is always there.

    I always have the really weird ones on this blog! Its been like 4 months and i still suffer daily to keep my head above water with this, I don’t react to the thoughts, i don’t fight but its so bad my mind automatically fights it. I’ve just got to the point where I let my mind worry about it from time to time and just don’t add more worry on top and that method has kept me going.

    It feels like I’m trying to constantly keep my head above water witht his feeling, if I think too much about it, it gets worse etc .
    Sorry everyone about this, I realise this feeling it totally anxiety and that it will pass, but i really need some support at the moment to help me get through this,

    Some advice on what to do or support would be much appreciated.

    Joe P x

  656. Val Says:

    Hi Joe P…..I think we all have these thoughts and feelings in different forms…I keep going no matter how I feel and find being with people and just getting on with life then the bad times diminish and the good times do return….reread Paul’s words at the top….I don’t care and I am getting on with my life.if you can do this and have patience eventually you will feel on top of things again….good luck :-)

  657. Rich Says:

    Hi Joe P, Sounds like your symptoms are quite scary (but they are supposed to be, so don’t worry about the degree of them). To help you rid yourself of this you have to do the opposite of what you feel like doing. You have to let go. To do this, you have to stop fighting the feelings and let them come, but at the same time remind yourself that they are not real (even if they really do seem they are!).

    Trying to keep your head above water, not stopping yourself fighting them and listening to them just keeps you in the loop. If you’ve been doing this for 4 months and are no better, realise that this is not working and therefore you need to try a different approach – otherwise you’ll either stay as you are, or get worse.

    How do you stop fearing it when you automatically fear it? The first step is to accept the thoughts and leave them alone. This is the hardest step I think (as it is so not what we think we must do!) but is the start of recovery.

  658. Anthony Says:

    Hi Joe P , as i said in my previous post new on here and thankful after reading a few posts thankful that i was able to attempt recovery only 4 months from when i had the first effects of anxiety.

    My advice though only through my own personal experience was to say to yourself these symptoms cannot and never ever will hurt me , let them flow through your body, at first i was terrified but i knew the other way which i had tried of suppressing them away and saying please go away does not work. As Rich says that approach never works and only increases the level of anxiety you put your already tired mind through.

    May sound mad but when I get that first feeling of shaking and i still do although not as intense, i just smile say right lets have you and just challenge my mind to let the feeling effect me as they did before. It never ever happens they just subside my mind clears and i continue with my day. I even give myself a pat on the back for facing my fear head on. My understanding is if we feel sorry for ourselves it just gives more fuel to our mind to think there is in fact something to fear.

    Please keep your belief that you will recover , just don’t set limits.

  659. platty Says:

    having a tough time got thoughts i cant ride out i am reacting with extreme fear of them and feel trapped by them
    sorry to be down i need help

  660. Rich Says:

    Hi Platty, Have you spoken to your Dr about support or are you doing this alone? It may help if you have someone to talk to. I would also recommend you look into meditation and relaxation therapy to give yourself a break and learn how to distance yourself from these thoughts and restore some balance.

    Let the fear come, just try to be rational about it – remind yourself that it is not really your own thoughts, that this isn’t the real you, and isn’t how it will always be.

    Anthony, I completely echo the idea of giving yourself a pat on the back – any progress or success should be recognised and rewarded. Identify these when they happen – no matter how small they may be. It’s so important to cling onto positive things while we’re going through this.

  661. Christine Says:

    Great advice Rich and Anthony!

    I’m still struggling at the moment – yesterday was horrendous, but today although not great is a little better! I’m in work and just trying to get on as normal although the thoughts do keep appearing and giving me little panics, just trying to let them be there and not react or fear them…easier said than done!

    Anyway I was wondering if anyone has any opinions on acupuncture treating anxiety? Don’t get me wrong I know it’s not a cure but I’ve heard that it helps relax the mind and I was wondering if anyone had tried it?

    Rich – how are you feeling? Sounds to me like you’re heading in the right direction. I hope tonight goes well! :) xxx

    Simple Bre – my thoughts are the same as yours at the moment – fear that this anxiety will send me crazy and it frightens me, but like Rich said if we were going crazy we wouldn’t know about it! xxx

    Val – hope you’re feeling better and enjoyed the beach! xxx

    Hope everyone has a great day!! xxx

  662. Anthony Says:

    Hi Christine … yeah i still have acupuncture before reading Paul’s book i was trying to use it as yet another quick fix which obviously i know now it wont help until my mind was allowed to rest.

