How to get rid of Anxiety

The simple answer is you stop trying to…..

One of the biggest mistakes people make is they think their aim is about getting rid of anxiety, the second is they think they have to protect themselves from feeling it, so they hide away, avoid social interaction, run away from thoughts and feelings, push them away.

Remember the aim is not to, not feel anxiety, it’s to no longer care if you do or not. This is why people buy numerous books, see numerous counsellers, walk around with 20 sayings and 15 safety behaviours. There aim is to either get rid of it or not feel it.

Both are wrong, you must actively go towards it to unravel the lie behind it, to desensitise to it, to build up new beliefs and habits. Don’t try and protect yourself by avoidance, the respect for the thoughts and feelings just grows, instead of trying not to feel it, ask for more, dont hide away, reveal your anxiety to yourself and to the world. By this I mean don’t treat it as the thing to protect yourself from, to hide away from, don’t treat it as your little secret you have to keep from others, putting on an act hoping your secret is not revealed. Go from caring to not caring, go from trying to keep it at bay to welcoming it, go from trying to not feel it, to feeling it at will.

I spent years in a loop of trying to not feel it, years trying to get rid of it and to no avail. My realisation came that everything I did, every book I read, every counseller I saw was all with the aim of one of them telling me how to get rid of it, it then dawned on me that this was my mistake and I should do the opposite.

Paul

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

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1,967 Responses to “How to get rid of Anxiety”

  1. Chris Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks so much for the help that your website is bringing. I feel so much better realising that what I feel is anxiety and how to recover from it.

    I was wondering if you had any advice on how to just let the disturbing scary thoughts be? I have read your articles and posts on just letting it be there, but sometimes they can be so scary (what if I hurt myself or Girlfriend in sleep etc, what if I go mad or alcohol turns me mad etc) that they can be really crushing. I have seen various doctors and all say these sort of thoughts are normal in anxiety. I just feel overcoming them is proving very tricky!

    Thanks mate,

    Chris

  2. Jacqui Says:

    Paul/Nolan,

    you have both helped me so much I am really grateful.

    I’d been dealing with stress for nearly three years for a variety of reasons (birth, death, work, money, losing our home…the list goes on). I was working myself into the ground while being a full time mum, and looking back I guess I pushed myself too hard. My anxiety was then brought on by watching a couple of horror films with my partner (on a subject I usually hate watching anyway) and then one night I woke in a panic, the hot flushes washing over me etc, and was scared sh**less because I had no idea what was happening to me. Over the following weeks I hated being alone, had all sorts of chaotic thoughts (most related to the films but some not, regarding my partner, daughter etc), had horrific dp (I know what it is now but didn’t then) where I couldn’t see properly, felt panicky again etc. I ultimately felt like I was going mad. After weeks of feeling like this I did what I never do…I googled my symptoms (I was getting lots of physical symptoms too, like sickness, loss of appetite, bowel issues, headaches, loss of sleep etc). I got results pointing to anxiety but nothing actually explaining what I was going through. I considered going to my GP but was afraid of being considered completely mental or given drugs, which I didn’t want (I hate taking meds without a real cause, plus knowing what they would give me I was worried of becoming a zombie, especially with my daughter around). So I stuck it out, not enjoying anything, becoming more exhausted etc.
    Then another google search brought me to this blog, and on reading your post on obsessive and scary thoughts I immediately felt a load lift. Finally I understood what was happening to me and why I felt the way I did. It all made sense. I still had the thoughts but the physical symptoms seemed to lift pretty quickly which was a relief. Naturally the whole accepting issue didn’t come easily, because I was really still scared of the thoughts that were coming (oddly I found it easier to accept the thoughts I had about my daughter etc, but not the ones resulting from the horror films). Time has passed and I’ve tried (which I know is wrong) to over come them. Then something happened… I read Nolan’s post about no longer caring about these thoughts, and over the last few weeks I have felt better, mainly because I am just so tired and fed up with feeling crap. I actually don’t care now…I can’t be bothered to worry anymore. Yes the thoughts are still hovering but I am taking a more so what attitude. I’ve had a couple of really good days, and find myself wanting to do things again, not just doing them because I think I have to. I’m nowhere near the end yet and I’m in no rush to be as I know this will take time. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. My main issue (other than the thoughts which try to morph into worries about our new home – again thanks to the stupid films) is the loss of interest in my partner. Its not relationship anxiety as such (I don’t find myself wanting to leave him or anything) but I cant seem to relax around him as much and getting intimate has proved an issue. I go through the motions but my mind races all the more (again that is all thanks to scenes in these stupid films) and it’s that issue I find the hardest to deal with. I’m lucky that my partner is very understanding and supportive, but I feel like I’m letting him down (I’ve not told him this aspect of my symptoms). I have bad days with my daughter (she should be starting nursery soon and is at that ‘in need of the stimulation stage’ so is a bit of a handful at present) and find it hard to mentally focus beyond the noise and commotion and demands. Noise is a difficult factor for me too.
    But over all I’m sure im on the road to the start of recovery. I really have had enough of dealing with this crap and just cant be ar*ed to give it the attention anymore! I know from Nolan’s posts that relationship issues rectify themselves in time and I have to have faith in this.

    I thank you both again for the help you have given on here. I know I am lucky to be one of those who has not suffered for too long (just several months) and am grateful I found this blog so early on. I don’t pop in everyday as I know it doesn’t help, but felt I had to finally write something to say thank you for doing this blog, and allowing people to be open and honest with their issues.
    God bless.

  3. Kevin Says:

    Another great post that really emphasizes what you say in your book, Paul. Im starting to really get this. Sometimes its hard and I have bad days but Im learning to sit with it. To walk into it willingly almost. Thanks for your advice, Paul.

  4. Adam Says:

    Thanks Paul for the great, timely post. Very helpful. I do have one question though (for you or anyone on here who has recovered using your method). My question is this: you say the aim with this method is to feel your anxiety and develop a “so what” attitude towards it. I get that and I work daily on implementing it as my acceptance attitude. But one area where I struggle some still with accepting are with the intrusive thoughts. I am at the point in my recovery where I can pretty much assume any messed up, fearful, “what if” or off the wall thought that comes into my head is anxiety. So, when it happens, that is what I tell myself. “Oh…don’t worry about that thought that just caused a pang of dread to go down my spine…its just anxiety doing its thing. Its not real or me.” So, with my doing this, am I still accepting the anxiety as I should? Or is this fighting it? I am feeling what it is offering and I am not changing my actions or hiding from or because of the thought at all. I am simply labeling it as anxiety and disregarding the message it is sending me. Is my doing this considered fighting or pushing away my anxiety? I admit that at this point the hardest area for me to overcome is my intrusive, negative thinking. I wonder if I am pursuing this approach in the right manner to qualify as “acceptance”…and if not, how should I modify my approach? Again, any thoughts from those recovered using Paul’s method as described will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  5. Lynn Says:

    I read the list of symptoms on your home page and have a question about difficulty swallowing. What does that mean? Does it mean you can’t get food and drink down easily, or you feel a lump in your throat when swallowing? I feel a lump or something sometimes when swallowing and am wondering if my anxiety about it is making it worse.

    Thank you for any advice with this!

  6. Steve Says:

    I guess I just don’t get it. How can anyone with anxiety not wish it was gone?

  7. Yolande Says:

    guess i am doing it all wrong! When i feel anxious, i will start to will down and then i will starting twisting my t-shirt or playing with my hair (a nervous habit). I guess this are avoidance behavious??

    been feeling really shite this past week to the extent that i fear i will never recover……….. any encouragement/ comments from anyone is greatly appreciated.

  8. rachh Says:

    Hi guys well I’m back to square one.
    I started work again 3 weeks ago and I’m really not coping having anxiety attacks every day ringin ears head ache worrying thoughts. It’s all back.
    I dont know whether its work that is causing it now to be honest because I was really starting to recover.
    It saddens me really because i feel like my partner shouldn’t have to put up with this anymore and i dont know what to do. My life again feels meaningless and everything unfamiliar. really gets me down.
    Words of encouragement and support most welcome:)

  9. Daniel Says:

    Hello Rachh, I understand how difficult it is to ‘go back’ after making progress. But remember, all your progress is not lost. You’re never truely back to square one. All the skills and habits you’ve developed as you’ve made progress are still there, just like how all your good qualities, thoughts and feelings from before this started are still there. All those things are buried and WILL eventually be uncovered, and that fact alone, the fact that there is light at the the end of the tunnel, can give us so much strength. Sure that hope and motivation will go once and a while, but to have ever felt it means you can feel it again. Like I said in an earlier post, when we are feeling good we are actually seeing things more objectively, we are seeing things as they really are. I think that’s such a nice detail, that these optimistic thoughts are grounded in reality and these negative/hopeless thoughts are based on nothing at all. I think you’ll find your way back to that level you were at sooner than you did the first time, now that you’re better equip to deal with it. It’s like riding a bicycle, you ever forget how, once the skills are there they stay there.
    And also remember what Paul says, a setback only has as much power as you give it!

  10. Daniel Says:

    Here’s a good post from Nolan to Jake that I find quite useful. I think everyone can relate. I don’t imagine Jake or Nolan will mind me reposting this.

    “Hi Jake,

    You asked “But you doubt them don’t you”…. I assume you’re asking if I would doubt the content of those fears and thoughts.

    That somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that these thoughts, fears, doubts, symptoms were all irrational?

    Honestly, I did not have that thought in the back of my mind. I very much believed the content of those fears/thoughts/doubts. I would try making sense of it all. To find a reason in my mind that would just click and make all of that mess just evaporate. But that never happened.

    I would half heartedly follow Paul’s advice. I’d tell myself “I am going to accept all of this”…. but I still paid so much attention and respect to how I felt. I put so much effort into ‘making sense of it all’.

    I’d have some success, then I’d try to comfort myself with that success. But the doubts would still come (‘oh, what if that was just a fluke’. ‘that was such a painful time, there’s no way I’ll ever come back from that.’ ‘i still have this symptom and that symptom…. maybe I’m not better at all’) and it would all come collapsing back down on me.

    I would read some peoples’ stories on here and think “hmmm… that’s not exactly what I’m going through. Mine is a little different. Maybe this won’t work for me. My problem is so much more profound. It stained my life so much more deeply. Did Paul have all of my issues in mind when he wrote his book?!”.
    There are reasons why Paul doesn’t want to focus on isolated symptoms or thoughts or the various ways this anxiety can make itself manifest in your mind and body. 1) because it doesn’t really matter. The answer is the same for however it has manifested itself. 2) The object of your anxiety can expand, contract, envelope more things than just the initial insult. If I would have spent the time making sense of all of the different ways my anxiety morphed I never would have got better.

    I eventually got to the place where I just said “ENOUGH!”. No more fighting it, no more making sense of it, no more pity, no more begging God to lift it, no more running here and there in hopes of it shaking loose. No more.

    If I couldn’t sleep at night…. fine. So be it. If I would have a panic attack at the thought of being broken with respects to sleeping or my feelings towards loved ones…. cool by me, I still knew what I had to do towards my wife and son. If my anxiety locked in on my breathing…. good for it, now what’s on TV. If my anxiety had me riddled with doubt that this would ever go away…. so what, I’m still going out to eat with friends.

    And I did NONE of this stuff in hopes that it would make the anxiety go away or lessen. But, in time, it did start to lessen. Normal feelings did come back. Then setbacks came. They shook me deeply. But I reminded myself, “Nolan, who cares. So what. Let it come and come and come again.”

    It didn’t always make sense to me. Sometimes the hit would leave me in a daze, looking for something solid to anchor myself to. But even in that moment of despair I eventually reminded myself, “so…..what”.

    Jake, you asked “I must allow it just sit there and eventually in time it goes and feelings return??”

    I’ll answer this, but I really don’t want to. And I mean that in no way to offend you. I simply mean that I strongly think you’re still looking at this from the wrong end. But don’t worry, I’ve been there too :)
    My answer is: yes, in time your feelings will return. The old you is still there.

    But Jake, the thing that separates those who get better from those who vacillate between the various ways anxiety manifests itself is that those who got better truly stopped caring about how they felt. No feelings or thoughts or symptoms or doubts were off limits to their mind and body anymore. They let it come and stay as long as it wanted to (don’t worry, you’ll get better at this too).

    Say you’re going to go to a movie with your partner and kids. Then say you have that numb and anxious feelings (and all of the terrible thoughts that come with it) start building inside of you. What should you do? Let it build as much as it likes to and kick back and watch that movie. Don’t fight any of those feelings or thoughts…. and take a “so what” attitude towards them.

    And Jake, for your own peace of mind…. take a break from searching for answers. When your mind is clear (and that will happen on its own) things will make more sense to you naturally. But let that come on its own accord. As a matter of fact, trying to bring it about won’t work.

    It’s ultimately up to you, Jake.”

  11. Sharon Says:

    If you have that mindset then yes you’re pretty much in control. However for someone who is at the beginning of all this anxiety nightmare its difficult to act as if you can ‘face up to it’ and carry on as normal. For a long time I used to go through all these irrational thoughts and it held me back to the point where I retreated from life and went into deep depression. Because I felt there was no way out I stayed in this depression and wasted away the best part of my 20’s. It exhausted me so much and I knew I had to do something about it rather than waiting for someone to fix me because I know after going to numerous GP consultations and referrals to the community nurses it still left me feeling lost and no closing to finding the ‘answer’. With so many people seeking help for mental health problems the NHS can only do so much for each individual by way of pills and for a while maybe CBT is added to treat the behavioural part. But after these sessions are over and without practising controlling your negative thinking on a daily basis you can quickly go back to square one. This is by the way what happened to me. Recently I read that there is a serious backlog of patients waiting to get CBT or talking therapy so in the meantime what are all these people going to do? I think the message here is we simply cannot rely on the health services or quick fixes but to take it upon ourselves to do things other than ‘cure’ anxiety because it only actually feeds the problem and keeps your attention focused on it like Paul said. We can focus instead on other things if we want to try to better our own lives which may include learning new things, spending time outside, reading and taking up a new hobby that is enjoyable rather than anxiety focused. Its a gradual process of discovering what really can be good in your life and to take small steps daily to test it out and then maybe a change of mindset will follow…
    I think it’s like quitting smoking you got to make a conscious decision to stop and so it is with anxiety you got to accept you got this condition but you can overcome it if you try to make that commitment to yourself to go forward in your life. Its hard but its do-able.

  12. Rachel Says:

    Can motion dizziness be linked with anxeity or is that a different thing all together because even just moving my head makes me feel dizzy and sick xx

  13. AJ Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Ive been doing relatively well (although I know putting a good/bad time label isnt the best way of doing things.)

    I used to have no specific worries and was sort of in the ‘worry about worry’ bracket, with the constant focus on myself. However, I have now started enduring horrific intrusive thoughts, which I believe may also be classed as OCD. It also involves rumination of an event which I know has happened but has never even bothered me for literally 15 years (I was 13 at the time) up until I remembered it.

    Paul, would you treat OCD with the same kind of methods? Or do you think there needs to be specific treatment for this? While I know the intrusive thoughts are all ‘what if’s?’ it then leads me back on to the event which has actually happened and that then sets me back in to the spiral again.

    I know all of this is down to my anxiety/OCD (or whatever you want to call it) and Ive had various types of advice. One therapist told me to challenge the thoughts, while an other said it does not matter what the thought is and that just to acknowledge it is anxiety. My only question with that method is: am I just avoiding the issue by just dismissing it as anxiety?

    You guys are all great and again Paul, thanks so much for writing your book and hosting this site.

    Cheers.

    AJ

  14. Jacqui Says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I can’t say for sure but I know I had this for a while on top of tonnes of other physical symptoms. I got dizzy just sitting still doing nothing! I had nasty nausea too, so my guess is this is anxiety. Luckily many of my physical symptoms lifted once I found this site and learned what was happening to me (I no longer thought I was losing my mind!). I’m still dealing with the thoughts but appreciate this all takes time. We will make it through this :)

  15. Daniel Says:

    Yeah it is one of the physical symptoms Rachel, I’ve got it too. It comes and goes. Personally I find the physical stuff easier to deal with. It’ll go along with everything else.

  16. Rachel Says:

    Wish mine would come and go I have it 24 7 xx

  17. Perdy Says:

    Mine too Rachel, I’m dizzy/unbalanced every day, day in day out, I just try to ‘get on with it’ some days are better than others, sometime I accept it’s anxiety, other times I question it! Been like it for years now, it’s crap! Can’t even remember feeling ‘normal’ I go to work, go out socially admittedly not that often because I’m so tired all the time, but I go and take it with me. I used to love clothes shopping (still go) but the lights ( and aisles in supermarkets) make it worse for me. Horrendous!!!!

  18. Rachel Says:

    Hiya perdy was wondering about you you not been on here for a while you sound like you could be my twin lol exactly what I am like really had enough been really bad last few days really unbearable can’t even move any part if my body without going wozzy if I didn’t feel it I wouldn’t think about it and wouldn’t worry about it but I do feel it then think about it and worry about it I just can’t relate this to anxeity wish I could why when I even hang clothes away would I go dizzy in not anxious about doing that am I xx

  19. TJ Says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Thank you so much for posting that message from Nolan. It was just what I needed to read.

  20. Perdy Says:

    Rachel I don’t comment very often because I don’t want to become too repetitive as the unbalanced feeling is my main symptom – I have had lots of the physical symptoms but this, the most debilitating, hangs on in there :-( I, like you, often question how can this be down to anxiety, and how can you not be anxious when it feels like you’re going to fall over!!!! Not many people on here mention this as a symptom. A guy on Pauls FB page mentioned feeling like he was on a boat (like me) but no one really commented, I didn’t as I dont want all my FB friends to see it! I just plaster on the smiley face and try to get on with it. All the best, hang on in there X

  21. rachh Says:

    Daniel that is a lovely post and it was what i really needed. Thanku. Just coming back here for some encouragement really uplifts me. Xx

  22. Jack Says:

    Hey everybody,

    I’ve been following this blog for a couple weeks now and have read Paul’s book a couple times. I had my first bad bout of anxiety in the beginning of August after i dabbled in some psychedelics with my buddies. I had a little freak out on the drug towards the end of my trip, and i spiraled myself into a bad trip where i thought i was going crazy and saw disturbing things and thought this was gunna change me forever. I was fine about a week after knowing it was just a stupid bad trip and i wasn’t losing it, then i was watching fight club and something about the movie kinda freaked me out and it triggered a flashback and what i know now as a panic attack, but at the time i thought i was literally going crazy! Ive struggled pretty bad most of august trying to figure out what was wrong with me and thinking that i was going crazy and i was a goner for good and how i couldn’t take this for much longer even though its only been 1 month! I also kept thinking that if i had another panic attack i wouldnt be able to recover and lose myself for good, but after reading Pauls book i slowly started to get better as in understanding my condition and what not. I can see now that I’ve been stuck in the fear cycle and that it was my lack of understanding and hyperactive mind that has caused this anxiety. Although i am aware of all this knowledge and that acceptance is the key, I’m still struggling a bit with accepting all of these symptoms. I’ve been living my normal life and have made severe progress since reading pauls book, but it feels like it is hard for my mind to accept the symptoms and see them as just offshoots of anxiety. Again i am extremely fresh to the whole anxiety world, for i have never had a panic attack or thought of going crazy/losing control (at least to this extreme). I’m aware that these are all off-shoots of anxiety but my accepting of them is hard and i find it hard to live along side them for the moment without it affecting me and being my main focus 24/7. Like i’ve read pauls book and i know that 100% his words are the way to recovery but my mind is just having trouble It’s like everything i do my mind tricks me to thinking I’m doing it to get over anxiety and i know it sounds really dumb but somehow its convinced itself that. I’ve been trying to apply the “so what” attitude but i find it hard to not apply this attitude without some sort of effort then i start thinking that I’m trying to hard and thats the wrong way. I know by me giving so much respect to these feelings is the problem and that this is all fueled by fear but its like my mind doesn’t want to believe despite having positive success from paul’s methods. I hang out with friends fine (feels like I must put on an act but i know its just temporary) and Like i said before i am completely aware that this is all just anxiety but its like my mind doesn’t want to believe me.. It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve read pauls book and i keep thinking to myself that for how fresh this thing is and how I’ve never had anxiety before i should be over it by now, but even then i know i shouldn’t be doing this (comparing) but i can’t really help it. Also disturbing thoughts affect me too, even though i am aware they are just anxiety playing its tricks. Like when i read some post on this blog from people i’ll feel like ill start to pick up there symptoms as well, which i kno sounds dumb and is just my anxiety but when i try to give it the “so what” attitude it seems to not be very affective. I’m having trouble at certain parts of the day for not feeling fear from these thoughts and letting them be and seeing them as stupid thoughts that are just what ifs and will never come true. I refuse to take medications or get any sort of help, i want to do this for me because i know that i am the key to cracking this and that when i fully recover and come with peace with my anxiety and let it pass that i will be much stronger and a better person from this! Any tips from anybody as too accepting my symptoms or anything else?
    Any feedback is appreciated! Thanks Everybody!

    Jack

  23. Kat Says:

    Great post, Paul.

    I fundamentally agree with this post, even though I’m not doing very well with its suggestions at the moment. I am having one hell of a time with not caring about what I’m presently feeling, because it is affecting every facet of my life. I have been practicing with facing and accepting, but find that when I have those days when the symptoms seem to amplify, I move backward and start the negative thinking. This is my greatest challenge, changing the way I view anxiety.

    I wonder if it’s been this way for all of the recovered folk; was it the same up and down? A couple weeks ago, I had a fairly good day and thought “I’m on the upswing now! I will have some more off days, but I should be moving forward if only at a slow pace.” Unfortunately, I feel like I’ve slid backward again, and for some reason, the bad days are outweighing the good. Has anyone else experienced this? It takes away any confidence I have when this happens, and I feel so fatigued that I wonder if I will ever be able to cope.

    Now, I’m doing my level best to expect nothing from each day, but I’m sure some of you can relate to the massive frustration. I am so worried that my behaviour is going to affect my job. my family and my relationship. I know we are not supposed to be impatient, but I have to admit that I am finding this to be incredibly difficult because I so dearly want to get on with things. How much longer, I keep wondering, will I have to “make it to the end” of my work day? I like my job and hate that it is interfering with it.

    Sorry for the venting. It’s becoming harder to keep this stuff inside when I feel like I’m doing the best I can and am not seeing favourable results.

  24. Matt Says:

    Has anyone realized that something in their life has been causing their anxiety issues all along, but they didn’t realize it because they were just focusing on their anxiety symptoms?

    I’ve been in graduate school for the past year and a half, and my anxiety started right before a work-to-school transition. I knew that I was anxious about school, which is what started this. However, somewhere in between, I lost the cause and started worrying about my symptoms and how I could control them. Anyway, long story short, I was on rotation yesterday, and realized that school makes everything so much harder than it needs to be, and that yes, indeed, I was going to be great at my job (once I get out of school). Knowing this made me feel so much better, and my anxiety was considerably cut in half last night and this morning. Then, going back to school, it shot right back up.

    That moment of clarity when I truly realized that this was all just anxiety, and probably what most of my classmates are feeling too (but they just don’t worry about it, and it’s not quite as severe), made me feel REALLY excited. I felt like I finally saw the end of the tunnel. I’m not really counting on this perspective to last, and I’ll continually have to apply Paul’s methods to get me out of the habits I’ve created, but it felt really really good to feel like that, and to feel like a “normal” person again.

    I read Dr. Burn’s “Feeling Good” book, and in that he stated that all anxiety has a root cause, but I’ve never been sure if this is true or not, since some people are just anxious due to thought patterns. Anyway, I’ll stop rambling now, haha!

  25. Josh Says:

    Hi

    Completely agree with what Paul has mentioned. I tried all the tricks like deep breathing, walking for some time and taking a break, eating chocolates, listening to music etc etc..but my recovery only started after I started standing firmly in situations and places which made me anxious. It took a huge effort to stick on and let all the feeling pass through but the efforts were worth and made me realise that facing anxiety head on is the only way out.

  26. Yolande Says:

    Kat, i am like you going thru a setback right now. it does suck bigtime. i feel lousy, anxious, scared all at the same time. at least i know i am not alone in this and i am doing my best to let the feelings be but IT’S SO HARD!! so hard not to react to them. my sleep is not so good, i sleep at 10.30pm and keep waking up at 4am or 5am. when i do wake up, i have some sight v slight stomach churnings. it used to be stomach churnings with fear but at least the fear has stopped (touch wood!). not sure if your symptoms are the same as mine.

    Matt,
    what you said has some element of truth in it. i think it’s possible that we are just anxious abt normal things but anxiety made it worse. i dont like my job, it’s boring and i cant wait to leave it. i realise that every morning i have apprehension – then i realised it’s cos i dont like my work so of course i dont want to go to work hence the apprehension.

    NO one has commented on my post abnove abt safety behaviours so i am not sure if i am the only one doing this????

    I tire my family out so much with my condition that i am feeling really bad about it. i dont have friends and so my family is my only support group.

    looking fwd to some comments etc.

    thanks

  27. SarahS Says:

    Hi kat you’re post mirrors everything, not some but everything that I’ve been through. So firstly you’re not alone or weak or unusual etc you’re perfectly normal. Oh it’s not easy, not one bit and after having awful anxiety for so many years it affected with everything I did too. I’d say at the mo it seems like it’s really hard and from what you say sometimes you’re okay, other times it comes back big time and you’re back into thinking negatively and all that goes with it. Well this is exactly what happens when you’re back to feeling anxious so when it does happen then go straight through it, don’t try to find a way to go around it but face it head on, let it do it’s thing for as long as it wants to. Your thought and feelings will come with force but let them, don’t engage, just realise that’s normal for anxiety. I used to think I was different as it only took some people months, not years like myself to really recover but I came to the conclusion that I had well n truly learned how to be very anxious so it would probably take me longer to unlearn. When you’re in a state try “it is what it is” for however you feel and “so flipping what” for whatever you think. You’re having a setback but it’ll go. Keep your chin up. Sorry for rushed I’m just at work x

  28. Kyle Says:

    Hey, Guys

    Hope everyone is doing well. I have been putting Pauls advice to work for about a year now and id say I am about 90% recovered. I havent had a panic attack in over a year. I dont mind if my mind races before I go to bed and I tend to fall asleep immediately but the last few days I have been waking up very early but I really dont mind it. My eyesight is back to normal and I dont have any physical symptoms left. I get the occasional intrusive thought or uncomfortable restless feeling, or thought that I this is something more than anxiety but it leaves on it own. I do have one last problem that tends to bother me. Has anyone dealing with this or anyone who has recovered notice that its very hard for them to make decisions. Its not like I worry about one choice over the other, its more of an issue that I truly dont know what my preferences are or know what I think about certain issues or situations. Its as if my personal preferences and sense of self is hiding. Can anyone shed some light on this? I just wish when someone asked me a question or wanted something I could give them a definite answer based on my actual feeling rather than just throwing somehting out there.

  29. Lisa E. Says:

    For folks struggling with setbacks, what works for me is doing things. If you think about it, the difference between being anxious-free and having a setback is that when you are anxious free, you aren’t thinking about anxiety. The setback begins with the thoughts. Will this last forever? Why don’t I feel like myself, etc. At least for me, it’s not the physical feelings that start it (although they are there) it’s the thought reaction to those physical feelings. Acceptance is much easier if you aren’t sitting in a room by yourself working on accepting. We need to accept the anxiety, but to do that it needs to walk alongside us while we live our lives. So I have tried to form a new habit of actively not sitting around and thinking about it. This is very different than fighting it. I try to find things to keep myself occupied so that my thoughts have other things to do, other things to notice other than anxiety. Others may have different coping strategies but that’s what works for me.

    Matt, I agree with you that it can be really interesting to think about what caused our initial anxiety (for those of us who used to be non-anxious). I am pretty sure I understand where mine came from, for example. Knowing that does help me somewhat because I can recognize the patterns that got me anxious in the first place. I can also see how others in my circumstance might have reacted differently and might have coped more normally and not developed anxiety. I can use that information as I handle stress in the future.

  30. Lui Says:

    Hey guys,

    I took a break from the blog for a week and come back now for some advice I really need.
    So 10 days ago I had summer holidays and suddenly I got an AWESOME attitude. All my social fears turned into whatevers and even the scariest thoughts didn’t even bother me. It was incredible, I never experienced something like this in my whole life and I could even focus on other things and felt not as depressed.
    That then was the time I realized that I it’s totally the right thing to not care and even doesn’t matter if the fears come true, life is like this sometimes.
    Well school started and I got into a new class. For the next two days I did let the feelings in and I made some progress although my adrenaline production was increasing like crazy.
    But then day after day, my old attitude came sneaking back and now I am back into my old state. I am completely paralyzed by my thoughts and feelings and can’t catch a clear thought. I can’t open my mouth to talk, feel jugded and avoid. The usual anxiety symptoms.
    So this happens a lot to me. I build up a great attitude and then it’s just gone.
    So my question is how to stop caring about social fears?
    Believe me I am so paralyzed by the thinking that I can’t just go into a situation and try it out for myself. I really have to stop caring, that’s the only way out for me personally. But therefor I have to convince myself to not care and that is even hard for “healthy” people. How am I supposed to do it?

  31. Matt Says:

    Lisa,

    I’ve just found that in the last few days, my acceptance has been 100 percent. I’ve realized that what I’ve been experiencing isn’t actually a problem, which is exactly what Paul says. I think it’s because I realized that what I’m doing is stressful, and so of course I feel like this.

    Also, last year I was googling the term “anxiety” and I became very frustrated because it only talked about the physical symptoms of anxiety, which made me feel like my issues were different (bc I had mental symptoms). I never thought to google “stress symptoms”…until now. When you do that, yo literally see almost all the symptoms that Paul posts, including the mental symptoms. So, I think I’ve finally gotten it to sink in that this is normal for me to have currently, and I’m also accepting that my current situation is stressful, and of course I feel like this. Does this mean that I had an anxiety free day today? Of course not, but I now realize the source, and that has made all the difference in the world. I’m expecting that I’ll have stress symptoms until I’m through with school, and even then they will take a while to dissipate bc my body needs to reset. But, I think I finally am close to where Paul was mentally (well, at least I hope I am). I’m still scared that this won’t last, because usually nothing has, but I’m going to be positive about this :)

    I was just wondering if other people might have the same issue. That is to say, people have some major stress provoking event, but the symptoms they get from it scare them, and keep them in the cycle questioning, when if the main issue is cleared up (could be a situation, could be the way your thinking about the situation), then the anxiety will eventually dissipate. Anyway, I just found it interesting that in the last few days, I’ve felt much better and more sure of myself mentally.

  32. colin Says:

    Hi
    I asked this under the July blog, late on and did get a few responses. Apologies if I bore people by asking again. I have been trying acceptance and like most here know this is the way forwards. My question relates to relationship problems/anxiety and whether this is the cause of my anxiety of just a symptom. A few people Nolan, Jake others have talked about this. I tend to feel that my relationship with my wife is the cause of my anxiety, when I have anxiety or feel depressed and have real difficulty sitting and being with her….i.e. I feel really anxious and want to leave and can only see all the negatives in our relationship. I have felt this way before when having anxiety in the past. We have been married 22 years and have 3 kids, aged 19, 17 and 13. When I an anxious I keep getting the pressing thoughts that if I just left and started again then I would not feel anxiety. Deep down I think I am scared of this thought or action and get even more anxious at the prospect. This makes me think that it is more anxiety making me feel things are wrong, rather than that the relationship is really the cause of my anxiety. I think this is what I would like…e.g I would like nothing more than having a loving relationship with my wife again and not feeling anxiety. This is why I think or hope it is just anxiety doing its worst to me.

    I would like to ask others if they have had similar experiences and what they did to get through them. I recall Nolan perhaps saying just stay sitting with your partner, watching a film or whatever it is and let the anxiety come on as much as you like and dont let it push you around. That it will pass and that eventually positive feelings for your partner will reappear. I would like this to happen and try to do this….not very successfully. Sorry this is a rambling post. I would very much like to hear from people that have also found that they try to attach the cause of anxiety to their partner or loved one but have realised this is just anxiety take them for a ride and have managed to sit through all of this and come out the other side with their feelings for their partner in tact.

    Deep down I think I would like this outcome, but right now dont think it will happen due to the thoughts..move on…no more anxiety if you do..being so strong. I kinda know I likely should do the opposite..e.g. take the opportunity to be with my anxiety when I am with my wife as a super opportunity to get more of it willingly!! My understanding is this is what Paul would recommend. Take the great chance to feel the anxiety and enjoy it!! So maybe anxiety being around at this point is in fact a blessing in disguise….basically I am pretty confused…..any helpful comments really welcomed.

  33. Jacqui Says:

    Hi Matt,
    I get what you’re saying. I have suffered with severe stress (on a variety of issues) for nearly three years. It just seemed to be one thing after another, and I possibly have had anxiety before (I’ve slowly started to realise this) but this time it was started by watching some horror films. Although all my scary thoughts are not related to the stress, I believe it was this stress that debilitated my mind to the point it just couldn’t handle it all anymore. Since finding this site all my physical symptoms have disappeared and I am working on the ‘so what’ attitude (which does seem to be working…I have a good few times a week where I feel completely fine) but I an also working hard at dealing with my stress and managing it more effectively. I have bad days (I’m a mum and sometimes my daughters behaviour can irritate/stress me out/ upset me which makes my thoughts worse) but I have faith Im getting there, it will just take time. It took three years of stress to get me into this mess, so I appreciate it might take a while to come out the other side!

  34. TJ Says:

    Colin,

    I went through something similar with my fiance. I kept on getting negative thoughts about our relationship and whether we were compatible enough to get married, although I knew in my heart that I loved him, and that I was blowing small things out of proportion, probably due to anxiety. However, the anxiety was so persistent that I had serious doubts and I became very confused. I eventually came across some information on relationship OCD. As you may know, obsessive thoughts are a symptom of anxiety, and your anxiety simply maybe targeting your relationship. In Dr. Claire Weekes’ book “Essential Help for your Nerves”, she talks about a patient feeling this way about her husband, although in her heart she knew she still loved him. Dr. Weekes talks about the technique of “glimpsing”, to cure obsessive thoughts (she reccommends accepting for all anxiety symptoms, except obsessive thoughts, which sometimes require seperate treatment, such as glimpsing). If you can glimpse the truth behind your anxious thoughts (that you still love your wife), then perhaps it might just be anxiety and no real truth to the thought. The treatment that Dr. Weekes reccomends is: Try to feel the anxious thoughts related to your wife and at the height of those feelings, try to glimpse the truth. She says to do this often. Here’s an article that might help you recognize whether your fears about your wife are about anxiety: http://psychcentral.com/lib/when-ocd-targets-your-relationship/00019313

    I think you now the answers already and you know that you need to simply move towards or “go with” the feelings of anxiety (as Paul says) you get when you are with your wife and realize they are just caused by anxiety, or adrenaline finding an outlet. Once your anxiety heals, these thoughts will go away. I now rarely get these thoughts about my fiance and I am so glad because I love him very much. I hope that helps!

  35. Julie Says:

    Hi Adam

    I hope I can help answer your question with regards to intrusive thoughts and how you should be coping with them. I suffered terribly with them and to an extent still do. What you have to do is try not to reassure yourself when you have a thought by saying ‘its just my anxiety/ocd causing this thought’ but almost agree with the thoughts, maybe the thoughts are true but I choose to carry on with ……whatever you were doing or want to do. I learnt to accept the intrusive thoughts that I had about myself or my children by realising anxiety/ocd does cause such thoughts but then no more reassuring myself just live my life and let them be beside me.

    Imagine Mr Anxiety is sat on the couch in your brain asking to be fed, each time you panic at the intrusive thoughts he gives you, you give him another biscuit. By letting him sit on the couch shouting at you for attention and you don’t give him that attention/biscuit, he is starved and eventually he shrinks. I’m not wanting to reassure you that the thoughts go because they may not but that’s not the aim. The aim is to live alongside them and change your reaction to the thoughts. When I have intrusive thoughts I let them in, they still shake me up at times but I will accept it’s there and refocus on something that I want to do. Do not sit there and dwell on it, try to work it out or cry, that is giving him another biscuit. Let it be there and live your life. So notice the thoughts are there, accept that they are there and then refocus. This isn’t thought stopping or distraction methods but it’s accepting the thought is there, letting it be present but go and do something you enjoy or need to do.

    As time passes this gets easier. Mr Anxiety may find different intrusives to scare you once he notices you aren’t as scared about the thoughts anymore, but treat them exactly the same as you have these. It doesn’t matter about the content of the thoughts,it’s how you react to it that counts. I hope this has been of some help.

  36. Lisa E. Says:

    Matt,

    I’ve been through two graduate programs and I made it through both of them before I had any issues with anxiety. So I can imagine that having anxiety alongside of that stress must be difficult. I remember a few fellow grad students who mentioned that the added stress led them to take medications for things like depression, that they had struggled with in the past, but had stopped using medications for. There is a “normal” part of grad school that involves being stressed all the time, but the key is to just accept that that’s what it’s like. I was able to translate that stress into an eagerness to do really well at things. But when I was taking a break or not studying, I didn’t worry about it because I didn’t have anxiety then.

    My anxiety came on around the time I was getting my first job which was much different than I anticipated and had moved to a place really far from where I grew up where I had severe allergies for the first time in my life. So I was stressed mentally, and physically from the allergies, and I became obsessed with how I was feeling. The anxious thought started happening even when I was feeling ok. That’s when I knew it was a big problem. But things got better as I started accepting my situation and not trying to control how I felt on a daily basis.

  37. Matt Says:

    Lisa,

    That makes perfect sense. I think that’s what essentially happened to me, but in school, not after. The stress of school, marriage, and a new house just added up I guess, and then I had stress symptoms I’ve never had before (bc luckily enough, I’ve never been this stressed in my life prior to this), which caused me to worry about them, and then I was stuck in this cycle.

    Clearly, the recovery process is the same, no matter what your circumstances are. Realize that it’s just stress and anxiety, and accept it so that eventually you stop worrying about it, and then let your body do the rest :)

  38. Lisa E. Says:

    One thing that a lot of us do that is unproductive is comparing and anticipating good days and bad days. For example, if we have two great days, then one not so great day, we find that significant. As if we messed up somehow and created that bad day. Then after a bad day, we anticipate that the next day things will be bad, when we really don’t know that. A few weeks ago, I had a work trip coming up and I had some anxiety for a week before the trip and I just knew I would be anxious during my trip. But when the trip actually came, I was so busy with the actual work and helping a friend who was going through a rough time through repeated phone calls, and getting some good news from another friend, that the trip went great. I forgot that I had planned to be anxious!

    Anxiety makes us want to predict outcomes. We’re hyper-vigilant about anticipating and predicting. But reality is usually much more unpredictable and often interesting in a good way. Good days and bad days are just days. Giving too much significance to the bad ones is a mistake and likely leads to more of them.

  39. Michael Says:

    Lynn, it’s amazing what physical symptoms can manifest themselves. I had exactly what you describe, what I could only say was the feeling of some kind of lump in your throat. I think it’s just that something is noticed, and then you become hyper-aware/fixated about it.

  40. Jake Says:

    Hi Colin
    I can’t really advise you on what to do. I’m going through the exact same stuff as you also. My feelings are so flat, I don’t love her etc… Nolan gave me some super advice if you want to read from the last topic. Just keep believing you will return back to normal in due time, try dismiss it all as rubbish. You said you had it before how did you get rid of it back then?
    I constantly feel I need to leave but I’m allowing the thoughts in and saying ” so what I’m not leaving so do what you have to do im sticking around ” all be it its horrible as you feel like screaming but you will get there!!

  41. Grace Says:

    Hello Everyone!
    I first started to learn about my anxiety symptoms through this site. It was the most trying time of my life. I had never experienced so much stress as I did back in January of 2013. January 6 literally changed the course and trajectory of my life. I thought I would never see the light again. But…here I am and I can finally say, I have recovered! I am myself, again. :)

    I remember getting caught up in the difference between “distraction” and “diversion.” Bottom line…once I started to live my life as though I wasn’t suffering from anxiety, is when I began to heal. I continued as usual…went ahead with my daily tasks even when it felt shitty, even when it felt I couldn’t possibly do it or push through. I did it anyway…and more. I occupied my mind so that it wasn’t always focusing on the intrusive thoughts. I did crossword puzzles, painted, worked on mind twisters, embroidered, learned how to play the guitar…I did things I “used” to do, and also learned to do “new” things. Was it easy? No. :) Did it get better? Yes. :) There were times, while I was engaged in my daily activities, I forgot I was even anxious! That was the best feeling. Imagine…forgetting you’re anxious. And that’s when I began to understand…our sensations are rooted in a false fear and our mind just needs a break so that it can return to its “normal” state. And sure enough, with time and dedication, the anxiety level dropped and returned to normal.

    Am I still anxious? Sometimes…when it’s “appropriate” to be anxious…For example, right before presenting or attending a huge event..but, it’s different than before. I can see it for what it is and so, I’m not latching onto the feeling or sensation, just observing it.

    Daily activities also included, cleaning the house, cooking, baking, watching funny movies…and just hanging out. I saw how important it was to continue with life as though I didn’t feel sick while also, taking on projects (even if only small at first) that made me “happy.” That was key…finding something passionate to do that trumped the anxiety. Anxiety, I can say now, was and is a great teacher.

    Also, I made sure not to talk about my anxiety or to use it as an excuse not to do things or live my life. This helped because I wasn’t continually feeding the issue and making it bigger. The more I talked about it, the more I reinforced the thought that anxiety is bigger than me. Anxiety isn’t bigger than us. Anxiety are symptoms and sensations of a tired mind. I’ll always remember that through Paul’s writing. It needs new information to work with so that the spell and pattern can be broken and we can finally and truly “see” ourselves again as we really are, and not as anxiety would have us believe we are.

    Now, I want to say something else…While I was experiencing the height of my anxiety symptoms, I met someone. He helped me during a critical time. I guess you can say that I also developed a bit of a crush on him. :) I felt those “butterflies” again…after a long while…and I think having a connection with him for nine months, helped me see in a new way. Feelings of love and inspiration can be powerful forces. He changed my life! I am forever grateful.

    I wish you all the best. It does get better. Life does improve. Know that you’re okay right NOW, and no matter what. Your symptoms aren’t designed to “harm” you. They’re there to protect you…except that you need no protecting…:) Find something you love to do and stick with it!!!

    Sincerely,
    Grace

  42. Bryan Says:

    Rach,

    You were helping others shortly ago. You know how to get through this. You are most definitely not back to square one. Things will start moving in the right direction for you soon. I think deep down you know that, but I can certainly relate to the frustration of setback. Hang in there, try to let it wash over you and keep everything you’ve learned in the back of your mind.

  43. Colin Says:

    Jake
    Thanks for responding. Yes sounds we are having similar experiences. I now think i had anxiety in 91-92 although it was classed then as depression. I think wrongly ang again around 2008-09. Both times i can now recall being super critical of my wife (girlfriend in 91-92) in my mind and sometiMes in words and actions. Looking backnow i believe in between these periods we had a normal relationship with normal ups and downs and 3 kids! Now i have anxiety again and the same symptoms again……thinking she is the cause and i wouldnt have anxiety and feel so bad if i just upped and left and started again. I tend to only see the negatives in her and everything feels like it triggers anxiety. The main reason i think it is just anxiety is that somwhere deep down i dont leave and dont want to leave and kind of know if i did then next time anxiety came i wiuld just find another probable cause.

    How did i get thru the last times. To be honest 91-92 it just in the end seemed to fissle out i dont think i actively did anything. I guess just time did it. 08-09 i did to some extent do a bit like paul suggests having read Claire Weekes books. Ie just tried to keep going and let anxiety come. That said i dont think i was sufficiently active in really welcoming in all the bad thoughts and feelings and making space for them. I am trying to do this now but dont know if i am doing it right. I did read the advice fron Nolan to you and it did resonate with me that deep down there is something saying “dont do this dont leave it will solve nothing and just make things worse. You know you love her and anxiety is latching on to what you love”. But it is really hard.

    I have seen quite a few people say they have gone thru similar experiences. Hung in there let everything come and just accepted and waited and they have managed to come thru with their feelings in tact. I know this is what i want and just wish i did not have these horrible feelings pushing me in another direction. I guess really our experience is not different to others that attach a different cause to their anxiety. In the end we need to just feel it all and accept it all. In some perverse way having these feelings linked to your nearest one means we get lots of opportunities to practice accepting the feelings. But a grim way to experience it and not nice for your partner. I just wish i could feel love again for her and bring her happiness. Right now i feel like i am doing the opposite. This again makes me suspicious it is anxiety and not real feelings.

    So many people here for various fkavours of anxiety seem to have recovered thru facing, really accepting everythibg and being patient that it must be the way. I am going to give it a full shot. I hope you too make progress and get back your love and life.

    Best Colin

  44. Daniel Says:

    Hello everyone seems to be progressing nicely, even if they don’t realize it.
    I have a little question, and I’ll admit it’s one of those “self-checking/maybe I’m an exception” things.
    But at any rate I think it’s a question I feel like asking. For me, my anxiety started when I noticed I was suddenly not enjoying things anymore and felt like everyone and everything I knew was strange to me. That eventually lead to the anxious thoughts and self-awareness and eventual depersonalization, all of which enhanced the original ‘problem.’
    I was under the impression that the whole emotional fatigue and inability to recognize and enjoy the things you love was a product of the worrying/stress.
    I just want to be certain (which deep down I probably am) that the initial problem was the product of anxiety/stress and wasn’t the cause of it. I hadn’t been concerned about the actual racing/disturbing thoughts, panic attacks and general anxiousness until two or three months after the initial tiredness, depression and lack of emotion.
    I think I know that this initial stuff was anxiety, it’s just Paul and Tarmo’s stories start with feelings of panic and anxiousness and mine starts more with fatigue and unreality. Perhaps there is no difference between us, at the very least not at the point I’m at currently, but I am curious about what the initial feelings were fr other people. Was it depression, unreality or simply panic?

  45. Matt Says:

    Grace,

    Thank you for taking the time to come back and post on here! Hearing more and more positive stories has really helped me change my attitude. For example, today I was feeling like I was going to be anxious, but I shifted my thoughts in my head almost automatically, and accepted the anxiety. Even though today wasn’t perfect, my anxiety didn’t bother me (even though it was there)! Somehow on the drive home, I was tired or hungry or something and an intrusive thought lodged in my head that freaked me out. However, it’s only lasted for an hour or so, so that’s improvement! Yay!!!!

  46. Marek Says:

    Hello,

    does anybody know how long it takes to completely desensitize from severe anxiety disorder? I’ve been experiencing 24/7 symptoms like tightness in neck, stomach , pressure in head , depersonalization often for years. I read Paul’s book in January and began to accept it and I think my last 2 months are about real acceptance. The process goes slowly…

    I wonder how long does it normally take to desensitize from 24/7 anxiety with proper acceptance. I know that it is very personal process so it’s hard to say deadline. But in general, 3 months, 6 months , year , two years ?

    How was it in Paul’s case ? I am not sure I’ve read it .

  47. Waldo Says:

    Dear fellow (ex) sufferers,

    Just a month ago I discovered Paul’s book, a revelation. I have been suffering for over 10 years, and the last three years constantly/intensely. Lost my job a year ago and my wife and now I am really getting desperate with panic accumulating, trying to wrestle through the day. I’ve visited doctors and therapists who never knew what was going on, particularly regarding all the symptoms shouting for attention and (re)fueling fear. also been reading self help books and trying meditation and a host of other stuff. All these efforts for one reason only: Get rid of these sensations and thoughts!

    Paul’s book makes complete sense to me and I cried while reading through the blog as it touches so many issues i am struggling with. For the first time I feel understood and the realization that there are more sufferers helps me a lot.

    However, I would love to speak with somebody on this subject to get moving again and somebody that could monitor my progress; hold my hand in the ‘start up’ phase.
    I live in the Netherlands but I am not interested in any more therapists, I only want to speak to an ex sufferer who got out and knows how he/she got out and can help somebody get out (somebody like Paul basically).  I could be in Skype contact if there is geographical challenge.

    Your help is hugely appreciated!

    Best of luck to all! 

  48. Jake Says:

    Hi Colin
    Jesus you have had it a few times but hopefully you have the power to get through it again. It’s so confusing but yes I’m going with the same theory of just allowing it in and allowing it time. It’s horrible feeling like this but check Nolans replies he went through it all.

    If you ever need any help I will give you all I can I can send you my email. Keep fighting or not fighting is the key

  49. Lui Says:

    Hey everybody,

    I know that the whatever attitude is the key to recovery for me. Accepting everthing and being okay with the outcome. But how do I stop caring when I care so much?

  50. Yolande Says:

    hi all,

    just wanted to share my experiences. for the past 2 weeks it has been v difficult, fearful thoughts, lots of doubts, anxiety etc – likely a setback. i realised i am still not v good at accepting it cos i always tend to react to those thoughts even though i know they are fake and caused by anxiety. i confess that i am not very proactive i.e. i just sit and stress about the symptoms rather than getting up and getting on with my life or doing things to distract myself.

    so i am now going to do just that. i think i am on the recovery road despite not accepting v well- i recall someone who recovered saying that the last 5% of recovery namely low moods feeling flat etc can last a while and be the last to clear. definitely feeling thus these past 2 weeks. also i realised it’s sometimes caused by my own thinking cos i do not LIKE my job and so being unhappy about it and worrying abt the symptoms made anxiety rear its head again.

    i am going to live my life like i have no anxiety!! it wil be hard – but i will try my dammest. first step is to start looking for a new job as initially i wanted to wait till i recover before finding one, but i thought, heck life goes on and recovery might take a while so by the time i find one, the timing might be just right. i also tend to talk to my family a lot when i feel down or have fearful thoughts – not stoic enough as yet bear with the symptoms myself *grimace*.

    what i would like to know from all here, does anyone get a lot of doubts as in doubting that you can do this or that. i know most get fearful thoughts but not sure about doubtful thinking.

    thanks all

  51. Bryan Says:

    Congrats Yolande!

  52. Amber Says:

    Daniel,

    I feel the same way. I start to get down, depressed, lose of interest and then I start to worry ect…

    I have tried to recognize when I start to feel that way. I have been noticing this in myself the past few days. I try to find something that interests me and throw my self into it. Right now it’s making pillows. It’s takiing longer then normal put once I get started I feel better.

    I feel like anxiety will always be there. Everyone has a different reason they experience it. I feel the key is to “keep going forward” learn to live with it vs trying to have it go away.

    My daughter experiences it and as I have recognized it in her I have come to the realization that it isn’t about being “cured” but that it is more about embracing it, and accepting that it is a part of me, and then to Keep going. How? It’s a daily battle of me telling myself.. keep going. Even though I feel inadequate at times I keep trying. I feel good about myself when I keep trying.

  53. Lisa E. Says:

    Lui, that’s a tough question. It’s interesting that you use the word “care”. Obviously caring, about yourself and others, is a good thing. So if that word isn’t working for you, then try replacing it with words like “thinking”, “obsessing”, “worrying”, “avoiding”. Those are the things that those of us with anxiety do too much of. Many of us describe the act of not doing those things as having a “don’t care” attitude. So, for example, the thoughts are there, but that’s ok. Or, I notice that I’m obsessing over my health, but that’s ok because I do that when I’m anxious. I’m not going to make “a thing” of that I’m feeling because that will only fuel the anxiety more and make me worry more. Anxiety is really not just fear. It’s more the fear of fear. And all of the what ifs that come with that. Learning not to fear it is another way of having a “don’t care” attitude. It takes time and practice to get good at it; at least it did for me. But it will get better as you work at it.

  54. Nolan Says:

    test

  55. Nolan Says:

    Sorry about that.
    I needed to post a test post because none of my posts had been making it through.

    That said….

    When you hit a rough spot after feeling pretty good or ‘close to normal’ just try to recognize that that rough spot didn’t come on because you did something wrong. Say you were having some good moments (or days or weeks or even months) then you find that some of those nagging little symptoms seem to reappear. Maybe your sleep isn’t as refreshing again or falling off to sleep isn’t as peaceful as it had been during those better stretches….. or your that depressive numbness and nothingness towards all rears its head again. Or you find yourself hyperattentive and hyperalter towards your health or your body when you’re in a social setting…. whatever it may be….
    When you feel those symptoms bubbling back up just try to recognize that this isn’t happening because you messed up “accepting all and being at peace with all and moving on with your life”. Sometimes it just happens.
    Don’t make a big deal out of it. “Oh, you’re back…. that’s cool with me.” and move on with your day again.

    If you find the thoughts and doubts jumping up in down in the back of your mind as you’re going about your day…. let them jump all they want. Even if you find yourself reflexively catching notice of them. That’s okay too.

    Remember, none of this stuff is off limits. Don’t get into the frame of mind “Okay, now I need to rrrrreeeeeaaaaaallllly accept this stuff to make it vanish as quickly as possible… lest I discover I actually am broken.”

    Just be at peace with it too. Let it be there not so much in hopes that you’ll trick it into leaving. Let it be there because what the heck else can we do? Are you going to live your days curled up in a ball in your bedroom…. staring into a mirror with despair wondering where the hell the old you went and how on earth you’ll ever be able to resdiscover it? Your mind flooded with fear about all that seems to be wrong with you and doubt as to how you’ll ever find your way back?

    None of us have ever felt the peace again by doing any of that. We may have forced a contorted, warped, and foreign form of that peace onto our minds by taking xanax, klonopin, ssris…. or this herb that pill, or whatever….

    But when we’ve experienced that true peace it just seemed to slip into our lives again…. almost unexpectedly. Not by force of will, not by pleading and begging or falling into a deeper pit of despair.
    Being accepting of all that comes just paves the way for that peace to make another appearance in our lives and then another…. and then another.

    Another bit of advice: start living your life more for others and less for you. It makes it a bit easier to accept if you care less about what you can do for yourself and more about what you can do for others….. and trust me, there are others out there that certainly would love to have your affections and concern directed towards them.

    God bless

  56. Lui Says:

    Thanks Lisa!
    I think I get what you are saying! So you would practice accepting even though I have a really bad attitude that is hard to practice with?
    I am very paralyzed by wrong thinking, and Paul wrote in his book that in order to lose his social anxiety he had to convince himself to not care. Well that seems so impossible right no now and I always wonder how people on here got to this point…I really look up to them!

  57. Emma Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I’m experiencing the same thing as Yolande. I’m on the road to recovery and have cut through the most of my anxiety. I did it by accepting and using mindfulness to enhance my acceptance of thoughts and feelings. However, lately I’ve feeling quite tired, I feel like I might have a tiny cold but can’t really tell. I’ve also been feeling more anxious lately and have some “flat” and “low/sad” feelings. I keep attributing this lethargy and sad feelings to the possible onset of depression. I’ve always been terrified of becoming depressed. During the summer, when my anxiety was really bad, I was convinced I had depression because I had no motivation to do anything other than sit on the sofa, lost interest in all the things I loved, felt sad all the time etc. My symptoms mirrored depression and I would fall into hopeless pits of despair and write on the blog about how I was so scared I would spiral into depression. My fear at the moment is that I’m about to return to that place. It was awful…I called them “grey days” because it felt like overcast even when the sun was shining. I haven’t had a full “grey day” but I’ve been having “grey moments” and I fear that I’ll fall back into that hole. I remember those times and they were so horrific. I’ve come so far already but how can I use acceptance to overcome this mini setback?

    E xx

  58. Emma Says:

    Great post, Nolan. Didn’t see that when I posted my previous comment. Would love to hear from others who have recovered like Candie or Scarlet.

  59. Adam Says:

    Another great post, Nolan. I really appreciate your efforts on the blog here. You have a gift for putting things in such a way that your message comes through loud and clear, is so RELEVANT, and puts everything in proper perspective (at least for me anyway).

    Thanks again

  60. Jack Says:

    Hey everybody,

    most of my posts i put on haven’t gone through, so i hope this one does…

    I’ve been following this blog for a couple weeks now and have read Paul’s book a couple times. I had my first bad bout of anxiety in the beginning of August after i dabbled in some soft drugs with my buddies (mushrooms). I do not mean to bring drugs into this blog i just must add it as it was the trigger to my anxiety. I had a little freak out on the drug towards the end of my trip, and i spiraled myself into a bad trip where i thought i was going crazy and saw disturbing things and thought this was gunna change me forever. I was fine about a week after knowing it was just a stupid bad trip and i wasn’t losing it, then i was watching a movie and something about the movie kinda freaked me out and it triggered a flashback and what i know now as a bad panic attack, but at the time i thought i was literally going crazy and going to hurt myself/someone else! Ive struggled pretty bad most of august trying to figure out what was wrong with me and thinking that i was going crazy and i was a goner for good and how i couldn’t take this for much longer even though its only been 1 month! I also kept thinking that if i had another panic attack i wouldnt be able to recover and lose myself for good so i tried doing everything i could to not have one which just led to the upbringing of more (which i now realize), but after reading Pauls book i slowly started to get better as in understanding my condition and what not. I can see now that I’ve been stuck in the fear cycle and that it was my lack of understanding and hyperactive mind that has caused this anxiety, but mostly not wanting to feel a certain way. My main struggle at the moment though is disturbing thoughts. I am totally aware that everything i feel is just off-shoots of anxiety but these disturbing thoughts seem to rule my day. Although i am aware of all this knowledge and that acceptance is the key, I’m still struggling a bit with accepting all of these symptoms, especially the thoughts. The most constant thought is never being able to shake/accept this feelings/thoughts and how people never get out of the fear cycle and get to the point where they don’t want to live anymore. I’ve been living my normal life and have made severe progress since reading pauls book, but it feels like it is hard for my mind to accept the symptoms and see them as just offshoots of anxiety. Again i am extremely fresh to the whole anxiety world, for i have never had a panic attack or thought of going crazy/losing control (at least to this extreme). I’m aware that these are all off-shoots of anxiety but my accepting of them is hard and i find it hard to live along side them for the moment without it affecting me and being my main focus 24/7. Like i’ve read pauls book and i know that 100% his words are the way to recovery but my mind is just having trouble It’s like everything i do my mind tricks me to thinking I’m doing it to get over anxiety and i know it sounds really dumb but somehow its convinced itself that. Also i find it hard to apply the so-what attitude. I’m aware it should not take effort but I’m not sure how to apply it without any effort, then my mind makes me feel like i am trying. I am in college and literally have a perfect life and i know that when my anxiety lives i will feel it again but it feels like everything i do down here is trying to rid me of my anxiety!

    Any feedback is appreciated! Thanks Everybody!

    Jack

  61. Jack Says:

    Also just to add i spend a decent portion of my day on this blog and re-reading pauls word, in the beginning of August i have had extreme success with pauls methods and could totally see my way to recovery but i somehow thought myself back into an anxiety state and am having trouble living along side it. I know i am giving my thoughts to much power, but they are scary and i believe would scare any normal person if they thought them! Its the fact its become apart of my day that is the scariest

    thanks again,

    Jack

  62. Lisa E. Says:

    Nolan,

    I really appreciate your post. I was about to post something, but I read your post first and it was a good step toward calming me down.

    I’m pretty much over a little setback, but I had something pretty scary happen today at my job. Without going into too much detail, someone I supervise was threatened by a student. So I had to work with a police officer to confront this person and have him removed. During the event, I was fine. After, I got really anxious all of a sudden. And justifiably so, I think! I was getting shortness of breath like I do when my allergies get really bad. So I was able to notice how stress can bring that on, so I’m trying to take that as a good moment of insight. But I am having a tough time calming down. It’s different than pure anxiety which usually has a more random trigger. I’m trying to tell myself that what I’m feeling is totally natural considering the circumstances. But it’s hard to have “normal stress” when you’re still working through accepting anxiety.

    Emma, I absolutely know I don’t have depression, but I used to think I did when my anxiety was bad. It certainly can be a normal part of anxiety. During my recent setback, I was really afraid of going back into that kind of fear cycle. I just returned to using the techniques that got me out of anxiety. And none of those bad things happened. If it passed last time, why wouldn’t it pass this time? The anxiety is still the same.

    Lui, yes, I think that trying despite not really wanting to is a good first step.

  63. Rob Says:

    Hi everyone. I have been looking at this blog for a couple months but only just decided to post.

    Does anybody experience memory loss due to their anxiety? I feel like I cannot remember things from a few days ago or even events from a few months back or a few years back before I got anxious. This memory loss symptom is probably the most bothersome symptom I have. I keep thinking that my memory is going to be like this forever and that even when I recover I will just have to be content with not remembering my past. Even when I do remember positive events from my past it feels like I never did them.

    This symptom along with having concentration/social difficulties is the most depressing symptom I experience. I also have trouble simply socializing with others despite how hard I try. Its not that I try to hold things together–it just bothers me how bad my social skills have become since this started a few months back. For me the anxiety hit me in the span of 1 day when I got dehydrated badly and since then I have not been the same. Very depressing.

    Can somebody explain this memory loss issue? It feels like anxiety is literally destroying neurons in my brain and causing me to feel this way. I can accept most of the symptoms but this is very, very bothersome. At one point I thought I had Alzheimers and I am only 21. I am a straight A student and nowadays have so much trouble completing assignments and I constantly get frustrated and cry bc I was not always like this.

    Ive accepted most of the other symptoms but this memory loss issue is bothersome and very real.

  64. Matt Says:

    More great posts from people! I think Nolan and Lisa E. are hitting the nail on the head, and with perfect timing. I had a great past week. Even though I still had anxiety, my outlook on it was much more accepting, and I was so much better off for it, like Paul said when he stopped all the questioning.

    For whatever reason, I woke up today and was not in the same place. The thoughts were sticking easier, and coming more often. I felt more anxious, and less optimistic. My natural instinct is to start fighting, get frustrated, and get down. However, I’m doing my best to just let myself feel the way I do, without judging it and making it bigger than what it is. It’s hard, but I know that more good days will come, and I expect these setbacks to happen. It seems like everyone has had them, so why wouldn’t I?

    A question for Nolan or someone else,
    When you’re having a “good period”, does that mean you’re anxiety free? Or just at peace? I felt very at peace the last week, but my anxiety was still very much there. If I didn’t care about anxiety and felt like that, I wouldn’t care that I have anxiety, but for whatever reason today, I do care that i feel anxious and somewhat down.

  65. Matt Says:

    Emma,

    You’ve been doing awesome lately, and haven’t been posting (I’m taking that as a good sign :)). Just remember that there are going to be some ups and downs, but you won’t return to where you started. Every now and then, we lose ourselves, but we always find ourselves again, even when you think you won’t. You had the same setback just a little while ago, and came out of it beautifully. I think you’re on the right track! Just keep remembering that there will be some bad periods, but you’ve made it through them before, and it seems to me that your good periods are getting longer and longer!

  66. Rob Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I have been lurking around for a couple months but only just decided to post

    My anxiety began pretty much in the span of 1 day. I got really dehydrated and even after hydrating myself things never got back to normal. I started experiencing strange head pressure and anxiety. It was and still is very difficult to hold a conversation with my friends even though I don’t do any of the avoidance behaviors. Now after many months I know this happened b/c my hormones got messed up and I need to get that fixed. But the thought always occurs to me “What if I don’t return to normal even if I get the hormones back into balance.”

    I have also been experiencing memory problems and this is very, very bothersome. I cannot concentrate and normality, which in reality was only 4 months ago, seems much farther away. I feel very very distant from my past and I have trouble recalling past events. This is possibly the most bothersome symptom and I experience it even when I am not feeling anxious. I sometimes think if this is DP but its not like I think I am in a dream so it can’t be. Memory loss is very bothersome though and I am worried if it will come back. I am worried that even after recovery I will have trouble recalling events of the past.

    Before all this I never even thought about the past much and the fact that I am now bothers me because then I get into the cycle that “Hmm im still thinking this stuff so I must not be normal.”

  67. Marek Says:

    Does anybody know how long it takes to desensitize from anxiety 24/7 ? How was it in Paul’s case?

  68. AJ Says:

    Hi again,

    I think I have been getting things a bit muddled up. I have constantly been on alert, being hypervigilant and ‘sniffing out’ anxiety before it has even had a chance to take effect on me. So when ever a thought popped in to my head, instead of allowing it to be there, I have immediately dismissed it ‘oh thats just your anxiety’. Which I guess is fighting against it.

    When people say ‘you must welcome it and actively go towards it’, what do you actually mean by this statement? So if im not anxious, do I need to think of what I have been anxious about, or is it a case of when the anxiety comes, try not to dismiss it? I guess my main query is, whats the difference between welcoming and moving towards anxiety, in comparison to investigating it and as such giving it extra power?

    I try to live my life as normally as possible, but again, is this just a way of avoidance? I know there’s a fair few questions within this post, but I really feel I need to get to the bottom of this, as Ive confused myself with doing things a certain way. Its really quite difficult allowing things which you have feared and fought for so long.

    Thanks again for any response to this or my previous post.

    AJ

  69. Daniel Says:

    Rob,
    I also experience memory loss, identical to yours.
    I think you should understand that when you say that you experience it even when you’re not anxious that the actual panic, disturbing thoughts and general anxiety is only part of it.
    Depression, depersonilzation, lack of emotion, lack of interest in anything, lack of concentration etc. All come from the emotional fatigue caused by too much stress/anxiety/self-awareness. This is part of the whole package, and in our cases, causes the perceived memory loss. A lot of my memories have been retroactively warped and ruined and the rest don’t even seem like my own memories. At the same time things in the present are equally strange, I have difficult enjoying current things so how am I supposed to enjoy the past? Don’t worry about the memory loss, it’s just your past being messed up along with the present.
    For me a lot of BAD memories from six or seven years ago have been popping up, sensations and events long forgotten. But on the plus side, it made me aware that memories that seemed to have been lost can come back vividly. Meaning the good ones can come back too.
    I understand your frustration, I really do. Not many other members on the site discuss this element or experience this symptom, and I always find comfort in stories that mirror or resemble my own (you’re comment actually made me feel a little relieved, to be honest) but every case is unique and people have different obsessions, fears, confusions, etc.
    You’ll get your past back alongside your present and future (which at the moment probably seem just as lost!)

