Trying to Escape Anxiety

How much of your day is taken up by the subject of anxiety?In my book I said that someone once said to me ‘Paul you will never get better until you stop trying to be better’. It is something I tell others and they ask me exactly what I mean by this.Well maybe your reading this page in the hope you will feel better. You may pop down your bookstore for the latest self help book, maybe this is the one, maybe this will make me feel better. What about reading a few of those internet affirmations, they seem to work for a few minutes, maybe I will take up exercise, go for a walk in the park, that may make me feel better or a new pill or vitamin, the new counsellor that may be the key. Maybe Google away today, find that page that makes me feel better. People can also turn to drugs, alcohol or food and again to make them feel different, never facing how they feel.

People also do this is real life, the new relationship then I’ll be happy, the new house, the new car, gadget, then things will be different, better.

People are always trying to be somewhere else, to feel different, but the anxiety sufferer takes it to a different level, their whole day and life seems to be trying to get somewhere else, to feel different, to think differently.

One day after years of doing this myself I realised where I was going wrong, it hit me like a brick, I had spent years trying to feel better and it did not work, those feelings kept coming back and there I was back on the same old hamster wheel.

So what am I trying to say here?

Well the way to over come anxiety is to stop trying to feel different, stop trying to get somewhere else. When you stop trying to control yourself, then you’re in control.

Whatever you try to get rid of always comes back and by constantly trying to rid yourself of a feeling you are feeding your respect for it, it becomes more of an enemy. My biggest mistake was that I was always trying to escape how I felt.

When you feel overwhelmed, anxious or any kind of negative emotion then for once experience it without trying to escape, fix or control it. Don’t label a feeling as good or bad, look at it with compassion, as something that is just part of you and your make up. Again don’t do this to try and make yourself feel better, as you are back in fix mode.

Some people say when they have a migraine the pain only lessons when they give into it, when they let it pound without stressing about it or trying to try and control or force the pain away. Well it is the same thing. The reason we find this so hard is because every instinct tells us to do the opposite, to make this better, to feel different, when the answer is to allow.

So do I say don’t take up exercise, read a book, take the odd vitamin, see a counsellor? No – as all these things helped me once I stopped using them as a tool to feel better.

So when you exercise or take a walk do it without an agenda, no doing it with the intent to make you feel better. Read a book to build up your knowledge, but don’t see it as the miracle cure that must work this time. See a counsellor to offload as it is great to find an ear, maybe she can make you see anxiety in a different light which will help.

The same goes with changing your diet, do it without an agenda. I have people ask me all the time questions like ‘Will herbal tea help with anxiety?’ what they mean is will it get rid of it. Whilst we stay on the ‘Get rid, feel different’ route we will always be stuck.

Go into anything with an open mind, if things improve then great, if not then fine. People though go to different counsellors, then the hypnotherapist, the CBT specialist, the lady who does acupuncture. They constantly swap and change because they are looking for someone to make it go away. I know as I was that person, I wasted thousands on so called cures, the people that promised to eliminate it, that’s what I wanted, not for one minute would I accept this as part of me. This is why people often Google, they are looking for something to make it go away, they are looking to feel different.

The day I stopped trying to figure it all out, stopped trying to fix or feel different was truly the day that things got better. I could finally accept there was nothing to escape, nothing to fix. By no longer trying to feel different I actually did. Oh I still felt crap at times, detached on occasions, but I just saw it as nonsense, part of my conditioned mind and let it be there.

I hope people can understand what I am trying to say here and that it 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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360 Responses to “Trying to Escape Anxiety”

  1. D-Ren Says:

    Awesome post!! Thank you!!

  2. Doreen. Says:

    Just to say that although I know it is ‘off topic’ people were very kind on here when I posted about my grandson. He came home an hour ago, having had his airway repaired so able to breath for the first time unaided since he was 6 months old. The week was pretty much one from hell as he developed a severe chest infection and then after he had recovered enough to have all the ventilator stuff removed he got hallucinations from the withdrawal of the morphine. Bu thank heavens the operation has worked so it was worth it.
    As I suspected my anxiety is flying off in all directions which it tends to do once a big demanding trauma is over. However, I get on with life as if this is not the case and try to smile wryly at some of the daft thoughts.

  3. Bryan Says:

    Glad to hear it Doreen! Now take care of yourself and get rested up. Very good news.

    Paul, terrific… timely post. Just what I needed and I’m sure most of us needed.
    Thank you, always!

  4. Mazie Says:

    I love your blog Paul. Your book has been a bible to me. I have had more good days than bad. If I may ask a question, what do or did you do about health anxiety. I can be fine and then feel an odd sensation or pain and BOOM the anxiety jumps from no where. Any thoughts on coping skills? You are a blessing from the other side of the pond. Thank you!!

  5. Lynn Says:

    Paul, this post was just what I needed today as I have been letting anxiety get to me today, trying to figure out what I need to do to make it go away.

    I get doubtful sometimes because I have had anxiety off and on for 15 years and wonder if I’ve just had it too long to ever get free of it. I would love to hear from anyone who’s had it a long time that is free from it now.

  6. Chrissy Says:

    Lynn. This is my first post here. I’ve been observing for about a month. I have had anxiety for 15 years also. It started with my first panic attack when I graduated college and got engaged

    For 15 years I did everything Paul said not to do. I fought anxiety. I wanted it gone and I had no idea what was happening to me. I went to every type of therapist (psychoanalytical, CBT, holistic etc..). I honestly think I saw every therapist within a 20 mile radius!). I wanted someone to take this dreadful doomsday feeling away and away now! I even tried medication however it made me feel flat…nothing.

    Granted within those fifteen years I obtained three degrees, married have two beautiful children and work as a professional. Also within those years I did have some months I felt “ok”

    Until I read Paul’s book (and I have a bookshelf of self help books) did in realize I’ve been doing it all wrong. Fighting anxiety and uncomfortable feelings only adds fuel to the feelings and thoughts For the first time in five years I felt ok with my anxiety. It’s not an easy thing to do to allow the thoughts and feeligs to come as for 15 years I have been fighting them. Few times I am capable of doing it I was overwhelmed with the amount of emotion I had bottled up and have been ignoring. It scared me yet at the same time knew this was part of recovery (am I right on this?) it’s a difficult habit to change, not to fight or flee from the thought or emotion. However I am learning. I also am dedicated to recovering as anxiety/depression has robbed me of enough of my life

  7. Lynn Says:

    Does it take a lot longer to “un-condition” a conditioned mind if you’ve had anxiety for so many years?

  8. Mark r Says:

    Lynn,

    Paul is the perfect example and he’s free of it, he suffered for ten years! !

    I’ve had it on and off for around 13 years with long breaks in between. Will I ever be free? Who knows. I just know I have the capacity to be well again so that will do me.

  9. Jonny Says:

    Dear Paul,

    I’ve never posted on this Blog before, but have referred to it frequently over the last couple of years and have found it incredibly helpful and honest. I’d like to start therefore by expressing my gratitude for all the work you’ve done, and for putting so much potentially life-altering information on this site.

    Having read many of the comments on this blog, I’ve realised that my personal experience with anxiety is far from unusual. I first suffered from acute feelings of anxiety after trying a recreational drug; nothing heavy, and only once. During the period directly after this I felt as though I’d literally been ripped out of this world and placed in a parallel universe filled with intense fear and despair: My emotions fuelled my thoughts which in turn fuelled my emotions ad infinitum. This vicious circle persisted with relentless intensity for a period of roughly six months.

    After this I decided that enough was enough and sought medical help, which was offered in the form of CBT. This seemed to only aggravate the problem and, growing increasingly desperate, I opted to take antidepressants which had been frequently recommended to me by my GP who described their use as being akin to taking antibiotics to fight various physical ailments: necessary for recovery and without negative long-term effects.

    I quickly grew disillusioned with this attitude as the medication made me swing between feelings of utter blankness and detachment and feelings of extreme aggravation and unrest. I stopped taking them after 12 months and the withdrawal was pretty horrific (I was cycling across Africa for charity with three friends at the time: my timing was a bit rash in hindsight!) It was in a dingy internet Cafe in Botswana that I first stumbled upon this site, and it was a revelation.

    All of this was roughly three years ago. Since that time I’ve put your teachings into practice. One worry keeps re-emerging however: I’ve found that my emotional versatility has been blunted to such an extent that I do not feel in the slightest like the person I was before my first encounter with anxiety at 19 years of age. I increasingly worry that this is due to my SSRI use, a possibility that I have found extremely distressing.

    I know that you’re incredibly busy Paul, and am so sorry to ask this of you, but I was hoping that you could help me with a couple of queries, the subject matter of which I do not think has found treatment on this blog or on your main webpage.

    Firstly, I understand that you were on SSRIs (antidepressants) for a short period of time before coming to similar conclusions to my own and weaning yourself off them. How long did you take them for? Do you think that it’s possible that they can permanently rewire the brain and thus change your experience of reality and yourself irreversibly? I’ve followed your advice of not trying to fix and be concerned about the feelings (or the lack of) produced by anxiety and long-term stress to the letter. Nevertheless I feel powerless when confronted with the all too real possibility that I may have made the gravest mistake of my life in succumbing to a drug that could cause irreversible changes to my experience of life, and feel increasingly sure that I’ll never be able to feel life like I used to as my brain is no longer physiologically capable of running in its natural way.

    Did you experience a prolonged lack of emotion after stopping your own medication?

    I know that it’s quite possible that this disturbing symptom could simply be the result of an overworked mind; but this does not strike me as being in any way guaranteed as many others on the wider internet have written about how they cannot feel anything and put it down to their own past antidepressant use (although they, in the main, took it for far longer periods than me).

    I understand that this post will probably lie forgotten next to the thousands of others who have had to live through this nightmare of a condition and are seeking advice from the brave soul that made it through. Nevertheless, I reasoned that no harm could come of my asking, and really hope that you can help me with this as someone whose experiences appear to have so much in common with my own.

    Hoping that this reaches you and finds you well,

    Jonny

  10. nicky Says:

    Hi Paul/Everyone,

    Great post and I totally understand the concept on paper but the thing is I find it near impossible to translate it into the real world.

    The anxiety I have which started from one panic attack 3 or 4 years ago, has left me in a place where i believe that I cannot be free from it. In fact after some grim life events (parents divorce mainly) its more that I believe now I can not find happiness again. Over the past 3 years even at times when i have felt vaguely ok, I was aware that it was always there in the background. It has lead to a permanent feeling of unease and deep seated fear that I always carry with me.

    So its fair enough to say ‘stop trying to escape’ but when you have a thousand terrifying thoughts racing through your mind about real things and issues you are facing in your own life creating genuine feelings of deep fear how can you separate the importance and real significance you place on these thoughts or genuine truth they may hold from ‘anxiety’ itself?

    What I mean is how can i start to believe that when my mind is telling me things like.

    I will ‘never being able to be happy again’ or
    ‘i’m too mad/ too much of a burden to have a relationship’ or
    ‘life is too frought with danger or
    ‘i cannot find inner peace’ or
    ‘life is too complex to deal with I need to escape it’ or
    ‘i cant deal with XYZ’ or
    ‘what if i killed myself because i couldn’t stand the fact that i will never be free of anxiety and happy’
    is all simply a product of anxiety as opposed to holding any truth. Because some of these thoughts have become almost engrained now.

    Like I go about my business everyday and try and act as normal as possible, and attempt to live ‘alongside’ it. But I find that I am merely surviving but still feel the same grim feelings and thoughts.

    Is there some kind of thing I can say to myself regularly to re enforce this new way of approaching anxiety? And make myself believe that there really is the possibility of an unburdened, light, happy and serene existence out there, where i don’t have to constantly pre empt scenarios or fear future catastrophes?

    Seems like a lot of people on here are doing what i do too..

    Also when you feel like you’re unsure about what you want from life in general or how to make yourself happy anyway, having anxiety on top of it blows it so far out of proportion it just all seems too overwhelming for words. Its like everything i do now is dictated by fear and its very difficult to dismiss these kind of things as nonsense due to a truthful element they hold about my own uncertain future.

    Any help greatly appreciated….

  11. Charles Says:

    “Oh I still felt crap at times, detached on occasions, but I just saw it as nonsense, part of my conditioned mind and let it be there.” This is EXACTLY what I did to overcome this, can’t recommend this enough. As a matter of fact, this happened today, I was pulled to interview someone during lunch time, I was hungry, dehydrated and wasn’t prepared for it, I felt the fear growing, I started worrying about stuff like “what if I feel like crap during the interview, what if I mess up the questions…” But then deep down inside of me I knew that I was conditioned to think negatively like this during these stressful situations, my body was conditioned to feel this way when I think these negative thoughts, in a word everything was happening exactly like it’s meant to be. So I went in, did the interview, felt the fear, and sometime during the interview I got distracted and my thoughts changed, my body in turn changed and I no longer felt the anxiety. All part of life, same stuff, different day.

  12. Bryan Says:

    Lynn,

    I have read loads of success stories of people who struggled for a decade or more.

    Claire Weekes opens her most popular book by saying “no matter how long you may have struggled, you CAN recover. “

  13. Rena Says:

    What a nice post, Paul.Thank you !
    After 6 months of living without anxiety , I had a setback. My setbacks begins with some kind of insomnia, and after that I feel very low and without energy. An then the circle begins-what if I am depressed, what if never be the same again, why me… A lot of What if’s… But this time I let myself to feel low, to be angry and unhappy. it isn’t easy to accept. But I know that this is the only way, the only cure. i know that this won’t last forever. This is just a setback.
    I have to feel setbacks if i want to feel better.
    Be patient. It is so good to know taht we are not alone:)God bless this blog

  14. Sara Says:

    Hi Jonny

    It seems you are trying to blame the antidepressants for how you feel now, instead of accepting that you have anxiety. Your anxious mind is saying “But could they have done any damage to my mind?” The answer is no, of course when you were taking them they would have affected how you feel. I took Prozac for many years, whilst I took them I believed they were preventing me having a panic attack, it was a long process to come off them and convince myself I didn’t need them. I was always conscious of my breathing, and the thought of not taking them made me think I’d stop breathing (panic). With the help of a therapist I gradually came off them and realised that I was using the tablets as a crutch, the only thing that had power over my breathing was me, the tablets played no part. I’d built up a fear that I couldn’t do it on my own and the tablets were helping me.

    Not to say they didn’t help me, I was in a very dark hole to begin with and when I started to feel better and accept that this was how I felt and I had to get on with my life did I then have the strength to come off the tablets and move on. I’ve had a few setbacks since then (15 years ago) but I’ve learnt and I’ve grown and am gradually accepting that these thoughts are all my own, I have no other mental illness or unexplained health problem. Its only when you start to accept you have anxiety and that is all it is that you can remove the fear and carry on.

    I’m currently taking citalopram 10mg. Which I will start to wean myself of soon, am I worried I’m using at as a crutch, no!! I felt rubbish I needed a bit of help, I will come off them soon, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Some people choose to take them some don’t, it’s entirely up to the individual just don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t punish yourself for having taken them, you have to say “ I took them, this is how I feel now, and carry on” You can sit and dwell and ask questions but you’re just going to reinforce your anxiety. Accept and move on and do exactly as Paul has said in his post above. :)?

    Nicky,

    You will only start to be happy when you stop questioning and allowing those thoughts to stop you living. We all want inner peace, happiness, a good relationship, anxiety free life, and we can all have it.

    As Pauls post suggests “The day I stopped trying to figure it all out, stopped trying to fix or feel different was truly the day that things got better. I could finally accept there was nothing to escape, nothing to fix. By no longer trying to feel different I actually did. Oh I still felt crap at times, detached on occasions, but I just saw it as nonsense, part of my conditioned mind and let it be there.”

    The questions and fears are not just going to go away, you may have to take them with you for a while, the longer you fear them the heavier they will become. Get up each day and just live your life, ignore the questions when they come, say “so what” they will always try to bring you down. If you say I can’t go out tonight and feel sorry for yourself you’re going to feel bad, when you start going out your happiness will start to grow. Stop fighting for it and one day you’re find it, you just have to accept there’s not a time scale and you will feel rubbish at first, but when you start living and stop fearing your life really will change for the better :)

  15. Doreen. Says:

    Just to say to those who are asking for Paul to respond directly to questions – it is not something he usually does. That is what the blog is for, so others who have experienced something similar can respond. The heartening thing about this blog is realising that indeed no matter what our back grounds or life events our anxiety ‘symptoms’ are so alike. So understanding can be felt by the bucket load.

  16. Sally Says:

    I have to say Paul I think this is one of the best advice you have written so far and I can completely relate to it and thank you so much.

  17. Lynn Says:

    Sally, I agree. I also think it’s one of the best. I’m especially helped by what Paul writes at the end, “Oh I still felt crap at times, detached on occasions, but I just saw it as nonsense, part of my conditioned mind and let it be there.”

    Charles, you wrote an example of this too. It’s helpful to remember “it’s just my conditioned mind.” That’s really what it is. This just clicks with me.

  18. Lynn Says:

    Mark r, I knew Paul had anxiety for years, but didn’t realize it was 10 years. Thanks for your reply. That’s helpful to know. I agree with what you said about having the capacity to be well again. I do believe that too, just get doubtful sometimes.

    Bryan, thank you for replying. I appreciate it. It’s encouraging to hear that you’ve read of many success stories of people who had struggled for a decade of more.

  19. Lynn Says:

    Chrissy,

    Thank you very much for sharing your story. It sounds so much like what I have done too. I can really relate to what you said, “It’s not an easy thing to do to allow the thoughts and feeligs to come as for 15 years I have been fighting them. Few times I am capable of doing it I was overwhelmed with the amount of emotion I had bottled up and have been ignoring. It scared me yet at the same time knew this was part of recovery (am I right on this?) it’s a difficult habit to change, not to fight or flee from the thought or emotion. However I am learning. I also am dedicated to recovering as anxiety/depression has robbed me of enough of my life”

    This is so true for me to! I can get completely overwhelmed by the emotion I’ve stuffed down for SO long that it can be very scary when it comes out.
    It can also be a physical sensation that I react to. I am now realizing (it’s finally clicking for me) it is just how I’ve conditioned my mind to respond. Now when I feel them or get a thought, I tell myself what Paul wrote at the end of the post, “This is just nonsense, part of my conditioned mind” and I let it be there. I sometimes get discouraged at how many times I have to remind myself of this, but it’s helping and I trust it will lesson as time goes on.

    Thanks again for your reply, I really appreciate it. It’s so awesome to hear from all of you, I’m very grateful.

  20. Lui Says:

    I had some kind of inspiration today. I realized that everyone has at least one hater in their lifes, or even more. Why should I please everyone, if they probably talk bad about me anyway? I’m the only one who can make me feel better, no compliments, or all popularity in the world will make me feel good, when I haven’t found my inner peace and continue on letting my life rule of other people…?!

  21. Rena Says:

    Lynn, I had ups and downs for about 10 years with quite long breaks without anxiety. Quess what I noticed when I read my previous message. I am still afraid of anxiety- I am afraid to be depressed. That’s why I feel so low and down at setbacks. We feel what we are afraid the most- one has the fair of insomnia, others-the fear of vomiting and etc. How can we be free from anxiety if we don’t accept , just put up with it. What do you think?

  22. Bryan Says:

    On the topic of SSRI’s…

    Random question for the many around here who have read A Letter to Myself.

    I was just re-reading and trying to figure out. Is he implying that he used SSRI’s as part of his recovery? He listed meds early in the article seemingly in the “stuff that he tried” section. He also say he “took” meds, meaning in the past but didn’t say if it helped or if he stayed on them to recover. He brings up meds later in the depression section, and implies that they help “us” change our mood which helps recovery for some and says if you use meds, that’s “fine.”

    But I can’t tell from his writing what HE did. I can’t use meds, so I’m always trying to eliminate medication-recovery stories and focus on those who did it without. Not that his article would be any less awesome if he did use them, because he clearly has the right ideas. I’m just curious if anyone has read this and has a take on it?

  23. Rich Says:

    Hi Bryan, I am on SSRIs and have been since 2010 (fluctuating between dosages). I went to the docs today (who couldn’t believe the change in me) and we’ve agreed to another 3 months on. I’ve no side effects on them and have no problems at all about being on them, or choosing to go on them. I wish I wasn’t on them for the achievement factor, but this will happen in time, and I’m in no rush. I see them as a good thing. Going on and coming off though – not so much, as it can be a bumpy ride for some.

    I don’t care if the guy in ALTM used them or not. I’m guessing he tried them in the early days, just like Paul probably did (GPs here in the UK are keen to write prescriptions to tackle Anx), but I’ve no idea what the SSRIs do for me apart from maybe see things in a better mood (but then again I’ve felt a little low this week?!) So heaven knows!

    I think most people use meds as recommended by their GP as a first line of attack. If GPs were better educated about anxiety and how to recover from fearing it, they’d precribe books instead of pills, and most people would never need medication in the first place. The misplaced hope and myth about taking a pill to make it all go away is a strong notion most of us are brought up to believe works.

  24. Kim Says:

    What if you are not sure that you are accepting the anxiety? Or having a hard time just seeing it as fear and not being bothered by it. Is there any tips to help someone? All day I have been saying to myself it’s just anxiety do not fear it, but it always comes back or is still there. I’m not sure if u can be unafraid. I have read Claire Weekes books and they say the same thing Paul does. Accept fear and give time to heal. I’m just afraid u can’t accept.

  25. Jonny Says:

    Thanks for that Sara, it means a lot

  26. Rachh Says:

    Wish I could switch my mind into outward and uncontrol mode. I am still fighting and I am starting to get panic symptoms because of all the adrenaline.. Stiff tongue the lot:(

    I watched a film we’ll not watched but observed called fight club tonight.. Something inside me felt that it is giving a good insight into some of the processes we will go through in recovery.

    I would be interested if someone who has recovered can watch it and see what I mean.. I want to let go but don’t know how to and I’m guessing the more i struggle with it the more it is eluding me..

  27. Helen Says:

    Thanks for the post Paul. I just wanted to say to everyone out there suffering from anxiety that I agree with Paul that you can recover from having bad bouts of anxiety and panic. However, I think in the acceptance of our anxiety we have to realize that anxiety is a part of who we are and its part of being human to have anxiety at times. When it comes, its about riding the wave and being confident that like any emotion and feelings it will pass.

    I was going through a terrible time last year- pretty much a complete nervous breakdown and I have been suffering from anxiety and worry my whole life. I read ‘At Last a Life” and it gave me hope in the realms of despair. I have struggled and struggled, but started having good times and days, then weeks. But I would still have bad patches and setbacks. I found that I couldn’t accept anxiety as much I thought and when I felt I was getting worse again I would spiral into an emotional wreck and anxiety would get worse.

    I would advise people to read “full Catastrophe Living” by John Kabat Zinn. This book teaches you about mindfulness meditation and how it is proven to help people cope through anxiety, illness, depression etc. I think many people here understand what Paul is saying but putting it into practice is hard. By doing meditation and being mindful you can learn to be with the anxiety and ride through it and know that it might come at some point but it doesn’t need to take over your life and when it does you can withstand it and cope. I am finding it is helping me to ‘accept’ feeling anxious. Maybe one day I wont be such a worrier or anxious about every little thing, but maybe I will always be a bit like this and by being mindful I am learning to cope with these feelings and not fight them.

  28. Sam Says:

    Hiya guys haven’t been here in a while, I have a dilemma of whether my symptoms are a cold/fever or are fatigue and my frailed nerves? Keep getting the shivers and boiling hot and have a headache and I’m not sure whether it is my anxiety as I have had similar before when I’m so tense I get a tension headache and my temperature gauge goes awol. But I’m stuck whether to go to college today or not and how much I should be doing. Any pointers? Cheers Sam

  29. Doreen. Says:

    Sam – it really would be irresponsible for anyone on here to second guess what your symptoms mean.

  30. Jo Says:

    I’m looking for some help and advice please.
    My problem is that although I’ve had period of being really ok I have now suffering from really bad anticipatory anxiety. So fear of something coming up (mainly social events or something where fear “losing it”) It’s awful and I’m trying very hard to walk towards the anxiety and pass through it. But it’s really affecting my sleep and eating which, in turn, is making me feel unwell.
    I know that it will lift, as it has done so in the past, but my mind is so thick with anxiety and I’m struggling.
    Any kind works anyone can pass my way would be gratefuly accepted.

    Also, Rich, if you could email me the shortened version of ALTM that would also be great!. Thanks all. x

  31. Karen Says:

    Rich please could I have the shortened version too. Thanks

  32. Bryan Says:

    Sam,

    Doreen is right but a couple of guidelines I use…

    Anxiety rarely causes a notable fever. So check your temp.

    Anxiety rarely causes runny nose or other actual cold symptoms.

    In other words when I’m looking at what symptoms may be I look for things that are clearly NOT anxiety like.

    But that’s just me. You should trust your own judgment and at worst just to see your doc or the campus nurse.

    Try to just make a decision and go with it. Don’t analyze too much.

  33. Rich Says:

    Karen & Jo, You have mail :)

  34. Lynn Says:

    Mazie, I’m like you. “I can be fine and then feel an odd sensation or pain and BOOM the anxiety jumps from no where.” I’m usually anxiety free until this happens, and yes, it just jumps out from nowhere. Now when that happens I’m trying to remember what Paul said, “this is nonsense, just my conditioned mind.” And let it be there.

  35. Anthony Says:

    Hi all … Great post Paul …

    Just thought id come back on here as not been on for a while. My brief story was i suffered for around 7mths before finding Paul , i realise reading some of the threads how lucky I am to have found the answers so early but as we all know even that period was a scary experience.

    Well without going into great detail I was at the point of doing the whole visit to the Docs in desperation which would have had the result I am sure of “take this pill you will be fine (maybe)” by chance I saw Paul’s book and it was a eureka moment as in wow this is me !!!!

    Well i followed his guidance and although it was hard to adjust my mind to believe either (a) i was not in fact going mad or (b) i did not have a terminal illness that was about to kill me, eventually and slowly my mind began to reboot and realise there would be an end to this.

    If i can give any advice its just to say have faith , I have had ups(lots) and downs(a few) I am in recovery but it is not complete , the biggest thing I struggled to cope with is after a good week or even month u suddenly and without any warning have what at first I felt was a massive dip, the first one filled me with horror with the oh no its back !!!! Well after I calmed my thoughts and read a few passages in Paul’s book I understood this is normal , just ride with it , so I felt terrible , so what you do when you get flu, I just accepted that I would be like this for a however long and just carry on with my life … It works as you just forget and it passes. Just stop thinking about it as that only adds to your worry… whats the point worry has never changed anything , well apart from how we feel !!!

    Even with the bad days I love my life again, yeah I can feel a bit crappy at times but I did on occasions before the anxiety its just I didn’t stress about it before.

    As i said I don’t come on here often as i feel its best just to get on with stuff, but wanted anyone who has any doubts and we all at times have many, to truly believe you can overcome this, how long it takes who knows and anyway its just a number but try and be positive in all you do.

    Good luck to you all in your recovery .. Anthony x

  36. Karen Says:

    Today I am tired and exhausted. I feel so low with the constant battling ie. Trying to ignore the anxiety and carry on as normal no matter how I feel, trying to be positive and believe it will get better. Surely this in itself is fighting? I just don’t understand why I am not improving.