    Now i just go every few weeks as a little treat (yes even with the needles) to relax and use it as me time. do think they help just with my general Karma. Keep smiling today as it was better than yday and if it gets worse say so what you cant hurt me , i now don’t fear the fear and the what ifs , that really does help. Believe me 4 months ago i felt my life was over but guess what its not . Keep believing u will recover, when is irrelevant as it will happen.

    Enjoy your day

  663. Anthony Says:

    Thanks Rich

    Whats amazing is a month ago i felt i was the only person in the world to be suffering from this … the great thing is i now realise through the book and now the site I’m not alone and more importantly I’m not going insane.

    I feel so lucky to have found Pauls book so early just sad that others probably not so fortunate are stuck with GPs hell bent on prescribing mind altering meds due to either lack of knowledge or care.

  664. Rich Says:

    Hi Christine, I saw a clinical hypnotherapist before Christmas (I’ve never tried acupuncture) but I believe that relaxation therapy definitely helps. I was given a relaxation CD to use (some think that by using this you’re still telling yourself you have anxiety, instead of totally living a normal life, but I genuinely enjoy chilling out with it for 30 minutes). My sessions would consist of a hypnosis session and some NLP (Neural Linguistic Programming) which focused on positive thinking. It helped alleviate some symptoms, and help me realise just how negative I was!

    I’d recommend any sort of relaxation because it teaches you to switch off the anxiety, relax, and most importantly for healing to take place, it gives your mind a break. Massage, meditation, whatever works. Aromatherapy in a hot bath, a long walk – whatever works for you.

    Christine thank for your comments, I feel good at the moment. I’m still self-checking – looking out for the symptoms due to habit, but so far, they aren’t coming. I am daring to be positive. I still fear a setback, or symptoms returning (the true test), but at the moment things are ‘ok’. It’s actually quite strange feeling normal. It’s a great feeling remembering what you’re ‘really’ like as a person – it’s encouraging. Just hope it lasts, and that you all get to this stage too if you’re not here already.

  665. platty Says:

    i have had a couple of sessions with a councillor but she isnt very helpful was supposed to have seen her on tuesday but she had called in sick so was cancelled. in three sessions we havnt done anything to help just asking how i feel its only a half hour session.
    my partner is very supportive she is amazing and my 2 young children keep me focused on getting better , my job can be pretty hectic with lots to do and remember and i am also alone most of the day so to much time to worry . im only a week into acceptance so should expect these tough times as i get better , when i got better las time 2 yrs ago was just through meds as i wasnt armed with the info Paul and you guys have given me so this time it will be full recovery , so i thank you all so much for that 😉

  666. Rich Says:

    Hi Platty, When I first got diagnosed with anxiety, I was offered CBT, but after the 1st 1/2 hr session my therapist told me she was leaving. Several months later, I began CBT again – 6 months of a single 1/2 hour appointment a month where I’ve be given handouts, told about a “bear in the room” and asked to fill in a form to show how ‘anxious’ I felt. Over the months, my anxiety dropped (as I was used to going to the sessions I worried less about them) so they assumed I was cured, and out into the world I went. Still bewildered.

    Talking about the anxiety with my partner and my parents greatly helps me. My sessions with my hypnotherapist has taught me how to be positive and how to relax (he personally recovered from chronic depression to talks from experience rather than textbooks).

    When I write about it, and talk about it, it helps me (which is why I am on here so much I think!) as processing the information rather than just reading it really helps it sink in. It’s all about re-programming your brain to think differently.

  667. Christine Says:

    I had CBT too Rich and it was exactly the same – I had the same forms and because I was less anxious about the meetings they kind of just dwindled off. I find talking helps too, it’s like offloading some of the burden a bit…which helps for a little while, although I then worry that the people I’m talking too don’t like what they’re hearing! :)

    I’m glad you come on here a lot because you give a lot of good advice (that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t love you to be recovered and not have to come on here at all!!) I read that nothing works piece which has been great along with this blog and noticed that I think you mentioned that you were going to put it into a pdf and was wondering if you managed to do it? I’d love a copy if it’s not too cheeky?!

    Thanks to you and Anthony on the advice! xx

  668. Rich Says:

    Hi Christine, I have ‘Nothing Works’ written up and ready. I’m also working on putting some other material into another PDF which covers CBT and other stuff which I think is also really helpful. I’ll put it into my Dropbox account and make sure those who want it get the link to download it. I’m not 100% about copyright however, so I may have to email it directly to you if needed.

    I worry about talking too much to my Girlfriend in case she sees me as weak and not the alpha male so many women want to have (the strong one, supporting them – not the other way around!) but it helps and we support each other, but anxiety makes me fear loss more than normal for sure.