  70. Daniel Says:

    p.s. Rob,
    On September 9th I had an hour of absolute normality, which I hadn’t experience since April 10th. At this moment I remembered something from before I had anxiety which I had completely forgotten. The memory itself didn’t make me as happy as it used to, but I was so happy that it came back to me.
    I think your should concentrate on the present, and as you get better the memories will come to you.
    Like Nolan said a couple months ago, things are all a stained version of themselves at the moment, and that includes the past. You’ll achieve absolute clarity and when you do it will almost be like this never happened, save for the fact that when you come out the other side you’ll be less anxious than ever.

  71. Rich Says:

    Hi Everyone, I have not been on the site for several months. I’ve also not been on for a while to approve comments – until now, so apologies to those who have commented and only now can see their posts.

    I’ve had a really good few months with no setbacks. Although I’ve had some stressful times and a couple of losses in the family, my anxiety hasn’t bothered me. I’ve even started to actually look forward to things – something I had forgotten how to do.

    Since then I’ve taken on more work and have noticed my stress levels rise, and have noticed I become ‘self-aware’ a little more. One big thing I haven’t done is face the demon of a holiday – as this was my major anxiety trigger from last year that took me to my alltime low. I am also actively avoiding booking my wedding – another chance for anxiety.

    I’ve booked a holiday for next weekend – two weeks away. Last night I had a setback which threw out my confidence and rocked me – physical symptoms, ‘what if’, catastrophsising – all about the future and what should be a good time. This is what has drawn me back here – to read posts of how people deal with setbacks, and to check my attitude towards this is right.

    It’s good to see some familiar names still here – “hi!” – but also bad in another way. I hope you’re all doing ok.

  72. Bryan Says:

    Hi Rich,

    It’s normal to go in and out of needing a boost. Accept that as part of it all.
    Glad you have been doing better!

    Look up posts by Nolan on the last few blog posts. He’s a kind and brilliant guy who has really come through all of this and has a way with explaining things.

  73. Kevin Says:

    AJ,

    My answer for you is that the difference between dismissing something as anxiety and actively going towards it depends on if its mental or physical. What i mean is, for me, i actively go towards my anxiety if it physically manifests itself. If i feel my heart race and my dp/dr worsen, i tell myself “thats it? Give me more”. I dismiss anxiety when it is in the form of intrusive thoughts and weird feelings. At first it was hard to just dismiss it so i let the thought be there. Picturing thoughts as clouds floating by helps alot. Ot detaches you from them. Now, although i get new intrusive thoughts all the time that i have to teach myself to get over, i just say “ive obsessed over that for too long and it would take up toomuch of my mental energy. Im done with that.” And thats dismissing it for me. So i dont think what youre doing is wrong AJ. In fact its exactly what i do and it helps. Just dont overthink it. Itll take a while for you to feel better. Ive been at it for months and its up and down but we are on the right path. Good luck!

  74. Kevin Says:

    And also, i almost laugh at a thought now, after ruminating on it for so long and realizing it was just a dumb senseless anxious thought.

  75. Rich Says:

    Hi Bryan, Hope you’re well. I have read the posts by Nolan which really help cement the outlook and attitude you need – they really help!

    It’s so easy to be dragged down by the feelings and the thoughts, and instantly forget what it is like to feel ‘normal’ – even though it may only have been a few hours ago!

    When you feel anxious, your thoughts are not ‘normal’ – they are merely the product of an anxious mind. Your view of the past and present are jaded by the uncomfortable present. It’s so important to not listen to an anxious mind. I’ve spent mornings worrying about something I am to do in the afternoon, only to lately stop worring, look forward to it and then enjoy it – despite going through the mill all morning due to fearing the worst – all out of routine. I worry out of habit. It is what I do.

    When I fell back yesterday I immediately tried to look for reasons, and kept thinking of having to feel how I felt last time this happened – in fear of what was to happen – again. Then I remembered I must not fuel the anxiety. Instead I listened to my body, slept, listened to my thoughts and rationalised them.

    I still feel rubbish – who knows how long it will last? But I choose to carry on regardless. I will deal with whatever happens when it happens. My body will no doubt make me feel anxious for a while like it has in the past – but I know its game. I hold all the cards.

  76. Nolan Says:

    Hi Marek,

    You asked, “Does anybody know how long it takes to desensitize from anxiety 24/7 ? How was it in Paul’s case?”….

    To be as blunt as possible, I think you’re asking the wrong question.
    I understand wanting to ask it. I’ve been there.

    But, it’s the wrong question in the sense that it’s coming at the ‘problem’ the wrong way. I put problem in quotes because I really think that this response from our bodies is perfectly normal…. given the circumstances.

    Not to say it’s any fun. Just that you’re not broken.

    Anyway, more to the point:

    This isn’t a method for chasing anxiety a way and making sure it never shows its ugly face ever again.
    Now, it will ultimately happen that your body and brain will calm back down and you’ll feel at ease and you’ll have a sense of peace in your life again.

    But, in order to do that you have to start being ‘ok’ with how you feel at any given moment.
    “Accepting” is kind of a vague term, right? It kind of makes sense, but it also seems to be confusing at times. Like when you’re in the throes of intense anxiety, your brain is flooded with fears and doubts, your body is exhausted and weary but tense and strained at the same time. “How on EARTH am I supposed to accept this?! That doesn’t make any sense!!”

    Well, in one way you’re already accepting of it because it’s just there. You can’t chase it off. You can’t reason it away. It’s just there.

    But what can you do? You can be okay with it being there. That doesn’t mean that immediately all of the thoughts, doubts, fears, symptoms are going to *POOF* and disappear into thin air.
    Being “okay” with it is not jumping online and researching every symptom you’re experiencing.
    It’s not constantly discussing the nature of your ‘condition’ to anyone who will listen.
    It’s not chasing your tail and trying to argue with the negative, scary, broken, doubt-ridden thoughts.
    It’s seeing that maybe your heart is racing, or your feelings are numb, or your sleep is crappy, or your body is sweating, or whatever and telling yourself “so….what” and just moving on with your life.

    Don’t make the goal to sensitize your nerves….
    Make it your goal to just be fine with all of the crappy thoughts and feelings.

    The peace will come. You’ll know when it’s there. Things will just make more sense at that time. But, you’re not there now…. so what? What can you even do anyway about it? Fretting and fighting against it pushes it all in the opposite direction.

  77. Rob Says:

    Sorry for the double post earlier haha–I didn’t realize comments had to be approved and I thought mine didn’t get posted.

    @Daniel

    Thank you. It gave me relief hearing that too. Funny thing is I struggle the most when my physical symptoms like the tingling aren’t there bc then it physically feels normal but mentally things are still haywire and I start questioning too much. Having the physical symptoms in a way grounds me and tells me that I have not recovered and that’s ok.

    Its when these physical symptoms go away that I question if my anxiety is still there and if I am normal. But *sigh* whenever I ask myself if im normal it starts the whole cycle of “If I was normal then I wouldn’t be asking that question and therefore I must not be normal.” Absolutely hate this obsessive thought process and massive overthinking. I overthought stuff even before my anxiety began so this just makes it worse. I keep saying “Why me I did not deserve this.” I wasn’t a worrier–its just I felt so off after getting dehydrated and then basically panicked and waited weeks for it to go away but never did. Docs thought I was crazy to think dehydration can cause anxiety and started asking a whole bunch of irrelevant questions.

    I guess it does not really matter how it all started though. I’m just angry that it could happen to me, a college student. I just feel like college is supposed to be the time of your life and with this issue I am absolutely hating it. Before, I loved college but now I am frustrated that I can’t go enjoy it like other people. I am frustrated that I am not enjoying it as much as I did before I caught anxiety after dehydration. Everyone else is happy and im not because I don’t feel like myself. I have a need to feel like myself/achieve normal before anxiety to be truly happy.

  78. Lisa E. Says:

    Rob,

    I hope it makes you feel better to know that I completely understand how dehydration could lead to anxiety. I had that happen to me once. Normally, I do a pretty good job at keeping hydrated. But during a busy week several years ago, I just forgot to hydrate much over a few days, I didn’t necessarily feel thirsty, and ended up going to an urgent care center because I was feeling waves of severe dizziness. I had no idea what was going on. Nearly immediately when I let folks know my symptoms, they said it looked like dehydration. As soon as I thought about it, it made sense. I didn’t get anxiety from that event, but from a separate health issue, that would also seem to non-anxious people to be a silly way to get anxiety.

    But when it comes down to it, try not to focus on the dehydration as the cause of the anxiety. That part really doesn’t matter. What matters is the way that your body/mind reacted to that event. Instead of just handling it and learning from it, you responded to it in an anxious way. That’s not your fault. That’s anxiety’s fault. But it is the problem. Now that same anxiousness attaches it onto other things not related to dehydration because you’re responding to new things like you did to the dehydration. I’ve totally been there! It’s a cycle, but it’s one that you can get out of.

  79. Daniel Says:

    Rob,
    I know exactly what you mean, this past week I have been feeling more physically normal and my emotions, thoughts and memories are still messed up and I get scared that there isn’t a problem and life just sucks. Sometimes I find the depersonlization comforting, because when it’s there you just know with absolute certainty that something is wrong, plus depersonilzation is such an extreme experience you know that it won’t last forever. But neither will the rest of it, of that I promise you.

    And also like you, I am a collage student. My first while was a blast, easily one of the happiest times of my life, but suddenly this hit me.
    Just remember when you’re feeling normal and have clarity you’ll be able to retroactively enjoy your collage experiences, so don’t shy away from them or you’ll regret it. Hang out with your friends, attend events, sign up fr anything that interests you (or you think would interest the ‘normal you’) and after you’ll be able to look back at them fondly. Think of how unhappily you look back on your good memories at the moment, when you’re feeling right you’ll be able to pick out all the good things that happened while you were going through this and appreciate them.

  80. Daniel Says:

    Everyone,
    I recently discovered that my father, mother and older brother all went through this already. I think everyone does, to be honest, and they feel exactly the same as everyone else and they feel it to the exact same degree as everyone else, maybe some last a few months and some last a few years, but everyone goes through this and come out the other side.
    Think of it as chicken pox. Most people get it at some point, and then after that they’re immune.

  81. Rob Says:

    Wow, good to know that there are other college students out there going through this. With seeing everyone out there partying and having a blast or even studying and getting ahead it is hard for me to just accept this and stop comparing myself to others. One of the things that just gets to me is the time limit. As someone who likes to get stuff done its very hard for me to avoid the time limit. People around me though say i’ve improved so much over just the past 4-6 weeks but I just don’t feel it which is part of the condition I suppose.

    The thing about college memories is what I have been obsessing over lately haha. Its like I am pressuring myself too much to make it be great and obsess over “What if I come out of college and still feel this way” but of course that’s just a “What if” thought and means nothing.

  82. Kevin Says:

    Rob,

    I too am a college student and used to feel the same way. Now, i realize that i can still have fun in college despite not being able to party as much as i used to. That probably contributed to how i got here anyway. Anxiety has made me realize that life is meant to be lived no matter what. If you feel like you cant enjoy what you used to, so what. Live your life anyway. Dont wait for those feelings to come back. Its useless to wish to feel a certain way because that will only cause more stress and pressure on your mind and body. I have moments of clarity (like right now) where i realize that no matter how bad i feel, life is beautiful and i will try my best to make sure that i dont waste it. Sure, i feel down and contrained a lot but it shouldnt stop you from doing what you want. Im trying to practice what i preach and im getting there. Its tough man but i believe that this will make us strong. And try to have an atitude like “even if i feel this way out of college, i am grateful for even goin to college and enjoying what i did”. I try to stay grateful for things, it makes life more beautiful. Im smiling as i write this post and im sure that i might wake up tomorrow feelings anxious or depressed or dull, but thats okay because these moments will build up and i know that ill wake up smiling everyday. I wish you the best rob, as well as everyone else.

  83. Marek Says:

    Hi Nolan,

    thanks for the answer, I thought that nobody would write back :)

    After many months I finally feel that I am on the right track of acceptance. I am no longer fighting the feelings nor the physical symptoms, I’ve stopped questioning, reading tons of articles about anxiety (heh, except for this site occasionally), so I would say, I am not addicted to anxiety condition as I used to be. Having job, hobbies, in other words, I am living quite a normal life. Although the anxiety is causing me terrible memory loss which is still preventing me from being good in my carrier, but ok, I am not feeling very well right now, still, I accept this.

    Anyway, back to the topic of my question, I am not asking, how long would it take to finally recover from anxiety disorder as I am hopeless, miserable and not seeing a bright future, but rather as being curious how long it takes in general. I am accepting all of this (or most of the time I am) and trying to take my symptoms as the necessary process of cure. However, I still would finally like to lay down on the bed and not feel any symptom, as I haven’t experienced it for years.

  84. Rich Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I’ve had anxiety for over 15 years, but for only the last 4 have I actually understood what I had. I assumed I was a ‘worrier’ or something was uniquely wrong with me that I just had to live with. I suffered alone for years. I have missed opportunities and shyed away from things – all due to anxiety. I regret this now, but I’m grateful for all the good things I have experienced. It’s easy to forget the good when anxiety makes you negative.

    It is easy to be negative when feeling anxious. The trick is to be positive. Realise the cloud of anxiety if over your head and learn to dance in the rain.

    This blog really helps you feel relief that you are not alone, and that there is nothing actually wrong with you – you just react to things too much. I am an over-thinker, I don’t like uncertainty.

    I can’t stress how useful it is not to go through this alone – tell a loved one, your partner, a relative, a friend or a co-worker you can trust. It’s amazing how many other people suffer with anxiety just like we do. I find not having to keep it all inside a great help – even if they just tell you to “stop thinking about it!”.

    I’ve shyed away from things over the years – and even now feel like I am still doing so, but I know that my greatest progress has come from going towards the things I fear – doing them anyway. Looking to the positive, dealing with the fear, seeing through it and not giving into it. I’m guilty of not always doing this – and prolonging my state unneccessarily, but I see this as a long game.

    Sometimes when my physical symptoms are bad I have to deal with them, sometimes when tired I sleep, sometimes I can’t think straight and am clumsy / forgetful / can’t conversate, but the best thing you can do is not to do nothing – you can’t think yourself better. You have to show yourself and let your mind take note and learn how to behave properly. Listen to others, go out, get out of bed – show yourself how you want to be. Live the life you want to live before you feel ready to do so – and you will grow into it as a person and meet yourself there – be reunited with your true self again.

    Symptoms don’t magically vanish (although sometimes you can catch yourself ‘feeling ok’). Recovery isn’t a conscious thing – it comes without you really noticing it.

    The key is to remember how this works – so when you’re in a setback like me you don’t panic, don’t fall into the trap – you just have to remind yourself how this works.

  85. AJ Says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks very much for your reply. I dont suffer any kind of physical symptoms fortunately. All of mine seem to be mental rituals.

    My main issue is when an extremely distressing thought enters my head, it seems only natural to me to want to ‘push it away’ and answer it. It also refers back to different episodes in life, such as ‘did that happen back then’, and so its hard to dismiss it as something in terms of ‘what if?’. This is why I have (self diagnosed) come to the conclusion I must have some kind of OCD, which I believe should be handled by labelling the thought as OCD and then leaving it. Again is this something which is fighting against?

    I just find it ever so hard to ‘allow’ the thoughts without trying to figure them out or reason with myself. I know they are just daft thoughts, but when in the midst of an anxiety attack it can be hard not to look back on a specific event and say ‘this is what happened’, which only adds fuel to the fire.

    Id really appreciate some advice. Ive managed to allow the thoughts this week and have definitely noticed a marked improvement in how ive been. Its just the horrible intrusive ones which really shake me to the core.

    Thanks,

    AJ

  86. Adam Says:

    Okay, I have a question for the seriously recovered. My question is this: Today, I have again ‘faced” my fear(s) and held my ground through another bout with my flight/fight response regarding my work (i.e. my anxiety mostly revolves around my work and getting up in front of a group of people & presenting/leading a meeting etc.). I ran a meeting for a group of ~ 10 technically competent scientists…including my boss…today and it went fine. I had no issues regarding speaking or any other problems to note during my leading of the meeting. However, up until meeting time and including my sleep last night (anxiety woke me up at 3am. no going back to sleep)…I was filled with the ever usual symptoms of my specific condition. Specifically speaking, that was: dread, fear of failure, all kinds of intrusive thoughts regarding the meeting, lack of sleep and just a shear feeling of dread/doom all prior to meeting time. You know, the typical “cocktail” of symptoms that my anxiety likes to give me when I am anxious. My question is this: I handled these symptoms as I always do…I accepted the physical symptoms and said “so what”, let the thoughts float by in my head, faced my fear and “did it anyway”. And this attitude/approach definitely worked (again) as I got through my situation and did fine. But I couldn’t help but notice that because this is about the 5th time or so over the past year where I have done as such in these situations (and all have went well to very well), that it doesn’t appear to be getting any easier for me. I thought or mistakenly assumed that fears faced would dissipate over time to eventually becoming non-existent. But this doesn’t seem to be getting any easier or the fear is not sufficiently dissipating yet to where I notice a change. Is that something that will eventually occur with time and fears faced and I just need to be more patient with it? Like I said, I am fairly far along in my recovery and have been practicing this approach/attitude for approximately 2 years now with success. But my success does not seem to include, yet anyway, the original trigger for my anxiety in the first place. Even though I am no longer avoiding that trigger and am facing & accepting whenever I come up against it. If there is anyone out there who is doing or has done/felt something similar to my situation…can you let me know what your take is? Thanks a bunch….

  87. kyle Says:

    Hey guys,

    Doin really well lately with my new job and moving into my new place. Has anyone noticed that their anxiety leads them to be a bit shaky? I notice I sort of tremble a lot with my hands from time to time. Just want to make sure its just my anxiety and nothing else. Thanks

  88. Kevin Says:

    AJ, honestly just keep doing what youre doing. You said youve seen improvements already well then you must be doing something right. The horrible disturbing thoughts were hard to shake for me. But it took time and just the right atitude. “I wouldnt have these thoughts if i didnt have anxiety, and since anxiety magnifies every thought and feeling, i know that they arent real nor harmful.”

  89. Rob Says:

    Its strange for me–today I didn’t have many mental symptoms but the physical symptoms were crazy. In terms of physical symptoms does anybody else suffer with intense nausea attacks? You start gagging and feels like you will throw up but don’t.

    By the way, has anybody else gotten their hormones (thyroid, testosterone, etc)? Or even RBC magnesium/Vitamin D/B12 levels checked? Abnormalities there can also cause anxiety to some extent. And doctors often don’t bother with it. It took months to find out that I had hormone problems and that part of my anxiety is due to those.

  90. Lui Says:

    Hey guys,
    I have a question for the people further into recovery. How did you reach the whatever attitude?
    I try to practice Paul’s advice anyway but I have a really bad attitude which makes me despair easily.

  91. rachh Says:

    Hi guys
    Checking in again. After a year of recovery and literally last month having periods of feeling myself I’m back to square one. I’ve been off work for 6 months went back and the anxiety and do hit so hard i had to leave. It was a busy call centre screens all over the place angry people on the phone. One phone call after another, miserable people working in there i just couldn’t go on. Since then ive been having intrusive thoughts mammoth headaches wierd balance problems which have made me worry about brain misalignment the shakes I’m back on diazepam. I feel so down and back literally to square one again to the point i dont feel i could go out on my own and feel like my body is failing. Can anyone give me some advice i feel so unwell.
    I’m desperate.

  92. Colin Says:

    Rachh

    I cannot directly give you a silver bullet piece of advice. But will say you have got better before. As have i and am now suffering again. So you do know what to do. Also many many sites, books etc all attest to each set back that is subsequently come through makes you more able to cope with anxiety in the future. So the answer really is staring us all in the face. We just nedd to look and understand. Anxiety is not dangerous. You can live a good life with it nd the paradoxical think is that while you go ahead and do this WITH the anxiety along for the ride that anxiety starts to diminish in importance to you. There are simply too many independent strands of approaches that all say the same thing. Accept and live life while doing it and the problems you feel will diminish in terms of what they mean to you. The hard part is this takes time and persistence to succeed. Sounds like you have done it before so there is little doubt you can do it again. As i have read a few times on this blog, basically there is no other choice than to accept all you feel and if you or we as i am trying to do this also manage to persistently do this and keep living our lives along the way success is guaranteed.

    Rachh just know you are not alone. There are others like me who you have never met who really feel for you and are hoping and praying for you and know what you are going through due to personal experience. You will come through this just give yourself the space and time to do so.

    Colin

  93. Emma Says:

    Matt, great to hear from you. How have you been doing? Like I said, I’m recovering but have had increased anxiety the last few weeks. I have some moments of unease, can’t exactly pinpoint what or why, but just a feeling of unease . I also still fear depression whenever I feel down or not motivated. I I’ve been trying to “make anxiety my friend” and try to soften instead of harden to it’s presence. Sometimes it can be difficult especially when wakig up w morning anxiety, but I try to pay it no mind. My intrusive thoughts have diminished massively. Have yours? I truly hope I’m on the right path, I feel like I lost momentum lately and going over anxiety speed bumps. Hope to hear some updates.

    Rachh, my advice is to soften to the anxiety instead of hardening. When we feel pain we tend to resist it, make it go away, but you need to start being comfortable w being uncomfortable. When you feel awful, be in the moment w that anxiety, as it is, without striving to feel any different. Like Collin said, with time this will paradoxically diminish the anxiety. You’re just experiencing a setback, it’s okay, it happened to me too last year after a year of recovery as well. I’m not once again back on the road to recovery but only because I realized I had a CHOICE. You can choose acceptance. You can choose to welcome these feelings and make room for them in your heart. Let this run it’s course.

  94. Emma Says:

    Oops Rachh, I meant that *Im once again back on the road to recovery.

  95. Matt Says:

    Emma,

    Glad to hear your looking at things pretty objectively. Like Paul’s said a 1000 times, setbacks are common and normal, and you’re going to have at least a few. They will make you feel like you’re sinking back down, but you WILL come out of them, at least that’s what I’ve noticed. To me, it really sounds like you’re on the right track, especially because you have objective things you can track (like big decrease in intrusive thoughts).

    Regarding the fear of depression, I think accepting the fear and realizing that it’s anxiety is the right decision.

    I’ve been doing well, though I’m definitely behind you in terms of recovery. This has been the best week yet, and I actually had a day where I had no anxiety symptoms…but it was so weird that I kept thinking about how I DIDN’T have anxiety, and then when I got tired later that day, they started to come back in just a bit. The biggest thing for me is really just getting perspective that what I’m having truly is just anxiety, and not something else.

    Anyway, glad to hear that you’ve been doing well and sounds like you’ve been pretty positive, even with somewhat of a setback!

  96. Charles Says:

    Adam, I can relate to what you said, and maybe I can help.

    For the entire duration of my anxiety I didn’t avoid a single thing, I started a new job, didn’t miss a single meeting, a single business trip and I frequently presented my work to the company board. Oh boy I dreaded before every single event, and I tried to turn each event into a challenge, I even volunteered to take on some stressful work, I thought after each challenge I should grow stronger. But that didn’t happen. Then I realized it doesn’t work like that. The fact that I tried to overcome anxiety was the problem. It’s kind of like what Paul said in his book: if your leg is broken, you leave it alone and let it heal, you don’t try to overcome a broken leg. Anxiety is the same, if you just leave it, the feeling will fade. It will fade faster and faster, I still get anxious occasionally, but if I just leave it (or accept it) it will fade in literally a few seconds.

  97. Charles Says:

    AJ,

    I’ve dealt with my share of bad thoughts, my thoughts were worst case scenarios that were completely rational such as “what if I have a panic attack when I am giving a presentation”. I can’t even argue with that thought because that could totally happen.

    My advice is to realize that your thought and your anxiety are different things, your thought might have triggered your anxiety, but you don’t have to get rid of the thought first in order to get rid of the anxiety. anxiety has a far shorter life time than a thought. When I get an intrusive thought now I tell myself that this thought is making me emotionally stuck and I will “save” this thought and come back to it when I’ve calmed down. 9/10 times after the anxiety is passed and I go back to the thought I either come to a simple conclusion very quickly or dismiss the thought as being unimportant.

  98. Perdy Says:

    Hi, these days I don’t suffer so much with intrusive thoughts, my struggle is always with the physical side of things. I am constantly unbalanced, have occasional blurry vision, twitchy muscles plus many twinges etc etc. I have read Paul’s book 3 times now and find comfort from reading similar stories, however dizziness isn’t often mentioned, more as something that comes and goes, mine is with me constantly to varying degrees – I am baffled as to how I can just accept this when I feel like I’m going to fall over!! How can I ignore it?? I have had 4 MRI ‘a which freaked me out, but all clear thank God. But where do I go from here, this has gone on for years. Going to doctors/taking meds scares me due to my health anxiety have had CBT but quite frankly I felt this was a waste of time!!! Sorry for waffling – just wanted to sound off because today is particularly bad, I just dont know what to do with myself…….SO fed up of living like this, nothing is a joy anymore, just existing, going to work (a non stressful job ) and coming home……….it’s crap!!!!!

  99. Rich Says:

    Hi All, I am actually having a pretty lousy weekend, but I’m not really that bothered once I get up, get going and get on with things anyway – with anxiety alongside me for the ride.

    I’m always ‘thinking’ and always worry about events to come with fear and dread (I always worry about anything – meetings, socialising, holidays – you name it I’ll worry about anxiety ruining it – out of routine).

    Pre-emptive anxiety robs me of looking forward to everything. Some anxiety is normal, but not for things I should be excited about. So many good times have occurred only after hours/days/weeks of anxiety. I worry about anything outside of my boring routine.

    This is no way to live life, so, I make sure that I balance any fears or negatives with positives – so my mind can choose what to do – fear the bad or look forward to the good. It has to choose on its own; I just balance the view for it to make a decision. Either way, I am sure to do whatever it is, and look back at the positives. I can do no more. It is like I have to let my mind learn how to think again – this time so we’re in agreement!

    In the moment of anxiety or an anxiety attack, I feel like I just want out, just want a DR or my mum (I’m in my 30s!) or a magic pill to come and make it all better – instantly! I feel unable to handle the world. I feel unable to cope with it – trapped in my own personal hell while everyone else seems happy and normal.

    It is at this moment when I give in to it – let it wash over me as I resign myself to it. It is in this moment that I feel a little better. You have to completely resign yourself to whatever you feel and let go. This is the turning point. You have to let go completely. You still feel awful, but you’ve just stopped caring that you feel awful.

    This still doesn’t come naturally or easy to me, and I still ‘suffer’ with symptoms and ‘play it safe’ to avoid them, until I remember what worked last time. But, the more I let those symptoms do what they need to do and I just carry on and do what I want to do, I ‘suffer’ less and my mind and I begin to live in harmony and not conflict – and we both prefer it.

  100. Rachel Says:

    Perdy I really really feel for you I really do x

  101. rachh Says:

    Yes rich reality i front of your face comes to you when you let go of the bullshit. There is a world going on around us however anxiety keeps us stuck in our heads. I’m a bit dismayed that I’m no longer working however what it has made me realise is that i have too many safety buffers eg. The endless information on the net to ease myself when i think I’m going mad. Not going out without someone who can talk for me when i dont feel confident enough. I’m not owning my life or reality at the moment and that’s something i need to get a hold of. It’s literally like learning to live like someone whos never set foot on the planet again i think. Independence is really something that people take for granted.

  102. rachh Says:

    Ps thanks for all the comments from my last post so so helpful.

  103. Adam Says:

    Charles…thank you for the thoughtful response. Although, I’m not quite sure I get exactly what you mean by “leaving the anxiety”? I work daily on accepting my anxiety and being at peace with my mental and physical symptoms when I am anxious. I do challenge my anxiety, I guess. But I always thought that was just me not letting anxiety have its way. You know, “feel the fear and do it anyway” and “don’t hide away and let anxiety tell you what to do/not to do”. Really, in the face of my anxiety I try to cultivate an “I don’t care” attitude as has been so beautifully described on this blog by Nolan. Doing as such as gotten me this far in my recovery….and I have made much progress. But I feel like I am not progressing past this point where I currently am and now, with your thoughtful comments, I feel like maybe I might be missing a part of the message in Paul’s method. Would you mind trying to explain it to me one more time? I want to completely understand your message…..Thanks Charles…

  104. Charles Says:

    Adam,

    I think everyone eventually finds their peace a little differently. But I will try to explain mine.

    By “leaving the anxiety” I meant just to see it for what it is, it’s an emotion and it will always pass. Don’t try to make sense of it logically or look for patterns, such as: “I’ve done this 5 times, it should’ve improved by now” or “I am fine during the meeting, but I am not fine before it”. Those analysis are hard mental work that serve no purpose. You should use “feel the fear and do it anyway” to build the attitude of “fear can come whenever and where ever and I know how to deal with it”, and not “I will feel less fear next time if I endure this one”.

    I completely agree with Nolan’s “whatever” attitude. Maybe this analogy will help: my wife is terrified of needles, whenever she gets a flu shot it’s like torture. On the other hand I don’t mind needles that much, whenever I get a flu shot my attitude is “whatever”. I don’t think it’s because somehow my nerve endings are less sensitive than hers, I am sure if you were to scientifically measure the pain it would be the same amount. It’s the same thing as anxiety. we all feel the same amount of fear but it’s about how you respond to them, some people like Nolan are able to respond with “oh, that’s a nasty feeling, but whatever”, some people tend to panic and try to make the fear go away, which unfortunately only makes it worse.

  105. rachh Says:

    Adam j struggle with acceptance too. The way i came to learn it was the other day i we to out for a meal and ordered a raspberry ice cream cake as it sounded lovely on the menu. When it came it was horrible rock solid like it had come straight from Antarctica and not very tasty. However even tho this was the case i still ate it and realised really it wasn’t that bad it was just like i should treat everything else by accepting it. It’s no miraculous emotion or hidden meaning you need to find that sweeps over you its more like ok then I’m at peace with it. The problem with acceptance is there is no bloody way to describe it. It’s the same with everything in life you can read all sorts of words on the page but unless you have experienced it you can understand the concept but doing it yourself is a very different process.

  106. lainie waller Says:

    hi , i am back in set back after having a very bad time in jan and feb after a full years peace.

    my symptons are differant this time the doc cant tell me whats wrong . i feel strange as though it not me even when i wake up in the morning i feel strange as though im still dreaming and laying in bed it dont feel as though its me. ive lost all joy and feel like ive lost my soul. could this be dp. ty

  107. Paul David Says:

    Nolan your post totally hit the nail on the head, probably the best replies I have ever read on here, you have totally got it. Oh and I will even let you off posting under different usernames 😉

    Also sent you an email Nolan

  108. lainie waller Says:

    p.s . Nolan i love your posts hoping you can give me some good advise .

  109. lainie waller Says:

    Nolan i love your simple posts they will help me alot i just know it. ty

  110. Rich Says:

    Hi Lianie, Sounds like DP to me, although personally I have never had that. However to overcome the fear of it is done via the same methods as any other sympton – simply accept ‘well, this is me right now and there’s nothing I can do about it’ and then go about your day as you would otherwise. Your mind will soon settle and restore its natural balance – provided you don’t worry any more about it.

  111. Kevin Says:

    Lianie, that is definitely DP/DR. they both usually come hand in hand. That is the first symptom i got in my breakdown that made me realize something was wrong. Its very unsettling at first but follow paul’s advice and pay it no attention. I can tell you from personal experience that the more you worry about it, the worse it gets and it doesnt go away. I spent about a month worrying everyday until i found Paul’s site and realized that its just anxiety and that it will do me no harm, no matter how weird it feels. You are still you and reality has not changed. At first it will be very hard to not care about it but as time progresses you will learn not to worry about it. Just think of it as a another symptom of anxiety that will go away in its own time.

  112. Bryan Says:

    Nolan/Rich…

    Extremely helpful… and powerful posts. What a huge boost to this place when you guys post.

    Rich,

    I completely related to your looking forward to versus dreading things when they are coming in the future. For me, it’s odd because when I feel remotely normal I do look forward to most everything. But when anxiety is high, the same event will bring me negative feelings and worries. I don’t even consider myself a huge worrier, but I suppose underneath things maybe I am? It’s hard to really know, because when I feel like myself I don’t dread these events. In fact the same event that I can be looking forward to for weeks can suddenly become a stressful thought if I have a bout of major anxiety or a setback. I love how you assessed dealing with it, and that’s the same path I am trying to follow. Really great post.

  113. lainie waller Says:

    i love this blog

  114. Adam Says:

    Charles….thank you for clarifying your previous post. You’ve explained it well. I understand what you mean now. I am definitely guilty of over analysis with the situation and my anxiety. I guess I am still my own worst enemy and I need to take the advice of being at peace with my situation….whatever it is at the time. I just feel so victorious whenever I face my fear in a situation like last Friday- with the presentation- that I become impatient and want to be recovered right then and there. That leads to questions of “If I can do this (and I have done so numerous times now over the past year or two)…then why do I still get so anxious prior to the event?” That is where I need be at peace with my accomplishment, situation and the fact that I have made much progress in my recovery. Not wish it away, become impatient with it and want it to be done. As I have read on here many times…Recovery comes at its own pace and WILL NOT be rushed. I guess Im answering my own original question, but anyway. Thank you again for your insight. It is much appreciated.

    Rachh…thank you for your post. Your advice on acceptance is extremely helpful. I had not looked at it that way or thought about it like that before. And I totally agree with you…doing it yourself is a very different process. I think we all must learn what acceptance means for each of us individually and how to make it work for us and our unique situation. I’m still learning to do that…I guess. But definitely making progress…

  115. kyle Says:

    Hey guys. Real quick question. Ive come a long way in my recovery and have been doin extremely well lately. I havent experienced DP or DR in a very long and I am having a hard time pinpointing a certain symptom. I have been experiencing a symptom where it seems like certain object out of the corner of my eye seem to shift. Like blinds in front of the window. They seem to shift and then I mentally freak out and wonder if I am losing it. It only seems to happen in my peripheral vision. I also have had moments where I just feel off and different and tend to think I am going insane but nothing ever happens and I snap out of it. My mind goes blank and when in conversation I am constantly watching myself. None of this causes any panic but its still bothersome. I also have moments where I feel really good and it feels so foreign that i wonder if this is really me?? Then the thoughts about becoming manic come and dont bother me at all but stick around. Its very hard to explain. I know how to accept everything and any thought but these little things just hang around and strike me as odd. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I just made a career change and have taken a job in sales that keeps me really busy and has great potential to turn into a great career. I am really excited and feel great at times but the fact that i am feeling great and have no anxiety causes me to second guess things. Weird right??

  116. lainie waller Says:

    felt alot better yesterday and went to bed feeling 80%, had a bad night bad dreams and very disturbed sleep and woke up feeling so mixed up in my mind and a bit depressed. going to carry on slowly with my day .

  117. Lou-Lou Says:

    Hi ya – I feel relieved to tears to find this website and Paul’s book which I have just read. Rach/Perdy – I too have the “been on a boat” feeling. I can pinpoint it to the past 3 months when my anxiety has as Paul says “spilt over” and is starting to really affect me physically and mentally. I wouldnt call it complete dizziness but it is an unbalanced/tettery feeling like Im not completely steady. I also get a “woosh” feeling of having to refocus when looking at something like a computer screen to something else in the room. This can often offset a panic attack as I go from zero to OMG what is this??? What just happened?? The unbalanced feeling is worse after a panic attack and for a good 2 -3 days after. I started to get very worried about it well to be honest still am which doesnt obviously help the anxiety cycle. I guess our nerves display their frazzled-ness in different ways – perhaps for us it is with this. I have terrible ringing in my ears too. Lynn – you were talking about a lump in your throat. Yes this was my first physical symptom. Its called globus hystericus. For me it was a continous feeling of something being stuck in my throat like food. Oesteopathy really helped me with this – as soon as I let it go and stopped worrying about what it “really” meant ie is it a tumour??! It went away. For now my main complaint is that feeling like when you just get off a boat/unbalanced combined with a disconnected weird feeling. Much worse when out in noisey environments. I’m a stay at home Mum and my breaking point has come when I thought to myself the other day – oh god children, leave me alone you are distracting me from worrying!!!! I thought to myself I have to do something. When I’m just sitting her picking my fingers, plonking my kids in front of the tv so I can surf my ailments on the net and worry about myself and try and work out which specialist/doctor I should go to next….ENOUGH!!!
    I found myself tonight googling the difference between SVT heart condition and a panic attack (was diagnosed about 15 years ago with SVT) but then it hit me – it doesnt really matter. It is what it is. Both are managable. It took me till reading Paul’s book to fully understand as well that Panic Attacks dont happen when you are scared conciously – as he says it happened when he was playing cards. Thats been one of my biggest hurdles to get my head around and accept that it can happen when I’m just doing the mudane eg on the computer and wham! Hits me. I then do the self-analysis and thats what drives me crazy the why did that just happen? Surely it must mean more I was just sitting having a cuppa buying kids clothes on the net?!? But as Paul explained its when the cup has runneth over. Or am I interpreting that completely wrong??!
    Tomorrow is a new day – that was my mantra when my kids were babies and I had a rough day with them and thus tomorrow is going to be a new day for me. I am not going to actively purse to chase these thoughts from my head, but throw myself into doing something else rather than thinking about how to stop thinking about it!!! I did treat my thoughts as naughty children who want to be heard and say “I have heard you now sit down” this worked for a while but they were still in the room so to speak!! I loved that saying someone had about”I am having anxious thoughts as I am anxious”. Takes the drama out of my thoughts – so that is my plan to say that and MOVE ON!! Get my kids out from that TV and engage completely with them. Not half heartedly as I have been for the past months but be present. Present and accounted for that is my goal 😉

  118. Ryan c Says:

    Hi everyone. I have not posted on here in quite a while. Reason being is that when I first bought Paul’s book words cannot describe the hole I was in. I can’t rembering just how bad I was, but I probably couldn’t even imagine. With my recovery or anyone’s I guess it’s hard sometimes to realise just how far we have came on because we/I can’t remember what it was like to be so bad. Anyway, I have reached a point where I no longer question, worry, I have fully accepted almost as if it just becomes second nature. I’m not avoiding anything at all I feel it can be overwhelming at times when I go somewhere and I just go anyway, anxiety to me no longer is ruling my life. I reached this point because all the time I just gave in to it all and whatever came toward me I just took it all as part of the process. Now, I am at a point where I can have a very bad day, really where I am surprised how hard it is hitting me, but then the next day, I am so different, my anxiety is there, however in comparison to the day before the difference is massive, it is just so much lesser. I’m not going to question this, as it’s obviously the course my body and mind needs to take to recover however I was wondering if anyone who has recovered or is nearly there can tell me if this happened with them also? Does anxiety hang around right to the very end? Is recovery abrupt? I guess I am only asking this because I don’t want to give myself a false sense of belief on such a day as today that this will be coming to and end and then I have another very bad day. If I understand that I am very near, then I will gladly take on board any of these days even if they do hit me harder than ever. I have came so far on my own and I’m just looking for anything positive as it feels this up and down new stage I am at could go on forever it’s so black and white from one day to the next. Thanks.

  119. lainie waller Says:

    i think i would be aalot better if my eyes would settle they feel like there wobbling and there not , the sensation is so bad it scares me. my gp as looked in them twice with a light and said nothing sinister is going on.
    cant stop worrying im going blind or i have a serious brain desease. is this normal guys in anxiety .

  120. CJ Says:

    I posted a few comments as Colin earlier in the summer, but seem not to be able to get posts made with that user/email address, hence I have re-registered with user CJ and hope the post below can be answered by one or two of you…I really need it. Thanks Colin

    I could really do with some advice from people here. I mentioned I have had ~3-4 periods of anxiety over the past 20 odd years. Initially diagnosed as depression, now I am pretty sure they were anxiety first then depression developing after. Do others here have this trajectory: Anxiety and then a slow development of depression later ?? It seems this is not uncommon.

    My main question relates to problems with my relationship. We have lived in a number of countries, but my 2 main periods of anxiety (both possibly triggered by a form of panic attack) happened (1991) when I was living alone in Sweden (my girlfriend then, wife now, is Swedish) and then again (2007) on moving back to Sweden from Canada. This seems to have led me to linking Sweden (and by implication my wife) to anxiety/depression. Even worse, we have 3 kids (aged 19, 17 and 13), the 2 oldest presently live in Sweden. They all are bilingual (Eng/Swe) but tend to speak Swedish together. They are all visiting now and when the 4 of them talk Swedish I start to feel enormously alone and feelings of anxiety/depression wash over me (a few days ago to an almost unbearable level). I keep having persistent thoughts that if I just left my wife then my anxiety/depression would improve and I would be able to see my kids alone, just speak English and not have anxiety feelings again. Somewhere deep down I don’t want to do this and seem to know that it is just running away from anxiety and if I do this then likely anxiety will just come back and latch onto something else.

    Often in the evening when going to bed, I will think “in a few years (when all kids are grown up) I will leave and everything will be great and I feel quite calm about this”. Then I sleep (very very badly, say ~3-4 hours only) and in the morning am in complete anxiety turmoil (as I am now) and far less sure being alone is a good idea and I should just do everything to try and improve my relationship with my wife (which will only improve by coming to terms with my anxiety). My long winded question is: I know that the aim in this method is : (i) accept all feelings, thoughts and emotions, (ii) be comfortable with them just being there, (iii) let all thoughts/emotions in (iv) get on with normal life and just let anxiety be in the background and (v) be patient and set no time agenda. Would experienced people say this is the route even for the (crackpot) thoughts/feelings of anxiety/loneliness I feel when my family talk Swedish. This I think this is just triggering old memories of earlier anxiety/depression when I lived in Sweden before. Same with my feelings towards my wife, I primarily get them when experiencing anxiety and they seem linked to a possible fear of having to live in Sweden again (and getting anxiety again), we now live in the UK, have lived in Sweden 11 years. I realize this all sounds pretty stupid. I guess everyone else’s route to anxiety seems super important and complex to them and ridiculous to other people! Nevertheless, it is driving me towards giving up as I am really beginning to feel I cannot keep going with these feelings of dread and despair. I believe it is anxiety causing everything as I also have other classic symptoms: intense fear of doing work things that use to be easy for me, intense fear of any commitments in advance, physical symptoms….sweating, rapid and heavy heartbeat, fear in the stomach, weak knees etc etc.

    I guess I am mainly looking for advice that (i) yes this all sounds like anxiety, (ii) the method will help if you just stick at it and (iii) don’t leave your family hoping you can run away from anxiety…’cos you can’t. I am pretty sure I don’t want to do the latter, but the constant internal turmoil is driving me to the brink at times. Any support really would be appreciated. I will try the full acceptance and live life with anxiety approach, basically because I see no other option anyhow.

  121. Rich Says:

    Hi Everyone, I’ll post a personal update then a more general post later. I came back on here last Thursday after falling into the trap of fearing a very sudden setback which ‘hit’ me out of the blue (seemingly) – it wasn’t ‘out of a blue’ – rising stress, possible anxiety and a bad day at work made me overflow my tolerance levels.

    Since then I have basically bounced back – even while under the once looming shadow of going on holiday and the link to the last time I did this and my worst spiral into anxiety ‘hell’. I dare even say that I am actually looking forward to my holiday now – with or without anxiety – I just don’t care (although of course It would be nice if I was symptom-free!).

    Coming on here and reading Paul’s latest post (top) and and various other comments (above) reinforced the attitude you need and the actions to take (i.e. to carry on 100% and don’t fear the symptoms while you have them).

    I’ve Googled nothing (I have all I need to know), I’ve seen no GP or Therapist (although I did talk openly with my GF). I’ve worried about 0 symptoms (I believe with 100% confidence that they are anxiety and nothing more, so need no futher respect or concern) and I know from Paul’s site and book and the testimonies of The Recovered that all I need to do is carry on as normal and I will feel better.

    So how am I doing? Well, I fly out on Saturday on a 9hr flight. I’m not looking forward to being ‘trapped’ in a car, plane or bus with anxiety symtpoms ‘if’ they come (stomach issues!) but apart from that, I feel positive! All the usual good things about a holiday are taking over in my mind. Anxiety levels are dropping, symptoms dropping (I believe the recovery is quicker due to having done it before – the realisation takes less time).

    I still wake with anxious thoughts, and I’m not ‘100%’, but I just balance the negative with a few positives and remind myself that anxiety’s aim is to hold us back – to play it safe, so I simply do the opposite. The only thing I’ve done is think positive. I’m giving my mind and body the space and time they need to restore their natural state – and they’re coming back as they’ve wanted to all the time I’ve been stopping them.

    PS heard a quote over the summer which sums up how to recover:

    “A ship is safest in the port – but that’s not what ships are for.”

    You can’t recover in the port :)

  122. Rich Says:

    If I could write some Anxiety FAQs based on my own experience and the questions asked again and again on here, I’d start with these:

    Q: >Insert Symptom Here< – is this Anxiety?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Do I need an MRI / CT Scan / Brain Transplant?
    A: No. You are 100% normal.

    Q: Can I recover?
    A: Yes. Everybody has it within them to recover. You are not the exception.

    Q: I am suffering so much – surely there’s something else wrong?
    A: No. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not the exception.

    Q: If I reason with my thoughts enough, will I cure myself?
    A: No. You cannot override your unconscious mind. You have to show it (by action) and let it learn through observation of you doing positive things.

    Anything you do to the contrary to try to speed up this process will only slow you down.

    Your mind is always listening – show it how you want to be and it will be.

    Do not believe an anxious mind.

    Q: Do my symptoms mean I have some previously undiagnosed condition that makes me immune from recovery and different to everyone else?
    A: No. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not the exception.

    Q: If I get the right meds or see the right person, will I recover?
    A: Meds and/or people may help you on your way, but this is a journey you have to take yourself. There is only one cure and it lies within each of us. There is no other way and there are no shortcuts.

    Q: What is stopping me from recovering?
    A: You are.

    Q: But…
    A: See above.

    Q: No matter what I try, I don’t feel better. What am I doing wrong?
    A: Feeling better is a butterfly that comes and lands on you. If you chase it you will never catch it.

    Q: Is there something that I have yet to find that is the key to recovery?
    A: No.

    Q: I’ve tried everything – what is there left to do?
    A: If you are still in search of the answer after reading this blog and the comments within it, read them again. No other action is needed.

    Q: What is Acceptance?
    A: Dancing in the rain. (Worrying 0% about how you feel).

    Q: What is Recovery?
    A: To me, it is realising you worried about anxiety once.

    In retrospect, nothing to me is more accurate than this:

    “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”.

    I wish you all the best. Be positive.

    Rich.

  123. lainie waller Says:

    have a lovely time rich, i once went to greece in anxiety state and my symptons went as soon as the taxi called for us. it was the best holiday ever x

  124. Lui Says:

    Lainie,

    don’t worry about this! You won’t go blind, it’s just anxiety. It really is. I promise!
    I have had the exact same worries. My vision is really disturbed but I don’t even pay attention to it anymore. I know that it is just anxiety, just another physical symptom.
    Trust your doctor. Back then I decided to trust them too and it was the right decision and brought so much relieve.

  125. lainie waller Says:

    my story and help needed please or advise from Paul. i had one year free of anxiety in 2013 then it came back in jan this year. since then i have had days and weeks of peace .
    what i cant understand is what am i doing wrong for it to come back like it is.
    i am struggling at this time and again its come out of the blue . ty for any advice x

  126. Ryan c Says:

    Hi people, I have posted a couple times on here before and it’s been a long time since. Reason being I had all the information I needed and I realised what I needed to do, to overcome my anxiety. I am just being honest, recovery for me was always going to be very hard, it is everything I really didn’t want to have to do, it took me ten years to of getting worse to the point I was so bad I can’t even explain. And then, finally after misdiagnosing myself for years, doing everything within my daily power to fight struggle and get rid of how I felt, I finally found Paul’s book and wow, everything and a the answea I finally found. However understanding that to get out, I had to go through wouldn’t have been my best choice, it’s in my nature to fight, I’ve been a fighter all my life, I have competed in bodybuilding powerlifting and have been asked to now considor turning pro boxing. Physically training which I once loved, became my tool to beat anxiety, which I lost. I didn’t know what was wrong, all I wanted to do was break out of this prison and train and live to the max like I did before anxiety came along. However, from the moment I read the book, I read every article paul has written and I began recovery immediately. I have accepted this beast every single day now to the point it has almost become second nature, I don’t worry, fear, self pity, question or fight it, I see it like I’m sparring, and I’m taking the hits and just smiling back, that one day it’s going to run out of steam and one day It will all be over. I have came on so far, almost beyond my imagination, but problem is I was in such a hole that although I am a thousand times better, I can still struggle. I have reached a point where as for some reason my disciples routine of accept accept accept has started to find it difficult again. On one day, I feel pretty bad, but at the same time so so close to being free, to being recovered and then the next day ‘wham’ I actually feel worse than almost ever, even though it doesn’t make sense as I was so much worse before? But it just feels like it hits me like a ton of bricks and I almost am only just able to cope? But I take it on the chin, and I stand tall and get on with my day. My main point here is that with such random very bad days, it’s disheartening me, because I sit back and think well I’ve been on this road a long time now I’ve gave it my best shot and still it finds it’s way to make me feel so bad, I must have so long to go. On the other hand however a day later I can say no it can’t be, I am so close. Basically all I am looking for is reassurance that I am near to recovering, and that I can’t judge my progress on these very bad days? Can you still have very bad days near to the very end? Or am I truly still a long way away? I know I shouldn’t be asking these pointless questions but I have so many opportunities I have worked so hard for and I apply myself to them but life would just be so much easier and I would be able to perform so much better without anxiety. I will be patient and I will keep doing what I’m doing as I just focus on how far I’ve came but this new black and white polar opposite days I’m having, I can’t help but let it confuse me so I though I would just ask, it saves me beating myself up about it and ok if I still have a long way to go, I will accept that and just get on with it, but any positive words about recovery would be welcome, thank you for reading.

  127. Perdy Says:

    Lui/Rach thank you, good to know I’m not the only one with these symptoms, I do try to accept it’s ‘just’ anxiety, though I do question it a lot, to feel this bad/uncomfortable……….. Is it some horrendous disease? Went to supermarket today and even though it was pretty uncomfortable (dizzy, unbalanced, blurry vision) I just got on with it :-) I do go to eye hospital regularly (possible gluocoma) so I’ve had my eyes checked I’ve had the brain scan, just got to get on with it now I suppose and accept it’s anxiety. All the best x

  128. Lui Says:

    Hey Perdy,

    the scene you described in the supermarket was me two years ago. Back then I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I also walked through the super market being so anxious about my blurried vision, my dizziness, and all the objects floating through my vision that there was nothing else I could focus on. I thought I was seriously ill. They took brain scans and thousands of other tests. I even went to a dizziness center but my symptoms stayed.
    On night I couldn’t take it anymore. I went to the Emergency Room, eventually bursting out in tears because nobody knew what was wrong with me. The doctors just shrugged their shoulders.
    I am telling you this because I know how scary this stuff is. But it really is JUST anxiety. Your nervous system is also linked to your vision, so of course you will experience all kinds of visual disturbances. And that’s all. Once I stopped caring about all the crazy vision stuff, it didn’t bother me anymore.
    I really don’t care about it because it will all be gone when I am recovered. Trust Paul, he knows the stuff he’s talking about and I found great relieve when I realized that it is just my “overworked” nervous system which causes all of this.
    I would never recommend googeling but when you put “anxiety blurred vision” in the search engine there will be thousands of results and thousands of people around the globe having the excact same thing. A reason less to worry! :) I hope that’s helps a bit!

  129. Adam Says:

    Rich…thank you for the great posts. The message you put forth is such an important one for so many people, including me, to hear over and over again. The reinforcement really helps. Acceptance and being at peace with your situation are the keys to this method of recovery. Thanks again

  130. kyle Says:

    anyone have some insight to my previous post?

  131. Daniel Says:

    Kyle,
    It sounds like you’re on your way to recovery, but you are reacting all wrong to the current strangness. Par of what you’re feeling is left over anxiety, but as long as you ignore it, it’ll go with time. But some of what you’re feeling is just you being unfamiliar with normality.

    Personally I also have those moments of ‘is this me?’ But I just tell myself I’ll know what is and isn’t me when I’m recovered. I’m not sure if this is the right mindset, like I’m putting things off until later or if it’s exactly what I should be doing. To be honest, I wonder if this is the right thing to do?

    Anyone have any answers to my question that could really benefit both me and Kyle?
    Also Lainie Waller asked a really good question that I’d really like to hear the answer to, as it wasn’t addressed in Paul’s book. Ideally I’d love for Paul to do a post on it…

  132. Horton Says:

    Hey Paul!
    I do think what daniel said might be worth a post! The idea of falling back into after you are recovered. It’s happened to Lainie, Daniel and it’s even happened to me, although I hope this time it’ll stay gone because I’m trying your method this time as the first time I recovered I was a) not aware there was a problem and b) not aware of your book/methods. Anyway, lots of us are curious about what it coming back after 1 or 2 years means. Were they not recovered? A comment or a post would be appreciated, although I guess the post on ‘how long does it take?’ sort of addresses this issue, but only to a degree. Obviously, Paul is not obliged to answer this or even read this, but if anyone else could help us out that’d be appreciated.

  133. Lui Says:

    To the question that Lainie asked and in which Daniel is interested in. I never experienced this but it was menchant in Claire Weekes book.
    In there she states that even years after recovery a rush of anxiety can come back like in “the old anxiety time”. Triggered by certain memories or other things, like places etc. I think she said it’s important to not react to this and just to continue and accept, then it will vanish again quickly.
    I could copy the paragraph in here if you guys want and if Paul doesn’t mind cause my English skills are not as developed to give a detailed answer.

  134. lainie waller Says:

    yes please lui and thank you . i am in a bad setback at the moment . i had a full years of peace last year and a few months this year on and off . infact the worse ive ever been to be honest , i have bad dp and its never been this bad and also vision affected .

  135. kyle Says:

    Daniel,

    Thanks a lot. Yeah nothing bothers me really anymore and i dont go into much panic if at all but it just lingers and seems strange. I know in the back of my mind its all anxiety but i just have these odd moments. Its very strange

  136. Marek Says:

    lol , that FAQ is really great 😀

  137. Doreen. Says:

    A few comments
    If Julie who posted on 20th in a response to Adam is the same Julie who used to post, then I am just so impressed with how you have moved on and the amazing advice you gave to Adam. Such a lovely simple suggestion and yet so sensible.

    Rich – I thought your Q&Q post was so spot on. Many thanks. I hope the trip is a good one for you. As I have said many times on this blog, we can really work ourselves up if we are desperately longing for something to be ‘Wow’, but if we just relax and feel proud that we are even making the journey then that may well lead to moments of ‘Wow’. Striving for it almost definitely means all we will feel is anxiety.

    Colin – I certainly read your posts under that name and responded to one of them.
    Reading the one under the name CJ is almost identical to the one earlier. Please believe me and the many others on this blog who say the same thing – the content of the anxiety provoking thought is not relevant. It is your mind latching onto something which is reality is the last thing you really want to do. It knows how to home in on what we most fear. Read Julie’s post to Adam – sound advice.

  138. Rich Says:

    I hope everyone reads my Q&A post in good spirits – anxiety can be so scary, so soul-destroying and so horrible to endure. I cannot stress enough the importance of overcoming this with positive thoughts and positive actions. Anything negative only serves to make you suffer longer.

    It is easy to post about anxiety when you feel on top of it, but when you’re down in the depths of despair and all hope seems lost, it can be a lonely, scary place. It is at this time when it is most important to assert to yourself that enough is enough, and you are not going to let this thing ruin your life. Go through the natural process of self-pity, depression and sadness for your current state – you have to release this negativity, but keep going, go through this and decide that this is now a turning point in your life.

    It’s horrible to know recovery takes time, setbacks will happen and you will still suffer some more, but this is the process, and the quicker you begin it the better.

    I am still on the look out for anxiety, scared of setbacks based on previous experience, but unlike before I am looking forward and do feel optimistic. I know I have dealt with this and can do so again, and each time I have to it is easier and quicker to get back on track. I still have to stop myself listening to anxious thoughts instead of just dismissing them, but I can catch myself doing this so much quicker than before. I have to change my thoughts from the default negative to a manual-override positive instead sometimes, but over time this does come naturally and has become more automatic – to the point when I love noticing the change in my thought process towards things.

    I still think about anxiety a lot, but now I understand it I know its limits – I have seen its full power and I can handle it. I can come out of the otherside intact and better for it.

    So can you. Why not start today.

  139. lainie waller Says:

    i feel strange not myself and feel like in going mad inside my head . is this a common anxiety sympton guys. i feel like in going to lose it any minuite and i have no panic its just my head going crazy .

  140. Rich Says:

    Iainie please see my FAQ above – Q No.1 :)

  141. Adam Says:

    I just wanted to thank you, Doreen, for posting your comments about Julie’s post to me on the 20th of September. For some reason, I never saw her original post at the time. But because of your comment(s) I was able to scroll back and see it. What a great post….I’m very glad I didn’t miss it.

    Julie-thank you so much for the post/ great advice. It is very helpful and much appreciated…

  142. Bryan Says:

    Rich,

    Love the Q&A post. The first one made me laugh. (Is _____ anxiety? YES.)
    Lol! Isn’t that the truth.

    You are posting great advice again. Nice to see you showing us how to deal with setback.

  143. Perdy Says:

    Thank you Lui, it does help immensely x

  144. Rich Says:

    Thanks Bryan, Obviously with physical symptoms it is best to get anything ‘new’ checked by a Dr ‘just in case’, however, trying to self-diagnose or seek second opinion after second opinion only serves to fuel the fear – so best to accept it is just your body expressing its anxious state (it plays on your fears to get your attention), and then get on with things with it there or not.

    Another thing people should also remember is although people have their own symptoms, the underlying condition is the same for us all. I didn’t believe this at first. I initially found it hard to relate to Paul’s book because I did not have the same symptoms as he did, but when you realise ‘why’ you have the symptoms and not ‘what’ you have is the important thing, it really makes no difference what you’re feeling.

  145. Steph V. Says:

    Hello all,

    Just writing because I had a couple of good months, then had a setback. The thing for me is that the setbacks seem to reinforce the teachings of this website; I can see what I did wrong, by again looking up things on the internet, and fueled the anxiety. However, coming out of it, I can say it is very much true that you are never back at square one. Though my feelings and thoughts were still awful, this time around I was still able to eat and sleep; I was still able to go to work. I think I got a bit complacent and that allowed my anxiety to convince me that this time around I was not looking things up because I was anxious. That was dead wrong.

    Anyway, I felt the setback more enforced the teachings than negated them. I started running around trying to fix myself again, which pulled me back down. Thanks everyone, and I hope you are having a great week!

  146. Julie Says:

    Hello Doreen

    Yes, I’m Julie who used to post earlier this year. I saw Adams post and I couldn’t help but try to offer him some advice. I hate to think of anyone struggling with intrusive thoughts, I know all too well how frightening and bewildering they can be. I hope I helped with my post.

    Adam. You’re very welcome. I hope my advice was of some use.

  147. Rachel Says:

    Perdy today I was reverse parking and went even dizzer than I already am then I was looking at something then looked back went dizzer then lay down put my head up to have a drink same happened again plus so many other things do it do really just wondered if things like that happen to you cos really not sure why I would be anxious of doing these things it’s normal day life plus don’t understand why anxeity would make you feel anxious about doing everyday things if this doesn’t happen to others then how is it anxeity xx

  148. Matt Says:

    Hey all,

    I have been doing fairly well, and had one of the best days I’ve ever had last week. This past weekend wasn’t very good, and up until today, this week has been a bit rough (I’ve had school tests, so that of course will spike up more anxiety). I was doing well this morning, but something has kind of sent me a bit backwards in my thinking/accepting.

    I still get worried about my intrusive scary thoughts, which means that I’m not accepting. I’ve been slowly getting more and more used to them, thus losing the anxiety and fear I have of them. However, for whatever reason, the other day I decided to google them (lapse in judgement :/), and I read that they never will go away, and just have to be managed. I don’t know why, but this has caused me to fear them more again, and it’s really getting me frustrated and down. I know that by tomorrow, I should feel different again, but it’s just hard because I feel like this is a less common symptom with anxiety, and I start to feel a bit alone. I know that Emma has done pretty well with them, and Adam was describing them, but I’m just hoping that Paul’s method works with these types of thoughts as well. It’s very scary to accept thoughts that seem so horrible, and have horrible consequences :(

    Sorry for the rambling, I was just having a weak moment tonight, and instead of accepting, I think I’m just writing in order to help myself gain some perspective, hopefully.

  149. Lui Says:

    Rachel,

    I was the same. I would not even dare to sneeze or make rapid head movements for seven months because I thought I had something horrible.
    Dizziness is really commom in anxiety as much as weird fears.
    In a high anxiety state you could even get afraid of growing a beard.
    Imagine every second of your day you would feel your face checking in horror if you grew a moustache.
    And you could’t sleep at night because you are too are afraid of waking up with a beard as long as Dumbledores.
    Then you search in your head for answers day in and day out and you even go to “beard centers” and “beard removing” specialists.
    That’s unrealistic you say? Well so are your fears.
    I know how frightening this is but you are not the only one with this and ther’s nothing wrong with you. Once I accepted this, all my dizziness went away.

  150. Marek Says:

    The best, do I need brain transplant ? 😀

  151. lainie waller Says:

    hi julie, i have read all your posts. well done for getting this far you have done well. And also you sound very calm now. xxx

  152. Lucy Says:

    I just thought I would share with everyone a post on the Facebook group A Worry Free Life re intrusive thoughts, as I know so many people like myself experience them. For me this is on point!

    “We are afraid to allow the most negative thoughts, because we are afraid of what the say about us, and how we somehow imagine that allowing them to be there, in the space of who we are, will mean they will take us over. Infact it’s the other way round – when we reject thoughts, try to escape them, and punish ourselves for thinking them, they tend to grow and grow in size and importance…in the total allowing of violent thoughts, violence ends.”

    I have been having a rougher time of late after a fairly good spell, but through reading several posts on here again I have realised I was “trying” too much again. I continue to live my life normally but got frustrated that despite doing this, the fear was still there. “Why am I still anxious in super markets when I do this every day?” “Why am I still having panic attacks about the same things I was two years ago?” “If I’m doing all of the right things, why do I still feel like this?” I saw that I can do all of these things but if I’m not changing my attitude, still mentally fighting against it all and not truly accepting it, then it won’t ever change! Thanks for all of the positive posts :)

  153. Julie Says:

    Morning Lainie.

    Thank you. I have only recently popped onto the blog to see how people were doing. There are alot of new faces. I will post if I can off any advice to others who are struggling like I have.

    I am doing much better than I was earlier this year. I have set backs but I am learning to find my way out of them better than I have in the past. I have had some CBT and have had great support from a few members of the blog since I left around May time.

    I hope you are well. I read your post above about your mind racing. I too have had this feeling, I felt my brain was rushing fast, thoughts felt crazy and frightening yet in myself I had no panic attack symptoms. It is a scary feeling but that is all it is, a feeling because we are focusing internally in on ourselves. We are hyper aware of how we feel or think. I used to say I could actually feel my brain rushing fast. I still get that feeling from time to time. The best way to deal with this in my experience is to just accept that the anxiety is higher than usual, and then refocus on something else. Watch a nice movie, cuddle up with your children, play a game, go for a run, yoga… whatever you enjoy. Accept how you feel and no matter how bad you feel don’t sit around thinking about it, you will feel you have to force yourself to refocus but over time it will get easier and become second nature. Sitting around worrying and dwelling just feeds the anxiety more and more, put down the pieces of that jigsaw, leave it all there and don’t try to work it out anymore. Do something you enjoy whilst leaving the pieces of the jigsaw (your worries) there, and accepting that they are there but you aren’t going to try to work them out anymore. :-)

  154. lainie waller Says:

    julie i dont enjoy things now its awful, i feel trapped in my mind and cant think other things. yes any help and advice would be lovely ty. this set back is hell . my mind is driving me crazy . i dont get horrible thoughts just a jummbled mess of thought like a washer on a spin if you know what i mean. feels like im going mad. x

  155. Rich Says:

    I don’t dwell on specific symptoms as they really don’t matter, but as an example, I had fuzzy vision for a time. I’d look at some trees and believe it was raining when it wasn’t. I never got it checked out, never worried about it and just let it be. Before I realised, I’d stopped noticing it had even stopped.

    I can’t stress how important it is not to get hung up on individual symptoms. Of course there is a human need for reassurance and comfort, but if other people’s experiences don’t match your symptom set, this doesn’t mean you’re an except to the rule.

    It is so important that you stop searching for your own diagnosis, stop worrying you’re different, looking for the exact same person who cured themselves of the exact same thing you’re dealing with.

    I don’t read any posts on here that dwell on specific things. The path to recovery has to be walked by you. You cannot recover by relating to someone like you who has done all the hard work for you. This only serves to scare you should that person not recover or have a setback or have a bad day. You are not that person.

    Any worry, concern or fear you apply to any symptom only fuels the fear of it further, which manifests itself in the systems you’re worrying about in the first place.

    All you have to do is accept ‘this is me right now’.

  156. Julie Says:

    Lainie, I totally understand how you are feeling as I have been through similar. You have read my past posts and you will know what I have been through, so you have my full sympathies.