  37. Rich Says:

    This morning has so far been horrendous – I am feeling a lot of the feelings associated with falling into a setback (even though it’s only been half a morning! It’s all mainly textbook stuff…

    I’m going out tonight for a family meal – like I’ve done around 4 times this year already (and had a great night each time), except this time is to a place where last Aug I felt horrendous all day beforehand (but then went on to enjoy the night!).

    I am a typical example of knowing all the theory, knowing what is going on, but then still experiencing the anticipatory anxiety anyway – and being scared at why this is happening to me when it no longer should.

    I have recovered from how I was during my worst spells since last Oct, but this is how I’ve been for the last 15 years. I feel I need to break new ground and not keep this loop repeating itself (pressure and failure). I, like so many, feel this has all been undone and I’m back to Square 1 now – and that I’ll be like this forever. All textbook stuff.

    Anticipatory anxiety is the worst for me, because it makes me feel awful, ruins my day and is nearly always, always is for nothing.

  38. Anthony Says:

    Hi Karen sorry to hear your having a hard day.

    I went through the same battles until i realised its the battle/fight that is causing the stress , just give it up and let the bad feelings flow, as bad as it is just say “whatever” and get on with ur normal day, honestly it will pass , and as I did when it does say to yourself well done and then carry on .. its all part of your recovery and your mind readjusting , don’t try and understand why ur not improving say i will improve and that is only a matter of time.

    Be strong and positive asit will happen just don’t set limits …

    Good Luck Anthony

  39. saverina Says:

    Hi all,

    Hope you’re having a relatively good day?

    Does anyone get the body jolts before falling asleep?

    Rich, are you in a position to exchange emails at all?

    Regards, Saverina

  40. Lauren Says:

    Hi all,

    I am on here to just get some advice as to whether this is just obsessing or if I am on the right track.. when you are accepting the anxiety/thoughts/feelings is it similar to take a deeper breath (eyes rolling back..), almost envisioning the anxiety standing up against you? I am doing this, however is starting to feel like I am doing it to try to evade the thoughts/ feelings from my awareness. However, this may be what accepting is, it just is hard to feel comfortable with doing. (Wow, I will not be surprised if people are confused by my post- wordy!)

    PS I followed Paul’s advice in 2011 and got to a much better/more confident (mental) state, along with applying some CBT, however since then have had ups and downs (now have done so much thinking bout it all) that it seems to be a lot harder to feel the motivation/relief of Paul’s advice and apply it! My mind keeps jumping in with ‘conversations’/ images of past ‘good times’ and things I’ve read (regarding anxiety).

    Thanks, Lauren.

  41. Rich Says:

    Hi Saverina, I don’t exchange emails personally as I don’t read or talk about anxiety unless I need support myself (ironically I could do with some today!) or have advice to offer everyone – which I post here.

    If you mean do I pass emails on to other people for others, I don’t do this either as it is outside my role here and would be too time consuming.

  42. Rich Says:

    Lauren, knowing ‘how to accept’ and ‘what is acceptance’ is probably the most often asked question here in regards to the recovery process, as it is so hard to understand.

    I’m having a rubbish morning this morning – physical symptoms really playing up, anticipatory anxiety, then the old favourites all come rushing back. My approach is to just remind myself that this is just anxiety, I don’t normally feel like this, this is not the truth and this feeling shall pass.

    I am no expert in coping – and am guilty of doing things which feed the anxiety (come here for support, text my partner for moral support, worry about tonight and the future, coping, getting worse, get frustrated etc!) but accepting is not trying to feel good (I feel rubbish!), or enjoy it (it’s supposed to be scary), it is simply to leave it alone.

    Nothing I can ‘do’ can stop this apart from to live a normal life as best I can. Anything I do try to do will only make it last longer and get worse. Therefore, I deal with the physical symptoms (for me it’s my stomach) and remind myself the mental ones are all a lie, then I get on with my day as best I can.

  43. Lauren Says:

    Thanks Rich, will do my best to continue following through with the advice given.

    My Aunty (who has been a big support “this time round”) writes very similar to Paul (her experience was to learn as much as she could about it)… She experienced her darkest days/years before all of this technology was around! But she corrects me whenever I say “during my recovery”- “No Lauren, it’s something you will manage”.

    All the best :)

  44. D-Ren Says:

    Rich, if you can, send me a shortened version aswell :) If its not too much to ask!!
    Thanks!

  45. Anthony Says:

    Hi Lauren… I don’t hold myself out to be an expert and so all I say is based solely on my own experience and how I dealt with my anxiety/stress.

    I decided to come back on here for 1 day today to hopefully share my ongoing recovery which is in my view all going in the right direction.

    The biggest hurdle I found is understanding why anxiety comes back for no apparent reason when you can have had days/weeks with nothing. I think based on what Paul experienced is just the way it is, and you may have a trigger moment when ‘bang!’ it hits you. I know I did this originally, say “oh no its back”, then the whole worry process starts again, and u go back to the “why is it happening? I thought I was cured and it will never end”. One day just a person talking about anxiety (and this wasn’t related to me) set me off.

    All I can say is just say to yourself “whatever”, “if its bad its bad but i will carry on”. If anything, embrace the feelings rather than hide from them, as when it stops you can say well done and that you got over the hurdle with no harm. It will never harm you its just the perception it somehow can.

    The fact you find it harder is just your mind telling you its harder. …It isn’t – its the same as when you dealt with it before. There is no change, its just an obstacle we create, as we do with the bad thoughts and the feeling it will never go.

    I feel so lucky to have found the literature so early and maybe I don’t have lots of previous experiences, but all I can say is it works – to just let go , don’t worry – if you are going to feel bad, it happens. We all on here worry but in not worrying why, will cause it to loose its edge, and just know everyday you are recovering.

    Just don’t set any limits as to when it will complete.

    Stay strong and positive and good luck… Anthony

  46. Lauren Says:

    Thankyou Anthony. That was very encouraging :)

    L.

  47. saverina Says:

    Rich, I understand re the emails and understand that you cannot pass emails to others.

    Some advice for you:This setback will pass for you as it has done previously so keep telling yourself this and welcome any thought or feelings as they cannot harm you….

    Anticipation anxiety is awful and just know that nothing will happen….

    I recently had an operation and prior to the operation I was so anxious about being put to sleep and actually it all happened so quickly that it was not bad at all…

    Last week I had to take the tube to an appointment and hadn’t taken one for a while as I suffered from Claustrophobia due to being trapped in a lift last year and again before taking the tube on I was anxious and guess what? I went towards my fear and NOTHING happened…

    Hope this helps.

    Regards, Saverina

  48. Rich Says:

    Hi Saverina, Email swaps will still be done by Paul when he checks in to his messages should you wish to contact him via the blog to request this. Just ask the person who you wish to contact to do the same so that it is through mutual consent.

    Thanks for your kind words of support – much appreciated! I’m currently forcing down some lunch reading it!

    I have worried about things so much that to worry seems quite ingrained within me, but today has thrown me a little with how extreme the symptoms have been. I’ve been here many times before. I don’t want the ‘getting through’ the event to be the path out though – because as soon as it’s over, something else comes up, I just worry about it again – and on I go.

    My attitude towards it has changed, and hopefully will continue to do so. Me leading quite a passive lifestyle doesn’t help me conquer this though. I have a lot of ground to recover that anxiety has taken from me over the years.

  49. saverina Says:

    Rich,Paul has recently advised that he’s too inundated to deal with such requests and therefore one needs to request email exchange on this blog.

    I know exactly what you’re saying as I too have been like this for sooooo long.

    Whilst in recovery remember that Anxiety is going to throw all kinds of thoughts and feelings at us to get the necessary attention to keep us in the loop and I often fall for this trap time and time again….

    What helps me is to really welcome the thoughts and feelings and say “Is this the worst you can do?” and guaranteed the feelings and thoughts don’t escalate as I’m showing who’s in control….

    You will be fine….

    Saverina

  50. Doreen. Says:

    Saverina – what Paul meant was that you will have to be willing to put your email address here on the blog in order for the person with whom you are wanting contact to be able to get hold of you. He used to prefer to make this happen for people in order to protect your privacy but being inundated with such requests led him to make that suggestion.
    However, others have managed to get linked by going onto his Facebook page and putting a comment below his most recent post. If the other party then looks at the FB page then he or she can access sending you a message that way. Of course you have to be a Facebook user to do that. You need to tell the other party that you have done that by putting a message for them on this blog.
    Hope that makes sense.

  51. saverina Says:

    Doreen – I’m fully aware of this and thank you.

    How are you doing?

    Regards, Saverina

  52. Bryan Says:

    Sara,

    Great posts and I meant to ask… if you switched from one drug to another, how were you ever sure that the original drug wasn’t “working.”

    You said that you figured out it wasn’t doing anytning… but then quit and went on another drug. Just curious if you could explain that part of the story?

  53. Karen Says:

    Thanks Anthony for the advice and support. Its so hard not to fight to try to feel better.
    Thanks Rich for the shortened version and other information.

  54. Anthony Says:

    No problem Karen … The great thing is we all on here understand each other , I swear I’ve had lots of times when I doubted but the honest answer is if the other things we all try worked we wouldn’t be here …

    You will overcome this because you want to it’s just making ur mind realise that at which point it will stop playing tricks with the bad thoughts n apprehension . Just be positive and don’t fear or try and suppress the bad days , I find in beating the bad days it makes you stronger and give you confidence.

    Every small step will total a massive stride just believe in yourself this will work it is for me and I was sure that would never be the case.

    Good Luck Anthony

  55. Kyara Says:

    Hello all,

    Great post and such good advice. I’m not yet recovered but I can say I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I bounce back much easier now. My advice to anyone suffering is to accept how you’re feeling and live as if it wasn’t there. Feel it don’t fear it. You will come through the other side but allow yourself as much time as you need. Do not feed into the anxiety. Self pitty, Self doubt, questioning symptoms, worrying, compulsive behavior etc all feed the anxiety. Stay positive, believe in yourself and believe you are capable of not being cured but of being clear minded. When we have anxiety we are battling with ourselves against something that is beyond normal. Stop fighting. You will get better. Trust, believe and you will concur.

  56. Karen Says:

    Can someone remind me how to deal with self checking …. am I coping? Am I anxious? Do I just let myself do it?

  57. Julie Says:

    I have had a tough week. 3 days of nastiness from family members that hit out of the blue through me back to feeling terribly anxious, scared to be at home alone… I cried non stop for days and struggled to eat, do my exercises.. totally lost my routine. Yesterday I decided to get up and carry on as normal, I did and I felt a little better but then thoughts hit whilst alone and I was anxious but got through it.

    I have woken this morning feeling so sad. Lately I have noticed I feel confused and low. I am sat in bed close to tears because I am even starting to doubt this is just anxiety. The physical symptoms i rarely get and if i do they don’t bother me too much, only when I leave the house alone but then I know what they are and I carry on. My main problem is mental symptoms. Yes I know I am repeating myself here but it’s been on my mind and I have fear again that this isn’t anxiety. Take today as an example, my head feels like it races with thoughts so fast I can’t register them, I get nasty thoughts of harm and lately the ones about myself returned and I’m scared when alone. It isn’t just the harm thoughts, it’s like all day my mind feels confused, low, strange thoughts, fear of hearing voices or that I am, dark morbid thoughts, so jumpy, can’t enjoy my life at all and feel strange. I even think I am dragging my family down, and I think I am always so negative and doom and gloom.. Why can’t I feel happiness when I have a wonderful husband and children.

    I find it hard to put into words but I’m back to worrying that these mental symptoms are something more than anxiety as I have never suffered them in my life. Yesterday I had a scare when I thought the inner chatter in my mind was voices. My friend said it’s the stress of the week, and it has thrown you back a bit. I do fear set back alot as I can’t go back to the girl I was before Christmas, hubby would lose his job. I am more concerned that the way I feel in my mind isn’t anxiety. It is so strange and I get such dark scary thoughts. I keep fearing I’m more ill than just anxiety but I’m not sure what i think it might be either.

    I wasn’t going to post through fear of being flamed but I see others are struggling too right now. I am just so concerned about the mental thoughts i get. I know my GP said a while ago it’s OCD and GAD and I trusted him, I am just now back to wondering if it’s something more to feel this way. My husband said I had come a long way, but the last few days stress has made me slip. I have been thinking these questions for a while though, before the set back this week. I have been doubting for a couple of weeks but tried to push through and leave the questions be.

    I am sorry to post, and I am in tears as I type this. I feel all my hard work is lost but most of all I fear what this is and will I be ok :-(

  58. RachelT Says:

    Julie. Your not thinking,feeling,imagining or worrying about anything that a hundred plus other people on here haven’t. Honestly. Believe it’s just “heightened worrying”. (I’m starting to hate the word anxiety) and it’s like a spiral. Once you get caught in the vortex, your away. It feels worse and worse until something clicks and you start to come back down and bits start to feel normal again. You look back and think what was that all about, that scared me, I had no control. Well you sort of did. The day you believe with all your heart that this is a normal emotion, a normal physical and psychological response to worry and fear which is massively exasperated and heightened for us at the moment will be the day you watch the vortex and gently step yourself of. In the meantime go to the cinema with your children etc and feel rubbish, so what, life goes on, it has too. Your not mentally or physically I’ll. believe it and carry on living. Xx

  59. Lauren Says:

    Hi Julie,

    You sound similiar to me, when I hit a major low last year… still trying to stay out of my mind enough to “feel like im making progress”. I have felt a lot better following Paul’s advice in the past, however 3 years later feeling like I’m drowning in my own misery. A lot of my ‘mental chatter’ are repeats of things I’ve heard from people (kind of like voices), but voices I believe/ and have heard is a voice which you have no connection to.. (you haven’t spoken/read/known the person in your head.
    Anyway, I am only 22. I was told at the beginning of last year that I was a ‘thinker’ (coping mechinism/way to operate/relate to other people).. However when I hit a major low mid last year I realised being a ‘thinker’ makes you more suceptable to taking on other people’s stress/ negativity etc. Really just another way of saying ‘thinkers’ usually have history anxiety/depression/ being sensitive people.
    Anyways, yes I’ve rambled on, but know what you’re experiencing isn’t as bad as you probably thinking. I have had the ‘patient’ support of rellies (where I’m currently staying now).. My Aunty has given me good advice ( stay off blogs) / websites etc. I think best way is to get out and try to ‘feel’ as normal as possible (probably next step to tackling problems). Can you volunteer somewhere where you are? At least you can have a conversation (even if your judging yourself) as to feel more connected to ‘normal’ life..
    Put in place things you can do ( which make you talk to people).. You will slowly get more appreciation for yourself, which in turn may see you understanding Paul’s concepts clearer.
    I will be doing these steps too! :)

    Hope this made a bit of sense.. : /

    Lauren.

  60. Julie Says:

    Thank you Rachel and Lauren. Great replies, I appreciate you replying to me.

    I started with this bout of anxiety 4 months ago, I’d never suffered before with anything like this. I’ve been doing well but have some bad days still, now this has slapped me in the face. I’m 34, married with 3 children and have a good life with them. I want to truly enjoy it again without all these worries and nasty thoughts dragging me down.

    With regards to the voices. It wasn’t a voice I recognised which I guess scared me more and it came in whilst doing some exposure practice. Exposing myself to my intrusive thoughts by a window and that’s when ‘the voice’ feeling hit. I’ve since brought that voice in myself so I know it’s just my imagination as I fear hearing voices. It didn’t half scare me at the time though.

    Thanks again, it does help a lot having supportive replies when you’re having a tough time x

  61. Rich Says:

    Hi Everyone, I wanted to log in to let you know that after a full day of anxiety hell yesterday, that the evening went really well. I ate fairly well, felt ok and had a good time. I was so tired from the anxiety and adrenalin filling my head and body all day.

    However, the anxiety has carried on into this morning, and it feels just like my last setback. I feel myself back in the anxiety vortex. Woke with adrenalin, an upset stomach, shaking from the energy in my body having no outlet. All of the usual thoughts are coming back. Just got to remember I’ve been here before, this is nothing new, I got through it before and I’ll get through it again.

  62. Karen Says:

    Rich, I was wondering how you got on. Glad it went well and you will get through it again. You know how to do it.
    Julie, it is anxiety and like me it is all based around thoughts. We will get better.
    Anybody got any ideas for my question above or when the thought ‘ I feel bad ‘ constamtly spirals around your head obsessively. Let it? Surely that’s not healthy but I can’t stop it. Sorry to keep posting, struggling massively still even though I understand this and am trying to carry on as normal.

  63. Julie Says:

    I had a brain wave today, it doesn’t happen often 😉 I used to suffer from health anxiety terribly, it was 9 years ago. I used to obsess over every ache, pain, lump.. In time it got better but at the time I used to go to my GP to ask him what a certain symptom was, only if it persisted. One time I found a huge lump in my armpit. It was big and I thought it was just a gland but for a couple of weeks i obsessed, constantly checking it, prodding, worrying, thinking I had cancer…. I saw my GP, who I trusted, and he told me it was a gland and I was fighting an infection. After this appointment I left the gland alone, it was still sore, it still felt big but I left it alone to shrink on it’s own. I no longer worried about it, questioned what it could be, made myself feel ill with panic and anxiety. I let it be and I accepted what my GP had told me. I have realised this is exactly the same with my symptoms. I need to believe they are caused by anxiety, leave them alone, not question, add no dialogue to the thoughts…. leave it all be and I will heal.

    It’s funny that this has suddenly hit me but at least I can see that in the past acceptance has worked for me. That too was an anxious period in my life. I had a tough year of worrying about my health, it did jump from glands, to any abnormal bleeding, headaches… it was only when I had actual problems but I would obsess and make myself ill. I used to cry daily thinking I had or would get cancer. In time listening to my GP, accepting I had anxiety and these things weren’t cancer and they would heal of their own accord if I left them.

    As I said earlier, a bit of a brain wave for me, it doesn’t happen often so writing it here has helped me see it in black and white 😉 It may not help anyone but I can see how acceptance does work when we let go.

  64. Sara Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Sorry to hear so many of you are struggling at the moment, don’t lose faith. You’ve all been here before and it will pass and you will become stronger than you have.

    Bryan,

    When I had my first panic attack and I went to the doctors not knowing what the hell was happening to me, he offered me tablets and asked if I’d like to see a counsellor I refused both. I thought if this is purely a panic attack and I’m not dying I’ll be fine. The thing is like most of you know, once you’ve had one panic attack you then fear another. I soon spiralled into a deep hole, scared of being on my own, scared of going out, had intense depersonalisation. I then accepted help and tried different meds, none of which I liked. Then someone suggested Prozac, so this is what the doctor prescribed, it was horrible at first, your body takes a while to get used to, the first 2-4 weeks make you feel worst than before. But gradually I started to feel better, I didn’t feel the need to sit around crying all day. I was on them for a couple of years and with the help of the psychologist I came off them.

    They don’t necessarily take away your anxiety but they lift your mood, they don’t make you feel any different. I know some people say they make them feel drowsy or not with it, but that has never been my experience. You do feel worse in the beginning but that only lasts a few weeks. Anxiety is thought based, we work our self up into a negative state, so regardless whether you’re on tablets or not they are not going to take away your thoughts. They helped me though because I sunk so low, I needed that boost to think straight and help me begin to live. I went many years without the tablets but had a few setbacks where I would go back to the doctors and ask again for Prozac, I’d stay on them for a bit and then wean myself off. This time though when I had a bit of a setback and went back to the doctors, he actually listened to me. I found past doctors just wanted to chuck pills at you without listening to the problem. I still don’t believe they really understand and I will be going back at some point to give him the information to Pauls book, because if I’d found this sooner maybe I wouldn’t have so many setbacks. This time he suggested Citolpram, I was apprehensive at first as this was new to me, but they’ve been fine. They lifted my mood and this was when I found Pauls website, it really was a revelation and the answer to many questions I had over the years of suffering. It has helped me more than anything, the blog really helps as well, just listening to other peoples symptoms reassures me as 9/10 of have felt the same. So I can think “It’s ok, it’s only anxiety, you’re not mad” I’m still on the tablets but will start to wean myself off them soon, I’ve stopped beating myself up about being on them, they lifted my mood when it needed lifting.

    For everyone else here suffering you should think the same when you read the blog, “We all say, I’m similar to you, I’ve had that thought, that symptom” But still we build up our own anxiety looking for justification as to what it is we have that’s different to everyone else. When really its staring us in the face, we’re all the same, it’s just anxiety.

    Julie, I had horrible racing thoughts last night and this morning, where they’re going 100 miles an hour, but I let them be there got up went out and interacted with others. As soon as your distracted this feeling goes, you’re not mad, you’re not different from anyone else. You are just allowing them to be there and scare you, take the thoughts out with you and you’ll gradually see them fade. When I sit in and dwell I can feel awful, get out and live.

    Karen, also. We all question the exact same thoughts, are you coping ? “Yes” Are you anxious “Maybe a little, but who cares” Let the thoughts be there and carry on with your day. Just by continuing your day, you’ve answered your coping question.

    Rich, Be proud that you got through the night and had a good time, sod the physical symptoms, ignore them all. Don’t allow the anxiety to build and hold you back, get up go out and carry on.

    Remember, Fear is only as deep as the mind :)

  65. Rich Says:

    Excellent post Sara – thank you!

  66. Doreen. Says:

    Ditto Sara. Good to read a balanced story by someone who feels that medication does help her reach a place where she feels able to put the writings of Paul into practice. I too used Citalopram in the earlier days of my most recent episode of anxiety (winter 2011) and also diazepam on occasions to help me get to places I really wanted or needed to go to, such as watching my middle grandson in a ballet or going to my sisters funeral.I was in charge of the medication, it was not in charge of me and I gradually came off the Citalopram after a number of months. Didn’t so much wean myself off, but forgot to take them and still felt ok. I certainly felt that they gave me the lift to live life again which in itself is a great morale booster.

  67. Rich Says:

    Doreen my situation sounds similar to yours in regards to meds. I started on Citalopram in 2010 at the recommendation of my GP, not knowing what anxiety was, hoping it would be a miracle cure. It did help, but I’d still worry about big things.

    I was given a pack of Diazapam to use ‘when needed’ but only 2mg. I’ve not used these since Last Oct and that was to get me to the airport and onto my holiday whilst being in the worst state I’ve ever been in.

    I don’t know exactly what my meds are doing, compared to what I manage to do myself through understanding, but I have no problem being on them. I did plan to come off them last Dec, but I’m not bothered that a setback changed my mind.

    Since 2010 I feel my anxiety has gotten a lot worse, and my world has gotten a lot smaller. It has massively knocked my confidence and I think it will be a long process or ups and downs to get my life back full-time.

    The weeks I have at the moment are great, but the setbacks really kick you when they pull you back down. My loss of confidence and loss of quality of life over the last 6 months have made me a lot more depressed than I usually am, but I have to remain hopeful of full recovery.

  68. saverina Says:

    Remember Rich it really is ok to feel like you do and know that this will pass…….

    Each set back makes you stronger and closer to recovery. All you need is courage and patience, nothing else….

  69. Julie Says:

    Thank you Sara.

    I had a great day. Went out to see my friend and then to my nieces party. I was the last to leave and even got up dancing to YMCA with my daughter. Showed myself I can have fun and not just to show my brother I’m not afraid of him, but to show myself I’m fine and can feel happiness. I had a few fleeting thoughts and felt a tad anxious I was near him and my sister but I was fine. I got on well with the rest of the family and enjoyed my afternoon :)

  70. Rich Says:

    Thank you Saverina – words like that are of great comfort and really help put my mind in the right place. Feeling so rubbish really makes me regress into almost a child-like level of emotion – wanting to cry at times, wanting to curl up in a ball and wait for someone else to make it all better. It gets a little tedious when you’ve been here before!

    Julie, Congratulations on your day! You say you’ve shown your family you can still have fun and feel happiness, but more importantly you have shown yourself, and your mind will have noticed.

  71. Bryan Says:

    Hang in there, Rich. Setbacks have been difficult for me, too. They’ve thrown me off course so what I’m working on now is knowing that another one will come when it wants to… to be flexible enough in my mindset to accept the suffering without creating a story or letting it shake my belief in recovery. THAT has been my big issue. My setbacks have indeed been pretty bad and long the last couple of times, but they have given way to better times. It’s just odd because I had gone a long time with setbacks being short. (But closer between.)

    In any case, hang in there… try to let this wash over you and remember that so many have done this before us, with great success. We are no different outside of our time-line. It’s just taking us a bit longer.

  72. Julie Says:

    Rich – Thank you. Yes I did show myself and I am really happy that I showed my brain too that I can have fun and I am fine 😉 I think I said that above but maybe read like I just showed my family. It was great to enjoy the party, after all the dread. As you know anticipatory anxiety is the worst.

  73. saverina Says:

    I know exactly what you’re saying. I promise you will recover….. Anxiety is just trying to keep you in the cycle of fear etc…. remember it is essentially your attitude towards it that will make a lot of difference. Welcome it all, it’s only shots of adrenalin which all of us do not have an indefinite supply of.

    Chin up, tomorrow is another day and if you feel crap then that is fine, let it be.

  74. Sharon Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    This website has been a brilliant help for me over the years have being living my life and have got to do amazing things. Anxiety still roars its ugly head every now and then and can mostly not listen to it and carry on. I guess fitness and exercise was one of my ways dealing with anxiety but after becoming sick almost 7 weeks ago with the flu I haven’t being able to do much (I am worried it could be a post viral thing… the magic word worried!) but just haven’t being feeling right since very tired and achey and lightheaded a lot of the time. I was wondering could anyone give me some advice on this?

  75. Rich Says:

    Hi Everyone, Just popped on to read some positive comments to lift my spirits – and there was some – so thanks!

    Another day of waking and feeling anxious and full of adrenaline, but got out to see my Mum and go to the local shop (with what felt like jelly-filled legs!). I’m off out this afternoon to the in-laws for tea (I admit I’m worried about this as my appetite has gone), but I’m going nonetheless.

    My attitude is just to ride out the storm and not get too down or disheartened about it (guilty at times).

    One question I have about recovery, is that is ‘recovery’ never falling back into a setback ever again, or is it just dealing with setbacks without fear?

  76. saverina Says:

    Rich,

    Complete recovery means never falling into a setback again as Anxiety will have no fear to feed on when true acceptance occurrs….

  77. Bryan Says:

    That’s a great question Rich. Someone asked Paul that on Facebook as well but no reply. (He’s a busy dude I know.).

    My guess would be the latter because if that was truly the case, your brain’s state of high alert would naturally abate below the surface and these setbacks would lessen in intensity until we were free of them.

    So my guess is that he would answer your whole question by teaching us not to even ask that question. To allow whatever to happen.

    If you look at my prior response to you, we have a very similar situation in that regard.

  78. Bryan Says:

    Sharon,

    Viruses staying in your system and affecting you for months is common, even after the initial wave has passed. I would just ride it out and allow your body to finish that last leg of healing. Maybe mix in some extra relaxation/naps too.