    I also worry about telling my parents – in case they worry about me, or think they’ve failed me in my upbringing or support over the years, but it’s actually brought us a lot closer together, and we’re more open now, so it’s actually been a blessing in disguise in many ways.

    Still an absolute pain in the behind though! :)

  669. Christine Says:

    I’m sure your girlfriend doesn’t see you as weak, Rich but I have exactly the same fears with my poor Hubby, he has to put up with a whinging wreck, but he really is my rock! Where would we be without them eh?! I admire them so much because although they don’t actually feel what we go through, they have to go through it with us if that makes sense?!

    That would be great if you can let me know when it’s done and where to access it and if not I’m more than happy for Doreen to pass on my email address!

    Enjoy your night – let us all know how you get on! xx

  670. platty Says:

    Thanks rich
    Hope all goes wel ltonight, picked up a little this afternoon but can feel the anxiety creeping up a little now only slept about 2 hrs last night so feeling the strain just about to finish work been hard today just got let it do its worst and see it through think im still fighting a little need to tell myself it cant hurt me and try to ignore it all

  671. Kyara Says:

    Hello All,
    I’ve had a better couple of days than last week. I started school and a new job and I definitely and feeling tired. I can see how this could cause me to fall back into the habit of worrying. At the moment I ‘feel’ anxious but I am letting it be and floating. I feel overwhelmed because it’s new. I still feel the DP and the ‘doom’ feeling. Not sure when this part passes but I’m getting through the days reminding myself to float. I still wonder daily if it’ll every completely go away and if I do things right but that’s all it is is a wonder. I feel I’m on the right track but we shall see. Still feeling a little down but I suppose this is normal. I hope all is well with everyone.

  672. Rebecca Says:

    I’m same kyara, I have thick dp and the doom feeling. It’s that doom feeling I hate because its a of despair and I get it about every hour. I find I cope better when I’m busy. When I’m in house all day that’s when it’s at is worst. I’m floating and allowing everything do what it wants because I’m sick of it now taken over my life. I’m going to take charge and anxiety can stay in the background. Just rember, to everyone live your life regardless your the one in charge and don’t be your worst enemy by fighting. Just allow and live. X

  673. Doreen Says:

    Hi folks – new post by Paul.

  674. Val Says:

    I enjoy the acupuncture sessions too Anthony and believe they are helpful….Chinese medicine has a lot going for it……also have massages and go to meditation weekly…it,s all “me” time and beneficial I think. Buy myself flowers too !!!! LMDO ………??? Laughed My Dentures Out !!!!!!!!!:-)

  675. Val Says:

    Similar to you Rebecca….am better when out and socialising….X. Good luck

  676. Kate Says:

    Hi everyone
    Rich Id love the email too if possible please.
    Just a question mainly for Joe Pro or someone whos recovered from Dp. I actually think its starting to leave me…im managing to watch films etc and do conversations etc the thing I have is being hyper aware that Im not right. Its hard to describe I feel like Im not myself still and Im so aware of how I feel that I’ll never get back to how I was even though I cant quite remember what that was like lol. Just really wondered if this was normal, my only anxiety now is over the whole 24-7 feeling :( The whole de-realisation has been gone for a while now. I know everyone says you totally get back to how you were just wondering how that would be possible as Im so aware

  677. Val Says:

    Bit the same Kate….do you find you feel like your old self if you are completely involved in something..I can go out for lunch with girlfriends and feel just like my old self….wake next morning and…..yuk !!!

  678. platty Says:

    Rich Hope all went ok last night

    Im lay awake and have realized I have had anxiety in some form most of my life I am 42 now ans lay here thinking about things as they are now. I have spet all this time thinking what ifs in a negative way making decisions sometimes on worst case scenarios. Always been a people pleaser , its no wonder it will take time to heal properly if I have learnt to react badly to anxiety, panic didnt come till 2 years ago when I had problems at work with my then boss , was put under a lot of pressure my anxiety level hit the roof and I started making bad decision which I based around the anxiety I felt and trying. Not to make it worse and getting my bosses back up, resulted in 3 months off work and meds went back felt great, im still at thw same job but with a new boss who is great. But im making bad choices again based on not getting the boss anoyed resulting in me not doing my job aswell as I can ans should because I havnt changed my behavior towards anxiety its still the same as its been since ive Been a kid, fear,