    During a set back you almost feel sick the the stomach with that dread as you just can’t get out of your head, your mind races constantly with scary thoughts and you just feel awful. At first trying to do normal things or things you used to enjoy feels alien to you, almost like you shouldn’t be doing them, or that you can’t. That is totally normal in the circumstances. For example, I workout, I lift weights and do yoga. I felt I had recently lost my mojo for it during a set back, so I stopped. One day I thought to myself I have to carry on doing it, even if I have no mojo or excitement for it, I may feel like I want to sit and cry about how I feel but I will do my workout anyway. By doing my usual workout as days passed I began to enjoy it again. So at first expect it to feel awful, all you feel like doing is crying or trying to work out this mess, that is normal but it will still be there later, get up and try and do something else. Even if you say right I will walk my dog for 10 minutes, each day push that for another 10 minutes….or whatever you used to enjoy doing. Take all your anxiety feelings and thoughts with you, but don’t engage with them. You have to refocus and live your life as if you didn’t have anxiety to find yourself again.

    I know how hard it is, I really do. I can still have days where it’ll with try to drag me in, wondering is this really anxiety but you cannot question it. Put down that jigsaw puzzle and let your mind heal. Another thing, remember you are always in the driving seat, Mr Anxiety may jump on your lap from time to time and try to take control of the wheel but you can put him back in the passenger seat with acceptance.

    Big hugs x

  157. perdy Says:

    Hi Rachel, yes I also sometimes get that, I feel like I want to keep my head still for me looking up is a deffinate trigger , also sprung floors, wobbly bridges or if you have a wobbly table at a restaurant. X

  158. Riri Says:

    Hey everyone,
    Hope everyone is doing well. I have been having a setback. I is not so bad but i still feel it being there. It seems as though every time i go through a bout of stress, i end up having a setback. So defiantly know stress causes my anxiety.Because that is the only time i have it.
    I have been feeling really weird lately. I feel as though i am so disconnected. As though my brain is not working. As though i am in a daze 24/7. I guess that is the dp. i also have been really irritable and am always on edge. I feel i have no patience at all. I get angry very quickly. And everything bothers me. I feel like i hate my husband and kids. That sounds so mean to say. I know that i dont. I love them so much. But i cant feel it at this moment. I just feel numb. And sad. It is not deep sadness, but i just feel so down.
    With all of this, i still live my life as i always would. Anxiety will not affect me anymore. I really dont care too much about it anymore. I just let it pass.
    But what is bothering me is the thoughts that maybe this is more than just anxiety, but something more. Some serious mental illness. I know it my anxiety talking, but i cant help but let it get my attention. My thoughts are-trying to convince me that i have some mental illness. I’ve gone through this before and they have gone away, so in know that if i don’t give them attention they will pass.
    i guess i m just writing to let everything out. I love the support on this forum. Everyone is so strong. I guess i just needed a reminder that this is all anxiety again.

  159. Jack Says:

    Hey everyone,

    Took a couple days off the blog too see how I handled it, actually felt a lot better because my day wasn’t centered around getting better! I posted on here about a week or so ago and am wondering if anybody would be willing to scroll back up and give me some feedback for it seems nobody has seen my post:( Anyways lately my main problem has been intrusive thoughts but i’m well aware theres nothing wrong with me and its all just anxiety! It’s crazy how real these feelings can be… Anyways any help would be appreciated my post is the long one posted about a week ago!

    Good luck to everybody!

    Jack

  160. RG Says:

    Hi all, I need a little help. I am not new to anxiety since I’ve had it all my life. This episode started in January (HA) and made worse with my retirement in February, which has been very difficult. This episode came along with the usual symptoms and a few new ones which really worried me – irregular heart beat, intense sweating and freezing, and reactive hypoglycemia. The months have passed and in September I had two/three weeks of feeling my old self return. I really felt this episode was finally on its way out even though it took longer than almost all of my past episodes. The only thing that was not bad in this episode as in previous ones was that I was sleeping okay, not great but at least sleeping every night. Then two weeks ago I got a setback which feels like the worse setback since it all started. And in these two weeks my sleep is not good, waking many times during the night, sleeping 4 hours one night, 6 the next, then 3, etc. But at least I was sleeping somewhat. Then the last three nights no matter if I am watching TV or trying to get in a few more winks in the morning, as soon as I start to doze my mind wanders to regular thoughts which is ok but then into some thoughts that don’t make any sense. It bolts me awake and I ask myself what was that I just thought and then I can’t remember. And because it bolts me awake I cannot actually fall asleep. Last night I didn’t sleep at all because of it. Can anyone tell me what this is?

  161. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Spot on this by Rich…..Any worry, concern or fear you apply to any symptom only fuels the fear of it further, which manifests itself in the systems you’re worrying about in the first place.

    All you have to do is accept ‘this is me right now’.

  162. Kevin Says:

    Jack,

    You saythat youve made great progress and that to me is a sign youre on te right track. The scary thoughts were and sometimes are bad for me. They would be ridiculous but i would believe them and then be anxious all day. Now i just say wow thats what anxiety comes up with? Thats ridiculous. Honestly the thoughts do seem scary but a normal person would see them as just thoughts and nothing more. Especially a person who has been through this before. It takes time but you gotta just tell yourself that the thoughts are just thoughts and thats its fine to think or feel anything. Now dont get me wrong i have great days where i follow my own advice but sometimes i forget and get hung up about them. But in moments of clarity it all makes sense. Just keep doing what youre doing and accept everything and every thought that comes to you with the atitude “thats anxiety and thats ok”. Its hard but itll happen. Be patient man

  163. Mike Says:

    Hey folks,

    About a year and a half ago I was on this blog every day, begging to get better. Now I haven’t been on in over 8 months, and the only reason I signed on was to share my story in hopes it could help someone.

    In early 2013 I was in a bad place. Anxiety was running my life, I wasn’t sleeping, I was miserable, all I could think about was how bad I felt, and all the negative scary thoughts bombarding me relentlessly, day and night.

    The big thing that helped me with intrusive/scary thoughts was realizing I had a choice. You can choose whether or not you want to believe them, you can choose how much power you give to them. It’s up to you.

    Scary thoughts are not irrefutable facts or inevitable realities. Your anxiety just presents them like they are, it wants you to think that way, to keep you anxious. But the truth of the matter is you have the power to choose, and say no, I don’t believe that. We all have the power to choose what we believe.

    The first thing your anxiety will tell you is “stop kidding yourself, you really do want to hurt your wife/kids” or whatever the thought is, the anxiety will try everything in it’s power to keep you anxious. Don’t be fooled by the layers of anxious thinking.

    Here is a sample of a conversation that would play out when I was anxious.

    ANXIETY: I AM GOING TO HURT MY WIFE
    ME: NO I AM NOT, I LOVE MY WIFE MORE THAN ANYTHING.
    ANXIETY: BUT THIS IS THE NEW YOU, SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU NOW AND YOU ARE GOING TO LOSE CONTROL. (FOLLOWED BY SICKENING FEELING IN STOMACH)
    ME: BUT I HAVE NEVER BEEN VIOLENT WITH HER IN MY ENTIRE LIFE
    ANXIETY: DOESN’T MATTER, YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT HURTING HER RIGHT NOW WHICH MEANS YOU ARE A BAD VIOLENT PERSON, WHO WILL EVENTUALLY ACT ON THESE THOUGHTS, RUIN YOUR MARRIAGE, AND END UP IN PRISON.

    The simple solution to these thoughts is to allow them the space to be in your head, don’t fight them, it’s not a “battle”, simply choose to not believe them. A choice takes equal effort no matter what you choose, you aren’t fighting.

    Your right to choose is irrefutable. Keep in mind, the first thing that the anxiety will tell you is THAT YOU DON’T HAVE A CHOICE. But you have the power to choose not to believe that either.

    You are in control, not the anxiety. It is a tricky bastard, but the power of the choice is the key to relief. I am living proof.

  164. Riri Says:

    I think i am getting pulled back into the anxiety cycle. i have started getting dizzy and headaches and now believe that i might have a tumor. this is so ridiculous. But the worry is so real. i have gone through this before, but now i am doubting and worrying again. Any advice??

  165. Ryan c Says:

    Hi there, seen as nobody replied to my previous post then I just have a quick easier question. Unfortunately this will take ether someone who has recovered or has come to the point I’m at to answer. It’s been a long hard road for me, I’ve had mostly bad days, a lot of ups and downs, but I’ve never felt truly great, but on Tuesday, for the first time ever, after getting closer and closer with lots of bad and very bad days in between, I had nearly a whole day anxiety free, it was almost like I was so close to recovery, my mind was so much clearer, I felt so much peace, I felt so good,it was the best I have felt since recovery began quite a while ago. Since then, I have went back to my usual bad days, not too bad, but still far from what I felt. Obviously this day proved to me I have been doing everything right, but just how far have I came? Am I close to recovery? I’m not going to let my head drop because I haven’t felt good again since, but I don’t want to build false hope that I am close and I’m not. It was just so surprising, I could have almost convinced myself I had recovered if it wasn’t for Paul’s book explaining the ups and downs, I couldn’t have been closer to recovery, surely this is the start of change? Thanks.

  166. Daniel Says:

    Hey Ryan c,
    I’ve had those moments of complete normality, my last one was some time ago on September 9th and it only lasted a few hours. I hadn’t felt even a moment of normality since March and I hadn’t come across Paul’s website/blog/book until August 19th. My moment of normality did not last as long as yours, but I suppose I am not as far recovered as yours. How soon will I recover? I don’t know. How soon will you recover? I don’t know, probably sooner than me if you managed a whole day of normality. Are you on your way to recovery? Absolutely. You’ll get there eventually, be proud of your latest success and don’t let the bad days that followed it get you down. Good days will become more frequent as long as you don’t let the bad ones bring you down. I wouldn’t say that that good day is the START of change, I think you’ve been slowly changing and recovering for the last while and you’ve hit a major milestone and are seeing results in a big way.
    I apologize for not being as recovered/experienced as you’d like.

  167. Horton Says:

    Hello I have a big question,
    Paul says that after he recovered he never had another disturbing thought or panic attack or depersonalized spell, etc. But is that really possible? I think some of us have struggled with anxiety for our whole lives, like even before we fell into this most recent cycle. I know I have experience panic as well as obsessive/intrusive thoughts for my whole life before I got caught in this. Obviously all people who get to this point get here by worrying, stressing and generally being anxious. But some people might have just gone through an anxious time while others are just anxious people, right?
    In Paul’s case he seemed to not have experienced panic or disturbing thoughts until this started, so what if unlike him I will always experience these symptoms even after I’m out of this? And if I keep experiencing these symptom, won’t I fall back into the cycle? What I want to know is will this stop for me, even though I’ve been anxious. panicked and obsessive since I was a child. And was Paul (and other people who recovered and no longer experience anything) anxious prior to falling into the cycle?

  168. Ryan c Says:

    Hi Daniel I can’t thank you enough for that reply, your right, I just have to stick to the programme and keep going with it until it’s all over. I had moments like you are saying, at that time I thought it was normality because I was so used to just feeling so bad, but then these moments got south better, like you say, they didn’t come too frequently, but the one I had was worth all of the bad feelings I’ve felt, I guess when you do first feel great, you miss it, I will just have to keep patient and see what the future brings! Cheers tho mate. It’s funny because it also came after one of the worst days I had in a while, so it just shows you, you really don’t know just how close you are too moving forward.

  169. Lui Says:

    Hi Horton,

    same goes for me. I am deeply convinced that we can recover as well. We may have more habits to come out of but in the end anxiety is just anxiety and it really doesn’t matter how long the person has suffered. It will just take a bit longer.
    Our brain is the same as any other brain on the planet and we can reprogram it like everybody else on this blog. That question is something we really don’t have to worry about! :)

  170. Daniel Says:

    Hello folks, I’ve got a question.
    I have experienced serious short term and long term memory problem over the last few months, and I know my memory will improve when my anxiety goes away. (Although I feel it might stick around a little longer like it does for recovering alcoholics/addicts or anyone else who’ve been through something of this caliber.) BUT my question is, will my memories come back. I am certain my ability to form new memories will recover, but what about my memories over this period of anxiety and, more importantly, all my precious pre-anxiety memories which at effectively gone currently?
    Any insight will be appreciated, this is one of those questions that really bug me because they aren’t addressed in the book.
    Thanks for your time, wish you all the best.

  171. Rich Says:

    Daniel, They won’t come back until you stop worrying about whether they’ll come back or not. My guess is that they will.

    As you let go, everything comes back because you’re giving it room in your head too that you were previously devoting to worry, stress and panic. Sensations, flavour, emotions, dreams, memories, the feeling of what it’s like to be ‘back to normal’. The trick is not to look for this, but to drop your guard to allow it all to come back in – and it will, in layers, over time.

  172. Rich Says:

    This time last year I was about to go on holiday, curled up on my sofa close to tears thinking that my descent into this living hell was permanent, unrecoverable, will ruin my forthcoming holiday and my life forever more. I couldn’t muster up the energy or willingness to pack (sealing my fate), wanted to cancel the whole thing, to remain safe in my little house behind the curtains and locked door. I hadn’t eaten in 3 days and was so full of adrenalin I couldn’t sit still, couldn’t sleep, and couldn’t think straight.

    Tonight, 1 year on, and all this week, I have slept like a baby, eaten well, been checking out things to do and the weather forecast for the trip ahead. I’ve packed early, been out and about and honestly cannot wait to go. I’m even looking forward to the long flight – like I did when I was young.

    Will I be anxious? Maybe – but I honestly don’t care.

    What is different between then and now? I’ve had a lot of setbacks, blips, worries and fears over the last year – ups and downs for sure, but I’ve been through the mill and back out the other side. I’ve emerged each time wounded but not beaten, but also more educated and wiser. Each time the experience although initially shocking has been shorter and more bearable, teaching me important lessons about how this thing works, its limits, and how to overcome them. This is an iterative process that is necessary to do.

    I am more positive, more rational, more optimistic and above all else more decisive – that I am not going to let anxiety get in my way. I think my mind has realised this now, and is realising who is really in charge here, and so long as I treat it with respect, it is letting me prove I know what I’m doing. It is all about trust. If you trust that it knows what it is doing, it will trust that you know what you are doing – and you are always the one ultimately calling the shots.

    I am posting this to prove to people that things do get better. Shift your attitude towards anxiety from one of fear to one of apathy. “So What” really is the key. “Feel the fear and do it anyway”. This is all there really is to it. Be the person you want to be.

    Show yourself you are bigger and better than this construction in your mind and you will become bigger and better than it. Walk tall, walk with purpose and as much confidence as you can muster, and you will travel far.

    This is a journey. There are bad times but there are also good. You can’t teleport to the end or take shortcuts, but that’s not to say you can’t enjoy the trip. It is the journey that is the cure. You need to experience it all. PS don’t forget to look back and see how far you’ve come along the way sometimes.

    I hate how anxiety makes you feel, I always will, but it is no longer the controlling master it once was. It is my traveling companion – a guide I can choose to listen to, or to ignore.

    I can see anxiety in my life since I was 8 or 10 years of age. I’ve suffered for years – worrying about everything and nothing. I will probably worry about things all my life, but now, even after all this time, things are different. I am different. My eyes are wide open.

    In my darkest moments of despair and self-torture, I thought it was not possible to feel like this, but it is, and you can too. We all have the power to come through this inside of us. the cure lies within. This is so hard to believe – but that’s the trick.

    I’m off to spend some time in the sunshine. You’re all welcome to join me :)

    PS that was a metaphor – please don’t surprise me on the beach ok :)

  173. Lui Says:

    Great post Rich!
    Could you tell me how you changed your attitude?
    I stopped going around in circles, I realized that the whatever attitude is the only way out for me. I have the “wrong” attitude and I really tried to argue it to the better but it doesn’t work like that with anxiety.
    How can I start to accept when my mind won’t even change my thought pattern for a bit?
    I’ll visit you later on the beach lol.

  174. Matt Says:

    Mike,

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT POST! That’s the exact kind of thing that has tripped me up! I’ve moved past all the physical symptoms, but that exact example you have is what has kept me stuck. As time has moved on, I’ve realized how untrue those thoughts are, but when they first started, it really put me in a hole. In the past 6 weeks, I’ve gone from thinking I was on the right path, to feeling completely lost, to regaining insight and realizing that I’m actually accepting a lot more than I used to, and it’s actually working! It’s just taken a lot of time to get perspective. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! I truly feel that we are all going to get better on this blog, but it really just takes time and faith. And patience. :)

    I hope that in 8 months, I can come back and do the same for others as what you’ve done for myself and hopefully other people.

    Cheers everyone!

  175. kyle Says:

    I really like all the positive posts that have been on this blog lately. I have been having some issues lately with this whole acceptance thing even though I feel so close and normal sometimes to acceptance. I have moments where I am really good at accepting any thought and taking a whatever attitude and just letting the thoughts be there as they are only thoughts but sometimes they stick and I tend to get tripped up and keep on wondering why I have all these thoughts. Lately I have been back to my old ways of thinking this is some other mental illness because for some reason this feeling of feeling good and normal again almost feels to foreign and it tends to scare me a lot so i watch all my actions and thoughts in fear that I am going manic… It scares me back into over thinking things and watching my every move and then my brain gets so tired and twisted in thought I start zoning out and it hard for me to read or concentrate or keep focused on the task that I am currently doing. Has anyone else dealt with any of these symptoms or problems? does any of this make sense/ is this anxiety? I am so tense wondering if I am going to lose it or go crazy so I tend to get very up tight and almost feel like I have to hold onto myself so i dont lose control. Has anyone who has recovered experienced any of this? Do I just let it all go?

  176. Emma Says:

    Mike what a great post. I’m in recovery and when I have a resurgence of anxious symptoms it’s great to come back and read this type of encouraging post. Although I’m still workif through other symptoms my intrusive thinking and crazy consuming OCD thoughts has diminished almost entirely.

    I’m just wondering if anyone can relate to how I experience depersonalization. I’ve been having moments of it lately, been stressed, but I’m having a hard time not being totally freaked out about it (even though I’ve had it before). I know dp is a little different for everyone but to me it feels like a sensation of not “being myself,” as though an intruder has hijacked my body. It’s bizarre it feels like snapping into someone I don’t know…like I know it’s me, but it doesn’t feel like me. This sensation is heightened when I look in the mirror. Tonight I was trying to fall asleep and I get snapping to DP mode, felt like I wasn’t me, las though I had “lost” myself, and couldn’t fall asleep. Does that make any sense to anyone? Would love some feedback.

  177. Emma Says:

    Sorry for the typos and my terrible grammar, typing on my phone and it’s late :p xx

  178. lainie waller Says:

    emma i am feeling like that i dont feel like me and its scary i have lost myself . its scaring me to death . i feel like iv been possesed by someone elses mind x

  179. Jackie Says:

    I haven’t been on here in a little while but I can say I am finally free! I do have moments of stress and worry but I just let them happen. I haven’t felt panic in such a long time. My marriage was causing a lot of my problems and since I am going through a divorce right now I have never felt better. Any time I feel any anxiety or panic I just breathe it in and let it come because I know it wont last long and its just temporary. I am so thankful for all of the advice and I wish all of you the best of luck!

  180. Daniel Says:

    Don’t worry Lainie and Emma I think everyone experiences that,
    It’s partly due to depersonilzation, sometimes I feel like I never existed, and it’s partly due to all the changes anxiety has made to your lifestyle, thoughts and feeling, and of course this is also one of those disturbing thoughts. Paul even lists this as one of the most common examples, “what if my old self is lost forever?”
    I know the feeling, I have no idea who I am or who I was at the moment, I don’t know what my interests are. I also write screenplays and I was in the middle of one when this hit me, so I have just as much trouble recognizing my own work/characters as I due myself.
    Skim Paul’s book or website and see how many different ways he mentions that your old self will return. In one chapter e mentions how your old feelings will return, in another your confidence, in another your interests and in yet another your personality. He also says several times throughout the book that your old self is never gone, simply buried under your symptoms. What is important to know is that you will recover all your qualities layer by layer as your symptoms disappear.

    Here’s a post I sent Lui when he expressed concerns about his identity:
    “I too am going through a bit of an identity crisis because of this anxiety. I had let anxiety really control my life for 6 years without even realizing that it was there, and yet eventually it went away simply by relaxing and building confidence. It was pretty weird. That’s when I really found myself, and what I like about myself and what I enjoy. But unfortunately I hadn’t really dealt with the anxiety I just was having a good year, when it came back it I had something good to compare it to and so it hit me harder and made me aware that this was not the real me. So that good year in some ways made this more difficult, but it also made me realize that I can feel great and really enjoy life. So I really look forward to really dealing with anxiety this time around so that it’ll stay gone and I can feel the way I felt for that great year for the rest of my life. Nowadays I feel lost, but I remember how easily I found myself when I didn’t let anxiety rule my life. It’s a great feeling, one that I will feel again one day (although this time it should be better since I won’t have the occasional anxious episode) and you will also feel that way one day, you’ll find yourself and, like me, discover that you actually like yourself.”

    “Here’s a post I wrote to Racch regarding setbacks in which I mentioned some of the concerns you’re currently facing:
    Hello Rachh, I understand how difficult it is to ‘go back’ after making progress. But remember, all your progress is not lost. You’re never truely back to square one. All the skills and habits you’ve developed as you’ve made progress are still there, just like how all your good qualities, thoughts and feelings from before this started are still there. All those things are buried and WILL eventually be uncovered, and that fact alone, the fact that there is light at the the end of the tunnel, can give us so much strength. Sure that hope and motivation will go once and a while, but to have ever felt it means you can feel it again. Like I said in an earlier post, when we are feeling good we are actually seeing things more objectively, we are seeing things as they really are. I think that’s such a nice detail, that these optimistic thoughts are grounded in reality and these negative/hopeless thoughts are based on nothing at all. I think you’ll find your way back to that level you were at sooner than you did the first time, now that you’re better equip to deal with it. It’s like riding a bicycle, you ever forget how, once the skills are there they stay there.
    And also remember what Paul says, a setback only has as much power as you give it!”

  181. D-Ren Says:

    Rich, so glad to hear from you! Have a great holiday!

    I met my doctor few days ago, and FINALLY decided to go off meds (slowly).
    Not that I take huge amount, just 20 mg of citalopram, but I really don’t think they have been that much help.. for me atleast!

    Cheers! :-)

  182. lainie waller Says:

    daniel, thanyou for your reply. i had 13 months of peace in 2013 it was amazing but this set back is a whopper its scary and the scariest part is not feeling like me anymore. the physical stuff dont bother me now its the mentaal side that scares me the most. i fear ive got a mental illness xx

  183. lainie waller Says:

    Jackie , i am so pleased for you thrilled infact xxxxxx

  184. lainie waller Says:

    i am suffering bad with mental sensations. I feel strange like i am not me anymore and a wobbling feeling in my eyes and head . Also have a feeling of going mad and losing my mind. please advise would be welcome. i have been to docs twice and she assures me its not anything sinister. i also have a feeling of ants crawling over my head and face.

  185. Kyle Says:

    Lainie,

    I’m right there with you as far as the mental sensations goes. It seems like very mild dp/dr. I am very hyper aware and feel like I’m disconnected and losing it. I fear I will start seeing this and I’m on high alert with a thousand what if and my mind plays tricks on me thinking it’ll see something and then I kinda imagine I am but I know I am not. However, before when this happened I constantly worried about it but now that it’s hapoening it’s more just weird and annoying. Does that make sense to you can you relate to that?

  186. Lui Says:

    Lainie,
    if even your doctors can’t spot anything it’s a 100% anxiety. Accept this and go on with your day. You think it’s more than this but it’s not. Yes it is not nice to have all those sensations but as soon as you accept this it will bring so much relieve and you’ll feel better in short amount of time.
    You won’t go mad either. Thats our dear friend anxiety again. Just adrenaline producing scary thoughts. I really suggest you to read Paul’s book if you haven’t done this yet and build up your knowledge so you lose the fear of anxiety

  187. Rob Says:

    Anyone else just get these fatigue spells in the afternoon? I simply just can’t do anything and have to lay down somewhere and take a long nap. Anxiety is making it almost impossible for me to think/focus. And I am getting gagging attacks (almost like a mini panic attack without the heart racing) like every day

    @Daniel Cognitive and memory issues are by far the worst symptom I have and nobody ever mentions this. But I hope it will all resolve in the end.

    On another note (just in case this is relevant to you), low cholesterol, yes that’s right I said LOW cholesterol and low LDL cholesterol specifically can also cause anxiety/depression according to some articles I found on pubmed. Every doctor told me my low cholesterol of like 105 was good but little did I know that it is an anxiety risk factor. I have now set out to mindfully eat my eggs everyday. Just mentioning this since good nutrition is important for our recovery too.

  188. Karen Says:

    Julie, so pleased to hear how you are doing. I have kept wondering. Before you left the blog we were going to try be in touch, but you disappeard. Would love to still do that. I am generally recovering but keep having setbacks and currently experincing a resurgence of ocd thoughts. Trying to accept but feeling like I am slipping. You are so right that the thoughts switch until finally it finds a type of thought that scares you. So weird, why does it do this?

  189. Karen Says:

    Laine, I agree, the physical does mot bother me. That tingling, ant crawling sensation is must very high anxiety x

  190. Karen Says:

    Frustrated that I only ever get one or maybe two ok weeks and the setbacks kick in again for a couple of weeks. Its been doing this for months, which makes me feel like I a not maming any progress! Why so slow? I have been staying off the blog to step away from anxiety and I think it hels as it had become a habit. Just allowing myself an odd look. Does anyone find that when they are I’ll the anxiety peaks again? X

  191. Karen Says:

    Oh dear, keyboard issues. ….. sorry ignore all spellings!

  192. Bryan Says:

    Congrats Jackie!

  193. lainie waller Says:

    Karen i am like this have been for 3 years . i had a 13 month spell of being anxiety free in 2013 . since jan this year its been on and off but this set back as been with me 8 weeks now and its scaring me. any advice please guys or paul if your around xxx

  194. D-Ren Says:

    Hi Julie, and great to hear from you aswell!
    How has your fitness life been? 😀 (I think we had a small chat about this few months bak)
    Cheers!

  195. Steph V. Says:

    Hello all,

    I try to view set backs as a sign that I am improving rather than actually going backward. This attitude helps get through them, no matter how bad I feel. My therapist, who kept urging me to go to a psychiatrist, recently told me how amazed she was at how far I have come without medication.

    Thank you everyone on here, and you Paul. I know I still have a long way to go, bu t the easy route is rarely the correct one. I just want to urge everyone to try to reframe setbacks as proof of progress, not regression. I still have thoughts I struggle with, but a lot of them have been completely eliminated. One day the rest of them will be, too.

    I hope everyone had a great weekend!

  196. KN Says:

    Hi people, iv had anxiety since January which started with horrible thoughts which led to a panic attack then full blown anxiety.. With Paul’s advice I eventually started thinking clearer and made 90% improvement but still suffered a lot of dp and self awareness which just didn’t seem to budge. Anyway the reason I’m here today is that I’m suffering with anxiety again but it’s different this time and to me obviously feels the worst of the worst.. It all started with a week where I just felt so fed up and irritable and felt like my daughter (who is three) just never gives me a break then I had these horrible thoughts that my life would be better off without her and I don’t even like her and then comes the jolt of anxiety and since then I can’t switch these thoughts off and everytime I look at her I think them ),: but the worst part is I feel so numb like I don’t care anymore and feel like I don’t love her and il say to myself course you do you can’t just switch your feelings off but right now I just honestly feel like I don’t care anymore and iv got all these horrid thoughts about the one person I’m supposed to love the most.. I guess I really need some advice guys because I’m lost.

  197. Julie Says:

    HI Karen,

    Lovely to hear from you. I am sorry you have hit a set back. I am on the road to recovery and I have had a few setbacks on the way, I find them frightening at times but I guess it’s just part of the course and we have to accept it’s how we feel right now and let time pass. I know how frustrating it is after a good spell, you can’t imagine ever going back to how bad you felt so it’s a real shock to the system when a set back happens and you are back questioning and worrying. I hope it passes soon for you.

    D-Ren, how are you? Yes, still working out. I joined a gym. I still do my weight lifting and yoga, I love it. I set up my own instagram to track my progress too which helps. Hope all is going well for you :-)

  198. Daniel Says:

    Hey guys, I’m really starting to get into the swing of things. I’m really taking the edge off of it, which really helps me on a daily basis. I have one question though. Is there anything you guys find you simply cannot do while you’re like this? Like in Tarmo’s case (from the book and website) he couldn’t play music during this time, as he recovered he found his way back but he didn’t play music when he was at his worst. I find that I cannot to do creative writing or drawing while I’m anxious, depersonalized and emotionally drained. What I want to know is, is it okay if I don’t do creative stuff for the time being? I know that it’s key to ‘cram in as much normal living as possible’ to help you recover and I do believe that. I go out with friends, go running, read books, watch films, do housework and do my university assignments, but I don’t have the inspiration or the clarity to draw or write and would rather do something relaxing and mindless to pass the time. I think that’s fine, but is this avoidant behavior? I just don’t want make it harder to get back to drawing and writing after spending time avoiding it or create problems down the line for myself.
    Any advice?
    If not I’ll figure it out for myself eventually.

  199. danni c Says:

    Haven’t wrote or been on here for a while but really in some need of help, i dont really feel anxious anymore only when around a large group of people other than that fine the problem i’m having is that i’m depersonalized and derealised 24/7 the feeling of being in a dream, feeling weird and not with it, im not real, having dark thoughts like may aswell not be here and im wondering is it depression i’m having, i can can feel my emotions now like laughing and crying and excitment which is good, but cant seem to enjoy anything or take interest or anything, i still go to work and do everything i should do to accept and move on but its getting so horrible now dont know what to do, have i got depersonalization disorder or sign of depression i feel stuck and scared and dont tknow what to do im doing my best to move forward and recover and i havent had one moment of relief, everyone says in recovery you get weeks of bads days then some good days ive had none good days and i’ve been on the road of recovery for months, i go out do everything i should and im thinking if i have depersonalisation disorder or depression i could have it for years just need some reassurance that this is a part of anxiety and someone has felt like this and come over this, i was in a bad way with not being able to sleep that went on for months and i got over that but this is so hard so any advice would be much appreciated

  200. Doreen. Says:

    lainie – don’t mean to sound harsh but there is really nothing anyone including Paul can say that hasn’t already been said on this blog, many many times. Just read back and you will find the answers you need. The road to feeling better lies within you – it is about just letting things be.
    I hope Julie won’t mind if I say that some months back she was asking the very same sort of questions as you and if you now read her posts you will see that she has moved on a great deal by understanding the basic message which is ‘do nothing’
    Rich did a wonderful Q&A post a while back. Try to believe his wise words.

  201. Lui Says:

    Do you think it’s a bad idea to write down phrases that bring back my attitude? I can have a great attitude the other day and the next day it’s completely gone and I am falling into the pitfall of anxiety again. Well those notes usually help and calm me down and bring back my attitude but I was wondering if this might be contra productive in the long term?

  202. Val Says:

    Hi everyone…have not been on for a few months…had a wonderful holiday in Penang,then a week in Queensland and another week up the coast.
    In all these times and in between I felt really good. I still experience some anxiety when I am home alone but am accepting that and getting on with it. I am still on medication and will continue with that…no side effects etc.
    i wish you all success and continuing recovery…and patience.hope you enjoyed your holiday,Rich. Best wishes..Val

  203. Duncan Says:

    Hi Guys,

    I have posted once or twice before but it has been lost in the ether so to speak. I developed anxiety in March this year, a generalised anxiety that has been constant for about 6.5 months now.

    I was working abroad in a stressful job living by myself, had some fairly worrying health issues which involved a lot of pain for a sustained period and broke up with my girlfriend. I returned to the UK after battling anxiety for 3 months in early June.

    It was incredibly acute, with constant stomach pain, racing scary thoughts, constant worry, trembling, insomnia, sweats, lump in throat, mucus over production, tinnitus, digestive problems, memory loss, DP, concentration problems, constant sense of dread, inability to sit still as full of adrenaline etc….

    About mid to late June I started to implement Paul’s method and have made great strides. A couple weeks ago I had 4 days anxiety free, and when it came back it was always more mild and just minor physical symptoms.

    I am however in the throes of a bit of a setback, one where the scary thoughts and irrational fears have reared their ugly head. As I thought I was getting so close I am struggling a little to accept again, as I genuinely did not think I would feel this way again. I was hoping for some advice from some on how to move through this and re-adopt my attitude of acceptance.

    I am trying not to give them the time of day and to move through them but am finding this difficult currently. Any thoughts and advice would be much appreciated, I genuinely felt like I was 95% there so if anyone could help me out with a pointer or two I would be so grateful.

    I hope everyone is doing well today.

    Duncan

  204. Stephen Says:

    Lui

    I find myself doing that both in my mind and written form. Like you Im not sure if its counterproductive or not.

  205. Beachgirl516@optonline.net Says:

    Great post Nolan. (From the 28th). Everyone should read it who has questions

    Again long time sufferer here (15 years). Did it all in 15 years. …read every book, saw every type of therapist (CBT, Freudian, holistic etc…) in attempt to get rid of these feeling and thoughts. No wonder I never felt better and only worse. Then came Paul’s book. I think I cried when I first read it. Nothing is wrong with me. There is nothing to get rid of. I have anxiety (input disturbing thoughts and depression under the umbrella of anxiety) i was just scared of the anxiety and fought and thought about “it” constantly. Some days all day long. I incorporated Paul’s method. Allowed the crummy scary thoughts and feelings. Allowed myself to feel and to think. Gave them room they seem to want so much. No it doesn’t feel good to do that. Yes it was awkward at first and felt “fake” or purposeful. In time it became easier and more natural. Relapses suck and your mind/anxiety tricks you once again to thinking you’re flawed and never recover. Funny how tricky and convincing anxiety can be. Nothing is wrong with us. Nothing. We have anxiety with some disturbing scary thoughts. That’s it. So? Take your anxiety and the thoughts hat go with it. And go shopping. Go ride a bike go socialize with your friends. Try it.

    Also for me I started excerising which helped also. Also being present. My mind tends to wander…about what’s for dinner. How I am feeling what am I thinking etc….I would also allow those thoughts but also focus on the present. Hope that makes sense. An again thank you Paul for changing my life and Nolan also who’s post have me the extra support to say “yes that’s how it works”

  206. Bryan Says:

    Wait, this is the same Julie from 6 months ago or so??

    Absolutely astounding. That may be the biggest transformation I’ve seen around here, congratulations to you Julie. You are a testament to Paul’s method and what hard work can produce. Thrilled to see you made so much progress!

  207. Bryan Says:

    Lui,

    I have the same issue issue sometimes. My condition is very sporadic.

    But I wonder, do you think that by writing down these notes we might be telling our brains that it’s not okay to feel bad? In other words, isn’t what Paul teaches us to be okay with the bad feelings when they come?

    I don’t think it’s going to hurt things too much to write down a few notes. However, I can see that it is your reaction to things turning bad that is the problem. I can see that because I have the same issue quite often.

  208. Rachel Says:

    How can this be anxiety my head is spinning and feel sick and really can’t move xx

  209. Danni c Says:

    Hi could someone please help or respond to my comment above could really do with some help to not think I’m going mad or if this is anxiety

  210. Lui Says:

    Hi Bryan!
    Thanks that’s a good point! I decided to write some notes down, just to shake me out of the habits of avoiding and so on, but just a few.

  211. Horton Says:

    Hey Nolan, when did you fully recover from you anxiety? Or have you not recovered yet and are you at a point in which you are so almost better that you’re almost as good as recovered and recovery is imminent?
    I imagine it won’t be long until you leave us all on the blog entirely, that is unless you’ve already left us and understandably so. We’ll miss you but we’ll help each other out and remember your key advice.

    Speaking of advice it seems like both Danni C and Daniel could use some, and I am not really in any position to give it to them (not yet, that is). Anyone want to lend a hand?

  212. D-Ren Says:

    Julie, up and down alot! Recently started working out again, as I was kinda avoiding it because I had built up some dumbass reason that exercising was making me feel worse 😀

    Rachel, something that has helped with my light headness etc has sure been exercise and stretching, not to say it would completely cure it, but can help :) and remember to drink plenty of water

    cheers!

  213. Julie Says:

    Hello Bryan,

    Yes, I am that Julie 😉

    I still have my set backs, and I still have my days where it may drag me in and freak me out so I seek reassurance from hubby or my friends, but I like to think that I have come a long way from the woman I was earlier this year despite the odd set back here and there. I have an inner confidence that can shine through when it needs to. The road to recovery is bumpy but so worth it as they say. I have taken my children on holiday this summer, yoga class, cinema, meals out, joined a gym, shopping…… my children gave me the reason to keep going and they still do :-)

    Thank you for your kind words :-)

  214. Daniel Says:

    Hey guys, I’m really starting to get into the swing of things. I’m really taking the edge off of it, which really helps me on a daily basis. I have one question though. Is there anything you guys find you simply cannot do while you’re like this? Like in Tarmo’s case (from the book and website) he couldn’t play music during this time, as he recovered he found his way back but he didn’t play music when he was at his worst. I find that I cannot to do creative writing or drawing while I’m anxious, depersonalized and emotionally drained. What I want to know is, is it okay if I don’t do creative stuff for the time being? I know that it’s key to ‘cram in as much normal living as possible’ to help you recover and I do believe that. I go out with friends, go running, read books, watch films, do housework and do my university assignments, but I don’t have the inspiration or the clarity to draw or write and would rather do something relaxing and mindless to pass the time. I think that’s fine, but is this avoidant behavior? I just don’t want make it harder to get back to drawing and writing after spending time avoiding it or create problems down the line for myself.
    Any advice?
    If not I’ll figure it out for myself eventually.

  215. lainie waller Says:

    doreen thought this blog was for support. why me theres more like me on here.

  216. Daniel Says:

    Lainie Waller,
    Doreen has a point, you’ve asked similar, if not the same questions before. And many people replied, including me.
    I know there are times when not even good advice can lift our spirits or provide answers. Sometimes I have reread advice given to me that I had initially ignored, but made more sense the second time.
    Also I know it always feels good when somebody personally answers your questions, but sometimes it’s a good idea to read other people’s replies when some people have asked the same question as you (we do end up asking the same questions after all.) If you can’t find a comment on it, you can probably find something that addresses either on Paul’s website, Paul’s blog or Paul’s book.
    At the moment, based on your recent inquiries, I think your current goal should be to learn to ‘Be at peace with your lack of peace.”

  217. Rachel Says:

    Julie a massive well done I can’t believe how different you sound you have done amazing keep up the great work xxx

  218. Julie Says:

    Thank you very much Rachel. I am doing much better than I was, had a fantastic summer, had a set back recently but I guess that’s the road to recovery :-)

    I just thought I would check in here and when I saw Adam’s post I couldn’t help but try to help him as I know how it feels to be struggling with intrusive thoughts.

    I hope you are well xx

  219. Matt Says:

    Just FYI,

    I read TinyBuddha from time to time, and today they have a great article about panic attacks/depression, which falls very much in line with what Paul preaches. I have read numerous articles now from people who have gotten better (from this site, and from other sites), and it’s definitely all down to acceptance, at least as the first and most important step. I know that when I truly accept, my anxiety can diminish significantly, or at least I feel I’m not longer struggling.

    Just figured I’d post that in case anyone wanted some encouragement from somewhere else regarding acceptance, etc :)

  220. Emma Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Just want to share some things that I’m learning on my road to recovery. The information below I think is really, really valuable so I encourage everyone to read this:

    First of all, recovery isn’t easy, it’s hard work, I find myself having stretches of time where my anxiety is low, and then periods of time when it spikes again. During these spikes, I’m no longer rendered crippled, yes it’s uncomfortable, yes I get the “oh no’s” and “what if” thoughts, and yes I fear crashing back to square one.

    When we are recovered, we will still have anxiety in one way, shape or form. However — and take this in — we will not have anxiety as a DISORDER. Yes, we’ll have anxiety but we’ll no longer have anxiety as a disorder. I am starting to see this play out in my recovery. You will too. I still have anxiety but it is looking less and less like the disorder it once was.

    For those of you in the beginning stages, not recovered or struggling, this is what I need you to do: write down all of the things you would be doing if you didn’t have anxiety. Be specific, write a nice long paragraph’s worth. Afterwards — do it. Live as though you don’t have anxiety/intrusive thoughts/depressive feelings.

    When I was at my worst, a walk around the block was the most depressing experience. I was so out of it, didn’t feel like myself, wanted to cry, intrusive thoughts were telling me I didn’t want to live and terrifying me, couldn’t enjoy anything. But I, step by step, started doing things. DO THINGS. Not just things that you’re comfortable with like cleaning the dishes at home, slowly leave your comfort zone — not all at once, but slowly. Consider the anxiety your needy lonely friend that just wants to hang around, and let it. And keep going until something shifts — it will shift. I’m telling you it will, it’s called neuroplasticity, the mind will create new neurological pathways if you just continue trucking through despite the anxiety.

    In dragging my self to work, in forcing myself to see friend, in forcing myself to take up a hobby (meditation classes) and committing to going even though I felt terrible, something happened…I started to feel better. But paradoxically, you have to adopt a NON-STRIVING attitude — expect nothing. Expect zero gratification or relief, or feeling better from doing the things you’re doing. Just God damn do them to do them.

    One thing I have to recommend is mindfulness meditation. I know people say “well, how is mindfulness different from ‘trying’ to get rid of anxiety.” It’s simple, mindfulness meditation nurtures the human acceptance of thoughts and feelings. That’s what the whole thing is about. So we’re not trying to “get rid” of anything, you’re simply using it as a tool to enhance acceptance. Read the works of Jon Kabat-Zinn. In clinical research they showed that 8 weeks of mindfulness meditation workshops showed actual significant changes in brain and neurological formations. I’m not saying you need to enrol in a class, but at least try it at home.

    We shouldn’t undermine the power of resources like mindfulness and just say “keep living, stop caring, accept and it will shift.” No!!! Recovery requires a certain degree of initiative. Mindfulness helped me so much in the acceptance of thoughts and feelings. I often read people say “but..but.. but.. how do I practice acceptance?” Mindfulness is part of the answer I feel. It is LITERALLY the practice of acceptance with regard to thoughts and feelings. A YouTube video you should all listen to is: Jon Kabat-Zinn Mindscape Guided Meditation. You won’t regret it.

    This isn’t to say that I’m 100% but I’m finally understanding what it’s going to take to recover fully. I occasionally post on here for some perspective on a given symptom I may be wrestling with. But, if you knew me from before, you know that I hardly post anymore. I used to post all the time and check this blog on my phone a million times a day and I felt like the most irrevocably ruined member of this blog. The truth is, anyone can recover. You just need to take the initiative (yes, you have a choice), and you need to start making anxiety your best friend, it’s not going anywhere until you befriend that little guy and let it hang out.

    If you guys have any questions, please let me know.

    Eva :)

  221. Emma Says:

    Emma* — iphone autocorrect !

  222. Val Says:

    Hi Emma…could you be more specific with the u tube ….there are a few by John Kabbat Zinn…or are they all equally good??
    Thank you…..I loved your post….best wishes..Val

  223. Emma Says:

    Hi Val,

    I’ve added the link to the video in this post. If you click on my name (now highlighted in blue), it will take you directly to the youtube video I mentioned in my other post. All the best xx

  224. Val Says:

    Ooooh…..clever…..thanks Emma…..

  225. Kevin Says:

    Emma,

    WOW. I remember when you would post here with so many doubts and questions. Its amazing to see how far you have come. Really, I am truly happy for you. I, too, want to get into mindfulness meditation as I have heard so many benefits about it. I do believe that it goes hand in hand with Paul’s practice almost. Its just acceptance and non-judgement. I do not have the money for classes but I think ill start practicing at home. You inspired me Emma. Thank you and keep it up!

  226. Marek Says:

    Thanks for advice Emma. Mindfulness can be helpful in general, and I am doing it regularly, but lots of times it can be quite frustrating, when I feel strong anxiety during the relaxation and it doesn’t relieve it. (As I am feeling anxiety 24/7)

    Still, I am trying not to give an attention to it.

  227. Julie Says:

    Hi Emma,

    Great post and it’s lovely to hear you doing so well. I think you were around earlier this year when I was struggling.

    I shall take a look at the video. I use mindfulness, I find it really helpful and relaxing. I use an app on my iphone.

    Julie x

  228. Daniel Says:

    Hey guys, I’m really starting to get into the swing of things. I’m really taking the edge off of it, which really helps me on a daily basis. I have one question though. Is there anything you guys find you simply cannot do while you’re like this? Like in Tarmo’s case (from the book and website) he couldn’t play music during this time, as he recovered he found his way back but he didn’t play music when he was at his worst. I find that I cannot to do creative writing or drawing while I’m anxious, depersonalized and emotionally drained. What I want to know is, is it okay if I don’t do creative stuff for the time being? I know that it’s key to ‘cram in as much normal living as possible’ to help you recover and I do believe that. I go out with friends, go running, read books, watch films, do housework and do my university assignments, but I don’t have the inspiration or the clarity to draw or write and would rather do something relaxing and mindless to pass the time. I think that’s fine, but is this avoidant behavior? I just don’t want make it harder to get back to drawing and writing after spending time avoiding it or create problems down the line for myself.
    Any advice?

  229. Duncan Says:

    Thought I would repost as I think original got lost….

    Hi Guys,

    I have posted once or twice before but it has been lost in the ether so to speak. I developed anxiety in March this year, a generalised anxiety that has been constant for about 6.5 months now.

    I was working abroad in a stressful job living by myself, had some fairly worrying health issues which involved a lot of pain for a sustained period and broke up with my girlfriend. I returned to the UK after battling anxiety for 3 months in early June.

    It was incredibly acute, with constant stomach pain, racing scary thoughts, constant worry, trembling, insomnia, sweats, lump in throat, mucus over production, tinnitus, digestive problems, memory loss, DP, concentration problems, constant sense of dread, inability to sit still as full of adrenaline etc….

    About mid to late June I started to implement Paul’s method and have made great strides. A couple weeks ago I had 4 days anxiety free, and when it came back it was always more mild and just minor physical symptoms.

    I am however in the throes of a bit of a setback, one where the scary thoughts and irrational fears have reared their ugly head. As I thought I was getting so close I am struggling a little to accept again, as I genuinely did not think I would feel this way again. I was hoping for some advice from some on how to move through this and re-adopt my attitude of acceptance.

    I am trying not to give them the time of day and to move through them but am finding this difficult currently. Any thoughts and advice would be much appreciated, I genuinely felt like I was 95% there so if anyone could help me out with a pointer or two I would be so grateful.

    I hope everyone is doing well today.

    Duncan

  230. Bryan Says:

    Emma, terrific!! Thanks.

  231. Bryan Says:

    For those new around here… Julie and Emma were in the throes of anxiety disorder and struggling hard. To see both here moving foreword and giving advice is amazing.

    Julie/Emma… What would you say your turning point was? What helped you get out if the hole and start seeing real progress? Any first thing or key moment? People who are new would love to know I’m sure…

  232. Lisa E. Says:

    So many great posts here lately! I haven’t been coming to this site as often because my setback seems to be over or nearly over. Even though I was accepting things and working on my attitude about anxiety, it was just always there most of the time during my setback. It sucked to wake up and have my first conscious thought of the day be “I wonder if I’m going to have an anxious day”. That was the worst part, just having my brain overanalyze everything. The good news is that I got better at not caring, just letting it be there, going for lots of walks to clear my head. And it’s now not the first thing I think about in the morning. Sometimes I don’t think about it at all. For a couple days at time. It has quieted down like the last time I dealt with it. There is hope if you hang in there! Setback are the worst, but we just have to remember that we know how to do this. We are never back to square one.

  233. rachh Says:

    Hi everyone ive come for a real rant.
    I’m soooo fed up. My mind goes round and round random thoughts panic quick breathing. I can’t concentrate on self help or read anything anymore because my mind won’t take it in and it’s almost now saying im not interested either anymore. I’ve had moments today of u motivation.. And this really weird thing like I feel my brain is numb and I have to think to move my right arm.

  234. Lui Says:

    I have a big problem with stopping to act like everything is okay. I am not confident and I am not up to being funny or even smile at the moment. Paul states that we should drop the acting and show our real self.
    I don’t want people to see my depression, I really don’t and they will once I stop the acting.
    And what if I meet up with people feel all the awkwardness and let it be there? The poor person I meet up with will have to deal with long awkward silences and a depressive version of myself.
    Yes, I tried accepting this several times and evertime I was asked what is wrong with me.
    Any thoughts on this?

  235. Matt Says:

    Emma,

    Thanks for being a beacon of hope! The recovered/ing people have been probably the most beneficial part of my progress. Knowing that there is a light at the end of this tunnel has kept me going, and now I’m starting to understand the process of recovery better than ever before.

    For example, I woke up this morning feeling nauseous and fatigued and super stressed from upcoming tests, which doesn’t normally happen to this extent. However, I didn’t worry about how I felt, I just accepted it was anxiety, and it passed within two hours. I’ve still felt pretty fatigued, but I’m sure that’s due to just normal stressors that come with grad school. Overall, I’m pretty proud of myself that I didn’t have a true freakout moment today, even though I felt miserable!

    I’ve also had 5 great days in the past 3 weeks, which is a pretty big improvement, especially bc I strung 4 of those days together! Also, I haven’t really been worried about this condition being something else, and I’ve mostly just chalked it up to anxiety. I still wax/wane with acceptance, but at least I feel like I’m getting it, even with all the intrusive thoughts, anxious feelings, and physical symptoms I have.

    I’m hoping that someday I’ll be in the same shoes as Paul and others, and be able to look back at this and, as Rich says, remember when I once worried about anxiety :)

  236. Matt Says:

    Lui,

    My advice would be to just let however you come across…come across. If you feel depressed, just let it happen. If you don’t feel like letting it happen, that’s okay too. You don’t need to force yourself to do anything, and that’s the beauty of it. It’s the worry about what you should or shouldn’t be doing that’s contributing more to your anxiety. At least, that’s what I think the message would be from others who are further along than me!

  237. Rob Says:

    Just had to take a semester break from school because the anxiety was getting so bad I could not concentrate one bit and memory issues abound. I really am not feeling well at all. I had improved in the summer but once school started things were getting out of control and it feels like I am back to square one even though I am not.

    I was filling out the forms to do this and it seriously hit me that anxiety and depression is really happening to me–someone who was on top of the world 5 months ago before I got dehydrated. Most people get here through mental stress but for me it was almost completely physical stressors.

    I had taken ecstasy for the 1st time a few weeks before getting dehydrated, had a bad comedown which made me battle anxiety for a 4 days or so and then fully recovered 100% to normal and pretty much vowed never to do it or other drugs besides alcohol again. I was so relieved not to have to deal with anxiety. Except then getting dehydrated a few weeks later ruined my entire personality and I feared that the drug I took could have something to do with how I was feeling after dehydration. Led to continuous questioning that still happens today :(. I even wonder sometimes if I have some terrible anxiety disorder like PTSD but therapists have told me I do not except its hard to get that out of my head. I have become a hypochondriac about anxiety disorders.

    From what I have gotten from Paul’s book and this website though I shouldn’t try to stop the questioning. It had stopped on its own actually earlier but school stress triggered it again….

    I also keep on setting a time limit for this and have done so since the day I got dehydrated. College seriously makes it hard not to set a time limit. It feels like everybody is moving ahead without me. I hear friends talk about stuff they have done in the summer and I don’t feel connection at all.

    Hopefully this semester break will be worth it. Its only been a few months and I can still barely recall normality. I will at least get hormonal issues that are causing this fixed but I still worry what if I don’t feel normal even when my hormones get fixed….

  238. Emma Says:

    Bryan,

    It happened gradually, I remember vividly going to the supermarket with my mom on a beautiful warm sunny days…but to me, it felt like the dead of winter. The I felt like I had lost my “zest” for life entirely. A key turning point for me was — and I have to be honest — incorporating mindfulness practices into Paul’s teachings. It was the missing piece of the puzzle, they go together so well. I was struggling with the “acceptance” part. Members of the blog would say “just let it run its course, just accept it, don’t add the second fear, etc.” which was helpful…but I didn’t know HOW to actually do that. I didn’t meditate regularly until later on but I read The Mindful way Through Depression (I didn’t have actual depression but I would substitute the word depression for anxiety) by Jon Kabat-Zin and some of his colleagues. At the time I wanted to accept, but like I said, I didn’t know how… after reading the book, a ton of articles and listening to youtube videos about mindfulness, I thought wow this actually provides me with concrete things I can actively do in order to foster and nurture my mind’s acceptance mechanisms.

    One thing mindfulness teaches is that when you feel emotional or physical discomfort, instead of retracting and resisting, we need to lean into it. I was on vacation with my family this summer and I woke up with morning anxiety, I was getting dressed and had this pang of depressive feelings hit me, like a blow to the chest of sadness, emptiness and life has no meaning-ness. My mind started ruminating and I remembered the teachings of mindfulness and thought: “It’s okay, this is okay, don’t get rid of it, LEAN INTO THE DISCOMFORT.” I welcomed it, I leaned into it, I stayed with it and I shifted my focus on the frame of the present moment. Eventually, without even realizing w1hen, it dissipated. Those feelings would re-surface multiple times in a day and I did the same thing each time. Then, it started becoming easy, I could genuinely feel the difference, I was just better at it, as though I had been practicing an instrument. That instrument was my mind.

    Matt,

    Pleased to hear you’re progressing with acceptance. You know, there came a point where I told myself I just needed to have faith that somehow, despite all odds, it would all be okay and I yielded to the anxiety. When I get anxious now, or have tinges of dp or start to get that “low/sad” feeling, I just yield to it, I do not strive to change it — that sensation wants to be there, it’s just a secretion of the thinking mind. Just like the heart pumps blood, the brain secretes thoughts and feelings that are emotionally-charged. They should be viewed as so, nothing more than secretions of the thinking mind, not an indication of some type of truth about myself or the world, no matter how compelling and convincing they may seem. That was all taught to be through reading/listening to experts like Jon Kabat-Zinn’s work on mindfulness. Continue what you’re doing, you’re on the right track, continue to yield to the anxiety.

    This quote about mindfulness is one of my favourites: “Mindfulness isn’t about helping you feel better…..it’s about getting better at feeling.” So true and pertinent within the context of acceptance! Xx

  239. Julie Says:

    Bryan,

    Good question. For me it was during the summer, I was petrified of being alone with my children for 6 weeks because of my intrusive thoughts. I had also recently changed my CBT therapist and she was helping me alot. During the summer holidays I suddenly realised I had to trust myself, my morals and my beliefs, they hadn’t changed. I was still Julie, a loving mother who lived for her children.

    During those 6 weeks the anxiety came off in layers. I took my children on holiday and I had the most amazing time. I realised that by letting anxiety be there but refocusing on life it eventually did lessen and I felt Julie coming back. I had to stop focusing on myself and it was on my holiday I realised that because my children being happy that week meant much more to me. After our week away I knew what I had to do.

    During my CBT I have had alot of exposure homework to do. I couldn’t hide away from my intrusives or objects I had become afraid of, I had to go towards them. I had to read scripts that were frightening, detailing that I could do the very things I feared, 10 times a day. I at first thought, this can’t help me, but it did. I now have 75% of my fear hierarchy ticked off.

    I am not saying people need to do CBT to get over anxiety. I had intrusive thoughts that were ruining my life so I turned to a therapist who specialised in OCD and it has helped alot. At the end of the day though it all comes from us, we are the only ones who can do the hard work. My therapist said she gave me the tools and I just taught myself how to use them. She said to me that any new intrusive or new spike that came along I just treated it as a new wall but the tools in my box were exactly the same.

    I have had a set back recently, it’s not been easy after such a good period but I have had great support and I know that I can feel well again which in itself made me realise it was all anxiety in the past. Set backs are a shock but I know what triggers mine (always my extended family getting intouch) and I have learnt to eliminate stresses, but not avoid the anxiety. Set backs are awful after such a good period, but set backs I do believe make you stronger and when you come through them each one will get easier and become less frequent. Claire Weekes is right that we learn in set back, and strength isn’t born from strength, it’s born from weakness. I love those sayings and they really are so true. When you have known sheer hell, you are never the same person, you are a better and more beautiful person. You won’t ever take a minute for granted. I now look at my children and my stomach flips with love for them and I am often teary eyed just looking at them. They gave me my fighting spirit and they give me the reason to keep going.

    That is my story. I wouldn’t say I am recovered but I am closer than I was before. :-)

  240. Jess h Says:

    Hi all
    I haven’t been on here in ages I recently had an operation and since then I can constantly feel my heart pounding away in my chest? I felt it on the day and put it down to the op and anesthetic but it’s now been 5 days and all I can do I concentrate on my heart beating it’s so frustrating and is exhausting I can’t relax and am finding it difficult to sleep!
    I’ve had it before for 2 days but I coped really well! Some advice to help me ignore it would be great as it’s so prominent! I kinda know it’s not anything worse but in the back of my mind could it be??

    Thank u
    Jess xx

  241. Kyle Says:

    Rob,

    I totally get and understand your situation. I did the exact same thing and went through the same experiences. However it is now in the past and I have recovered so much that I don’t even worry about what it did to my brain because I’ll never do it again. It does get better and can take a good amount of time for your brain to adjust after putting that in your body. But it does happen so don’t worry about it.

  242. Nolan Says:

    Just let it be there.
    Whatever it is, however it manifests…. just let it be there.
    That’s all acceptance is. You’re already doing that part. You are technically letting it be there…. but you’re just freaking out along with it.

    So, in essence, you’re (we’re) just adding extra stuff to it. We’re adding the freaking out, fighting against it, searching the net, looking for more answers.

    That’s honestly all you have to do. All you have to do is not add extra stuff to this. Let the storm rage on for as long as it wants to.

    All you have to do is have a “meh, whatever” attitude towards it.

  243. Jess h Says:

    Nolan I’m not sure if that was for me or just in general however ur right I know I can let anxiety be as iv been doing it for so long living a normal life just this has knocked me for six!!!
    I really am trying again to let it be!

    Jess xx

  244. Nolan Says:

    Hi Jess,

    I think it’s good to put this in more tangible terms.

    Say two people have a phantom, diffuse itch on their hand. It’s one of those things that you just can’t locate. There’s just this general sense of an itch on your hand. You scratch around your fingers, on your palm, on the back of your hand…. but to no avail. The sensation of an itch remains and you just couldn’t find it’s location.

    One person just says, “oh well…. what can I do? I looked around, scratched everywhere…. and no luck. Guess it will pass when it passes.”

    The other person, “this isn’t good. How on earth can I have an itch on my hand and not be able to locate it. I better search online to see if anyone has ever had this. As soon as I get to work I’ll also check with my coworkers if they ever experienced this. Before that though I’m going to the pharmacy and buying some topical creams for my skin.”

    Who’s going to make a subconscious mental note to themselves to be checking in on that itch throughout the day??

    Now the example isn’t important. Maybe you’ve had this itch, maybe not…. that’s besides the point.

    The point is the issue will be there regardless. It will leave and on it’s own accord. One way to respond to it will simply smooth the path for its eventual departure; while the other way will allow you to be complicit in allowing this thing to consume your days.

    It’s essentially an attitude towards something.
    My anxiety/depression was insanely intense. Typing that even feels like an understatement. Adopting a “meh, whatever” attitude is essentially what pulled me through.
    Sometimes this was easy to do, sometimes it felt like I was lying to myself in reminding me of it…. but still, I just maintained the attitude of “big whoop” with whatever happened and things slowly started to turn around.
    Setbacks came…. I’d get confused, I’d tense up and want to cry, die, run, hide, whatever…. but I eventually (sometimes sooner than others) got back to the same attitude mindset.

    It’s not a mantra. I didn’t repeat any of this to chase anything away. No thought or feeling or symptom was off limits. I simply did it to tell myself, “it doesn’t matter. I’m going to carry on living with or without this…. the good the bad, … the dark the bright…”

    When your in the throes of a very dark, rough period it really pays no use to argue with the nature or content of those thoughts. To try to reassure yourself. At the darkest moments for me nothing made sense. The only reality was the pain, doubt, fear, and torment I felt. When I engaged the thoughts and tried reasoning with them I just felt myself sinking deeper and deeper.
    The insight, clear-headedness, peaceful mind comes on its own accord. And that stuff will come.

  245. Rob Says:

    @Kyle
    wow haha yea I know this is pretty common after a bad ecstasy comedown but the weird thing with mine is that it was caused by a pretty much unrelated dehydration which I responded anxiously to. I was trying to convince myself that the E had nothing to do with it and this must be something completely seperate but that questioning threw me into the cycle. At one point just hearing the word ecstasy I would feel fear but I don’t anymore except there is tons of residual anxiety still left. I will just let this obsessive questioning continue bc it really has no meaning.

    I also thought about how I feel distant from my past and my memories but I realize this is also just anxiety. Without anxiety nobody would care about memory loss or whatever. All of this will resolve once my low cortisol levels come back to normal.

    Anyways now I have too much free time since I am taking a semester break to recover and I am very confident it will happen. Any ideas on what I should do as a daily routine? I find that boredom just increases anxious behavior.

  246. Jess h Says:

    Nolan thank u so much iv awoken with a positive head this morning even though the beating continues in my chest although not as severe! I agree with u it’s to live and let live no matter how bad!! Iv been at the bottom to and those extremely dark places and am so pleased I’m not there anymore!!

    I know I can’t change this and that is something that I have to remind myself it will go when it’s ready!!
    Your words make sense to me a lot!! (I’ve had that ichy hand thing by the way ha ha)

    Thank u so much!
    Jess xx

  247. CJ Says:

    Julie/Emma/Nolan/Mike/Paul

    I just want to thank you for the posts recently made. I have on off had anxiety for the past ~20 years (I would say I only realize this truly now, it is feelings of depression and anxiety, but as Emma intimates they are of the same family). It has occurred perhaps in 4 extended periods months to perhaps a year during those 20 years, so the majority of the past 20 years have been good, just when you are struggling one does not see that. I have always been trying to find a reason/cause for my anxiety, linking it to my wife (Nolan I saw looking back you gave advice on how to deal with this problem of trying to pin your anxiety on your relationship and the negative impact of this…any advice you can provide to me on this would be massively appreciated), relationship, past countries I have lived in (e.g. Sweden), work…whatever….but something must be causing it. The implicit thought at work with this, is when I find that cause and eliminate it from my life then anxiety will not be there either . I am presently away on a work trip and still have anxiety with me. I think I am beginning to realize it is just part of me and comes and goes without necessarily having an underlying cause/reason and it stays around (in this case so far for 6 months) because I spend so long looking for what causes it to come. I think I am accepting it. I can sit and experience the physical symptoms and can also just get on with work. But within the acceptance I am still doing this to try and get better or get rid of the anxiety feeling…because I I don’t like them, they scare we, I feel like I will always be like this etc etc. Like so many others on this blog I look at other “normal” people and wonder/wish why cant I be like that, I use to just live and laugh and not constantly check myself for anxiety/depression. It almost feels like how can we not when it feels so rotten. I understand from this website and each of your own advice to us that acceptance is so much more than accepting the physical feelings of anxiety and carrying on with life. We need to lose the desire to find what is causing us to be anxious and also lose the desire to actually feel better. We just need to live and be grateful for this, even if we are anxious. We should not strive for feeling better, we should not try to find a cause, we should know we will resurface as we were before when we can let go of the urge to “make ourselves better” and just let it happen without actively doing anything about it and just live our lives as is today. And perhaps most importantly understand that this process will take its own time.

    Intellectually I understand all this…practically it is just hard to do. Your support and willingness to help those of us still trying to drop the urge to “get better” when there is in fact nothing wrong, is truly appreciated. I hope one day I can go from understanding all this to implementing it and then also have the goodness of heart to help others on the same path. My thanks again to you and Paul and the many others that have followed this successful path. You truly are beacons of hope in a scary time.

    Colin

  248. CJ Says:

    Nolan

    I wonder if I can trouble you for some advice with respect to the fact I try to link the cause of my anxiety/depression to my wife and the periods we lived in Sweden in the past (she is Swedish). I recall you had relationship difficulties like this and would greatly appreciate any wisdom. Others have said these thoughts are just anxiety and we should let them come but just live life based on our deeper values and feelings. I am away with work this week, and like many other times, realize that this trying to link my anxiety to any specific situations/relationships is complete bulls##t and that I really do love my wife and just want our relationship to work again, for us to love each other, be happy together and live a normal life. Because of the anxiety and it giving me negative (essentially non loving / dislike) feelings towards my wife, I don’t feel able to do this. Even though I really want to. The last sentence reads to me like trying to change something rather than just accepting. e.g. I want to make our relationship like it was but to do this have to also get rid of the anxiety that is causing me to view our relationship in a negative light. Perhaps again the unconscious effort to get rid of anxiety and have a better relationship are all just keeping it in place?? So hard just to accept and live and that through this combined with patient persistence of quiet acceptance that everything will get sorted…this seems to be what you all say…..don’t push/try for anything just let it all be ?? Is this the correct approach ??

    Thanks, Colin

  249. CJ Says:

    Julie

    “My children gave me the reason to keep going and they still do”

    This is me 100% as well. I wish I could learn to drop all efforts to get better and just be…I know this will eventually lead to the old me resurfacing……this is what everyone says. It is a difficult one…but I am trying…to not try…..and my kids are the absolute reason I want to do this….everything else is an add on

  250. Daniel Says:

    I have a question for Nolan, Rich or anyone else regardless of whether or not they are recovered. (I like to give advice to people, even though I’m not nearly recovered, but I think I can still give good advice because I can manage to be far far more objective regarding other people’s problems than I can with my own.)
    I’m really starting to get into the swing of things. I’m really taking the edge off of it, which really helps me on a daily basis. I have one question though. Is there anything you guys find you simply cannot do while you’re like this? Like in Tarmo’s case (from the book and website) he couldn’t play music during this time, as he recovered he found his way back but he didn’t play music when he was at his worst. I find that I cannot to do creative writing or drawing while I’m anxious, depersonalized and emotionally drained. What I want to know is, is it okay if I don’t do creative stuff for the time being? I know that it’s key to ‘cram in as much normal living as possible’ to help you recover and I do believe that. I go out with friends, go running, read books, watch films, do housework and do my university assignments, but I don’t have the inspiration or the clarity to draw or write and would rather do something relaxing and mindless to pass the time. I think that’s fine, but is this avoidant behavior? I just don’t want make it harder to get back to drawing and writing after spending time avoiding it or create problems down the line for myself.
    Any advice? Any similar experiences?