  79. Doreen. Says:

    Have to say that I am more more ambivalent about the use of the word ‘recovery’ than some on here. To me reaching a point where I can get on with life to the full, understand that when I fall into a bad patch I will climb out again and not letting anxiety dictate to me is certainly good enough. I think some people remain fearful because they still struggle and think that they have not reached the magic goal of full recovery. I go with Rich’s definition as if life throws challenging things at me as it has recently I am likely to fall back into what some people call setback. But the key to that is understanding that if I let myself accept that blip for the time being I will be out of it before too long.

  80. Sharon Says:

    Thanks Bryan! Just not used to it I guess usually when I hit a rough anxiety patch can move on with life but feeling this way after is hard to deal with! Patience I guess is the way forward and realise my body needs to still heal!

  81. Val Says:

    Hope your grandson is doing well Doreen.:-)

  82. Will Says:

    Hi, has anyone else ever had a mistake or wrongdoing from the past crop up in their mind and can’t stop thinking about it and obsessing over it? This has happened to me a few years ago but it’s happening again now and I feel like I’m going out of my mind, like I’m in a constant state of trying to work it out and I’m trying to sleep. It may have something to do with an anxiety spike I’ve been having recently. I know that we are not our mistakes and that they no longer matter, but I just can’t get my mind out of overdrive as well as these horrible “dread” feelings.

  83. Rich Says:

    Hi Everyone, I really hope recovery is an end to setbacks and the way they throw you into such a dark hole. General Anxiety I can tolerate cropping up (as anxiety is a natural feeling), but it’s the sudden spiral down into the state where I have to live with these symptoms I would really look forward to waving goodbye too. It’s not the fear of them, but the horrible way they make you feel. I find it hard to be social, am more careless and clumsy and find it hard to concentrate.

    I feel fairly distant at the moment. I know this is a result of the anxiety, but I really do miss my old self.

  84. Val Says:

    Bit the same Rich…… Good vibes…:-)

  85. Rich Says:

    Good vibes to you too Val. Sitting at work full of adrenaline, yawning and not being able to concentrate is not good at all. I know however that if I was sat at home on my own, I would be listening to the depressive, self-pity feelings it conjures and sinking deeper. Instead, I’m sat in a quiet office working away, listening to the birds chirping outside building their nests, thinking this isn’t so bad after all.

  86. Julie Says:

    Thanks for those that supported me at the weekend. It was a tough one going to the party having to see my brother but also yesterday going to see my mum my brother turned up. He came in with his huge dog (german shepherd cross husky) which has bitten before and it jumped at my son and latched onto his arm. I heard my son screaming and the dog growling. It was so frightening but thank you God he is safe and my brother got the dog off him. He seemed pretty shaken too and kept apologising, it was very awkward. So that has shaken my anxiety a little.

    I know I am going through abit of a set back after the stress I was under last week, I can see now I really was on the road to recovery before because now I am feeling old feelings, afraid to be alone, intrusive thoughts feel stronger …..

    I am sorry to post again but I know it was the people here that helped me so much in the beginning back in January when I was so scared and unaware what was happening to me. I could really do with some words of wisdom again.

    I am back to doubting this is anxiety. I don’t suffer with physical symptoms often, it’s all these mental ones. The big ones are the harm ones about me and the children but I also have What if I am like this forever? what if it’s not anxiety? what if I really am sick in the head? Am I safe alone? Am I safe with the children? I fear I am doom and gloom all the time and does this bring my family down? morbid thoughts I won’t say but you know just general horrible thoughts and all day feeling nothing but low because of them. I fear anxiety really can’t cause such thoughts. Can you really get these thoughts from anxiety without having many physical ones?

    Like I said the other day I had a brain wave about acceptance. Once you believe your condition, whether it be a lump you find and are told it’s not cancerous, or a headache isn’t a tumour, or nasty thoughts are just anxiety not that you want them to happen….. you leave it alone and it heals itself, you take away the stress and therefore you get on with life no longer fearing what you found was something more sinister. I hope that is how anxiety heals and i have this right in my head, lol! That was how I got over health anxiety when I suffered 9/10 years ago. I believed my GP that I didn’t have cancer, meningitis…. and I left the symptoms I had alone, I then got better with my anxiety. I really want to do this for my intrusive thoughts but it shows I really can’t believe anxiety can cause them as they are so horrible and morbid.

    My daughter is home today sick, it’s hard feeling like this and having her home but as a mother i have to keep going. I go out, I cook, I clean, I workout…. these thoughts though never get easier, I so wish they would. I am working so hard at living my life again and it’s really helping me BUT the thoughts are relentless and make me feel so scared and low no matter what I do they come with me and don’t let up. Any advice again would be much appreciated.

  87. Rich Says:

    Julie I’m the opposite – I suffer mainly with physical symptoms and not mental ones (apart from fear, but this is a fear of the physical symptoms!) I often worry if what I have is something else which is causing the anxiety – after Friday (I do suffer with IBS which has its own ups and downs, which is also triggered by anxiety – I used to say I was in a fear-IBS-fear loop).

    Anxiety gives me feelings such as failure, depression, self-pity, and even some really dark thoughts sometimes, but I know this is not the real me – as I am usually an up-beat and funny person. Anxiety hides the true you as it tries to protect you.

    I doubted for a moment that this is anxiety, but then I once again accepted that it was – and it was all it was. Every little bit of it. I do have IBS, but although this is a pain in the bum (quite literally!) it is the anxiety which is the problem.

    Your brainwave is still true, nothing has changed – just as it hasn’t with me. When I take a step backwards, like everyone else I imagine, I feel like I’ll be like this forever, that it will only get worse and not better, and that somehow I will be one of the unlucky few to have this for life. These are just anxious thoughts, and like all the rest, should be dismissed as rubbish.

    Look back at the progress you have made and do not dwell on the negatives – they are just bumps on the road to recovery.

  88. Bryan Says:

    Hey Rich,

    Have there been any big events, changes or happenings in your life as of late?
    Sometimes setbacks can occur around those things. For me it always feels random though. It’s funny, again… you describe your thoughts about setback just how I would. They are intense and the hardest thing to come to terms with. But we can.

  89. Rich Says:

    Hi Bryan, I think my setbacks happen on the approach to an event where previously I’ve worried about it. Unfortunately for me this could be as simple as going out or having people over. This means I worry pretty much about anything (‘what if I feel ill, what if I can’t eat’) – things a grown adult shouldn’t even worry about, but this stems from when I was a kid.

    My last setback (this weekend) was on a day where we as a family went out for a meal – to a restaurant I spent a whole day worrying about last Aug. Even though I have since been out 4-5 times to other restaurants since, this obviously weighed heavy on my mind. I think the shock of worrying to this degree (my stomach was off from the moment I woke that morning and lasted all day) is what threw me back into the setback, then the other usual symptoms (morning anxiety, appetite, stomach) just piled back in due to my vulnerable state – to kick me whilst I was down.

    Previous setback to that was having friends over for fish & chips and a sudden wave of anxiety throwing me totally, and the time before that was NYE and going to my in-laws for food.

    So, I’ve had some good experiences of not worrying and feeling ok, but the old habits and fears still crop up sometimes to throw me. According to the literature, this is my brain following old, negative neural pathways and not the new, positive ones. Hopefully this is the case, but the unpredictability and uncertainty isn’t a huge confidence booster.

    When I have a good experience, it is a plus point to me, but it’s like the negative experiences count double against me and I can’t leave them in the past.

    The biggest event I am worried will set me back is a holiday – as this is what caused my first major fall from just 15 years of GAD and isolated anxiety attacks, to full-on meltdown, 3 days ahead of leaving last Oct. I feared eating out for a whole week, but also the airport and flight with the anticipatory anxiety – where once I used to love this part of the holiday most of all.

    What all of these things have in common, is that they as past events should have absolutely no influence on future events – even in the same locations.

  90. saverina Says:

    Hi all,

    How’s your Monday going?

    Does anyone get the horrid body jolts before getting off to sleep?

    Regards, Saverina

  91. Rich Says:

    Hi Saverina, Quick reply as I’ve posted too much today, but yes, both me and my partner both jolt when we’re nodding off – It’s quite normal. I like the feeling because I know I’m falling asleep.

  92. Will Says:

    Hi Saverina, I know what you mean. I often get those when I’m trying to sleep under anxiety or lack of sleep from the night before, the latter would also make my heart constantly race no matter how much I tried to relax. All I’d want to do is sleep, but when I try to drop off my body jerks itself awake, or sometimes I may start shivering when I try to drop off instead. It can be incredibly annoying.

  93. Bryan Says:

    Again Rich. Our thoughts are so similar. I can have months of decent times but a setback for a few weeks (if that) can leave me lacking confidence. It’s a setback hangover. This is really where my energy is right now. Figuring out a new perspective where my mind doesn’t fear them and can let go when they pass. If I could do this I would really be on my way.

  94. Karen Says:

    Saverina, yes I get those. Really annoying as they wake you up again.

    Julie, I don’t know what to say. If only there was a magic wand. As you know my symptoms are identical to yours, little physical, all thoughts. I too am having a massive setback after getting to the point where I was fine on my own with the kids. I am now completely petrified of that again and struggling with the thoughts by the minute. I know its anxiety, I understand why its happening and that it means nothing, I am not avoiding…… despite wanting to run for the hills. To b honest, that’s all we can do and try to be patient. Pray that this setback will pass quickly……. before the Easter holidays! Aaaah!

    Rich, it is a relief to hear other people want to curl up in a ball and cry …… I would love for someone to put me to sleep while my nerves recover, then wake up fine! As you say, its when the symptoms are constant that it is really tough. You will get there, you have had set backs before and recovered.

  95. Karen Says:

    Setbacks …… An opportunity to practice what we have learned …… apparently. There’s one thing, how strong and brave we all are. Love to all who are struggling. Positive comments from those recovered needed I think.

  96. eee4 Says:

    Hey all. First time poster here. I have had anxiety longer than I can think. Prob from age 19-33 (im 33 now). Used to be just general GAD, then morphed more into an official diagnosis of OCD in the last 2 years (Pure O). Like everyone else on here, its been a constant up and down, sometimes accepting, sometimes not. All good, just gotta keep on trucking. I wanted to post on here on an OCD fear that i have (the psyc said that it was an OCD fear, but of course I am doubting it) of fear of becoming/or already am, an alcoholic.

    I did my share of binge drinking (no more than the average guy) in college and early 20s, but made a conscious choice about 5 years ago that it prob wasnt doing the the best for my anxiety, so i needed to cut out the 1-2 glasses of wine at dinner a few times a week and grow up. Was getting married anyways so it was a good time. Since then, maybe I drink 1 night a week, at those times about 1-2 glasses of wine, only when out to dinner with friends or a sports game. In the last 5 years, I pretty much can only remember getting drunk (not old school drunk ha) twice (maybe 4 drinks). Now, after seeing a friend go through some pretty serious alcohol stuff with his family in the last few months, I keep thinking that maybe I drank too much in college and in my early 20s that I am an alcoholic. Now my mind fixates and researches the topic all day long. I’m just kinda confused. Was wondering if anyone else has gone though all this tough self-analyzing. Doesnt help that all the articles online say if you are thinking about the subject, you might have a problem. The whole subject gives me so much anxiety and all I do is questions myself. Any thoughts out there?

    Thanks

  97. saverina Says:

    Thanks for your replies….. much appreciated.

    I promise you it does get better….

  98. Julie Says:

    Thank you Karen

    How did things get easier for you thought wise before? If you’ve done it once you’ll get through it again.

    Do you find your thoughts get worse if stressed?

    Thanks Rich. I do find it strange how my thoughts are, and I find it hard to accept anxiety can cause them. If I could truly accept my brainwave moment about acceptance would work for me I’m sure.

    Tonight someone made fun of my son on his fb. It upset me a bit and after I got in bed I had intrusive thoughts about myself, you know the nasty ones I get about me. I find it strange I get them when stressed. I do worry when they come like that.

  99. Mark R Says:

    I think the term recovery is very subjective and varies from person to person in what I’ve noted over the years.

    I’ve been suffering on and off now for 12 years or so, had some very good periods, years in fact where I had no anxiety issues whatsoever.
    These last 4 years have been very tough and I’ve never really reached the level of health and peace I had say between 2003 and 2005 or 2007 to 2010.

    In terms of where I am at the moment, I have a low level of anxiety which I can cope with on a day to day basis. It’s still a nuisance, but doesn’t stop me doing anything. It tends to get bad almost daily for a few hours or so.

    I don’t think I will ever be free of it, as it seems to rear its ugly head in times of stress or change for me. I’d have to agree with Doreen, as long as I am living my life and it’s not the focus of my day then that will do. It’s not great, but I suppose there are worse things that I could have to cope with on a daily basis.

    I am well prepared for ‘blips/setbacks’ in the future, having pulled myself through some awful times, this as recently as late December. Nowadays I have a level of understanding to cope with this and bounce back a lot quicker.

    I’m not trying to scare anyone here by the way. You may well recover and never have to face anxiety again. I think Paul has gone almost 10 years without it. I don’t think anyone should aim for that though as i feel it will always elude them. I’ve reached a good level before in the past, will it happen again? I don’t know. What I do know is, how awful it is to be in that dark place, so to be able to carry with life, do the things I love and smile again is a good substitute for ‘full recovery’.

  100. Lynn Says:

    Mark R, thank you for that post. It was helpful to me.

  101. Karen Says:

    Hi Julie,
    I am not sure how I did it before but I do know it comes back when I start to worry about them coming back ie. I realise they are going away. I guess that means I have not lost my fear of them and am not truly accepting them. Yes they are worse in times of stress and illness. Are they fairly constant through the day for you at the moment?

    Thanks Mark, right now I could azccept that as recovery I think.

  102. Rich Says:

    Thanks for your kind words Karen – much appreciated.

    My morning anxiety is again better this morning – less adrenaline and a slightly less upset stomach, which although gives me more confidence, also makes me worry I am just going to face IBS again later on!

    Yesterday I felt ok in the afternoon surprisingly, then cooked and ate dinner and felt ok in the evening too, but talking about planning my wedding still sent fear running through my body – so I still need to ride this out. What annoys me most is that I am losing days/weeks of my life feeling rubbish. I feel like a coward – unable to face this invisible monster and stand up against it. I’m still going to work and doing what I ‘have to’, but I am not doing what I truly ‘want to’.

    I hope full recovery means no more setbacks – the kind that see me wake up shaking in bed with adrenaline and unable to sit down because of the energy, unable to eat a simple meal, or have to spend a day with an upset stomach in fear of a forthcoming event.

  103. Doreen. Says:

    Rich – maybe I am stating the obvious and apologies if I am but it seems that your anticipatory anxiety starts when you are about to do something which you really want to enjoy. When you wrote a post from work you seemed to be accepting that you didn’t feel great but that you could appreciate the birdsong for instance. I guess that is because you are not attaching any real significance to being at work and don’t really mind if you don’t feel ok, thus lowering any anticipatory stuff. Whereas who would not want to really enjoy a meal out with family and friends and in the case of those of us with anxiety, get more worked up about whether we will feel ok. That is why Christmas can be so hard for folks like us, all the messages are shouting out ‘enjoy, enjoy’ and we can all worked up in case we don’t. Our longing to be ok becomes an anxious journey until the event itself.
    I used to get myself places without that build up by thinking for instance “even if I feel crap I will be pleased to have worn that new dress” or “I know once I am there I will get lost in the ballet” or “it will be nice cos someone else has cooked the meal’
    But now I don’t have to use those ‘devices’ as I accept that most times I will feel ok, and sometimes I will feel really good, which I think is true for anyone.

  104. Rich Says:

    Doreen that is exactly me. Anything out of my routine is a worry of ‘will I feel ok’. This can be a silly thing such as someone coming to the house for an appointment, or me going somewhere at a set time for an appointment, to larger things like trips out or holidays.

    A few years ago I was at a point where I was looking forward and would feel ‘normal’ emotions like excitement and expectation, but these have been ruined by bad experiences I seem to draw upon instead of leaving them in the past and looking forwards with my new knowledge and understanding.

  105. Doreen. Says:

    To follow on from my previous post I read this recently “You know fear and excitement are just different sides of the same coin”.

    When wildly excited you experience the exact same sensations as you do when very anxious. Anxiety is nothing more than an energy pulsating in our body. It is our interpretation of this energy that causes the problem and traps us in the vicious cycle of fearing fear (anxiety disorder).

    The real secret is learning how to flip your perception of these sensations from negative to positive. Once you master the ability to see them as nothing more than a heightened manifestation of energy in your body, you can become empowered by this aroused energy rather than fearful of it.

    This raw energy of your nervous system can then be channeled to make you feel more alive and present in the moment. It can also motivate you to accomplish things. (A bit like the kind of rush you get from a few too many cups of coffee!).

    In clinical psychology, flipping perspective like this is called, arousal reappraisal. It is the conscious act of choosing to adopt a new perspective towards anxious bodily sensations. If we learn to re-frame our perception of anxiety we can start to move out of it.

    This is is achieved very simply by doing the following: As soon as you become conscious of an anxious sensation, be it a bodily sensation or an anxious thought, say to yourself immediately: “I am excited by this feeling”.

    Repeat that over and over until you start to feel a shift in how you are perceiving the nervous energy. Say it out loud if you are alone, or just to yourself if in the company of others.

    To make it more effective (when possible) stand up and shake your hands out while bouncing lightly from foot to foot just like an athlete does before beginning a race.

    The idea here is to quickly stop your brain from wrongly interpreting the sensations as a threat and instead to associate them with everyday excited arousal.

    There are several recent university studies to back this approach up. The studies looked at how performance was improved doing this before public speaking or taking an exam.

    In the beginning you have to ‘fake it till you make it’. That means that initially you will find it hard to really believe you are excited rather than scared but with regular practice the sensations that usually terrify you become just that – sensations and nothing more.

    So if you feel anxious and remember nothing else, remember this:

    Choose to feel excited instead of scared.

  106. saverina Says:

    Your last post Doreen is outstanding…..

    Where did you get this info from?

    Mark R,

    I’m not sure what you’re post means? How come Paul has made a complete recovery and others have also using Paul’s methodology?

    Regards, Saverina

  107. Julie Says:

    Karen – Yes, my intrusive thoughts spin around in my head all day. More so in the morning and then in the evening once around my children again. It really is relentless.

  108. Bryan Says:

    Saverina,

    Doreen’s excellent post share some things in common with the Weebly Letter to Myself article. The notion that we interpret our symptoms.

    While I love this approach, I do believe it takes some time because fear chemistry comes in a bit different flavor than excitement chemistry, IMO.

    Soda is soda but Dr. Pepper tastes way different than Sprite despite both being the same thing. Excitement comes with a specific hormonal mix IMO and fear a decidedly more negative mix which influences our interpretation. That’s why implementing face/accept can feel difficult and unnatural.

    But it still can be done. We just have to work at overwriting the neural pathways which for some of us are written very deeply.

  109. Rich Says:

    Hi Bryan, I agree with the extract Doreen has posted – it’s all about thoughts and perspective, but also agree that the two things are not quite the same. Adrenaline to an adrenaline junkie is something to enjoy, but to us in a state of anxiousness is something to dread and loathe. I can’t believe that last October after my initial spiral into Anxiety hell, I was going to do the SkyJump off of the Las Vegas Stratosphere – it’s not the ‘thing’ that scares me – my only fear would have been if I were to have anxiety ‘symptoms’ beforehand. This is true for theme parks and roller coasters – it’s not the ride I hate, it’s the fear of anxiety symptoms in the queue leading to it!!

    My therapist last year talked about Christmas and how I need to remember how I’d look forward to it as a kid, how the adrenaline was excitement and good. I need to look at things other people enjoy, and I enjoyed ‘pre-worrier’, and remember what it was like to look forward with no anxiety at all.

    Recently This has been happening – I’d spend all day/week beforehand worrying about something, working myself up into a state, ‘what if’s all the time, looking back at past negative experiences… …then, out of the blue, about 30 minutes or 1hr before the thing, I would suddenly begin to ‘look forward to it’ – such a strange feeling I’ve missed for so long, but it has been happening, and when it does I feel so happy – like welcoming back the childhood me.

    Anxiety makes me down, and I do feel like hope is lost etc – all textbook stuff, but I have had a few ‘great’ moments. I just hope I am not prolonging this any more than I have to, and that I have the drive and courage to get through this.

  110. Mark r Says:

    Saverina,

    I wasn’t saying you can’t recover, I was stating that you can still have a fulfilling life with anxiety at a low level which is where I am at the moment. I’m not recovered. I used to think that until I was 100% in the clear that I couldn’t be happy, I was wrong and this held me back.

    As I said, some people recover and never face it again, but others like me have to cope with it under times of stress when it returns.

  111. Bryan Says:

    Yeah I understand what Mark is saying. I think loosening my attitude towards “recovery” is a must for me. Because like Mark said, some people get the info… apply it and bingo, they’re out the anxiety-door and into a symptom-free life.
    Some of us… it’s more of a process.

    I do believe it’s important for us to believe we CAN be symptom-free, or at least predominantly symptom free. Claire Weekes taught us that “cured” wasn’t a dirty word. She aimed for complete recovery with her patients because she knew so much about the disorder. She knew it wasn’t a physical disease… or caused by some “thing” that had to keep it there. (Though, it certainly can feel like it for some of us.)

    For me personally, it comes down to this. I lived 41 years with absolutely no abnormal anxiety symptoms outside of a few stomach issues, heart palps, etc.
    It’s been 3 years since my breakdown but I refuse to believe that those fist 41 years were a mirage. My body functioned normally (mostly) for 4 decades. I’m a young man still, so it’s not rational for me to believe that I’ll “always have to” live with this.
    I realize I MAY have to accept it a lot longer than I care to. But whose to say this thing doesn’t run its course quickly some day and I just make rapid progress and totally recover. There’s no science on how/when these things happen so I’m just trying to keep my mind flexible.

    Expectations can be harmful, certainly. But… allowing for a healthy amount of hope mixed with patience is totally reasonable, in my opinion.

    As far as the word “recovery”… well we could all describe that a bit differently.
    For me, the resuming of normal life activities and a predominant LACK of fear and high symptoms would be recovery. Particularly if even if I DID have a panic attack occasionally… I would be so well equipped I just wouldn’t care. That is what recovery could look like… or, perhaps the symptoms and thoughts just go and never return.

    We just have to stay mentally flexible and keep working (passively) towards complete acceptance and integration back into life. Not easy, but we can all do it.

  112. saverina Says:

    Thanks Brian, great posts… thanks Mark r I see what you mean.

    Rich, of course you will have the courage to get through this.

    Remember acceptance and it’s okay to feel crap….. it sure will pass though. Chin up as tomorrow is another day.

    Regards, Saverina

  113. Julie Says:

    Good post.

    I like to think we can recover. I wasn’t like this until a few months ago. I’m 34 so I know I can live my life without anxiety. I live in hope that I will recover fully. It seems impossible right now and I can’t imagine being like I used to but I hope Paul and Claire Weekes’s theories will work for me.

    Rich- any chance you could email me the smaller Letter to Myself? Thank you.

  114. Tim M Says:

    I thought I would share some positivity on here as I think the more positive stories the better and thats one of the hallmarks of this blog and one of the things that has kept me going through the blips.

    On the subject of OCD:

    As someone who sort of suffers with this I can say it’s nothing to be afraid of and really is just another offshoot of anxiety. I didn’t ‘get’ this until recently but all OCD is, is the “scary thought” issue but as a bit of a fixer you try to correct it with a ritual of some kind like handwashing which you convince yourself will make the scary thoughts go away. The real issue is your reaction to the thought, which acceptance and carrying on as normal is the solution.

    On the subject of acceptance:

    I am by no means 100% recovered but I can tell you that carrying on and ‘floating’ through really does work. I’ve been exposed to some trigger issues recently including a whole new “scary thought” which while it set me off straight away, I continued as normal and everything passed and most importantly I could see how it was just adrenaline on sensitised nerves. Most importantly with all the acceptance I moved through it all within a matter of hours. Clearly the acceptance has allowed me to create new neural pathways and despite the initial spike I suddenly found myself normal again, which felt really strange. I have also found out that persisting with acceptance and taking the courageous attitude of “let it happen if it’s going to I no longer care” does actually desensitise you to triggers. I’m guessing here but ultimately as your nerves settle back down the things that never would bother you before will just settle down and you won’t give two figs about.

    On the subject of spikes:

    I have also learnt that while you are still sensitised you will have spikes, this is normal, it’s how quickly you recover from them that shows you that you are making progress, to the point where ultimately you will roll right through them.

    I also read somewhere and can vouch that this is true, that once you have a spike your adrenal system will subvert your ability to think rationally and therefore make you think that your fears are really happening or that you will do something terrible or the terrible thing is going to happen to you (which it won’t it’s all anxiety). See the spike through however and rational thinking returns and you can see it for the bluff it is. Easier said than done, but keep on accepting an the rationality comes back quicker.

    On the subject of recovery:

    To me recovery will be freedom from the over sensitivity. I’ve been here once before but no one ever told me what it was or how to deal with it. This left me vulnerable for years until a series of events burnt me out. Pauls advice is sage and having recovered before I will again and I can almost taste the fresh air at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know when exactly and I don’t care right now, I just know this works. Anxiety is a swine and the way it can be polymorphic makes it slippery to deal with, which is why acceptance works so well. Rather than trying to grab something that (while trying to protect you) will change to something else randomly to try and get your attention and scare you into submission, just leave it alone until it gets bored and goes away. Easier said than done.

    On the subject of Setbacks:

    Holy crap I hate setbacks, but they are really and truly necessary for us to practice what we’ve learnt. I refer to “A letter to myself….” here. The intensity of the setback is directly proportional to the amount of anxiety neurons being overwritten. I choose to believe this is true as once through a setback you will feel stronger than when you went in.

    Chin up everyone, it sucks at times, but this is the best place on the internet for support by far. We will all get there and before we know it we’ll be joining the hall of famers like Candie, Scarlet, Shirley et al, and of course the big man himself (Paul) who I cannot thank enough for the information here which has given me life changing and life improving information.

    We will all get there, but the only way is through.

    Tim

  115. Rei Says:

    Hi guys, Well this is my first post . I have been reading the website and the comments for a while now. I need your opinion on something. I have been suffering from anxiety for a bout 3 months now. It all started with a panick attack that I experienced while I was high. I was so desperate and irritated in that moment. Well, I was thinking that I am high and as soon as I get sober , it will be fine. A few week after I had another panick when I was in the movie and so I had to get out of there. I wanted to just run bit I didnt know where of from what. It was such a strong feeling og discomfort. This feeling of disconfort stayed with me for a while. I still dont know what was it. I know all anout the adrenalin rush but it has to go a way in a few hours, but mine was there for a while and that caused me to have vary scary thought and strange feeling that I wasnt sure I’m strong enough that I can bare. Well , I try to manage it and read a lot of stuff about anxiety abd what happened to your body and mind and try to handle myself. I have had good days and baf days. I saw Paul’s wensite and I bought the book and tried to accept my anxiety. But these 2,3 days I have had this strange feeling of who ma I , and its like I’m scared to be me, I’m scared to think, everything all the normal life activities seem so wierd to me. When I think about myself how I talk or see it freaks me out. So I’m really scared . Its such a strange feeling. Can someone help me please if they have similar thing, is this anxiety as well? Please share your opinion. Its like I’ m high and I am being paranoid exept that I’m not hogh and still paranoid.