    My father had little time for us as kids and he was abusive to my mum I used to lay awake at night anxiouslet waiting for him to come in from the pub would he go to bed or beat my mother if I could here raised voices downstairs I would go with a fake illness that would stop anything happening could go many months without incidents, it used to stop me staying out at my relitives because I got so anxious about not being home I have been making choices based on fear ever since Spent my childhood trying to make my dad happy now wonder im a people pleaser, glad im nothing like he was a buly, im like my mother caring and sensitive, like all bullys though someone bigger stopped him in his tracks at 16 gave him a taste of his own medicine he didnt hit her again from that day till he passed away 5 yrs ago never understood why Mum never left him, I have avoided things or decisions based on anxiety and fear on and off ever since And didnt even realise it till now .
    Sorry for the long post needed to vent this out

  679. Kate Says:

    Val
    I can for fleeting moments lose myself and feel fine but I think Im causing myself to freak out that this is the best Im going to get, Think I may have finally realised that Im obsessing about this all the time, Ive decided to give myself a couple of weeks break from being on here etc, its just taking over my life a bit.
    Im on Facebook if anyone wants to get in touch :)

  680. Val Says:

    Good luck kate

  681. Val Says:

    To Platty….how lovely that you have your mother’s characteristics…as a teacher I can understand your anxiety as a child…your mother must have been a strong lady and you will inherit that strength ….have you spoken to a doctor or psychologist about the basis for your fear..as you said…you need to vent,
    Stay strong…I just scrolled back and found you had some sessions with a counsellor …but not very helpful. Hope you can get a good night’s sleep….I bet your kids are great………..best wishes

  682. Doreen Says:

    Hi folks – do take time out to read Paul’s latest blog. Well worth it and perhaps carrying on the thread from there

  683. Val Says:

    Morning bleh!!! At least it gets better…:-). But I don’t like it….but it doesn’t scare me.

  684. Val Says:

    Trying to “float”……I have taken the dog to the park…been to shops to buy sushi and home again…..slight sad feeling for no apparent reason….am taking Paul’s advice and pushing on and saying I don’t care….this is how it is at present……need some “blog hugs”…..LOL hope everyone is ok….prob you are all asleep on the other side of the world…..if so…..sweet dreams…LOL again

  685. Val Says:

    I have had a “not so great ” day…….for no apparent reason after many good days……. I say…..ok,let it be …..I find it hard not to fight or control that down feeling …. But I must just let it happen….tomorrow is another day.i am better when I am out socialising but some days you just have to be at home and that,s what I am finding hard….never used to bother me!!

  686. Doreen Says:

    Val – suggest you post under Paul’s latest blog and people don’t look here much once a new one has gone up

  687. Joe P Says:

    Hello, thanks Val, Anthony and Rich for your advice, from now on I will defintly let myself go with the feeling, even though when it happens it feels like the worst thing in the world, it won’t kill me, just make me feel truly terrified for a few seconds or so until it eases. I think after a few times of doing this and seeing that by letting myself feel the horrible feeling 100% and nothing bad happened except the feeling itself, then hopefully I should lose a bit of my fear of feeling and things will easier from there. I went out to liverpool on the weekend for a friends bday and drank a little too much, and the next day due to the alcohol, the feeling was horrific, but I am proud myself for staying calm and getting through it! I think from now on until this feeling subsides slightly I will only drink a very small amount when I’m out.

    Thanks again for your advice I will post on here in the next month or two with my progress, hopefully I should be alot better then!

    Joe P X

  688. Rob Says:

    Hi. Just a question. I was raised in a bad situation and always had anxiety or hid myself from fear in some sort of way to be safe. As an adult when I left that situation and had to be myself anxiety and obsessions surfaced. I now understand and do not beat myself up any more than anxiety does. I acknowledge it as a symptom but refuse to comment about them or myself because of them. My biggest issue now is if I don’t do that then who am I ? That’s who I was my whole life. I’m searching for something that can make me,me. It’s like I’m reaching for something else.

  689. Dominick Says:

    Is Joe Pro still around here?

  690. Aaron :-) Says:

    to be honest i need to learn acceptance again I was proud of myself where i got to so im gone to get back on this road recovery without being hard on myself and not taking these thoughts and feelings seriously no more. social situations are hard because theres nothing up there to say but i will

  691. aaronse7 Says:

    Hello,
    This book saved me and I am happy to say 100% better now. The hardest thing for me to get was to not take things so seriously and reading into things to much. For example when I read stop saying mantras, I got mad at my self about my mind saying them. But, it was natural for my mind to do this because it was habit. just let your mind do whatever it wants and just live. And I mean that completely literally; It doesn’t matter what is going on up there, just be accepting of it. Its all about just living with anxiety, and over the months you will truly come to grasp with what these lessons really mean. You really have to live through it to understand it. And when you do, it will get better.

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