  251. Lisa E. Says:

    Hi Daniel, that’s a tough one. If you are worried about not being creative during this time, then maybe that is something that your anxiety is attaching to. You keep thinking about the fact that you are not doing it. If it’s really important to you, then you might want to set aside some small amount of time to give it a try on a regular basis, but just don’t beat yourself up if you don’t produce amazing work. I guess what I’m saying is that if you think it’s avoidance behavior, then maybe it is. If you see writing and drawing as important to who you are, then you should be doing it. If it’s just a hobby or something you do when the muse hits you, then there would probably be no harm in taking a break.

  252. rachh Says:

    Hi daniel im replying to u because I feel in the same boat right now.
    Without sounding like I’m blowing my own trumpet im pretty good at painting nails which I used to do on the side to my job and I also enjoyed painting (cutting in) walls and stuff. I also like decorating rooms and picking out ornaments and things and making use of space. I also had my own sense of style and knew what I like. This week anxiety has hit me the hardest it ever has.. I can’t paint because I feel disorientated and unsteady I don’t know what to wear or can’t think of what to put with what and generally can’t be arsed to get ready. It’s really.. I can’t find the motivation to help myself and what really made me realise something was wrong was when I watched the film trailer to anabelle the new horror film. Normally exorcism and dolls etc really scare me I usually can’t watch them or watch them and they completely scare me. But it’s like I knew that because it’s just the way I am. I don’t know if I’m depersonalised depressed anxious whatever but I watched the trailer and didn’t bat an eyelid. I’m concious I sound quite abrupt when talking to people and people around and music don’t seem the same like it’s all different. I can’t seem to get my brain to think because it’s like whirring toooo fast to let me get in edge ways.

    I would be interested to hear anyone’s opinions.
    Thankyou im desperate.

  253. SarahS Says:

    Hi rachh I understand! It’s okay, of course it’s going to be hard to be creative and you won’t want to always paint etc when you feel like you do. So just do what you can and then rest, do what you can. I think underneath it all you’re saying I don’t feel any better, I feel awful and you’re looking for an answer and I think that’s normal too. The hardest part for me was always how long it took for me to feel even the slightest bit better despite feeling as though I was doing the right things. But that was because of how long id had anxiety and how many habits I’d built up. It’s not easy, if it was the path to recovery would be easy peasy and we would all be fine in a week! Put your faith in us, spiritually lean on us whilst you feel as you do knowing it’s okay it’s normal however you feel or think its normal for anxiety. Feel it, go towards it, welcome it because all of this will add up to how you feel in the not so distant future. It will get better. Trust us and feel it, anything goes xx

  254. Rob Says:

    @Daniel

    When I am anxious I find that I absolutely cannot do anything academic related–hence why I took a break. It feels like I’ve basically forgotten everything I have ever learned and that I’m doomed to be stupid and never return to my normal intelligent clear minded self which is all untrue. Its just very hard to have any interest in academic stuff while anxiety is going on.

  255. CJ Says:

    Hi

    For Nolan or others that have dealt with relationship anxiety please:
    I wonder if you would be so good as to give some advice as to how best deal with having anxiety around my wife (of 21 years). This I believe emanates from her being Swedish and me having my two triggering panic attacks in Sweden. Doreen has already explained the basic problem is that I am attaching my anxiety to anything. I understand this to mean it is better to not even bother looking for a cause of the anxiety…this gives it more importance than it should have. i.e. forget the cause, work on the remedy. I still have in my head if I leave and start again the anxiety will leave aswell. Deep down I don’t want to do this and know anxiety will just follow anyhow. Doreen and Julie have provided some helpful words in relation to just accepting the persistent thoughts. What I would like to ask from someone who has perhaps been there…is the best option to as regularly as a possible do things with my wife even (perhaps especially) because I feel anxious. Accept the anxiety and do them anyway…as often as possible? This seems to be what I get from reading, but would like to hear from those more experienced.

    One other general question. I have read, and practice, that we should concsciously go towards and experience our anxious feelings in the body and try to sit and be with then ~30 mins per day. This helps desensitize us to the feelings…e..g they just be come regular. I think this helps me, but it would be classed as giving the feelings some importance, by concentrating (non-judgementally) on them. Do any of you have a view as to whether doing this was helpful for you or not?

  256. Bryan Says:

    Awesome, Nolan.

  257. Jacqui Says:

    Hi Rachh,
    I completely understand the whole unable to be creative thing. I’m a writer, and have found it really hard to get back into writing my latest novel. I’ve tried doing little bits here and there which is better than nothing and have to trust it will come back. I know how you feel about those sorts of films, I hate them too, and for me it was these that set my anxiety off in the first place after three years of constant stress (so guess my mind had just had enough!). I’m unsure if this made my thoughts harder to deal with as there was no ‘I know this wont happen’ solution because how could I know? I was bad with dp until I found this site and have felt better since. My physical symptoms have disappeared, but in still dealing with the thoughts. I’m working on Paul’s/Nolan’s so what attitude, and have to say I have had a good couple of weeks feeling much like my old self (not entirely but hey much better than I was). I’ve felt a bit down again over the last couple of days, with the mind noise in the background but Im trying to just carry on as normal., and hope that in time I will have more times like the good period I have had recently. I stupidly looked at something yesterday on the dreaded subject we both hate which seems to have set me off again! Hope you feel better soon

  258. Karen Says:

    I have been pondering a couple of things and wondered if anyone had any ideas …..
    Intrusive thoughts are caused by adrenaline and at times, like now they seem to fire fairly constantly because adrenaline is high. So, if I accept them and dont engage with them, as my adrenaline reduces so will the amount of thoughts …. right? To be honest, half the time it feels like I am putting them there and making them be repetitive myself on purpose. Weird! Is that fairly normal? I am mostly able to let them go but do feel on edge that I may stop being able to do this. The repetitive ones are very difficult.

    Secondly I was thinking about the times in my life anxiety has triggered and it has usually been on school holidays. Now is that because my brain is exhausted and given a space to react to try recover or is it just that I have too much time to think and get myself in a stew? I suspect the first, assuming intrusive thoughts are a byproduct of adrnaline. Any ideas?

  259. Daniel Says:

    Thank you so much Lisa E and Rob! I suppose I should also thank Jacqui and SarahS who didn’t read my question but attempted to answer it regardless, but special thanks goes to you two that took the time to respond to my question. You guys rock!
    I think we can agree the absolute answer is not apparent at the moment, so I’ll just have to wait and see. Which sort of, in it’s own way, says I should take a break from creative pursuits. Like I said in an earlier though I do have concerns when I put things off for when “I’m better.” But there are some questions that I am not in any mindset to “figure out” at this point in time.

    I have a second, similar question to ask that relates to my earlier one, sort of a continuation. Over the past while I’ve just started to do things that don’t take a lot of concentration to pass the time. I want to know if it’s alright to do things I normally wouldn’t do, while not doing things I used to do, while I give my mind a rest. I still do many things regardless of how I feel, but would it be okay if over this next while I watch mindless Youtube videos instead of writing and doing art? Or am I letting anxiety affect my lifestyle too much?
    I mean I feel perfectly fine with not writing at the moment, and it doesn’t bother me when I do something brainless, but once and a while I get concerned if this behavior contradicts Paul’s whole “Do what you used to do regardless of how you feel/Cram in as much normal living as possible.”

  260. SarahS Says:

    Hi Daniel, if I may say so I think you’re just worrying too much about whether you’re sticking to all the advice that Paul’s given. I think it’s particularly difficult if you’re a creative person or in a job that requires lots of concentration to carry on as before as it were. You can only do what you can do and yeah do mindless stuff sometimes or things that require less concentration but don’t condemn yourself when you do. Don’t try to stick to 100% of the advice it’s just too much pressure sticking to 70% most of the time will still get you better :-) . By the sound of your posts you do loads, much more than lots of non-anxious lazy bums :-) so don’t worry too much about having a chill for now I say!

  261. Matt Says:

    Emma,

    I really like how you said “just like the heart, the brain secretes thoughts and feelings that are emotionally-charged”. That’s so true! The problem with anxiety is that we stopped viewing it like that, and started thinking that every thought means something about us as a person, or that what it’s telling us is true!

    I feel I’ve at least progressed enough to fully understand your message, even if I still get lost (quite often). For example, I had a great stretch of 4 days, which was the first in a while that I felt almost symptom free. But then stressful tests came, lack of sleep ensued, and I found myself in a hole. I told myself that it would pass for a while, but since my other stressor were up, it didn’t, and I find myself struggling a bit now to just let it be there. Rather, I can tell I’m trying to rush it away, especially my intrusive thoughts, because they’re so damn scary!

    But I was thinking about it this morning, and even though I’m still not really allowing my intrusive thoughts to be there all the time, I do allow my physical symptoms to be there, and they don’t bother me nearly as much as they did this time last year. Eventually I’ll get the same attitude towards those intrusive thoughts, because, heck, I haven’t died or gone to jail yet, so I know that they are just stupid figments of the imagination!

  262. Daniel Says:

    Thanks SarahS,
    I think that much was becoming apparent to me just as I voiced my concerns, but sometimes laying your thoughts down helps get them in order.
    I agree. I’ll take it easy for now, it definitely won’t make me any worse and it could give my mind the rest it needs.

    I think it’s just the lack of something to “do about it” that’s been my concern. But like Paul says, recovery isn’t a do. But the things I CAN do help. I can take care of myself, be there for the people I care about, I can devote time to my academics, I can do chores that need to get done, offer what advice I can to other people on the blog and be considerate and positive for others on the blog as well as my family and friends.

    Best of luck to everyone!

  263. Colin Says:

    All
    I am having severe problems with relationship anxiety. I have mentioned this before. I get anxiety when with my wife (which I think arises from the fact 2 major anxiety trigger events or panic attacks both happened when we lived in Sweden, my wife is Swedish). I keep thinking I should leave her and start on my own and that then my anxiety (and depression) would disappear (we have been married 21 years). When I am away (like last week for a work trip) I was actually in tears (in the hotel room) at the prospect of leaving her and letting her and our 3 kids down and just wanted to try and have a normal relationship with her again. It just seems like there is so much distance between us now, caused by my anxiety. Somehow deep down I don’t want to leave her but my anxiety keeps pushing me that this is the right thing to do (rather like obsessive and persistent thoughts). Advice so far has been to just let the obsessive thoughts come and pay them no heed. I am trying to do this. My question is should I actively do as many things as possible be with my wife, feel the anxiety, let it be there and just keep on doing things with her so that I teach anxiety it is not a problem to be around her. I am really confused and becoming increasingly desperate. If I am honest I guess what I am really looking for is reassurance (as we all do) that this type of problem is only anxiety and will go away like all the other issues if we learn to just be with our anxiety and not give it any respect. That said I would still really appreciate any wise words from people who have had similar issues.

    Thanks Colin

  264. steve Says:

    I,m new to this site after just reading through the book.Iv,e struggled for 2 years now.I know we have to just live along side the anxiety but it is hard when the physical problems are so strong.I have started to suffer headaches caused by anxiety that are like migraines,making me feel sick,terrible head pain and distorted vision.It is hard to to get on with my day because it physically knocks me about.Has anyone got any advice/experienced similar problems?

  265. Jacqui Says:

    Hi Colin,
    I cant help directly as I don’t have relationship anxiety but my anxiety did interfere with my relationship for quite a while. My anxiety was set off by watching something that scares me in general anyway (horror films) after suffering for several years with stress on a number of issues from money worries to family problems…and everything in between! I had bad dp, bad physical symptoms (most of which alleviated when I found this site and realised I wasn’t going crazy) but because of the intrusive thoughts I found it hard to be close to my partner in any way, be it intimately or just cuddling on the sofa. I just could not push the thoughts from my mind and it really started to get me down, feeling Id never enjoy my relationship again. I felt guilty and saddened that I couldn’t feel comfortable around him; my skin would crawl if he tried to touch me which I hated…this wasn’t us at all.
    But I have really started trying to let the thoughts in. It’s not easy at all but I’m trying, and on reading a post by Nolan I realised I had to start doing things for my partner and my daughter rather than myself. Making them happy was better than sitting feeling sorry for myself. Again, this wasn’t easy, but it had to be done. I then found that I had a good few days where I felt really good. Not 100% but better than I was and for the first time I felt able to enjoy my relationship.
    I’m having a few bad days at the moment but I’m taking the attitude so what. Again this certainly isn’t easy, but I trust this method works. I think you know deep down these thoughts are all anxiety, otherwise you wouldn’t feel so upset at the thought of throwing in the towel, but it will pass. You need to try and carry on and do things with your wife as you would have before the anxiety, otherwise you’re strengthening the thoughts that she is the problem. I know it’s not easy and it does take time which is the hard bit, but with a little time, a bit of bravery and a lot of patience we can all get through this (and I believe this even though I’m feeling pretty crap again at the moment!) I hope this helps ????

  266. Kyle Says:

    Rob,

    I had the same anxiety and fear when it came to partying and drinking with people or going out and I would get the worst hangovers and my anxiety and depressive symptoms would be through the roof. I couldn’t function for at least a week after. I always get bad anxiety when I am dehydrated but if you think about it when you are dehydrated your body becomes stressed because it is out of equilibrium and that causes it to work harder. As far as academics go I was in the same boat. This all hit me when I was trying to get things together and apply to law school and take the admissions exam. I couldn’t think or problem solve at all because my brain just felt dead. What I did as far as a routine to get back into things was provide as much structure as I could back into my life. I started a workout routine which I try to follow as best I can because working out increases endorphins and increase brain activity and repair. I started eating healthy too alongside of that. I also started reading a lot because that also helps with brain function even if you have to read slowly. I also found out that law wasn’t for me and I went after a very big job in the commercial real estate market which I have always been fearful of because I am not the most competitive person when it comes to business but its got me out of my comfort zone and is teaching me a lot and keeping me extremely busy. I started doing a lot of things I normally wouldn’t do. I go out with my coworkers and I have started finding hobbies that I do on my own instead of with other people which always made me feel safe. I let the anxiety be there regardless and accepted this is me for a while and knew that if I put myself out there not looking for answers or magic pills I would recover. I started going after my goals slowly and decided I might have to live like this for a while. Anxiety can only control you if you let it. Another big part for me was surrounding me with driven and accomplished people. I would also stay away from all alcohol and bad stuff. Let you body heal. Give it time and change your attitude and you will come out of this. just start living rather than waiting but don’t push it thinking that if I do this and that I will get better. This last weekend and the past week I have been around 80-85% and I would say today I may be a bit higher. I don’t feel anything like my old self because this has honestly changed me for the better.

  267. Kevin Says:

    Kyle,

    I just wanted to say that you said something that completely changed my focus and it was like a lightbulb went on in my head. I keep thinking, “will I ever be my old self? I dont even remember what I used to be like” but then you said that you dont feel anything like your oldself because this changed you for the better. I realized that im a different person now, stronger, wiser, and I dont need to be how I was. Ive been hungup about that for a while now but its almost like the veil is lifted about it. Thank you

  268. Lui Says:

    Hey everybody,

    I need some advice on the concentration topic. I just can’t concentrate. I am not using this as an excuse to not do anything in high school. I actually worked my way back to the top of the class. I am a really good student again, but I have a huge problem with concentration. I am really detachted 24/7, have racing thoughts and so on. The usual anxiety stuff.
    Today it happened, that I did not do good on an important class test and it’s totally ruining my grade. It’s making me really angry because I worked my ass off to be on top of m classes again and now I don’t do good on the tests because my mind is so dull and reverting back to anxiety all the time.
    Even while doing homework or learning I just can’t focus. Its horrible and I don’t know what to do. This is an really important school year. It decides about my future and I don’t want to look back and regret that I didnn’t do better in school…

  269. Kyle Says:

    Kevin,

    No problem. I just had one of those moments when you realize that accepting allows you to be okay with anything and sometimes that means to stop wondering when you will feel normal and what that “normal feeling” will be like. Honestly the old you is what got you into this situation and once you accept and start recovering you just slowly become a better person. What my anxiety did was made me just think about how everything was and how I use to feel and I always thought recovering was getting back to that. That’s when you start questioning everything and dig that hole because you start comparing everything and analyzing every little action, which just fuels the fire. Its all anxiety and it can and will never hurt you it just makes you feel like it and feeling/thoughts are not always reality. Give the over worked system of your a break and just carry on and live how you were before anxiety or start doing new things either way it doesn’t matter. What really matters is that you stop fixing and start living. I realize that all of this is easier said than done because it feels like you need to figure everything out before you can start to recover and get everything in place but really you just gotta let it be. Anxiety to me is the mind trying to control everything and in reality that can never be possible.

  270. Lauren Says:

    Hi Kyle,

    I have been suffering from anxiety/depression for nearly 3 years, since when I had severe anxiety and recovered/felt better following Pauls approach (2011). In 2012 (when the anxiety returned because of something physical in my throat- made social situations very anxiety producing, which manifested, I ended up working full-time hours in hospitality. This got my mind off my throat and the anxiety caused by it, however I took on a new way of operating, explained by someone I worked with as a “thinker”. Since then I have got on with my days, however being in my head a lot. It has become my natural way of operating. It has caused me to be quite tense a lot of the time, no doubt a way of suppressing normal emotions. Now I am in my head a lot, having negative thoughts about myself, and reacting negatively towards my Mother. My mind does feel tired and I am staring into space (thinking) much of the time. Anxiety is still there, but medication has dulled it, so feeling symptoms of depression a lot more. When I followed Paul’s advice in 2011, it seemed to make sense (worked easily- I felt better by the day, felt eager to face my fears). Today, I feel stuck with his advice, and have been operating like this for a while. Can you give any advice/ words that may help with situation I am in?. :) I have thought of going off medication as I’m hoping it isn’t suppressing things. But, I don’t want depression/thoughts to get any worse.

    Thankyou for helping,

    Lauren.

  271. Rob Says:

    @Kyle

    Wow thats almost exactly the same as the way my anxiety works. I continuously obsess about “Am I normal” and then react by saying “If I am even having that thought I must not be normal so there is a huge problem.” There are some better days but even on those days I find myself questioning too much.

    I try to go out with friends and stuff and I find it difficult to socialize. I have this perception that if no conversation is happening then its really awkward. It feels like I have nothing interesting to talk about.

  272. Kyle Says:

    Lauren,

    Honestly in my opinion most anxiety and depression are just developed habits that deplete our bodies. Like Paul and Claire Weekes said a lot of people feel as if anxiety just appears and don’t notice the stressful situations that can cause stress which causes anxiety a much depression. I am no doctor but that just my beliefs. Its really just a vicious cycle. I dwelled so much on fixing this problem when in reality its completely normal in the circumstance but we feel like we should never feel like this and its some sort of illness. Now some peoples brain do have problems producing neurochemicals that can cause it but I think most of the time we bring it on ourselves. When you have anxiety you are constantly looking for a way out or some pill or some mantra or someone to explain to you that if you do this of that it will all go away. Its not true. Honestly stop trying to fix how you feel. You have developed a habit of dwelling on yourself and keep on thinking about why you feel like you do which just tires you out and sensitizes you even more. I was in my head just like you and my parents got on my nerves so much because they just couldn’t understand it and I snapped at people just because I couldn’t stand how I felt and was so jealous about everyone who just seemed to be fine and happy. Get your life back by living it and finding a new routine. Challenge yourself. I spent so much time telling myself I wasn’t going to go for my dream career until I was recovered and had enough confidence and that never came. So I started working out like I use to in college. It was hard at first because I wasn’t interested and it seemed like I forgot what I was doing but I stuck with it and now I look forward to going to the gym. I bagged law school because it was what my parents wanted and not what I wanted and with the help of my doc I went after a very stressful job in sales and I am loving it and my mentors/bosses are awesome and expect a lot out of me. I stopped drinking because I was using that to suppress feelings and cover up anxiety. I started going out to dinner with people after work which I have never done in my life. I honestly just decided to risk it all and do everything I was afraid of doing or was too shy to do. I left all self help books behind and just decided to do what Pauls says which is nothing. That in itself is hard to accept because we feel like we are broken and “something” needs to be fixed. Anxiety makes you try to control every aspect of your life because what you are really fearing is losing control. You fear you are losing control of your thoughts, your actions, your mind lol Its built up stress which led to a bad habit or worry which depleted yourself causing depression. For the whole medication thing I have no clue. My doc put me on mood stabilizers because my intrusive thoughts were that bad but I am only on .5 mg. If they make you feel better great but all they are doing is there to take the edge of so you can get outside yourself and develop better habits. I am in no way an expert on this and this is all just my opinion and how I did it. I still have my moments of anxiety and DP and depression or what ever and I always use to worry this is something worse or these symptoms means im gunna lose it or they are just the beginning. But guess what… nothing ever happened… I didn’t go crazy… I didn’t lose my mind. Long story short and sorry for the rant but do what you fear most and just let it be. It feels really risky because you feel like if you don’t fight this thing its all going to fall apart. But that’s just what anxiety is. Get out of bed and take care of business and put yourself out there and live. Take a leap of faith. Its going to feel so weird and you are gunna feel like running and hiding cuz you think you are crazy to just let it all go but that’s the answer.

    Rob,

    Yeah man it crazy how this make syou question everything. I kept on thinking “are my thoughts normal” “am I acting normal” “is this really me” “is this a dream” “do I have this mental disorder” “will I ever be the same”. All just thoughts that our mind throws out there which are normal and we end up trying to control because we feel like if we can rid ourselves of them then we will be normal. You feel broken, you lose your sense of humor, personality, you honestly just feel like you have lost everything about you but its still there. The social part is because you are so focused on yourself you don’t find anything engaging and keep on thinking you aren’t normal and must act normal so no one finds out. And yeah sometimes no conversation is awkward lol but that’s normal to. Remember awkward situations do happen and its not just you haha. maybe the other person is just weird. You also developed a habit. Take a page out of Nikes playbook and “JUST DO IT”

    I wish I had some magic trick I discovered that sorted all this out but just listen to paul and stop questioning so much. Just because you aren’t recovered after a day of accepting or a week month or year just let it go. We want to be recovered now and I get that I was there too but if you just decide this is me and that’s okay but I gotta get on with my life you will recover. Stop fixing and start doing. I am not 100% but I know I am 1000X better than I was. I have good days and I have days where I just seem like I am not fully there and something is off. This is just my two cents. If a set back comes then fine because I know you can improve and get better. Also remember “normal” people (what is normal anyway) have good and bad days too its natural.

  273. Kyle Says:

    Lauren,

    Also stress is normal, so don’t go out looking for that anxiety and depression when you think things are getting stressful or you just feel off. That just causes you to think to much which you are already doing.

  274. Lauren Says:

    Thanks Kyle… I really am analyzing “acceptance” too much. It is getting to the point where im judging if my frame of mind is right.. basically lots of thoughts.

  275. Cass Says:

    Iv had anxiety on and off all my life but it never really bothered me until Christmas last year when I had a panic attack and had all the scary thoughts and 24.7 my mind was on me and as time went on i followed all Paul’s advice but the one hurdle I just couldn’t get past was the constant checking in, everytime I was alone I’d do it was always aware of myself but the anxiety had gone but still wasn’t 100% recovered and would get spells of being depersonalised and basically last week I had what I can only describe as a migraine and it caused a panic attack because I was sure I was having a stoke and since then iv been completely depersonalised and I just feel like a stranger to myself it’s horrible the worst iv ever felt and I just need reassurance I guess that I’m going to be ok and it’s all normal.. I can’t shake it off its like I don’t know anything about myself even though I do and I just feel so strange and don’t even know who I am or if I love my family but I know I do.. I really just need a pep talk and to get back on track and this time fully recover! I’m 23 and have spent so much of my life worrying I just want to get better.

  276. Rachel Says:

    Perdy just wondering how your getting on xx

  277. Daniel Says:

    I’m in a bit of a rough patch at the moment, it’s one of those periods where you haven’t seen an improvement despite doing everything right. (At the very least I can take joy in a more normal lifestyle, but after a while you start getting impatient that you’re still not feeling any better.)
    Anywho, this ‘rough patch’ is making me have doubts. I was wondering if anyone could redirect to me the blog post or chapter from Paul’s book that covers the improvements in ones life post-anxiety that weren’t there pre-anxiety. I just think I need a little reassurance that I won’t fall back into this again after I finally recover. I recall Paul (or maybe somebody on the blog) discussing that in great detail, but I can’t quite remember exactly where. So if anyone remembers, I’d appreciate it if you could direct me towards it.

  278. Matt Says:

    Daniel,

    I’m in the same exact spot. You wrote how I’ve been feeling lately. A little over two weeks ago, I had the first four day stretch where I felt almost normal again, and all my thoughts had decreased. I felt that I was accepting well, and that’s what eventually brought on some relief. I tried not to stray from that process, though I slipped back down. I’ve also tried to stay true, even though I wasn’t seeing improvement, but it’s been almost three weeks now, and I still am feeling the same. I’m starting to feel more desperate, because it feels like what I’m doing isn’t working, which makes me press more on recovery. Obviously, pressing the issue means you aren’t accepting and then you start trying to force how you feel again.

    I’ve actually been having worse intrusive thoughts lately, even though I’ve been accepting them better….or so I thought. It kinda feels like now I’m getting different new ones, and it’s making me afraid that I’m going to start having the 24/7 and not be able to function. It’s really frustrating to think/feel that you’re on the right track, only to not see improvement. I’ve also been busy/tired from 3 weeks of school tests as well, which adds to my stress load, and I’m not sure if that’s prolonging the issue.

    I guess today is one of those days where I just feel like I need an outlet. I just want to feel better now, even though I know that’s now how this works. I’m just frustrated because I was so tired, and I finally had time to take a nap, and I couldn’t even do that bc my mind wouldn’t shut off, and now I still feel tired! Gah!

  279. Yolande Says:

    i am feeling antsy like i cant sit still and i also feel kinda strange feeling. i dont know how to put it into words. for the past few weeks i have felt almost normal, then the past few days i started thinking and then the feelings came back.

    the strange feeling started around that time – i would feel like there’s something not quite right but i cant put my hands on it. does anyone have this pls???

    i am almost recovered and sometimes i know i add the anxiety myself when i over ruminate about certain issues. i always seem to be feeling down …………..my family keep telling me to focus on positive things – i do it’s just that i cant seem to hold on to them long enough to feel good. i keep wanting to be back to my ole self and i know that will take time.

    i am on a job search right now and am constantly stressing myself out cos the job market is so soft right now. Time is what i need and that i find v hard to achieve as i am a very impatient person.

    any advice would be appreciated.

    thanks

  280. Jacqui Says:

    I too have been having a setback lately and felt really bad over the last couple of days. I’ve tried to let the thoughts be there and this morning i do feel a bit better, though still uneasy and worried. My problem/query is that though I’m letting these thoughts be there as much as possible, many of them still really scare me, so maybe I don’t let them stay as much as I should. Is this normal, or am I doing it wrong? I really do try to let them be there and I did have a few days last week where I felt a lot better and so much more relaxed. Then I tested myself by reading something about the subject that freaked me out in the first place and I think that sort of set me off again as it allowed the worries to manifest another way. Advice would be much appreciated :)

  281. Jennifer Says:

    Firstly – Paul you are a legend and this site is a life saver and such a great support. I have a lot of love for this site.

    Secondly – I am having a set back after perhaps 2 years since my last period of strong anxiety.
    Woke up with palpatations last week and then it spiralled.
    You CAN completely recover from anxiety and get your levels of adrenaline back to being managable/’normal’, I am living proof and the good thing is I know this now.
    I know it worked before so it will again,
    but just wondered, something I haven’t seen mention much on here is how and if you explain to other people why you might be acting quieter than normal or be laughing less etc whilst going through a period of anxiety?

    I understand that this could be just ANOTHER thing to worry about and I know not to do that/add to the worry, but I was just curious on how people explain this to other people/work colleagues or whether you just keep it to yourself?

    I don’t trust others much nor do I think they would understand.
    I also want to appear fairly normal so as to help my recovery, rather than drawing more attention to it than is needed.

    Seding you all lots of hope as that is important throughout difficult time

    Thanks

    Jennifer

  282. Nolan Says:

    Hi Jacqui,

    you said, “My problem/query is that though I’m letting these thoughts be there as much as possible, many of them still really scare me, so maybe I don’t let them stay as much as I should”

    They’re still going to scare you. Remember, we don’t start accepting to make these thoughts, doubts, symptoms vanish immediately. I mean, that would be great if it were to happen that way…. but barring a miracle, it’s just not going to play out like that.

    Accepting is simply having a different attitude towards it all and stopping the fight of trying to force yourself to feel one way or another.

    If it were by mere force that we overcame these issues we would have overcame them in the first week or two when they set in really hard. Because those would have been the weeks when we were most determined to chase it off.

    Peace will come. You’ll know when it’s there. It’s not there now, so just be cool with that.

    I know this isn’t fun. That’s an understatement. I know that at times you’re at your wits end. It feels like unending torment. It feels like a fate comparable to that of Sisyphus. So, I’m not making light of anything you’re struggling with now.

    One more thing. You said, ” I really do try to let them be there and I did have a few days last week where I felt a lot better and so much more relaxed.”

    I’m not trying to sound like a jerk. I just really want you to think about this. You said you’re really trying to let the thoughts be there. So I have to ask, ‘would they be there if you weren’t trying to let them be there?’
    We both know the answer: of course they would.
    You don’t need to do anything to ‘let them be there’, because they’re simply going to be there (for the time being).
    Well, since their being there is independent of any effort on your part what’s the only other thing you could possibly do? Change your attitude towards them.
    But remember, even changing our attitude towards them doesn’t mean they’ll magically evaporate. It’s not reacting to them the way you used to.

    Also, setbacks will come…. and when they come it’s not a reflection of a failure on your part. They were just going to come regardless. But there’s no new dance you need to make those setbacks leave…. it’s all the same: change your attitude towards it to “oh well, so what”.

  283. Jacqui Says:

    Thanks Nolan,

    I really appreciate your advice and time. I know I’m still getting used to the ‘so what’ attitude and do feel in part that it is helping. I guess its the nature of my thoughts that I seem to be reminded of it most of the time (from film trailers, Halloween stuff etc) so short of becoming housebound without a tv I’m constantly surrounded by stuff that reminds me of my thoughts which then sets them off again, kind of making it feel like I’m fighting a losing battle.

    For the most part I am trying to get on with life, and I find stress (which kicked all this off in the first place) makes it worse, yet when I’m less stressed I feel a little more clear headed so naturally I’m working on learning to stay calm and not allowing pointless things to get to me. I’m still working (I work from home) which also helps in keeping me occupied and I have recently started a new fitness class (not for anxiety sake but for mine) which has also really helped. I don’t want to let this rule my life as I feel its taken enough already, but I guess I’m still learning like a lot of people and as you say it takes time and certainly isn’t easy, especially when we’ve experienced a good day or two.

    thank you again for your time. Your previous posts have really helped me and so has this one. I guess I need to feel the fear more…as hard as it is!

  284. Perdy Says:

    Hi Rachel, still the same really, dizziness was really bad this Sunday just gone, I was going to go out but couldn’t face it as was so unbalanced! I know you’re supposed to still go about your business, but with this it’s so hard. Also been obsessing about having terrible illnesses from MND to MS!!! Trouble is the symptoms can fit these dreadful diseases! :-( terrified to go back to docs cos referrals stress me even more so it’s a vicious circle. Trying hard to tell myself positive things, ie ive been like this for years now and I’m still here, had MRI’s etc but it’s hard as you know. Sometimes think I’m worse when I’m not at work, (I work in a school so gets lots of holidays) in my head I want to do so much, shopping, lunches etc etc, but it’s easier to give in and stay at home when you feel so s**t!!!
    How about you Rachel, the last you wrote you were very fizzy just moving your head?? Xx

  285. Perdy Says:

    Supposed to read ‘dizzy’ not fizzy!! Hee hee

  286. SarahS Says:

    Perdy “fizzy” made me smile lots :-) .
    Nolan you’re advice is so good, it seems to come naturally too! Well jell!

  287. Nolan Says:

    My pleasure…. I’m glad they help.

    I just really want to stress something:

    Setbacks will come and they’re not your fault. You’ll feel lower than low. You’ll think you were on the wrong path the whole time. You’ll think that this final setback will truly convince your mind that you are indeed broken beyond all repair. The symptoms will feed into the fears and the fears feed back into the symptoms while the doubt starts to rise higher and higher… all the while you’re looking up at this beast looming ever larger in front of you. Your heart will sink as you try to run the scenarios through in your head of how you can beat this thing. Anger will start to bubble up only to be tempered by fear and despair.

    You’ll think, “this is too long. I’ve been here too long. I am broken.”. Once again memories of the past, memories of the whole you will be stained with this. Nothing will make sense. A nightmare that didn’t have the decency to confine itself to your dreams.

    But that’s not the end of your story.

    The storm will pass. The things so strongly hoped and yearned for will return…. on their own, not by force. That peace and understanding will come naturally.
    But, for now just let it be there. Change your attitude towards it. Truly happy people aren’t the ones that found a way to end suffering, they’re just the ones that accept that suffering happens but while allowing their life to be guided by higher principles: concern for others. Many times inspite of how they may be feeling.

    Don’t view this burden as something that’s breaking you down…. view it as something that very well holds the possibility of helping you to become one of those truly happy, peaceful persons that leave an indelible impression on the hearts and minds of others.

    Look, someday you might get to be that beacon of hope and light in someone else’s life. Some man or woman who can see no hope in their life and no possibility of its return.

    It’s not all bad.

    God bless.

  288. Matt Says:

    Nolan,

    You’re awesome. Because of your posts, I have been able to get a much better grasp at what acceptance means. I was missing the second level of acceptance, which is that I accept when I cannot control my anxiety, and that it’s ok to feel however I feel. I feel that I am making strides, in part because of you and everyone else on this blog. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  289. Karen Says:

    But Nolan, I have been practising acceptance for over six months and still only get a few good days a month. I know we are not meant to accept to make it go away but surely if I was doing this right I would be more peaceful than this by now. Do you think if your circumstances are more stressful it takes longer to recover, or if you get little sleep?
    Can you clarify something for me ….. the lovely thoughts! I try to notice them, label them and let them float off. I thought we were meant to accept the thought and try not to react, engage or question them? I have been aiming to not let them scare me. But you said they are bound to be scary (and they really are ….. at the moment they focus on have I done something – does anyone else get those?) Have I been trying too hard and therefore not really accepting.
    Jacqui can I ask did you go on meds in the end? I know you were considering it?

  290. Jacqui Says:

    Hi Karen,

    I didn’t go on meds in the end, mainly because of my young daughter and I didn’t want to navigate the possibility of side effects, tiredness etc. I’m not one for meds as a rule anyway unless absolutely necessary. I did try Kalms for my stress and irritability which did help, though I didn’t take it for the anxiety, just to try and deal with my stress better which I know I’m not the greatest at (though I used to be before the last few years took everything to another level!) I do find stressful days make me worse so I’m trying to manage that at the moment and have been better with it over the last couple of months. I found they also helped me sleep which helped too.

  291. lainie waller Says:

    nolan i so look forward to your posts and thank you x

  292. Nolan Says:

    Hi Karen,

    I’ll just say it took me much longer than 6 months to start feeling even long stretches of normalcy. So I don’t think that’s all that bad…. but again, it is what it is.

    Regarding the thoughts. I didn’t try to make myself not notice them. If I noticed them fine…. big whoop…. then I noticed them. I just had a different attitude towards it.

    Being scared is not a volitional decision. Meaning, you don’t have to tell yourself while watching a scary movie, “Okay, I’m really going to let myself be scared at this next scene.” That just happens reflexively.
    So, making it a goal to not be afraid when a scary thought surfaces almost seems a silly endeavor. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t change your attitude towards it ,”oh well, so it spooked me out a bit…. whatever.”
    What do you think that attitude will eventually do when those scary thoughts surface again?

    Here’s a better example.

    Two people have alittle bit of a health scare. They both have the initial jolt and maybe some lingering fear in the back of their head.

    One takes to the net and searches the far reaches to obtain any bit of information they can on this health scare. Talks about it to anyone he meets. Doesn’t watch that movie he was going to watch in the evening because he needs some time to really figure this whole thing out.

    The other tells himself “what can you do?” and goes about his day. Still a bit bug out by the whole thing but reminds himself, “what can you do?”.

    Both have the scare, both have the thoughts. For one it compels behavior that increases the importance of that scare as well as the thoughts…. for the other one it doesn’t.

  293. Nolan Says:

    My pleasure, Lainie. Hope you’re doing well.

  294. Karen Says:

    Thanks Nolan, I do get that, so well explained. I don’t google anymore and come on here less, pretty much getting on with life as normal despite fairly constant thoughts and feeling bad. I just get so frustrated. I think the amount of times I have to tell myself ‘whatever’ is tough too. I know fear of the thoughts definitely increases them and spreads their content. This setback was started because I had a couple and did “oh no they are back”. I can see that but trying to navigate out again and rediscover the not mattering is tough. I am aware that I am using acceptance to try rid myself of them.
    At the end of the day this should be so simple and it frustrates me that I find it so hard and just can’t seem to get to grips. Its all a load of pants really, you would never meet a more gentle person than me and yet the thoughts. Rubbish!

  295. Eliza Says:

    Hi All,

    I never wanted to feel my anxiety and I looked for therapists, family and other people to cure me of my anxiety but they couldn’t and though I learnt a lot about myself it didn’t bring me any closer to feeling my feelings, one therapist in particular who was very kind and forward thinking dared me to feel my feelings and said it would give me a great sense of myself but I wasn’t brave enough. I have come a long way in taking care of my health but I still wobble with this anxiety, I avoid people and situations that I feel stimulate my anxiety and it has made the world much smaller and restricted for me. In my reluctance to feel my anxiety I usually shutdown and become aloof or else babble on, talk and talk almost using the other person as a therapist to free myself of how I am feeling – I don’t like either extremes and I feel I owe myself so much more and I am worth much more than other peoples frowns or comments about having to go and glances at their watches.
    My anxiety has also entered my sleep, I have always been a heavy sleeper, one area anxiety did not touch but when a relation was sick, I got very tired visiting her and it affected my sleep and instead of just accepting I was tired, I got anxious about my sleeping and that kept me awake and last night I slept for two hours then I woke and said I will just accept this and enjoy relaxing but I was only playing games with myself as I wanted to sleep so badly so I tried the Sandra Paker approach to anxiety – getting into the body, naming the different parts that feel tense and really feeling the anxiety – it has worked sometimes but it didn’t last night so then I tried deep breathing and I did start yawning but still no sleep and then I tried just letting thoughts come and not entertaining them but still no joy with the sleep, tonight I am going to do nothing – just lie there like a log and if I sleep I sleep if not okay…
    Anyway just sharing and it would be good to hear other people thoughts if they do similar things because of their anxiety.
    Regards,
    Eliza

  296. SarahS Says:

    Hi Karen it really isn’t easy especially when you’re in a setback and your anxiety and senses are heightened, you’re shattered emotionally and physically and you’re mind and thoughts are racing or you’re feeling low and upset. Then it’s really hard to put it all into practice and then to top it all you don’t get any immediate results not even quite soon! We all know how that feels and the majority of us make it worse by reeling against it before we realise that we are trying to get round the mountain as it were, find a little side path, someone to give us a lift to the other side just isn’t going to work so we have to go over it, face it, yes it’s really high, some days not so bad, other days really steep, long stretches where we don’t think we will ever get there, until we carry on, go with the flow, stick at it by just walking and eventually we get there!! Fabulous! And from that we learn. The next mountain isn’t as high, oh we say it is but it isn’t until eventually we are going over hills. Yay for us! So try not to be too frustrated and if you are then allow that too, it’s not easy and what you’re going through is all part of the process. You’re not doing anything wrong, keep going Karen.

  297. lainie waller Says:

    i am stuck in my mind , my mind is on me all day long. i cant read or watch tv its awful its as though i am going mad . feel so depressed and scared x

  298. SarahS Says:

    Iainie you’re not going mad and it’s really not nice and you will feel like that but the only thing you can do is let your mind be on you all day long and even tho you care very much still shrug and say oh well so what, I can’t watch tv or read so what. Fighting against it, trying to get it to go, trying to find a way out etc won’t work and the only thing that will is letting it be there. Have a try at letting your attention be on yourself without engaging too much in it, bit at a time. You’ll go from the attention being on you all the time to a teeny bit less over time. Do what you can if you can only read a bit the just do that, same with tele, short walks, things you can cope with do.

  299. Rachel Says:

    Hi perdy I’m just the same really dreadful I don’t think about it which is very hard but I am very aware of it cos it’s there all day every day I just can’t get my head around that why would I have anxeity putting fuel in the car ironing watching tv putting clothes away etc when they are everyday day things don’t even no why if it is anxeity I got it in the first place I have never stopped doing anything even though I must admit it isn’t as fun as it used to be I really can’t see an ending like now I’m sat watching tv and my head feels like (you no when you get up to quick and you get a head rush) well that’s how it feels that’s how I describe it xxx

  300. Nolan Says:

    Lainie,
    don’t get too hard on yourself. It’s okay. Just let all that stuff be there.
    I had the exact same thing.
    Couldn’t read, couldn’t pay attention to TV, couldn’t listen to music.

    I was trapped in my mind for months and months and months. During setbacks I was trapped in my mind again.

    I can assure you it will get better and peace will come back.
    In the time being, ‘it is what it is’. Doesn’t make it immediately easier but that will come.

  301. Karen Says:

    Thanks Sarah and Nolan, it means so much. Can I ask Sarah, you just said to Laine that she has to let her mind be on herself, think about her anxiety 24/7. Is that right? Claire Weekes said that too, dont fight it, let it be like that but get on anyway. But my psychologist says that is unhealthy and we should try distract ourselves from this …… but surely that is fighting, not accepting the anxiety? I promise after this I will get on with my life and not question for a bit. Lol.

  302. Karen Says:

    So basically acceptance is ….. just carry on living life normally, despite any anxiety symptoms in the knowledge that it will pass eventually. Be scared, have any emotion but just carry on doing despite. As long as there is no avoidance the anxiety will go. Yes?

  303. Rachel Says:

    That’s what I’ve been doing yet still not gone x

  304. SarahS Says:

    Hi Karen and Rachel I get your points totally and I think that’s where we all stumble and is probably the hardest thing to get through. We put these practices in place in the best way we know how but guess what? After all that we don’t feel any better. So we question again, lose faith, look for different answers, think we’re doing it wrong the list goes on. This was an extra lesson I had to learn and I decided to have complete faith that I was doing my best and that even though i still felt really awful that these were just layers and underneath the surface it was ok. That no matter how long it took I would let it be there, without condemning myself when I felt frustrated, couldn’t tolerate it well, thought I wasn’t accepting etc. if I got too confused I would stop trying and do nothing about it. I started to become much more independent, didn’t complain hardly at all (before then it was all about me), got on with my day, stopped having sick days off work and began to notice my fears started to fade. It took alot of time for me but if I can do it then so can you. I’m really proud of myself.

  305. SarahS Says:

    About distraction I think it’s a good thing and part of the process to recovery but in a way that gives you something else to do, something else to think about to break up your day rather than done to specifically stop whatever symptom might be happening at the time. The other thing I wanted to say is that when you’re adopting your new attitude but still feeling awful remember that recovery is going on in the background and will show in the future. All your good work will pay off x

  306. Lui Says:

    Hey everybody!

    I have a question, did you guys develop obsessions and unhealthy perfectionism with your anxiety?
    It has always been like this with me. As a kid I was obssesed with History. Three years ago it was music. I started playing the guitar and got so ambitious that I practiced so much so that I got on of the very best in town.
    Then I had a new project and got on of the best again. It’s like I am posessed and want to reach perfection. Now it’s school.
    I work so hard that I don’t get much sleep anymore.
    Sounds pretty unhealthy doesn’t it? And it was never about fun it was just about perfection. I never had fun playing the guitar although I had so much success.
    Is perfectionism linked to anxiety? I realized that while I accept I don’t have the desire to work until breaking point.

  307. Pia Says:

    It….takes….time!!!! That’s all I can say. You will wake up one morning and feel back to normal but better. I feel completely back to my old self, but better. Thinking back now, I’d gotten to the point of only going places with a safe person or just running in the store and out. It took this event to make me realize I’ve always been safe! There’s nothing wrong mentally or physically. There’s no disease, my brains not broken, I’m not gonna hurt anybody or myself. All the info that you’ve read about anxiety and it not being harmful and accepting it is the only way, will click in time. Almost 2 years since my “breakdown” and it’s so much better. I had and still have many setbacks. But instead of them being months, weeks they are now minutes, hours.

    I still get scary thoughts but I wait it out and remind myself that it always passes. And within a short time, it does. I go out alone, I got a great high paying job, I take the subway, work on the 31st floor.

    I still read about anxuety, I still think about it but it doesn’t consume me and honestly reading about it is a habit because Ive read it all and there’s only one way…don’t try and change how you feel. Do what you have to do and want to do.

    Through everything, I never let it stop me living my life. I never missed a day of work, a family function, a shopping trip. I still did it all being petrified the whole time and I’m so glad I did.

    The thoughts are gonna scare you, they’re scary. Try reasoning with them and you’ll lose because we’re too smart for our own good! We can’t fool ourselves.
    When you reason with a scary thought, you’re always gonna have a come back of “yeah, but what if…”.

    You just have to let it all go. I frequently sing tge song in my head from frozen. The let it go song (I hate it) when I get stuck on a thought. I laugh at myself while doing it.

    Again, it just takes time, then you’ll realize that you’ve went a few hours, days without thinking about it or feeling bad.

    Stop keeping a diary of how you feel. Stop coming on here and asking the same questions already asked. Stop counting the days from the last time you felt good and the “%” you think you’re “recovered”.

    I’ve read so much and it all leads back to one thing..accept it, don’t try to change anything, don’t believe or feed into your thoughts, stop fighting, tracking, searching.

  308. Karen Says:

    Right, thanks so much everyone. I am going to sign off for a while now. So grateful for your help3. X x

  309. Bryan Says:

    Lui,

    Perfectionism is learned, and of course it is absolutely tied to anxiety for many people. It’s one of the more basic traits of an anxiety personality.

    Remember, one thought shouldn’t be made more important than another. Just because it changes a little or today it’s different than yesterday, Paul teaches us that these are all anxiety and we need to treat them under the same umbrella.

  310. Bryan Says:

    So much great advice here lately. Thanks Nolan, Sarah, Pia!

    Rachel,

    I feel the same way some days. (“Not gone”)

    But I’ll bet your life has improved some if you’re truly practicing acceptance. My condition is very sticky and stubborn as well. But I’ve made strides.
    I suspect that you are like me judging by the way you complain about it. You accept sometimes… but you’re not truly at 100% giving in. I’m getting close and seeing much relief. But there us still time and acceptance needed.

    We also have to analyze our lives a bit for stressors and lifestyle issues. The body needs rest, nutrition etc.

    There is always a reason we stay stuck IMO.

    Keep pushing on and working on the “so what” Nolan talks about. The body had to respond in time.

  311. Matt Says:

    Hello everyone wanted to post on this blog because I have started reading this great book and starting to have a good outlook but I keep getting stuck so I’m hoping someone has had similar problems and we’re able to overcome them.

    So a little back story… I started a new career after college a couple months ago (I’m 24) and my anxiety sky rocketed out of control about a month ago. I have always been a sort of worry wart and had very minor anxiety before but it passed in a couple hours if not minutes, absolutely nothing like this before. I have alot of the symptoms that come with anxiety but the hardest ones for me to get over is my intrusive thoughts and overaoveractive thinking! Let me first say that I have never done anything wrong or bad in my life but my thoughts always go towards what if and it’s like my mind thinks before I do. I have thoughts of like hurting my loved ones and just thoughts of being a bad person and its like they feel like controling and I KNOW this isn’t me because I would never want to carry out any of these thoughts and it is hard for me to get over this right now and I have been having ups and downs trying to cope with this because I know when I get better they won’t bother me but right now they just come at will and I just hate it. So what I’m wondering is- has anyone here experienced this and is it something that I can overcome and how to go about overcoming it? I want to hear from you guys on this blog because I think alot of you have been through it and know the way out. Just ready to start seeing improvements, which I am, but I want to make a full recovery soon! Thank you

  312. Marcus Says:

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon this blog. I’m about 3 weeks into my first anxiety experience ever at age 35. I’ve done a lot of research since. Even in the worst 3 days at the beginning where I felt disconnected from the world I knew this was all neurological, which didn’t make me feel any better at the time but maybe factored into the recovery process. I also tried to find the miracle cure just like Paul and so many of you have. This is the first I have seen someone say don’t hide from it and ask for more. I let myself cry for the first time since this has happened to me and feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. As of today I’m done researching, I’m done waking up in the morning and asking myself how i feel. If I feel bad, I feel bad, if I feel good, I feel good. I’m not going to take the supplements that are supposed to help with this. I’m not going to care anymore about anxiety and if I feel it so be it.

  313. Lui Says:

    Thanks Bryan,

    that expains a lot!:) Thanks for your advice you’re helping me out once again!
    I made some progress with the whatever attitude thanks to so many helpful people on this blog!
    Then again it just feels like a tiny little step and I start wondering why I need so long to understand things said on here. I read through some advice I was given a few months ago and just now I actually understand what everybody tried to explain to me.
    I have had severe anxiety since I was in kindergarten but anxiety is just anxiety and I am a bit angry at mysself that I am sooo slow. And I a not a coward nor brain damaged. It’s a bit frustating…

  314. Jack Says:

    Hey everybody,

    Realising now sfter not being in the blog for about a week that non of my old post have gone through lol oh well! I feel as if my anxiety has plateaud. I am not letting it stop me from doing anything, for even when i was at my worst i still did everything. I live my life exactly the way i would if i was normal/anxiety free yet i still feel i am not desentizing as i should, and scary thiughts still seem to get the best of me at times. All of pauls informstion i know is spot on and i have been applying it im just finding it hard to accept this scary thoughts. I know they are all fake and anxiety made they just feel so real and scare me! My attitude is that i know i will get through this and i feel recovery is right around the corner, but i feel confused as to why i feel like all of my efforts have been just getting me by even thiugh i have made vast improvement!

    Any feed back would help, and god bless!

    Jack

  315. Jack Says:

    Hey everybody,

    Realising now sfter not being in the blog for about a week that non of my old post have gone through lol oh well! I feel as if my anxiety has plateaud. I am not letting it stop me from doing anything, for even when i was at my worst i still did everything. I live my life exactly the way i would if i was normal/anxiety free yet i still feel i am not desentizing as i should, and scary thiughts still seem to get the best of me at times. All of pauls informstion i know is spot on and i have been applying it im just finding it hard to accept this scary thoughts. I know they are all fake and anxiety made they just feel so real and scare me! My attitude is that i know i will get through this and i feel recovery is right around the corner, but i feel confused as to why i feel like all of my efforts have been just getting me by even thiugh i have made vast improvement!

    Any feed back would help, and god bless!

    Jack

  316. Jack Says:

    Sorry for posting twice!!!

  317. Rob Says:

    Wow I made so much progress this week. My social abilities are starting to come back as well as some motivation again. Obsessive rumination has also decreased but I still keep comparing myself to before dehydration.

    Its almost as if the dehydration is some event that split my life into 2 halves and that perception I seem to have really bothers me. I feel very distant from my past–a feeling which has not gone away.

  318. Karen Says:

    Jack read Pia, SarahS and Nolans comments just above on this very subject.

  319. Lauren Says:

    I have so much suppressed. Depression/tension (in head) are just some of the symptoms, as well as always thinking.. Acceptance seems so hazy/ clouded. How to break cycle and feel better about myself?
    Lauren.

  320. D-Ren Says:

    Lui, I’m quite perfectionist myself too – and I don’t see anything wrong with it, just as long I don’t panic all over it!

    I remember when summer begun, I was quite obsessed about music aswell, as I’m studying to be a musican – I did nothing else than think and read about music and played it ofcourse, and it was eating me at times (there was a ‘blip’ in my playing back then, and I had to change the way I played, which was really frustrating , but now I feel like it was worth it, even thought I hitted the bottom few times :) )

    Cheers

  321. lainie waller Says:

    is it normal to feel dead inside and all interest in everything is gone . its as though i am not me anymore .

  322. Lui Says:

    Yes, it can be in fact very useful D-Ren :) Helped me a lot but it can be a great weakness as well when doing it over the top.
    May I ask what instrument you play? I planned on studying to be a muscian once either.

  323. D-Ren Says:

    I’m playing trumpet Lui 😛 would be cool to chat with you privately.

  324. Daniel Says:

    lainie,
    You’ve asked that question many times already. Every time you ask if it’s normal.
    Many people have replied to you, myself included.
    Our answers have not changed, you should scroll up and read the many replies we’ve given you. And yes it’s normal. Paul discusses it many times on his blog, and in his website and book. Symptoms will be symptoms.

    Take care lainie, and please start putting all the symptoms, fears, sensations, feelings, aches, dizziness, fatigue and all the rest under the umbrella of anxiety. A major part of recovery is is not worrying about each symptom, just shrug it off and say ‘it’s all part of the package, it has the same cause as everything else I’m experiencing’ and then spend no more time worrying about it so your body and mind can have a little rest. This is very key to recovery and is an attitude that won’t only help you recover from this condition, but improve your standard of daily life. I understand it isn’t quite that easy, but given time it comes very naturally.

  325. Daniel Says:

    You and me Rob!
    I know exactly those feelings you mean. They’ve always been my biggest concern. But I think feelings, memories and your past self will come back when we’re devoting less of our mind to this whole mess and when our depersonilzation begins to lift (it prevents a lot of feelings after all)
    I think it’s best to stop worrying exactly when that will all come back to you and look at that as an eventuality. Lot less pressure and worry on you.
    Like I said Rob, I’ve had some really vivid flashbacks to stuff with my last run-in with anxiety, stuff from like 7 years ago* that had been long forgotten up until now. And as horrible as that is, it makes you realize just how possible it is to recover things that seems lost. For me, it’s like you said. I feel like two people, one who only has bad memories and one who has good memories and some bad that don’t bother him very much. In truth they’re just two separate mindsets, and we’ll return to our happier selves given time and we’ll have all that old good stuff come flooding back.

    *Just a disclaimer for people who get scared when they see somebody recovered only to have a relapse: That first time I had anxiety for a good 6 years, but it went away without me ever realizing it was there. I had just thought I had a crappy life and then suddenly my life had improved drastically. This time it will probably take less time to recover from simply because now I realize my negative thoughts and feelings, as well as my irrational fears all are completely separate from who I am, and more importantly, aren’t true or worth thinking about. So unlike last time, where it left simply by having a good year and distracting myself through my work, this time I am aware of it and will deal with it properly, and change my way of thinking so it won’t happen again.

  326. Colin Says:

    Hi. Wonder if someone could give solid advice with respect to my question re relationship, anxiety, feeling down, and my seeming to want to blame all of this on my wife and leave her. I left a question higher up on October 13. I have had the exact same feelings 2-3 times before when anxiety and depression has visited me. I think because the worst bouts were when we lived in sweden. My wife is swedish so i have subconciously linked feeling bad with her. I know this is not true. Deep down want to sort things out. I am guessing advice is likely just do as many things as possible with her even if i feel anxious. Pay the feelings no heed and keep doing things with her and for her and let time pass. I know this deep down but would appreciate some encouragement from others who have been in similar situations. I find myself very critical of everything shevdoes and says. I do not speak out this critiscm but feel it inside me and it really feels horrible. Can you get back to having a loving relationship again after all the pain of anxiety and how best to do it.

  327. Lui Says:

    Hey D-Ren! Let’s do that!
    Mail/Facebook exchange? :)

  328. D-Ren Says:

    I think fb is the thing nowadays. How does the exchange work?

  329. Lui Says:

    No idea. I think we have to ask Paul or on of the moderators if they can send the facebook names to our mail accounts?

  330. D-Ren Says:

    Just shoot me an email to > d-renny @ outlook dot com (sorry if this is against the rules!) I just made it to quicken things up :-)

  331. Lui Says:

    lol, or it might works like this as well. send you one :)

  332. lainie waller Says:

    Daniel i dont think i have asked about no emotion and no interest on here only this once. i dont seem to be able to ask anything and it makes me upset to be honest and anxious

  333. RG Says:

    Hi all,
    I could really use some help and I hope someone here can relate to this. I have always had anxiety – it runs in the family. My first major episode I had was over 30 years ago when there was no help out there. It was awful. I have had a number of episodes since – each lasting no more than 6 months with many years in between of normal living. I KNOW that the advice given by David and Claire Weekes is the way to go for sure – accept, live your life, give it time, it does go away. I am living proof of this.

    However, this time I am going through something that is very unfamiliar to me and I somehow can’t find my way out of it. I have health and situational anxiety. At the end of December I was faced with some health issues, which has always been the catalyst of my episodes. They have since resolved. But it started my present episode. I believe it would have been the shortest one ever because I have learned how to deal with them. But then I retired after 32 years in my company. I was so looking forward to retirement and very excited about it – it was time. I had no plans after retirement because I just wanted the freedom to do nothing if I so decided. However, once the episode started I was so fearful of retirement because adhering to my usual daily schedule got me through my previous episodes. Now I was going to face this episode out of my comfort zone and in my home alone with my ruminations, feelings of unreality, and where my scary thoughts are the worst. It has been 8 months now. My anxiety is better. However, I am still struggling with being home alone and I know it is hampering my progress. I get out and socialize as much as possible no matter how I feel because I know it is key, and I really feel good about that. But I just can’t seem to enjoy being home during the day. I feel isolated, lost and not myself. I hate change and my world is so different now. Even the thought of coming home sometimes makes me anxious. Can anyone relate?

  334. Rob Says:

    @Daniel

    Thankfully I don’t think I have DP (probably since this has only been going on for 5 months although feels like a lifetime) and my emotions come and go but I still experience all these memory symptoms. Funny thing is for me random good memories pop into my head but they all really feel distant. I pretty much just remember I had a great time in my 1st/2nd year of college but have totally forgotten how that all felt. For now I will just have to accept these memories are buried under all this anxiety. A lot of it could simply be that the anxiety is causing me to dig through my past memories and then I get that feeling that I have memory loss. Without anxiety, I don’t think I recall looking back and reminiscing about the past anyways.

  335. Rob Says:

    It also feels like life is moving so fast without me. It feels like all my friends are “getting ahead” and I had a competitive personality even before anxiety so this feeling is amplified even more. I have this intense fear of missing out on stuff.

    I also have not even bothered to contact people except closest friends and I keep wondering if people are wondering where the hell I have been. Also keep wondering about how recovery will feel like and I am obsessed with basically having a perfect recovery with no holes at all.

  336. Jake Says:

    To Colin

    I’m no expert far from it but you just have to stick at it. I’m going through the exact same thing I think if I leave my partner (also 2 kids) that I will be instantly cured. I have so much flatness towards my relationship & feel unattracted to her but I think this how anxiety works it’s magic. I feel maybe it’s not anxiety and maybe it’s just my relationship but then again I think this is anxiety.
    I hate the way I feel but I’m learning to use a “so what” attitude all be it its extremely hard. I hope I will get out of the misery but just need to go towards it and be patient (hardest thing I’ve ever done)
    I got some GREAT advice of Nolan Rach & Emma so maybe they might be able to help you at the minute.
    This is advice I try give myself – it’s easy to just run away

  337. Alexander Says:

    lainie, I think you should start rereading people’s posts to you. And stop taking them as insults and start REALLY reading through them and see that people actually do care and want you to feel better
    Daniel, Doreen and others have made good points that you should take into consideration
    And Daniel is right that you’ve asked the same questions before, just with different specific symptoms. It doesn’t matter if it’s a lack of emotion, or that you don’t feel like yourself, or if you feel like you’re going crazy. You should reread Rich’s FAQ, the first question. Or reread the post that Daniel just sent you, which covers it in detail

  338. Daniel Says:

    lainie, I think you should start rereading people’s posts to you. And stop taking them as insults and start REALLY reading through them and see that people actually do care and want you to feel better. On October 4th I answered a question of yours, which you read, and then you asked the same question 3 hours later. I am not criticizing you, I have often ignored advice or couldn’t understand it in my poor state, but I always came back to the advice given to me and reread it. It always made more sense to me when I was thinking more practically or realistically.
    Doreen and others have made good points that you should take into consideration.
    And you have asked the same question many times before, just with different specific symptoms. It doesn’t matter if it’s a lack of emotion, or that you don’t feel like yourself, or if you feel like you’re going crazy. You should reread Rich’s FAQ, the first question. Or reread the post that I just sent you, which covers it in detail.

    Here are other replies I’ve given you:

    October 4th:
    Don’t worry Lainie and Emma I think everyone experiences that,
    It’s partly due to depersonilzation, sometimes I feel like I never existed, and it’s partly due to all the changes anxiety has made to your lifestyle, thoughts and feeling, and of course this is also one of those disturbing thoughts. Paul even lists this as one of the most common examples, “what if my old self is lost forever?”
    I know the feeling, I have no idea who I am or who I was at the moment, I don’t know what my interests are. I also write screenplays and I was in the middle of one when this hit me, so I have just as much trouble recognizing my own work/characters as I due myself.
    Skim Paul’s book or website and see how many different ways he mentions that your old self will return. In one chapter e mentions how your old feelings will return, in another your confidence, in another your interests and in yet another your personality. He also says several times throughout the book that your old self is never gone, simply buried under your symptoms. What is important to know is that you will recover all your qualities layer by layer as your symptoms disappear.
    Here’s a post I sent Lui when he expressed concerns about his identity:
    “I too am going through a bit of an identity crisis because of this anxiety. I had let anxiety really control my life for 6 years without even realizing that it was there, and yet eventually it went away simply by relaxing and building confidence. It was pretty weird. That’s when I really found myself, and what I like about myself and what I enjoy. But unfortunately I hadn’t really dealt with the anxiety I just was having a good year, when it came back it I had something good to compare it to and so it hit me harder and made me aware that this was not the real me. So that good year in some ways made this more difficult, but it also made me realize that I can feel great and really enjoy life. So I really look forward to really dealing with anxiety this time around so that it’ll stay gone and I can feel the way I felt for that great year for the rest of my life. Nowadays I feel lost, but I remember how easily I found myself when I didn’t let anxiety rule my life. It’s a great feeling, one that I will feel again one day (although this time it should be better since I won’t have the occasional anxious episode) and you will also feel that way one day, you’ll find yourself and, like me, discover that you actually like yourself.”
    Here’s a post I wrote to Racch regarding setbacks in which I mentioned some of the concerns you’re currentlyfacing:
    “Hello Rachh, I understand how difficult it is to ‘go back’ after making progress. But remember, all your progress is not lost. You’re never truely back to square one. All the skills and habits you’ve developed as you’ve made progress are still there, just like how all your good qualities, thoughts and feelings from before this started are still there. All those things are buried and WILL eventually be uncovered, and that fact alone, the fact that there is light at the the end of the tunnel, can give us so much strength. Sure that hope and motivation will go once and a while, but to have ever felt it means you can feel it again. Like I said in an earlier post, when we are feeling good we are actually seeing things more objectively, we are seeing things as they really are. I think that’s such a nice detail, that these optimistic thoughts are grounded in reality and these negative/hopeless thoughts are based on nothing at all. I think you’ll find your way back to that level you were at sooner than you did the first time, now that you’re better equip to deal with it. It’s like riding a bicycle, you ever forget how, once the skills are there they stay there.
    And also remember what Paul says, a setback only has as much power as you give it!”

    October 7th
    Lainie Waller,
    Doreen has a point, you’ve asked similar, if not the same questions before. And many people replied, including me.
    I know there are times when not even good advice can lift our spirits or provide answers. Sometimes I have reread advice given to me that I had initially ignored, but made more sense the second time.
    Also I know it always feels good when somebody personally answers your questions, but sometimes it’s a good idea to read other people’s replies when some people have asked the same question as you (we do end up asking the same questions after all.) If you can’t find a comment on it, you can probably find something that addresses either on Paul’s website, Paul’s blog or Paul’s book.
    At the moment, based on your recent inquiries, I think your current goal should be to learn to ‘Be at peace with your lack of peace.”

    October 18th
    lainie,
    You’ve asked that question many times already. Every time you ask if it’s normal.
    Many people have replied to you, myself included.
    Our answers have not changed, you should scroll up and read the many replies we’ve given you. And yes it’s normal. Paul discusses it many times on his blog, and in his website and book. Symptoms will be symptoms.
    Take care lainie, and please start putting all the symptoms, fears, sensations, feelings, aches, dizziness, fatigue and all the rest under the umbrella of anxiety. A major part of recovery is not worrying about each symptom, just shrug it off and say ‘it’s all part of the package, it has the same cause as everything else I’m experiencing’ and then spend no more time worrying about it so your body and mind can have a little rest. This is very key to recovery and is an attitude that won’t only help you recover from this condition, but improve your standard of daily life. I understand it isn’t quite that easy, but given time it comes very naturally.”

    Please remember that other people going through the exact same thing as you are, are taking the time to answer your questions and make you feel better.

  339. susan Says:

    Can I ask …. I am constantly thinking about my anxiety. I know this is another symptom of anxiety but I wonder what to do with it. I have been trying to work it out for a while. Do I let myself think about anxiety constantly and let my attention be on myself the whole time? or do I need to acknowledge it and refocus every time …. which would be nearly every couple of minutes. I have read other posts about this but was not really sure of the answer.