  116. Rei Says:

    And is this a symptome if anxiety as well? Well, as I mentioned I have had this feeling of complete desperation that I didnt know what to do, nothing made me calm down. I experienced this in the first month of my anxiety after my panick attack. And this feeling was the worst of all feelings that I’ve had. I forgot it when my mind was occupied with other scary thought. But sometimes it come back and man it freaks me out! I worked on it by telling myself that this is adrenalin rush that causes me this but my question is what I have adrenalin in my system 24/7 , is it even possible if not what is it then?! And now is has replaced with this feeling of who am I, what am I, sometimes I feel I cant talk, everything seems to be strange. Its like I’m so self concoius all the time, I noticed that its me who is talking and this is vary scary. I’m thinking about it 24/7 and its freaking me out. Please tell if this is a anxiety as well and what do I do to overcome this.

  117. Chrissy Says:

    Great post Tim!

  118. Bryan Says:

    Bravo Tim!

    Great post, and like you said … much needed around here as of late.

    Really enjoyed reading/learning from it. Thanks for taking the time.

  119. Julie Says:

    Great post Tim, so relevant to the kind of anxiety I suffer. I suffer from intrusive thoughts of harm to myself or my children. I had a nasty spike yesterday and I’ve not reacted as badly as I used to but still get shaken. The thing is I don’t wash my hands, count numbers etc as a compulsion. I just get the thoughts and can’t stop worrying about them so they are constant.

    You’ve done really well Tim. I think the thoughts are so difficult to accept. I’m 5 months in and still feel overwhelmed most of the time. Your post has given me hope. I agree about setbacks, they give us a chance to practice what we know, they make us stronger and show us how far we are on the road to recovery. Last week I had a setback, cried I was back to square one but now I feel I’m dusting myself off and feeling confident I’m back on my journey to recovery. You get through setbacks easier each time I think. I expect I could feel rubbish again at some point but I will have to accept setbacks are normal when recovering.

  120. Doreen. Says:

    Remarkable similarity between the posts written by ee4 and John – wondered if anyone else had noticed. The post I did about anxiety/excitement was written by an American called Barry McDonagh. I signed up to read some of his stuff years ago before I found ANM. He has much the same philosophy as Paul but there is no blog. From time to time I get an email from him with stuff on much like Paul’s blog. Thought the most recent one was very apposite following my post to Rich.
    I agree that the adrenaline rush is hard to ‘enjoy’ when it seems attached to anxiety but nevertheless I think we can still see it has having the same route as excitement. Why this particularly interested me was because in the past I would feel some excitement at a forthcoming event and that would quickly morph over into me experiencing it as anxiety, the physical feelings being so similar. I somehow could not trust myself to have anticipatory excitement. Now I just go with the flow, don’t anticipate anything one way or the other and enjoy looking forward to things.

  121. Rich Says:

    Doreen, John & ee4’s posts were from the same person, so I’ve removed once of them.

    Tim, Thanks for your post! I really need inspiration right now so this is really welcomed.

    I know this is all a bluff, and I have to show myself ‘normal’ and the ‘whatever’ attitude to get through this. I don’t feel mentally strong enough right now. To get through this is a true test of character. I wish everyone well who is going through this torment.

  122. Rachh Says:

    Hellloo.
    Just checking in again. Is it normal to feel absolutly nothing have no empathy no care or feeling at all with this anxiety malark. I feel like i talk for the sake of it and im not scared or anxious i just feel complete nothing. Thoughts are in and out of my head all day however i dont feel anything at all. How do accept this symptom if it doesnt bother me if i feel nothing?

  123. Julie Says:

    I’m still struggling, I have to keep going because I won’t go back to having hubby at home with me like I did for a few weeks before Christmas. I feel a little better than last week, and thought yesterday things were a bit better, even first thing this morning but things are still getting to me.

    It’s still that I worry this is more than just anxiety, and there is nothing more I can do. I have been told by my GP and the man at the mental health team but I have my doubts.

    My main problem is the morbid, negative thoughts all day, I have no control over them and they are relentless. I feel low and wondering what my purpose in life really is. I have 3 wonderful children and a hubby that loves me yet I feel nothing for life again. I am scared this is me forever. I worry anxiety can’t cause such nasty thoughts especially about yourself so I then read into them thinking maybe I am unsafe alone. I am lonely all day, I see my Mum on a Tuesday but other than that all week I am on my own. I rarely go out alone so the days are tough.

    Physical symptoms only bother me when I go out on my own, then I fear panic attacks whilst out alone and showing myself up. Today I have the hairdresser at 5pm, dreading it so much as I put appointments off because of the anxiety of being trapped, unable to leave etc. She is coming to the house but still I am worried I will panic, show myself up etc. So physical symptoms only bother me when i have to do something but I wish it was just that. The scary thoughts are getting to me a lot, again. Then I start to wonder will I ever feel safe alone again, safe with my children, able to feel happiness and love. The months are rushing by and I feel I am missing out on precious time with my children, I am there but I’m not if you see what I mean. I smile and pretend I am ok but inside I am crying.

    Having a real tough day, lots of tears and wondering if I will ever feel happy and free of these thoughts. I want to take my children on holiday and not feel scared, not have nasty thoughts, enjoy being a housewife again, have friends, feel safe and confident. I hate my life like this :-( I was thinking today, am I a bad person? Deep down am I angry and nasty to have the awful thoughts I have? Am I depressed to be feeling numb and low in this last week. I feel so alone in this and no one to talk to makes it really tough.

  124. Rich Says:

    Hi Julie, If you’ve time on your hands, I’d recommend reading the advice and comments from your posts since Christmas on here, as they offer some excellent advice. It looks like your situation hasn’t changed since then, so this advice is still as useful as back then, and should be absorbed along with the books you read – as all of your problems and issues are addressed in them.

    Unless you accept that it is anxiety, you are not going to make any progress.

    I can relate to your situation in many ways. When I am out it is anxiety attacks I fear, but it is at home when I am susceptible to my thoughts, and isolation makes it so much worse. Like you I often feel alone as I have few friends and no social life. This is all my own doing of course, but doesn’t help the ‘feel good factor’, and makes ‘doing’ anything a huge deal, as I have plenty of time to ‘think’ about it.

    I’ll email you tonight with some material I think would be useful, but unless you accept what you read is the truth, you’re not going to make any progress I’m afraid.

  125. Julie Says:

    Thank you Rich. I know that’s what’s keeping me in this loop, thinking anxiety can’t cause the nasty thoughts I get so therefore I spend all day questioning how I feel, worrying there is something far worse wrong with me.

    That would be great, thanks for your help.

  126. Bryan Says:

    Rich,

    Hang in there man. You’ve been a big support to us around here and the setback has just temporarily hindered your confidence. I know exactly how you feel. But you have no choice…. you WILL pull out of this setback and the important thing is to let it pass and not weigh it with too much importance. That’s the work I’m doing right set the moment. I’ve had 2 hard setbacks in about 8 months and they shook my confidence. But… they shouldn’t because all of the truths still apply. We CAN work our way free and enjoy normal health.
    For some of us the timeline just looks different so we have to lose the expectations.

    You watch.. relief is coming soon for you and you will wonder why your mind was ever so negative. These things pass. They can be harsh as hell but they have no choice but to pass. They are a fleeting state.

    We can learn from these. As hard as it seems when we are in it.

  127. Bryan Says:

    Doreen,

    Would love to read more from that writer whenever you have time to post. Very interesting.

  128. Bryan Says:

    Tim,

    I forgot to ask… had you ever posted any kind of “success” story? (Even though you are still working.) it’s always great to read where people started and where they are now. You seem to have a great grasp of it all.

  129. Doreen. Says:

    Bryan – suggest you type his name into Google and see what comes up. There is more to possibly buy and sign up for than ANM and I cannot remember how I first came to get stuff from him. I know I never paid for anything. I just get the occasional email. But to be honest, I think you will be reading much the same material as you have already read with Paul’s book and the other one lots of folks on here have read – Letter to Myself. I only posted that piece above which was on a recent email from him as it seemed to address the topic so well of anticipatory anxiety.

  130. Kate Says:

    REI

    Its totally normal that’s my anxiety at the minute. Im feeling a little more like me but not quite. My body wants to panic all the time. I wonder why Im me what am I and I feel so so lost but we just have to let it be there no matter how scary as we haven’t changed were still the same person. It will go x

  131. Karen Says:

    Its ok Julie, it really is. At exactly the same point here, determined not to give in but in constant fear from thoughts. Despite knowing they are anxiety. Constant anxiety, relentless torturous thoughts. We have to get through this. It improved before so it will again.

    Racch I think lack of feeling is normal, I find it hard to feel the love for my family I know I have . Apparently it is the brain going into survival mode cutting out any non essential stuff. It however does not help the intrusive thought situation!

  132. Doreen. Says:

    With reference to the previous posts on ‘recovery’. I have just found this that I wrote some months ago and for me this still holds true

    ” Recovery means different things to different people. Maybe for those who have felt they had been 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”

  133. Karen Says:

    Doreen that’s brilliant. I am sure that’s why I slip back again every time I improve …. what if it comes back again. Then guess what happens. A cycle I need to break by making it no longer matter!

  134. Rena Says:

    Karen I had such a thought. Don;t be afraid of it it is bluff :)It’ s just anxiety playing tricks with our minds

  135. Karen Says:

    Oh thanks Rena.

  136. Julie Says:

    Karen. Yes occasionally, like tonight I’ve the thought about my daughter and I feel weak in my legs and anxious feeling but that doesn’t bother me, it’s the thought I’m scared of as I’m afraid it’ll happen.

    Also Karen, I’ve just had that thought about schizophrenis too. Last week in fact, and last year. It’s a very common fear when anxious I’m told.

  137. Lui Says:

    I am in an emotional disaster. There are some situation where I am so unhappy. A few days later I feel quiet good again. I finally want to accept I can’t hold it all together anymore. I made an appointment with a therapist, hope that will give me some relief.

  138. Tim M Says:

    Bryan, I haven’t posted a success story to date but I will when I know i’m recovered as the posts from Candy and Scarlet really helped me when I needed it and I would like to pay it forward.

    This condition is cruel at times and we need all the support we can get when we have a wobble.

    What i’ve learnt from here is that it doesn’t matter what your anxiety is about, it really is all the same underneath it just grabs hold of what you fear the most, for me it was mental and existential, but for someone else it could be social or health related.

    This bout only started in October for me although I can see how it built up for a few months before that and where my original bout of anxiety years before left me wide open.

    The only thing that has worked for me is acceptance and floating, meditation I find is too much of trying to “get rid” of it. At least it is for me.

    We will all get there in our own time, and time is exactly what we need to give ourselves, coupled with a healthy dose of compassion.

  139. Charlotte Says:

    Karen and Julie

    I’m not what I would call recovered, but I was in the same place as you both last year. I had intrusive thoughts about myself, my kids, depression and mental health problems like schizophrenia all day long. It was like a long play record – for those of us old enough to remember vinyl ! It felt like I had no control over the thoughts and they would just jabber away.

    In a way I was right, no-one has control over their thoughts – they are random momentary events in the brain, but what we can control is our reaction to them. You both can and do choose to ignore them/let them be/laugh at them, they are nothing, and the fact we have all had the exact same thoughts proves it.

    You both are in control – not the anxiety, and you both coped brilliantly carrying on as you do and managing anxiety, only those of us who have experienced anxiety know what brave people we are to deal with it.

    Bryan – I support what Doreen has said about Barry m – he is quite an authority on anxiety and his work is very good, it is similar if not exactly he same as Paul D. He also does send our free emails once you join his site which is free.

  140. Julie Says:

    Hi Charlotte,

    Thank you. You’ve done amazingly well. You should be so proud of yourself.. I hope in time I will accept and improve.

    Xx

  141. Julie Says:

    Can anyone point me in the direction of Candie’s old posts on here? I remember someone telling me she had been in the same situation as me but I can’t seem to find her posts. If anyone has an idea of the year I will search again.

    Thanks.

  142. Charlotte Says:

    Hi J

    Candies posts r really early on from when the blog was created and went for about 3 years I think……

    C

  143. Karen Says:

    Thanks Charlotte.

  144. Candie Says:

    Hi Julie these negative thoughts are anxiety. All day every day I used to think them. I became bombarded by them as I made every effort not to have them, I often read into them and believed them. Then I would get the usual thoughts of pitty about it all.

    You have to allow the thoughts. When you start allowing them the alarm bells stop ringing and the anxiety tapers off and you stop with the overload of negative thinking.

    Honestly my thoughts became relentless. Now I can think anything negative, it’s fine as its only a thought as I choose how I process it and what reaction I give it. Once I mastered that I was no longer afraid of my own mind :)

  145. Julie Says:

    Hi Candie,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. It sounds like you are doing really well now. I haven’t read your old posts but a few times people have said my thoughts are similar to what you went through.

    I am struggling to allow the thoughts be. This morning for example I had nasty surges of adrenaline and became afraid alone, scared I would have impulses and act on something. I am tired of waking up and each day being like this. It’s a scary place.

    Thank you again for replying to me. I can only hope one day I can be in the place you are. Well done :-)

  146. Julie Says:

    Hope everyone else is doing well. I just read the posts from 2009, lots of posts from Sara, Candie, Jade…. really similar to my me and it helped to read.

    Today something happened that has thrown me a lot. I find recently if I go out of my routine it causes me anxiety which is to be expected but it causes nasty intrusive thoughts. Today I thought I would drive up to my mums to show her my new haircut. I had a horrible rush in the car, and my thoughts went onto the one I used to be scared of.

    When I had these thoughts before, it felt like an impulse and I became terrified to be alone. It was so bad hubby locked the windows and took my car keys to work, I asked him to do those things.

    I got over that and have been fine alone for about 6 weeks or so now. Now I am thrown back into turmoil as I felt this impulse feeling. I rang hubby crying and he said ‘Julie that is just a rush of panic’ but why during a rush does it feel like you will act on the thought you have in your mind?

    Also what’s unnerved me today is that I have these scary thoughts about harm to myself whenever I go out of my routine or comfort zone. So yet again I am thinking surely I am ill with something much worse than anxiety :-(

    Can anyone relate to this? Sorry to seek reassurance but this morning hasn’t been nice at all and I am doing my best not to ring hubby and slip back into needing him with me.

  147. Rich Says:

    Hi Julie, I’ve trimmed your post a little. Hope you don’t mind.

    All your fears are based on thoughts – they’re only thoughts. What respect you give them is up to you.

    You are choosing to respect them and believe them when you should not. You’ve read this and have been told this so many times.

    Seeking comfort and reassurance is fine, and will offer you some short-term relief, but unless you change your attitude to this you will just need the same reassurance tonight, tomorrow and the every day for the rest of your life. Something has to change.

    You have to accept this for nothing more than it is, or you will stay in this loop forever.

    Acceptance is the first step to recovery. No matter how many times you go round in circles, the advice will always be the same.

    You are not accepting and you are not floating. Nobody can help you unless you are willing to help yourself.

    Everything you question has been answered in Candie’s post above yours, and many others who have offered support. You just have to believe it and get off the merry-go-round of fear.

  148. Doreen. Says:

    Julie – why when someone has just reassured you (yet again) that these are just thoughts and explained that they went through the same type of distress do you then post with a description of an intrusive thought and asking if anyone can relate to it? What is the point of people trying to reassure you? And what magic answer are you hoping to get that will be somehow different to ones you have already received?

    People have said over and over again that they can relate to what you are going through and yet you continually post as if somehow it is different for you.

    Once again, the content of your thoughts is irrelevant – it is the importance you attach to them that is the problem. And you have never acted on any of your thoughts so why on earth should you do so in the future. You certainly grind them further into your psyche by repeating them over and over again on here.

  149. Bryan Says:

    Julie,

    I would add to the chorus of people urging you not to repeat yourself and use the blog as a personal journaling page. Not just for the board’s benefit but yours as well. Look at how many recovered folks around here have told you the same thing. Yet, you keep ignoring their advice and repeating what you just told us in a previous post.

    You are asking the experts for support here… and then continually ignoring their advice. Can you see how that is frustrating for many here and also harmful to your own recovery?

    I implore you to take a few days off from the blog, or to at least make a conscious effort to put into action the brilliant advice you are lucky enough to have received here.

    The more you feel the need to tell us very detail of your day and every intrusive thought, the more you make those thoughts important. Don’t you think it’s time to try another approach Julie?

    This isn’t “being flamed”… this is a lot of people who would like to see you get better. It’s up to you.

  150. Rich Says:

    I have written a few posts this week and before I hit ‘Submit’ I have deleted them, as they add nothing to the blog or to my own recovery, apart from the brief catharsis of ‘getting it out of my system’. This is very short-lived, as you are not dealing with the underlying problem – of fearing how you feel.

    Julie I’ll email you over some reading material when I’m next home on my PC, but I’d urge you to pause before posting each time you have a bad experience, instead, take your mind off the subject instead of giving it even more time and respect. Read, go for a walk, phone or visit a loved one.

    Above all else, face, accept, float and then let time pass.

  151. Candie Says:

    Julie yes it really does feel real. I had urges to do allsorts but its just your imagination. I thought everything weird whiles driving, aroundy
    Kids etc. I can think it now but not care. It’s a learning process but you can do the same too :)

  152. Julie Says:

    Thank you all. As you know the last two weeks I’ve had a set back due to a family upset. One good thing is that I can see I had come really far so in a way set backs are helpful. I’m still struggling to accept the thought but it’s easier than it used to be.

    The advice I’ve had here is what’s got me over the terrible place I was in. I know I repeat and I apologise but this place had really helped me in many ways and I’ve met some amazing people. I shall try to resist posting in the future and remember accept and float my way through.

  153. Rena Says:

    Julie, don’t apologise and don’t be afraid. I had all of your thoughts, I sometimes have them now. But I assure you -it is anxiety playing tricks. Yes, sometimes my thoughts scares me, but then I tell myself- float and just live your life. I don’t want to fight with my anxiety- I just live my life and enjoy my little victories. Don’t force yourself-it will get easier I PROMISE YOU THAT:)

  154. Doreen. Says:

    Julie – you keep saying that things are new or strange as a reason for posting them. We have probably all had a million new or strange thoughts and have learned to accept them for what they are, just thoughts.

    We certainly haven’t added fuel to them by posting them on here describing them in detail.

    Please take Rich’s advice. You will feel all the better for it.

  155. Rena Says:

    Julie, it takes time and it needs time. Don’t forget that:)

  156. Julie Says:

    Thank you Rena.

    It does, I no longer rush it, it’s been 5 months and if it takes another 5 months that’s ok, although 5 weeks would be better 😉 I just wish I could truly accept all my scary thoughts aren’t going to happen and they are just anxiety, this would be so much easier for me.

  157. Doreen. Says:

    Julie – only last Saturday you posted the following

    “I had a great day. Went out to see my friend and then to my nieces party. I was the last to leave and even got up dancing to YMCA with my daughter. Showed myself I can have fun and not just to show my brother I’m not afraid of him, but to show myself I’m fine and can feel happiness. I had a few fleeting thoughts and felt a tad anxious I was near him and my sister but I was fine. I got on well with the rest of the family and enjoyed my afternoon :)

    Now you are saying “As you know the last two weeks I’ve had a set back due to a family upset’

    This is what Bryan refers to when he says you are journaling.

    And yes, of course it is ok to seek reassurance but you seem to be doing it all the time and yet making no positive movement as a result of it.

  158. Rachel Says:

    Can anxeity trick you into thinking things are moving cos at the moment when I look at something it looks like it’s moving or when I’m walking the ground seems to be moving xx

  159. DCYL Says:

    It’s been a couple of months or so since I popped in. Some old names and some newer names I haven’t seen before. Personally, while I hate to use the term “recovered”, my life is much improved compared to when I first dropped onto this blog / website back in the summer of 2011.

    When I first dropped here, it was a godsend to see people be in similar situations as I was in. For someone like Julie, who is struggling a bit, that was me in 2011. For those who comment on why she is posting for reassurance, I think everyone’s different. I was one of those people back in 2011. It took a long time for the advice to sink in.

    Julie – I would suggest just getting back to your life a bit. Get into the habit of staying mentally and physically active (if possible). I’m single and could do plenty of activities. While it can be seen as a crutch, the main goal is to break the habit of dwelling on your anxiety.

    I can see why people who “recover” drop out of the blog. The blog, in some ways, is a reminder of some of our past experiences. Trust me, the experience was rough and I still get reminded of them some time. However, I’ll still pop in sometime and see if I can help out.

    Good luck everyone!

  160. Bryan Says:

    Rachel,

    100% yes. Common and harmless.

  161. Rachel Says:

    Thank you Bryan had it for a while now and it’s putting me back but it’s the same old thing for me just can’t believe anxeity can do these horrid things to you it doesn’t stop me from doing anything I get on with my life you have to just not sure why I have anxiety when I have a good life thanks anyway xx

  162. Bryan Says:

    Rachel,

    Absolutely, the list of symptoms from this stuff is staggering.

    If you want a great list, you can google Jim Folk, he runs a reputable anxiety site that has a master-list of reported symptoms that are common. (His main membership does charge a feee, but you can probably get the list without joining.)

    The good news about it is… I’ve basically figured that almost no matter what comes up, it’s anxiety. lol. Seriously, I feel like anything that’s NOT anxiety will make itself very evident. My general rule is…

    If I have to ask, and I’m concerned… it’s probably anxiety.

    If it’s something specific like rapid weight loss, blood-related issues, continual fainting, etc… well then it’s obvious we’re talking about a medical condition.

    Obviously, we should check out anything specifically abnormal with a doc.

    But yeah… dizziness, vertigo, brain fog, vision issues… all Anxiety 101.
    Take comfort in the fact that it’s part of your protection system, as Chris from ALTM calls it.

  163. Karen Says:

    Julie, when you go out of your comfort zone, your anxiety increases, hence more thoughts.

    Bryan I am a bit confused by your post. I know it was meant for the moderators though. Do you mean like when I asked a question then asked Rich to delete it. So we should have the ability to hide or edit our own posts…that would be good…… or do you mean the moderators are removing things they think inappropriate? Or do you mean people are being too explicit in their postings and it is triggering others anxiety?

    Funnily enough I was reading much older posts about the thoughts and was surprised at how much more explicit some of them were than now.

  164. Rachel Says:

    Bryan deep down I no it has to be anxeity I have had various blood test I had two brain scans over the past two months only cos when I had the first one they thought they saw something so I got called back had dye in so to make it clearer but fortunately everything is fine but it did make me panic maybe they thought they found a brain lol then I was seen by a scientist who did various things to my ears even gave me vertigo which was horrid but even after that everything came back fine so my ears and head is fine so yes I suppose I really do need to believe its anxeity thank you again won’t keep going over and over it cos I really don’t think it helps to go on and on about the same thing cheers Bryan take care of yourself xx

  165. Rachel Says:

    Bryan I have just been on that website bloody hell I reckon I can say 100% it’s anxeity but funnily enough it doesn’t say about things seem to look like there moving says everything else but no that so what do you say about that one then lol xx

  166. Bryan Says:

    Rachel.

    I’m a member and listen to the Skype calls and Jim mentions your exact symptom regularly. (Feeling of things moving, ground unsettled, dizzy, etc)
    It’s super common. He had it himself.

  167. Mark R Says:

    Rachel,

    It’s so strange you should mention this because I seem to have a problem with this lately.

    What I did notice though is that when I did feel dizzy etc was when my stomach was off. I looked online and it can be linked to stomach acid levels. Do you suffer from IBS or something similar?

    Julie, I think your hubby summed it up perfectly………

    I rang hubby crying and he said ‘Julie that is just a rush of panic’

  168. Rachh Says:

    OMG depersonalisation and depression have really got there hands on me right now. I feel like a robot.. Its laughable not in a joyous way in a way that i just feel like i really do not give a sh*t about anything. Ive been reading Paul’s blog posts and i feel like it is time to let recovery happen and encourage a bit of self discipline and reason/intention into my life. At the moment I’m on the complete end of the spectrum.

    As soon as i get to the place where my ball (aka me) is rolling uphill and I’m about to topple into my life again the conscious transitions website is really insightful.

    Ive got my plan and I’m going to get on with it. Bon voyage people.. Anxiety no more 😉

  169. Rachel Says:

    Mark R no I don’t have anything like that xx

    Bryan thanks again xx

  170. Karen Says:

    Good luck Rachh. I will have a look at that website too.

  171. Bryan Says:

    Hope everyone feels good and/or can practice high levels of acceptance this weekend.

  172. Karen Says:

    You too Bryan

    For all of you who struggle with insomnia or sleep anxiety, I have found a really good book. ‘The sleep book’ by Dr Guy Meadows. Guess what principle its based upon…… mindfulness and acceptance! A very good read.

  173. Jodi W Says:

    Hi everyone, this is my first time posting. I’ve been reading the book and blog and comments. I really want to believe this is the way for me. Nothing else seems to work. I’ve tried acceptance in the past… Not a success but in going to give it another go.

    Here is a question. I’m supposed to go about my daily life as normal, with the anxiety there and not giving it significance. Besides the difficulty of doing that when I am constantly ‘reminded’ by my stomach issues which cannot simply be ignored, I have no ‘normal’ day anymore. I have been so anxious and unable to really function for so long, I have no normal activities anymore. I don’t work, I don’t even remember what I did with myself before it got so debilitating. Even if I implement something ‘to do’ now it would not be normal for me.

    I am so frustrated by that bit of advice because it makes me feel like I am again the odd one out and what works for others won’t work for me because of my unique situation. When I’m in between episodes I manage to keep busy with random activities but I couldn’t even tell you what right now. Little bits of housework do not fill the day (even when I’m motivated to do them which is not often). I’m really at a loss here. I know I sound very lazy but this is the point the anxiety has brought me to now.

  174. Nicole Says:

    Haven’t posted in ages, back at work and just living my life.

    Have been suffering anxiety for 3 years, mainly physical symptoms rather than intrusive thoughts.

    Just wanted to share a hopeful story which is what I believe this blog really needs.

    After a relatively good period the last few days have been awful, a resurgence of anxiety at it’s worse. Today I was due to take my daughter to a university open day, tube journey, train journey, sitting through talks in a hall and then a guided tour. Woke at 4am, panicking wondering how I could get through the day etc etc. Got up after very little sleep and made the conscious decision that I was going to go and allow ALL anxiety and thoughts in. However dizzy I felt whatever negative thoughts were there I just slumped my body and TRUSTED that everything paul and Claire weekes said was true, I wouldn’t freak out, I wouldn’t faint and I would come to no harm.

    And guess what, I felt anxious for parts of the day but completely allowed it to be, no trying to make myself feel better by repeating phrases or deep breathing, just surrendering myself to it all. The day I had so dreaded was a success, I lost myself in the talks, sat in the middle of the row not at the end, felt totally relaxed on public transport and laughed with my daughter and shared a very special day. Even on the way home when my thought was “this won’t last, it will be bad again tomorrow” rather than try and talk myself out of the thought I just let the thought be there, and added nothing.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that just trusting the method completely brought me peace today and it felt good. X

  175. Benjamin Says:

    Hello everyone. I am 25 years old and have been suffering for the last 3 years. I was at an engineering institute and the summer of 2011 I was taking three very difficult courses and by then end I was completely drained. That same Fall when I went back to classes I felt very tired and didnt have the energy to study.

    Eventually I went to the doctor and I was prescribed klonopin. After taking at night I would fall asleep but exactly four hours later I would shoot up from the bed in panic… I didnt know what was wrong with me.. I went back to the institute after 2 weeks of rest and I just could not do it… something was wrong with my brain. I went to the schools health facility and was taken to the psychiatrist. There I was prescribed xanax. So now I am taking xanax in the day and klonopin at night. had an EEG and a MRI. Both checked out fine and the doctor told me I had anxiety. I was taken off of xanax and klonopin and was prescribed paxil (20mg). After a month I felt great! I was fixed! Nothing was wrong with me! But everytime I was placed in a stressful situation I would feel like my brain could not think.

    Three years later and I was able to go back to school, graduate , and now I have a full time job. The feelings in my head are still there. I decided to wean myself off of paxil about 3 months ago because it was not doing anything for me. I have been paxil free for three months and it hasnt become worse than what it was when I was on it. There are those few times when it seems like I am my old self. When I am completely invested into a situation like spending time with my family, but 99% of the time I always feel depressed because I feel like I am no longer myself..

    If there is anyone out there that can relate to the head feelings I tried to describe please write to me.. I feel so alone in this situation.

  176. Nicole Says:

    It’s not about the symptoms or experiences it’s how we react to them. You were terrified yesterday and your body produced even more adrenaline which made you feel even worse.

    When I was sat in the lecture hall yesterday there were a couple of times when I really wanted to run out but I sat still and allowed it all to run it’s course and it did. When you commit to acceptance you have to accept it all and not question any of it, by questioning it and trying to be rid of it the cycle cannot be broken. However if you let it be the fear subsides or at least that it what happens to me.

    Again you have to trust in this method and give yourself over to it 100% not just here and there. Hope this helps.

  177. michelle m Says:

    Julie

    I have felt every thought, fear and feeling you have. Did you read that diana wilson blog I said. Our fears are normal and very common. It makes you feel awful but thats only because you care so much. Dont end up like me and put up with it for 6 years. Get some cbt now.

    Michelle x

  178. Julie Says:

    Hi Michelle

    I think I did, I’ve read that much I can’t be sure but I will look again 😉

    Are you feeling better now? I’m seeing a psychologist for my OCD thoughts I’m doing ERP/CBT. It’s more for the OCD thoughts. Not sure it’s helping me though.

    Thank you for replying to me xx

  179. michelle m Says:

    Julie

    I feel better and back to normal some days but other days I am the same as you. I do know how terrifying these thoughts are. I wish I could turn back time and change things but we cant. I was very much like you in the beginning. It gets slightly more bearable but does still catch me out. The thoughts of spending a night alone still petrifies me but I know that if it happened all would be ok. I feel robbed of life sometimes which I find so sad.

    I wish you all the best.

    Michelle xx

  180. Tim M Says:

    Julie,

    If in doubt assume it’s anxiety. It’s actually a sign of progress that your symptoms change as it means the anxiety needs to find something new to latch onto to to get you to respond. My anxiety does it from time to time, catches me off guard on occasion too but my advice to you is to just accept and even if you fake it you will get there. You will find that eventually you will have learnt to accept so well that it won’t matter what it throws at you and even if you have a spike you will just float on through it.

    But you do have to accept you will have these experiences. Just give yourself time and you will get there. I’m not 100% recovered but I can tell you now if you follow the advice given you will be pinching yourself with how awesome the days are that are ahead of you. I continually surprise myself in a good way and that just helps you build confidence.

    You will get there

  181. Julie Says:

    Michelle- thank you. Good to hear you’re doing much better. It’s so hard and I agree you feel robbed of your happiness. I do know that we appreciate our life and family much more for suffering from this, some good can come out of a bad situation. Xx

    Tim- thank you so much. Such a lovely positive message, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to me. I really hope it is a sign of recovery and not the start of a downward spiral. When these things happen I can then see how well I had been feeling. I really hope the light is almost about to shine in this dark tunnel I’m stuck in :)

  182. Helen Says:

    Julie,

    Every post you have written describes anxiety, nothing else. I know you have been told this before but you must start believing it. You MUST stop questioning every different thought or feeling you get. It is all anxiety.

    If you stop coming on here and writing everything down and start really believing that this horrendous thing you have is anxiety then you will recover. If you don’t accept, it will never go. You need to step away from the subject, maybe say to yourself that you won’t come on the blog for 3 days no matter what happens or how you feel. By coming on here and diarising what is happening to you you are reinforcing it and that is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Please listen to what I am telling you, I know from painful experience that what you are doing is not helping you at all.

    Move away from the subject and live your life as best you can.

    All the best

    Helen

  183. michelle m Says:

    Julie

    I am sorry that things are so harsh on here for you. I know it really is a scary time but you have to believe what we are all saying. As I have already said, I still have bad days but I try not to let it get to me as much. Over time you will get better. I stay away from this blog now as much as I can….I dont want to rely on it to help me anymore. I want to help myself. Carry on reading posts but try not to post for a while.

    Julie you have been having your worries for a while now and nothing bad has happened. We are no more likely to lose the plot more than the person who doesn’t suffer with ocd or anxiety. When you feel bad re read some of these posts….it helps.

    you WILL be fine julie. I wish you l the best. You are not alone.

    michelle xx

  184. Paul David (admin) Says:

    O.K enough has to be enough now as this is going too far.

    Julie it is best for you and the rest of the blog that you no longer post anymore, I really feel you are getting nothing from this place and you really need some kind of fourm to sound off on, this really is not the place for you. On a forum you can journal all day if you wish.

    Good luck finding the answers you search for, the answers have been given here but I agree you seem to completely ignore them and do your own thing and just end up going around in circles. The reason people are getting frustrated is that for the last few months people keep repeating themselves and feel they are being totally ignored by you and the same questions that have already been answered come up again and again, no matter how many times someone gives you the same advice you go and do the total opposite and I really feel that you need a break as much as everyone else.

    I don’t want any debate on this as it divides people, but the blog has really gone the way I don’t want it too recently and far away from the place it once was. it is turning into a forum and that’s the last thing I want, so the decision is taken for the best of everyone.

  185. Pia Says:

    Hey all,

    Wanted to add some positive reinforcement. I can say I am completely back ti normal. Regardless of what my mind says, I’m normal and always have been. I was just scared, that was all. I still get the goofy thoughts but try not to add more to it. Through this whole time of high anxiety, I’ve never lost my mind, myself, or avoided doing something. I’d get myself all worked up, do it anyway and felt fine during.

    Here’s some examples of the stupid things my mind have come up with and the reality.

    I lost my job after 17 years- anxiety said: I’m gonna fall into a depression. What really happened is, I’m enjoying the break at home and am getting a lot done.

    I had my first job interview last week, anxiety said: I’m gonna be so scared and nervous it’s gonna be horrible, what if I getting scary thoughts while there. Reality: I did great on the interview, the said they loved to see such energy and confidence in a candadidate. They rarely see someone so self assured.

    I’m at the gym or on the way, anxiety says: you can’t breathe, you’re gonna pass out. Reality: I stay and workout and my breathing normalizes and I feel great.

    I wanna watch a tv or movie, anxiety says: you won’t focus on it, reality: I watch the whole thing and who cares if my mnd wandered, it always has.

    Anxiety says: you won’t sleep tonight. Reality: I always fall asleep, it has always taken me sometime to quiet my mind before bed but I just let it go and always fall asleep. Yes, I wake up around every 2-3 hours fir a few minutes but always have and it doesn’t affect me I think it’s rare fir someone to sleep for 8 hours straight anyway.

    Well right now my anxiety is telling me I’m jinxing it by writing this. I don’t care, ths place needs an uplift and the positive poste are what propelled me forward.

    Just see through it people! You’re always gonna think things are worse than they really are.

  186. Pia Says:

    Oh and I’m the finalist for the position and am hopefully going through The final phase. It’s at the background check and drug testing phase. Ni forgot to add that the interview was 3 hours long with 3 different people!

  187. Aaron :-) Says:

    Reading threw a few a posts i think ive been doing it wrong having a bad setback and thinking everything will fall into place but i need to reteach or do the things that i taught myself is this correct ?

  188. Karen Says:

    Pia that’s great.

    Another positive story. Yesterday anxiety screamed at me not to go see my sons play, not to go to the theatre and out for a meal. I did it anyway and managed even to get out of my own head for bits of it and enjoy it. Feeling proud. Hope it continues and if it does not, hope I can accept it still.

    Tim, I was interested to read that the anxiety chnging is a sign of improvement. The focus of my thoughts is changing all the time at the moment. So it is trying to catch me off guard. I will not let it…… well I will let it but then accept it.

  189. Paul David (admin) Says:

    That is great Pia, seriously well done and a classic example of not only understanding, but being able to see anxiety for what it is, one big bluff. When anxiety tells you not to do something it is your mind that thinks it is doing you a favour, keeping you safe, it pulls on past experiences. I used to thank it for trying to protect me, but let it know there was no logical danger here and I’m fine, which is similar to what you are doing with the logical answer. In time it realises there is no danger through you moving past it/exposure and then no longer registers the anxiety. Those that listen to that voice just make it stronger, those that move past it, weaken it.

  190. honey Says:

    Going on holiday at the end of the month! Filled with dread but trying to be positive. I haven’t been abroad for 12 years. Had anxiety for almost 6 (trying to not count it though)! And although it’s scary I am positive that this is my final hurdle as it’s the only thing that’s kept me feeling abnormal. I’ve wanted to travel abroad but the anxiey about flying and being away from my comfort zone has held me back. This is ny chance to face it and I am secretly excited about facing my most promenant fear! Bring it on!!!! I have been med free for several years and will not be taking any meds with me just incase either so I am literally chucking myself in at the deep end! Call it flooding if you like! I’m tempted Paul to ask of you have any positive stories of similar events during your recovery but that would be reassurance seeking and I know the method well by now! I just need to trust in myself !!!

  191. Wendy Says:

    Hello everybody,

    haven’t been here for quite a long time and just want to say, that I feel pretty fine at the moment. What helps me so so much is just going out, hanging out with friends, shopping, parties etc.
    Even if you feel like crap and even if dp is so bad, that you feel like passing out every minute ( you won’t ! ), DO something!! Go out, talk to someone, laugh, focus on the outside and just say something like ” okay anxiety, i’m going to see some of my friends now and I really can’t give you the attention you want right now!”
    When you do normal everyday stuff, this is when normal feelings return!
    Sitting at home in self pity and staring at the wall will never make you feel any better so just live your lives, because you only live once and even if you feel like crap remember it is only anxiety, it’s just a feeling and it’s actually a good feeling, as your body is only protecting you.
    I always wonder how fast i feel better once I focus on the outside and just ignore my anxiety.
    So hope everyone has our had a wonderful weekend :)

  192. Bryan Says:

    Pia, Honey, Wendy…

    Awesome posts. Love to hear of your progress and attitudes.
    Thanks for sharing. We all benefit from these.

  193. Chrissy Says:

    Agree with Paul. This blog was turning into a forum for people.

    Anxiety suffer here for 15 years

    Following Paul’s advice is the only thing that has helped me

    Setbacks suck however I realize its good to have setbacks as it means I have good days to!

    Anxiety is just thoughts and emotions on a oversentised body and mind.
    Let the thoughts and feelings come. They will not hurt you. They never did in the past and no this isn’t the “one” that will

    Stop googling symptoms. Stop looking for answers. Stop looking for the quick fix

    Just let the thoughts be. Don’t fight or fear them
    It’s not easy but gets easier.

  194. D-Ren Says:

    Candie, are you familiar of doyoupanic? I was just wondering if you are same Candie. : )

  195. Kelly Says:

    Hi,

    Just curious to know if anyone has had trouble getting their partner to understand their anxiety. My husband has the “it’s all a crock of sh*t” attitude and I’m really struggling with getting him to even want to understand what I’ve been through. I’ve had a really good past few months with the help of Paul’s book and this blog.

    I hit my all time low was when my child was about 8 months old. I went back to work part time and pretty much had nothing to do, I would contstantly beg my boss for work or to be put in a more productive role but to no avail. I truly believe this was a huge factor in me experiencing post natal depression and anxiety, more so on the the anxiety side of things. Another factor that played a huge part in my anxiety being sky high was going back on the contraceptive pill. I’d never know there was a link with the two until I started to research it. I decided to stop taking the pill and the improvement was almost instant.

    I realised that I’ve had bouts of anxiety my whole life but never realised that that’s what it was.

    Anyway, I’d love to get some advice on how to get my husband to understand or to even want to understand.

  196. Adam Says:

    I just wanted to thank Paul for “taking back the blog”. I have been following it for about a year now, and over the past several months it seems to have devolved more into another anxiety forum rather than the place for healing and positive reinforcement than it had always been. Its nice to see it get back to the helpful, positive place where anyone who lives with anxiety can find answers and inspiration. Thank you Paul.

    Pia…I wanted to add that your post was/is very helpful to me. My anxiety seems to manifest itself in a similar manner to what you described as yours in your post. I have been practicing the very same techniques you described in the very same manner as you from your post. And it really encourages me to hear from someone who is making it work and making progress day by day. I too am making progress but have not pushed as far as you have yet (i.e. three hour job interview-my anxiety tells me I cant handle an interview too!). Thanks a lot for the great post Pia.

  197. Kyle Says:

    Rei,

    That’s exactly how my anxiety first started. Totally normal in the circumstance. My first attack I was high on pot and every other attack and intense feelings came after other drugs or alcohol and I just ignored them and kept partying AAND it only got worse until cut out all drugs and excessive drinking. My brain is finally starting to reset and I feel so much better. Just practice Paul’s advice cuz it truly works but also cut out all that bad stuff you put in your body

  198. Pia Says:

    Glad it helped Adam! It’s only nerves. Of course I have moments throughout the day where I get goofy. But it always passes quickly. I do get wrapped up in the thoughts, but then I cone out. I’m a nervous person, always have been. It never bothered me before the scary thoughts came. But that nervousness has saved me many times. I’m always prepared for disaster. I did well in school and work and many other things in life because of my personality. The only things that changed for awhile is I started doubting myself and worrying about my worrying. Now I just try to worry like before, lol.

    You can definetly do an interview, Adam, I didn’t shut up for 3 hours, lol.

  199. Adam Says:

    Thanks Pia. We seem to be in similar places with our anxiety. I too used to get wrapped up in the thoughts much more than anything else. In fact, its the thoughts that are/were the worst part of my anxious state. But I have come to the point, especially at work where I am by far the most anxious, where I let them be with me while I focus on my work/job and carry on. And like you said in your post…I’ve never lost my mind, myself or avoided doing something I wanted to do. I face the fear, feel it & accept it and walk through it with an “I don’t care what happens-I’m doing this!” attitude. And I have come through fine so far. I feel on top of the world afterwards for a short time and then its on to the next worry for my anxiety. After that the process repeats itself with a new worry mountain to climb. I also know what you mean about self doubt and worrying. I think, for me, both are just another extension of my insidious friend anxiety. At least that is how I am treating them. Its all anxiety and the solution to all of it is the same: face it, acceptance, float and let time pass. The good part here is that with every anxious mountain climbed the self doubt erodes and worrying becomes less severe. At least that is what I am slowly figuring out as I move through this anxious period of my life. If I had to do an interview these days….I do think I could handle it. But interviews used to make me very nervous even before I developed my anxiety (although, like you again, my personality made me a good interviewee who landed several decent jobs from them). Since developing anxiety a year and a half ago I have not had the need to interview (yet). But Im hoping all this practice Im doing these days will pay off when I do have to do one.

  200. Nolan Says:

    Hello,
    I’ve been coming here since July of 2013. I was in the darkest of dark places.
    My mom died when I was a younger man, but this bout of anxiety/depression was the hardest thing I ever dealt with. Hard than the untimely passing of my mother.
    It mainly impacted my sleep. I developed such a terrible fear of not being able to fall asleep that I thought I broke my brain.
    It was hell.
    Fits of crying, fits of rage, spells of not caring about anything anymore.

    The words of Paul and others helped me immensely.
    Most nights now I sleep about 6 to 8 hours. But I don’t really care about all of that anymore.
    I think that’s part of the point.

    Prior to anxiety my life was bigger than sleeping. I didn’t care one way or the other.
    During anxiety sleep was my life. It’s all I thought about, all I aimed my day towards….
    I had to shift my focus off of that topic. Let all of the fear and doubt be there…. but get on with my life again.

    You can do it too.

    Take care.

  201. Kyle Says:

    Hey guys just a couple quick questions. I know that alcohol is a no no when you have anxiety and I’m really trying to do my best but I find myself feeling good about my anxiety and tend to indulge a bit much and the next day is rough and all my thoughts come flooding in and I just feel awful and unreal. I’m 24 so my social life right now is going to the bars with my friends. Part of my anxiety comes from the fact I can’t go out and have fun like I use to since I can’t drink without feeling bad the next day. If there anyone who has found a way to still go out and have fun with your friends and get around the whole drinking thing? I just feel sort of left out sometimes. I try to limit myself but I tend to go over my limit. I use to have bad social anxiety so I always drank to open up a bit. Second question is for people with intrusive thoughts. Does anyone have a hard time watching the news and hearing about all the terrible things out there and your anxiety comes back? It’s hard for me to hear about all those horror stories and hear that those people have mental issues and them the rest of the day I can’t stop thinking about it. Then harmful thoughts come and I can’t help but thinking “what if”? Had anyone delt with this and found someways to just accept it?

  202. Karen Says:

    Kyle, I struggle to watch the news and the crime dramas my husband likes and to be honest do the wrong thing and try to avoid them. We are meant to watch them and let the thoughts be. I was told by a health professional that because our nerves are in a sensitised state we are just more suggestible. I am aiming to building up the amount I watch them slowly! These days I am trying to say to myself ” Ah hello anxiety thought, you are welcome.” Then carry on with what I am doing. Therefore hopefully showing my brain I am not scared. A work in progress.

    Can I ask a question please? What is the difference between a forum and a blog? I find this blog so positive and helpful and don’t want to be using it wrongly. Is it preferred that we dont ask about our symptoms? Its an honest question, I am not trying to be controversial.

  203. Rachh Says:

    I have a really important question to ask.. I have been born into a family of judgemental worriers and people pleasers.. My dad is especially and still believes there is a cure to my anxiety and that by reassuring me all the time will make me feel better. Therefore I have always believed only in what I think and have never had the tools to compromise or switch off my internal thoughts/people pleasing unempathetic ways.. Am I still able to recover to a point where I am not focused in on myself as I have never been this way so don’t know what to aim for in recovery.
    I’m quite depressed and defensive when speaking to people as I don’t come from the same view point as them anything I feel or say is quite false and I know laughing is good for you but my laughing has always been false.
    In other words my life has always been negative emotion then action.. I am struggling to switch this to turn my fight or flight/internal mode off if that makes sense. If there is someone who has recovered who has been in a similar place I would be really interested in how you know what normality is and how you know if your on the right path or not if you have always been this way.

  204. Rich Says:

    Hi Rachh,

    I too have felt like this for so long that I too thought that to recover would be a return to my old self, but when you read about the process, it is not one of returning to who you were, it is one of growth, discovery and personal development into someone new – a new, stronger, better educated you.

    I began the process wanting to be like me as a kid – not worried about things and excited about fun experiences etc, but the weight of the world, the experience of this process and what we have to learn to get through it mean we will not be that person – we will be someone even better.

    This scared me at first, but when you trust that the process will ultimately be beneficial to you, you realise that compared to the bewildered you, this is a very good thing.

  205. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Karen it’s a good question and please don’t worry about using it wrongly.

    This is the answer I gave to someone who asked earlier and the difference is put very well by someone else here

    ‘If you just want to express yourself in the internet, a blog might be the right tool for you. But if you want to participate in discussions that can sometimes turn into debates, joining a forum is what’s for you.’………..

    So I express myself and others comment on what I have written, it is not really suppose to turn in to disscussions away from the title. Of course it does at times and that is fine, what it was doing though was turning into multiple discussions and debates leading into people journaling, arguing and posting multiple times a day looking for reassurance.

    If you look at any blog people just comment on the post and don’t turn it into multiple posts about different issuses, a forum is exactly what this is for, it has multiple forums and sub forums for multiple subjects so people can sound off and journal as much as they want, that’s what it is their for, this is also why it has mulitple moderators. A blog apart from spam really should not need to be so heavily moderated, it is not suppose to be a discussion board and yes it turned into that and to a degree that’s fine as it helps people, but people like Julie need a forum, the blog is not the place. Forums for me are not very helpful, it is just people complaining about how they feel with tons of reassurance, but little true help, they encourage people to use them as a crutch, I personally don’t like them, they are just filled with depressing stories.

    I am not trying to change the way people post, carry on as you do, but I like it when people write about positive experiences and how they are progressing, seeing people support and encourage each other. That’s the place it used to be, people who want to constantly journal and complain daily and want constant reassurance really need a forum, that’s not a slight on them, it is what a forum was built for and not the way I want the blog to go.

    I also have no problem with anyone asking for advice, sound off about a bad day and need some support. I just also like them to try and take the advice on board and move forward, the blog is suppose to be here to help people do that and not have people get a little reassurance, but get nowhere. Let’s all move forward together, engourage and support each other and leave forums to what they do.

    Paul

  206. Doreen. Says:

    Thanks Paul. That is very helpful. I too had become somewhat confused.

  207. Doreen. Says:

    Rich – your response to Racch reminded me of something a very wise GP said to me many years ago. I was going through a very bad episode of anxiety following the death of my mother and had been prescribed antidepressants by another GP in the same practice. They were pretty dreadful things and I was even more anxious after having taken them so decided to see a different GP. She was brilliant to suggested I came to see her once a week rather that take drugs for what was in fact a very complicated grief. In one of my sessions with her I was bemoaning the loss of the me that I was once and she said “Yes you may have lost aspects of yourself that you want back and indeed some of them may come back. But if not others will take their place and be just, if not more valuable”. I held onto that like a comfort blanket and really believe it to be true.

  208. Rachh Says:

    Thankyou

  209. Bryan Says:

    Paul,

    I’d also like to thank you for restoring order here. Even in the short time, the blog has been infinitely more productive and true to its nature. Just another thanks for stepping in, and keeping this resource here for people.

  210. Karen Says:

    Thanks Paul.

  211. Pia Says:

    Yep adam, same as you. Physical symptoms worry me a little but I’ve been dealing with them on and off since I was around 21, now I’m 34. They were mainly dizziness and chest pains/palpitations. The thoughts is what pushed me over this time. But guess what, the fear from the thoughts is what pushed me to get help for the anxiety. I was at the point different times that I wouldn’t go out by myself or drive alone for fear of passing out. Or I’d do all my errands in the morning and do indoor stuff the rest of the day. Now I go out whenever, go to the gym alone, shopping alone, etc. I get heart palpitations everyday, and my heart rare is never under mid 80’s, but it’s genetic and I try not to worry so much about.

    I think my final hurdle is to stop reading about anxiety. I don’t really google for knowledge or a specific thing. I mainly come here and read the comments, or to see if there’s anything “new” about anxiety. It’s more of a pass time as if I’m bored and have nothing else to google. If I’m busy or am focused on another subject I don’t think about it. But I did the same with other things, such as when my dog was diabetic and I joined a very helpful forum and hung around there a lot even after he passed. So my goal is to stay off the internet so much and as weird as it sounds, try to watch more tv. I do more than enough activities through the day. I very rarely sit around and do nothing during the day. I have 1 dog, 3 cats, and 4 foster cats so I’m pretty busy with them. I was scared fir awhile I was becoming an animal hoarder, but I googled and I’m far from it, lol.

  212. Bryan Says:

    Pia,

    I can relate to the final hurdle scenario you painted. Oddly for me, I handle the day to day symptoms pretty well. It’s a fear of setback that has me a bit stuck still. Because mine have been so harsh, even during good times I find myself looking over my shoulder a bit. I am working hard to lose this attitude, because in reality it’s only a few days in bunches during these setbacks that are extremely hard to bear. The rest I accept very well and I’ve made progress. I know the book on setbacks is that we need them and they help us… but for me they seem to just keep things cyclical, really. They almost seem to prevent me from getting to that next level of recovery. I wonder if anyone else feels that way.

    In any case, great posts… and thanks for sharing.

  213. Kyara Says:

    Bryan,

    In order to fully fully recover you have to stop fearing anxiety. Fear a setback for what? You’ve felt the same exact sensations before. some more intense than others but still, you’ve felt it. It is a loop. You focus on one fear loose interest and quickly gain another. You have to stop caring. Stop caring about anxiety, the thoughts, the set back, the sensations, exaggerated emotions etc. Put your focus back into living your life. I’ve wanted to post to you for awhile. Recovery I feel is at first acceptance and then getting to a point where you just don’t care about it anymore. There are different parts to us. Our mind, our heart, our physical body and spiritual aspect. Your mind is only a part of you that is a useful tool. It makes you feel bad when you listen to it. You choose to listen to it. You give thoughts and fears respect. You don’t have to. Try implementing a new attitude.

  214. Peter Says:

    Hi i would just like to thank Paul for writing at last a life as i feel i now have a life again.. I suffered with many a different intrusive thoughts jumping from one thing to another waking u crying and not wanting to face my day. I then got to the point was living again for months and boom a set back that put me into despair… Then i found your book and seen where i was going wrong. Took me months of practice but i have finally accepted it all the thoughts/feeling everything it throws at me. I still have days where i feel off but i no longer question or try to change how i feel i just accept it and carry on with my day. My thoughts are no longer solely on me all day and its no longer the 1st thought i think of. It may be the 2nd but again i no longer try t change it. If only i know this on day one but life is about learning some may take the quick route some take the long. Now i just want to carry on as before and enjoy going out with my family and friends. As the book says at last a life.. Thanks

  215. Pia Says:

    Bryan,

    I completely agree with kyara. Who cares???? Should be your new moto. By fearing setbacks you’re never getting out of the loop in order to even have a setback. By what you explain, you’re constantly in a “setback” waiting for a setback. Right now I “think” feel shaky, but who cares??? It’s happened so many times that I can just remind myself it’s fine.

  216. Lui Says:

    Having my first meeting with my therapist tomorrow. Not sure what to expect exactly and I’m a bit nervous but I hope that it’s gonna give me the support I need right now to move on from the anxiety subject. I hope for the best!

  217. Bryan Says:

    Kyara/Pia….

    Bingo. Exactly right. I agree completely. It’s just a hurdle that I’m trying to get past.
    For whatever reason, it’s my “thing”… I can deal with panic attacks, the daily stuff, bouts of depression or anything else. But fear of the “restarting” of the condition and it keeping me in a loop is my hang-up. I’ve adapted the who gives a #### attitude in almost every other phase but that. Perhaps because my brain sees it as a blockade to recovery.

    Like you both said basically, that’s the catch 22. When I reach full acceptance to ALL aspects, then I’m there. I’m getting closer each day.