  340. Kevin Says:

    Susan, the goal is to not keep attention on yourself the whole time. At first its hard but once you adopt the mindset of acceptance, your attention will be on oter things slowly. If attention is on you for now, let it. But be ok with that. But always introduce new things into your day and naturally your mind will come out of your head and into what youre doing at the moment. Just dont get too involved with your anxiety. Realize its all a lie and that theres nothing really wrong with you. Once you do that, let your anxiety do its worst and your mond will realize that theres nothing wrong and it will shift its attwntion elsewere when it knows its wasting its time on anxiety

  341. Kevin Says:

    I also would like some advice from anyone if possible. Ive beendoing well with acceptance but today i felt …and am feeling crazy. Normally if im in my head its focused on my anxiety. Today it felt like it cpuldnt even focus on one thing but i was still in my head. The thing is…im not totally bothered by this. Im putting it under anxiety but have never felt like this before. I feel okay but still like im going crazy. I know im not but i just wanted to know if anyone else felt this. Soo it kinda scares me that im okay with feeling crazy lol. Any advice appreciated. Thanks everyone!

  342. susan Says:

    Thanks Kevin, I try to keep busy and my mind then does focus on these other things, but when I’m alone in the house, watching tv, driving or not fully into something (sometimes it takes a lot to turn my attention outwards) it constantly turns inwards onto how I am feeling or my anxiety. So I should just let it do that?

  343. SarahS Says:

    So well explained Kevin fab advice. And yes I felt crazy many times and it’s fine, good to feel ok with it! Go with the flow, I’m sure at one time I had soooo many symptoms at once I couldn’t decide which one was worse! I wanted to have a moan but couldn’t decide which symptom to moan about, made me smile that one!

  344. SarahS Says:

    This quote from Paul is so helpful: Feeling anxious is testing, it is a pain in the backside at times, but if we lose the need to control it and let ourselves come out of it naturally we may find far more peace and no longer enter the cycle of constantly trying to find or force a way out.

  345. RG Says:

    Kevin, I can relate. The reason you are okay with it is because you are accepting it, and you’re a little scared of being okay with it because acceptance is a new feeling. We are so used to getting scared of our thoughts, and getting scared and anxious is our “normal” – sorry to say. But that is anxiety’s lie yet again. The reality is you are moving away from reacting anxiously to thoughts, and you are accepting whatever comes to mind. As acceptance grows, that slight uncomfortable feeling will fade.

  346. SuzanneS Says:

    Hello everyone I am new here. I have been suffering from anxiety for about 9 months or so. I took 10 mg of lexaprofor about a month and stopped for it made me feel terrible. . I stopped it 6 months ago,and still feel like I am withdrawing from it.Is there anyone out there who stopped cold turkey from this Med and is still feeling the withdrawal symptoms. It makes me feel really off balance,a have n upset stomach,alot of anxiety.Any information on this would be much appreciated,Thank you.

  347. Kevin Says:

    Susan,

    Im always thinking inwardly. But if its about my anxiety which it almost always is, then i just tell myself that the thoughts and feelings i get are just thoughts. Then i let them be there and i tell them to come for i no longer care if they are there. So if your attention goes inward thats fine but dont let it stay there fpr too long. Its a habit now and the whole aim is to reverse the habit. If youre gonna focus onyourself, make sure its not about worrying about your aymptoms or questioning or rationalizing anything. Just let everything be, as sarahS just explained. Be ok with whatever thoughts you get.

    SarahS thanks for the reply and glad to know my advice was helpful! Acceptance is getting easier. And thats a great quote. I always keep paul’s words in mind when symptoms come up. I willkeep yours in mind too! Thanks!

  348. Matt Says:

    Kevin,

    I for sure have felt the same way. I’ve been feeling that way today, which is kind of why I’m on the site again. I’ve been off for at least several days, and have really progressed with acceptance. I too am no longer caring NEARLY as much how I feel, even though I still feel/think the same way.

    It’s kind of liberating at first when you realize that you don’t have to fight your way out of this. If you truly 100% accept, you don’t even need to recover, as you can enjoy the way you are feeling in THIS moment! To me, that is an even more exciting thought than recovery!

  349. Matt Says:

    Pia,

    Thank you for that message. I really do feel like your story mirrors mine, with the intrusive thoughts, general anxiety, etc….especially since we both haven’t avoided anything. I was always baffled at how my anxiety wasn’t decreasing even though I was putting myself in situations that I felt I had to “make it through”, which was a daily thing for me at school. Even my therapist would keep saying “but your putting yourself in situations”, and she always seemed a bit confused, even though she preaches acceptance as well. What it came down to, for me, was that I wasn’t accepting it. Even though I made it through a situation, I would be saying “but the next time is the time where its going to be me!”. And then of course the next time I’d be anxious, and I’d try to control the anxiety, only to have it worsen, and leave me feeling frustrated or give me new symptoms.

    I’ve had so many symptoms, and all of them baffled me for a time, but I’m finally to a point where I just accept the new stuff as anxiety. I mean, in all honesty (and like Nolan says), what else are you going to do about it? Seriously, what else can you do? You’ll eventually realize that googling, searching, and blogging don’t fix the problem, though it’s just helpful enough to make you feel okay for a day or two to keep you coming back for more. When you put down that need for reassurance and the want to fight, you can truly start accepting and your life will improve IMMEDIATELY, you don’t even have to wait for recovery!

    For anyone who gets baffled by their symptoms, I hope this might help. I started out with just general anxiety and panic attacks (light headedness, racing heart, shortness of breath, basically what you’d find on the internet), which I kind of knew was anxiety, even though I kept getting tricked. Eventually, it got bad enough and I was so sensitized that I had an intrusive thought that I might stab myself or someone else, which freaked me out. After that, I kept worrying about that thought, which made it keep coming back, and then it transpired into fear of wanting to harm myself, which then spiraled into a fear of driving and fear of heights. Lately, I’ve also had weird emotions, and I just don’t quite feel like myself. I can’t relax, watch TV, or focus a lot of the time, and I’ll feel down, or feel like I’m going crazy or something. I’ve also had some brief periods where I can’t sleep. However, I know that this is ALL anxiety. It’s just worry about fear about how I feel. Once I started to be okay with feeling this, and realizing that this is just anxiety, and it’s okay if I think about anxiety 24/7, or it’s okay that I start to fear a thought, or it’s okay that I feel like I’m going to pass out, I started to have these feelings/sensations dissipate quicker than they used to. They still happen, but they no longer ruin my day and make me think about it as much. I’m also a lot less emotionally stuck and down about it, as I know that I can have a happy life, even if these symptoms never leave!

    Anyway, cheers everyone! There are many people who have recovered, and we can too! Keep reading and rereading Nolan’s posts. They are pure gold!

  350. Julie Says:

    Lainie,

    My advice to you is to step away from the blog. I am not at all getting at you, I know how you are feeling. I used to post daily, asking for advice and reassurance over every feeling or thought. I thought it was what I needed to do. At times now I still feel I need reassurance and I will ask my friends if I am really worried about something but it isn’t the answer. We have to stop all the questioning but I know how hard that is to do, trust me. We are only human.

    Once I stepped away from the blog things actually improved. I saved all the helpful replies I’d had and I still have them now in a file at home. I used to read them occasionally. I had all the answers anyone could have given me so stepping away from the blog was the best thing for me. I kept intouch with the friends I made here and they said they saw a huge improvement in me once I left the blog and no longer felt the need to post here every single day asking the same questions over.

    It does feel personal, I know, it hurt me too when I felt I was singled out but try not to think of it like that. You’re just struggling right now and you are a good person. Take all the helpful replies you’ve had or any of the posts you’ve found inspiring and keep them. Nolan’s posts are great, as are Emma’s Pia’s, to name a few. Try stepping away from here, try to take on board all you have learnt and really throw yourself into it. They aren’t saying don’t come in and post if you need them but my advice would be to take some time out because feeling hurt just adds to the anxiety. Focus on you, your loved ones, print off the material I have suggested and re read At Last a Life if you need to, then put it all into action. Also Dr Claire Weekes audios are brilliant, give them a try. Listen to them in the car, doing your housework……

    I hope you don’t think I am being rude, I am not at all. If you have read my replies from earlier this year you will see I felt like you do. Big hugs xx

  351. lainie waller Says:

    thankyou juli you are so kind. i will do what you say. i am having trouble to get motivated i feel so anxious still not dressed but i will stay away for a few weeks . thanx again lovely lady . you are welcome to join me on fb xxxxx

  352. Julie Says:

    I would love to chat with you. I will add you on FB if I can? xx

  353. Doreen. Says:

    lainie – I can completely confirm that Julie did have real difficulties much earlier in the year and was constantly asking the same questions on the blog. And I know I upset her by suggesting that she had all the answers already, much as people are saying to you. And I am probably more delighted than anyone to read her current posts. She talks the talk because she has done the walk so to speak. You will get there I promise. But the only reassurance we can give you is to ask you to believe that all your symptoms are classic ones of anxiety, nothing more.
    Good luck

  354. Julie Says:

    Lainie, in the end I was blocked from here. I am surprised my posts got through recently to be honest, haha! I can see the funny side of it now and if I can help people then I will try.

    Doreen, thank you. I am not saying I am recovered but I have learnt alot. I still have my struggles at times, set backs happen…. but if I can offer any help to those who are walking a similar path I have then I will try. We all know how frightening and bewildering it can be in the early stages :-)

  355. colin Says:

    Jake/others

    As mentioned earlier I have had a few run ins with anxiety/depression and had the same response then. Feeling that my relationship/wife etc are the cause of all this and, like you, feeling completely flat towards my wife. In fact worse, I tend to just find faults (which I do not articulate or try not to) and feel she is the cause of all of this (somewhere deep inside I know this is all bull…and the problems are all with me). I really hate myself for feeling this way. Often in the evening I will have decided “okay in a few years when my youngest kid is old enough…(he is 13 now)….I will leave and everything will be okay…I won’t need to visit Sweden again, all my memories of feeling bad there won’t matter etc” By the next day (like today!) I have completely turned around, feel really anxious and feel I want to make our relationship work again (we have been married 21 years & have 3 kids, 19, 17 and 13) and that separating would be awful. Just don’t see how to make things better again. I realize this may seem like a somewhat pathetic “cause” for anxiety to some, but it is certainly causing me enormous anxiety and feelings of desperation.
    I guess in some ways, these persistent thoughts of wanting to separate to get rid of anxiety feelings are no different to other persistent thoughts about how to avoid anxiety and therefore can perhaps be treated in the same way (accept them, move towards them and live life with them there) I will try, like you suggest Jake, to move towards the feelings, by actively doing things with my wife and try to just let the anxiety feelings be there. I understand that anxiety can latch onto things we fear losing the most (we probably cause the latching ourselves by being afraid). If you saved any of the advice from Nolan, Rach, Emma I would be pleased to see it. Otherwise I am going to do like you and really give it a go to go towards the feelings, experience them head on and just let them be there. I think deep down I don’t want to leave, but as you say it is so hard to know what causes what, but once decided it would be too late to go back. Is there anything else you can advise on? Would be great to hear from others that had similar problems and managed to do as Jake suggests and came through to getting their relationship back.
    Many Thanks

    Colin

  356. Bryan Says:

    Julie,

    It’s inspirational to see you here and doing better. At one point I tried to help you and this week I feel like you could probably help me instead. Lol.
    ( setback this week).

    Anyway, great job and keep it up.

  357. Lui Says:

    Hey you guys,

    this time my question is not about me but my sister.
    She is suffering from panic attacks lately and I don’t know how to help her. I try to help her and explain everything to her I learned but I do not suffer from any panic attacks and I feel really helpless. So, what can she do when suffering attacks?I told her to let all the feelings stay and not surpress them?

  358. Lui Says:

    it’s about a spcial situation and she is crying constantly about it and getting panic attacks because she’s so afraid of it but the thing is she can’t avoid the situation

  359. Julie Says:

    lol! Thank you Bryan.

    Oh I still have my moments, lol!. I have been going through a set back, which was a shock after a very good period, but they always are aren’t they. You think all is lost. My husband laughs at me now and says ‘Julie where is this set back?’ every day I function as normal, go out, look after my family… he just doesn’t see it 😉 Yesterday I watched my son at his gymnastics championships, I worried for days I wouldn’t be able to do it, then on the day coped fine and loved every minute, I am already excited for next year. So I still have my wobbles but I prove anxiety wrong every day :-)

    I made a couple of pages of notes of what I had learnt from my CBT and from books, I find them very helpful to read over during a tough spell. I have shown them to others struggling who have found them a huge help :-)

    I am sure you will get through this set back soon, it’s all part of recovery. Each set back gives us strength I like to think and I find each panic attack I unmask anxiety and slowly I lose my fears.

    Lainie, feel free to email me pinkmummy 27 @ hotmail . co . uk (obviously all in one lol) Sorry if this is against the rules, feel free to delete this part of my message admin if it is. If I can offer any help I am here :-)

  360. Colin Says:

    Hi Julie

    I wonder if during your anxiety periods you had any problems as I describe related to relationship problems (thinking this was the cause of everything etc). I recall you posted some very helpful comments on intursive thoughts before. To some extent my problems…..persistently thinking I would be better off alone and ending my marriage to escape anxiety….are similar in the context of being unwanted (I don’t want to do this, wish I could feel good about my relationship and not have anxiety, but the thoughts keep coming back again and again). Perhaps not as scary as other peoples intrusive thoughts but causing me significant anxiety…Would you mind if I emailed you to get acopy of the helpful notes you mention in your post….I could certainly do with some helpful pointers and really want to get through all this with my relationship and life in tact. I am fairly good at just letting the physical aspects of anxiety be there…less good with the mental/pyscological and know that I tend to avoid doing things with my wife because I anxious…and this likely feeds the problem. Hope it is ok if I mail you also…I will wait until you say it is ok.

    Thanks
    Colin

  361. Julie Says:

    Hi Colin,

    Of course you can email me. I also struggled with relationship thoughts, and you will be glad to hear (although I don’t want to reassure you) that intrusive thoughts about relationships are also a very common theme with OCD/anxiety. Sorry I may have missed your posts so I don’t know in detail what you are struggling with but feel free to email me and I will be happy to show you the list I have come up with. It may help, it may not, but you learn to deal with intrusives whatever their content in the same way as I have learnt to with my intrusive harm thoughts. Basically no matter what the content of the thought is you treat it as anxiety. One funny saying I have been taught is, if it looks like, feels like or smells like OCD, it probably is so you treat it as a spike. OCD is basically just anxiety but a thought you obsess over and takes over your life is defined as OCD but it doesn’t’ matter what the label is, it’s all anxiety.

    Julie

  362. Daniel Says:

    Question for Nolan, or anyone else who is recovered or well on their way to being recovered.
    Is recovery more like a fresh start or picking up where you left off with new wisdom?
    Many people have told me that recovering from anxiety requires a complete lifestyle change, but I hope this is not the case. I was the happiest I had ever been when my anxiety hit me, and although I know I’ll feel alright again when I recover, I want to know if those good times will be more than a just a hazy memory. My counselor describes this feeling of not having a past, this feeling that those good times never happened as a “cutoff” in my life that came when I fell into this. I want my life to be a continuation of that time, and not the start of something new. I already had a fresh start a year ago, and I found a place where I was happy and could be myself, I do not want to have to start anew again, I do not want to start over again. I want to know if recovery allows you to resume where you left off, or if I’ll have to leave that all behind.

  363. lainie waller Says:

    Daniel i had a full year of peace in 2013 and i went back to normal the person i was before only i felt better and did not take anything for granted. it a fabulous feeling. but then it came back in jan this year but ive had weeks of peace inbetween x

  364. Colin Says:

    Daniel

    I have had a few periods of anxiety in the past 20 years. This is the first one where i am REALLY practising acceptance to try and be with my anxiety. Other periods have actually gone on there own with little active input from me and i have generally come back to largely my old self each time. That said this may not be perfect of course as my old self seems to result sometimes in a recurrence of anxiety. I therefore hope this time if i fully learn acceptance (of myself and anxiety) that i will return to a slightly different me that has learnt something useful in terms of how to live life so if anxiety does show up again that i more comfortable with it and it does not totally hijack my life. This i think is the idea with acceptance that we may subtly change how we relate to problems such as anxiety and thereby provide a bit more space for us to live calmly and well even if it is present. This is what i understand from others on this blog. Recovery means anxiety does not bother us in the future so it is not an issue.
    Best Colin

  365. Rob Says:

    @Daniel

    LOL I have pretty much exactly that same thinking about the past and whether things will just pick up where they left off or if I will feel “different” somehow. I also absolutely hate the idea of starting over and wonder if I really will be the exact same me with the same memories, etc. I think Paul mentions feeling like he was reborn but I actually hope that this does not mean a total restart.

    I think the anxiety itself is what is causing all of this thinking of the past and analyzing memories and everything. Before anxiety I never really cared for any of that stuff.

  366. Rob Says:

    Now scientifically, these memories and all this stuff is stored in the area of the brain known as the hippocampus. Both anxiety and depression have been correlated to a decrease in the size of this part of your brain as well as an overactive amygdala. By practicing acceptance/mindfulness and doing lifestyle changes like exercise you actually promote neurogenesis in the hippocampus. The growth of new neurons/new connections is what will eventually result in your anxiety steadily decreasing and returning to a normal state.

    All this is actually pretty interesting stuff–my experience with anxiety has sort of motivated me to perhaps pursue this area of research later on.

  367. Daniel Says:

    @Rob, Lainie Waller and Colin
    I know we’ve both struggled with that particular issue in the past Rob, but the thing that has always separated us is that this always mattered to me. I don’t really see the point of recovering if I can’t return to where I was. Can that even be defined as recovery? Maybe for some people who weren’t happy before their anxiety hit them, but like Colin I had just come out of a 7 year long anxiety attack (without meaning to and without practicing acceptance, I hadn’t really tried to break out of it because I hadn’t understood that I had a ‘disorder’ back then, I simply assumed everything i thought and felt was true and got stuck listening to intrusive thoughts and the like) and after I came out of it I made a new life more myself. I moved to a new house, traveled, made new friends, relationships, went to university, started writing a screenplay that meant the world to me (it’s currently half finished), found new hobbies, and just discovered who I am. 9 months later it came back. Like I said, I cut everything off from my run-in with anxiety and made a new life, a really happy, healthy, creative, fulfilling life. I don’t want to have leave that behind this time, I found my place and I want to return. And I want my past back. I want to pick up exactly where I left off and not have all my good experiences forgotten.
    I appreciate everything you three have said. Rob, you and I have very similar cases. And Colin and Lainie, I really can empathize with the displeasure of having these feelings return after having thought you were recovered. There is no worse feeling. And I can relate so much to how you spent that time Lainie, I had never felt so alive and enriched and when you fall back in after thinking you’ll feel that good forever it is nothing short of heartbreaking. Although, I I truly believe that in all of our cases, this will be the time we actually do the right thing and fully recover so that we will never experience this again. I can’t thank you three enough and wish you all the best.
    That being said however, I’d like to hear what Nolan, Paul or some other recovered person has to say regarding my question. You all know the feeling of hearing it straight from the horses mouth so to speak!
    Best to everyone! :)

  368. Lorryt Says:

    hi guys,

    I don’t tend to come onto the website as much as I used to, but things lately have been building in my head. Wow.. In just one sentence I have answered my own question. New relationship, my teenage children causing their own issues and pressures with my partner. And my past , it’s all been rumbling around in my head causing my anxiety levels to shoot up and thoughts that are scaring me flow round my head all day, the what ifs of my daughter , the what ifs of my partner getting bored, or my partner leaving. I am unsure if they are insecurities causing my anxiety or the other way round. Or am I just overanalysing it all. I know one thing , I have been using alcohol as a crutch , and that’s not good, it’s this overthinking stuff that’s wearing me down and making my brain even more tired. It feels like my brain jumps from one worry to another ….. The acceptance and letting it all go isn’t there and hasn’t been fora while …. Any advice …

  369. lainie waller Says:

    Daniel i had a few hours of peace and normality last night it was heaven and i felt just back to my old happy self xx

  370. SarahS Says:

    Some fab advice here :-) really good news Julie that you are doing so well. And you can tell that in the way you write in a lighthearted way.

    Just a few things that I thought if share with you that I kept from some really good info I was given;
    My numbering has gone a bit haphazard tho ha.
    1. It is unnecessary for me to control my feelings in order to be successful in life.
    2. Anxiety is neither good nor bad. It is merely an uncomfortable feeling.
    3 Negative thoughts and feelings won’t harm you, even if they feel unpleasant.
    4 I’m not afraid of any feelings, no matter how strong.
    5. I can do something important, even when doubts are present.
    6. Trying to reduce or get rid of negative thoughts and feelings frequently causes problems. If I simply allow them to be, then they will change as
    a natural part of living.
    7. The best method of managing negative thoughts and feelings is to acknowledge their presence and let them be, without having to analyse or judge them.
    I will become ‘happy’ and ‘healthy’ by allowing negative thoughts and feelings to come and go of their own accord, and learning to live effectively when they are present.
    The need to control or get rid of a negative emotional reaction is a problem in itself.
    Having negative thoughts and feelings means I’m a normal human being.
    People who are in contol of their lives do not need to try to icontrol their feelings.
    13. Negative thoughts and feelings are an inevitable part of life for everyone.

    14. I can do something that’s important and challenging even if I’m feeling anxious or depressed.
    15. I don’t try to suppress thoughts and feelings that I don’t like. I just let them come and go of their own accord.

  371. Julie Says:

    Hi Sarah.

    Great post, and fairly similar to the list I drew up that has helped me so far.

    I am doing better than I was, I still have off periods and the ‘agoraphobia’ can still be an issue when I am on my own but on the whole compared to the person I was earlier this year I am feeling better and happier. Hope you are well x

  372. Adam Says:

    Great post, SarahS. Very helpful …

  373. Karen Says:

    I have realized that the weird, scary thoughts are only anxiety symptoms that cannot hurt me. They are not predictors of my future.

  374. lainie waller Says:

    feeling 80% better these last two days . ive accepted and anxiety as calmed down alot x

  375. Colin Says:

    Lainie

    Well done. Sounds good. I try to accept but d
    Not sure what to accept or how. Can you give some advice what you accept and how. Thx. Colin

  376. Matthew Says:

    Hello everyone! I wanted to post on this site because every other site just makes you feel worse! I have been reading David’s book and can relate to almost all of it but I’m still having a hard time. Let me explain my situation first so you can better understand. I am a 24 year old man. Always been healthy and active and never been a bad person or had any bad thoughts or real anxiety. I’ve always been a worry wart which I was always able to overcome and never allow it to bring me down. I had one bad anxiety attack about 4 years ago that I overcame without medication or anything and have been doing pretty good since. However, I started a new career after college as a marketing officer and that is when my anxiety kicked into major overload. It probably doesn’t help that I am working at a place that deals with mental illness in children but besides the point I am struggling. It started with really bad anxiety and fear about intrusive thoughts of hurting my loved ones and just becoming a bad person. It scares the crap out of me and has caused me to have many panice attacks because I don’t everrrrr want to do them. My doctor put me on medication and I’m not sure if it’s helping. He just bumped it up to 50mg after a month today and I’m just not sure what to expect. Recently I developed anxiety about thinking i have some sort of mental illness but I have talked with my doctor who told me multiple times thst it’s just my overactive mind playing it’s anxiety tricks. What I am wondering is how do you deal with intrusive thoughts? I feel like I can’t use the same approach to regular scary thoughts because I don’t want to ever carry out the thoughts. I have been having some good moments at times and realize how silly it is but this past week has been pretty bad and I feel like there is no way out. It’s making me feel depressed and I just want to be my happy self again. I’m hoping someone here can relate and point me in the right direction because I want to overcome this so bad. Thank you all for your input in advance.

  377. Daniel Says:

    Awesome Lainie!
    You’ve had it rough the past while. Hold on to that, even a half-second of feeling normal let’s you know it is possible to feel that way again.

  378. Rachel Says:

    I’m really trying to accept that this is anxeity but so so hard when the symptoms are so strong keep thinking that this is not going cos it isn’t anxeity and it’s something else and that’s why it’s not going because it’s not anxeity plus I feel I’m getting worse just needed to get that off my chest no need to respond lol

  379. Adam Says:

    Colin,
    I will take a stab at this for you. And fyi…I’m no Nolan…but I have been practicing Paul’s method(s) by using the excellent advice given out on this blog by Nolan, Bryan, Sarah, Pia, Julie and others (sorry to those of you who I didn’t mention by name-thank you for your helpful posts!) for ~ 1.5 years now. And I have come a long way by following it. I don’t like to put percentages on my recovery, so I wont, but let’s just say I am at peace with who I am and my anxiety. I still get anxious everyday-in fact, I was just feeling anxious several hours ago this morning. But through my time with anxiety I have slowly come to realize that I have ZERO control over it. If something is going to make me anxious….or if my body wants to feel anxious…then so be it. I will be anxious. And I am ok with that. This is what I believe “Acceptance” is. I do not fight with my body when I feel anxious…I go with the feeling and live my life as I would normally live it. I accept that it is this way, for now, and don’t give it a second thought. And honestly, although I have noticed improvement in how I feel over time….I am ok with being like this. I know all of my personal anxiety’s “flavors” or tricks and I am slowly over time losing all fear of them. I know the random crazy thoughts that pop into my head when someone is speaking to/with me…and I ignore them. I know the bolt of adrenaline that shoots down my spine when I am talking in front of a group of people….and I ignore that too. How do I ignore it? I use what Dr. Claire Weekes suggested and “feel the fear and do it anyway” and as Nolan so eloquently put it….”so what”. It hasn’t always been easy. But it has worked every time for me through my recovery. And I mean that….EVERY time. The real issue for you and those who have just started on your path to recovery is that it takes TIME to get here. This doesn’t happen over night. For some, it doesn’t happen in weeks or months. It may take years. But slowly, you do improve. You lose your fear of your symptoms and you become at peace with yourself and your anxiety. Also, coming to the realization on your own that your anxiety cant and wont EVER hurt you is very important in removing your fear of your symptoms (at least it was for me). Remember: anxiety is fear. And ALL your anxiety can do to you is make you afraid. That is it. It cannot hurt you in any way, shape or form. And YOU have complete control over how you react to it. It is your CHOICE. React to the symptoms or say “meh, so what” and live your life as you would without anxiety, and feeling the symptoms/flavors while you are living it (again, it cant hurt you). This is what acceptance is to me.

    However,there truly is no quick fix…and that is the hardest part for anyone just starting on their recovery journey. You have to experience and feel your own anxiety and learn to desensitize to its fear on your own. Only you can do this for you. And how long it takes to lose your fear-accept-will also depend on “you”. It is different for everyone….in my experience. So, try not to judge yourself or “time” your recovery based on others experiences. It will take as long as it takes and that is a LARGE part of acceptance: learning to be at peace with your anxious, chaotic self and your life. As Nolan said…”Be at peace with the lack of peace in your life.”

    I hope this helps…

  380. lainie waller Says:

    colin ii was so bad i had the crisis team out i felt like i was losing it and having a breakdown. i just thought let it be if i have a brekdown or go mad theres nothing i can do about it. so i accepted that and it started to fade. i was terrified but i had no other choice xxxxx

  381. Jennifer Says:

    Excellent posts SarahS and Adam

    My anxiety feels so high, it builds and does every day as soon as a wake up. Moving through this seems so impossible at the moment as I am in the thick of it and am trying to remember that ‘At last a life’ is the way through this (this is my 3rd period of strong anxiety). Luckily I understand that ALL of my symptoms are anxiety and I know they are nothing else. But this doesn’t make me feel any better at the moment. I understand that I need to not strive to feel better but it’s so hard to be ok with feeling so terrible 24/7, its such a test of your survival to your want to be yourself again and have peace.

    I am wondering if I am the only one going round with ‘such’ strong anxiety as that’s what it feels like. I feel like other people’s can’t be this strong (I know this is wrong) This website is so good for support/reassurance and knowing there are others out there.

    I am wondering/practising how I am supposed to be ok with sitting at a table socialising and with people when I have such strong panicky feelings raging around me, heart racing and constant unease. I also can’t eat much and it’s difficult when you don’t want others to notice how you are feeling and that you aren’t eating much. I am struggling through it, not feeling any better for it. I am not sure how others aren’t noticing as I know everyone is wrapped up in themselves.

    This bout started 2 weeks ago when I woke up with palpitations after my mum had a few panic attacks for the first time. I supported her really well and then it triggered my anxiety. I learnt so well to let all of it in and not fear it and did this, but then it has somehow got all on top of me again and I feel like I am moving through treacle trying to get through each hour of each day. I perhaps panicked about my symptoms more than I realised. It must be an unconscious temptation to tense up…who knows and who cares I just want to find peace again.

    Do other strong anxiety sufferers feel that when or if they have had a setback/another bout of anxiety after recovering (and before anyone says it, not everyone has a setback and if you do, you do not forget the fundamentals of what you have learnt on here) that it somehow seems to have to get worse first before you can work with it and go towards feeling better?

    I know people must have done, but looking for sharing/support on whether people have had real struggles with conversations and concentration, even with family?
    This is probably the most upsetting thing but I just continued to do it and move towards it regardless and this seems to be easing off even if the general high anxiety isn’t at all at the moment.

    Any replies/comments would be very appreciated

    Jennifer

  382. SarahS Says:

    Adam – who said you are no Nolan :-)? First class advice, just so spot on!

    And lainie that’s exactly it! That’s finding the eye of the storm as Claire weekes says and did you have a breakdown or go mad? No it started to fade a little! Really pleased for you!

    Rachel everyone thinks that at some point and several times over, it’s a normal reaction to anxiety, what youre going through. It is anxiety, it’s not at all nice, it’s really hard and accepting, trusting in what we say goes against anything our body wants to do but when we do and we go against the grain and allow our bodies and thoughts to have these crazy feelings and trust and trust some more that we will start to improve in time then the healing process starts to take place, even if you can’t feel or notice it the process to recovery is happening

  383. lainie waller Says:

    fabulous post sarah xx

  384. Rob Says:

    Well I think my anxiety journey is almost coming to an end! I see the light at the end of the tunnel! Might only be though because I popped a benzo today (only use it to take the edge off/chill out like once a week max) but I think I feel almost normal while on it so that tells me I am much closer than I previously thought 1 month back! Taking the quarter off from school has really helped to accelerate my recovery. Honestly though right now my obsessing/ruminating lessens so much with that med and that just goes to show me that its all possible. So excited. I still get the sense that “What if I am actually not back to normal” even when I think I am which is annoying.

    My depressive feelings somehow eased in the last 2 weeks and now its solely the anxiety left (and hopefully depression will never ever come again) but anxiety is so much easier to cope with for me. I still have the sense of being disconnected from my past but according to my counselor that is also supposed to go away at recovery.

  385. Kyle Says:

    Hey guys,

    I have been hitting a bit of a slump. I m sleeping great and exercising is fun and I seem to be much more happy but my mind is playing all sorts of tricks on me. My thoughts are somewhat coming back but I feel myself not caring or being scared by them but one problem I thought was over is coming back just a bit. My new job is very challenging but I think I really like it but I am scared of all the demands and if I can make it or not but I have come to the idea that it doesn’t really matter because its only self doubt and lack of confidence caused by anxiety and if I just accept it I will get better. Does anyone have fear that they are schizo and then start imagining they are seeing things? My mind plays so many trick on me like I think ill start seeing all sorts of weird things and then my mind makes me think it actually happening even though I know its not because its almost like I can turn it on and off. I know I am not seeing things because I can tell deep down I have not lost it at all but it very concerning. please help. I was doing great for a while and honestly I seem very calm but have some rough spots and just keep living my life. Can anyone relate to this or tell me whats going on? I think its just a set back because of this new change and new job and pretty much a very new life. Hope everyone is doing well and I really like all the positivity.

  386. lainie waller Says:

    kyle its all anxiety. accept and practice and get on with your day . you will never be schitzo its just anxious thoughts. rmembr you are not your thoughts x

  387. honey Says:

    Hi everyone… I’m currently in a bit of a setback. Started with sudden low moods and ended up just anxious again. I haven’t had a set back like this since before I started the method but the up side is that I am no where near as back as I used to be! So that’s brilliant!

    I was hoping that Paul (sorry to ask directly and I completely understand if you can’t) or anyone who has achieved full recovery could answer or do a post about the following hurdle I always find crops up since day 1 or having anxiety.
    I still don’t believe il ever recover but when I have that faith if I’m feeling good it’s what pushes me closer and closer to recovery. I think having faith in this method is what helps massively for me. My biggest fear is having to live with anxiety forever. Then I get confused over what anxiety even is! I read success stories over and over and think they obviously still have some level of anxiety disorder. But from what Paul says once youre desensitized to it the symptoms fade and you dint have anxiety disorder anymore. But do you feel more anxious than before you became anxious? Could you explain true recovery so I know what I’m aiming for. Because I’m aiming for total relief of all anxiety disorder not total elimination of normal anxiety ie nerves on your weddingday etc i feel that proper clarification of this will help get me back in the zone! I just need to know that I’m not aiming too high for the impossible dream. Some people write here to say they’re fully recovered but they still feel anxiety daily. That to me isn’t really full recovery when you still feel anxiety at a higher level than before you had the disorder?

    I’m not avoiding anything these days so just hoping that soon il feel back to myself again!

    Anyway I’m rambling thank you for reading hope you can help

  388. SarahS Says:

    Lainie you are giving good advice. See what you can do! Xx

  389. Paul David Says:

    Hi Everyone, I have just got around to moderating some comments, some people may have been waiting a long time and I apologise, I am just so busy at the moment with writing a new book and other things. People who could not post should now be able to.

  390. Kevin Says:

    Hi all,

    Ive been learning new things about myself everyday and recently i had a realization that i am and have always been a worrier. What i mean is it seems that i get bored if im not worrying about something. Its like im an addict. Im sure many are like this but ive only just realized. Ill be working towards reversing this habit. Like paul says, worrying is the most useless thing we can do. We simply dont need it. Hope everyone is doing well!

    Kevin

  391. Scottie Says:

    Hey everyone,

    Long time reader…2 or so year sufferer with the anxiety issues. All makes so much sense, interestingly much of this acceptance and floating through approach is similar to how a few insomnia pros approach that issue.

    Good news to sufferers, I’ve improved from the throes of absolute depersonalization and angst..I will say, putting Paul’s approach to work is tougher than it seems. Simply accepting is hard! The voice that always says “keep fighting! This isn’t right! Something is wrong with me!”

    I struggle..and start to think “what if this is forever? Why me? How am I impacting my family?”

    I’ve been able to earn a Masters degree in finance with this. Teach my kid to read, remain successful in business..etc, etc.” but the constant drag of it does really stink!

    Question to the panel.. The fatigue, do any of you feel it? Heavy eyes, waking up worn out…whether it’s 4 hours or 8 hours I’m still pretty beat. As those who’ve recovered know, I’m seeking reassurance. It’s so easy to get caught up in what if I have CFS? MS? Adrenal Fatigue? Haha. Insane. ” maybe it’s not anxiety?” Gets old. The attitude it maintain is “so be it if I have these things.”

    The fatigue, the slight dizziness and off balance feelings are unsettling. Knowing that it’s common for many of you would sound good on a day like today.

  392. Matthew Says:

    Hello everyone! I wanted to post on this site because every other site just makes you feel worse! I have been reading David’s book and can relate to almost all of it but I’m still having a hard time. Let me explain my situation first so you can better understand. I am a 24 year old man. Always been healthy and active and never been a bad person or had any bad thoughts or real anxiety. I’ve always been a worry wart which I was always able to overcome and never allow it to bring me down. I had one bad anxiety attack about 4 years ago that I overcame without medication or anything and have been doing pretty good since. However, I started a new career after college as a marketing officer and that is when my anxiety kicked into major overload. It probably doesn’t help that I am working at a place that deals with mental illness in children but besides the point I am struggling. It started with really bad anxiety and fear about intrusive thoughts of hurting my loved ones and just becoming a bad person. It scares the crap out of me and has caused me to have many panice attacks because I don’t everrrrr want to do them. My doctor put me on medication and I’m not sure if it’s helping. He just bumped it up to 50mg after a month today and I’m just not sure what to expect. Recently I developed anxiety about thinking i have some sort of mental illness but I have talked with my doctor who told me multiple times thst it’s just my overactive mind playing it’s anxiety tricks. What I am wondering is how do you deal with intrusive thoughts? I feel like I can’t use the same approach to regular scary thoughts because I don’t want to ever carry out the thoughts. I have been having some good moments at times and realize how silly it is but this past week has been pretty bad and I feel like there is no way out. It’s making me feel depressed and I just want to be my happy self again. I’m hoping someone here can relate and point me in the right direction because I want to overcome this so bad. Thank you all for your input in advance

  393. lainie waller Says:

    come out of a 9 week set back. in that time i have had a brand new car and moved home. i was not one bit interested in anything now today looked at my lovely car and bungalow and i felt joy. now i am not one bit materialistic but just needed to tell you joy as come back , also i noticed the lovely colour of the autumn leaves and the autumnal smell in the air . great feeling xx

  394. Kyle Says:

    Matthew,

    Hey man I have been there. I am also 24 and suffered my first panic attack about 2 years ago. Thought nothing of it and got better and then I found myself having small residual ones after going out on the weekends that would hit me days later and usually come after a bad hang over. I went and saw a doc who put me on medication and I stopped after a week because I thought they were making me worse but it was really just the fact that I was even more panicky because I was afraid of the medication and more or less freaked out with all the mental illness tests. It just got worse form there because I was so confused about why I was feeling the way I did. You name the scary thought, I had it. I couldn’t read the news because I was so freaked out that I would turn into one of those people who would lose it and do something awful. Harmful thoughts? yeah I had those. Weird sexual ones? oh yeah. I had it all and had such bad DP and DR I felt so detached and I went to a Halloween store and couldn’t stand to look at those scary things. I still have my moments but those thoughts pass as long as you leave them alone. I felt like I ha to get a grip on myself 24/7 and refrain from everything. But the more I just let them be and got on with my day they started to go away. I battled what I thought was depression but I think it was just anxiety that turned me so inward. Believe me I have my setback and have been experiencing one as we speak but when I stop and think about it I have come a LOOOOOOONG way. I still experience new symptoms and they freak me out but you know what I just get on with my day as hard as it is and let it be and then I experience some normal moments because I get so distracted with the present moment that I forget and then I get scared of why I am not anxious and then I am back in a hole. Its a habit and like paul said you are just freaked out about why you feel they way you feel and thus you want to do everything to fix it. Just let it be man because it all going to come whether you like it or not. Just do what paul says which is nothing at all. Its hard to do at times yes but its the only way. I think most of my anxiety was brought on by partying way too intensely so if you are in the same boat I would just start treating yourself better and not put your body under any unnecessary stress. If anyone can read my last post as well if they have anything to input as far as help I would greatly appreciate it.

  395. Rob Says:

    Well the anxiety is back again now with less force after I had a close to normal 12 hours yesterday. I also seem to be getting very tempted to just go crazy and get drunk after not having touched alcohol since this began 5 months back. I really want to celebrate my progress but I am kind of scared one fun night with alcohol will create a huge setback and cause depression.

    @Matthew
    No need to fear that you have a mental illness. Not sure if I should say this but anxiety is a “mental illness” and the most common one. So you do have a mental illness-we all do/did here. Don’t get too caught up over if the medication is helping or not. Its hard but have you tried a nice, hard/consistent exercise routine and examined your nutrition? Tried out supplements like Magnesium citrate? I am not trying to advertise but I really believe in the nutrition/supplement aspect. None of these are instant but over time they will add up as part of a HOLISTIC approach along with everything else in the book. Lower your expectations of an instant fix.

  396. Matthew Says:

    Thanks for your input and I was very active and went to the gym every day and now I like lost motivation and idk it’s just hard. I was taking a pre workout everyday that was full of caffeine for a long time and then I just stopped taking it so i think that has something to do with it. I need to start going to the gym again and getting my normal life back. I’m just scared that these thoughts and feelings will always be here. I understand just feel it and go about your day anyway but with intrusive thoughts I don’t know how to go about doing it. Just accept them as thoughts that are caused by my anxiety and eventually they will fade away? Just feeling confused I guess.

  397. Kyle Says:

    Matthew,

    It sounds completely the opposite of what you should be doing which is fight them because you don’t want them there but just allow them to be there. Nothing is going to happen. Every irrational and what if thought you have anxiety.

  398. lainie waller Says:

    anxiety is not a mental illness.ITS AN EMOTION. and its how we react to that emotion what makes it stick .

  399. Daniel Says:

    I also have some questions about acceptance. When an intrusive thought or feeling comes I simply attribute it to my condition and do not attempt to rid myself of it. I also recognize how logical it is that I feel this way and experience these symptoms.
    However, when these thoughts/feelings come over me, I tend to say to myself “don’t worry they won’t be there when you recover.” Which, of course, is true. And yet I wonder if statements like that put too much pressure on recovery. Paul says that “recovery should never be a goal,” which I understand as a concept (and believe me, I am very pleased simply with how much acceptance has improved my day to day life) but I think the majority of you would agree with me when I say, I do not want to spend my life feeling this way and do not like feeling this way.
    Is my mindset wrong or am I on the right track?

  400. Matthew Says:

    Thanks Kyle. Appreciate your advice.. I’m really going to try and just let it be and get on with my day. If I continue to do this will these scary thoughts eventually subside and pass? It just tough right now because I can’t seem to relax at all. I used to wake up and not have a care in the world. I hope that if I just get on with my day no matter how I feel, I will eventually get back to being my normal self with minimal anxiety. If anyone else has input it will be greatly appreciated.

  401. Rob Says:

    I think I asked this earlier but does anybody else feel really tired during the morning/afternoon? I absolutely hate the feeling of having no energy and I am starting to worry that I have something horrible like Chronic Fatigue syndrome. I mean I can go swim 30 laps in the pool and stuff but I just feel like I have no energy. I really hope its not something like CFS that seems terrible and from looking that up it seems like people have it for ages. I don’t want something like that it seems even worse than anxiety and would take ages to cure and I don’t have that kind of time in my life. I am constantly worried that I might have CFS though and it is going to take forever to overcome since there is supposedly no cure. That sense that I might have CFS, it will ruin my life, etc is adding to anxiety.

    Probably just anxiety acting up but the tiredness I just can’t seem to shake off. Even though my anxiety has decreased considerably the tiredness just won’t go away. I want my energy back in full force.

  402. lainie waller Says:

    rob i have cfs and fibro and i can assure you if you hhad cfs you could not get in the pool never mind swim 30 lenghs, somedays i cant even clean my teeth i have no strengh.

  403. Kyle Says:

    Matthew,

    yes, just let them be there and they will in time fade but it wont be immediately. Your mind is tired and trying to latch onto anything it can to rationalize why you feel like you do. Ive been there and after a while they faded and they come back sometimes but then they fade away again. Right now I am in a setback that that is pretty bad but it not as bad as when all this first started even though its so dreadful. I feel like everything around me isn’t real and my mind is blank and my imagination is running wild and crazy. However I am not depressed or as worried/petrified. I went to a concert last night even though I felt awful and the anxiety came and boy did it come hard. My knees were shaking and I was freezing and felt sick to my stomach but I still got on and had a good time. Today I woke up and went to breakfast with my roommate and took all the strangeness with me. I got people coming over to my house to watch football later and right now I am about to run out the door to the mall. if you let this thing rule your life that is exactly what it will do. I know its hard to get started and move forward because you feel like you just want it to pass before doing anything but don’t listen to it and get up and go. Its hard at first but you will be relieved. I know this is probably all anxiety but in this set back I feel more unreal and I am questioning every little thing. I look outside and wonder if what I am seeing is real or I just feel very out of it and like all this is a dream. Does anyone else feel like this? Or experienced this? its so weid because it honestly make me feel like I am going crazy/loosing it. My vision is all weird too and I find myself staring a lot or having to re-adjust my focus? Can anyone please just let me know that this is all part of anxiety because I have a hunch it is? I have been under a lot of stress and change lately and I think that why this setback has occurred.

  404. Rob Says:

    @Lainie

    Ouch :(. It really must be painful to have to go through all of that in addition to anxiety. My fear of CFS mostly came from a doctor i saw a couple weeks back. They ran some blood tests (NK cell activity) and the results came out to be abnormal and were correlated with CFS. I thought the doctor was spouting quackery but then of course my anxious self looks up articles on the internet which unfortunately confirmed a correlation and made me scared. But of course a correlation does not mean a diagnosis yet it still makes me wonder why the results were abnormal.

    They then wanted me to try some weird supplements and even antibiotics since they said I might have some reactivated virus but I refused since I could not understand at all what that had to do with anxiety. I can’t stop laughing about it–antibiotics for anxiety now?

  405. SarahS Says:

    Another helpful quote from Paul:

    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.

  406. honey Says:

    Rob anti biotics would be amazing! If only it was that simple hey!

    With regards to cfs or m.e I have also had this worry but I’m exhausted because I’m anxious! No other reason. I think we look for a physical reason because we feel we need to label ourselves all the time. I’m a nurse and as far as I was aware cfs has no diagnostic tool other than process of elimination for other problems and takes quite a while to get a proper diagnosis. There’s a lot of crap online and reading it all would make a non anxious person a nervous wreck let alone an anxious one. it’s no different to the concerns people have that they are developing severe and enduring mental illness such as bipolar. Just accept the worry as another part of anxiety all under the same umbrella!

    Today I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough after all my setbacks have been associated with never fully recovering and just finding that so hard to accept. I have realised now that in order to even have a chance you have to accept that you may not fully recover. It sounds bonkers and accepting this has made me feel more anxious temporarily but it’s my biggest fear. so if I can accept that I may not fully recover and just aim for relief and to live alongside it so my confidence increases maybe I have a chance! Because this method has made me so well before and I did that myself which means I am capeable of living a completely happy and normal life alongside the anxiety. I never lost control and never got carted off to the local psych unit! My fears are irrational! I think I have worked out this thing about full recovery by myself. When Paul recovered he wasn’t aiming for full recovery. he didn’t even know it was attainable. So perhaps we all put too much emphasis on full recovery and we are still not fully accepting the anxiety. It’s daunting but I am going to try this now. So what. It’s here forever. So what do your worst!

  407. BeeP Says:

    first post here-liberating!!!
    I have been an anxious person for as long as I can remember possibly 50 years?? Oh yes (not always on HIGH alert I should add !!Imagine)

    Apparently at any one time 20% of us are (where do these stats come from?)

    I obsess about health: mine and everyone else’s (you may like to know the current obsession involves digestion and we will say no more) so I think mine is health anxiety partly which is fuelled in stressful times making symptoms worse and so the cycle begins…………..
    I have just read Paul’s book started reading the blog and pressing on

    I hide things that I am sad about from people as I can get over emotional and yet have wonderful family and friends who come to me for my advice on THEIR woes.This hiding of emotions builds up the stress leading to physical feelings then along comes our friend anxiety (oh and weightloss and anxiety at the weightloss then the physical feelings…….) Yes its all clear and now with Pauls help and lots of help from comments here I am going to learn to live with it.

    I find first thing as I wake worse which I am sure is common.

    Many years ago (I told you I am getting on in years) people were referred to as suffering with their nerves,doesnt that sound less sinister than General Anxiety Disorder?

    I will drop back in here to see if anyone comments.Best wishes

  408. Colin Says:

    Honey

    I think this is the right approach. But yes is hard and scary. I have been having a bad period lately too but also know i have recovered and lived a fun life for long periods in between anxiety. The key must be to live life with anxiety aswell. Then the fear of it goes and asit is all fear based when the fear goes so does the problem. Easier said than done. Although many people on here have done this and reached what would then be termed full recovery….. Not being bothered whether they feel anxious or not. This is what Claire Weekes talked about with respect to a cure. It is the not being bothered whether you have symptoms or not that is recovery. On this blog this is achievable through keeping on living a normal life when anxiety is present and thus desnsitizing completely to it. Others including Claire Weekes and many others basically point at the same route to recovery. So it must be the way. It is a tough route and i am a very small way down it. But there seems to be no other alternative. So keep going and you will get there! Best Colin

  409. lainie waller Says:

    Rob soner have cfs and fibro any day than anxiety. im ok i just pace myself and do what i can i have learnt to live with it xx

  410. mynameisE Says:

    if I survive this, i’m gonna be unstoppable.

  411. mynameisE Says:

    honey Says:

    You are right. Full recovery.. That’s not the aim. Thank you

  412. Horton Says:

    I have a two questions for Nolan,

    If you don’t mind me asking, have you recovered yet? I know you got to that point in which it doesn’t matter whether or not you ever fully recover, but I hear that, ironically, it is easiest to achieve full recovery once you reach that point. I’m just curious.

    And I know this isn’t an important question, but I am curious how long it took you to recover? I know you first started following the blog in July and were in a good, optimistic place by April. How long ago did you come across Paul’s book/website?

    Of course you don’t have to answer, and by that I mean I’ll understand if you don’t want to get into such specifics/technicalities out of fear of placing a supposed time limit on other, less recovered, members. And of course I understand if you don’t want to answer because it is a personal question.

  413. Tedder Says:

    Just starting the Paul David formula after 9 years of hard suffering and searching in the dark, the book, as well as Weekes a revelation for me. However having trouble to get started, very little confidence, ‘iron band’ round the head, bad concentration, raging thoughts in the head, etc. the thoughts and overfocus (like seeing myself and hearing everything i say, sometimes even realizing ‘hey i said something without being aware of it’) are scaring me a lot, it’s like i am prisoned… They never leave me alone no matter what i do… Does anybody have experience/coping technique for this? Thank you from the heart

  414. Matt Says:

    Emma,

    Are you still visiting this blog at all? I wanted to ask you a few more things about mindfulness and the intrusive thoughts. I’m making on everything but the intrusive thoughts now, but I feel like my attitude towards them is even beginning to change, but I think I still need some reassurance that I’m on the right path!

  415. Matthew Says:

    Matt

    What are you doing to deal with the intrusive thoughts? That is my biggest fear with anxiety and it’s just so very taxing. I’m trying to just accept them as just thoughts but it’s scary for me.

  416. Nolan Says:

    Hi Horton,

    Am I fully recovered in the sense that anxiety never raises its ugly head again…. no.

    Regarding the desire to be fully recovered? I certainly want to be. And I’ve had moments of pure, complete peace.

    How long have I been on this journey with anxiety? Years and years and years. It got to its worst when it severely started interrupting my sleep back on 02/13/2013.
    I was essentially doing it to myself by very poorly handling what I perceived to be as stressful situations. Very, very poorly handling it.

    I needed the sleep to get bad and for the thoughts to center on it because I still wasn’t getting the message. I needed to have a different way of handling the things in my life that were beyond my immediate control. All of anxiety’s other manifestations weren’t getting the point across to me.

    I first learned of Paul David in July of 2013. It was around then that I started to try to look at this whole thing differently.

    ……….

    So, am I there yet? Nope.
    Have I been there? Yes.
    Do I still get setbacks? Having one right now to be honest. But, hey…. what can you do, right?

    It’s a very loud setback. It’s yelling in my mind that I’m broken beyond repair. At times I can feel the urge building up to want to stand up and move around and to do something to fix this. But there’s nothing to be done.

    Many setbacks ago I learned that it doesn’t pay to argue with the content of these thoughts and even the real presence of these symptoms. I still get the urge…. but I just wait for that urge to pass.
    I learned it doesn’t pay because you view things differently when you’re in the dark, when anxiety is digging and clawing it’s way deep inside of you.

    Even if you had all of the good reasons in the world to not buy into it the insidious nature of anxiety would find a way to undercut all of that. To point out to rough times and to remind you, “no, you are broken…. see”.

    It’s a form of torment that is hard to put into words.

    But….. then the storm starts to pass and the sun shines through alittle. Those negative, dark, doubtful thoughts start to come collapsing down. They don’t make much sense during these times. It all makes sense now to you how you were indeed not broken in the least. It was all a bluff…. a clever bluff, but still a bluff.
    You might even find yourself thankful for this suffering.

    In some ways I’m more healed now than I was for years and years and years. In some ways I’m still not there yet.

    But I trust that this will all be gone but on it’s own accord. The setbacks will come on their own and they leave on their own…. the same goes for the entire storm.

    God bless.

  417. Colin Says:

    Adam (in response to your message on acceptance Oct 23rd) & Nolan & all.

    Many thanks for your insights, they are extremely helpful. I agree we should be aiming to be happy with and at peace with “how and who we are” at any given point and this is likely as good a definition of acceptance as there is. We may not always like how we are, but if we fully accept how we are, it can feel a bit easier.

    My own problems just now (as explained earlier) revolve around significant fears associated with thinking about past periods of anxiety/depression when I lived in Sweden with my family (which I did for 11 years) and the fear of getting this again (good old fear of fear). We now live in the UK. While we have no immediate plans to move back, my oldest daughter deciding to do her final year of school back there must have triggered (sub-consciously stored) fears that managed to retrigger anxiety. A question to experienced heads: I assume these thoughts (and associated fear feelings) should not be avoided…perhaps even welcomed…..as a chance to say hello again to anxiety and get myself to understand as deeply as required that this is all made up fear. I try to do this using mindfulness meditation, but have treaded somewhat warily up to the thoughts so far….

    Nolan: Like you I clearly see my view of the world and mental/emotional processing of how I am doing/feeling being solidly related to whether I have anxiety/depression or not. Trying to let the bad times just blow through while continuing with normal life is the challenge. But this seems to be a theme that comes back again and again on this blog. Do this and keep doing this (normal life) and the bad times become less intense and not as long….or maybe they are just the same but because we are doing normal life…they just don’t feel so bad or long.

  418. Horton Says:

    Thanks Nolan,
    That was very insightful.

    If anyone get overcome a setback, it’d be you. But don’t hesitate to turn to you loved ones or you fellow sufferers if you need an extra hand.

    I feel like I need to resign myself to the fact the next couple years are going to be very rough for me, but I’ll get better eventually. The only thing is, my family are all very depressed about all of this and my attitude does nothing to help them. They keep telling me to get better, and when I tell them it will be a long time before that happens they just get so upset. But it’s been like 10 years now, so if it has to be one, two or three more before I recover, I guess I should be okay with that. Impatience leads to pressure which leads to a lack progress. But I all want is to just feel alive again, I’m really sick of not being able to just be myself. It feels like I’ve spent my entire life waiting for something, save for a brief period of relief over a year ago when I thought the time I had been waiting for had finally arrived, but it looks like it will have to wait much longer before that can be possible. But sometimes I think it’s not worth it and I should just give up.

  419. Horton Says:

    Does anyone know if the title of Paul’s book (‘At Last a Life’) means you’ll get to live your life at last after you recover or is it in reference to the fact that the only way to recover is to start living your life? I’ve always wondered that, especially at this very moment, so I though I would ask.

  420. lainie waller Says:

    Horton , it means both . start living your life and take anxiety with you then you will have a life after your recovered non anxious. i was in recovery for a year in 2013 it was amazing and anxity free. but now in set back i still try my best to live my life but i dont force anything just let things be x

  421. Rob Says:

    My anxiety is decreasing but now I have this irrational fear that once I become anxiety free I will get it again. I’m worried that the memories of me being anxious will somehow trigger anxiety again. It is a stupid thought but still. Not to mention I still obsess over the stuff that caused the anxiety unless I take a benzo which eliminates everything and then I don’t care at all. But since there is a specific day that my journey into anxiety began (4/20 lol) I worry that I will get anxiety again on those same days next year just from remembering oh that was the day I got anxious last year. Kind of similar to what Colin is saying above.

    I will just chalk up this thought to my anxiety since I still have it. This is the correct way to proceed right?

  422. HBK Says:

    First, I want to say I hope everyone is having a good Monday :). If not, you are in the right place. Second, I wanted to ask a question of the all the wonderful people who blog here. My response to anxiety has been somewhat different than most and I’m hoping to hear if people have had similar responses or just what people think about it in general. It sounds like many people want to hide away when they have anxiety, but for me it has been the opposite.

    Let me explain, I have a wife and kids and before this happened I used to be content if we had to stay at home on the weekends and just be family. Now, I get anxious if I don’t have something planned on the weekends, and my preference is to connect with other friends, rather than do things as a family. That also make me feel anxious for feeling that way; that somehow I don’t enjoy my children like I used to.

    Also, my anxiety is relationship based. I have tried to tell the story here multiple times, but it ends up being a book. I would love to get some advice on that so maybe I’ll find a way to shorten it. Anyway, I’m thinking that because my anxiety is related to not being able to connect emotionally with a certain person that I’m trying to fulfill that by connecting with anyone who is willing to listen. I also think that I may be trying to hide from my anxiety by going out all the time because when I’m at home and have time to think about it, it bothers me more.

    I also feel that I have this heightened emotional sense right now. Like somehow a little of my ego died off and never returned. I used to be and still am very much a selfish person, but I feel better able to connect to people now than before anxiety. Maybe I should look at the improved friendships and less selfishness as gifts that anxiety has given me. I just want to get people’s thoughts. This weekend I am planning on trying to spend as much time with the kids as possible to face up to my anxiety. I wish everyone the absolute best and I honestly believe that everyone can fully recover.

  423. SarahS Says:

    Hi all

    I just wanted to share my sisters text with you she doesn’t mind! I just love how she worded it! And thought it might help as it’s hard to put into words sometimes isn’t it! My sister had anxiety too and this was her advice to me:

    Oh i see, youve got an unwanted visitor – ANXIETY!! Thought you had been a little off colour lately. Its normal chick we have a few days/weeks/months of not realising that we are slipping into of our old ways of stress n worrying that all is not perfect and the anxiety bubbles away slowly at first so we dont notice it but we are infact giving it power with the negative thoughts etc until HELLO I AM ANXIETY AND HA HA I AM HERE TO ANNOY THE HELL OUT OF YOU. And you feel crap and you cant eat and you cant sleep and the thoughts are there “its back” “i feel rubbish” etc etc. What we should do really is when the stress n worry n negative thoughts are first appearing we should say “ah this emotional difficulty will soon be breeding fear” so we should laugh at it then and say come on do your very very worst, bring it on. But because the anxiety is weak at that stage we dont recognise it until it has gained power and jumping all over us. So its a little cocky at the moment and strutting its stuff and we feel like nervous noris and fearful fred rolled into one. But it doesnt matter. It is doing us a huge favour cos now its at its worst and we can kick its ass. Had it myself with new job etc, took a few weeks of stressing for it to suddenly shout “ha ha got you! You feel sick and cant sleep” – wish i had recognised it earlier but when anxiety is at its strongest it is actually at its weakest cos it cant go anywhere else, it cant get any worse. So instead of trying to get rid of it, we lie there and say “come on, bring it on, do your worst you can possibly do, i dont give a poop if i cant eat cos it will help me lose that couple of pounds and i dont give a crap if i dont sleep cos sleep is over-rated” and it is as simple as that. Anxiety is a bully that preys on people who are stressed/worried etc and it clings on to the stress/worry cos its not powerful enough to do its own thing and it takes months to be powerful enough for us to notice it but we are amazing and 1 million times stronger than anxiety cos we can zap it with one sentence by taking away its power. You have to mean what you say so if you are saying “bring it on, do your absolute worst” you have to mean it 100%. THAT IS IT. It took me a while to “get it” but now i get it i laugh at it every day just to remind it who is in charge and i challenge it for a fight every day. YOU are amazingly strong. You know what you have got to do. Keep doing it and you win the battle. Simple.

    X

  424. SarahS Says:

    Horton I get what you mean about family. It does effect your family I think and it is hard for them to understand. Could you explain that it would help you lots if they could try to understand and support you and be a little more positive? Would they read one of Claire weekes books? They’re wonderfully dated now but still really good? Remind them perhaps that being around positive people will really help you and that you’re understanding so much more and getting closer to recovery all the time. Good luck

  425. Matthew Says:

    Hey I was wondering if anyone who suffers from intrusive thoughts brought on by anxiety has read any other books/articles that helped them. I feel like I’m making progress with acceptance and my anxiety but the ocd thinking of my intrusive thoughts are the hardest part for me. I feel like if I can conquer ththose thoughts then I can overcome my anxiety. I have gone through anxiety about 4 years ago and recovered without looking anything up but this time I gogled everything and it made it 100x worse lol. So don’t Google anythung. This is def the only site thst helps.

  426. SarahS Says:

    Matthew intrusive thoughts aren’t nice but they’re not to conquer they’re to understand and are another part of anxiety and are really normal. It’s because they bother you so much that they’re still there and because you’re sensitised then your body will react physically to the strength of the thoughts. When they don’t bother you so much they’ll lose they’re intensity and they’ll start to lessen. Anxiety is a big fat bluff, it’s like a scary shadow in the dark. When you turn on the light you realise it’s the cat or a vase or something but all alone and in the dark of night that shadow is scary and very real, your mind goes wild, someone’s there, your heart races, you sweat, panic, feel sick. But it’s a bluff, it’s just a shadow.its just anxiety.

  427. HBK Says:

    @ Matthew

    One thing that I think gets overlooked in the blogs is the understanding part of why we have anxiety in the first place. If you go back to the main page you will see Paul talks about understanding before he talks about acceptance. Let’s face it, the triggers for everyone are all different and feel so unique to us that we think no one else would understand, but from my research anxiety almost always starts as a nuerological response to something that happened in our life. Think of it as an imbalance of neurotransmitters (e.g. dopamine or serotonin) that takes longer to repair than normal.

    In my case understanding what happened in my brain helped me very much because it allowed me to accept it for just that, and not something much worse. Where I got into trouble and apparently so many others is we search for the miracle cure, which doesn’t exist. And let’s face it, it just takes time. Our brains our complex and not fully understood. It only makes sense that it takes a while for it to “rewire itself”.

    I have a theory of why anxiety lingers on so long, but I haven’t found much to back it scientifically. Right now I’m in the recovery stage where I feel the worst in the morning and if I’m recovering from a hard workout or something goes wrong at work the anxiety comes back. My theory is that the neurotransmitters that are active in these stressful situations mirror the same imbalance that was brought on by the things that trigger our anxiety. Our brains don’t know the difference and since the memory of the trigger is so present in the anxiety suffer we think it must be the anxiety causing these feelings. I used to tell myself this lie, “I never had a care in my life before anxiety”. If you really think about that it can’t be true. We’ve all had bad days. We’ve all had to deal with stressful situations. But, now that we’ve had this anxiety that was so much more intense than anything we experienced before our brains confuse the normal stress with anxiety.

    I did stumble upon a YouTube channel called ASAP Science. It’s a good channel. The videos are very short but informative. The latest video is on memory. I think this video is very relative to anxiety and maybe even backs up some of what Paul preaches. Basically, every time we remember something our brains actually change that memory to reflect our current feelings, which is why we don’t want to hide from anxiety or try to not remember. As you recover, your general mood will continue to improve and as you keep thinking about what triggers your anxiety your brain will actual change that memory into something positive.

    For me, I had anxiety brought on by a romantic attachment I had to someone that could never be fulfilled. I stumbled upon research done by some very smart people of what happens in the brain when people have these romantic attachments. The regions of the brain that are active are almost identical to taking cocaine. When the brain can’t get it’s fix the neurotransmitters crash and the anxiety if full blown. For me understanding that I was basically going through withdrawal coupled with the advice on this website have put me well on the way to recovery.

  428. Matthew Says:

    Thank you for that post Sarah! Much appreciated! Gotta use that mind set.

  429. Matt Says:

    Matthew,

    I’m still a bit stuck with how to tackle them, but I’m trying something a bit different from what I’ve done in the past. Here’s what’s happening with me, and how I’ve been handling it/my plan of attack:

    My thoughts center around what if I want to jump off a height/stab myself/drive off the road in order to end it. Those thoughts always come up when I’m in situations involving anything to do with that, and it’s annoying as hell. I’ve never allowed myself to avoid any of that, but I also fear it every time, and I allow myself to ruminate on the subject long after the thought has passed. I then start to wonder if I really do want to do something, because the thought is there, even though I know that that’s a false message from anxiety. You always have a choice, and since I don’t want to act on any of those thoughts, I won’t.

    Where I’m trying to change things is to a) accept and b) use mindfulness to switch my train of thought after a thought. I’m getting the acceptance better, and realizing that what i need to be doing is to not think or worry about anxiety all day. If thoughts happen, they happen, and I just have to keep doing what I would be doing if I didn’t have anxiety. I’ve been doing what I would be doing the whole time, but with that fear comes doubts and rumination, which sinks my mood lower and lower. This is where I want to start adding mindfulness (and what I wanted to ask Emma about). Basically, when an anxious intrusive thought comes, accept that it’s there because of anxiety, and then switch your mind to something else, even though you still feel anxious, and then expect to have the thought again, or have your mind want to wonder back. Don’t get upset if it does, as you are accepting this, not fighting it, but if your body will let you focus on something else, do that. Eventually, you will reprogram your mind to react to those thoughts by letting them go, and then they will decrease. But step 1 is to accept them, and realize that they won’t go away right now, no matter what you do. It’s going to take some neural plasticity and practice before things start to turn around, and at that point, you probably won’t care about them anyway :)

    I know Pia has done it, and I know that Emma has done it, so I know that both you and I can do it as well!

  430. Matt Says:

    I also wanted to add that, like Nolan, I had a bad way of handling stress previous to this episode of anxiety. I was a negative person, and didn’t really look at many situations in a positive light. Another thing I want to do is try to replace my negative self talk with positive self talk. However, I’m also not going to be down if I become negative. I’m simply going to try to do my best to replace those thoughts, and allow time to help me change my brain. I know this is a bit of a deviation from Paul, as he says to just accept, but he does mention somewhere in his book that he didn’t realize how much positivity or negativity has an effect on emotions. I feel that by trying to help shift my focus to optimism, it will aid in recovery.

  431. Matthew Says:

    Thank you HBK. That is also very informative. I’ve been going through alot of change these past few months and I started a another jon Monday. So I know my anxiety is going to be bad for a while but I just have to accept that and realize what is going on! That does make sense because I always hated the news and horror movies because of the fear of those images and bad people. So I guess it makes sense that my anxiety goes to thinking the worst because that’s what scares me so much. Just got to realize and learn!

  432. Horton Says:

    People are being very constructive and helpful lately. I appreciate that kind of thing.
    And personally I really appreciate the help from Lainie and Sarahs!

  433. Daniel Says:

    Hey Nolan, I was wondering something regarding an earlier post you made months ago:
    “Prior to my anxiety/depression (and all of the symptoms) was my poorly handling stress. Very poorly handling stress.
    Everything was setting me off. Neighbor kid playing basketball late into the evening. Other neighbor’s dog barking. People at work talking too loud….everything.”
    That post was very relatable for me, and even at the best of times I get irritable at little things, like bad music or people biting their nails. One day, when I had a clearer head I was reflecting on the months leading up to this whole mess and I realized I had moments of intense obsessive irritability, and a few days before this supposedly “started” I had come to tears regarding one completely insignificant issue. Anyway, I hope to remedy that one day, it’s been quite a nuisance these past two weeks in particular. And it is one of the changes I can make to my life to ensure that I won’t fall into this cycle again.
    You said that as you’ve been progressing in your recovery you’ve had less of that irritable, obsessive feeling. Which gives me a lot of hope, it also kind of dissapoints me that I have only been getting worse in this regard rather than better (although nowadays I do recognize these feelings and insignificant and simply a product of my stress, which keeps me from snapping at people close to me.)
    I was wondering, if you could discuss your own progress in this regard. I’m under the impression that both of us have been dealing with this for the majority of our lives and can greatly attribute the development of our “conditions” to it (as well as vice-versa.) I know you’ve discussed this issue before, and I know perhaps now is not the best time for you to be discussing it, but it is something I’d like to hear about due to the similarities between our experiences and the fact you’re further along in your recovery than I am.

  434. Rob Says:

    Lately after a good 3 days or so last week somehow my obsessions have returned. I don’t get the self-harm/suicidal thoughts anymore but I still keep obsessing over the moments where I did have those thoughts and how I used to think. Does anybody else have this problem where after you have come so far you start obsessing over how they thought months ago?

    For whatever reason I keep obsessing over the panic attack I had 6 months ago after taking ecstasy as well as the dehydration 3 weeks later which set off the anxiety cycle for real. Before getting dehydrated I thought nothing of the drug incident, somehow anxiety brought all the obsessing. I have absolutely 0 fear about panic attacks and that was the only time ive had one but I keep obsessing over the fact it happened and keep replaying the image of me at the hospital for no reason. I know for a fact there is no long term brain damage or anything but I am obsessing over something that is half a year old which is annoying as hell.

    My obsession does not lead to any avoidance or intense fear but the mere obsessing is freaking annoying and I worry that I will never forget about that incident. I also get intense bouts of gagging attacks/nausea which doesn’t go away unless I do some 30 minute breathing exercise.

  435. Kyle Says:

    Rob,

    I am right there with you and all those experience after taking something like that. I am a year in almost on the dot and I have finally moved passed the whole drug and anxiety thing for the most part. I consumed a ton over a 6-9 month period when I was partying a lot and all of that brought on anxiety. Especially when I am dehydrated. It gets better but you need to make sure you take care of your body, not trying to scare you but that’s stuff is really bad and sends your chemistry out of whack. You will get better.

  436. Jennifer Says:

    SarahS – great post/txt from your sister. I really related to that.
    Its great u have someone close who really gets it

    Lainie waller – its really lovely to read how you are moving into a better place with this condition that affects so many of us

    I wondered what others decide about who they tell in their lives how they are feeling. Do people mainly tell only very close friends and family like me or do people let more people know. I find the more people know, the harder it will be to live alongside all the anxiety. I don’t want people asking how I am.

    Tedder – I had felt the same as u last week and it was very uncomfortable as with ALL the symptoms, do exactly the same and move towards the uncomfortableness and just talk anyway even if u are watching yourself. Let yourself watch yourself and think, oh well, this is just another annoying temporary symptom of anxiety. Its because u feel bad and have trouble concentrating u have one eye on yourself and the other on trying to hold a conversation. Tiring i know but its amazing how this too fades once u just practice not adding panic to panic for even just a few days.

    This blog is so supportive for us all and I am thankful for it
    Funny how I am now giving words of encouragement on a symptom that I too was going to post asking for support for just last week. Strange thing this anxiety, it comes off in layers

  437. Horton Says:

    I know this is a silly question, but what year did Paul recover? I mean, how long has he been recovered?

  438. Nolan Says:

    Hi Daniel,

    That question you asked is incredibly interesting to me. I’m very glad you did ask it.

    Let me lay some ground work of who I am and how I got here:

    That quote of mine that you posted is only a small snippet of the hell I was creating for myself. But, it does a good job of showing how this poor ability to handle pretty mundane situations stained through almost all of my interactions with others.

    For me the progression was like this:
    Stressful situation…. I would react poorly, but mainly selfishly. There was some ‘thing’ going on that I just didn’t like. Others would be in the same situation (say back when I was living in an apartment and a neighbor above me would walk heavily and I could hear the sound of the steps) and not be bothered by it. Or, maybe they’d say “wow, he walks loud” but they’d quickly put it out of their mind and it would no longer bother them.

    But my reaction? I would get angry about it. Passively angry about it. I lacked the courage to just ask the guy to walk lighter (or the even greater courage to just let it be) so I would do things like hit the ceiling, slam cabinet doors….whatever. Childish stuff like that.

    But this selfishness, impatience, anger started festering inside of me.
    At work I started noticing things I never either noticed or cared about if I did notice them. Things like people typing loud, or chewing gum, or having their computer do all of those “beeps” and “bings”.

    Intense anger started to surface in me. I would run through scenarios in my head of how I could get them to stop doing whatever they were doing. Now, I still had the sense to think “you know what? They’re going to think you’re nuts if you bring this issue to them”….
    I mean come on, what thin-skinned fella is letting a beep on a computer drive him up the wall?
    Well…. me.

    Now I had less control over my reaction. Early on, it was more willful. Now it was becoming automatic. A kneejerk reaction of anger.

    When I would be out of the situation I would feel good. Calm. Clear-headed.

    But slowly even the peaceful times were being full of unrest. I started thinking “sure, I feel good now…. for like 10 hours; I’m going to have to go back to work eventually”…. or I’d leave the apartment for a long stretch because I couldn’t deal with the noise of the neighbor walking (how silly).

    Then my wife and I bought a home. And even here things were getting stained with it: neighbor kid playing basketball would have me walking around my house and literally punching the walls in anger (I’m embarrassed to admit this).
    When I would come home I would drive up slowly with my windows down to see if I could hear the sound of a ball being dribbled.

    The other neighbor had a dog that would bark all the time. So, I would find ways to anonymously complain to them about the dog barking….

    This is only the tip of the iceberg.

    But it was worse at work. I was complaining about everything, scheming to get my whole department moved to unoccupied floors…. keeping a daily log of people who were upsetting me (thinking HR would honestly be on my side).

    Almost everyone at work was getting sick of my crap.

    One day, after a loooooooong time of making issues at work my manager called me (he worked in Chicago) told me to go to a conference room so I wouldn’t be around other workers and he read me the riot act. He was sick of me. He and I initially got along. But he grew incredibly tired of my ways (and I don’t blame him). And in about as many words said, “you’re the problem…. either change your attitude or quit”. Also around this time people in another department at my work were sending complaints to my manager about my constant complaining. On the phone call he went down a list of people who sent complaints to him about me.

    And this is what pushed me over the edge.
    That night I woke up at about 3am (so, that next morning) and I couldn’t get back to sleep. My mind was just in a bad place. It was racing a million miles a second in a million different directions.

    I couldn’t get back to sleep.

    Then it happened the next night. But this time, as soon as I would start to doze off I would become immediately alert. It was maddening. Peacefully drifting off and then I would be wide awake.
    This played out all night. Well, maybe it would have stopped…. but I reacted to it with great anger.

    A few days later with a similar disturbance to my sleep and then the fear started to hit me in waves. Then the thoughts of being broken. Then the feeling of complete despair.

    The sleep is what pushed me overboard. The anxiety had been there in a duller form prior to this…. but the sleep issues are what tore my life apart.

    It’s funny. I started with Paul’s view on the issue about 5 to 6 months after it first started.
    I’d say within that first week I noticed some small improvement. More improvement than I had had at any moment prior (prior moments which included a large amount of medications given to me from a wildly incompetent psychiatrist.)
    My psychiatrist and psychologist were clowns in almost the truest sense of the word.
    But enough about that.

    So, I start seeing some genuine improvement from following Paul’s advice. But an insidious thought creep into my mind “what if Paul wasn’t talking about you and your issues. Sure, he mentioned sleep issues a little bit in his book. But it consumes your life and Paul didn’t mention it to the extent that I would have if I were to have written that book.”
    So then I started to doubt the very thing that was already showing to help me and the only thing that even made intuitive sense to me (when my mind was clear).
    But in time I noticed this to be one of the lies, bluffs of anxiety.

    So back to the point of your question:
    I pretty much forced myself to stop letting those little things get to me. The little stressors that I turned into huge issues. And I did that simply by no longer reacting to them. It was that simple. Well, it was hard…. but simple.

    Kid starts dribbling his basketball, it’s fine if my mind wants to focus on it reflexively…. I’m jut not going to add more fuel to the fire by making it dictate my actions. I’m not going to pace around the house. I’m not going to connive of sneaky ways to make him stop. I’m just going to let it be.

    And it was this approach that ended the intense scrutiny, obsession with these annoyances/stressors.

    The anxiety issues still linger a bit. And that’s okay. I know that in due time and on its own accord they will end completely when they are ready to end. So, it is what it is.
    I’ve felt pure peace from all of this. Initially just little peaks here and there…. but then they started lasting longer and longer.
    I’ve had times where I found myself thinking about anxiety and all of these years with it and laughing to myself along the lines of “ha, that just doesn’t make sense how any of that could ever have bothered me”…. those moments, for me, are true blessings from God.

    I’ve even had one moment of peace where I can only say it was a level of fundamental calmness and joy in my life that I probably had only felt back when I was a very young child. Thinking of it now kind of brings tears to my eyes.

    Anyway…. sorry for the long post.

  439. Tedder Says:

    Thanks so much Jennifer! I was having two relative good days sticking to more Doing than Ruminating, however I felt edgy and started to focus on this edgyness and iron band around he head feeling when I was lying in bed for a little rest in the afternoon.. At first here was a storm but hen it became really peaceful turning again to a storm after this session I somehow got completely swept of my feet again only focussing on myself and having thoughts of how seriously wrong things are with me and dreading the future…
    How do you pick yourself up after a strong thought/sensation/emotion? Or do When do you have to consider medicine etc? Or is that again anxiety and you just have to carry on regardless of how horrible you feel?
    Please help out, thank you

  440. Nolan Says:

    One more thing.
    I studied psychology in college.

    I remember reading of this concept called “Expressed Emotion”.
    Most psychological concepts I have little time for…. could care less in all honesty.

    But Expressed Emotion (EE), even back in college, hit home for me. It made sense.
    So this EE says that those who express their emotions (mainly emotions of anger, frustration, guilt….. negative stuff) don’t really vent the issues in a true way. Meaning, expressing anger when you’re angry doesn’t mean “voila! you’ve got all anger out of your system”.
    What it means is that what you’re actually doing is reinforcing the anger/frustration response.

    You know how they say “those who don’t react on their emotions are going to blow their top one day” (however that sentiment may be phrased)…. what the researchers into EE are saying is “that’s false”. Those who regularly express emotions…. those who have an outward display of the internal frustration, anger, rage that they’re feeling are the ones setting themselves up for ruin.

    My wife and I are polar opposites with the expressing of our emotions.
    My wife is a truly patient, peaceful, calm person. Sure, she gets angry, but she doesn’t act out on it.

    Me? I regularly acted out on it. Complained about all of my perceived injustices that I had to deal with…. built myself up into an expressive ball of rage at times.

    Guess which one of us developed intense anxiety that hijacks our ability to simply have a clear mind and a peaceful body.

  441. Rob Says:

    @Kyle

    Yea I know I will recover eventually. My mood has improved and a lot has gotten better. Really the only thing is obsessiveness about the whole drug experience I had with mdma. Literally i bet 70% of my thoughts in a day are related in some way to mdma. My mind can feel like a total trash can at times pulling out the most random crap.

    Not to mention that drug and dehydration also messed up my hormones which has been seen in a blood test.Recently got diagnosed with low testosterone and now I keep obsessing over my hormone levels and keep hoping that fixing that will make my anxiety straight up vanish or at least lessen it significantly. They say it takes 6-8 weeks or so to fix and its been 3 and now im still constantly waiting for the 6th week and check continuously if my anxiety is gone yet. My cortisol is also somewhat low/messed up. It is truly a health disaster at 20 years old.

  442. Malone Says:

    Greetings from Southern California…funny how my mental storm coincided almost in sync with my state’s 2 year drought…There’s many times I would have liked to pass some of this torrential weather from within me onto the parched land in which I live.

    Anxiety, depersonalization, insomnia that roared its head leaving me in absolute despair…been there. I find it therapeutic to tell my story, so I’ll let it fly here…bear with me…

    2 years ago (I can recall the date, like so many of us can! Funny, I’m better at remembering that fateful night in August 2012 than I am at remembering some pretty darn important life dates; but I digress) I found myself shift from a cool, collected, oversleeping, easy going, high achieving life of the party type to a chaotic, sleep deprived, incredibly desperate shell of human spending countless hours on my i-phone searching for a “cure” for what hit me. Brain tumor? Schizophrenia? Bipolar depression? or, one of my favorites, Sporadic Fatal Insomnia — oh boy, try reading that after a bad week’s sleep and not wanting to take a long walk off a short..you get it.
    I had recently come through a health related anxiety scare that was completely unfounded, and I figured..OK I’m better. Well no, that fateful night in August I awoke at 3am (remember that, Nolan?) with my heart pounding and my mind full of thoughts. “Am I having a heart attack? No. silly, you’re 31 and in great shape..” “Should I waken my wife? No, crazy..she’s sleeping and you’re ok” I tossed the whole night filled with fear regarding what happened.
    I was a wreck the next day, and returned to bed only to find myself unable to sleep. Brutal. I repeated this scenario for the better part of 18 months.
    I make a decent living, enough to have extra money at the end of the day…and boy, I spent 1000’s of dollars that should have been saved for cures. Pills, herbs, counselors, brainwave therapy, neurofeedback, hypnosis, I had one on one skype sessions, relaxation therapy…hell the whole enchilada…to no avail.
    Ok, this could go forever…so here we are in October of 2014…am I “cured”? Maybe? I don’t think I’ll ever forget this journey..I don’t feel like I used to, doubt that’s truly possible–I’m a different person now, better in many ways. I still take a mild antidepressant for sleep (trazodone 50 and it’s nothing more than a crutch…but that’s ok) I deal with what if thinking regarding going back to my old self, I miss sleep, I get dizzy spells, my eyes tend not to focus right, then the fear creeps in…what if this is MS? what if this is CFS? what if it was a brain tumor…well guess what? I dismiss it. I completely dismiss it, and if my brain keeps running the script, I start to think about how it wouldn’t be THAT bad if I had these things. Right? People are living full lives with MS…CFS, I don’t know man…seems brutal, but I just finished cleaning the entire house at 10:30 at night after work and I’m still up. Can’t be that. It’s anxiety…and I have complete control in how I choose to react to the stimuli. I accept it. I press on. I, like Nolan and others, have days of clarity…funny though, I’m finding that I CONTROL those moments of clarity..HAHA! What a revelation, right? I develop the mindset that I’m going to have a great day…and it tends to lean towards better than worse!

    @Rob. Man, I feel your pain…that’s nothing short of crummy that you’re currently struggling with a decrease in T, cortisol and other critical hormones…guess what, you’re 20 years old and your brain…as wiped out as it is right now is consuming FAR more energy and resources than it should, and your hormones are TEMPORARILY suffering from this. You have an advantage though, my friend. You’re 20! You’re body will bounce back from this setback once you COMMIT to allowing the process to begin. You’re half accepting…kind of like I have for so many months. “If I accept this, it’ll start to fade…so I’ll start accepting it today and check in on it in a few weeks..well maybe a few days…man it’s been 3 days and I feel worse!” 3 more days of “accepting” when it hasn’t really taken place. Those numbers will fall back in line…it’s time to practice some kindness to yourself. Some meditation, some added focus on the diet, let THAT capture your thoughts for a while..very therapeutic.

    Anyways, that was a rant. This whole thing gets better, I promise. I’ll pop in sometime again soon to see if anyone needs to chat.

  443. SarahS Says:

    Hi Nolan – thanks for the post and for being so honest about how things happened for you. I think it shows how anxiety can happen to anyone at all. Your posts are inspirational so you can add that to your list when you’re describing yourself :-) I think the main thing about anxiety is that it’s one big fat bluff, a joke. The trick it plays though is that it feels so serious and not one bit funny! And it doesn’t lose it’s grip so easily does it? I had years and years of anxiety from a young age until it became severe and saw everyone under the sun that I thought could help me with it, they didn’t of course.

    I found Claire weekes books and then Paul’s site and it started to click, this was the way, the only way forward! By then id built up so many unhelpful habits though that yes Indeedy it was going to be a long haul.

    However the one thing I’ve learnt is trust. To trust that yes this anxiety feels rubbish but it’s actually a huge bluff! To trust that if we go with it, say go on the do your worst it actually starts to lose its power, it becomes weak and we become stronger. And in our fleeting moments of feeling calmer we can see that anxiety is just anxiety and the true meaning of that.

    I’ve had a tough few days but also in between I’ve actually got it a little more. In between the intensity I can see what “it’s only anxiety” actually means. And to know that these intense feelings aren’t more intense than the next person. It’s a big fat bluff and behind these layers are normality.

    “Live with the world anxiety gives you, keep a positive attitude, learn to see the symptoms as part if the process, smile at the symptoms, never put up resistance, keep focused on your task and never try to fix how you feel, you will then notice fleeting moments if normality that add up to recovery”.

    Jennifer – yes I’m really lucky to have my sister who gets it! And yes you don’t have to tell everyone, just whoever you want to. It’s up to them if they get it or not and pay them no mind if they don’t I say :-)

    X

  444. Karen Says:

    Somebody said something to me the other day that made me stop and have a bit of an aha moment …. “If you are thinking about it you are not accepting it”. It made so much sense. Also the reply someone gave me earlier that the constant inward focus is just a habit ……I thought accepting it meant just let your brain go over and over but it doesn’t does it. It means notice it doing it then move on …. no worrying or obsessing about it. This doing nothing is actually quite hard work, remembering to not react, question or analyse. Remembering to refocus when I notice inward thinking and to gently change the habit. Am I getting somewhere?

  445. lainie waller Says:

    to me accepting is doing nothing.

  446. Jennifer Says:

    Thank you SarahS

    Tedder – keeping active alongside the ruminating is the way forward, although hard to take all this anxiety out with you I know. Just let all the symptoms rage around you knowing that you don’t have to react and that actually it becomes easier not to react after a couple of practices and takes less energy. Its resisting the urge. I am practising again at the moment.
    I too have moments of dreading the future if the future means feeling so terrible. So I do understand.

    You don’t need to pick yourself up after a strong thought etc, it is just a strong thoughts and that is all, your thoughts will change over time so you don’t need to do anything about them. Just let them flow in and out. If you have the same worrying thought, let that float in and out and just accept that that is your thoughts for now but that it will change. Everything changes and every symptoms eventually disappears including the thoughts. They lose their power over you.
    I tried medication the first time I ever had this as I didn’t understand it and didn’t find htis website quick enough and yes it perhaps did give me a helping hand when I felt at my lowest and gave me a level to work with myself, but actually it didn’t do enough and didn’t get rid of anything.
    I had to do all the work and follow this website and recovered that way.
    Anxiety makes you feel like you NEED to do something, take medication, have therapy, anything! but its all a trick of the mind. Your mind is panicked and it is natural to want it not to panic of course.
    But the ironic thing is that you need to step out of the way and let your mind and body just be as it wants to be for now. Stop adding fuel to the fire and just accept how to feel for now.
    I am trying to take my own advice too at the moment….haha

    Karen – Your brain will have some days of 24/7 thinking it all over, just accept this and gently try to do other things alongside it and your mind will clear itself naturally. Get to a level where you think, ok my mind wants to obsess about this for now and thats because I have anxiety and I am naturally going to try to figure my way out of this as it feels bad but it won’t always be this way. Just tolerate it for now and it will fade. You are on the right track.
    Not doing anything is hard work!

    Does anyone really struggle with mornings, waking up with thumping heart at the moment early and can’t get back to sleep. Know to pay it no attention and just get on with my day, but its really bloody annoying. Feel like I have a dark filter in my eyes too, like the colour of everything is slightly darker than how others see it.
    Know its just the wonderful anxiety, but can anyone relate to that?

    Jennifer

  447. Daniel Says:

    Thank you very much Nolan!

    And please do not apologize for the long post, I actually appreciate it!
    That was a very relatble story and you’ve given me a lot of hope.
    Perhaps I’ve already started with decreasing my feelings of agitation just by recognizing what’s causing them and that there isn’t really a problem and then letting it be. However, I was just getting discouraged because those agitated feelings were only getting worse as of late, perhaps simply because I was concerned about them in the first place, so I was getting worried that I was not making any progress.

    Thanks again Nolan,
    I really wish you and your family the best!

  448. Tedder Says:

    Jennifer, thanks so much you are making so much sense to me! I am going to hold off medicine for a while.
    It’s this strange ‘need’ to do something or all hell will brake loose… I was wondering how do you live alongside the thoughts and nasty feelings? Because only once you realize that you are ruminating you have a choice to step out of it right? That is the ‘so what’ moment right? I get the idea through this blog that some people are able to carry on with life alongside their thoughts as if working with the radio on… I cannot relate to that: I am either in the thought or out of it… Or is this the ‘floating’ which Weekes refers to? Jennifer is that what you mean with ‘flowing in and out’? Is that like reproducing the thought and seeing it as just a thought ir letting it flow out of your head? With nasty feelings it is a lot easier for me to work alongside of these.

    I was wondering: I am in a divorce now and was wondering if anybody can confirm that it is possible to get out of this without the loving care of a partner… I do have other loving family but I live abroad…and don’t see them often

    I have a feeling that I just once have to get out of this myself . Then I would have the confidence to confront any setback…

    Darn, this stuff is so little fun 😉

    Thanks in advance for your feedback

  449. Jennifer Says:

    I am pleased that I am making sense to you Tedder

    Yes, the need to do something like cry, scream or panic even more is so strong.
    I am feeling bad right now with this but there is nothing at the end of it, you never do loose control. I know because I have had this before and I never did ‘go mad’ or loose control. You just feel bad. You need to move towards whatever feelings you are feeling. It is very hard I know.
    Hmm, how to live along side all the nasty thoughts and feelings, well, you just do because the other option is that you hide away and make your life worse and let anxiety rule your life, which is scary but I cannot let that happen as I love my life too much and just have faith that I will recover again from this horrible condition.
    Somewhere along the line you do ‘come out’ of the thoughts and have a moment to see that you can choose to pay it less attention, but it is hard in the thick of it and you will have to practice this and be patient.
    Try not to get too wrapped up in how to do this right and what you need to do and in what order as you are just further tiring your mind.
    You just need to follow this websites advice in its simple form and just ‘let it be’.
    But yes, see thoughts just as they are, thoughts. They can’t hurt you long term they just can induce more anxiety which again won’t hurt you. It just feels like its hurting you. Its temporary, Your body does recover naturally.

    I feel like its painful to live at the moment. Not because I don’t want to live, I love my life usually, but these symptoms are really tiring and horrible :(

  450. Tedder Says:

    Thanks Jennifer you’re so kind and clear in you’re description! Yes I am terrified that ‘I am doing it wrong and missing the point’. I also want to live again..
    Ok so just don’t engage in the thoughts and carry on with life.

    Paul mentions that he had benefit from talking to somebody who knew what this is about, I feel that at this stage I would benefit also from some talk with somebody who’s gone through this.. However, the therapists that I have come across didn’t have the foggiest idea what it was and never seemed to be able to comfort my fear of all the symptoms of anxiety…
    This Paul David discovery and this blog have been enormously helpfull but to get on track I would love to talk to someone who’s been through this. Be it a therapist or just anybody.. Jennifer please don’t feel pressured as I know that you to are going through a tough ride.

    I live in Latin America now and have nobody to talk to here. Skype would work for me. Please disregard if this is not suitable to request on this blog.
    Thanks so much

  451. Marek Says:

    Hello all,

    I have a question for the people who almost recovered. I am on the right way of acceptance for several months, although my anxiety is still on the high and very high level.
    Just wondering, the process of recovering from the high anxiety to calmness is through similarly long stages of high anxiety – medium anxiety – low anxiety and then calmness (for example half year of high anxiety, half year of medium, half low and then anxiety free) or the stage of high anxiety is the longest one and after high anxiety stage comes short low anxiety and calmness ? I mean after blowing out the high anxiety state, recover gets rapidly faster (for example half year of high anxiety, then it breaks into low anxiety and calmness – Without a medium stage).

    I understand that everybody has unique way of recovering, anyway, which is more probable?

    Thanks

  452. Jennifer Says:

    Funnily enough I am kinda at a similar point/have a similar question about whether or not it would be a good idea to engage in seeing a Counsellor or Therapist, but I am acutely aware that ‘everyday anxiety self help’ just doesn’t seem to ‘get’ it.
    Simple breathing techniques and telling yourself to relax just doesn’t cut it does it!
    Its almost like I really want a paul david army of therapists trained in this approach. I feel worried (like I need anymore worries at the moment) to go to therapy as we all I guess already ‘over-done it’ and how much will it help to obsess about why we have anxiety and what we should do, when we need to do nothing.
    I have worked in mental health and also have a lot of knowledge about all of the therapies out there and have no doubt that they help many people for many things, but it seems like anxiety really is different in the way that because we are so desperate, is therapy like scratching an inch that will just make it worse and we will go further into our minds when really we need to focus on the outside world and engage with others rather than feeling locked in our minds. Are we trying to find out whats wrong with us to get rid of it in other words, which is understandable, but I am not sure how helpful, as its not just going to disappear overnight once we have that ah-ha moment.

    I know Paul and others have said they have been to see many therapist and they seemed to be trying to help to get rid of the anxiety rather than to work with it/alongside it.

    To connect with people more through skype would be good Tedder, but I don’t feel I am in a place just now that I could be of great help to another. One of the issues is taking on other people worries as I am a sensitive person (as most of us probably are) and this might happen. I am tuned into pain at the moment. I hope and am sure you understand.
    You will find recovery within yourself Tedder, with support from this forum/website as well. As I did and I didn’t see a therapist before and recovered well.

    I wonder what others think about seeking help from a therapist?
    Everyone is different but I wonder will this help or hinder? Are you just inching a scratch?

    Jennifer

  453. Jake Says:

    Hi
    I’m currently struggling with relationship anxiety and have got advice before. I constantly thinking I don’t love her, I need to leave, she is ugly etc.. And I have been told just to let this all come. I find this so hard but tend to think I may have depression but I don’t want to be pumped with tablets as I always doubt that I even have anxiety and my relationship is just at the end. This effects my mood, sleep, job so I’m getting desperate. Feel like if I leave I’ll be instantly cured!

  454. Kyle Says:

    Rob,

    My biggest piece of advice is to not put a time frame or limit as to when you will get over the whole recover from using thing. It all depend on the person and in some cases it can take longer based on your bodies sensitivity to the substance. Just know that you threw your body out of whack and now its trying to find the right balance. It just takes time and if you stress out about it it will only take longer. Mine sure did… I was in the same boat as you when my thoughts were completely obsessed with did that one thing do my body all this damage and is it permanent and so on. Its not but it can take a long time but it will all come back. I am 1000X better than I was. Drink lots of water and eat healthy. Your body is all about balance and since you threw it off a bit it perceive every imbalance as a complete disaster.

  455. Bryan Says:

    Great posts Nolan/Jennifer/Adam…

    What a blessing to have such good people here sharing knowledge.

  456. Karen Says:

    I know there are mixed feelings about this but Mindfulness meditation teaches acceptance of thoughts and feelings. If you are looking for a therapist I believe this is the way forward. I.am not there yet, but it is definitely helping. I know Emma and Racch have had success with this too.
    Tedder, it teaches you to notice your thoughts, observe them and not become involved with them or worry about them. It works particularly well with nasty anxiety thoughts. Mostly now I will notice the thought, label it (ah hello anxiety thought, you are welcome) and gently picture it floating off down a stream. Google tiny buddha, mindfulness there is a good article on it. Don’t get me wrong there are days where I feel like I am doing this constantly but I am learning to not react.

  457. Karen Says:

    Plus the only therapists that I have ever found useful are those who have experienced it, the rest seem to spout from books. Set a time aside each day to worry and don’t let yourself worry any other time …… seriously! What planet was she from. Lol. Right, signing off again for a bit now. Positive thoughts to all. X

  458. Matthew Says:

    So I have another question for those that have recover or well on there way. I feel like I am on my way to recovery now because I feel like I now more about anxiety and how to cope. But, this is where I am kind of getting mixed up. As I stated earlier my anxiety strated about 6 weeks ago as I started a new job. I became overwhelmed with really bad intrusive thoughts about harm and the what ifs about being a bad person and the consequences and all that terrible stuff. This week I started a new career again and have been feeling OK. I also stopped taking zoloft because I wanted to face this head on. I was only on it for about 5 weeks. I find now that while I still get those thoughts and what ifs and alot of things trigger it, I’m not as scared about them. Which is kind of scary in itself because I just do not want them there. But I think that iit’s all part of the recovery process. I just have to be comfortable thinkinh thst for now and in time they will slowly fade away more and more… that is what I think but I would really like some input and reassurance because I feel like I am getting closer day by day and want to make sure I am on the right path!

  459. lainie waller Says:

    Nolan same here with my huubby and myself.

  460. Nolan Says:

    Hi lainie,

    I assume you mean same with your hubby and yourself in regards to how you handle stressful situations.

    This is one area where I’m actually thankful to have gone through this whole issue with anxiety.

    So many stressors don’t even bother me in the least anymore.

    I used to be terrible with other people who would use their cellphones on the bus. I almost always had to say something to that person or complain to everyone sitting around me “I can’t believe they would talk on their cellphone on the bus”. With the people sitting next to me probably thinking “what a loon this guy is…. just ignore it if it bothers you that bad.”
    It got so bad that I was actually looking on how to buy a cell phone jammer. Now, these are illegal in the U.S.. So, I was willing to risk a pretty big fine (if caught) simply to use this little device to jam someone’s phone.
    I’d mutter under my breath, roll my eyes at them, try to find ways (in my head) of how I would get them to stop using their phones.

    When I’d get on a bus if I saw someone was on their cellphone immediately I could feel myself tensing up…. I’d imagine grabbing their phone out of their hand and smashing it on the ground.

    Thankfully now, I’m nowhere near that person.

    I can sit next to a person on their cellphone and truly careless about it.
    Their phone can be making all of the beeps, boops, and bings it wants to and it doesn’t even unsettle me.
    Sometimes I can feel the uneasiness and anger building but I just let them build…. and I simply don’t react on those undercurrents. That’s it. Within a few minutes I notice that I’m not even noticing it anymore and I’m back to feeling at ease.

    So, it’s not all bad. This bout has been intense torment for me at times, but I’ve also learned so much about myself. It’s also provided me the chance to do some serious house cleaning with myself.

  461. Nolan Says:

    LOL…. Karen, you nailed it:

    “Set a time aside each day to worry and don’t let yourself worry any other time …… seriously! What planet was she from.”

    When I first heard that advice I thought “is this person f%$&ing kidding me? This isn’t like a fall coat I can take off when it gets alittle too warm outside. Heck, if I could put the fear, doubt, despair off for another time why wouldn’t I simply put it off indefinitely and be done with the whole mess?!”

  462. Lucy Says:

    Hi everyone, had quite bad anxiety the last few days but am having quite bad chest pains & palpitations with it. Could someone let me know if this is normal? Don’t know if I should just let it go if it is – or if I should be worried?!!

  463. Horton Says:

    This is sort of a weird question but here goes:
    If you do something that you used to do before anxiety hit and the whole time you do it you’re miserable and you’re thinking about how your anxiety is not only making you unable to enjoy it but also make you hate it and feel sick doing it is that considered a step towards recovery?
    Am I moving forward or just running in the spot here?

  464. Tedder Says:

    Hi Jennifer I understand, no worries! Actually today turned out to be one of the best days in years!! I felt the crappyness but just went about my day not engaging in all kinds of methods/seeking… I don’t know what was different actually, somehow I also felt bored I guess with the constant ruminatin/seeking for over 3 years.. I even enjoyed watching stuff en could just sit there watching my garden and chill out, may not sound all that fascinating but is a huge deal for me: I needed this!
    Karen, thanks for your help! I am actually using mindfulness a lot and I feel that I am seeing stuff clearer in particular mental images ( negative) about the future! I am a very visual thinker and was imprisoned by all kinds of gloomy fixed future projections, now sometimes I can laugh at the visual ‘suggestions’ put in front of me. Sometimes though I get nervous of the labeling..caus when there is raging it is like a computer shooting game and I sometimes am not sure if I am neutrally aware of thoughts or it’s the ego again pretending to be equanimous but actually has an ‘acceptance agenda to get rid of the thoughts’ : yes I know I am serious case 😉

    Thats’s funny Karen and thats right i am not spending any time anymore on ‘anxiety virgins’. Still, Karen or if anybody else knows of a somebody/therapist (ex sufferer!) to accompany me in the road to recovery or just have a few talks I would be very thankful!

    I truly appreciate this blog so much

  465. Nolan Says:

    Malone, our struggles sound very similar.

    Funny how you mention that your struggles started with the beginning of a drought in your area and you viewed that as being symbolic in some sense with your struggles….
    My struggles started on Feb 13th 2013 (at least the intense part of my struggles…. the impacted sleep).
    I’m Catholic and that day was the beginning of lent, a period of suffering. I always hoped that it would keep with the symbolic nature of the struggles and lift that coming Easter…. didn’t happen.

    Anyway, just thought it was funny how both of ours started parallel with something close to us.

  466. Rob Says:

    I think I am beginning to understand what happened. The drug probably sensitized my body and I reacted badly to it. Even after I recovered I was probably very sensitive to chemical disturbances like dehydration so that set off this anxiety cycle completely.

    I just keep thinking I will never ever ever be the same exact person again. My expectation of recovery is feeling like none of this ever happened. In essence, I expect to have the EXACT 100% personality as the second before anxiety ever hit me. Even though I am probably around 60% or so I still don’t feel like I have recovered. I am still preoccupied with my “memory loss” and the idea of full total normality as in no split in life like “Before anxiety/during anxiety/after anxiety”. Life feels very discontinuous.

    Is the expectation of having the exact 100% personality too high? I used to be someone who would joke around a lot with my friends and be very happy and now I don’t joke and trying to stresses me out.

  467. Jennifer Says:

    Out of interest, does anyone know of any therapists out there then who have experienced anxiety in this way and therefore would be more in line with this websites approach to anxiety?

    Karen – Do you know anyone or were you just suggesting that a mindfulness based approach therapist might be the way forward?
    and yes, fancy that, the therapist saying to set aside time a day to worry! what a joke! how about the fact that the whole day is often filled with intense worry and the more you try to not worry, you worry! A lot of people just don’t get it do they. They think you have a choice about whether you have worry when really its about your attitude to it as thats the only thing we can change.

  468. Matthew Says:

    So I have another question for those that have recover or well on there way. I feel like I am on my way to recovery now because I feel like I now more about anxiety and how to cope. But, this is where I am kind of getting mixed up. As I stated earlier my anxiety strated about 6 weeks ago as I started a new job. I became overwhelmed with really bad intrusive thoughts about harm and the what ifs about being a bad person and the consequences and all that terrible stuff. This week I started a new career again and have been feeling OK. I also stopped taking zoloft because I wanted to face this head on. I was only on it for about 5 weeks. I find now that while I still get those thoughts and what ifs and alot of things trigger it, I’m not as scared about them. Which is kind of scary in itself because I just do not want them there. But I think that iit’s all part of the recovery process. I just have to be comfortable thinkinh thst for now and in time they will slowly fade away more and more… that is what I think but I would really like some input and reassurance because I feel like I am getting closer day by day and want to make sure I am on the right path!

    Sorry for posting again. Just waneed some insight

  469. Marek Says:

    Jennifer,

    I’ve been attending therapists for years without improvement. I am still attending because it is paid by insurance, but I wouldn’t pay for it from my own. Lots of them are just chatting with you about your life, better therapists will tell you that you shouldn’t be focused on your anxiety and do some relaxations with you.

  470. Horton Says:

    This is sort of a weird question but here goes:
    If you do something that you used to do before anxiety hit and the whole time you do it you’re miserable and you’re thinking about how your anxiety is not only making you unable to enjoy it but also make you hate it and feel sick doing it is that considered a step towards recovery?
    Am I moving forward or just running in the spot here?

  471. Tedder Says:

    Guys, how about the Acceptance and Commitment therapy , I think that may be close to Paul’s way, you can google therapists in this discipline…but again you’d want an ex sufferer… I tried an online therapists who specialized in mindfulness based approach who was pretty ok, gave me some more insight in how to relate to negative thoughts/feelings, happy to share. Otherwise I agree with Marek, it is astonishing how little knowledge there is amongst the so called professionals about this condition and ways of treatment. I guess Paul’s way is difficult to be considered ‘evidence based’
    Wishing you all the best!

  472. Tedder Says:

    I was reading your post again Jennifer and I think using a therapist to dig into anxiety is as you so acutely put, scratching the itch.. However the only benefits I am looking for are sharing (I find that sharing my pain/fear with somebody understanding/loving lightens the burden enormously) , repetition that I need not fear whatever tricks anxiety is pulling on me and lastly a monitor function (am I having a sound life structure and am I consistant in my approach and progress? ).

    What I find a soothing thought that maybe you can relate to: “hey I have suffered from this condition long and hard but I am still walking” !

  473. Marek Says:

    Hi,

    I asked a question but didn’t get an answer, maybe the reason is not many recovered people invite this site anymore. Anyway, I will ask once again, maybe somebody knows :)

    Is a recovery process very gradual from high anxiety – to medium – low – calmness ? That all stages take similar time ? Or it is more like after beating high anxiety the recovery process goes rapidly faster something like on/off switch ?

  474. SarahS Says:

    Jennifer – love your posts!

    Tedder – yours too, your last post is so sensible and I agree totally that’s a big help to recover! Could you get that from here? Hopefully you will be getting part of it already?

    I think when anxiety is ongoing it can be tiring and it doesn’t leave so easily either. I’m at the stage where I’ve been recovering for a few years and have made huge progress but realise I’ve still got fears and so am facing them head on, the result being when I do that my sensitisation is increased big time. And I find it always seems so serious and like this is me forever! So I remind myself to smile at the symptoms and I take advice from pals and my sis who tell me I’m very hard on myself when I’m feeling off and if I am I just need to get through the day and say oh well I couldn’t care less anxiety, bring it on! It’s been helping loads to be honest, I’m now at the stage where I’m like oh here we go again come in then bring it on, do your worst!

  475. SarahS Says:

    They make me laugh too which is a big help in our recovery. Which is why I try to reiterate that it’s all one big bluff tho it doesn’t feel like it it is! And to smile at the symptoms :-) xxx

  476. Bryan Says:

    Jennifer… meant to mention Yes, my mornings are exactly the same. In fact it feels like 90% of my condition revolves around my body’s struggle to wake from a sleep state. It’s common but for whatever reason more pronounced with me. Hang in there. It all will fade as we desensitize.

  477. Jennifer Says:

    SarahS – I am so glad you like my posts – that made me smile (something that is a rarity at the moment). I am trying to not feel sad or be envious of how you seem to be at the next stage/a good stage of moving forward and recovery. I know it does come as I have been there before, it just seems to hard and far off at the moment. Swimming in constant anxiety at the moment and it really does feel just that. It really helps to connect with people like you who really understand.
    I don’t know anyone who suffers in the same way/as strong as I do so its so good to talk on here. Wish we could have a support group face to face or perhaps its easier to engage online :)

    Bryan – thanks for taking the time to reply and relate. Its comforting to know that there is another out there struggling with mornings. I woke up too this morning and said to myself ‘ok heart palpatations, come on in, do your worst, I can’t be bothered with you and am going to drift off back to sleep if I may” and it faded a bit. It will fade I know, its just hard to break the cycle and I am not there yet.

    Marek – to answer your question, in my opinion and others, everyone is different and recovery is an up and down affair. Some take longer, others shorter and it doesn’t depend necessrily on a specific reason. I know from last time that I went from high anxiety to getting better at tolerating high anxiety to it then lowering to medium, sticks around for a bit but it doesn’t matter because you no longer care (and this is the big difference) to then tapering off to low anxiety. Then you don’t realise that your anxiety has gone back to a normal amount because you are too busy living your life and not focusing on anxiety. There isn’t a set time.

    Wow, its helped me writing that, as its all true and I know it is but I am struggling to believe it at the moment as anxiety really does have its hold on me at the moment.

    Tedder – yes indeed, we are still walking and living our lives the best we can. I seek and remember seeking a lot of reassurance before and this is fine but I remember realising that it really was just me that had to reassure myself as no one else was going to make me feel better and get rid of it. Its like learning to self soothe that everything will be ok somehow.

    I have just managed to hold a conversation with a colleague about something even though all this anxiety is raging around me. Unpleasent but I managed to do it and I don’t think she noticed anything wrong, although I know I should be worrying about people noticing if I am acting a little odd. But appearing normal is helpful when feeling so bad :)

  478. Jennifer Says:

    Sorry for blog hogging (I am aware I have posted a fair amount in the last few days and don’t want to hog)
    but one other question I am curious about is how others are managing with work?
    I know everyone is different and it will be a mixture but do people still manage to work full time as they did before they suffered with anxiety? do some take time off/go part time and find this helpful or makes things worse – is it better to stick with working to try to keep things normal? do you confide in your employer? concentration and communicating with others can be difficult with anxiety and this may affect how you feel/are at work, as I know it certainly is with me even if no one is noticing :(

  479. lainie waller Says:

    well this is for Nolan. !!!!!!! i was in a bad setback for last 2 months i had no appatite , wasnt sleeping and high anxiety and depression. it started lifting two weeks ago and i was eating and sleeping and my motivation and interes was back. then WAM it came back in the middle of the night woke sweating and high anxiety. seems like its one step forwards and two back. any advice please x

  480. Nolan Says:

    Hello Lainie,
    It’s just what happens.
    All you can really do is just accept that this is what is happening to you.
    Anxiety is very insidious.
    One moment you’ll be feeling fine and you can sense that all of this is lifting, then the next moment (however long afterwards) it all comes raging back.
    The anxiety and the symptoms will appear to be so tied to who you are as a person that you won’t be able to reason it away.
    In these moments the anxiety and thoughts of being broken will just make sense to you. It’s a sickening feeling, I know… I’ve been there.

    I’ll be honest, I’m in a setback right now.
    I’ll lay it out for you:

    I had been sleeping pretty dang good. It was as close to not being an issue than it ever has been since this all started.
    The one area where I still had symptoms was with the peacefully dozing off one might do while reading a book or watching a movie.

    I fall asleep every night. But, that type of zoning out/falling asleep that one does while doing some mundane task of reading or watching a movie still eludes me.

    What happens is that as soon as I start dozing off in those moments I’ll get a big rush of fear/anxiety and I’ll be alert and then I’ll be having thoughts along the lines of “you can’t consciously guide yourself to sleep!”…. but all of this was fine. It is what it is.

    I would still fall asleep at night, everynight, and sleep pretty long (opposed to the minimal sleep I would get earlier on).

    Now here’s the insidious nature of anxiety.
    One day I was up at my parent-in-laws house, my wife was a work in our town, so I took my son up to my in-laws so he could play with grandma (it makes her happy, so that’s a good thing).
    He fell asleep so I went to one of the upstair bedrooms to read a book.
    I started getting incredibly sleepy and I closed my eyes, then I got the thought, “there used to be a time when you would just fall asleep, but now you have to do everything deliberately. You have to close your eyes and wait for sleep to come.”

    This thought was automatic/reflexive. It just popped up in my mind.
    It bothered me, but I was still able to eventually fall asleep and have a good nap.

    When I woke up I had the thought, “hmmm…. you still can’t just fall asleep while reading a book like you used to. That’s odd. You still automatically become conscious during those times and wide awake/alert. There’s really no reason why that wouldn’t happen every time you try to fall asleep. Maybe you are broken and you just didn’t realize it.”

    It made me think that everything was just an illusion. All of my good nights were just bluffs because I didn’t have this bit of true knowledge regarding my sleep issues.

    I found myself trying to argue it away (only seemed to make it stronger), to give it reasons why that isn’t true…. that, I have been sleeping almost perfectly normal for the last 6 months. Didn’t matter…. the storm continued.

    I’ve already felt breaks in the storm of this…. so it’s ultimately not that big of a deal. I’m not here to shove my faith down anyone’s throat, but I’m Catholic…. I use that suffering at times to prayerfully offer it up for others, “God, if this is simply what you will…. then I accept it, but, allow me to offer this suffering up so that someone else can have their suffering diminished.” And then I wear that suffering with a level of hope that someone else somewhere can have theirs lifted.

    Okay, well my point with all of that is that anxiety is insidious. When it starts churning up again it’s going to find ways to impress upon you the reality of it…. to keep you on guard, geared up, alert.
    It doesn’t pay to engage in argument with it at these times. Because you’re going to lose. At some level your brain is being convinced to the apparent ‘true nature’ of this beast.

    But, the storm will pass.

  481. Bryan Says:

    Jennifer,

    I worked all the way through 4 years of nervous breakdown including medication withdrawal. Two jobs actually plus raising my 8 year old girl.
    There were plenty of times when I didn’t know how I could possibly make it into work, much less through an entire day. We’ve always got more strength than we think. But I decided pretty early on that I was going to let this thing take anything from me, at least of that nature. If anything, it’s more my social life and extracurricular activities that have been curtailed in the last four years. Due to my bodies sensitization, I exercise regularly but I can’t push it like I used to. I was a major athlete, and while I still enjoyed being physical I have to tone it down. And while I try to keep social and not hideaway, the physical nature of my condition makes it a bit tiring so things like traveling and lots of social events sometimes aren’t realistic. But, I’ve made myself get out there even when I’m beat up. I feel like it’s very important that we show ourselves that while we may feel awful, this doesn’t have to take away everything from us. Paul stresses that quite convincingly with his story and in his writings.

    I understand your question though, there are times that I wonder if I could slow down for a few weeks, would that help me bring my stimulation level down? I’m not quite sure. For me I think I need to keep engaged to some degree, but I do know I need to find a way to build in relaxation time and to slow the speed of my life down. Certainly stress reduction for anyone, much less people of our condition is essential. I understand that acceptance is the key to all of this, but that’s no reason to abuse yourself either.

    I think it’s an individual choice, but to me the last things we can avoid or cancel because of our condition the better

  482. Perdy Says:

    Hi everyone, my symptoms are really getting me down now, main one feeling unbalanced, really obsessing about everything which I’m sure exasperates it all, but it’s SO hard to switch off and accept it, constantly thinking I have a major illness, can your mind really make you think how you feel? For instance keep thinking I’m walking funny and it’s harder work to move my right leg, am I just convincing myself of this, mind over matter – in a bad way???? Terrified to mention it to docs, which I try to avoid at all costs, MND keeps going round and Round in my head, which is the disease I’m most afraid of!!! It’s like a record playing non stop. Had numerous mri’s etc and have been like this before, but never seem to have periods of being free from the anxiety due to the symptoms, sorry to be negative just need to offload to someone who understands. Thank you for reading x

  483. Rachel Says:

    Perdy my heart goes out to you I feel like you all day every day even right Now watching tv and inside my head feels like it is swishing around infact my whole body feels like it’s moving even just moving my eyes I just can’t understand there is no let up doesn’t matter what I do it is so hard to let it be there when the feelings are so strong what I also don’t get is I go about as normal work house work school run shopping yet I still have so your not on your own your really not xx

  484. Tedder Says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    I to am hogging a bit ;-)..

    I actually quit my stressful job, which was a lot of traveling in the Latam region, 9 months ago because I met a therapist who said that he knew what I was suffering from as he had suffered the same: depression. He said take 2 months of in a psychiatric department of a general hospital and follow the program and afterwards you will be fine..

    Unnecessary to say that his was a bad advise! First of I did have depression elements but I now know that it was anxiety induced. I did not benefit from hat environment at all, it was just more scare… Afterwards have been traveling through Nepal and looking for spiritual solutions, much better path.

    Now I am going to slowly start working again tomorrow in the office of a friend.
    In short I don’t know what wisdom is.. In my case I was ready for a change but I think I spent too long wihouth a job/ daily routine. I am picking that up again now but I don’t know if I’ll go back to the super active life again..

    Question: yesterday had a great day, felt the best I did in years but now I am feeling really bad, like it is too much of the bad stuff with accompanying gloomy thoughts.. What o you guys mean with attitude in these situations? Is it something like: “I am not going to let you decide how I spent my day, I planned to do this and that and I will do it”? Do you feel this attitude through the misery?

    Thank you

  485. Rob Says:

    So today I got the random thought about the exact path I walked to the hospital when I had my panic attack/first interaction with anxiety on the E comedown. I never ever thought about it before.

    In fact, I was walking that path without giving a thought to that incident. My anxiety has been going on for 5 months and I have walked that path. But now today, suddenly I had the realization “Oh dang this was that exact path I walked and the exact path where I had all those bad thoughts during my E comedown.”

    And now my newest mental illness worry is the worry that I have some PTSD. And I am really really worried I have PTSD. That anxiety disorder is the worst possible one and if I have that I will never ever ever come out of it. And now I can’t stop thinking about that path that I walked. I worry that the thought of the path I walked is a “Flashback” and that means I therefore have PTSD. And I just cant get that thought out of my head. I truly hope all I have is GAD or OCD or health anxiety and not PTSD. And no therapist/dr diagnosed me with PTSD. But I keep ruminating about that panic attack so doesn’t that mean I have PTSD? What the hell anxiety I wish I never ever got that thought. Now I have to obsessively make sure I don’t have PTSD.

  486. SarahS Says:

    Hi Jennifer – I do understand and it’s fab to chat to you. Have you read any if Claire weekes books? They’re wonderfully old fashioned but really good still. She was very wise. Just a suggestion but how about looking at this period of anxiety as an opportunity to really face it. Anxiety is a pain in the bum but we can change our attitude to it. We are scared of the feelings and don’t want it to come back when we don’t have it. However by seeing the way out ourselves the right way our confidence grows and we no longer care if it’s there or not because the fear of it is no longer there. If we can remember that it’s usually up n down, that it’s usually a while before it goes, that our thoughts n feelings can be there as part of ordinary thinking and feeling rather than a big monster then we can really get somewhere. And most importantly when we feel it, really feel it, don’t try to dodge it, push it away, escape it but really say Go on do it!!! Do your very worst! Bring it on! I couldn’t care less! Then we are facing the bully. Like my sis says at that point the anxiety is at it’s weakest. Also don’t watch yourself so much and be less critical. I know you and others here can do it! X

  487. Matt Says:

    I really feel like i need some advice today.

    I’ve been more positive and feeling like I’ve been making progress, and then today I just woke up and my head feels funny, I’m having DP, which I’ve never had, and I can’t calm down. I’m at school, so I can’t really escape or calm myself down, and my feelings aren’t fluctuating like they normally do. I’m feeling anxious for hours on end, and it’s pretty severe. Have people had this constant anxiety before? Normally, mine waxes and wanes, but today it’s just bad. And every time I try to talk to anyone, it gets worse. This feels awful today! I’m trying to accept, but I can’t keep focus on anything, and my mind just keeps going back to how I feel, and then I want to fight it, and it gets worse, and I keep freaking out. I know that tomorrow, or next week I’ll feel better again, but this has really thrown me for a loop.

  488. Nolan Says:

    Hi Matt,

    I can say without exaggeration that I went for stretches of months on end feeling constantly anxious.

    Just let it be there and change your attitude towards it. Like Dominic said many months ago, “Turn your “what ifs” into “so whats””…. don’t let it dictate what you are or are not going to do.

    I’ll put this into more manageable terms:

    Imagine you are on a train with a bunch of people. Sitting next to you is a lady that is chewing gum with her mouth opened. You notice the sound of it and initially the whole situation is alittle ambiguous: how to respond? So, you wilfully think to yourself “well that’s kind of rude. Who chews gum with their mouth opened like this”. Say you’re also the type of person that doesn’t really care for confrontation so simply saying, “Hey, please try to chew with your mouth closed” doesn’t seem to be a reasonable response for you, wanting to avoid a potentially even more uncomfortable situation.
    So the tension in you slowly starts to increase. You feel more uncomfortable, more tense, more angry…. but you still have some control over this situation: you can stop reacting so much to the stressor.
    There are two options in front of you: Keep on wilfully paying attention to her, thinking of ways to address the situation, thinking in your head things like, “what a complete moron! Who does that?!”….. or….. start placing your attention elsewhere. Stop using your mind to contemplate how poorly you think of this lady. Sure, initially you’ll still be noticing the chewing of the gum and you’ll still feel tense. Just let it be. If calming down were as simple as saying “Body! Calm down! NOW!” then there would be no such thing as anxiety. So it doesn’t work that way. You have to slowly, repetitively send the message back to your body that all is okay now. Do that by not reacting so viscerally. By not wilfully, consciously, intentionally paying her more attention. In time you’ll just not be subconsciously paying attention to it. It will fall off of your radar.

    Isn’t anxiety pretty much that situation but significantly more pronounced?
    More tension, stronger feelings of uncomfort.
    So the response to this larger beast is the same as the response to the smaller beast.

  489. Daniel Says:

    Rob, as far as the flashbacks, that’s just a combination of an average anxiety attack, memories of past suffering making trouble for you when you’ve long passed them and rumination.
    Rumination is a major problem for me, digging up all sorts of bad memories (both minor and major) some from a couple weeks/months ago involving this current run-in with anxiety and some from 4,5,8 years ago from my earlier episode.
    Don’t worry about it, I think to myself sometimes “How can I move on when I have that thing from 8 years ago haunting me!” But then I remember I had pretty much completely forgotten all that stuff when I broke free of anxiety the first time. (Also remember that this also means those memories you and I lost from before anxiety hit us can come back, which I know doesn’t have to do with this question, but it’s a kind of silver lining to this particular symptom.)
    I know I used avoid the things I associated with the beginnings of anxiety, but there’s no need for that. Walk that walk and remember that it didn’t matter to you until you remembered that and associated it with anxiety and STILL doesn’t matter in the slightest now that you’ve made that association.
    All the best on you Rob!

  490. Daniel Says:

    Rob, as far as the flashbacks, that’s just a combination of an average anxiety attack, memories of past suffering making trouble for you when you’ve long passed them and rumination.
    Rumination is a major problem for me, digging up all sorts of bad memories (both minor and major) some from a couple weeks/months ago involving this current run-in with anxiety and some from 4,5,8 years ago from my earlier episode.
    Don’t worry about it, I think to myself sometimes “How can I move on when I have that thing from 8 years ago haunting me!” But then I remember I had pretty much completely forgotten all that stuff when I broke free of anxiety the first time. (Also remember that this also means those memories you and I lost from before anxiety hit us can come back, which I know doesn’t have to do with this question, but it’s a kind of silver lining to this particular symptom.)
    I know I used avoid the things I associated with the beginnings of anxiety, but there’s no need for that. Walk that walk and remember that it didn’t matter to you until you remembered that and associated it with anxiety and STILL doesn’t matter in the slightest now that you’ve made that association.
    All the best on you Rob!

  491. Horton Says:

    I’m sorry to ask dumb questions, but here goes:
    Is part of acceptance coming to terms with the fact that it will be a long time until you will be able to be happy again and enjoy things? Is part of acceptance surrendering to the next couple (months/years) of misery and discomfort? Is part of acceptance coming to terms with the fact that you will not be able to be yourself for a while?
    Are these things what make up acceptance? Or at least part of acceptance?
    Or is this the kind of thinking that keeps people in the cycle of anxiety?

  492. Matthew Says:

    So I have another question for those that have recover or well on there way. I feel like I am on my way to recovery now because I feel like I now more about anxiety and how to cope. But, this is where I am kind of getting mixed up. As I stated earlier my anxiety strated about 6 weeks ago as I started a new job. I became overwhelmed with really bad intrusive thoughts about harm and the what ifs about being a bad person and the consequences and all that terrible stuff. This week I started a new career again and have been feeling OK. I also stopped taking zoloft because I wanted to face this head on. I was only on it for about 5 weeks. I find now that while I still get those thoughts and what ifs and alot of things trigger it, I’m not as scared about them. Which is kind of scary in itself because I just do not want them there. But I think that iit’s all part of the recovery process. I just have to be comfortable thinkinh thst for now and in time they will slowly fade away more and more… that is what I think but I would really like some input and reassurance because I feel like I am getting closer day by day and want to make sure I am on the right path!

    Sorry for posting again. Just wanted some insight

  493. Matt Says:

    Thanks Nolan,

    I do well, and then my body throws something new at me, like DP. I’m actually pretty proud of how I’ve handled it today, as I haven’t gotten too negative, but I felt myself fight too much, and it’s hard when you’re stuck at school and can’t just do something else to help your mind come off of it. I always remember your prison analogy, as that was probably the thing that helped it click with me. My fear has always been “what if I get anxiety all day for months on end”…but i guess if it happens, I can’t be afraid of it anymore!

    Anyway, thanks again for responding so fast. It really means a lot, seriously.

  494. lainie waller Says:

    thank you Nolan x33YA

  495. Eliza Says:

    Hi looking for some advise and I hope I won’t be left waiting ages with your comment is awaiting moderation system – (sorry Moderator for being so cross before)

    I am doing great on the anxiety front in terms of my body as I now take loving care of it and it brings always a well of emotion up in me when I say I run, do the gym, walk, eat great as there was a time a number of years ago I hurt my body so badly and I never ever thought I would arrive where I have and I am very grateful to the kind people who helped me along the way especially to a Therapist called David and also myself for persisting in being able to finally respect my beautiful body / best friend, it is an utter joy to me that I got here in the end.
    But I am still having difficulties and would love other peoples advise on this and perhaps this is a forum for it:
    For those of us that have difficult with anxiety how do you tackle the
    following:-
    When you are shopping and the security guards watch you because of your anxiety what do you do? In my local shop the managers even the owner have taken to watch me – and I finally did say it to one of them I felt uncomfortable that I was being stared at but they still do it – and even when I am paying for groceries my bag is packed – the bag packers suddenly appear as I approach the checkouts. Like because of my behaviour I look shifty and I might sneak a carrot – ridiculous stuff. I never had this problem for years even though I was the queen of anxieties as they didn’t watch people from my background but now that they have extended their security gaze to everyone and they are zooming in on me big time and I have found even if I am just walking around and looking at stuff they are watching me – I find it very uncomfortable and when I try to address it with them my assertiveness goes out the window and I get stuck….and say such silly things instead of being the powerful woman I am. Like last Saturday one of the supposed managers in my local shop – walked right in my space instead of saying excuse me – okay I can shop elsewhere but there is a pattern emerging everywhere I go I am watched and followed which is really unpleasant and I feel very anxious about it and I need to sort it out asap.
    Secondly in meetings in work when the anxious feeling comes up I get more and more quiet – noticeably so and when people do jump on me for an answer again I get overwhelmed by anxiety and babble and stutter – even though I am a good speaker when relaxed and so I dread the meetings as I do not have the confidence that I can handle what is being said to me – that is my big anxiety – if I am insulted as they can be quite rude I will not be able to handle it and make a fool of myself will babble on anxiously not making any sense and it never ceases to amaze me they are all so rude to one another and then best friends later – with me when you cross the line I can’t forget that easily – overly sensitive –
    Thirdly I have a relation who always calls me names and why she does I do not know – she can be very kind in other ways and my history has been when family members have been rude to me I would say nothing even at school just take it like thank you for insulting me but inwardly be mad as hell and would remember years later what they said to me and be quite bitter about it and I then moved on to going the other extreme getting very emotional losing the plot and I find being assertive in those situation so difficult – as I feel so emotional.. – just love to win the war on this one as well.
    Because of my lack of confidence in my ability to handle my anxiety – I do not mix as I should in the world and limit where I can go – which is rather sad as I know I am missing out on meeting great people out there.
    I also am finding sleeping up and down I have gone from 8 hours to 3 hours then back up to 7 hours back to 3 hours all over the place but reading back on some of the earlier posts on this blog there has been great advise about sleeping developing the whatever attitude and I am keeping that in mind.
    I would love to get similar feedback from anyone on the above .
    Regards,

    Eliz

  496. Marek Says:

    Eliza, I totally relate to you in terms of conflicts with people. In even smallest conflicts my anxiety explodes and I fall back, I feel like I would lose conflict with anyone even with the child, even though I am a man and doing self defence trainings for several years.

    Anyway, I do not care about it so much as I know it wouldn’t help and rather wait for my recovery. When a conflict comes i rather focus on something else like breathing like doing mindfulness.

  497. Jennifer Says:

    Tedder – Thank you for sharing, an interesting journey. There are some therapists out there with some not good advice it seems, not very helpful for our condition is it! When you are feeling vulnerable you would like to be able to trust others but really we need to learn to get back to trusting ourselves. In regards your bad day, perhaps see your good day as a sign that you are adopting a good recovery attitude and its working but that doesn’t mean from now on the anxiety will just go, it will take some up and down days but know that you are heading a good direction for just letting it be. Tkae the misery out with you and just see it as how you feel today, don’t hold onto it, just let it wash around for a bit and it will leave you if you don’t focus on watching it all the time and worrying about it. It will go naturally when its ready.

    Bryan – Thank you so much for that post. That was so good to read. I am definately finding myself thinking how am I going to make it through the day at work. God knows how I am still at work as I am walking around in a hazy ball of anxiety. I think its because I know being at home won’t make me feel any better either so I may as well do something to try keep my mind focussed on the outside world instead of inside my head. I remember how it worked before. I think we are stronger than we know for sure.
    Did you feel terrible at work, had trouble talking to people, eating normally etc? or was your anxiety not quite at that level? Did people notice and did you tell them you were struggling?

    You are right about not letting it dominate your day and social life and getting out there even when you feel really rough. I am doing all these things and not cancelling any plans but its tough. I don’t want to limit my life because of this condition, plus it doesn’t help you recover. Pauls writing does make this clear. Your post really made me feel that I am on a good path, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Taking time to try to eat and sleep and have downtime is a good idea. Going out is good but there is also a temptation to run away from it and keep busy to avoid feeling bad, which I must admit I did last time. But there isn’t a prize or any point to recovering perfectly and in the right way as that doesn’t exist and it a waste of time to achieve.

    SarahS –
    I have got Claire weekes book about nerves and read it 4 or 5 years ago when I first had a bout of strong anxiety and I remember it marrying well with Paul’s book. I think I used Paul’s website and blog more because indeed it was more modern and so I could relate to it more. Her book was very theraputic and empowering to read though. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement about how to see it. Its easy to see it like that when you are thinking clearly, the constant anxiety haze just at the minute makes it hard to believe, even though annoying I know it all to be true because I have been through this before. Just feels like wading through treacle at the moment if you get what I mean. The good thing is I know I recovered so well before using this approach its just trying not to let it drag you down to self pity as it feels so unfair to have such strong bluff/symptoms in your body again.
    Find myself tempted to swap email addresses (not so that you can become a Counsellor :) but because its just so nice & helpful to have someone who can relate. I have lots of friends and family who are all so supportive and who understand as much as they can but its not the same as having someone who gets it because they have experienced it.
    Know we all have to look after ourselves at these times and not take on others difficulties, so I am aware of that, it would just be nice to chat sometimes without having to blog hog I guess.
    Please feel free to ignore this suggestion, mark as inappropriate and chat about the other things as we were before :)

    Thank you, it does mean so much to share and support and makes a big difference

  498. Horton Says:

    Is part of acceptance coming to terms with the fact that it will be a long time until you will be able to be happy again and enjoy things? Is part of acceptance surrendering to the next couple (months/years) of misery and discomfort? Is part of acceptance coming to terms with the fact that you will not be able to be yourself for a while?
    Are these things what make up acceptance? Or at least part of acceptance?
    Or is this the kind of thinking that keeps people in the cycle of anxiety?

  499. Marek Says:

    Anxiety is basically fear of the fear. Acceptance is a term of not putting more secondary fear into it that enhance the fear cycle (fearful thoughts and symptoms). How can we completely get rid of secondary fear ? By completely ignoring the fear, which is not easy at all, especially when it is intense and you feel it 24 hours per day.

    Also putting a deadline into the recovery creates secondary fear because it stresses your mind and indirectly produces what if questions like what if i will not be ok until the end of the year? etc.

    To answer your questions, in my opinion.

    Is part of acceptance coming to terms with the fact that you will not be able to be yourself for a while? Yes

    Is part of acceptance coming to terms with the fact that it will be a long time until you will be able to be happy again and enjoy things? Accepting that it can takes longer, yes. But not enjoying things I think no. You can enjoy doing something despite the anxiety, like talking to friends, watching tv , playing instrument or working out. Moreover, with doing exercises or something you like you stop focusing on your anxiety so much. The less you orient on the anxiety the better.

    Is part of acceptance surrendering to the next couple (months/years) of misery and discomfort? Yes and no. Accepting that you feel uncomfortable yes, but staying only in misery no. When you feel miserable try refocus on something else as much as possible. Mindfulness is a good tool. When I feel high anxiety (and I feel most of the day) I try not to fight with it but slightly refocus on things like breathing or rather being aware of breathing, of senses etc. Emma recommended Jon Kabat Zinn – Mindful way through depression, there are also meditation cd included and I like it more than classic relaxations I must say and also trying to incorporate those principles in everyday’s life.