  218. Karen Says:

    What do you do when the anxiety leads to depression? I am working my way through the anxiety and carrying on but it seems to have lead to constant low mood and having to drag myself to get through the day. Do you accept it the same as anxiety and let low thoughts be there? I wish this acceptance was easier, I really am trying but it feels so alien to not want to fix myself.

  219. Rich Says:

    Bryan I am the same – the setbacks feel like they hit hard because they rob you of feeling ‘normal’ again and bring with them feelings of uselessness, failure, ‘back to square 1’ and ‘I’m never going to recover’ etc etc.

    Setbacks have brought me depressive moods due to this. I just have to remind myself that this is just temporary, and not to mope around feeling sorry for myself and get on with things. I have to push myself through this mental block and just ‘do stuff’.

    I don’t like setbacks and future anxiety not because they’re scary now, but because they are a pain in the backside, rob me of time and make me feel rubbish when I should be feeling good.

    However, I believe that as I continue to lose the fear of things, setbacks should not happen, as I have no fear for them to latch onto. This is my hope anyway. For now, I just ride them out as long as needed.

  220. lorryt Says:

    hi all,

    needed to read this today, don’t know why but lately have been feeling rough. my world has turned around so quickly in the past 9 or 10 months, all for the better, but my memory and habit turns it all negative, and I cant see all the happiness and good stuff lasting..its weird, and I know its just thoughts, but I let them get to me. I am still catastrophizing, I guess I am aware that I do it, just got to stop !!… its about letting myself be happy .. and stop overanalysing stuff….. sorry to ramble on , just a little low and anxious…

  221. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Kyara makes some very good points, fearing and hating a setback is the same as hating and fearing anxiety. I was going to reply here but will make it my next post as I have quite a bit to say, hopefully it will help people move on. I will hopefully do it next week.

    Paul

  222. Rune Says:

    Bryan/Rich

    Just need to reply to this one. I feel also that my fear for setbacks holds back my recovery. I have too much respect for the past feelings. I find it difficult to overlook the bodily sensations. When the butterflies is in my stomach and the heart is pounding like crazy. I know the answer is to accept it and go on with my day.

    I really feel I am getting closer, but to take ‘I don’t give a s…’ attitude needs some long practice. I always want to get rid of it right now, I see I have some job to do, or is the answer not to do anything. Just allow it to be? Just a question, is it anyone who can have really good evening and night, and then wake up with high anxiety?

    Thank you for many good advice. Greetings from Norway.

  223. Rich Says:

    Hi Rune, My opinion is to do nothing – as there is nothing you can do apart from do everything you would do anyway – and just take the anxiety with you. I don’t like it because it makes me feel down, tired, uncomfortable (just through dealing with the stomach symptoms) and the fact I know it will last as long as it seems to need to – resigning me to losing maybe a weekend or a few days of feeling ‘normal’. It’s more of an annoyance for me now than a scary experience.

  224. Bryan Says:

    Peter,

    I missed your post. That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing some of your success with us. Keep it up.

    Paul,

    Wow that topic would be great. Really looking forward to reading your thoughts on that one. Thanks again for keeping this learning resource going for us.

  225. Bryan Says:

    Karen,

    Yes… 100% acceptance is the key with regards to depression during anxiety recovery. Claire Weekes calls it depletion, as that’s more accurate for what happens to us. The way you describe it, it’s like most of us…. you’re not negative and brooding. You’re just spent, and our bodies’ chemistry changes temporarily.
    If you think about it, you’ve probably felt a version of this before you ever had anxiety simply from being tired.

    I’ve had bouts of low mood or “depression” but handle it very well and it goes away.
    Of course, there are other areas I don’t accept as well but this one I know from experience. In fact, an anxiety specialist I work with sometimes said he almost looks at that stage as good news. It means your body is calming down and repairing, so just try to let it do so without adding that old 2nd fear we all seem to add.

    Just try to smile and move through it the best you can. Try not to grapple with the thoughts, or especially do what I did at first… wonder if this was the “new me.”
    It’s not. The real you will blast to the surface at some point when you’re not expecting it if you let it be.

    Hang in there. Your experience is extremely common, so take heart in that too.

  226. rachh Says:

    Oh my gosh!!
    It is actually starting to hit home!! Although i have dp at the moment and feel flat and locked in my own mind i feel so very excited!!
    I was out walking the dog and as i aways do fight with my mind conciously work out when all of a sudden i was in the moment and felt like a nervous wreck.
    I know this sounds odd but i was nervous as though it was my first day at school and it was just an emotion i was feeling and for a split second i was starting to feel rubbish but wasnt scared or trying to work it out.
    I completely understand it now im fighting my emotions..
    Well as soon as i realised i was feeling nervous i went straight back into control mode and have been ever since but im really pleased im starting to understand it.
    Its not about ignoring feelings its about having them the good the bad and the ugly from day to day as thats life feelings and emotions are good including anxious feelings in appropriate settings – anxiety the fight and flight of normal feelings is not.

    Hope i have the opportunity to let myself go again tomorrow when i can feel again.. Dp is really obstructive!!

    Yayyyy!!

  227. rachh Says:

    Another thing distracting by keeping busy is pointless too when you can feel anxious/worried it really feels good when you can feel it and not be scared of it. I quite liked the buzz!!
    If i get the chance tomorrow i would be happy to sit in an empty room and feel the rushes of nerves lol! How wierd is that!

  228. Chrissy Says:

    Karen

    That’s where I am. I seem to have applied Paul’s method to anxiety, panic and intrusive thoughts however feel in a low mood. Sort of flat now stronger feeling then before. I am applying the same method of Paul’s to the depressive flat mood it seems to be working. I just place the flat mood under the umbrella of anxiety

    It’s out attitude towards it

  229. Karen Says:

    Rachh sounds like you are doing really well.
    Thanks Bryan and Chrissy, that helps. I shall just treat the thoughts the same.

  230. Karen Says:

    Lui hope your first therapy session went well and that you think it is going to be helpful.

  231. Bryan Says:

    Hope no one minds, I read this on Paul’s FB page and thought it was worth posting here. A guy named Peter (not the one that posted above) posted his success story. Always great to read these. Pasted below…

    Paul, My name is Peter Lee and I found your website online about 10 months back. February 2013 I was diagnosed with a very severe level of anxiety. I suffered two anxiety attacks before the symptoms all just hit me at once. I quit my jobs and I stayed at home for 3 months straight crying myself to sleep every night. I was too scared to drive or even go out anywhere by myself. It was terrible.

    One day I came across your site when I was searching for “answers” the very next day. At first I thought it was just another scheme but I read through it and ended up buying the book. Your site alone just made me feel at ease and taught me a lot.

    May 2013 right before my 20th birthday, that’s when I took my first step. I followed your advice and just let the anxiety run its course in me. All the scary thoughts and symptoms… I just let them in. I started driving for the first ( I was really terrified ) I went to the gym again after gaining so much weight. I met my friends again who I haven’t seen in forever. I found myself another job and started going back to school as well.

    Little by little, as I gave into the emotions and fear I started caring less and less about what was going on inside and focused more on whats out there in front of me. I suffered all the symptoms of seeing floaters, racing heartbeat, hot flashes, pins and needles, hopelessness, and detachment. I would even be able to feel my own pulse from my fingers and other weird parts of my body. At one point I just did not care anymore.

    These past 10 months I lived my life as regularly as I could and eventually the symptoms came less and less. Sometimes I would feel really crappy but I knew… that this was just temporary and my road to recovery would have progressed more after. I purposely do the stuff I thought would make me anxious and at first all this was really really hard. But slowly.. slowly.. I progressed and did not care as I did it more often.

    All the medications, therapy, etc I don’t take any of it anymore.. I did not feel the necessity to constantly take my medications or have to go see my therapist. Just like you I went to the best psychiatrists and therapists in the eastern region but I couldn’t find an answer. The more I obsessed trying to fix myself the worse it got.

    September 2013, I was able to finally just accept all of this and not fight it. From there on my life has been almost the same before I even had anxiety. I still have symptoms. I still see floaters other weird symptoms and still have the feeling of detachment. But it just doesn’t really bother me anymore. I just don’t care anymore. I let it happen and it goes away. I felt that going out and hanging out with my friends made me forget all about it when I’m with them.

    All I just wanted to say was thank you for helping me get my life back on track and helping me start my road to recovery. I don’t know when my minor symptoms will all fully go away but I noticed it happens without us even realizing it ( that’s how all the other symptoms have seemed to go). There isn’t a day where I don’t thank god for allowing me to read your book and helping me understand what all this really is. Paul, thank you.

  232. Lui Says:

    Hi Karen,
    thanks, it went quiet well. She made me realize that it’s okay to have anxiety and that I have to accept it. She also said that I can achieve this on my own and don’t need a therapist for that. I already knew most of thet hings she told me cause of Paul’s blog. I’m motivated to start my recovery now.

  233. Lui Says:

    Oh and I have a question. I have an extreme problem with closeness. I can’t talk about my feelings and don’t let weakness ever happen. I am pretty much unable to say ” I love you” to the people I love cause this would already be to close for me. I tend to push people away and get very angry at people who try to break through my wall. I have a BIG problem talking to my therapist and I’m even developing a feeling of hate towards her because she’s getting so close to all my fears and emotions I have. Is this somehow linked to my servere social anxiety? How can I break this wall down? Or am I just an emotional mess?

  234. rachh Says:

    Lui i feel like this its almost like its almost become comfortable to be in the anxiety bubble and people are trying to pop it which is uncomfortable. My defences are up really high and unless i feel in control of everything i give up.

    I dont know how to let this go either its like im surrounded by a wall of hatred and i cant get through it.

  235. Lui Says:

    That’s exactly how I feel rachh, if I let people inside I develop such a hate towards same. It’s scary. You know, I don’t want that it just happens….

  236. Bryan Says:

    Rune,

    I meant to respond before. Yes, we are similar in that regard. ( fearing setback. ). I mean, logically I don’t fear it but it seems emotionally I do and I have to work ok that.

    Oh and regarding mornings… 100%. I am like a different person after 3-5pm. So much better. (Usually aside from setbacks.).

    In fact for me waking from a sleep is my #1 issue that remains. My body seems to have a terrible time waking without panic. That of course makes it unpredictable and unsettling because it feels like a perpetual cycle. I’m hoping that as I calm overall, the sleep/wake issues will resolve. It seems to have improved during the good times.

    Keep the course. We know this works.

  237. rachh Says:

    Hi has anyone read will beswicks book.. I read on some previous blog posts that his book helped others however them seems to be a difference between the advice given that there is a way forward with the obsessive thoughts which will break the rumination pattern. Where as anxiety no more says to allow them.

    Without sounding like a know it all or that this site is wrong i seem to resonate more with the information in that book and im not sure why?

    Any ideas?

  238. Karen Says:

    Lui, just a thought. It is always going to be difficult telling someone your innermost fears etc. I guess this is naturally going to cause increased anxiety and as your therapist is making you face them I guess it’s natural to blame her a bit? You fear letting people get close to you so you develop these feelings of hate towards them. Do you then fear the feeling of hate? I don’t know but maybe these are just extensions of the anxiety … therefore you need to accept that feeling of hate and fear of them getting too close. I guess only then will you allow them to really get close as at the moment your feelings of hate are making you push them away to protect yourself, therefore that’s your anxiety at work. At my worst I could barely look at photos of people I loved as I felt so frightened. I think that was my anxiety wrongly trying to make me flee from them and trying to protect them.

    I don’t know if that makes any sense at all and I am no expert, muddling my way through like us all but it was just an idea.

  239. Pia Says:

    Ugh,Really look forward to Pauls new post on setbacks right about now!!!!

  240. Lui Says:

    I have made a HUGE realisation!!!
    I think I fully understand the message now and how to use it. I was always worried that people were judging me and I was holding on to my popularity.
    Well, yesterday I was in deep thought once again and realized how f*cking stupid it is to cancel every meeting I have cause I am so afraid of being judged. No populaity is worth such an amout of suffering and anger I feel towards everything and everybody. I have no life!!
    So I realized that it’s not important what anybody thinks of me, it’s important to find people that fit to me and I’ll never find my place in this world wearing a mask.
    So today I tried to let all the feelings happen and dropped my saefty behavior and it was absolutely AWFUL!! I never felt so naked and every part of my body was filled with dread. Pretty soon I was hiding again.
    That’s when I realized what Paul meant with “falling in a hole”, “feeling as juck as I need” and going towards my feelings. I took me a full year to understand this, although it’s so easy!
    I am not looking forward to stop avoiding, it feels like shit but today I truly realized how “fake” I actually am, how much I hide and that I’m definetly not being myself at all.
    I think it’s gonna take a while until I’ll fully accept and can drop all the saefty behaviors..But I feel like I am on the right track and that I FINALLY understood what anxiety is all about.
    What do you guys think? I’d really like to hear some thoughts about this! :)

  241. Sarah Says:

    Hi!
    I’m new to this and was hoping to get some advice if possible.
    I have just read Pauls book and it really has made a difference to me.
    I’ve recently become a mum and have been suffering from anxiety and panic for three months now which was triggered from a bout of food poisoning.
    My problem is that the main symptom of my anxiety is terrible nausea. This is made worse by the fact that I have a phobia of vomiting. I’m finding it hard to adopt the “I don’t care” attitude when I’m terrified of vomiting and the nausea gets really bad. I haven’t actually been sick since the food poisoning but am nauseous all the time and my stomach has become so sensitive that I often have a problem with, shall we say, the other end! Sorry!
    I’m wanting to get on with my life and pay it little attention as Paul says but the symptoms can often restrict me.
    Has anyone had any similar problems, or is anyone able to give me some pointers on how best to ‘not care’ when I really am very frightened.
    Thank you in advance and I hope you are all having a nice weekend!

  242. Bryan Says:

    Lui,

    This is what Jim Folk and his therapists refer to as “level 2 recovery.”
    That is, discovering and addressing those hidden causes of stress that may be keeping us stuck. (Level one is acceptance and understanding symptoms, etc)

    You are talking about being a people pleaser which is highly common among anxiety personalities. Recognizing and making changes is a good thing in my opinion, as long as the foundation of not avoiding symptoms and places is still in tact. Keep up the good work!

  243. Shashank Says:

    Wow!!!!!!….Another great post Paul…Really amazing…..:-)….

  244. Sunny Says:

    Hello,
    This will be the first time I have posted, but I would like to say thank you! I am still struggling with anxiety, but practicing these skills has made it a lot more bearable, though I still have a long way to go. It has especially helped with my dealing with the dp and scary thoughts. I hope one day I will be able to reach the point of acceptance and allowing the thoughts to just be. I guess it takes a lot of practice, and some days are easier than others, but as time goes on it is getting a little easier. I am glad I was referred here, and I hope everyone had a great weekend.

  245. Doreen. Says:

    Hey – I have just joined the gang of those with disrupted sleep. Get to sleep fine but when I wake up after a few hours I am wide awake band the old anxiety stuff starts rumbling away – physical rather than mental. It does seem a lonely place to be in the early hours of the morning. But I try to think of all the other folk I know who have disrupted sleep none of whom would be on this site about it as they just accept the situation. One sometimes ends up sleeping on the sofa and hearing the TV lulls her off. So whilst the anxiety churning is horrible I don’t fuel the fire by adding ‘what if’. And funnily enough whilst having these bad nights my days have been as anxiety free and good as they could be. Looking forward to staying with friends tonight and think that possibly being in a different bed may break the pattern. But if not at least I will be looking at different wallpaper!!

  246. Bryan Says:

    Doreen. Good attitude and I like the idea of sleeping elsewhere. I have waking anxiety and have occasionally moved rooms just to break any part of the pattern. Also glad to hear your days have been good, though disrupted sleep is usually a sign that our stress is up. Any other life issues that may be stirring things up under the surface?

    In any case, your attitude of acceptance is a lesson to all of us.

  247. Sunny Says:

    Doreen,

    It is interesting that you mentioned sleeping with the TV on as I do that all the time. I guess the background noise really helps kind of quiet the mind chatter a bit. Whereas I usually can’t sleep in a quiet room, as the thoughts seem to ramp up. I still get racing thoughts in the morning, but this morning I had no physical anxiety. I have also noticed a change of scenery really helps.

    Good luck!

  248. Pia Says:

    The “setback” passed a few days ago. All on its own, no help from me. Proves once again, it’s nothing to fear and won’t last long. Lasted about 3 days on and off. It was mostly physical symptoms that I misinterpreted and blew out of proportion.

  249. Lui Says:

    Thanks Karen, I just saw your post and it really helped me understand. It sounds really logical to me! So thank you really much!
    Thank you Brian for your response, it’s much appreaciated and filled me with a lot of motivation for my recovery process!

    I consider myself now on the road to recovery. And I’m trying to accept my social anxiety step by step now.
    Today I went to an amusment park with a friend who is really, really confident and that’s REALLY intimitating for me.
    In the end it was so exhausted and worn out and I was kind of disappointet in myself cause this showed me that I not accepted the situation I was in.
    But what did I do wrong?
    In the beginning of the meeting I tried to accept everything but soon I found myself in racing thoughts and realized I was pleasing again+I was bossed around from my confident friend and there was nothing I could do about it.
    I got angrier and angrier and in the end I was so pissed at everyone and was just in deep thoughts for the rest of the day. I really understand the whole anxiety topic but most social situation I’m in end up in me being a total “slave” to a person and a people pleaser+feeling worthless as shit and forgetting everything I have learned about acceptance.
    I would appreciate it so much, if somebody could tell me what I am doing so wrong?

  250. Sunny Says:

    Lui,

    I just wanted to write back to you because what you have said hits home for me, as I am sure it does for many on this blog. I want to give one example from my own life that kind of set me free a little bit.

    I had a friend who was an alcoholic and emotionally abusive. I felt bad for him because almost everyone else had shunned him. Well, after awhile of him being continuously rude to me, I kind of woke up to the reasons why. The only reason I allowed him to stay in my life for so long was my low self esteem and people pleasing habits. I needed everyone to like me, so I put up with a lot of inappropriate behavior from a lot of people. Eventually, like you have stated, you start hating everybody and blaming them for the way you feel.

    One day he came and asked me a favor. That was the day I informed him that unless he starts to treat me with respect, I am not going to continue to do things for him. He never spoke to me again. Proof that he was never a real friend.

    That was acceptance. That was acceptance of the fact that I cannot change people unless they choose to change themselves. That was acceptance of the fact that not all relationships are healthy and some are not worth having. That was acceptance of the fact that I am a human being and I don’t deserve to be trampled on. That is what acceptance is. And if some people think I am a horrible person because I now refuse to be thrown around like I used to, so be it.

    If people think I am strange because I am quiet and have difficulty focusing, so be it.

    I did not grieve the end of that relationship. In fact, I felt a sense of relief.

    I think the problem you are having is asking the question, “What did I do wrong?” You acted exactly like anyone in your situation would have acted, that is someone who has problems with anxiety and low self esteem. Now your anxiety is trying to dwell on the “bad” situation and beat you up about it. This would be a perfect time to just let the thoughts bounce around in your head without analyzing them. Instead of analyzing the situation right now, just accept that you did not enjoy it. Then move on to the next situation.

    It will get better with time and practice. And acceptance does not mean you can’t be assertive. But you have to let go of things that already happened and continue to practice what Paul teaches. Otherwise, you are going to continue to carry over this experience into the next one.

  251. Mike Says:

    Hello everyone. I havent been on this site in over a year, hurray! I just wanted to pop back in to share my story and maybe offer up a little bit of advice.

    I was an anxious person all of my life, had some episodes where it was worse than others but never knew to even label it anxiety. About three years ago I plummeted into a pit of intense unrelenting anxiety that drove me to the edge. Looking back if I had known what I know now I would have never fallen as far as I did. It came on with a few panic attacks and health worries and progressed to a 24/7 intense physical and emotional anxiety that was crippling and left me borderline suicidal and housebound.

    In the darkest of those moments after a few trips to the doctor and few bad medicine reactions only made things worse, I came across Pauls site. It was the first thing I had read that had made sense to me. It was a light in a dark place. I began to force myself to start to live again no matter how uncomfortable it was. I learned to leave my thoughts be as they were and not become reactive to them. I gave my mind space and a break. I also began practicing mindful meditation and seeing a naturopathic doctor.

    My naturopath was a godsend, I did a Hair Mineral Analysis and began following Nutritional Balancing as set out by Dr Lawrence Wilson. This showed me almost every case of anxiety has a physical aspect to it. Diet, Nutrition, Detox, and Lifestyle and so very important for every aspect of our body minds and even spirits. Paul’s findings alone I am sure also had a profound physical effect on my body because they helped take me out of the constant intense fight or flight and gave my body a chance to repair to the hormone system that I had overworked and fried.

    Today I am fully recovered and much better off then I even was before all this happened. I feel anxiety and health issues were a blessing, they were my body and mind telling me that I was not on the proper path for myself. These issues made me grow as a person and have given my life a new meaning. I still have work to do health-wise and everyone always will. My hormones still leave me feeling fatigued as they slowly recover from the bombardment of anxiety I handed to them for too long. But my mind is calmer, and anxiety is a thing of the past. At least as an illness, everyone will experience it from time to time, it is normal for humans, just not prolonged and unrelenting.

    My advice would be to gather what you can from this site and stop coming on here. I know it sounds harsh but if you are still on this blog all the time then you haven’t nearly grasped what Paul is trying to say. I made a deal with myself that I would not type anything into my computer health or anxiety related and I stuck to it and it made a world of a difference. Everyone here has a very strong soul within them, go out and live in the world, and be uncomfortable, and feel awkward and get scared and take it as it comes. The sooner you can focus on what you are passionate about around you the quicker this problem will start to fade. It needs no analyzing or reanalyzing, just let it be as it is for better or worse.

    What worked for me was to eat well, sleep well, meditate, and just get on with life. I really wanted to thank Paul very much for making sense when no else did, for understanding me when no one else could, he started my journey back to my life.

  252. Karen Says:

    I have a question …. I have got to the point where I am fine out and about and doing, fine on my own with kids. The final hurdle for me is always that I am left with a constant awareness of myself and thoughts …. checking in on my anxiety and thoughts. How am I doing. What am I thinking etc etc. This is only when I am in the house now. How do I accept this and allow it without it driving me mad. Should I allow it or notice I am doing it, nod my head to it then try change my thoughts directions. After a setback I seem to always get to this point then get stuck. Any advice greatly appreciated.

  253. Lui Says:

    Sunny thank you so much for answering!!
    I read your post yesterday and I stopped analyzing immediately. I figured that worrying=fighting. I hope one day I manage to accept like you do! “I am a human being and I don’t deserve to be trampled on.” Liked that one a lot!

    Now I just want to move on. In the past I was disappointed after situations like that, I just gave up after a few attemps and went back to my old habits.
    I now think that’s the worst thing I could do.
    I still have some questions left, I have a lot sorry, but I never had any kind of self esteem so it’s really hard for me to understand.
    For me accepting is being truly myself. Letting off my “fake confidence”, and my avoidance habits. So I allow myself to feel akward around people and to act weird. So all in all giving a f*ck about what people think.
    I think that I am on the right track with that.
    When I do this I usually get really quiet cause I got rid of all my fake acting trough the day and well I guess this is good.
    When I am in a social sitution now and somebody starts talking to me I get tons of thoughts in my head.
    “Am I really accepting? Do I get bossed around? Shouldn’t I have an opinion on that? Don’t I have to talk in order to teach my brain that soical situation are nothing to worry about?”
    In a lot of situations I really have no opinion and nothing to talk about. What should I do, accept it and stay quiet? In the past I faked interest or an opinion of any kind of topic and pressured myself to say something. I think that’s not really helathy either?
    My last question: In the few moments I actually have something to say I get interrupted a lot. I get offended by that cause in my opininon this is extremely unfriendly. I dont know what to do in those kind of situations. I don’t want to interfere back cause I think it’s unpolite. In those kind of situations I really would like to snap at the person I was talking to but I would probably lose a lot of friends then lol.
    Ok this got really long, sorry for that. I just want to fully understand the acceptance approach in order to start recovery right.

  254. Rachh Says:

    Thanks for your post Mike really makes a difference to us sufferers :)

  255. Bryan Says:

    Great job Mike. Thanks so much for sharing!

  256. Rachel Says:

    So I’m at the park beautiful day my daughter is playing it’s all very nice and peaceful so really don’t get why I am dizzy as hell when I don’t feel anxious at all so not getting it xx

  257. Sarah Says:

    Your post is very reassuring Mike. Thank you

  258. Doreen. Says:

    Really Lui I think you are describing the normal rough and tumble of every day interactions with people that everyone experiences. I don’t think you are meeting people who are ruder or more insensitive than average – it is the way you are letting them affect you that is the difficulty.
    And it is actually part of social discourse to sometimes pretend to take an interest in something but surprisingly that can often lead to a genuine interest. If not at least we have been polite. I don’t think that is unhealthy at all.
    If you are getting interrupted what is wrong with saying with a smile ‘hang on a minute, just let me finish’. if they really are friends they shouldn’t mind at all.

  259. Rich Says:

    Hi Everyone, I’ve not posted for a while as I’ve been going through a good spell again. Going out for food, walks and not experiencing morning anxiety. I’ve even caught myself looking forward to things and making plans!

    I am going away this weekend for an overnight break and am really looking forward to it. I’ve been suffering this morning and yesterday with stomach ache and stomach issues, – one of my major triggers for anxiety, and waking really early in the mornings, but I am much more apathetic towards it now – even though ‘what if’ thoughts arise about the forthcoming weekend – I just dismiss them as anxiety and decide not to worry about it.

    I need to look at my diet and how I can help myself as much as possible with my stomach and its behaviour, but in regards to anxiety and fear, I feel that despite these little setbacks, my attitude towards it is holding firm.

    One thing I’ve really noticed is that I now want to break through the invisible wall that anxiety puts up. I want to go out, do things, and when I do, I feel a lot better for doing it. Sitting and worrying is the worst thing I can do. Now when I do sit and worry, they do not hold the fear over me they once had.

    Will I have another setback? Probably. Am I fully recovered? Not at all, but to all those who are suffering, please believe that things do get better, the ‘real you’ is in there and does emerge, and anxiety is not a permanent fixture in your life.

  260. Karen Says:

    That’s really inspiring Rich, thanks.

  261. Lui Says:

    Thanks Karen, I figured that I am constantly thinking about such small unimportant things and getting so confused about them.
    My day consists of moments of success and even happiness and a deep understanding of anxiety, and then moments where I get really, really depressed and confused about the subject and don’t know what to do.

  262. Rachh Says:

    Lui I’m with you it is such a horrific experience. Fear has killed my personality and imagination. It is relentless and I’m so effin peed off with it now. It has robbed me.
    I constantly analyse too. I think it goes hand in hand with dp to be honest. It’s like you are stuck in a ball of wool and can’t get out to see reality and don’t know what to do to even begin to unravel it.

  263. Lui Says:

    Hey rachh, yes exactly. I am so internal that I have constant deralisation for 2 years now. But I don’t even care cause I’m to busy fighting. I wish I could finally face my fears. They’re so overhelming and such a dread that I don’t know how people actually can accept it. I’m mad at myself cause I seem to be too dumb to even take the first step.

  264. Rich Says:

    Rachh & Lui, I don’t suffer with DP, but I do internalise a lot when I am suffering with anxiety.