  500. Eliza Says:

    Hi Marek,

    Great to hear your input on it and your approach sounds very kind to yourself, the acceptance, the breathing and mindfulness. That therapist I mentioned, David who was a very kind person, he use to say sometimes to me you are not breathing – I was just so anxious. You have brought me back ..needed to be reminded of it.. Thank you..

  501. Marek Says:

    Great post Marek!
    I have a question that you may or may not be able to help me with, one that I admit I have asked before but still haven’t reached a conclusion to yet.
    And this goes out to everyone on the blog, I could really use some help on this.

    It sort of has to do with Horton’s “not enjoying things” question. You see during this period I manage to do housework, assignments, errands and pretty much anything that needs to be done. I also hang out with friends, watch movies, read books, go running and a number of other pastimes. I’ll admit I haven’t really enjoyed most films I’ve watched nor enjoyed spending times with friends as much as I normally would have, but I do those things anyway, so that for the very least I am living sort of like a normal person and I won’t have as many regrets looking back at this awful stage of my life. However, my most passionate hobbies are writing and art, both of which I am unable to do at this moment. I mean sure I could draw on a piece of paper or write some words, but I simply am not in the mindset to do so, have no ideas, cannot call upon the feelings to do so, do not want to do so and to a certain degree am incapable of doing so. I am uncertain what to do in this regard, because, like Horton, I too am preparing for the long hall of emptiness and unhappiness that I’ll need to go through to one day recover, and yet I am unsure if by not doing the things most important to me I am putting too much pressure on myself to recover? By not doing things I used to am I letting anxiety control my life and narrow my options? Am I technically avoiding things that will thus perpetuate my anxiety, I mean is this harmful avoidant behavior? Is it alright if I don’t do some things that I used to, simply because I cannot do them and do not want to?

    This is my most major concern since I read Paul’s book and was given some idea what needed to be done.
    I really would like to find an answer to this, so at the very least I will know how to proceed and finally get the weight of this question off my mind.

  502. Daniel Says:

    Great post Marek!
    I have a question that you may or may not be able to help me with, one that I admit I have asked before but still haven’t reached a conclusion to yet.
    And this goes out to everyone on the blog, I could really use some help on this.

    It sort of has to do with Horton’s “not enjoying things” question. You see during this period I manage to do housework, assignments, errands and pretty much anything that needs to be done. I also hang out with friends, watch movies, read books, go running and a number of other pastimes. I’ll admit I haven’t really enjoyed most films I’ve watched nor enjoyed spending times with friends as much as I normally would have, but I do those things anyway, so that for the very least I am living sort of like a normal person and I won’t have as many regrets looking back at this awful stage of my life. However, my most passionate hobbies are writing and art, both of which I am unable to do at this moment. I mean sure I could draw on a piece of paper or write some words, but I simply am not in the mindset to do so, have no ideas, cannot call upon the feelings to do so, do not want to do so and to a certain degree am incapable of doing so. I am uncertain what to do in this regard, because, like Horton, I too am preparing for the long hall of emptiness and unhappiness that I’ll need to go through to one day recover, and yet I am unsure if by not doing the things most important to me I am putting too much pressure on myself to recover? By not doing things I used to am I letting anxiety control my life and narrow my options? Am I technically avoiding things that will thus perpetuate my anxiety, I mean is this harmful avoidant behavior? Is it alright if I don’t do some things that I used to, simply because I cannot do them and do not want to?

    This is my most major concern since I read Paul’s book and was given some idea what needed to be done.
    I really would like to find an answer to this, so at the very least I will know how to proceed and finally get the weight of this question off my mind.

  503. Rob Says:

    @Daniel

    Phew—-thanks for that earlier post haha. Reassured me I don’t have some weird PTSD reaction and that what I have is simply just the typical anxious/depressive rumination. I walked down “the path” and I smiled the whole way while listening to my favorite song by Capital Cities- Safe and sound. Fit that moment perfectly.

  504. Tedder Says:

    Hi , thanks Jennifer for your careful insights!

    I wonder how any of you recognize having a lot of tension in the head and feeling really spaced out with that, but really weird. Trying to go to sleep is also very hard because of this as it is quite an alarming sensation.. if so how do you deal with it?

    Thanks so much

  505. Hayley Says:

    I’m new to this site and have never commented before but I have had cut and bereavement councelling over the years as my dad committed suicide due to bipolar and schizophrenia and my anxiety started from there. When pregnant with my second child last year I decided to get help properly and tell the truth of how bad I felt and had the cut this did help as for the first time in 8 years I realized it was anxiety and they say I have generalised anxiety disorder then I found this site and it all made sense! I had clear thinking and my life back for the first time and I felt like I had won the lottery but after a terrible setback I’m a nervous wreck now and just can’t get past the thought of starting this cycle again.. I have been reading the book again and making notes but my routine sets of terrible anxiety but I have 2 young children and can’t stop this cycle – I would be so very grateful for any comments or advice as I just can’t stop myself from trying to get better and rid myself as it is all I have done for 9 years !!!! Thank you so much Hayley

  506. Hayley Says:

    Sorrtu#CBT cognitive behavioural therapy not cut :)

  507. Horton Says:

    Here’s kind of a wonky question. Back when I had my original run in with anxiety I used to do stuff I really didn’t enjoy doing and actually hated doing. When I broke free the first time I stopped doing those things, in part by coincidence because my friend stopped asking me to do it. But recently this friend is asking me to do that thing again, and I don’t know if I should start doing it again. I mean, I never enjoy it and I worry that by doing things I used to do when I had anxiety the first time it’ll just make me more like the old unhappy me in the same way doing things I used to do before anxiety supposedly helps me achieve normality. Or is not doing this thing because I’m afraid it will move me even farther away from where I want to be and my real self avoidant behavior that will only make me worse. Is it moving away or towards normality? I have no idea…
    So so so so very confused!

  508. Daniel Says:

    Hayley
    I find a good place to start is Paul’s website. Read through that stuff, especially the stuff on setbacks. Also reading through the book helps. Or just reading his blog posts. And of course, everyone on here are always giving good advice. Read through some other peoples questions, some that you maybe asking, and normally somebody has already answered it.
    Lately there has been a lot of talk on acceptance, which is definitely one of my weakest areas too. Give some of that a read and maybe it will at the very least point you in the right direction.
    I’m sorry I can’t be more of a help at the moment.
    All the best!

  509. Colin Says:

    All
    Would like some advice if possible. I have had a few bout of anxiety in my life. Managed to get over them and have one now for the past 6 months. I have lived with my wife who is Swedish on and off in Sweden for 2 extended periods and experienced bouts of depression while living there. As a result I get dread feelings/thoughts about possibly having to live there again. My 2 oldest kids still live there. Right now my anxiety thoughts are caught between. A. I should leave my wife and thus wont need to worry about going to sweden again and anxiety will be gone (so says my mind in an evening). B. By the following morning after a night of worried half sleep i am terrified of the thought of being alone if i left my wife and this prospect feels as bad as the dread thoughts of sweden and depression. Hence i have created a nice anxiety catch-22 situation for myself allowing me to worry either way. Can anyone give advice on how to deal with such worries. Should it just be “let all of then come and try to live life while they are there”. I guess so but if people have good advice i would be happy to hear. Like most of you i feel i am in a 24/7 cycle of anxiety and the worries of future depression/anxiety feel like a sword hanging over everything. Thanks for any help
    Best. Colin

  510. SarahS Says:

    Hi Colin I get what you’re saying it’s understandable that you link bad anxiety/depression to where you’ve felt it most. However I know it’s not what you want to hear but if you were to leave your wife and not go to Sweden again then it would be a temporary solution only. When you can accept how you feel and really feel it, go towards it until you can get to the stage where you’re asking for more, and seeing it through yourself then it won’t matter where you are, Sweden or Swindon! You’re still at the stage where you’re dreading it coming back. When you’ve got to the stage where you don’t care if it does or not then that’s recovery. It will come to you. I’ve said it before and if course Paul’s book is brilliant but if suggest reading Claire weekes books too. You can do it Colin, it does take time but you can.

  511. Daniel Says:

    Colin,
    I sort of discussed something similar a day or two ago with Rob. Maybe you might find our conversation helpful? I hope so.
    Wish you the best Colin!

  512. SarahS Says:

    Jennifer – it would be good to share email addresses. Can we just post them on here or do we have to ask Paul to swap them to each other? I’m not sure. I’d recommend reading Claire weekes again theres just so much useful information in that book to refer back to. It’s very good. Hope we can chat soon.

  513. Colin Says:

    Hi Sarah
    Thanks. In fact that was a bit what i wanted to hear. I dont want to leave her but just feel (i guess like most of us) that i am willing to try anythibg to not have anxiety any more. I also know this is the wrong attitude (I havr read claire weekes) so know like paul she preaches that we have to get to the stage wherer it does not matter anymore whether we have anxiety or not I do try to let it be and just continue doing things. I too am convinced acceptance is the key. I guess I am just pushing to hard trying to get better rather than just letting all the feelings be and not giving them much importance. IT seems so hard to do when you are feeeling so bad though. Regarding the conflicting thoughts i guess the advice is let them all in and give them the space they need without getting caught up in them. Again for me at least easier said than done. We are our own worst enemies. THanks for the response and u r right about swindon ….. Not my favorite town. Colin

  514. Matthew Says:

    Hi all.

    Looking for a little guidance. I am starting my recovery process and feel like I am making some good progrest but I still get confused about some things. I stI’ll find myself loaded with negative thinking and thoughts and even taking a nap is hard because I just think so negatively about everythin and fear the worst. However I so know I am doing better because I have had moments of complete peace the last couple days but it’s jut the constant negative thinking that I am stuck on. I have been doing everything in spite of it but even when I do it I notice I am subconsciously thinking negative. I am just wondering if I just continue going about my day and just allow it all to be there? And in time will all the negative thinkin fade away? Thank you all for your help. Hoping someone can answer this for me because I feel like I am making some great progress!

  515. SarahS Says:

    Hi Colin you made me laugh! It’s not easy and it feels rubbish but the best thing we can do is find humour in it all as much as possible. It doesn’t feel at all humorous does it but that’s a big bluff too! For those of us on here we’ve had anxiety building for quite a while so it’s not going to disappear overnight. It doesn’t mean it’s awful all the time though we can still have fun, enjoy, have ok times. If we can step out of its way and let it do it’s thing as much as poss with the understanding that it’s a normal human response to stress/worry and it’s not going to hurt us, just make us feel poop temporarily then we can start to be less self critical, be less impressed with how we are feeling and actually start to welcome and laugh at it and say ha ha is that it, really is that all you’ve got!

  516. Daniel Says:

    I have a question that you may or may not be able to help me with, one that I admit I have asked before but still haven’t reached a conclusion to yet.
    And this goes out to everyone on the blog, I could really use some help on this.

    It sort of has to do with Horton’s “not enjoying things” question. You see during this period I manage to do housework, assignments, errands and pretty much anything that needs to be done. I also hang out with friends, watch movies, read books, go running and a number of other pastimes. I’ll admit I haven’t really enjoyed most films I’ve watched nor enjoyed spending times with friends as much as I normally would have, but I do those things anyway, so that for the very least I am living sort of like a normal person and I won’t have as many regrets looking back at this awful stage of my life. However, my most passionate hobbies are writing and art, both of which I am unable to do at this moment. I mean sure I could draw on a piece of paper or write some words, but I simply am not in the mindset to do so, have no ideas, cannot call upon the feelings to do so, do not want to do so and to a certain degree am incapable of doing so. I am uncertain what to do in this regard, because, like Horton, I too am preparing for the long hall of emptiness and unhappiness that I’ll need to go through to one day recover, and yet I am unsure if by not doing the things most important to me I am putting too much pressure on myself to recover? By not doing things I used to am I letting anxiety control my life and narrow my options? Am I technically avoiding things that will thus perpetuate my anxiety, I mean is this harmful avoidant behavior? Is it alright if I don’t do some things that I used to, simply because I cannot do them and do not want to?

    This is my most major concern since I read Paul’s book and was given some idea what needed to be done.
    I really would like to find an answer to this, so at the very least I will know how to proceed and finally get the weight of this question off my mind.

  517. Charles Says:

    Daniel,

    Anxiety is not a disease that infected you, anxiety is a natural human experience that everybody has, but you made an enemy out of it.

    You seem very anxious about whether or not you should keep writing or take a break from writing, but the answer is it doesn’t matter. The fact that you don’t enjoy films, or you don’t enjoy writing, those are not anxiety, those are very normal human emotions, your anxiety is you worrying about those normal human emotions, you try to figure out why you don’t enjoy films anymore or why you don’t enjoy writing anymore. There is no answer Daniel, just be easy about it, if you feel anxiety when you pick up a pen to write, don’t panic, don’t analyze, put the pen down, accept that emotion, let it pass, after it passes, pick up the pen again, rinse and repeat.

    Stop asking the question “why”, start asking the question “how”. When you feel anxiety, don’t ask yourself “why am I feeling this way?”, “Am I doing something wrong”. Instead ask yourself “how is my body creating this response?” (the answer is simple, it’s adrenaline), “how can I get pass this adrenaline episode?” (the answer is simple, just let it pass).

  518. Horton Says:

    Uuuuh Charles?

    These are symptoms of anxiety:
    Lack of emotion
    Loss of interest in anything
    Feeling like you are going mad/not with it
    Feelings of hopelessness
    Cognitive Memory Loss
    Muddled Thoughts

    These aren’t things that ‘just pass’ Charles. They’re there 24/7, I know and everyone else here knows because we deal with this 24/7 not just in little 5 minute episodes scattered throughout the week. Daniel has mentioned repeatedly that he cannot even remember what he was doing with his writing, like even his characters names! How is he supposed to ‘just let it pass?’ If you’re talking about a moment to moment thing, that makes little sense, if you’re talking about this entire GAD thing he is facing, then it’ll take him months or years to overcome it and that’s a long time to stop writing.
    And at one point it almost sounded like you were implying that Daniel doesn’t enjoy anything because he doesn’t actually like doing any of those things and it’s seperate from his anxiety? It sort of sounded that way.

  519. Daniel Says:

    Charles, I don’t think you quite understand the situation. But that’s alright, you’re like the first person to have even attempted an answer over the last 2 months. I’ll keep asking my question and hopefully somebody can shed some light on it.

  520. Bryan Says:

    I think Charles DID shed some light on it.

    It’s anxiety. Loss of drive is very common. And when the body desensitizes it will return. Fretting and stewing about the “what if” of’ it doing a certain activity only keeps us stuck.

    Charles is saying DO it or DON’T do it. But don’t fuss, stew, analyze and catastrophize about it. You yourself said you’re “preparing for a long haul of emptiness.” What message is that sending to your subconscious?

    Personally I say mix in a little art work here and there and show yourself it’s no big deal. Do what you can. If you’re not inspired, paint a still… teach someone the craft, go to a school with handicapped children and offer them inspiration through charitably teaching them how to create art.

    Do whatever you can…. but don’t brood about it. Paul has taught us this over and over. Do a search function and read Nolan’s posts here too. Your situation feels no more dire than the rest of us. We all get it. Believe me.

  521. Bryan Says:

    Horton, you said…

    Is part of acceptance coming to terms with the fact that it will be a long time until you will be able to be happy again and enjoy things? Is part of acceptance surrendering to the next couple (months/years) of misery and discomfort? Is part of acceptance coming to terms with the fact that you will not be able to be yourself for a while?
    Are these things what make up acceptance? Or at least part of acceptance?
    Or is this the kind of thinking that keeps people in the cycle of anxiety?
    ——-

    More accurately it is coming to terms with… “So this is just me right now… Today.”

    Trying to forecast the future is where the additional anxiety comes from.
    Believe me, when in a setback I start asking the same questions. But I’ve been at this long enough to know that when I do, it’s just the anxiety trying to protect me. If we can spot this, we can disarm that element or our anxiety by simply refusing to entertain these future-predicting-based questions.

  522. SarahS Says:

    You make lots of sense Bryan.

    I really like russ Harris he’s very helpful. I’m not sure if links are allowed but this is one I thought people may find helpful: http://www.actmindfully.com.au/upimages/Dr_Russ_Harris_-_A_Non-technical_Overview_of_ACT.pdf

  523. Daniel Says:

    Don’t worry Bryan, I know full well that nobody here is any worse off than anyone else. Believe me, I spend more time giving advice than asking for it. I just ask questions that I have difficulty applying the general stuff to, stuff I can’t find in the book and such.
    You are right, it is kind of frustrating not being able to do certain things (especially when a major part of overcoming anxiety is realizing you’re free to do anything regardless of how you feel) and it will continue to be frustrating, but really there is nothing I can do about it. Which is a shame, but I’m not going to cry over spilt milk. But I still am concerned that I am letting anxiety control my life, but I honestly don’t see what I can do against it as I simply cannot create like this, so no use banging my head into a wall.

    Anyway thanks for the advice Charles and Bryan. I really do appreciate it, and you guys are right, but I wish the answer was a little more clear cut. Either way, you guys helped me.

  524. Bryan Says:

    Daniel,

    I share your frustration. I’ve been at this for a few years and have practiced acceptance the best I can. Yet, my body has not fully responded and I have automated panic responses and setbacks that seem so random and unrelated to my behavior. I’ve applied this recovery method as much as anyone it feels… and yet I still go through periods like this.

    But, I have seen progress. I have regained much of my life back… so it does happen. For some of us it is just very slow. I’m not hundred percent recovered myself, and right now I don’t even feel close because I’m in a setback. Yet I have those times and moments where things feel so close to being normal. We just have to allow our body to continue to do the work and try to take the pressure off of ourselves.

    What about the idea of trying to incorporate small bits of this back in your life?
    Even if you don’t feel inspired, what about finding a way to keep yourself around your artwork in someway? I don’t musician and I’ve worked in artistic feels most of my life. I currently make my living working in TV and artistic environment every day. I also write music on the side, and can relate to having that drive because anxiety takes some of that from you. Art requires inspiration and as you know we can’t force that.

    But I have found that there are ways to stay close to my craft even if I am not directly practicing something like writing. Of course, my day job requires that I am in a creative environment every day so to some degree I suppose I’m lucky that I have that outlet automatically. But from a creation standpoint, I have found that I can do things like help other people, we’re going to music website, organize my studio, work on old pieces that Are nearly completed, etc.

    Just throwing the idea out, but I wonder if there’s ways you can be involved in your craft without putting the pressure on yourself to create some big product right now? The inspiration for these things will return, and perhaps giving yourself some involvement in the interim will clear the pathway for that to happen more quickly without creating more pressure.

  525. Daniel Says:

    Bryan,
    before you even replied I was planning on adding a ‘p.s’ to my post regarding this topic.
    I do work on writing in the planning stages, which is getting increasingly difficult in some ways as things are making less and less sense. But I reckon I should keep doing it at least a little each week, just like I eat every day, and one day it will start making sense as I recover, just as food starts to taste better and everything else get’s more enjoyable.
    Far from ideal. Far from fun. But if it’s what needs to be done, so be it.
    As for art, I feel less worried about it, simply because I know it’ll be easy to get back into. Like when I’m feeling better I’ll just pick up a pen and draw no problem. I’m more anxious about the writing thing, but I’ll figure it out.

    Wish you the best Bryan.
    You’ll overcome this setback quickly with that attitude!

  526. sam Says:

    after suffering from anxiety for 1.5 years i finally found paul’s site…and it helped to gain a new insight into my condition..and i started acceptingm y conditioni had good days ,terrible days then good days again…after much ups and downs i finally had a chat with myself and had this realisation…i want to ask those over here…am i going on the right path?? ..1) leaving all bodily functions to the body itself…i am not broken or in any way inferior to any other person…yes i m suffering from anxiety…but these are only surface symptoms …i have not lost myself neither am i incapable of handling life…so watever emotions i feel….just leave it to itself…in the past when i did not have anxiety as a problem…then also i had negative thoughts, i got frustrated at times, felt depressed,worried about things…but i did not give them a second thought…i didnt ask myself why i am worrying or why i m frustrated…how would i deal with it…no…i left it to the body …and it was dealt with….so watever i feel now…if i worry i worry..if i feel depressed i feel depressed …i feel negative frustrated fine…healthy people also feel so but they dont make it an issue or wonder how to get rid of it…and neither will i…coz i am not broken…basically if i get anxious or worry about something its fine and only natural…but no more getting anxious about being anxious or worrying about why i worry…or how to deal with it…
    2) i studied quit a fair bit about anxiety so i feel i have a fair knowledge about it…i know that acceptance of my condition is the key to overcoming it…but then again anxiety is a vast subject and i feel it is normally not possible to have a complete compact knowledge bout it…understanding every minute thing…but then again my mind would start to wander and present me with imaginary situations…and i would start asking myself…ohh what if i face this situation…what if i feel like this…is this an anxiety symptom…can it be resolved by acceptance….what do i do if i face this situation…what should be my strategy…will acceptance be helpful here…and then i would get anxious and start googling my imaginary situation and try to find a solution…but now i have decided no more…no more investigating conditons…no more trying to make my life anxiety free…no more trying to find a solution to a problem my mind presents to me and i m unsure about what to do with the problem…let my mind race…let it shout loud…let it try to drag me to find a solution…let me feel nervous…anxious….down and out..but no more investigating into possible future problems and trying to find if this process or that process will help in overcoming it…i am just gonna live my life like i did before anxiety struck me…no worries about imaginary situations or problems….its like i’ll forget everything about anxiety…and not trying to use acceptance as a tool to cure myself …either of my present situation or future situations…..just living life as i normally would
    3) i studied a bit about mindfullness and i found it quite interesting…but then again i started to use it as a tool to find solutions to my problems…it was like okk if i face a situation like this in future will mindfullness help me?? if i get anxious frustrated will mindfullness help me…how do i deal with negative thinking…will mindfullness help me in controlling my emotions….do this do that…basically i was trying to control my life…but now no more…if i look up
    for any anxiety topic…or any article on mindfullness it will just be to increase my knowledge or get a better insight into life…no more using it as a tool to get better…to achieve a worry free life…i mean who doesn’t want to be positive,achieve a worry free life..even healthy people do it…but if they read an article about say mindfullness or ways to control ur worry or have a better life etc they take it in a neutral impartial passive way whereas my anxiety prompted me to centre my life around getting better,,being less anxious ,achieving a worry free life etc …but no more…i will google sites for information just to gain knowledge and an insight…may even try to implement it.. but no more using it as a tool to get better
    last of all i wanted to ask to those who recovered over here…i find that u say you control ur worries better…have a more positive outlook on life….how does it happen…i mean has it become a natural instinct through acceptance of ur condition when u were suffering from anxiety…or do u use any special techniques
    i am sorry for the long post…but really wanted to share my emotions,my realisation and my problems with all of you here….i hope i didn’t trouble anyone with such a long post

  527. Matthew Says:

    Hi all.

    Looking for a little guidance. I am starting my recovery process and feel like I am making some good progrest but I still get confused about some things. I stI’ll find myself loaded with negative thinking and thoughts and even taking a nap is hard because I just think so negatively about everythin and fear the worst. However I so know I am doing better because I have had moments of complete peace the last couple days but it’s jut the constant negative thinking that I am stuck on. I have been doing everything in spite of it but even when I do it I notice I am subconsciously thinking negative. I am just wondering if I just continue going about my day and just allow it all to be there? And in time will all the negative thinkin fade away? Thank you all for your help. Hoping someone can answer this for me because I feel like I am making some great progress

  528. Charles Says:

    Horton, I don’t know what I said that rubbed you the wrong way. But you can search for my post from 1-2 years ago on this blog, I also had anxiety/depression 24/7. I wanted to answer Daniel’s question because I also lost interest in a lot of my favorite things such as playing guitar, I even quit my job.

    It doesn’t matter if your anxiety is 24/7 or moment to moment, the way to recover is the same, just let it pass. It might take a month, or it might take a few seconds. I feel that Bryan understood my point, it really doesn’t matter if you do something or don’t do something during that time while you wait for it to pass, try to live with anxiety, get to the point where anxiety is not even a factor in your decision making.

    Also it is hugely counter-productive to get hung up on questions like “am I avoiding xyz?”, “am I doing the wrong thing?” I know the urge of asking those questions is strong, I have been there, but try not to analyze them and wait for the urge to pass.

    Best wishes

  529. Jennifer Says:

    Well after getting to what I think is my lowest ebb (really fed up with all this 24/7 anxiety) this weekend have ended up getting nearer towards accepting letting myself feel terrible, seeing as there is nothing I can do about it, and that’s the aim to do nothing.

    Also not made better by my dear little cat going missing on Friday – given me something else to worry/focus on. The numbness of this is allowing me not to be as upset as I would normally be.

    Conversations and concentrating with everything and everyone have been hard and being such a sociable person, this is the most upsetting symptom of all of the symptoms.

    Appetite is still bad, just gagged trying to eat something. Now sadly I am worrying about whether, if I do make it to work tomorrow, whether I am going to be able to ‘appear normal’ at lunch (as I am trying not to avoid anything) and be able to eat something.
    I know not to avoid anything and Paul David advises to not care if people notice and not make anxiety your secret as this doesn’t help but its the hassle of if people notice and I don’t trust anyone to tell them I am feeling bad.
    I mean where do you start with that with people who don’t care about u. I can see that I am just anticipating and putting worry on top of worry, just feels tough at the moment and just wanted to shout about it on here as it helps as people understand…

    SarahS – I have asked David about the email addresses and will see what he suggests

    Jennifer

  530. Daniel Says:

    That’s rough stuff Jennifer, it’s always an uncomfortable position when you’re put in a genuinely stressful situation while you’re under the affects of this condition.
    You want to tackle bad situation as yourself and feel the right feelings and do the right thing. I lost my Grandfather and my Aunt over a single weekend and I didn’t really “deal with it” or come to terms with it under I had recovered the first time. I was just sitting there and they were one my mind and I remember feeling such peace and healthy sadness. I was very content in that moment, it felt right. Sad but right. If I learnt anything from that it is, there will be a time where yo can retroactively experience joy, sadness or whatever feeling was appropriate at the time when you’re feeling better. It’s one of the many rewards we receive for coming through this.
    As for who to talk to, or more so who to tell share your condition with. I don’t know your living conditions, if you’re a mother and a wife, or a daughter, or a roommate. But if you aren’t close with the people who “don’t care about you,” then what does it matter trying to cover up how you feel? They’re like strangers , if they’re not people who you are close with and care about you then you have no need to share anything with them. Don’t worry about how you come across to them, because like I said their opinions don’t matter and also they actually cannot tell what you’re feeling. Don’t feel the need to hide your condition, it doesn’t actually show for the most part. You might come across as a little nervous or introverted at times (even if you aren’t normally), but many people are and that’s nothing strange. I keep it to myself really, because I am a private person, maybe too private. But I then shared it with the three people who matter most to me and who I can really afford to be vulnerable with, my dad, my mom and my brother. They actually had some insightful things to say about the matter, although they are at a loss most of the time. But it’s nice to know you have someone on your team. Sometimes they drive me nuts because they want me to get better ASAP, but that concern in itself is kind of uplifting at times. If you don’t have someone to share these feelings with, either where you live or elsewhere then the primary place for you to share your feelings would be the website. And believe everyone here want’s each other to succeed, some of it’s a little selfish, as it instills hope when somebody makes progress, but there is so much genuine empathy and understanding here if you need it.
    This is all just musing and reflection, I’m afraid I can’t offer any advice or any inspirational words.
    Take care Jennifer!

  531. Matt Says:

    Jennifer,

    I’m in the same boat. I’ve never had anxiety 24/7 like this until now. Anything I do, or anyone I talk to is increasing my anxiety, it’s awful. I’ve had this for over a year, and normally it’s just bad in parts of my day, or it will be bad for a day, then kind of go away or wean down. Right now, my head feels off, I feel like I’m in fast forward mode, and I can’t read/focus 24/7. I’ve had like 3 hours in the last 4 days that have felt calm, and it’s either first thing when I wake up, or if I just go do something and try not to worry about anxiety, it eventually lessens…and then shoots right back up.

    The worse it gets, the more I start fighting it, because I don’t want to feel this way all the time. I’m trying to accept, but it’s scaring me that I won’t get through school because of it. It’s also hard to sit still through a class when you’re having a panic attack the whole time. Whoever said panic attacks only last 10 mins was wrong. I can be in high anxiety mode for hours.

    I just want to let it all go, and stop caring about it, but I’m afraid it’s going to ruin school, my life, etc, and it’s hard for me to fully allow because of that. I realize that controlling isn’t the answer, but I’ve made it this far by doing what I’ve been doing…and now it’s not working. I feel like I just need a job with a regular schedule so I can work on accepting without so much stress/pressure. Gah! Sorry for the rant. I’m not doing so well this week…I guess it’s a setback from the progress I was making. But this is a huge setback.

  532. SarahS Says:

    Hi Jennifer I can see you feel bad at the mo but remember that anxiety always feels like it’s here forever and always makes things appear much worse than they are. It can be tricky with things like work and eating but try not to add worry about what people think quite do much. As a good quote says what people think of you is none of your business. I like that :-). We are all a bit strange and a bit flawed so if you’re not eating much it doesn’t matter it’s fine who cares, just a bit of something will be fine. I work with someone who eats one meal a day so doesn’t eat breakfast or lunch not one thing at work passes her lips. Now I know it’ll be a change to your routine but that’s ok just say you’re a bit off colour, not all that hungry. Tell people you trust how you feel, the rest don’t matter. And work as best as you can but without getting so upset that you’re not working at full capacity. I’m sorry but I work with plenty of people who work well below expected performance and they’re not Bloomin anxious ha! Feel it Jennifer. You’ll be surprised at the true shift you can make. You’ve got to mean it tho. Oh and look up russ Harris and anxiety and depression. His articles are v helpful. I tried to put the link on earlier but it’s being moderated, don’t think it’s allowed oops.

  533. Rob Says:

    Well the association with the street I walked that I made a few days ago is still annoyingly there. Its not that serious but still I keep agonizing over having to undo/think my way out of that association by telling myself that 999/1000 times I have walked over that street there was only. I keep questioning that if when I recover I will still have that association. I know others may have made this type of association and are then scared to go to places.

    Its hard for me cause I am actually not scared at all of walking that path and have absolutely 0 avoidance behaviors. But its the mere thought of me having made that association that bothers me. Lately I am starting to bounce back up from this setback but its just this one little thing that bothers me. Without that 1 little memory I got of the beginning of my suffering I think I may as well be doing fine.

    The memory of the peak of my anxiety is getting to me!! My anxiety isnt even that bad anymore. Heck im like 60% through. But just thinking about how bad it used to be is causing me to be like ughhhhhh.

    I see normality as being absolutely the same person as before anxiety. But that means I need to strive to be someone who knows absolutely nothing about anxiety! But how am I supposed to go for that when I have anxiety and know so much??? Then I hear counselor be like “You will never ever be the exact same person as you were before the drug and the dehydration. Accept your current state as normal.”

    But I can’t live with knowing that I would be normal had all that not happened? How will I know what normal is when its been only 6 months or so and I have already forgotten? I just know that normal = none of this happened but it happened so I’m not normal? The mere fact I had anxiety in my life means my life is abnormal since I was probably set for a life without anxiety had none of this ever happened.

    Maybe this is a just the final few hurdles??

  534. Jennifer Says:

    SarahS – what a fantastic response. You are so kind taking the time to read and reply. Yes anxiety does makes things seem so impossible. You can see this when you have respite but no respite at the mo so I know everything can feel so terrible and impossible when in reality its just very hard and I won’t feel this way forever, but it just feels like it very strongly.

    I like your quote about it being none of my business, so true. People are going to think what they want of you anyway. We can’t control everything.
    The only blessing from this difficult weekend is that my lack of appetite can be explained by how upset I am that one of my cats has completely gone missing, which people know would/has make me very upset.
    You are so right about people working below full capacity at work, I thought the same last week when I felt terrible and felt I had done less than my colleagues when I saw that I think I had done about the same. I work very efficiently and quickly usually. Not getting upset with working not at full capacity is great advice. Afterall I need to show compassion to my tired mind. Its just difficult accepting that I am finding concentrating difficult at the mo. I shouldn’t try to hard though I know.
    There has been some calm this evening after just letting it be. Ii had to calmly mean it from the pit of my stomach and resist temptation to go further into further panic.
    Started reading Claire Weekes book again after what you said and it helped today. Old fashioned but written really well and with kindness.
    Just having a look at Russ Harris now. Looks interesting…
    Thanks again – a great help, beyond words :)

  535. Jennifer Says:

    Daniel –
    thank you so much for your kind response and compassion. My little cat going missing definitely is upsetting. Funny how no matter how bad you feel, you can still deliver 200 leaflets about your cat and knock on doors because this situation requires you to carry on, not opt out of life because of your anxiety.

    I am sorry to hear of your losses and yes, we do perhaps experience these things more fully in the future but how we deal with them now is fine, its just now. We can still feel the sadness etc a bit, its just dampened as anxiety is acting as a protective barrier.
    Thank you with your thoughts on how to ‘be’ with people. People at work don’t seem to be noticing so yes you are right. You just worry they will and then how to do explain that and why should you. Like you, I am private, although very sociable and chatty normally.
    I live with my partner and then have my family and one best friend who all know and are very supportive luckily.
    Its still a massive help to come on here as no matter how supportive people are, people on here ‘get it’.
    You have indeed offered some words of inspirations and support so don’t sell yourself short. You have made a difference to me and I thank you for that.
    My family too want me to feel better very soon, which is nice, we too would like this to happen but in our own body and minds time ay :)

  536. Jennifer Says:

    Matt –
    Yes I was just thinking to myself the other day that the whole – panic attack lasting 10 mins is misleading. I too have high anxiety for maybe 45 mins or longer and then it dies down and then sometimes later resurfaces. I think the panic attack is very intense and is short lives whereas high anxiety feels like a panic attack but is more horrible because it takes longer to die down and you are sometimes in a circle with them. like a step down from a full blown panic attack.
    I too have had the same – around 3 hours peace and trouble focusing on anything, talking, reading, watching TV, its relentless. I do know this passes but feels like a hole, one where you are not sure when and if you will crawl out of it. You will however, things will never stay the same, that’s one thing for certain in life.
    You are stronger than you know as just when you feel you have given up, you will find strength and peace at the end of it. Just let it all float around and take it with you to school. You will know if you need to call it a day with school. Your fear can rage around but somehow we can still make sensible decisions even if your head feels like its spinning. Have trust in yourself.
    Listen to me haha…I feel the same as you but am giving you words of reassurance and I believe all of them. We are all good at giving others words of reassurance but no so much ourselves..

  537. Rachh Says:

    Hi guys checking in again.
    Hope everyone is ok. I am feeling very strange. Ive got quite severe DP thankfully I know what it is though but it’s horrible especially when you can’t think and your limbs don’t feel in sync arghh!

    Has anyone had anxiety all their life. I have definately always had it so it’s quite hard to gauge what normality is when you know nothing else.
    Can any recoverees shed any light? Ive been having some peculiar experiences lately and I don’t know how to be ‘normal’ lol.

  538. Horton Says:

    Hey gang,
    Question, there are somethings that always filled me with anxiety even when I wasn’t in this. I presume being anxious about stuff like that got me in this mess, and I hope they’ll completely stop bugging me when I come out the other side of this. But I digress, I know this might sound kind of small but it’s mostly an example: Let’s say I’m on youtube see some people being mean, hurtful or offensive to others in the comment section. Stuff like racism set’s me off. When I read something like that I frequently find myself reading the whole conversation and hope it has a resolution in which those cruel people get told off and decent people succeed. Sometimes I find myself joining the conversation and getting angry as more hateful people will join in and make me feel worse. I feel like this has a lot to do with the agitation thing Nolan talked about, where things just make me upset and anxious and I feel the need to “fix” it, I used to get such a feeling of relief on the occasions that “human decency prevailed,” like I needed a reminder that people would do the right thing. But in actuality I now understand I should just drop it, when I see somebody say or do something insulting, just drop it and move on, even if the anxious panicky feelings arise, just drop it. Those people are ignorant idiots and should be treated as such by being ignored. (I do believe you should stick up for what you believe in, and if I saw somebody being hurt I would definitely confront whoever was harassing them, but idiots on the internet aren’t worth the time.) That revelation makes me happy, as it is a behavior/habit I’ll incorporate into my life after I’ve recovered and will help prevent me from falling back into this GAD stuff. I’m a little worried those panicked feelings will come when I see somebody say something hurtful, but if I don’t try and FIX it like Nolan says, I can move on quicker and not work myself into such an unnecessary tizzy! I’m sure I might get obsessed with the thought, and have to fight the urge to “correct the wrongs,” but eventually ignoring will just become second nature.
    Anyway, my actual question: Let’s say I see one of these hurtful comments and I get this anxious feeling, should I scroll away as quickly as possible? Or is that placing to much fear and relevance on that feeling? Should I bother reading the whole conversation? Would not reading the rest be considered avoidant? Probably not. Maybe just take a moment after reading the comment, consider it, realize it’s bullshit and move on? That sounds safest. But at the end of the day I’m probably over complicating things, I think it’ll come naturally after a while and I’ll do the right thing…
    Maybe I’ve answered my question, but some feedback would be kind of interesting. I hope I can manage to do this in practice!!

    Oh but Rachh has a good question. So sorry to bury your question with my kind of ridiculous tirade! I just had a bit of inspiration and had to muse about it while it was fresh in my head.

  539. Marek Says:

    Firstly, for moderators of the blog, I don’t understand why I am unable to send a comment from another PC, from my home.

    To Daniel, I think that Charles was right, anyway, I would try to look at it from slightly different perspective.

    I really understand what you mean as it has been a major problem for me too. Since my school times, I’ve always been amazed how bad was my memory. I felt like I know nothing, I learned hard and forgot everything very fast. I wondered how somebody can be so good at tv competitions, doing crosswords, writing essays and other memory things, everything I learned disappeared and nothing stayed in my head.

    After my nervous breakdown 5 years ago, when my anxiety exploded, my memory became a nightmare. Although I graduated from economics an year ago, I had to study very hard and I don’t remember much (or rahter nothing). Lots of times, when anxiety is on a very high level I can read something and don’t remember anything, watching a movie and not able to remember names of main characters. Often I asked myself, how the hell is it possible that my memory is so bad? Am I retarded or getting like Homer Simpson? Also very simple cognitive skills might be a huge struggle like counting or creativeness is horrible.

    Now I know that these problems are caused by a high anxiety state. Would it be a good idea to apply for a job that requires remembering lots of information? Would it be a remarkable idea to start medical university ? Of course not, at least not now because the only one result would be huge frustration – more stress.

    So, not starting medical university or learning complicated foreign langueges or writing essays or whatever (when we are very anxious and can’t remember properly), is that avoidance behavior to our anxiety ? Does it feed our anxiety even more? I don’t think so. Why? Because it’s not a main problem of our anxiety, it’s just a secondary outcome of anxiety. I guess you don’t feel fear from writing, you don’t feel panic when you catch a pen, you just don’t like it anymore because you are struggling from lack of idea due to anxiety. And this is causing frustration, lowering selfesteem, questioning and more stress.

    Therefore, having some sport hobby is better I think. Although when being very anxious, physical activities aren’t very easy to do as well. I remember I used to go to swim regularly, but during swimming I was thinking about my burning chest whole the time. However, these kind of activity is less anxiety producing because we need to concentrate also on our body and outside factors. The point is to slightly refocus our attention from anxiety to the activity. Anxiety will not disappear instantly, but you are not adding additional stress and hopefuly later these feelings will disappear completely. My opinion.

  540. Lui Says:

    Hi folks!

    I have a urgent question about acceptance and I hope you can help me!
    I am not sure how to act when accepting. I let all the fear and the feelings come and that creates a special feeling, I called it “the accepting feeling”, yeah I know, very creative lol.
    It’s an intense feeling, very nasty, where I pretty much feel all the adrenaline.
    Then I concentrate on keeping up the feeling and not getting tense or adding second fear. But I once read that acceptance is about not making an effort and I think that is what I am doing.
    So now I am confused. Am I doing it really so wrong? And is there even “the one way” to accept?
    Advice is really appreciated! :)

  541. Marek Says:

    I think that when you are aware that those thoughts and feelings are fake and just standing as an observer, not trying to argue or resist it, you are doing it correctly. And it doesn’t matter whether you concentrate on those unpleasant feelings or refocusing your attention on something else.

  542. Eliza Says:

    Hi Marek,

    I totally identify with what you say about memory when I am in meetings in work I always hope people do no hop on me because I go blank immediately, information that I could rattle off perfectly beforehand I cannot conjure in my mind and I also get a touch of the stutters like saying someone’s name that I can pronounce perfectly well beforehand, I stutter over it and I get a Mr or Ms Clever Clog at meeting only to happy to correct me as if I was so stupid not to able to do it – to boost their self-esteem at my expense. I nearly was going to be unemployable at one stage because when I got criticised in job I ran literally, out the door and my therapist, David got me to realise that people were not talking about me as a person but my work and I had to allow myself to make mistakes to be imperfect – to say to them – tell me where I am going wrong – be totally professional about it , also saying gosh look at that mistake I am making here and use my wit and it worked I got a permanent job.
    So I think you can apply for any career you want as it is nothing to do with your intelligence – your obviously a bright guy but what will be more important is how are you going to treat yourself – will it be from a perfectionistic stance – you complete idiot you have gone blank again or can you have compassion for yourself when you are going blank – that will be the key not your aptitude. I have still tons of work to do in this area but one thing I can tell you it works as David use to say to me when has it not worked for you when you opened your mouth and spoke.

    I see you are thinking of taking up some sport – I use to go swimming and the place I swam the guys thought they were in the Olympics and couldn’t handle a female swimming faster and so you use to have tidal waves going over your head as they passed it was unbelievable. I also found that when I put my head in the water I panicked big time so it really was not the sport for me. I now run three times a week and yes my anxiety comes with me and it is very loud at the start of the run but as the run goes on I haven’t really got the energy to entertain it and so it has to take a back seat. My advise would be to try all sports and do something that you really enjoy and no perfection allowed.

  543. Marek Says:

    Hi Elize,

    my memory is poor not only if somebody insults me, but whole days as I am at high state of anxiety 24/7.

    And that swimming part, it was just advice, an example about how not to do activities – focused on the anxiety. I have my hobbies chosen that I like and do..But thanks for help anyway :)

  544. Matt Says:

    Thanks Jennifer,

    I finally got some peace last night, and it was amazing. I’ve never felt this way, where nothing will calm this down, but I noticed just slowing myself down and trying to engage in the moment eventually gets me there. It’s what Paul says, stop worrying about how you feel, that helps. However, when your brain is in “monkey brain” mode, it’s very hard to focus on the present. I plan to practice mindfulness more to help me with that aspect of focus and acceptance, in order to get better and being okay with how I feel so I can be more in the moment. I love my body, and I love the fact that it’s now given me every stress symptom possible! Lol!

  545. sam Says:

    nobody answered my question :(

  546. Eliza Says:

    Hi Marek,

    Even if somebody in meetings is being kindly towards me I still go blank so the anxiety is there no matter how I am being approached by the person, kindly or not, I can go blank in conversation with my parents and they would have my best interests at heart like not everyone in the world is out to get me and the point I meant was in that second when you go blank the approach you choose is crucial as it can either make the experience a slight embarrassment or a very painful one that you will beat yourself up later about.
    Yes I had a look at your email about sport activities I see what you mean – as well as going blank I can leap over things and not see them but it is good to hear you have hobbies you enjoy.

    Hi Matt,

    Love to hear someone else loves their body – good for you, your body deserves it.

  547. Bryan Says:

    Sam,

    In 20 words or less if possible… What is your question?

  548. Eliza Says:

    Hi Sam,

    Is your question really are you on the right path for handling your anxiety? I think you won’t have to ask that when you are on the right path – you will know automatically by how it feels – that you are taking care of the feeling. Anxiety is a signal from the body that there is something going on and if we give ourselves a hard time and reject how we are feeling that is what causes the pain. Emotions are difficult I was looking into assertiveness – ie middle ground and so few people can be assertive they usually go into passive aggressive or a doormat – I know I have been both but to stand there in you skin and feel the emotion – the anxiety and be able to express yourself assertively – there are not a lot of people in the world who manage that – so I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself regarding getting it right – everyone has to work on themselves..we are all a work in progress.

  549. Kyle Says:

    Hey guys,

    Hope everyone is doing well on hear. So just a quick update my anxiety has almost been non existent in regards to any physical symptoms/sleep issues/ intrusive thoughts and the lot but I still feel myself being unsure of myself and deal with a very slight low mood and negativity. Can anyone help me on this? I have recently taken a very intense job in real estate sales and I keep worrying that all this stress will lead to the re-emergence of my anxiety and could lead to depression. I find myself worrying if I can be successful or if I can handle these things and it makes me feel down from time to time. There is a lot of partying and social interactions involved in this job along with drinking (which I don’t do anymore) so it makes me feel like I have to struggle to fit in. I like all the other fun aspects of the job but I spend a lot of my time with so many doubts. Can anyone help?

  550. Daniel Says:

    Hey Sam,
    You see how busy it is around here, lot’s of posts get buried and go unnoticed.
    That being said, don’t be discouraged that your first post/question got ignored, the people here are quite supportive and understanding. Sometimes you’ll ask a question but everyone who sees it are currently on the blog so that they may ask their own question, it’s not that they’re being selfish, it’s just they also need support. And sometimes people tend to scroll by the really long winded questions, they’ll read a long positive post, but not one from somebody who’s asking a question. (I am frequently guilty of writing long questions, but I don’t think I need to tell you that sometimes it’s hard to be concise with these sort of things and it always helps to provide a bit of context and background to your inquiry. Plus that was your first post, so you also wanted to introduce yourself.) Anyway, no need to apologize for a long post.

    Anyway, more to the point. You’re asking the most frequently asked question, and I mean that in a comforting way and not a condescending way. What is acceptance? How do you accept? It’s pretty much an ongoing discussion here. People sometimes figure it out, have a setback and find themselves asking how to accept again. Recently Rich defined acceptance as “dancing in the rain” in his FAQ (which yo might want to scroll up and check out.) A good mentality to have while practicing acceptance is separating yourself from your anxious thoughts and feelings, and we do that through understanding. You seem to have read a lot on the subject so that’s good. Know what causes anxiety, know that anxiety is what causes these thoughts and feelings, recognize that they do not define you, recognize that they do not matter. Do not try to rid yourself of them, let them be there. Somebody recently sad that his method of acceptance was to concentrate on his negative thoughts and listen to them and sit for a moment giving into them, this isn’t acceptance. Some people think that just because we should “move towards these feelings,” instead of trying to get rid of them, that we should pay full attention to them. Just don’t try to get rid of them. Accept that they’re gonna be there (we cannot do a single thing to get rid of them so don’t waste effort and worry trying to change a thing) and accept that you’re not feeling good in that moment, but separate yourself from how you feel by simply getting on with your day. Don’t let it cause you to not go to work/school/the bank, do what needs to be done. And do not let it stop you from going out with friends, watching a movie, going for a run, live your life. Even if you don’t enjoy it, don’t get discouraged. You’ll definitely thank yourself for being a part of thing when you’re recovered, or more recovered than you currently are simply because you won’t have regrets on missing out on things. I was just saying to Jennifer, you’ll be able to retroactively appreciate and enjoy things when you come out the other side. I promise you that. I’ve experienced that first hand.
    As for techniques, can’t say I have any. It’s more of a mindset, in my opinion. One thing that’s been helping me lately is recognizing what I did that initially got me in this cycle, which is great because I had it in my head that it came out of nowhere and when I recovered it could potentially come back for no reason. By recognizing what I did wrong and making changes to my life I’m getting rid of the initial cause of this mess and preventing it from happening again, which is a great feeling. If you don’t recognize what may have overworked your nerves in the first place, don’t fret, it took me a long time to even consider that was a possibility. But clarity comes as you better your understanding, it is a different sensation from “normality” but it’s just as good, maybe even better because in those moments you see a clear path to follow and know that you’ll get better even if you’re not feeling like your old self in that moment.
    Anyway boiling acceptance down to a science or simple definition isn’t really easy, but I gave it my best shot.
    Nice to have you Sam. Don’t get discouraged. You are definitely headed in the right direction.

  551. SarahS Says:

    Go Daniel! And I mean that in a non patronising way.

  552. Jennifer Says:

    I feel so bad today, had a sort of panic attack/panic surge last night in bed, which I know does no harm but I have had such high high anxiety all day for days. Dragged myself into work and god knows how I am here as I have wanted to go home every 5 mins as I am sitting here unable to concentrate, not eaten much and feel so tired with it all. Can’t connect with people or myself.
    Hoping someone doesn’t ask me how I am as I feel I might crumble.

    I would be ok with just functioning below par at work and not getting upset about that, as SarahS suggested, but its the I feel like a child who doesn’t want to have to drag such high anxiety symptoms around with me.
    Like why should I, its so hard and painful.
    I feel like I haven’t cancelled any plans and taken it all with me and the symptoms just keep coming thick and fast until now I have bad DP, electric current feeling and I feel like my voice is strained when I talk to people and quieter than normal, just coz I feel so bad.

    It frustrates me to post something grim on here when there is so much positivity and helpful pointers, but I just feel so bad, I had forgotton how truly rotten anxiety can feel.
    I so want my old self back but I seem to moving further and further away from myself and further into a hole and I am not sure how to make my way through it.
    Staying at home and not being at work won’t help but I am not sure I am well enough to be in work….:( sorry if this has dragged the tone down, hopefully it hasn’t.

  553. lainie waller Says:

    i am in and out of setback every few days. i think im ok one day and the next WAM i am in despair total despair. how can it happen like this. And another thing is when in setback i am avoiding things i feel so bad . x

  554. Rob Says:

    So my anxiety is actually at a very low level again. I was going crazy earlier in the morning but then just simply eating breakfast calmed my anxiety down. I only have 1 thought stuck in my head for the past few days.

    Its pretty stupid but whatever. This is the thought about the association I made about going to the hospital on 1 well traveled street while my anxiety in the past was so bad. Even since I made the association I have walked down that street so many times even on purpose to convince myself what the hell is the problem. My mind is telling me “you walked down that street 7 months ago to go to the hospital and call the crisis hotline after doing E. You will never live that down and be forever reminded of this.” That realization only appeared like a few days ago and my actual anxiety started 6 months ago after an unrelated dehydration incident.

    I mean why is my mind focusing on that one time I walked down the street to go to the hospital?? 999/1000 of my memories on that street are great memories and I didn’t even think about the street in that context until a few days back when I was getting very agitated and ive had anxiety for 6 months.
    I find it so hard to accept that thought. Its like my anxiety is turning everything against me!! When the anxiety goes away this association will also completely go away right?

  555. Matt Says:

    Jennifer,

    I’m currently right where you’re at. I was doing well enough to make it through school, and had days where I felt really hopeful I would make it without any academic issues…and then out of nowhere on Thursday, I start feeling anxious doing anything. It’s lasted from through today, with the only reprieve being a halloween party on Friday, going out to dinner Sat night, and just chilling at home last night. I’ve had like 3 good hours in the past 4-5 days, and my concentration is all over the place because of it.

    Today I went to school, and the first thing they gave us was a surprise presentation that we had to give today. I really focused on telling myself that symptoms don’t matter, anxiety can’t harm you, and I tried to focus myself in the present. It seemed to work well enough that my first class wasn’t too bad, even though my head felt weird. The second two hours got worse, and I found myself continuing to have to remind myself to focus in the present and not to worry about my symptoms.

    Normally, leaving class would at least make me feel okay again, but now it’s just continuous, and there is no rhyme or reason. I don’t get it, and it’s freaking me out a bit. I know what Rich’s post says, so I know I should attribute this to anxiety…but I’ve had anxiety for 1.5 years, and this is the first time I’ve felt quite like this, and I can’t calm down. What’s prolonging it is because I’m having a hard time accepting it when my concentration is gone. I need it for school, and to pass exams. If I didn’t have anything that I had to perform for, at least I could just say “whatever”…but I don’t feel like I can do that 100% when I have school to get through, because it matters to me. I feel like I’m in catch 22. It sucks!

    So yeah, I feel your pain, and I feel like I’m right there with you. I keep telling myself that just like it came on, it will leave, as it always has, but it’s much harder when it’s something different than what you typically experience. I normally don’t worry about health issues, but it’s making me scared that it’s something health related again, because it feels so bad. Gah!

  556. Nolan Says:

    I’m reading an article right now about a Jewish psychiatrist that survived the Holocaust. His name is Viktor Frankl. He talks about the one thing that separated those who survived from those who perished: meaning.

    A really cool quote of his that is very much inline with what Paul says in his book (and blog): “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing,
    the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

    The attitude we choose towards the reality of our own suffering; what is it going to be? Will we choose to accept it and to live our lives regardless of it? Or, will we fight and struggle against it…. forcing our bodies and minds to go in one direction when they’re pushing us in another?

  557. Jennifer Says:

    Thanks for reply Matt
    I am sorry to hear you are in the same place, but comforted as well, which is hoenstly how we all feel when someone relates isn’t it?

    Kinda obsessing over this blog at the moment for reassurance, which I recognise from the last period of badness years ago, but hey, what can you do, at the mo I feel like this site is the only thing I have between collapsing into a pile of tears and frustration and more horribleness, but doing that won’t change anything.
    I do feel truly stuck in this very low place, with high anxiety and both are not a good combination.
    If I could have some time off work with no consquences and have some activities through the day just whist I get to a slightly better place so that I can work with myself and with this approach again, that might help, but yeah like you said, having to still do stuff that requires so much concentration is so hard and making me feel so beat up and god awful. The thoughts like these won’t be here when the anxieties not but whilst the anxiety won’t let up, I am stuck here it feels in a dark place.
    Having trouble seeing any light at the moment.
    I hope you are still managing to see some light and let up Matt

  558. Matt Says:

    Nolan,

    Beautiful post. I’ve seen that somewhere too, and it’s really the key to anything in life. One of my favorite quotes is from Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”

    I think that’s true for anyone trying to recover from anxiety. You need to accept, and you need determination to stick on the right path, when your anxiety and everything else is telling you to fight. Right now, the only thing I want to do is to make my anxiety go away, and focusing on anything else right now seems impossible. But I know that eventually, some day, I will get to recovery, I just don’t know when yet.

    And Jennifer,
    As scared as I am right now, I know somewhere that the right answer is to keep focusing as best I can on the outside world. I keep reminding myself that whatever happens is ok. If that means that somehow I fail out of school, then I’ll just find a new path. I obviously don’t want that to happen, which is why I have anxiety about the way I feel, but it is what it is. I’m betting that someday in the near future (maybe even tomorrow!), I’ll magically be less anxious, and then It’ll make sense and I’ll fear feeling this way less. It’s just right now, the constant high anxiety state is hard to accept, but we’ll get there. Just keep on doing what you need to do, and the answer will come to you. Trust in yourself that it will all work out, because it will.

  559. Jennifer Says:

    That was a lovely post Nolan

    Thank you Matt – just reading your words brings some comfort to this lonely place I find myself in. I feel the same, like the only thing I can think of is how to make myself less anxious somehow and mainly feeling like there is nothing I can do about it and I worry its going to ruin my lovely life. I do have choice to go on with my life regardless but I feel so ill, not eating much and tired that I am just not sure what to do with myself. The idea is to do nothing but every minute of everyday is painful and a struggle and it feels so wrong to be able to feel this bad. I am so hoping my body and mind will heal/relax even if just for a bit so I can think clearer..

  560. Matt Says:

    Jennifer,

    Did you have a period where you did get better in the past? I missed that if you posted about that before, but just reread your comment before this last one. If so, what did you do then? Just curious :)

  561. Rg Says:

    Hello – I could use some advice right now. I’ve been going through this episode for 10 months, and with the help of Paul and Claire Weekes, I am about 75% my old self again. But 8 months ago I also retired and I still find it difficult to adjust to the change especially when alone in the house where those negative thoughts are at their worst. I keep busy and get out as much as possible but I still get anxious when coming home and if I am in the house alone all day. I feel this is really holding me back from coming through completely. Can anyone relate to this situation?

  562. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Matt
    Yes I have had 2 periods of severe anxiety, one in 2009 and the other in 2012, both were different but kinda the same and yes I did very much recover, using this site and a low dose of anti-depressants and it was slow but when you have hit what you feel like might rock bottom or very high anxiety, any improvement spurs you on. Its strange I can’t even think of how I recovered now. brain won’t let me and I feel like its not in reach. Thank you for trying to remind me…:)
    I think the difficulty communicating with people seems worse this time and being so sociable and busy normally, this is the big killer and is crushing me.

  563. Matt Says:

    Jennifer,

    You’re giving me hope by telling me that you recovered from this. If you’ve had this before and recovered, you can do it again! Let me know when you do remember how you did it, but not pressure, take the time you need :) I understand!

  564. Jack Says:

    Hey everybody,

    Also having some blog troubles, been trying to post but none seem to come go through so I hope this works…

    Anyways I’ve been having some real moments of clarity lately. I think it was Marek’s post that really helped me out! The one about how anxiety is fear of fear, and also SarahS post on how it takes time, so thank you both. I’m starting to realize this whole accepting thing is just all to calm the mind! There is no magic cure or magic slogan that is out there, and I realize I have been trying way to hard to find the right way to mentally justify this. It only makes sense that the simplest solution is the right one, for trying so hard to find that magic cure or slogan seems to only make me search more and get more frustrated. When Paul says do nothing, it literally just means do nothing… As in whenever a scary thought comes in, to “accept this” literally just means do nothing!! By trying to mentally justify these thoughts just leads to rumination. Now I feel that I am so close to recovery but I am not yet recovered, I still get these scary thoughts and what not, but I feel it is all coming together now!! I just want to say at one point I couldn’t do anything without drinking an alcoholic beverage because I was so afraid of the panic/thoughts/feelings, and I’ve now come so far.. I have faith in every single one of you and believe we can all recover and get through this! Much love everybody! Keep trucking!!

    Jack

  565. Ves Says:

    I would like to share something that could be useful to someone. I did an exercise about my beliefs 2 weeks ago. Basically I wrote down on piece of paper my beliefs that were bugging me for loooong time. At first I thought that I could not come up with that many. But then I started to investigate my thoughts from the past. I went all the way to my childhood. I have managed to write 2 pages of my beliefs during the course of the week. And I have found the pattern in my beliefs. I have found out that every single one of my beliefs are negative and that I was blaming myself, consciously or unconsciously, about these beliefs. After a week I asked myself the question: Can I let go these beliefs? I thought for a few minutes. I could not let go. They were part of me. Then during meditation practice I realized something. These beliefs are habit. A habit that i was learning over few decades. Then I realized that I will need little bit of time in order to unlearn these habits. At that moment I felt “Ok I can give a more time since I know now where could be a problem”. Before this exercise the question of time or how much more time I will feel terrible was just adding additional fear on the top of the fear. But now i was ok with extra time because I have something to work with. After another week I managed to “let go” one belief from my 2 page list. I thought ok this one was “easy” belief but it is starting point and I can build from there.

  566. Marek Says:

    I am glad I caould help somehow.

    Jennifer, can I ask you a question? About the time you recovered for a while. The process of your acceptance, recovery was going from similarly long phases from very high/ high anxiety phase to medium anxiety and then low and calmness? (for example high anxiety 6 months then medium anxiety 6 months then low anxiety 6 months and complete recovery). OR the process is rapidly faster after cracking high anxiety state, something like on/off switch. (for example very high/ high anxiety phase 6 months , medium phase 1 month or none, low anxiety phase 1 month and then recovery) . What’s more probable? I am just curious about that.

  567. Eliza Says:

    Hi Kyle,

    I am not sure if anyone else has replied to you email as it can be quite confusing on this blog to decipher emails as sometimes it is like a maze. Anyway good for you getting the new job, myself I deliberately kept clear of very stressful jobs which has meant I am not earning the very high salaries that my peers are but that was my choice because I just fell apart in them mind you it wasn’t only the stressful jobs I fell apart in, it was every job so it was not about the job it was about me. So applying the same principle to you – it is not about your job it is about you as you could be as easily stressed to the hilt working in a quiet library so keeping that in mind and dealing with what you have going for you, first off you have accepted the job so deep down you know you are well capable of doing this job – you also mention you like the fun aspects of the job and that is a big plus in a job and you don’t drink so you are a lot better equipped to handle the stress than you realise. Just stay true to yourself, be yourself and people will respect you for that – no I don’t drink and if everyone else is drinking okay that’s allowed too but you can still be fun and good company and when it all gets too much for you then it is time to leave, ie when the anxious signal pops up and you start to feel a bit overwhelmed by it GO and be firm very resolute about it. Lots of people can put in an appearance at a work party and then go – you have to know your limits, attend to your feelings and put them first.. Good luck with the new job, I hope you have a ball and you know one of these days I might surprise myself leave my safe job behind and go for a stressful but rewarding one. Anything can happen.

  568. lainie waller Says:

    think my little post got lost . could someone answer please

  569. Jennifer Says:

    Matt –
    Thats fine to ask, when I say recover, I mean really recover, everything went back to normal after such strong strong anxiety. It is so hard to believe your body and mind can recover from this, but I am living proof. I promise you.

    In answer to your question about time spans, its difficult to remember because it does fade into the past and everyone is different and each period of anxiety is different, but I would say for me that it went like roughly: high anxiety for maybe 1 or 2 months max, medium anxiety for 1 to 2 months and then low anxiety for 3 – 4 months, but but but, somewhere in the middle of this you cease to care as much so it doesn’t bother you. It is already behind you and you can feel that it is. Once you start making strides out the the lowest point/highest anxiety times you really do start making fast progress. You have some bad hours and days and feeling a bit depressed about it all, but you really do start to get your old self back quite quickly. I remember being surprised at how quickly all the symptoms faded once I had gotton over the horrible horrible times.
    Recovery isn’t like you wake up one day and go ‘bam’ thats it no more anxiety but you float into feeling better and better until the bits of anxiety you feel really don’t bother you as it used to be so bad that you will put up with a bit of anxiety and you can live your life completely normally. The last symptom to go is the self doubting/anxiety thoughts but you can tolerate these as you have already made strides to feel better and it takes more than some anxious thoughts to drag you back down. You will feel so much stronger.
    It is hard to imagine and writing this to you is largely helping me have some hope for me too.

    Lainie –
    I too am feeling terrible at the moment but remember from before and if you read other posts they will say that there will have been a time when you felt all bad with no good or better days. The fact that you are having some better days means you are heading in the right direction and recovery is an up and down affair, everyone says that and knows that. It will pass and you will see clearly again and you will know that deep down. It just feels like it won’t ever go away.
    I know its so hard as I am feeling so bad right now too.

  570. Jennifer Says:

    *sorry that above post was in reply to *Marek* not Matt

  571. Jennifer Says:

    *Actually it is a very relevant response to Matt’s post too*

  572. Eliza Says:

    Hi Iainie,

    I have played the avoidance game for so long – does it work no as it just makes you more and more insecure about your ability to take care of your anxiety. But on a positive note today I had two anxious situations the first was dealing with the bank – stressful even to the most chilled citizens and I handled it so well – I left a note out for myself last night before I went to bed when I knew I had to go and it said stay calm bank etc. you rock eliza..so I slept okay and then today I put the note in my pocket to keep me focused and I was early at bank – grant it I found it hard to maintain eye contact at first but I was professional and the woman I am and meant to be- it wasn’t fool proof as I sounded a little anxious – that’s okay its a part of me and the lady I dealt with said you were anxious about it – and I thought you don’t know the half about my anxiety and thankfully she never has to. I then was going for a walk at lunchtime and I was stocking up on chewing gum – couple of packets and the earnest young guy couldn’t resist a quip and said to me that will keep you going for a long time and of course I felt guilty and I said oh it is for the office – to shut us up so we can get on with our work which he thought was great fun and had a right laugh – and as I was going I felt I heard something my common sense knows nothing is being said but it is my anxiety popping up, I think I hear certain names – not madness just sheer anxiety and I said to myself no, I am not going there and I didn’t and I enjoyed my walk.
    Two very minor incidents but I felt chuffed. So maybe Iainie you could look for even the little things that you handled your anxiety well during your day it doesn’t have to be major ones. I know where my anxiety can lead me to if I don’t step up to the plate it is an awful place -that totally disrespects and hurts me so start small. baby steps……good luck with it..

  573. Bryan Says:

    Excellent post, Daniel!

  574. Bryan Says:

    Same to you Nolan and Jennifer. This blog is really peaking with some great posts from you guys lately. Love to see all of the positive, constructive messages.

  575. Kyle Says:

    Eliza,

    Thank you so much for the response. I know its a great opportunity and I do enjoy the job and the perks that go along with it. Its not your general sit at your desk and get loaded down with paperwork type job. Its fun and every new deal is different. I involves meeting new people and interacting with clients which I am very good at. IDK why but I am sort of a people person. I guess the last little bit of anxiety I have is a bit of self doubt which can cause me to be negative in situations. Its a bit of a habit because I have always been a real reserved quiet person. However no one would ever notice that or say that about me. I guess I just need to get a bit of my confidence back and then I will be good to go. Its like I have a tiny bit of anxiety left in the glass which is barely noticeable and just pops up from time to time

  576. Eliza Says:

    Hi Kyle,

    Your welcome. You sound very positive about the job, okay there is self doubt coupled with some anxiety but what human being doesn’t have that especially entering a new job and with that awareness you can take loving care of it. I wish you every success with it.