    After writing yesterday about how the morning anxiety has left me and I feel better, I woke at 6am this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep – adrenaline, a racing heart and stomach issues – the usual stuff.

    I get frustrated and angry, but this time around I am trying to not be too hard on myself – “this is me right now, and it will pass again like it has passed before”. I do worry I’ll be like this each time something ‘big’ comes up, but I know through repetition that it doesn’t get worse – just the ‘same thing again’, and my understanding of it makes it more tolerable each time.

    When I’m internalising and worrying about ‘feeling ok’ or having ‘what if’ exaggerated thoughts about the future, I make sure I do not dwell – although I often still do! It takes time, and is frustrating as hell, but to get on with things ‘come what may’ and repeating the process is the only way I make true progress.

    I’m out for an overnight trip tomorrow and have so many fears (based purely on anxiety feelings already and the ‘what if’ thoughts they create). I’m going though, and will use this as an opportunity to show my anxiety mechanism that it needn’t worry, and that I want to do these things.

    My fear of anxiety has robbed me of too much of my life already.

  265. Lauren Says:

    Hi all (*Lui)
    I am currently at a Clinic (Mental Health) and finding Dp (thoughts) always there. Thoughts consist mostly of all I’ve been looking at [forums, stuff I’d speak (say someone in the future)] so in my head a lot. Got to take the initial step.

    Hope all hangin’ strong (as strong can be)

    Lauren. :)

  266. Lui Says:

    Guess what, my relatives came to visit and my cousin got a full blown panic attack yesterday and is since then in deep depression. He has an anxiety disorder as well. I can’t help it but just laugh. It SO runs in the family. Genetics play a role here for sure. But anyway that doen’t matter EVERYBODY can revocer.

    Rich I have to give you much respect, you are able to not totally freak out about anxiety and have such an amazing understanding of this topic. Seriously, I am kind of jealous lol.

    So today I had driving lesson and I’ve overcome my fear of driving (wohooo!) My driving test is next week.
    And today there was this big akward silence in the car but I just took it as it came and yes, it was totally awkard, but I just did not care anymore at one point. And after the lesson I felt a sense of calm. I like the direction this is going to!

  267. Rich Says:

    Hi Lui, It sounds like you’re making good progress, and once you start glimpsing progress you will gain more and more confidence. Don’t let setbacks rob you of this confidence – I see recovering as two steps forward but sometimes one step back. It is a process and there are sometimes bumps in the road.

    It’s only with this new knowledge that I notice anxiety in other people. It is a cool ability and is reassuring to know you’re far from alone with this.

  268. Bryan Says:

    Lui,

    Your cousin having the disorder does not mean it is genetic.

    An estimated 3 in 10 suffer with it. So, for every 10 people you know, 3 of them will have a version… Relatives or not.

    Plus, your cousins mother or father we’re raised by the same parents your parent were. It could just as easily have been behavioral in how they were raised.

    We might have a genetic bend towards certain things, but the notion of genetic anxiety disorder is actually much flimsier than most people realize.

  269. Rich Says:

    Hi Bryan, I agree. With the knowledge I have gained from reading about this, you can identify anxiety, coping strategies and safety behaviours in yourself, but you can then see them in other people too.

    Talking to my folks about it makes me see they they too have had times of nerves or stress, and I see traits in them that I have inherited – not through genetics, but through environmental exposure to them over many years of being their son.

    I think I am where I am right now due to having a small social circle, few friends, and lots of thoughts – about lots of things. I have always been a daydreamer, a planner, over-analyser, problem solver. While good for some things, this is detrimental to anxiety disorder because I inwardly look at myself too much, and worry about everything – seeing it all as a problem that needs ‘solving’. Something I need to control. It doesn’t work like that.

    I’ve worried about worrying and stomach issues due to nerves for so many years it is ingrained in me as my ‘go to’ line of thought. This is the strongest neural pathway I have to overwrite. I don’t blame anyone for this. Maybe I could have reacted to things years ago differently – the ‘seed’ that was planted ages ago which has been fed by my thoughts and grown into this, maybe I am a natural ‘worrier’. I don’t know – but I like to think that I can change by reconditioning myself either way and that I can learn not to worry just as I learned to worry in the first place.

  270. Sara Says:

    Hey Everyone,

    I haven’t been on here for a few weeks, the main reason is – I just forgot :)

    Been feeling so much better, it was only today I thought about the blog and thought I’d come back and see how everyone is doing.

    I wouldn’t say I’m completely 100% recovered, but I’m living my life and ignoring the negative thoughts. Yes I still get anxious, the difference now is I continue and don’t let anything hold me back. I still argue with myself and doubt sometimes, but I bet 98% of the population do this. The only difference is us “Anxiety Sufferers” question this doubt and negativity and let it spiral out of control. The thoughts are still there sometimes “I can’t cope” “I’m going to Panic” “This isn’t anxiety” “I have another mental disorder” But I get up and let these thoughts be there, I only seem to get them when I’m on my own, maybe in the morning or evening. When I’m out and busy and doing things I’m completely anxiety free. Which is reassuring in a way because it makes me realise that I bring all the anxiety on by myself. I know this will gradually pass, but even now I don’t let it bother me.

    Kyle – You wrote a post about drinking, I hadn’t drunk for over 5 months as I didn’t feel in the right frame of mind and I knew the next day it would heighten my anxiety. But having felt so much better, this month I had a couple of big night outs booked and I knew drinking was on the cards. I was anxious about it but the night was great, in fact the night for me is never the problem, it’s the anxiety before and the dreaded day after. My anxiety before was actually ok, the hangover was awful but because I accepted it as a hangover and nothing else I was fine.

    If you want to have a drink, have 1, obviously I wouldn’t recommend doing it to excess. Maybe also work out what you can drink so it doesn’t give you a bad hangover, have a water in between. You don’t need to do shots or mix drinks, you can be sociable without drinking in excess. And remember if you feel anxious the next day, it’s just a hangover, nothing more nothing less :)

  271. SarahS Says:

    Hi all just dropping by to say hi and give some encouragement. When we feel better it’s almost like anxiety never happened we feel light and things are easy. When we feel anxious it’s like we’ve never been without it and it’s hard to forget. So I do try to remember that and not judge those who are struggling. It’s not easy and getting better takes time but honestly if I can do it then so can you. I had anxiety pretty much all my life and very acutely at times. I was desperate and needed constant reassurance too but I’m a firm believer that much of that was part of it and part of the process of recovery so don’t beat yourself up about it. I also found advice hard to action and espec as I’d had anxiety for so long it really felt very ingrained. It took me a year to start to accept as I was so scared and altho I understood the advice i was still petrified. This is not to put anyone off it’s quite the opposite it’s to encourage if I can because if I can do it then so can you! Yay! If I could give advice to the old me it would be to say okay everything is okay, everything you feel and think and are scared of is very normal for anxiety, you have begun the journey of recovery that’s amazing, now remember its a slightly bonkes recovery and really will take as long as it takes, yes these things that are being suggested on here really do work but not instantly so you can really believe them or practice believing and trying to change and at some point in the future you will reap the benefits, you’re lovely just as you are, no one is ever better than you are, ever, you’re trying you’re best, sometimes you’ll try too hard sometimes you’ll forget what you’re supposed to be doing then realise you’re not supposed to be doing anything to recover and feel all in a muddle, frustrated, cross with yourself, it’s ok it’s all part of the process. Take a huge leap of faith, give it a go a bit at a time knowing that it will work because we are all telling you it will and you know it’s true it’s just hard to make it happen but it will, hold that faith. And a biggy, stop feeling sorry for yourself, harsh but true. I was a massive wimp, talked about anxiety all day long too but I stopped that. Don’t get me wrong getting better was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, true, but everyone has their problems even tho many look fine and some much worse than ours. We have the opportunity to get better tho given time. It’ll happen honestly it will. It’s frustrating and hard but it really does get easier, give yourself time. Biggest hugs xxx

  272. Lui Says:

    Bryan,
    I think it’s a combination of genetics and environmental factors. My sister has an anxiety disorder, my mum, 3 cousins of mine and I’m pretty sure some more people in the family. I think it’s pretty much likely to develop some kind of anxiety when directly confronted with that through family members. So yeah, genetics are not the most important factor I guess.

    Rich, yes I think I am on the right track now for sure.
    Just had an awesome night out with my realtives. Although I was constantly watching myself and often trying to push my feelings away, I still had a lot of fun and realized that I do have an anxiety issue but already have come such a long way. A year ago I wasn’t even able to go pay for something in a shop cause I was so freacking scared. I have issues with saying my opinion and how I am coming across and that’s gonna be though to overcome but I am ready now and setbacks won’t bring me down.

  273. rachh Says:

    Thankyou sarahS what a brilliant post!!

  274. Doreen. Says:

    Just a quickie on the nature/nurture issue. I was told many years ago that genetics may play some part in how we respond to stress. In some families, ulcers might predominate, in others migraines for instance. So it could be in our families anxiety is the response to stress. However, that doesn’t mean that is inevitable or impossible to over come.

  275. Bryan Says:

    Lui,

    Again I’m just stressing the point… ALL of your family could have anxiety and it STILL wouldn’t necessarily mean there was ANY genetic basis. The number or lack of does not prove a genetic link. Science has not conclusively found a genetic link, rather… circumstantial evidence some may interpret that way.

    I have a huge family and none have anxiety. Neither parent has panic disorder. Now, both have BEHAVIORS that I believe contributed to me being an anxiety personality. But neither has panic. Nor do their parents. If it was genetic, how would I come by it outside of a very recessive gene.

    Furthermore, if it was genetic… how can so many people overcome this using behavioral methods? Cancer is genetic. Few seem to overcome that using CBT.

    Again I’m not saying there may not be a bend in a certain direction due to biology. But we have to be careful about this whole “it’s genetic in my family” thing. It has little basis in science and makes us out to be victims IMO.

  276. Lui Says:

    Bryan,
    I do understand what you mean and I don’t want to claim anything and I know just too little about this topic to discuss. I was already a worrier when I was little and I meant that people who tend to worry a lot by nature will probably more likely develop an anxiety disorder than people that do not. Just my opinion, no proven fact…

  277. semra Says:

    Hi paul, i am going through very bad times with anxiety and i am nearly6 months pregnant, couple of weeks ago i was having some good days and some bad days but now it,s turned to all bad days and iam very stuck, its very hard to deal with it because of the pregnancy is well, please i need your help and advice at least until the pregnancy is over.a

  278. semra Says:

    Does anyone had sleep anxiety, please give some advice on how to overcome it. Normally i sleep well but for several days i havent being sleeping and it really making me very anxious and feels like i am never gone be able to sleep.

  279. Adam Says:

    My opinion is that I believe in a genetic basis for anxiety. That being said, I also believe this basis is nothing more than a predisposition to develop anxious behavior/symptoms given the “right” environment. With my basic understanding of genetics stemming from what I learned over 20 years ago studying for my undergraduate degree in biology, I know that we all have genes that code for nearly everything we are as humans. And with the mapping of our genome (and now the mapping of our closest relatives/ancestors -Neanderthals- genome) we are learning more every day that there are genes that code for nearly everything we do, say, are, are not etc etc etc ad nauseum. BUT having these genes does not guarantee anyone anything. You are not destined to have anxiety just because you possess genes that predispose you to anxious behavior. If you have the genes you have a greater chance of becoming anxious than someone who does not necessarily possess these “anxious” genes. But, as with everything else in life, nothing is guaranteed. With your anxious genes, you may never develop anxiety if you never are put in the necessary environment for anxiety to develop. Similarly, the person without the anxious genes may develop full blown anxiety because of their environment. As for an analogy, how about this: People with “anxious” genes are like a very dry pile of wood & kindling in a dry area. One tiny spark and poof! We now have a full blown fire. People without anxious genes are like a wet pile of wood in a soggy, wet area. You may get a fire started with it but its going to take much much more than a tiny spark to set it off. Lots of heat, flame and energy are required to get this fire going.

  280. Bryan Says:

    Good post Adam!

  281. Rachh Says:

    Wtf is going on with my head I don’t know. One minute I’m depersonalised next I’m working out next I’m thinking in a different way today I’m in sheer panic and constantly worrying it’s just the most torturous thing. I cannot stop worrying today feeling of panic. I’m still trying to “do” something:( I can’t stop doing tho.

  282. Lui Says:

    Great post Adam!
    Rachh, try to accept your feelings and go on with your day, as hard as that may sound. I have this a lot as well and then I tell myself, hey, it’s just anxiety, why should I worry about a weird feeling? Though I have my problems with it as well, I feel much better when I give up the fighting. What are you afraid of, if I may ask?

  283. Monica Says:

    Hi paul i read your book at it made me feel more a peace now that i know why i feel the way i do. But one thing that i still don’t know if i should stop doing is day dreaming. Before i had anxiety i was a big day dreamer i day dream all the times. So i was wondering does day dreaming tire my mind even more? Should i stop if i want to fully recover?

  284. SarahS Says:

    Hi rachh you see to me how you are is normal for anxiety. It’s normal for all those things you feel and think and it’s vile so of course you want to stop trying to do as you know that’s the way to go. Bits it’s hard and to not do and doesn’t give instant results so you carry on trying to think if the right thing then realise you are trying again, get frustrated, feel horrible and upset and so on. So, in the middle of it all realise a. That it’s normal and b. that however you feel and think you’ll try your best to let it be and not get dragged into too much and c. It’s part of the process is going thro this and getting it right some of the time I terms of not doing adds up to reaping rewards in the future.

    Xxx

  285. SarahS Says:

    Sorry some of my words are mixed up as typing on phone. Hope makes sense.

  286. SarahS Says:

    Hi Monica I think day dreaming is good personally, it tends to give the mind a rest and means if the mind can wander and thoughts come and go then the person generally is relaxed. I remember not being able to day dream and wishing I could so go with it I say, it’s almost like a sort of meditation? Xx

  287. Monica Says:

    Thanks for the advice Sarah. I couldn’t really day dream at all either i would just always have crazy thoughts & try to fix my problem all the times but since i’ve been relaxing and not think much about it at all & just doing nothing to get better lile paul says (although i did change my diet & excercised cuss either way i knew i needed to do this because i had bad eating habit) i been starting to just day dream out of no where it makes me happy i think i really am on the road to recovery & it feels so good

  288. Yolande Says:

    Hi all

    I first came on this site 3+ years ago and recovered. Recently some stressful events at work resulted in me having anxiety again. Despite my previous experience i did everything that i shouldnt although i did realise what i was doing to myself and managed to minimise it.it’s all so silly – iwasjust stressed out over some issues and just couldnt let it go,felt resentful and it kept eating at me. before i knew it, i had anxiety again.

    I still feel low – i get sunday blues, monday blues etc. sometimes i wonder if the times i am feeling low are due to PMS or just normal blues that everyone gets. you know what i mean??? i keep trying to dfferentiate between what are normal low moods vs anxiety moods. does anyone also feel like this?

    i sometimes think that i might always be more prone to anxiety cos 1. i am a worrier (didnt used to be though when i was in my 20s, i am 44 now), 2. i have been thru it before so perhaps the memories still linger in my mind???

    Not sure about this and would be glad to hear what others think.

    Take care all

  289. Rachh Says:

    Thankyouu Sarah’s I’ve been a bit better today. Daydreaming quite a bit had my nan and grandad over and they are lovely and calm and a laugh to be around. Weird how you can just calm yourself don’t know how I did it though:S hmm..

  290. Pia Says:

    Hey bryan,

    I got word last week that I got the job and am making way more money then my last job!

    It’s gonna be quite an adjustment because my old job I came and went as I pleased, free cell phone, free garage parking, etc. I worked mpwith my b.f.f. At my last job too, so I won’t know anyone here.

    I start this Wednesday. I’m quite nervous, and excited about it. I have to take public transportation by myself. I’m not too savvy with directions.

  291. Chrissy Says:

    I was doing well Was able to accept the anxiety and negative thoughts. Which Paul’s way works. Less attention I put on how I feel or thought the less it effected me. The feeling and thoughts left. I didn’t give them the attention I used to. Which was a major habit of mine. The thoughts and feelings Didnt startle me. I let them be… However today had a major setback as I had a full blown panic attack which was extremely disappointing and left me numb, depressed and a negative mood. Also very frustrating as I couldn’t accept or float past the let down and dread afterwards. I know I’ve been suffering for 15 years and I know this will take “awhile” to recover as its my habit to fear something is wrong.

    However now a few hours after the attack I realized I survived I didn’t go “mad” or stay panicky forever. No one noticed

    I realized my struggle to keep a grip on the panic/anxiety is exactly what’s causing the anxiety and panic. If let go of the grip to stay In control and feel and float past the feelings and anxiety I will be ok. It’s the grip that is causing the anxiety. Now if I can just incoporate this in the midst of panic!

  292. Lui Says:

    I feel like I am ready now and don’t have to depend on this blog anymore. I’ll take a break from the blog for some time. It’s crazy just two weeks ago I thought I’d never be able to understand the acceptance approach and now I’m filled with understanding and hope and I even look forward to this journey. It’ll be soo tough to face all my fears and habits. They’re so build in and overhelming, and even got part of my character over time. But I am a 100% that I’ll recover with time passing!

  293. Lucy Says:

    Hi all,
    Been a while :) always good when I come back to see such positive posts. They are so encouraging to others..
    Wish I could be sharing a similar story today, but mostly today I have realised I still haven’t eliminated the fear that nothing bad can happen to me from anxiety. It’s the basis to a lot of recovery I think so now I feel like I haven’t even made one step in the right direction, although I have been living this way for well over a year now. My little one and I are both ill so don’t think this is helping and have to say I haven’t been doing too badly until the last two weeks or so. I don’t fear the setback as such, more it just makes me assume no progress was ever made! I know this is an anxiety 101 but so hard not to believe all the things it makes you think sometimes.

  294. Nolan Says:

    Hi semra,

    Yes, I had it very bad with sleep anxiety. It ruined my days and my nights.

    My advice: don’t fight those scary thoughts and feelings. Just let them be there and adopt a “so what” attitude towards them. Let them be there if they want to be there.
    I truly believe it’s the extra internal tension we add to it by fighting with it that makes it worse.

    Accept that some nights it might take you longer to fall asleep. Or maybe you wake up early and immediately the fears and thoughts start circling in your mind. Let them circle and spin away as much as they like to.

    It gets easier to do this.

    So, say you’re going to bed…. you feel a bit on edge that you won’t be able to sleep. Let that edge be there. Be at peace with it. Take a “so what” attitude towards any thought and feeling that seem to come automatically to you.
    You close your eyes and your mind starts to race, your heart beats faster, and your stomach churns…. simply let it be. Accept it. Don’t resist anything.

    This is what I did.
    My nights were torture and I don’t use that word lightly. My days were filled with fear and doubt.

    Paul’s approach is what helped me immensely. Be patient with yourself and your progress.

    God bless.

  295. Allie Says:

    Can anyone help me?

    My anxiety is 99% mental.

    Basically I am torn and very confused as how to handle this.

    Whenever I try to read, curse words just plant themselves everywhere and it makes reading very difficult.

    If I let them be there I literally cannot read at all. It is impossible. I cant read and thats it. I always lose my place and have to start over and its frustrating.

    So what I’ve been doing is just reading conciously while trying to let the words stay silently in the background. This seems help me alot.

    But now Im having thoughts like “oh no this is a bad way of doing it. If you dont let all the words come out you will just go right back to where you were before. You arent “allowing it” as they say. You will go right back to being depersonalized like you were a year ago if u keep this up”

    Its like im faced with either square one or never being able to read normally for the rest of my life!

    WHAT DO I DO I AM SO FRIGHTENED RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ive been on pauls program since january of last year and feel that i have improved a lot (no more panic attacks/scared of being alone/everything looks and feels like its scary and terrifying) but ugh I think this is a setback

    I also have problems checking wondering “dang it. When will i ever feel better. Cant i just be normal again like my friends”?

    But now I’ve come to see that people have been on this for years, so i guess the same thing will happen to me. Even more so since I’ve had anxiety ever since i was 8/9 (im in college now) this is still hard to take in and I wonder if Im still practicing acceptance.

    What on earth is acceptance anyway? How do you do that exactly??????

  296. Rachh Says:

    It’s frustrating because I know what I need to do to recover I know I need to flip my attitude and carry on and then anxiety leaves because I’ve done it before.. I know I have! I just can’t remember how I go about doin it lol. You have to calm to a level.

  297. SarahS Says:

    Really good post Nolan. Rachh feel frustrated and confused you can’t flip from feeling rubbish to feeling fine so accept that it’s there, roll with the punches and resist nothing knowing that it’s temporary and only surface feelings. When you’re at a better stage welcome the feelings, see them just as part of you, for now and at some point they won’t hang around. X

  298. Lauren Says:

    Hey Sarah! My query is: how are you to (accept) anxiety (head filled thoughts- relating to ‘path’, instead of me ‘accepting’/making space for ‘chatter’?!
    H.E.L.P!! ; P more internalised annoyance ?? Not 100% certain :(

    Kind Regards,
    Lauren. :)

  299. Rem Says:

    Hi everyone, i would just want to ask help on what I am going to do with my situation right now. I read Paul’s advice that I should accept my negative thoughts as it is and don’t believe on it, I did it but the problem is I keep on thinking negative thoughts and telling my self it’s not true, i’m tend to keep on focus on these thoughts that I forgot to think positive ones. I really need your help guys.

    I’m from the Philippines guys, I can’t seem to avail a book of paul david :( I really want to have one , can anyone just tell me how inspiring it is? I know everything will be okay.

  300. Nolan Says:

    Accepting is simply letting whatever thought, feeling, or symptom be there.
    Not resisting it or fighting against it.

    Feeling better, feeling like your old self will come naturally and in time.
    You don’t accept the bad feelings, thoughts, and symptoms to immediately feel like your old self.

    Accept it all to simply end the internal tension/war.

    I can’t stress enough that this all takes time.

    In anything that comes your way…. just accept it. Don’t fight against it. Don’t force yourself to feel this way opposed to that way. I used to picture myself on a schooner out at sea in the middle of a storm. My little ship is being tossed this way and that way. I could cower down in the lower deck yelling “stop it! stop it! I can’t take it anymore! I want off!!”…. but what does this do for me?
    Now not only am I dealing with a schooner that I can’t control but my own wits are going haywire.

    or…. I can let that little boat get tossed around however the storm pleases. Let time pass and then maybe one day I’ll be able to bring that little boat into a nice harbor with peaceful, calm water…. the sun slowly setting on the sea’s horizon providing for a beautiful orange sky.

    In anything that comes your way, accept it. The fears, the doubts in any of their ever changing forms…. accept, accept, accept.

  301. SarahS Says:

    Hi Lauren I’m not sure what you mean sorry. But Nolan explains things so well. I think the only thing I would add would be that our human instinct in nolans example would be to control the boat to frantically try to steer it out of the storm but the storms already there and is in full swing so the only way out is to go against our instinct and stay with it, allowing the storm to do its thing. It can feel quite strange to do this but knowing that it’s the way to go and having faith that this is what helps will see us through. Surrender to the storm. It won’t carry on forever, there may be some really heavy showers to follow and even some thunder storms again but there’ll also be lots of sunny, peaceful times along the way :-) .
    Sorry Nolan I pinched your idea and ran with it there ha ha got quite carried away in that storm then!

  302. Lauren Says:

    Thankyou.
    L

  303. Hanna Says:

    Hey guys, I like the boat analogy. Doing nothing when I feel anxious helps so much. There are things I’m so scared to do like calling people and talking to certain people but lately I’ve just been thinking ‘yup I probably will feel crap but I’ll just do it because if I didn’t feel anxious it’s what id want to do’. I don’t want anxiety to hold me back anymore. I do have some obsessive thoughts that something bad is going to happen to me. They make me feel like there is no future only doom. How do I deal with this. Do I just say ‘whatever your rubbish’ and get on with things? Will it just go on its own. I’ve been having this obsession for 4 years now and am a bit stuck on it. Any thoughts on how to stop myself buying into something that can’t be real but feels so real? Anxiety is so tricky but I feel like I’ve come pretty far already thanks to Pauls advice. I am happy to offer advice too. Thanks guys it’s great to be part of a community using the same sort of approach to getting better :) Kia kaha

  304. SarahS Says:

    Hi hanna it can be tricky you’re right and the thoughts and feelings feel so real that that’s why it feels so against our nature to do nothing. I had obsessive thoughts too constantly when I was in the midst if anxiety and they were soooo real to me, I was terrified. But I took the advice and looked at them as a backlash of anxiety, completely false and only there because I was very anxious and put my faith into this, I’d think the thoughts, feel terrified then let myself think them, perhaps putting a bit of effort into not buying into them though, and say like all the other symptoms so what, you’re so false, okay go for it, do your worst. In time they stopped being constant and went to sometimes and now they’re very rare. The one thing ice learned to do too with anxiety because I’m quite a quiet serious person at times is laugh, as bonkers as it sounds and not always of course like a daft banana but I feel whatever I feel and I say yeah okay, whatever and laugh. It might just be me but it helps :-) x

  305. platty Says:

    Hi all
    not been on much over the last couple of months , just checking in , Just thought i would just let people know how I am getting on .

    Well a lot of my symptoms have gone , I feel well on the road to recovery , scary thoughts not so strong now and my confidence is returning pretty quickly . I am not fully there yet maybe 80% there I still get times when i do not feel the best but am able to just let these feelings be there and continue with the task in hand. The real me is so close now just got to keep on believing that I will get there . good luck everyone we can all recover

  306. Bryan Says:

    Allie,

    Try to see the humor in it. Curse words showing up everywhere is a sign of a very creative mind. What harm is it really doing you?

    We need to take the fear out of our symptoms. As long as you see curse words as terrifying, it will stay a very interesting topic to your sensitized brain.

    Of course, if you could see it as funny, harmless or even a non-issue…. Your brain would simply forget about it and it would stop happening.

    Example: I have a floater in my eye. It’s annoying sometimes. But, I don’t let it frighten me. It is what it is. Hence, I don’t notice it most times and when I do it’s a non issue. Imagine if I sat and worried about it…. feared its existence.
    It would be all I could think of.

  307. Bryan Says:

    Read Paul’s book again.

    You still care about the words on the page. You have given them great importance. That needs to stop.

  308. Kate Says:

    Afternoon everyone,
    Haven’t posted on the blog for quite a while. Im feeling much better than I did. Im not really getting the bad days any more but Im not having particularly great days either. The Dp (feelings of unreality and detached) have all but gone but Im still not feeling like the old me yet and think I could still have a little Dp lingering as my thoughts are mainly about not knowing who I am or what Im about etc.
    Im just wondering to all those who have recovered or are almost there do you still have the crazy thoughts and attention on you even on the good days? Im just worried that my brain won’t ever fully let this go. I dont get much physical anxiety anymore its more mental and I can feel my brain wanting to have mini freakouts for no reason. Just wondered if this was normal even towards the end :)

  309. Nolan Says:

    Tough love time.

    I’m reading many posts where someone is saying that they’re accepting it but things are getting better. Then the list all of the things that are still wrong.

    That’s not acceptance.

    You have to let it be there. You’re still going to feel and think that way. Acceptance is not a magic bullet. It’s truly being at peace with how you feel. Being at peace with the lack of peace currently in your life.

  310. Ryan C Says:

    Hi guys, ok I have posted here before. My ten year search came to an end realising it was anxiety and dp I was suffering from and how to recover when I found Pauls book back in October. Since then, I have faced this full on and I have improved every week, I have been through so many ups and downs and setbacks. However, what I don’t understand is what exactly is defined as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days. My goal is recovery, which I am letting come to me, however for the first time in 6 months I feel almost no symptoms, my mind is clearer than it’s ever been so far. I am left wondering now, have I not reached the point of good days? Is this them only just begun? In other words is a good day when you are almost anxiety free and then it comes back with force? Or am I very close to recovery? I have had good times no doubt but I can’t honestly say I have good and bad days? Because every day with anxiety for me is bad. Can you literally almost come right out and go back in for a while during recovery? Thanks guys, it’s just to keep me on track.

  311. Kyara Says:

    Hope all is well with everyone.

    I could really benefit right now from speaking to someone who is recovered.

  312. Mark R Says:

    Great analogy Nolan. I completely agree with you on what you say about acceptance as some people try and use it as a tool to rid themselves of feelings, thoughts etc. This is the actual opposite of acceptance.

    I think the winning formula is Acceptance + Time = Recovery.

    Ryan,

    I’ve recovered before and can tell you it can be a rocky road right up to the point where you are almost there. In fact it is quite common for people to have a big setback just before full recovery.

    Rem,

    Do you mean you cannot get hold of Paul’s book or cannot afford it?

    Kyara,

    I did send you a message on FB. I’m not recovered but have been in the past, maybe I can offer a little advice.

    Hope everyone is doing well. Good to see the blog back to people offering advice and keeping positive again.

  313. Kyara Says:

    I wrote you Mark. Thank you xx

  314. Lauren Says:

    Hi Mark,

    I do have a query Re: Paul’s Book (have tried emailing him directly)..
    I did purchase it last year (electronic form), however can not track email/attachment/dowload down lol. Is it possible for you to contact Paul (more directly) in regards to having this purchase/ email (with attachment) sent through again?!? .. This would really be a Godsend as I did print the Book off, however misplaced it, and now the email isn’t anywhere ??

    Can give any (security questions) I.D Paul need :)

    Thankyou.

    Regards,

    Lauren H.

  315. Ryan C Says:

    Thanks for a great reply Mark :) that’s really helped me, I guess when you have been fully allowing yourself to feel this for quite a while it can get on top of you and you do start to ask yourself how much longer can this go on for? But then I remind myself of all the great points in the book and the best thing I say to myself is, are you better than you were last week/last month? And yes of course I am. I guess we can all just be impatient and some times even though your doing everything right, the doubts of recovery do crop up, almost without intention, but paul also covered this so I allow them to be there also :) thanks for the help.

  316. Hanna Says:

    Hey, thanks for the post Sarah S, I appreciate hearing your thoughts and what has been helpful to you. I think your right I do need to recognise the obsessions are just another symptom. Nolan I am also greatful for the tough love advice. I do need that advice. It’s so easy to end up trying to do nothing, acceptance or whatever rather than actually living them. I’ve been fighting in my head today a bit and getting disheartened but then I just said ‘enough, I’m not running or fighting anymore!’ and I stopped. I’ve spent so much time trying to do what Paul says that I think I’ve probably been fighting by trying so hard. So I guess no more running or fighting. I’m here anxiety do your worst because I’m laying down my weapons and now is your chance!

  317. Rich Says:

    Hi Lauren,

    Paul often takes a while to reply to messages sent to him through the website. I would recommend the best course of action to be to contact the place you bought the book from and ask them how you can re-download it. It should be in your order history and available for download as and when needed.

  318. Rachh Says:

    I’m having a period of feeling quite empty I’m not happy I’m not sad not scared just nothing. I could go around quite happily but I just feel nothing is this normal? Or have I just become a narcissist

  319. Rich Says:

    Completely par for the course Rachh – did you really have to ask? :)

  320. Rem Says:

    Mark R,
    I can afford it but I don’t have a debit/credit card to buy it. Btw I’m from the Philippines. Do you read it already? How inspiring it is?

  321. Bryan Says:

    Nolan, thanks for the tough love. Keep it coming.

  322. Karen Says:

    Been off here for a while as I had a completely anxiety free week for the first time in nearly a year. However after 8 months off work I have now begun a phased return. Guess what my anxiety is back to its worst ever point. Can’t sleep, eat, constant thoughts. I had been doing so well. Work caused my breakdown and I know I now have developed a kind of phobia about it. Every waking thought is screaming at me “don’t do it” . I don’t know how I can actually teach in this state! I don’t want it to beat me as I know that the fear is linked to any work now. My confidence is so low I dont feel like I could do any job. The having to be somewhere no matter how you feel. This is so hard. Its the anticipation before and the checking constantly how I am afterwards. Trying so hard to accept it.
    Anybody else returned to work successfully whilst feeling so horrendous?
    Any help gratefully received please.

  323. Will Says:

    Hi everyone, this will probably sound a little weird…

    I mentioned quite a while ago how I have a fear of becoming, or being attracted to, younger girls. Let me say first of all that I am NOT — it is just a fear and I know that I would NEVER see/harm anybody in that way. The kind of people who do disgust and terrify me, which is probably why I get such an anxious response to the thought of “what if that’s me?/what if that’s what I’ll somehow become?”.

    But over the past few months I’ve been getting a bizarre symptom/anxiety reaction: Whenever I see a young girl, I immediately go into anxiety mode, my heart races and I get that “heart drop” or that “dread” feeling in my chest, and I seem to focus on my penis, as if I’m checking for any sense of movement. I get a reaction almost immediately in response to the anxiety where it seems to tingle. For a while I was scared of what this meant and tried stopping it. But recently after stopping and actually paying attention to it, it’s not like my penis is getting aroused by this fearful stimulus — it seems almost the exact opposite, as if it’s trying to SHRINK into my body.

    I’ve been taking this to be a sign that it just confirms my fear to be false and that it really is just a knee-jerk anxious reaction to the fear that immediately appears when triggered (because as I said it is NOT true in any way, it’s a fear that only recently seemed to pop up after an anxious thought during a low point). And I HAVE more or less felt this “tingling/shrivelling penis” on a few other occasions where I have recalled other unrelated fears.

    But yeah, I know this is just a fear because I had a similar case for a short while where I was scared that I was suddenly gay, and I couldn’t look at another man without becoming aware of an anxious reaction. But it is still really unsettling, especially since there is now a physical offshoot of anxiety attached to it. Can anybody relate to this particular symptom when it comes to other forms of anxiety?

  324. Bryan Says:

    Will,

    The thought doesn’t matter. I know it feels like it does, but it doesn’t

    You have created fear associated with something that perhaps for a split second at one point, you decided could be fearful. Your mind might have been over sensitized, tired and the thought got in and you reacted to it. It wouldn’t matter if the thought was about girls, or exit stencil things, or washing your hands. To me, the first and most important thing you can do is to start to deemphasize the importance of the subject matter.

    You said yourself that it’s not an issue. You know that it’s not real. So, embrace that aspect and work on truly understanding what is happening your mind and why your mind is bluffing you.

    I listen to some Skype calls on another site where people with anxiety call up and talk to a counselor. One of the ladies that Kolden was a very intelligent, normal woman who worked in the healthcare field. Well she decided one day when she was extremely anxious that she was afraid of spiders, and not just afraid of seeing them but afraid that she could BE one.
    Now I know people may laugh when they read that, but this was an extremely intelligent normal person. She wasn’t crazy, she just had a fatigued mind and I thought kind in her mind that she reacted to. She herself knew how ridiculous it was, she knew was silly and that Innoway almost made her feel more crazy. But, it was that knowledge that it wasn’t real that she eventually grasped onto and decided to just let it be there.

    Now, I’m not totally recovered from my anxiety disorder. I still have cyclical symptoms and panic that arises that I am trying to work through. But, I have worked through the obsessive thoughts thing and I do know that the method of letting it be there and teaching yourself that it doesn’t matter really works.

    So, when you ask if anyone has had a similar experience to your particular thought, maybe or maybe not. But it doesn’t matter. Tens of thousands of people have had obsessive thoughts stick around because of a fatigued mind. So, the actual thought does not matter. What does is how we view it in our reaction to it.

  325. Candie Says:

    Hi Will that is a very normal part of the anxious imagination. You can feel muscles in any part of the body when you imagine things. Imagine yourself saying something now, imagine yourself dancing and you will feel the muscles sort of react in your limbs. I can do this with or without anxiety it’s the imagination. Anxiety fears make you question allsorts of normal bodily reactions. When you fear a thought your essentially running from the question or threat you imagine. Move towards whatever it is your avoiding and let your imagination run wild with the bodily reactions. If I was to question now if I’m some sort of pervert or gay etc I’d simply not run from the thought at all. I’d give it as much space as it needs to come back but remind myself that worrying over these things is counter productive so I’d decide to leave the questions alone :)

  326. Bryan Says:

    Excuse the typos above. Dictation makes some goofy word choices at times.

    (Called in) (in a way)

  327. Bryan Says:

    Candie!

    Great to see you. :)

  328. Candie Says:

    I agree with Bryan. I thought allsorts of odd things, about reality, perverse things, my gender, my sexuality, going crazy, harming people, that I had Tourette’s. the more you dig for answers and push something away the higher the anxiety builds as your mind is just a tool- it can’t distinguish between reality and imagination and when you try to escape the mind sees threat- so next time you see a young girl etc it automatically reminds you Danger is present and your imagination does the rest! When you let the thought In and can decide its ok to think that then you de-sensitize and they taper off as meaningless

  329. Candie Says:

    You too Bryan :)

  330. Kyara Says:

    When does the analyzing stop?

  331. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Karen

    Yes I returned to work from 6 weeks off whilst still feeling bad. Let me know if I can help you in anyway

  332. Will Says:

    Bryan and Candie —
    Thanks for the replies :) In my mind, it was just the fear that any sort of reaction from that area would mean the wrong thing. It’s like I’m judging whether or not I’m aroused solely on how that area reacts, instead of realising that it’s merely reacting to the anxiety of the thought (and not even reacting IN that way), a thought I know to be false. Perhaps it’s due to the thought that I even WAS attracted to people of those ages at some point in my life (back when I was in those age groups myself, of course) and my anxiety seemed to relate that though to the present day, and made it stick.

    Thanks, I’ll try and do that :) And yeah, I think I remember that story with the woman who feared she was a spider before. It reminds me that the mind is such a powerful thing — frighteningly so, in fact — and that we so often give it the wrong kind of power. It just seems so much more difficult to influence it with positivity, or is that just me?

    Now I think about it, many of my obsessive thoughts have come and gone over the past few years with my anxiety levels. For example when I am relaxed (I’m often tense these days I DO have my good days from time to time) the thoughts barely seem to bother me, I let it get to my head and I seem to think that I’ve recovered. But when I feel even slightly shaken mentally, they do seem more powerful. I guess it really is just a matter of perspective and what mindset you are in! I think the problem for me is remembering that and reminding myself when I’m one of my setbacks. :)

  333. Karen Says:

    Kyara When in my good phases the self checking and analysing is the last to go. But it does and will.
    Thanks Charlotte, that helps.

  334. Karen Says:

    Charlotte did work help you to recover once you had got passed the fear of getting back?

  335. Kyara Says:

    Thanks Karen.

    I’m feeling tons better but can’t appreciate it because my mind is always analyzing and turning it around to no you aren’t feeling any better. Blah blah blah. My mornings are always the worst but they aren’t terrible. My mind eases up in the afternoon. I get glimpses all the time. It feels great when things ease up. My mind is still anxious I get the thoughts but I care much less! I just can’t wait for it to go.

  336. SarahS Says:

    Hi – I’d like just a little nudge in the right direction please :-) . I give advice sometimes now as I’m in a much better situation to do that. Im pleased that I am and I can see my improvement. You knew there was a but though didn’t you? There are two things 1. I often get concerned as though I can’t “feel” if that makes sense, if it’s a happy, lovely, pleasant situation I just don’t feel anything, but if it’s a slightly stressful situation my overly stressed feelings kick in and stay around, my sensible head doesn’t seem to be able to control my overly stressed, compared to the situation, body. The second thing is that I’ve had anxiety all my life pretty much and well I guess I could do with confirmation that yes recovery will take a good while and that no four years into it isn’t really long it’s fine. Thanks lots

  337. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Karen

    For me going back to work had the major advantage of taking the focus of me and my mind, my thoughts etc. it forced me to focus on other issues and it was probably responsible for my recovery.

    However, my job is stressful and that hadn’t changed. What I have had to do is try to change how I react to that stress, and that has been the hardest part. I went back last august and at times have got really stressed again and have felt the anxiety return. It is really hard to change your attitude I work stress I have found, but I am getting there slowly, as I keep remembering , that you are the most important thing, and work is just work, it will always be there with all it’s stresses and strains . What matters is that you develop a way to manage it, as you are the most important person in everything !

  338. Rachh Says:

    I really feel like I can’t do this journey to recovery I know I don’t have to do anything but I am and my mind races still and I communicate with others via my thoughts and I can’t understand how to make a start because I’m going round n round.

  339. Bryan Says:

    Rach, perhaps it’s time to read the book again?
    I know how hard it is, but you are making the thoughts very important. You are telling your thoughts “you need to be here because I’m very afraid.”

    Your mind will continue to spin and obsess out of fear and fatigue until you can accept those thoughts as harmless and invite them to stay.

    Go back and read the book, and read old posts by Helen and Candie. Both death with the thought aspects in depth.

  340. Mark R Says:

    Karen,

    I had a pretty sharp breakdown this time two years ago but I’ve taken no time off from work at all. I was off in 2001 for 8 months but this time round knew it was more beneficial for me to go back straight away. I did this for a number of reasons………to give structure to my day, to show to myself these feelings are harmless, and prove to myself and my employer I can still do my job.

    At the time I had started a new job and also started a small business. There was no way I was going to let anxiety have its own way and ruin it for me.

    I think going back will be a real positive step for you. For me I was amazed how much I enjoyed it as it took my mind off the crap that was going through my head. Not to say it wasn’t difficult. I still have difficult days at work but they pass.

  341. Rachh Says:

    I’ve been watching a few vids from eckhart tolle and I’ve come to a realisation that my thinking is an addiction and feeding my anxiety and depression. I think to have anxiety alone recovery would be quite clear however the way my mind is wired it is jumping from crutch to crutch and that’s the issue. Will power is at ground zero and below and I need to change the cycle. Easier said than done though.

  342. Lauren Says:

    Rach,

    I’m at similar stage to you..”lots of conversations, constant back-forth chattering in head”.. im able accept chatter (all part of anxiety), however yawning each time lol nway, all best..

    Lauren. :)

  343. Bryan Says:

    Dominick,

    Joe Pro does not post here anymore. You can search his old posts a few threads back, though. He had some really sound advice but ended up leaving due to some unfortunate clashes over a few issues with mods. Sounds like he got a bit too offended when asked to structure his posts differently and took it personally.
    You can find an explanation in the other thread. (2 back I believe.)

    But, he had some good advice and it’s still there if you want to go back and read it.

  344. Doreen. Says:

    Bryan – I don’t know where you read a query re Joe Pro from Dominick. I couldn’t see one recently. However, the explanation as to why he no longer posts was made by Paul on 20th January,

  345. Karen Says:

    Thanks Mark. I have been in three times now and my anxiety levels are still through the roof. Surely if I keep going it should come down. Time will tell!

  346. SarahS Says:

    Hi rach it drives you to despair sometimes this anxiety and because there’s no instant results to follow the work you put in then it’s hard, really hard at times to say okay not to worry I’ll go along with feeling like this, feeling so awful, obsessive thoughts, 101 different feelings and symptoms, instinct telling me to figure it out and the very nature of the condition saying it’s going to stick around forever, all whilst I’m working, getting on with my day, etc etc because that’s the right thing to do and it’ll help. It doesn’t feel the right thing to do it feels awful and like it’ll never go. I still doubt it now at times but I’ve had it for a long time and I know that im seeing results. I can answer my own post if the other day now lol. But it is the right thing to do. As horrible as it is and with will power at zero and thoughts and everything going on, let it all happen when you can, don’t best yourself up when you can’t and give it as much time as it needs, knowing that we all are certain that it will go and you will put your faith in that. All these bits of practising and few minutes of getting it in amongst the chaos will add up to future getting it more and future recovery.

  347. Mark R Says:

    Blrrruuuuuuuuuughhhhh. Is that even a word? That describes today.

    So hard to accept the ups and downs sometimes of this damn thing but I know I have to. One minute I’m feeling on top of the world, the next feeling so horrible I’m in tears.

    Seem to be in a pattern of really good weeks, followed by crappy weeks with random real rancid days dotted around. Not the worst sequence I know but it’s not nice when the self doubt creeps in after feeling so positive.

    Onwards and upwards once more.

  348. Adam Says:

    Hey all….I wanted to post this update as I made some progress in my recovery recently and I personally find it helpful to read the positive posts of others. So I thought maybe this post will help someone else. Anyway, I had a great weekend and for the first time in over a year…I literally felt like my old self: anxiety free. It was very ephemeral and fleeting.The feeling vanished nearly as quick as I found it. But it was real. It was there, and it was EXACTLY like Paul had described in the book. Out of the blue and it came after a week where I felt anxious everyday but I accepted how I felt and continued to move forward living my life with a “whatever” attitude. I am learning that recovery really is up and down with days of good followed by days of bad. I understand this now. I also know that I will have more days of feeling like crap ahead (i.e. setbacks) and I am beginning to work on accepting that as ok too. Mainly, I think I am learning what true acceptance is and how this moves one through recovery. And as much as we don’t like it because it feels bad…we need the setbacks to move us through recovery. The “bad” is only removed when we face it, accept it, float through the feelings with a “whatever” attitude and let time pass. And lastly, losing the fear of your anxiety symptoms/anxiety really helps with facing it and acceptance. When presented with my fear & symptoms I found myself saying” I don’t care. I’m doing this. This is just anxiety and it cant hurt me or stop me. Go on, do your worst. I will still be here when you are done. And then I will do this.” So, this is me now, today. I am not recovered but am making progress. And that really is the most important thing. Recovery will come in due time. Progress is day by day…

  349. Chrissy Says:

    Wanted to update that as an anxiety sufferer for 15 years that Paul’s book and method works.

    It’s difficult to break the habit (not to run, fight, distract, or medicate the anxiety/DP/ thoughts) however practice it. Use pauls method Don’t despair. It’s not an overnight cure. There is no overnight cure! Accept the thoughts and feelings. Allow them. They will not hurt you. There’s no scary place on the other side. The anxiety will not over come you. For me the less reaction I gave the anxiety feelings and thoughts the quicker they left! I allowed the feelings and thoughts. I just DIdnt react to them or question them or try to get rid of them. They needed their space. Understand it’s a tired over stressed mind It the idea that you are barely holding yourself together if you loosen the grip to stay in control to fight the anxiety to run from it, to make it go away. The control that fight is what’s causing your anxiety! Let go. Stop fighting. Allow. It will not harm you. You will not lose control. You will not go mad or crazy. It’s uncomfortable at first. It’s odd at first however it’s a habit and your mind and body will realize that.

  350. rachh Says:

    If im running on my adrenaline and feel used to it that i have no symptoms just entrenched in the cycle can i still recover? I feel like my mind set is so ingrained that i cant begin to understand how to recover if that makes sense has anyone been here??

  351. rachh Says:

    Sorry for taking up so much blog space with my posts but just to add it almost feels comfortable and natural for me to be in this state now because i dont connect with anything at all.

  352. Mark r Says:

    Great posts from Chrissy and Adam.

    I completely agree with the notion of the fleeting moments of being your old self and I feel like Im in a similar stage to Adam where it appears for a few days then disappears off. I had a great bank holiday the other week, the anxiety, dp and depression just lifted and everything felt enjoyable again. My appetite returned, I thought about sex all day, was enthusiastic about life etc. Pretty soon it was back to being in a funk again but i try not to let it get me down too much.

    It’s great to have those good periods as it shows me I have the capacity to be myself and this thing is transient.

    Yesterday was the worst day ive had for a few months but each time I have these crappy periods Im pushed along a little further.

  353. Rich Says:

    Hi Everyone, Just wanted to post a quick note that a new post is now online – “How to overcome avoidance behaviours with anxiety” which can be read here:

    http://anxietynomore.co.uk/blog/2014/04/29/362/

  354. Amy Says:

    Hi everyone
    Well I would just like to ask more about peoples symptoms , this all
    Came on after a panic attack 2-3 weeks ago, at first it felt like I was dying, then I got the feelings of depersonalisation, intrusive, scary thoughts, and felt no emotion for my family, I ended up staying at mums for a couple of days, i came home and am feeling heaps better, I am trying to apply what I understand of Paul’s book to my life, hard and not sure I’m doing the right thing, however I am getting sharp, tight and stabbing pain under my left breast and shortness of breath, Is this an anxiety symptom? I’ve always had normal amounts of anxiety throughout life but this crazy stuff has hit me for 6, I know what I’m going through is anxiety and will get better but it’s hard to stay positive 24-7. And when I feel like I can’t breathe I could easily go into panic but I just tell myself it’s anxiety and it will not kill me… I’m 28 years old and never experienced this stuff. Thank goodness for Paul’s book… Is it the longer you have it the longer it takes to recover ???

  355. Pat Knowles Says:

    Please would someone help me? I know I am not alone in suffering from GAD {about 60 yrs. so am probably beyond help.}Feel a bit of a freak when everone has lots of friends, families etc and I have only 3, none of whom has experienced GAD/ depression. For many years have had a fear of going insane. Doctors, therapists have tod me that this is one of the many symptoms of GAD and has nothing to do with psychosis. . Live alone now, besides loads of self pity, have cancer of the blood, not serious, macular degeneration in both eyes now severe arthritis in legs, [mobility scooter} atrial fibrillation and now seem to have added depresdion to the list.. Try to accept symptoms as know this is key but I dread every long, long day on an emotional swithback. Had to gyve up driving which I loved.. Best wishes.o

  356. Bob Says:

    I stopped trying to get better, accepted it all for two years, and I still didn’t actually get any better. Glad it works for some.

  357. Ale Says:

    I gotta say, this post worries me. I still don’t undertand how to let it be… I am the one that you describe, reading, searching… Fighting…
    THIS POST KILLED the hope I had, I really believed that what I was doing was the right thing and now I feel lost… HELP! My little kids and husband need me, we are alone here.. I can’t afford to feel this way

  358. Zeeshan Says:

    Hi,
    Thank you for the amazing post. I have been suffering from anxiety for the last 3 days. I know that this is not a large ammount of time. But I am really scared by feeling fearful all the time. My biggest concern is my heartbeat which is pounding like crazy. I also have a real tough time going to sleep.

    One of the major concerns for my anxiety is the fact that I believe its permanent. I smoked weed a week ago and it was my first time. I still did not get the “High” you are supposed to. Instead I had the worst panic attack that I coud imagine.

    Please bloggers tell me that this state isn’t permanent or I am not losing my mind. Because this fact eats me up from the inside. I was enjoying a perfectly healthy life with a great relationship and had a lot of fun, now it feels like I am going to lose all of this and end up in a mental institution. I am not currently on any medications. And I want to get rid of this myself. Please bloggers help !!

    An anxious person :(

  359. Sheeza Says:

    Hi,

    I had post postpartum depression and severe anxiety one month after my 2nd daughter was born in feb 2009. I am still struggling to find cure. I developed PPD when my 1st daughter was born in 2001, During that time PPD lasted only 4 months and i got better without doing anything and without taking medication. But after my 2nd daughter, i am stuck with it, its been 6 years. When PPD and anxiety started with fears of how i am going to take care my baby, and all other fears/ irrational thoughts that i am going to die, or never will get better and with all the physical symptoms(shaking, burning sensation on the body, crying, nausea, cannot sleep, lose of appetite, loss of memory) which i am still having . So, i went to psychiatrist, she put me on medication which made me worse. I tried many many medications with all the side effects. Finally 1 worked, i got better with it, i took it for 9 months. I decided to get of it with doc’s help because i was myself again. After 1 month of getting off of them, anxiety come back severely. Then i was on meds again for the next 4 years along with therapy, but they stopped working. In all this process my doc/therapist started telling me that i am not getting better because of my relationship, my husband is not treating me good, he puts me down, say negative thing, mean and rude. So my doc changed my anxiety and depression from PPD to my husband(as cause). Now my husband became my threat, fear, sources of thoughts. even thought doc say my cause of my health is my husband, i dont believe them because i am married to him for 19 years and he was like that before so why i didn’t get anxiety 13 years before i had my daughter. Now my anxiety/Depression is about him, always worrying and thinking that is he going to yell at me, put me down, say mean things, not appreciate or care for me. These fears and non stop thoughts are based on facts. I wanted to cure naturally , so i got off all the meds. its been a year and it’s hell, i feeling like i am losing it, what-if questions about myself, fear of him(based on fact). i suffered a lot. now, i am taking supplements, homeopathy, exercise, even took a bold step to separate myself from husband. But i am not better. i never felt my self again since my daughter was born, i lost myself. desperate to be myself again. It started as PPD and changed to something else. I feel i am never going to get better even after reading’s paul’s book because my anxiety & depression became based on the facts. Now i started to get fears about how i am going to live without my husband, raise my kids myself, lots of other fears. But actually i want to live with my husband, but scared my doc told i will never get better if i live with my husband because he will treat me bad and i will always be depressed. He is not a monster but my anxiety magnified everything about him, yes he is mean and negative but i was able to tolerate it before when i was fine. But now i am so weak and low that i cannot handle small comment or complain, it triggers my anxiety. So how will paul’s process will apply on me or on the thoughts when my anxiety is based facts at least what doc told. Can i still get better even after i decide to live with my husband without his support on my health. My illness ruined my life and married life. I want my happy life back as myself. Any feedback will help.

  360. leanne Says:

    Hi I’ve suffered with anxiety / panic attacks since I was a teenager well over 30 yrs and for the greatest part taken medication. Over time the panic attacks stopped and it was more the anxiety . My last big set back was 8yrs ago where I could barely function from the anxiety and thought I would end up being sectioned. However, there has been smaller set backs in between. I experienced intrusive thoughts that terrified me which led to me always being anxious around my son. U name it I thought it . If I’m honest mental health has always scared me. and I always worry I ll never get back to work. More recently it has come back with a vengeance and I believe that ‘s because the last 2 years have been very busy and exhausting and I’ve burn t myself out . My family , husband and son are wonderful as are my friends and in a strange way this makes it worse as if I’m letting them down. This time it’s come out as panic attacks whilst driving on the dual carriage way. I wake up shaking and can t stop my thoughts x please can someone offer some advice. I ‘ve read Pauls both books but find it really hard to adopt the advice not to give in to it. I m desperate and feel so guilty for not being able to do what he describes as being simple xxx Whereas previously I always panicked when I thought I don’t want to be here if I feel like this , now I feel almost numb ( if that makes sense) and that worries me . I don t feel suicidal but I’m scared I will being to feel that way. I thought I would have learnt from previous set backs but each time it happens it feels as scary xxxx

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