  577. Horton Says:

    Hey folks, not gonna get too specific but I could use some advice with something. As some of you may know I had anxiety for many years before having a period in which it went away, but then it came back. (Didn’t use Paul’s method the first time, it just sort of happened.)
    Anyway over that period of freedom there were still some things that had bad feelings attached to them and would instill that gross anxiety feeling in me. But I didn’t have much contact with those things during that period. Now they aren’t anything bad, in fact I actually know that I like them and want them to be part of my life this time that I recover, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to detach those bad feelings from them. Normally I’d assume it’d go away along with all the other bad stuff, but this one stuck around even during my freedom. Now I often consider that I wasn’t actually fully recovered during that good period, so some stuff stuck around (also part of the reason I fell back into it probably) so maybe this time I’ll come out without bad feelings attached to anything, especially these things I was talking about. That makes sense?
    Some advice and feedback would be appreciated!!

    Thanks everybody,
    Sorry I’ve been such a pain lately, been in a bit of a slum and hadn’t been dealing well.
    Horton

  578. Rob Says:

    So anyone know what to do about the association I made between a street at the highest point of my anxiety which I recall walking down to go to the hospital and calling a crisis center? I keep remembering that one time where I had bad thoughts walking down that street. I don’t get bad thoughts when walking down the street but I keep remembering the 1 time I did on my E comedown.

    999/1000 memories on this street are great memories except that 1. This is pretty much the only thought that has run in my head lately. I have not ever avoided this street but it bothers me that I have made this dumb association in the first place a few days ago. I have never associated locations with anxiety until just a few days ago.

    When I recover, this association will also go away right? My biggest fear is that after I recover I will somehow remember that and then trigger. anxiety again. What if I never ever look at the street the same again as if it was any other street! The image of me walking to the hospital after suffering from the drug keeps on playing in my head. Before a few days ago, I would remember walking to the hospital but I never directly made the association with the street.

  579. Ves Says:

    @Rob
    I think it could be your egoic mind trying to drum up their importance. That particular thought could have underlying emotional energy that produces those strong emotions. The trick is to dissolve that underlying emotional energy. Some people would say in order to dissolve that emotional energy is to apply compassion to that thought. I think the biggest challenge is to prepare the “ground” to apply compassion. You can’t apply compassion if your mind is running all over the place. So we have to get into relax stage little bit. Once we are in relax stage then we can work/sit/hug our thoughts and work with the underlying emotional energy. In my experience the only thing that could help me relax and tame the mind just for little bit was my breath. Mindful breathing.

  580. Emma Says:

    Matt,

    Sorry to hear you’re struggling. I’m struggling too right now we’re in the same boat. It started last week and the anxiety is still there, mainly in the form of DP (feeling estranged from myself, feel like a stranger in my body, don’t recognize myself in the mirror, etc.). On top of that, I’m getting little intrusive thoughts and feelings of guilty, just typical anxiety-type stuff. I’m usually okay with a little anxiety spike here and there but the dp is really uncomfortable and my big set back in May/June started with the same type of dp sensation. Trying to practice all my acceptance and mindfulness but the anxiety is stronger than usual. Hoping this will pass… I was doing so well and now I’ve dipped into a depersonalized state that leaves me w a constant feeling of uneasiness.

  581. Jack Says:

    Hello everybody!

    Just coming on to share some positive vibe and hope that everyone is having a good day! I have been slowly feeling more and more like myself, but not yet fully recovered (don’t want to jynx it!). Anyways as I get closer to recovery I am really starting to feel good and wish and hope this for all of you that are struggling right now. I feel since I have joined this blog that I have seen so much progress, and it almost feels like since were all starting to get familiar with eachother that it is truly something special. Special in the sense we know there are others out there suffering the same way we are and that everybody here has one main goal: to help eachother and recover! It’s people like the ones on this blog that make the difference in the world because coming on here and sharing advice and willing to help can go such a far way without even knowing. I know I’m on a high right now but I just wanted to tell everybody thank you for listening and keep being the wonderful people you are. Everybody feels like they are the exception, and everybody feels as if they will never recover. I have started to realize that is all a part of recovery!! Im at the point where I have some self doubt at times but my thought process of “I will come back in my accord” is slowly taking over. I guess what I’m blabbering about is IT TAKES TIME!!! So everybody out there that feels like absolute crap and can’t go on, I hope this gives you motivation, for the reason I’m typing this is because I have faith in all of you!!

  582. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Not posted in a while, guess the reason is I’ve been doing so good. Got back to dating, socialising fully, exercising etc. However, since last Thursday I’ve been having stomach problems, feeling sick, no appetite, acid reflux etc. This without fail has always flared up anxious symptoms. I thought it was lifting at the weekend as I had two decent days but today has been awful….even had a little cry.

    It’s almost twelve now and I can’t sleep as I’ve been sick twice. Been to the doctors and received some medication for my stomach but anxious symptoms are still there.

    Come as a bit of a shock as it’s been almost 9 months since anxiety has been feeling this bad. I start a new job on Monday and kinda dreading it feeling like this. Guess I just need to accept it but I feel far from great atm.

    Any words but be appreciated guys.

    Thanks

    Mark

  583. Matt Says:

    Emma,

    It’s nice to talk to you again! But it sucks that it’s because you’re feeling anxious again :/ Anyway, you’re making progress, and don’t worry, this is just a set back! I was feeling freaking HORRIBLE for the past five days, but I’m coming out of it, even though I really didn’t think I would, and that I wasn’t going to make it through school, etc. I’d never had DP before, so it really got the best of me. You’ll come out of it faster than you know, since you’ve been on the right track!

    Jennifer,

    Thanks for the response! That’s kind of how I imagined getting better to be. I’ve actually mostly come out of the DP and I’ve been feeling close to my normal anxious self again, so I feel relieved that those feelings weren’t permanent. Whenever I get something new, I’m freaking that it will stay forever, which obviously doesn’t help. It’s weird, but even though I hear it many many times, the ebb and flow of anxiety always catches me off guard, because there is no reason for it! My school stress has been up lately, but not more than in the past. I’m a little afraid to actually study now, since that seems to add stress, but I have to do it! So anyway, I’m off do do whatever it is that anxiety says don’t!

  584. Matt Says:

    Oh, and I forgot to say one thing. What Nolan is saying makes more and more sense as I go through this. Having this horrible DP was basically just a way of showing me that I just need to ride this out, as it will clear up if we let it. As sucky as it was, hopefully the next time I can relax through it more, and know that it will go away when it wants to, and that nothing I do or don’t do will cause it.

  585. Emma Says:

    Matt,

    Thanks for your words of encouragement. It was your first experience with dp? Wow sorry to hear you went through it. How did you experience it? 5 days is nothing compared to the bouts you’ve had in the past so that’s a definite sign of major progress in acceptance. I’m still depersonalized today but not as bad as yesterday. Dp is a tough one, I’ve had the depressive feelings, anxiety, panic, intrusive thoughts — I think dp and depression-feelings/low moods are hardest to deal with. School is killing me right now too, it’s always been stressful but not sure why it’s spiking my anxiety to the point of depersonalizing me. I start to worry that I won’t be able to handle the stress of work life if this continues to happen. We will come out of this, you’re already coming out of it, little bouts are normal, we can handle them, they are continued practice

    Do you find that you forget about dp at times and then the second you remember it you feel depersonalized again? Happens to me all the time since I’ve entered this little setback. I’ll forget dp, think about it and there it is.

  586. Matt Says:

    Emma,

    To your last question, I get that with all my symptoms. I was feeling good, and then just coming on this blog to comment got me thinking about it, and kind of started some symptoms again. I’m not really too worried about it though, so that’s good haha.

    DP only freaked me out because I had never had it, but honestly it’s the intrusive thoughts that are the scariest for me, since my thoughts are so dire. The DP isn’t really that bad, because honestly, I feel weird and on edge and disconnected, but that’s only slightly worse than the panic and anxiety I’ve had in the past, so who cares?

    I don’t think we need to be worrying about work right now, just getting through school. As you know with anxiety, nothing is predictable, which is good. That means you shouldn’t be trying to predict work life. Honesty, in my experience, working full time has been a lot better, because you’re in a routine, and there isn’t the constant stress of turning in this assignment, having this major test, taking this practical, being to this clinical on time, etc. My last job wasn’t horribly stressful, and my goal is to have a low stress job coming out of school so as to help me maintain my mental health.

    My thoughts on anxiety right now is that basically as horrible is this is, it’s actually a normal response to all the crap that we go through on a daily basis. Some of it is circumstantial, and some of it is stress we add to ourselves. I know that I’ve had to work on becoming more positive since having such bad anxiety, as telling myself negative things all day just added unnecessary stress to my body.

    Lastly, I just wanted to tell you that you really do sound like you’re recovering. You’re going long stretches with minimal to no symptoms, don’t let the return of symptoms get you down. You’ve read this blog enough to know that setbacks are not only common, they are PART of the process. You SHOULD have these setbacks, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to recover, it just means that you will have to keep doing what you do and show your body that the symptoms of anxiety aren’t anything harmful. You’ve also been the person to inspire me to really hunker down and work with mindfulness. This week, I’ve started to meditate in the morning for 10 minutes before school, and I’ve also started reading “The Happiness Trap”, which is a book on ACT and mindfulness, and basically just strategies to augment Paul’s method.

  587. Matthew Says:

    Hi all.

    Looking for a little guidance. I am starting my recovery process and feel like I am making some good progrest but I still get confused about some things. I stI’ll find myself loaded with negative thinking and thoughts and even taking a nap is hard because I just think so negatively about everythin and fear the worst. However I so know I am doing better because I have had moments of complete peace the last couple days but it’s jut the constant negative thinking that I am stuck on. I have been doing everything in spite of it but even when I do it I notice I am subconsciously thinking negative. I am just wondering if I just continue going about my day and just allow it all to be there? And in time will all the negative thinkin fade away? Thank you all for your help. Hoping someone can answer this for me because I feel like I am making some great progress

    Could really use some advice because after a pretty good week I am having a bit of a set back I believe. Starting to have a hard time falling asleep.

  588. SarahS Says:

    Hi Jennifer and all

    You are really good with words and think most people here will be really appreciative of that. Well done you ever thought of taking it up? Doing own blog for example? I know my struggle is the time anxiety can go on for. As you can see with the time I’m wide awake! However I also know it’s a huge bluff and playing tricks on us and if I were calmer then these symptoms and thoughts wouldn’t be as scary. I also know that I can’t move forward without all these symptoms and they’re helping me face my fears. It does become tricky though with work and being there for family. I’ve had anxiety for many years and it came to a peak when I got married, I found Claire weekes books and Paul David’s blog and book about five years ago and chucked everything else out then, all the rubbish information is been given which had just made it worse. I’ve come on hugely in the last few years but because I’d built up so many fears I’m not quite over facing them yet but it’s given me the chance to do that now with this setback. I’m not sure if I’ve got a question but just wanted a natter I suppose lol. X

  589. Mark r Says:

    Literally an hours sleep and wide awake @4.30 in the morning. Feeling pretty horrendous.

  590. Kevin Says:

    Hi matt and emma,

    This is in regards to dp. The first symptom that hit me in this whole anxiety journey was dp/dr. It was dr at first : everything looked so strange and unreal. So it terrified me. I never questioned anything about myself until a few months after the initial incident. Then came the dp and that was so hard because i didnt recognize myself in te mirror. I still dont sometimes but the difference is now, i dont care. I know its a trick. Ive been who i am the whole time and im not gonna waste anymore time on questioning it. Now the dp/dr doesnt bothere in the least. Unless a panic attack comes along, but even then i know its harmless.
    Emma i can empathize in regards to the low mood that is the hardest to deal with. Sometimes i get a “life is meaningless” feeling and it makes me feel like i actually have depression , then the thoughts about what if i end up like robin williams comes up. But i actually took YOUR addvice about reminding yourself to let those feelings come. I literally say in my mind “come on lets see it” because i dont care anymore. Life is way too beautiful an precious to waste time worrying. Thats what really helps. I remind myself how short but amazing life is and that its a blessing to be living it. It helps get my mind off the anxiety and to just live. You guys sound like youre doing great. I wish you the best

  591. Lui Says:

    Thanks for replying Matt! :)

    I have another question about acceptance. Somehow I started to worry that I will lose my abilty to make people laugh and that I will lose my humor in general with recovery.
    I always saw this as part of me but right now I got myself into thinking that it will completely vanish with recovery because it’s not part of the “real me” but the “anxiety me” and a safety behavior to make people like me. Maybe it’s important to add that my main problem is social anxiety.
    I’m losing sleep about this question, otherwise I wouldn’t ask this on here.

  592. Mark r Says:

    Sorry to bump a post…

  593. Marek Says:

    Lui, anxiety is not damaging our personality, sense of humour, IQ nor body organs. It’s just a substance, adrenaline which is causing that. When the adrenaline is reduced all the senses comes back to normal. Similarly, when you drink alcohol and got drunk, you will not feel drunk forever, only until alcohol gets rid of your body.

  594. Marek Says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    thanks for the answer. Very inspiring for all of us. Although my anxiety seems to be little bit harder nut to crack, as I am accepting for half a year and still at the high anxiety state.

    Could you also tell us , what do you think caused that your anxiety reappeared? Did you forget about acceptance principles you had learned during your recovery? Did you start listening and reacting to your thoughts or did you face some hard life situation?

    Thanks again

  595. Eliza Says:

    Hi Lui,

    I have always made people laugh and I never been trying to, here in work when I would go to meetings I would get so quiet overwhelmed by anxiety but at the very last meeting I spoke up – and people smiled and laughed I wasn’t even aware I was being witty, grant it I went around in circles talking but okay that’s my style and I am allowed to be me. I was very chuffed even told my mother later and I am well grown up…. I had been doing a lot of work on myself over the last few months – tapping into the huge wealth of life coaches etc. on the internet and they really helped.

    So don’t lose any more sleep over it as you are not going to lose your wit or humour – as it is part of you the same way as your anxiety is. I think to be able to laugh at ourselves it the key as sometimes with anxiety we take ourselves so seriously – and life is short, to be able to have a laugh at some of the situations we get ourselves into because of our anxiety is perhaps finally accepting it and no longer fearing it.

    Hi Horton,

    Hopefully I am getting the gist of your query about bad feelings and being free from them. I never wanted to have anything to do with my feelings from a young age and that caused mayhem in my life. Feelings are a part of us and we cannot leave them behind, we are solely responsible for them, we can try different ways of ridding ourselves of them like medicating them in various ways, using other people to make us feel better about them and even the best therapist in the world cannot do that for us so there is only one route left we have to step up to the plate and take care of them ourselves, I think it is downhill after we make that commitment to them as we are taking our power back not relying on anyone else but ourselves and we are a lot more powerful and resilient than we realise. I have heard therapists refer to it like brushing your teeth, if you want good teeth then you have to brush your teeth daily until your die and if you want to take care of you anxiety you have to do the same thing take care of it on a daily basis it until you die. Anyway very best of luck with it all.

  596. sam Says:

    thanks daniel,eliza,nolan and all other lovely people over here for such valuable suggestions…its a blessing to have people like you all over here…can feel so much connected to everybody over here…recovery going good at the moment…up and down moments are coming and going…m feeling great now..but i know i may feel awful tomorrow..and know what…i simply give a damn about it 😀 …i have tried to sum up acceptance in my own words ..to me acceptance is knowing that nothing is wrong with you ..nothing was in the first place….the only thing that is standing between our recovery ,being our former self ,the person we once were are we ourselves ….the truth hits you like a brick wall….how we ourselves have been causing all this suffering to us….and how it is only wewho can lead ourselves to recovery…others can show us the path…but recovery lies in the person walking in that path…nobody can do it for them…acceptance is just accepting your present self…its like detaching yourself from your mind…the mind will present us with worries negative thoughts and situations covering all spheres of our lives…it will shout to us..come on reason,fight me,give me an answer, you will be tempted ….will have an tremendous urge to fight,to reason ,to repair yourself…but nonetheless will get on with your life…coz we have only one life …and we ourselves have to decide how to live it…wallowing in self pity,finding answers to illogical problems and scenarios the mind will present( they may not seem illogical,unimportant or irrational when they hit you,but they are)…when ur anxiety subsides and comes down…you will for yourself realize the lies behind everything…realize how you were actually yourself creating the suffering that you so badly wanted to end…just move on with ur life…put all doubts to rest…just surrender urself…u have a life to live…and u cannot waste it fighting ur mind….cheers guys :) wishing a speedy recovery to all

  597. mark r Says:

    Emma,

    Sounds like we’re in a similar boat to be honest. I seem to have hit quite a harsh setback too. A lot of physical symptoms – DP, sickly feeling in my body, no appetite etc. I’ve been here before and not unduly concerned with how long it will last so I’m just going to have to ride it out. It’s very hard feeling like this after months of progress and little symptoms. Although I realise that this is part and parcel of it I have cried a lot over the last 2 days. I went for a walk in my local park earlier and burst into tears.

    Matt,

    The happiness trap is a great book and he is a great author. Got a few books by him.

  598. Lui Says:

    Eliza and Marek thank you guys soooo much!!!!!!
    This question was torturing me for months and I was too ashamed to ask this question but you guys took so much pressure off me. I seriously cried when I read this :)
    So the personality I have now is not just anxiety based but is the real me?! I thought I was a complete different person and my personality would change for 360 degrees around when accepting and facing. This belief holds me back for months! So I will most likely keep the character I have now?

  599. Eliza Says:

    Hi Lui,

    Your welcome. If you are doing something so positive as taking care of your anxiety that cannot make you lose your personality, humour or wit if anything it will enhance them and allow more joy, fun and laughter in your life. So no need to worry any longer you are on the right route home. Best of luck with it.

  600. Horton Says:

    Hey folks, not gonna get too specific but I could use some advice with something. As some of you may know I had anxiety for many years before having a period in which it went away, but then it came back. (Didn’t use Paul’s method the first time, it just sort of happened.)
    Anyway over that period of freedom there were still some things that had bad feelings attached to them and would instill that gross anxiety feeling in me. But I didn’t have much contact with those things during that period. Now they aren’t anything bad, in fact I actually know that I like them and want them to be part of my life this time that I recover, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to detach those bad feelings from them. Normally I’d assume it’d go away along with all the other bad stuff, but this one stuck around even during my freedom. Now I often consider that I wasn’t actually fully recovered during that good period, so some stuff stuck around (also part of the reason I fell back into it probably) so maybe this time I’ll come out without bad feelings attached to anything, especially these things I was talking about. That makes sense?
    Some advice and feedback would be appreciated!!

    Thanks everybody,
    Sorry I’ve been such a pain lately, been in a bit of a slum and hadn’t been dealing well.
    Horton

  601. Eliza Says:

    Hi Horton,

    Eliza here – If you scroll up to Nov5 2014 at 11.50 as I left you a reply to this email when you sent it earlier – it may or may not be helpful to you – but best wishes to you anyway.

  602. Matthew Says:

    Anyone have input on what I posted earlier? Could use some advice. Thanks!

  603. Tedder Says:

    Dear Daniel,

    I was very impressed with your “acceptance” post 2 days ago. I am suffering very much but have started working mornings after a year of leave. 2 days ago I had my first really ok day in a year… I just sat at home after work and watched the garden, played with my kids and it was true magic.. I even heard myself saying ok the worst is over and i can start planning ahead. However the next days have been severe suffering and despair and a total different outlook on things…

    I would love to have the opportunity of a small Skype chat with you if that is possible. I am in such a strange phase and would love to have a first time contact with an ex sufferer to get the boost I feel I really need, it is sooo tough now, yet I think I am doing something right.

    Jennifer, I wish you all the best and courage!

    Please advise and I understand if you are not into contacting.

  604. Rob Says:

    @Ves

    Clearly somehow that thought about the street has just stuck. I guess the biggest thing for me is I need to somehow undo that connection between my suffering and that street. I tell myself I am just going to accept it and not even try anymore to undo the connection. The connection was made cause I heard the word “traumatic” and I immediately panicked and was like “Oh man what if I have PTSD I’ll be screwed for the rest of my life cause that is the one anxiety disorder nobody recovers completely from” and then i made the connection. Later on I was reassured I didn’t have PTSD yet the connection from me panicking about it still stayed.

    Mainly just worried that after I recover that connection won’t go away and that if it doesn’t go away then how the heck am I going to get better. Maybe this just falls under another “What if” thought.

    Perhaps as I get better my good memories on the street will start overpowering that 1 bad incident. I mean wth I was just walking to the dang hospital and for some reason my mind just perseverates on that one image.

  605. Ves Says:

    @Rob
    The only way to undo that connection between your suffering and that street is to relax. To have continues relax periods. If you worry that connection won’t go way that is worry on the top of the worry about connection itself.
    I would sit 20 minutes in the morning and evening and just breath. Breath in, and Breath out.
    I would do Yoga because vinyasas without the breathing it is not Yoga. The key in Yoga is in the breathing. I would do swimming; again the key in swimming is in the breathing. And give a time, and don’t be too harsh on yourself if relaxing does not work right away. It will work, and once you relax you will be able to see small difference in your feelings.

  606. Marek Says:

    Rob, it doens’t matter whether you have PTSD or OCD, social phobia, agoraphobia or whatever else. All of them fall under category anxiety disorder. It is not schizophrenia or bipolat.

  607. Mark r Says:

    To anyone who is not on their first bout of anxiety……

    …does anyone feel like each one is different? My other ones seemed to follow a pattern of being awful at the start then gradually got easier til I forgot about it. This one has lots of false dawns. I feel like a setback is always lurking in the bushes waiting to jump out at me.

  608. Daniel Says:

    Mark r,
    I have felt anxiety differently almost every day, or at least every couple days. I myself often used to get quite shocked that they could even be considered the same condition. Certain symptoms get stronger or weaker, certain thoughts fade away only to make room for new ones, and the complete “tone” of the feeling often feels like something completely new. I started to view it as anxiety keeping you on your toes, it keeps changing so you’ll keep worrying about it. Just say “Do I feel strange? Yes. Am I feeling trapped by this feeling? Yes. Are all my symptoms more or less still there? Yes. Then yes this is the same thing even if today it feels more gross and yesterday it felt more sad and the day before it felt more angry.” Don’t get discouraged just because this one seems harder to “beat,” it’s no different from anything else you’ve experienced and there is in no such thing as a point of no return.

    Tedder,
    I’m glad that my post helped you. A few days before I sent it a friend had been being a little skeptical on the concept of “acceptance” helping me and asked me to explain acceptance to her, and a drew a complete blank. Because, like I said in my post, sometimes it seems so vague and incoherent but other times it just makes so much sense.
    Now I must apologize in telling you I am not really recovered. I had anxiety for roughly 10 years, starting from a young age. However I had not been in the anxiety cycle, in that I was not conscious of the fact that I had it. You would think being unaware of your condition would help you break out of it, but when I was young I just took every feeling and fear as fact which kept me in it for a long time. Some changes came into my life and I started to notice how amazing I felt, however I read this as “my life has improved and those dark days are behind me.” And so I enjoyed a period of absolute freedom, which felt so new to me and interesting. Suddenly this feeling came back. For the first few months it felt so new, but 5 months into, I realized I had done this all before. I started to realize that a lot of the unpleasantness I had attributed to external causes in my youth was actually this tricking me. Anyway, it wasn’t until August 19th that I came across Paul’s website while googling a symptom and it wasn’t until then that I even new what anxiety was! So finally getting a name helped, as well as getting an explanation. So I’m still in my early days of recovery, only been practicing acceptance for the last 2 months, and in that time I’ve only experienced one hour of normality on September 9th. But I have experienced the occasional moment of clarity, which in my own words, made the path to recovery seem very possible and clear.
    I am sorry that I had to break it to you that I am not an ex-sufferer, but I do know recovery is very possible. There are many members here who are far more recovered than me. Also keep in mind if you go to posts from several months ago you’ll notice a completely different set of names, nobody stays here forever. People get better and leave the website all the time after they have recovered or have made enough progress to leave the website behind.

    I did send Lui a post a some time ago, about my time in which I was anxiety free, if that helps. It focuses more on the concept of “identity” than anything else, but you might like to read it.
    “I too am going through a bit of an identity crisis because of this anxiety. I had let anxiety really control my life for years without even realizing that it was there, and yet eventually it went away simply by relaxing and building confidence. It was pretty weird. That’s when I really found myself, and what I like about myself and what I enjoy. But unfortunately I hadn’t really dealt with the anxiety I just was having a good year, when it came back it I had something good to compare it to and so it hit me harder and made me aware that this was not the real me. So that good year in some ways made this more difficult, but it also made me realize that I can feel great and really enjoy life. So I really look forward to really dealing with anxiety this time around so that it’ll stay gone and I can feel the way I felt for that great year for the rest of my life. Nowadays I feel lost, but I remember how easily I found myself when I didn’t let anxiety rule my life. It’s a great feeling, one that I will feel again one day (although this time it should be better since I won’t have the occasional anxious episode) and you will also feel that way one day, you’ll find yourself and, like me, discover that you actually like yourself.”
    And do not get discouraged because I recovered only to fall back into this. My first recovery was sort of a coincidence brought upon by distraction, good fortune and the fact I hadn’t ever noticed that I had a condition. This time, practicing acceptance and distancing myself from my thoughts and feeling will allow for a proper full recovery. And like I said in my big post, I made many mistakes during that good period; a lot of unnecessary worry and stress, poor handling of agitation and other feeling, and all sorts of mistakes that caused me to start this all over again, all of which can be prevented this time around.

    So once again Tedder, I am sorry that I am not recovered. And I know there are few things that give us more hope than talking to someone who has recovered, but just keep accepting as best you can and take care of yourself even if you can’t yet see, or even imagine, or even believe in, the light at the end of the tunnel because it is there and you’ll get there in time.

  609. Horton Says:

    Another one of my vague questions.
    But since this has stated all sorts of problems have shown up, concerns, bad attached feelings, etc. But it’s sometimes hard to recognize what is caused by anxiety and what is an actual problem that showed up during this period of my life. All these things have just shown up in my life and I don’t know if they’ll just fade away as I recover or if they’ll still be there after I recover. It’s extremely confusing…

  610. Eliza Says:

    Hi All,

    This is just about me little old me this time around, I was very chuffed because I didn’t go A wall in the bank with anxiety and kept a professional front but I was chatting to my mother on the phone and I told her about having to make a bee line for the bank because they had messed up an on going payment to an outside recipient that was due an increase and was to start this month and the bank had mistakenly set it for December and my very together mother said are you sure it wasn’t actually for December and I could feel a little unease coming on and sure enough when I got home and looked at my diary it was in fact for December – I had gotten a rush of blood to head and totally forgotten, blanked arranging it for December – anyway I have just emailed the recipient who probably thought Xmas had come early, explaining my error. Okay it is a very minor incident and after I stopped being cross with myself about it – I thought I just really have to slow it down- I act when my anxiety is high – when I have a rush of blood to the head – basically in fight or flee mode, instead of slowing it down and allowing the anxiety to come down and that causes all my mistakes before I open my mouth or do anything just let the anxiety come down, sit with the anxiety and that is where I will be most powerful – because when I act it is from from the wrong place a very anxiety driven place so what other outcome could I expect as I set myself up for it to happen, so I need to make a move on this front.

  611. Tedder Says:

    Hey Daniel,

    Thanks for your well thought out feedback, I completely sense that you are on the right track! Also what you say about the chameleon nature of the anxiety in the form of the ever shape changing of the thought/feeling/sensation game, so that the bewilderment starts again, keeping you in the cycle; spot on how to approach this.

    Regarding the attitude/mentality though, I would love to understand and cultivate. Weekes speaks about a little seed of courage in the
    It of your stomach and she speaks of floating through the day.. You speak of understand, others of dancing in the rain, I can’t easily relate to that when I am in the midst of an overwhelming storm.

    Any suggestions are more then welcome and again if anybody feels invited to have a little chat that would be very welcome to me

  612. Horton Says:

    Paul says as you recover through acceptance you’ll get moments of normality. As you progress these moments will generally become more frequent. He also states that the “bad days will start getting less bad” and the “high points will get higher.” So the average of your happiness will be moving in an upward state, with the occasional set back causing a spike.

    Now my question for anyone who has had even an hour of normality through their progress is: How “binary” is recovery? Is it a ‘yes I normal’ or ‘no I am not normal’ sort of thing, or are there a lot of in between feelings? When you feel a moment of normality, how normal is it? I imagine you feel old feelings. Do you find your memories of your old life coming back, or is it like they never left, or does your past still seem far away? In that moment of normality does it feel like this never happened, or does anxiety still feel present in your life? Are their different levels of normality, like in the early months of recovery they’ll be only slight feelings of normality and they’ll get increasingly more normal as you recover?

    I’m not holding my breathe for even a second of normality at the moment, and that’s fine. I’m just curious what it’s like.

  613. Bryan Says:

    Mark/Daniel…

    File me in that same category. I’m in a long term recovery as well. Been at this a few years. I’ve seen much improvement but my condition still remains and at times as bad as ever. My setbacks are fierce. But there are perhaps less of them and the good times or stable times are more frequent. I see a light at the end of the tunnel but it s very slow for me. My body seems to have a hard time desensitizing. So, I will just keep at it.

    But yes, many of us need more time in recovery than others it seems.

  614. Lui Says:

    Thanks to some amazing advice on here I was able to put up the courage and meet up with a confident friend of mine after shying away from the friend for several weeks. :)
    I hope I don’t bother with some more questions my brain works as slow as an old engine.
    During the meeting I realized that I couldn’t laugh about anything my friend joked about.(I can’t feel any emotions in general.)
    I am also not really interested in the topics my friend talked about.
    I tried to cover up how I felt, forced myself to laugh and hid my anxiety.
    I am wondering how I should handle this. I have this with every person I meet up with.
    I guess the missing emotions, my seriousness/unability to find anything funny is due to anxiety again?
    What should I do about it?

  615. Jack Says:

    Hey everybody!

    Come asking for some guidance! I feel as if I am so close to recovery!! My only last final symptom/hurdle are these self doubt/annoying disturbing thoughts. Mainly saying “you don’t think people that never recovered felt this way?” And it’s so annoying!! I have had a large amount of moments of normality and have felt my old self many times, but I feel the only thing holding me back seems to be the thoughts and it’s my last symptom to go! Any words of advice from anybody would be great, thank you everybody and best of luck to everyone!!

    Jack

  616. lainie waller Says:

    Lui do nothing !

  617. Matthew Says:

    Jack

    I’m in the same boat as you! Have had many moments when I felt great! The doubt and intrusive thoughts are what’s holding me back from full recovery. But I think it’s all part if the process because it’s become such a habit to think it!

  618. Tedder Says:

    Horton,

    I felt some moments of normality this week and it was amazing after 2 bad years! All of the sudden there was contact with the world and the nasty veal disappeared.. Unfortunately it is very bumpy and soon afterwards lost all confidence again, bumpy huh?

    Today had a strange thing happening, I was a the barber feeling dreadful but somehow I starting allowing all the tension in me and just watching, it expanded at first seeming almost too much but then I somehow went into the feeling and then it didn’t control me so much anymore, it was still there but I was not threatened by it.. Does this sound familiar? I am afraid of using it as a technique again and then it won’t work..

    I would really appreciate if anybody can revert to my below question of yesterday:

    Regarding the attitude/mentality though, I would love to understand and cultivate. Weekes speaks about a little seed of courage in the
    It of your stomach and she speaks of floating through the day.. You speak of understand, others of dancing in the rain, I can’t easily relate to that when I am in the midst of an overwhelming storm.

    Any suggestions are more then welcome and again if anybody feels invited to have a little chat that would be very welcome to me

  619. Jack Says:

    Matthew my man I agree! It’s just so damn annoying! I know by seeing it all as apart of recovery is the way to go, it’s just so testing of my patience I sure you know… I guess we just keep on trucking my friend. But it’s nice to know we’re on the same page!

  620. chrissy Says:

    Havent posted in a while Was feeling a bit “funny” and wanted to re read some good posts from Nolan and Paul which always get me back to my journey of recovery.

    Suffer here for 15 years, did it all, every type of therapist, book, blog, herbal medication and nothing would of this awful feelings and thoughts. Well, until Pauls book. When I realized there is no instant relief. THe more I fought these thoughts and feelings the worse they became and they never left. I tried acceptance. Allowing. having these thoughts and feelings. Taking them with me..to work, to kids school, to a party. First it was awful…I was faking it, this will never last, this wont work, I am worse than them all, etc… You know all the anxiety thoughts and feelings. Anxiety tricks you. Its sneaky like that. Eventually I grew a “so what attitude’ So what I am anxious, So what I have a insanely scary thought? so what? Its my tired mind playing tricks on me. Enough of the self pity.Oh, I was good at this…poor me, if only I was “normal” if only I didn’t have these thoughts, If only I could get rid of them….I wasted a lot of of my life living in my head. Until I realized I was missing out on a lot. Eventually I told my anxiety/depression…well you can be there but I am stopping living. So I accepted them. Said hello to them sometimes. Realize yes I have depressed mood today..So? I am human. I can be sad today its not stopping me from going shopping. Yes I had a disturbing thought. its just a thought, so be it. I realized underneath this anxietyy, depression, self pity was a person who was stronger than them. Yes, for now we can live life together. THis may sound a bit strange. A bit “out there” or different, however, this method works. I feel like my old self. It doesn’t happen right away..Hey I suffered for 15 years I didn’t expect it to immediately disappear. However, I noticed the less attention I gave my anxious/depressed/disturbing thoughts and feelings that they starting to lessen in duration. THen eventually lessen in quantity. Days would go by and I had none. At last I had a life…thank you Paul. Acceptance is key. Allow. and have patience. Nothing is wrong with us. We are over sensitized and have this thing called anxiety. Your not the only one. So take your anxiety and go do something today…

  621. Lui Says:

    Oh I think I got it.
    I have to surrender to my anxiety and just let myself be awkward/quiet for a while because covering up my state and trying to hide all of this is fighting again.
    Eventually when my anxiety starts to fade I will be myself.

  622. Horton Says:

    I’m starting to have serious doubts that recovery is possible. I mean we’ve got people coming back to the website after 1, 2, 3 even 4 years after supposedly recovering. Meanwhile Paul never puts posts from anyone who has recovered on the blog or on his website or in his book. He always say “Here’s something from somebody who is on their way to recovery.” He claims he’s lost count of how many people he’s helped recover, but that sounds kind of flimsy to me. When he does include a piece of writing by somebody he considers “recovered” they’ve normally been recovered a few weeks/months tops, and as I said earlier people keep falling back into this after only a year of normality. But you might want to say Paul himself recovered. Well let’s see, he got GAD when he was 22 (although he sometimes says 25, which is a serious inconsistency which really bothers me.) He sometimes says he suffered 10 years before starting acceptance, he sometimes says he was suffering for GAD for 10 years before he recovered. And how recovered is he? He’s always going on trips and getaways, he never talks about anything he’s enjoyed like family, I see no indication that he’s recovered, save for his attitude towards anxiety and his understanding of acceptance, which let’s be honest, everyone else here also has.

  623. Jennifer Says:

    SarahS –
    Thank you for saying I am good with words, a lovely compliment.
    I have never thought about doing a blog no. Do you know anyone that has done that?
    Would still like to swap emails but Paul hasn’t managed to email me back yet to answer my question. Any other suggestions? unless you give me your skype name on here and then I can find you a message you my email address? just a thought.
    Getting rid of all the other anxiety stuff and focusing on just Paul’s and Claire Weekes stuff is what I did some years ago so know when I had this period, to do the same. Hard not to google when in a panic zone though.
    Its good you know this is a process and are facing your fears bit by bit and working your way through. I too am sleeping until around 4.30 each morning and its not great but I know my sleep will get better soon. My ears ring too and I remember that from last time.
    Its difficult not getting frustrated with the symptoms but that makes it worse and you are fighting so just trying to be happy with feeling a bit better over the last few days.

    Marek –
    I am glad what I wrote help you and some others hopefully. It helped me writing it and reminded me that I can feel better during 4 days off such strong anxiety.
    Mine this time was triggered I think my supporting someone very close to me who was having some panic attacks for the first time about something similar to what I before feared. I thought I was doing ok and then I woke up with heart palpatations, thought ‘Oh I know what this is, good old anxiety, I can handle you’ and tried to let all the symptoms in. Unfortunately I seem to unconsciously have the need to fight anxiety coming in without realising and really resist feeling bad. This is perhaps my defence mechanism which kicks in as perhaps I am avoiding painful feelings. Ironically.
    This is something I may explore with a qualified mindfulness therapist at somepoint when I am a little further along in recovering from this bout of anxiety. But for the moment, I just need to keep being patient with myself and allow all the good and bad feelings in and remember that your body really just naturally just waiting to heal from oversensitised/over-reacting nerves.
    We can feel more ourselves and better through Paul’s method, without therapy however, I stress.
    I hope that helps.

    Lui –
    I had/am having the same symptoms with regards avoiding meeting up with friends for coffee/not laughing with them and not being engaged and its soo hard and this was the worst killer symptom for me but yes you have to give up the fight and accept how you are feeling in order to feel better. It does get easier day by day. I just don’t want people asking if I am ok and noticing and I know I need to not care but I don’t want lots of people knowing about how I am feeling as they won’t get it.

    Sam – excellent post that really really resonated with me

    Chrissy – great post, thank you

  624. Eliza Says:

    My anxiety just popped up here in work and I handled it so badly – I looked for reassurance from a complete stranger and I feel disgusted with myself that I allowed myself to go there yet again. I have gotten into this habit of taking care of my anxiety in this way and it is crazy as it goes against my makeup as I am a reserved person, a little shy and I would rather embarrass myself, make a fool of myself and seek reassurance from another human being rather than feel my anxiety, my vulnerability, my insecurities as I do not have the confidence in my ability to handle them, accept them. My therapist David use to say to me if I could allow myself my feeling of anxiety in these situations and not look for reassurance I would get a great sense of self. I am still resisting doing it but a lot of other ways I use to take care of my anxiety that caused me great pain in my life I stopped which is wonderful but this one last habit I totally resist. I want to take this step and stop this habit for once and for all as it will allow me to circulate freely and confidently in the world. It will be wonderful to be finally free of it – to come home.

  625. Lui Says:

    Hey Jennifer thank you!!! This helps so much!
    I don’t want people to notice either, it’s really hard with people who I have known for years or which are friends/family of mine. They won’t get it and they will ask for sure what’s wrong.

    I understand that I have to give in to those feelings but at the same time I get told to speak to people, give my opinion on topics, get involved etc.
    This confuses me a lot. On the one hand I have to accept my quietness and on the other hand I should talk more often. How is that even possible?
    Maybe I’m thinking to complicated once again but I kind of don’t get it.

  626. Eliza Says:

    Horton,

    We are never going to be free of anxiety as we are emotional creatures so that is not possible and I am okay with that but where I coming from is that when the anxiety get evoked in me can I handle it, be able to stay in my skin, feel it, accept it without having to run away and hide from the world or use others to reassurance me about it or have to medicate it in some way. As it is not the anxiety I have a problem with, it is me, my lack of confidence in myself that I can handle my anxiety. Best wishes.

  627. Horton Says:

    Paul says that after he recovered he never had another disturbing thought or panic attack or depersonalized spell, etc. I think some of us have struggled with anxiety for our whole lives, like even before we fell into this most recent cycle. I know I have experience panic as well as obsessive/intrusive thoughts for my whole life before I got caught in this. Obviously all people who get to this point get here by worrying, stressing and generally being anxious. But some people might have just gone through an anxious time while others are just anxious people, right?
    In Paul’s case he seemed to not have experienced panic or disturbing thoughts until this started, so what if unlike him I will always experience these symptoms even after I’m out of this? And if I keep experiencing these symptom, won’t I fall back into the cycle? What I want to know is will this stop for me, even though I’ve been anxious. panicked and obsessive since I was a child. And was Paul (and other people who recovered and no longer experience anything) anxious prior to falling into the cycle?

  628. Daniel Says:

    Eliza I’m not sure if I agree with you that we will have anxiety for the rest of our lives. I mean in that case there wouldn’t be such a thing as recovery, there would just be coping and accepting. Anyone else have some thoughts on this topic?

  629. Gordy Says:

    Hi All
    This is my first post so please be gentle with me!
    When you have had anxiety on and off for a long period of time and you start to use Paul’s advice i.e. accept the feelings and move on with your day, is it expected to feel very odd doing this? When I have spent so long fighting the feelings it feels very strange to just let them be there. This makes me feel that I am giving up and will completely lose the plot! These feelings have all the more strength when my wife is at work and I am going out somewhere on my own with the kids, how can I not fight against it when I’m with them? It feels like if I don’t fight back I will lose it and they will be affected in some way. I know in my heart that this probably won’t happen (and never has when I’ve done things in the past while feeling bad) but how can I get it into my head? It seems to go against all natural instincts.
    Has anyone else experienced this?

  630. Jennifer Says:

    I agree with Eliza, but see all points
    Everyone is different but we DO all need and have anxiety otherwise we wouldn’t be worried about not getting up and going to work/college. What Paul is talking about on this website is when your anxiety has over-boiled and tipped over so that it is affecting your life and thoughts to the point that you really are overly anxious.

    People use this blog as well who just have a problem with some anxiety and may have had something reoccuring their whole lives but I don’t think anyone on here has been strongly anxious at the same level their whole lives.
    It peaks and troughs just like life, we go with the ups and downs. Same with depression, sometimes its triggered, othertimes people live alongside it or without it.

    One thing for sure is that whilst we may have anxiety, it never says the same, its always changes even if its the same thought or symptom, it gets better, worse and we can also change our attitude to it, so that its less of a problem.
    I personally would describe myself as fairly efficient and highly strung for example but this is a strength as it has allowed me to multi-task and achieve many things but it also can tip over into being too controlling/perfectionist.
    So periods of this anxiety remind me to let go of the rains of control and just let life happen. I don’t need to ‘do’ anything.

    So I would say Horton that I did experience anxiety before the cycle, but I was anxious about something that was going on, I think what many have in common on here is that the actual life problem is no longer the problem, the anxiety and fear of feeling anxious is the problem – the anxiety fueled cycle.
    Some talk about relationship worries etc, but anxiety about anxiety is perhaps more the common theme.

    So I stress, as someone who has fully recovered and will continue to do so everytime and anytime I have an anxious period, recovery really is less about not having anxiety and more about not worrying about worrying/having anxiety and this hard process gets you to a place where your body heals and feels is no longer needs to be anxious. Whilst you are still worried about anxiety, you will stay in the cycle. This takes time and when you can’t see clearly, its so hard to believe and understand.
    Your anxiety/panic is causing you to question everything, which is normal as this is what our anxiety does best. As you feel better you will see clearer this process and be better able to break the cycle.

  631. Jennifer Says:

    Lui – I found that when I felt really low the other day and couldn’t do anything about it, I just spoke to my family and friends whilst feeling low and accepted it. As the day/s went on I found myself naturally starting to talk more and more and become more interested in people and things that were going on. This came naturally and did not take long.
    Once I realised that people didn’t really notice that I was any different, it became easier. I found though that for a few days when I felt really bad, I only saw people who were close to me and knew I was struggling so that I felt supported. But I found that I did need to get out there and start talking to other people which was hard but got easier.

    If anyone says, you look tired or weary, which they sometimes did, I just said ‘yeah for some reason I am not sleeping great at the moment so I am really tired’ and left it at that.
    People make comments like that all the time and people look/act different from day to day and we don’t question it, so we shouldn’t worry about others think of us.
    Everyone is too wrapped up in themselves anyway….

  632. Eliza Says:

    Good to have your input Daniel and Jennifer. Best Wishes.

  633. Daniel Says:

    I am talking about anxiety disorders Jennifer, not simple anxiety. I do believe there is a difference. I am talking about getting to a point in which you no longer suffer from denationalization, lack of emotion, joy, intrusive thoughts, panic attacks, memory loss, depression, nausea and all the other symptoms. I believe acceptance and coping is important and makes living with anxiety so much easier, but it is also the way to recovery and return to a ‘normal’ state of life without all these symptoms.

  634. Beachgirl516@optonline.net Says:

    Horton you have to stop questioning why. You have anxiety (whatever form it comes in…OCD, depression, disturbing thoughts etc….). I have suffered for 15 years and nothing worked except Paul’s method. Am I recovered? Not yet but pretty dam close. You need to accept you have anxiety. Allow the thoughts they won’t harm you. You are not less of a person because of them

  635. Eliza Says:

    Daniel,

    When you say simple anxiety – in my opinion anxiety is anxiety -dress it up dress it down but there are no different types of anxiety, all those things you list like intrusive thoughts, panic attacks they all stem from the same place as you put it simple anxiety. There is nothing wrong with anxiety it is a good thing as it keeps us safe in dangerous situations but when we get anxious about being anxious and are reluctant to let ourselves feel it, take care of it, accept it, respect it we end up in constant flight or flee mode and that leads on to all the other problems you have outlined, I know as I have had most of them and it all began with a reluctance to feel my feelings, be with my simple anxiety. Best wishes.

  636. Bryan Says:

    Great posts Jennifer…

    Daniel nailed it, too. This is really simple in my opinion…

    Worry:

    “I have a test coming up and I’m stressing about it.”

    “I’m concerned I don’t love my girlfriend enough.”

    “My boss makes me nervous and I hope I don’t lose my job.”

    “I have a social event coming up in a few weeks and I hope it goes OK.”

    Anxiety disorder:

    -Flu-like symptoms
    -Depersonalization
    -Vomiting/nausea
    -Headaches/GI distress
    -Sweats/chills
    -Intense, intrusive thoughts, violent image, fearful foreboding tone to thoughts
    -Spontaneous panic attacks
    -Insomnia marked by intense worry/physical symptoms
    -Nocturnal anxiety/panic
    -Dizziness/head sensations
    -Obsessive thoughts which recur against our will, usually causing intense physical bodily reactions to those thoughts

    Etc. etc.

    See the difference? We’re always going to have some worry. I believe some people incorrectly categorize their worry as anxiety disorder, but that’s kind of irrelevant.
    To me, anxiety or panic disorder is classified by the bottom group of symptoms. It’s life altering and both mental and physical in nature. It may have STARTED with simple worry and life stress, but got into a cycle of worry/stress symptoms/worry until the body and mind gave way to pure exhaustion and an anxiety “state” which is something far different than simple worry about life events or occasional circumstantial anxiety.

    Humans cannot exist with the anxiety mechanism. Even perfectly healthy people may have the odd quick panic flash, or butterflies in stomach or some sweats when nervous. This is a normal part of our CNS. The disorder, which most of us here suffer with is something totally different and as Paul and scores of others have proven, NOT a life-long sentence and NOT remotely permanent.

    See, we spend our time on blogs talking to others in our exact same state. But, we fail to remember that 90% of the people who go through an anxiety spell never come on a blog. And 95% of the people who ever visited this blog don’t return after a while. Why? Because they got better. Whether by Paul’s method, other methods.. or maybe it just came and went. I have two family members (one blood, one not) who went through a year or so of intense anxiety… that left on its own without them doing a thing and never returned.

    So the DISORDER is not remotely permanent. For some of us though, clearly… it take more work, time and patience to return our bodies to the prior state of normal sensitization we had enjoyed before the run-up of stress/life events (etc) cranked things into such a state.

  637. Bryan Says:

    Jennifer,

    Good advice on how to handle dealing with “the public” as well.

    I agree, F them if they don’t like it. But, in some cases (i.e. the workplace) we may feel a bit uncomfortable talking of a mental health issue for fear of labeling or archaic thinking some people may still adhere to. So, the way I handle that in the workplace is to either say nothing if I don’t have to, or if I’m in a really bad state I may say to a trusted co-worker if they notice I’m dragging… “I’ve had some migraines and sleep issues lately, I think it’s stress-related.” BOOM… suddenly, everyone relates! “Oh, I get that too… I feel like I can’t sleep some nights… I’m stressed too… etc.”

    If you relate the condition as simple physical issues, possibly related to stress… you’ll be shocked at how people instantly relate. Everyone has stress. Everyone over the age of 20 has physical crap going on. Do we need to mention that we have panic or silly fear thoughts? No. Why bother.

    So, I say it’s insomnia and migraines which guess what… is NOT a lie. It’s a partial truth and they don’t need to know more than that.

    But largely, I’ve made it through 4 years of panic/anxiety disorder with a smile on my face at work and missing less sick days than most. So, no one there really has a place to question me about anything.

    But, for some if the condition involves missing work or struggling to get in, there are always ways to relay the information when necessary without divulging too much personal info, like you said, Jennifer.

  638. Lui Says:

    Thanks again Jennifer!
    This blog is awesome like the people on here!
    Thanks everybody I feel like I have made a huge step forward in the last couple of dayd:)

  639. Lenny Says:

    I found this site about four years ago and have been following since. This approach was difficult to apply for obvious reasons as we all know. About 18 months ago, I don’t remember how, I came across a type of therapy that falls in line with what Paul talks about. It’s called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). It has taught me how to accept my feels that I have fought against by focusing on my values and being committed to living according to my values. I highly recommend everyone look into ACT.

  640. Mark R Says:

    Bryan,

    Totally agree on the work thing. Say to someone you have a cold and you will be drowned in sympathy……tell them you have a mental health and they will look at you like you’ve run over their dog. I tell the people that matter…..ie family, friends and close colleagues at work if I need to. It’s all about how people can relate to it. Anyone who has ever suffered from anxiety will always give you sympathy as they know how dreadfully painful it can be.

    In terms of the other questions on here….

    We live in an age of anxiety and its part and parcel of everyday life. As Bryan pointed out there is a difference between natural everyday anxiety and a disorder. We can all live with a certain amount of anxiety and live a comfortable life. An anxiety disorder is an unnatural level of stress and makes life very difficult, this is what we need to recover from.

    Anxiety is not permanent either. Some have it for a short time and never suffer again, they are the lucky ones. Others, like myself have had it off and on for most of their lives. I have been recovered in between bouts though and life is so much easier. I wouldn’t waste any time thinking ‘Will it return’ or ‘What if I don’t recover’. As Clare Weekes said ‘If you are on the road to recovery, recovery is inevitable’ and the guidance on this site is certainly the right way. Even if you don’t make a full recovery you will get to a certain point where your symptoms don’t matter…..so who cares?

  641. Bryan Says:

    Horton…

    A better question to ask instead of questioning Paul’s background might be… what concerted, structured, committed plan have you put forth to recover?
    Have you been in therapy with an anxiety specialist? Have you committed to acceptance? Are you dedicating time every day to relaxation, exercise, spiritual work and or meditation? Have you read all of Claire Weekes’ work and committed it to memory? Have you cleaned up your diet?

    Have you totally committed yourself to the notion of pure and complete acceptance of your condition? Have you made your goal to be able to INVITE the symptoms to come on, and not react?

    I’m going to guess by your posts that you haven’t. I’m not being critical, but people learn 90% of their anxiety behaviors. We have to unlearn these things. If someone goes their whole life with anxious behaviors, they were either never taught to change them or never truly immersed themselves in the proper methodology to change it. (And I don’t mean throwing medicine at symptoms, I mean truly changing our thought process.)

    Claire Weekes opens Pass Through Panic by saying… first and most importantly…. “no matter how long you have been nervously ill, you can recover.. I assure you this.”

  642. Cassie Says:

    leave the guy alone you are all going to bring him back to panic mode. make your own blog or something. it makes me nervous reading this,a panic sufferer 20 plus years. read claire weekes from the library and save some money this guy is trying to make money off of an illness that can be cured with common sense

  643. Emma Says:

    Kevin,

    Thanks for your response. I can relate to not recognizing myself in the mirror and also the “life is meaningless” thoughts that you have had. When I was in the thick of anxiety I had these a lot and because I believed those thoughts and believed they were an indication of some type of truth, I sunk further into despair. The key is to soften to these types of thoughts and feelings. That’s what I’ve been trying to do with regard to the dp and anxiety spikes I’ve had lately. I’ve been using mindfulness to focus my attention on the present moment as opposed to giving my thoughts and the dp sensation attention and fuel. It seems to be helping despite the fact that my anxiety is cranked up higher than usual.

    Mark R,

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve hit a setback also. Perhaps consider trying some mindfulness. I’ve also been having a hard time lately, I’m really trying to let this run its course. I think the best course of action is to ride this like a wave. It’s so difficult, especially after having had a sustained period of remission. I’m with you when you say that it feels like setbacks are always lurking, even when I feel great I still feel vulnerable to the setbacks. When they come they are alarming. Mindfulness is teaching to sit with these emotions. If you click my name (highlighted in blue) it will take you directly to a YouTube clip of an expert in mindfulness (he was a monk for a while) talking about practicing mindfulness. He explains it beautifully. Hope it can help you during your setback.

    Matt,

    Have you come out of your setback? Mine is still there, I get this urge to figure it all out and think “why did this come back” and process all the possibilities, but I know that this type of rumination is a trap! I’m just trying to let this run its course. I know there is a difference between being recovered and being in recovery — I’m the latter which means there are inevitable setbacks. I just hope that they will stop at some point, they are a tad bit discouraging. I’ve been doing well and I was hoping I was in the home stretch, I’m still keeping faith though. I’m really happy to hear that you’re incorporating some mindfulness into your recovery, I think it will benefit you more than you know. Keep with it, try to commit to formal practice if you can. This setback is feeling a lot like the beginning of my other fierce setback in May, does it ever feel that way to you?!

  644. Cassie Says:

    who cares,right everbody?

  645. Rob Says:

    Well some of the hormonal, mineral/vitamin deficiency component of my anxiety is getting fixed and my rumination has actually gone down since getting on fixing this stuff. Probably goes back to the fact the MDMA, alcohol, and dehydration events threw all this stuff off.

    I know Paul doesn’t talk about the physical aspect as much but I would advise pretty much everyone to get all that stuff checked out. I have read a book called “The Magnesium miracle” where it states that a magnesium deficiency can cause or at least exacerbate anxiety/depression. When we get stressed out our bodies use up Mg and the more Mg depleted we are the more anxiety we get– A PHYSICAL vicious cycle like so many other cycles we are in! The author talks about getting an RBC magnesium test. Even B12 deficiency, vit D deficiency could cause depression. Even Zinc deficiencies could cause/exacerbate anxiety.

    Just thought I’d throw that out there in case it helps someone since nobody talks about the physical causes of anxiety on here. Even if you think you know your anxiety isn’t physical it can’t hurt to optimize this stuff right? And doctors don’t bother with this stuff either cause they didn’t learn it in med school + pharma companies push ADs/benzos/etc.

  646. Mark R Says:

    Cassie,

    I’m not sure of your point and who you are making it at?

    Emma,

    I’m into mindfulness, and have been for a few years now. I have a book by Andy Puddicombe and have been on his website, all good stuff.

  647. Emma Says:

    Mark R,

    That’s great! How are you feeling? Any relief from your setback?

  648. Ves Says:

    I have some insight in the last week. Actually process started earlier but just realized last week. I read a lot of stuff about mindfulness but i really struggle to understand what exactly means and specifically how do you achieve it. I just did not get it. Maybe it was language barrier maybe I was just in trance but I just did not get it. Then one day I was listening to Dharma talk on you tube and the guy said something like this: “Imagine you are driving beautiful mountainous road and when you reach to top, somebody asked you: So how was you drive? And you really did not know what to answer because you just did not felt or noticed anything special while you were driving 60km an hour. So you decided next time to walk that stretch of 10 km. And then something happened. You actually started seeing things. You saw beautiful trees, birds singing, grass along the road, clouds…you just had totally different experience then when you were driving. So we have to slow down. That is only way that we would experience life in full. And when you slow down it is easier to become mindful. Because you have that extra space to experience things around you.

  649. Matt Says:

    Emma,

    I don’t know if I am out of my setback or not, to be honest. I had that horrible DP, but then went away for a day on Tuesday, and I knew that again, anxiety was tricking me. I had the flu on Wednesday, so I just stayed home, and had little anxiety.

    Today was a major turning point for me, I feel. I basically had the same feelings as I did last Friday, because the DP/intense anxiety shoot me hardcore. However, this time, I was kind of resigned to having it happen, but I also paid attention to what I’ve read here and in the mindfulness trap. This time, for one of the first times, I earnestly didn’t care about my anxiety, and kept reminding myself that I need to teach my brain (amygdala) to stop fearing anxiety, which can only be done experientially. So, today in class when I was having my normal awful feelings (dizziness, worry that something bad is going to happen, worry i’m going to pass out, shallow breathing, dry mouth, weird feelings) instead of just trying to hang on to myself and thinking about the minute I could get out of class, i just allowed them to be there. I didn’t fight them, worry about them, I just reminded myself that they weren’t going to hurt me, and that no matter how bad I felt, I was not leaving the class and I was not freaking out about it. I really really really wanted to teach my brain today that this anxiety doesn’t matter, mostly because I have no other option. The only way I can decrease anxiety at this point is to leave school, and that’s not happening. So anyway, what happened? Well, obviously nothing. I didn’t escalate into a full blown panic attack, and I literally went from a 9 in anxiety to probably a 5 after an hour. I had class all day, and even though I felt mostly dizzy this whole day and just off, in my heart I just didn’t care and wasn’t worried about it. It was pretty liberating to really just feel like it didn’t matter, even if I felt that off. It finally felt like I was doing something that Paul described in his book.

    So again, I don’t really know if I’m out of my setback, but I feel I’m stronger because of it, since the more I go through anxiety, the less I care about it. I think that if I can keep this type of not-caring up, I will eventually become recovered, but even if I don’t, I functioned almost 100%, even with intense anxiety.

    Anyway,

    I hope that you will be doing better soon, but you already know the way out! Just remember that even if you have anxiety, it really doesn’t have to affect your quality of life unless you let it. If you just don’t worry about the symptoms, then they don’t really don’t get in the way! Of course, if you do, that’s okay too! And thanks for all the mindfulness help, I think it’s really been beneficial, along with the happiness trap. I’ve finally just accepted how normal it is to have negative horrible thoughts, and it’s just the attachment we have to them that is the problem. Mindfulness is definitely the way through that.

  650. Rob Says:

    I might have asked something like this before but don’t really remember. I used to be really really good at the sciences–chemistry/physics/bio/math etc. But now with this anxiety it feels like I have completely forgotten this knowledge.

    I mean, I haven’t done a chem or physics problem since June and as I am recovering I am finding myself getting back my motivation for this stuff which is good. However, I am having trouble determining what knowledge I have forgotten as a result of anxiety or the knowledge I would have normally forgotten after having been away from this stuff for so long. I mean all this stuff feels really distant to me and I hate this “distant from past” feeling. I am getting a bit anxious over this forgetting knowledge and I am worried that I will have to do a massive review of all this.

    I have time for that as I am taking a semester break but still this feels like “starting over” to me and I don’t want to start over my life. Even when I did not have anxiety I always refused to start over any assignment or especially a writing assignment. Even my writing skills are pretty much gone and although as a science major I don’t need them as much I want them completely back to the level they were at before. I want it to be as continuous as possible. With normality, I want all my knowledge/personality back I don’t want anything missing from my recovery.

  651. Karen Says:

    Why oh why can’t I do this? I know what I need to do, I know all my symptoms are anxiety, I know the only way forward is acceptance and yet I still find myself despairing and constantly thinking about how bad I feel and how tired I am from my insomnia. I try really hard to just get on with it but I feel trapped and frustrated I can’t seem to accept. It sounds so simple. I use mindfulness, I know I need to stop going over my feelings. I have all the information I need, had some fabulous advice from you all but I know I am still not getting it. How do you not care about feeling bad! Two hours sleep etc etc.I then get those horrible intrusive depression thoughts about why bother etc etc. ….. I am sure you know what I mean.
    Jennifer I have similar trouble about work as you, but am working through it. I would be really happy to chat about this. I have put a comment on Pauls facebook page on his latest post so you can message if you like.
    Sorry to be here again. I know there is nothing new anyone can say but it just helps to knoiw others are the same. I frustrate myself so I am sure I am frustrating you.

  652. Mark r Says:

    Emma,

    I had two 3 pretty bad suffering days Monday to Wednesday which were intense and felt myself in that deep setback hole which we all know and love.! Thursday was a million million times better so I feel like I’m at the tail end of it. I still feel pretty crap though and its back at the forefront of my mind again. Its annoying when you feel that youve reached a certain level and passed all the bad stuff it returns briefly. What usually happens is it dies down and I lose interest in it so its about being patient (as always)! How are you going?

    Matt,

    Thats an awesome attitude, sounds like you’re doing the right things. I know how difficult it is to carry on with life stuff when feeling very anxious.

    Karen,

    I think all of us have been where you are and it is so frustrating to say the least! From an outsiders point of view it sounds like you’re trying to accept to make yourself feel better. Rather than do that just accept that you feel terrible and knackered from no sleep but just go about your business. Don’t worry about not caring at the moment, this will come in time. Its not easy not caring when you feel like total crap but when you start to get interested in other things it will be easier.

  653. lainie waller Says:

    just to let you all know i am having some amazing moments of peace after a few weeks of hell x

  654. Daniel Says:

    Rob,
    I’m not too much help, in that I am not too far recovered. But, as you know, I share your feelings and fears to a T.
    All I can say is, if these feelings of separation from you past and a discontinuity of your life started with your condition, then you will not experience them after you’re recovered. As you know, old feelings, thoughts and joys can feel so far away, sometimes they’re impossible for me to remember or even imagine. But we know for a fact that those feelings will come back. Paul mentions a hundred times throughout the book “old feelings return” or “your old self returns” as you recover, so I see no reason why our feelings of continuity will not return.
    I recall a dispute you and I had on this particular topic, in which you said that when you recover you simply won’t mind or worry about your lost past, but I argued that it must return to be consider a full recovery. I truly believe recovery is more like resuming you life with more appreciation, strength and understanding rather than starting anew. As Paul says, there is no permanent damage to who we are.
    So do not worry about these feelings, just like you do not worry about any other symptoms. It is upsetting to feel disconnected from your past, but is also upsetting to feel panic, or to be unable to sleep, or feel disconnected to your present through depersonalization. What I’m trying to say is, don’t worry about how you feel/think at the moment and really have faith that all these things you’re experiencing will not be there when you recover. And that is advice I really need to follow myself lately, regarding the exact same issue. Don’t worry about how you feel today, and definitely do not worry about the future because you’re gonna be alright.

    P.S. I may have mentioned this to you before, but during my last moment of normality things I had forgotten came back to me, like really good, old stuff. Your mind really can work wonders, both bad and good.

    laine,
    Really great to hear! Hold on to those moments, no matter how fleeting they may be, because they just confirm what we already know: You are perfectly capable of feeling like your old, happy self!

  655. Ves Says:

    @Karen
    Don’t be harsh and judgmental on yourself. If your best best friend is in your position would you be saying those words that you are saying to yourself. No, You would be very compassionate to your friend. You are good human being, it is all good. Your purpose is good in this life. Just sit and do nothing. relax, make cup of tea and enjoy every sip. smell the aroma of the tea. and then relax again. and every moment do something relaxing for your body and mind.
    And you say ” it’s sound so simple”. and that is fantastic insight. it is simple, but our mind out of long time habit, are making it complicated. you are on right track.

  656. Matt Says:

    Bryan,

    Great posts, and spot on!

    Mark R.,

    Honestly, it’s hard, but if you can fully accept, carrying on through life isn’t as bad as I thought. I’m expecting a setback from this attitude soon, but hopefully I can maintain it. When I’m not freaking out or hating my symptoms, my days actually don’t suck that bad, even if I feel all out of it. It’s kind of cool, in a weird/odd way.

    I feel like for myself, no matter how early on I had Paul’s information, it was going to take me time to get through this, because I had to experience every symptom multiple multiple times to become less afraid of them. No matter how much I knew it couldn’t hurt me, I had to experience for myself that when I feel that way, I don’t die. I think I’m finally getting to a point where it’s happened enough that I just don’t care, and it’s either I start retreating from life due to the symptoms, or I go through it with them willingly. I’m picking the latter, and hoping it’s going to work out! But it’s definitely not easy when your body/mood/symptoms fluctuate so much, and that takes a lot of practice and patience to get used to and understand.

    Anyway, thanks for your comments on this blog!

  657. Tedder Says:

    Dear Mark R and Bryan and others,

    I am having a tough bout again, including the ‘why bother’ fellows… And felling very intensely “off” , many fearful thoughTs.. I want o have the attitude to slice through this murky stuff and just carry on. I have had some good days this week and feel encouraged but somehow I think I get trapped by the sheer intensity of the sensations thinking that ‘this is really some severe depression that needs professional attention, and now!”.

    Do you just “so what” the thought and heavy feelingt and carry on? Can we handle it all? At what stage do you have to be ‘kind to yourself” and take a Xanax and try to mediTate or something? How do you engage the Right attitude in these crucial moments? And what is this attitude?

    Also somebody mentioned slowing down, I think that is also very important as I am now constantly trying to follow Paul’s advise by doing a lot during the day but in a tense way..I don’t make time tochill out as that makes me nervous and I. CAnt chill. How do you bring more peace in your day? Lastly I notice that I am by critical about my performance and usually have a negative judgment of how I performed at work etc.

    Your feedback is, as always, very valuable to me

  658. Tedder Says:

    Just as a side remark: I truly feel privileged to be part of this blog, which I feel is, together with Weekes and Paul’s work, a lifesaver. I think that what’s going on here is a unparallelled and cutting edge anxiety treatment. I feel the compassion of you guys and so enjoy your wisdom, I feel that you are all highly sensitive and smart people . Strangely enough many a time I feel so much better and calmer after visiting the blog. Big hug to all!!!

  659. SarahS Says:

    Hi all – such fab helpful posts from such lovely people.

    It’s a little trickster isn’t it this anxiety! When calm we know just what to do but when in a state oh it’s soooo tricky. I feel like all sense has upped and left me. I remember last time I felt awful about 4 yrs ago I ended up thinking ok well from tomorrow I am going to just get on with my day no matter how I feel. And I did, no more time off sick and onwards and I did slowly but surely. I find I can easily get wrapped up in words and the need to accept whereas I realise it’s more of an attitude. I also don’t want to upset parents by letting them know I’m not feeling too good.

    I think I’m moaning here!

    Jennifer- yes you have a knack with words your posts are lovely to read. Many others too of course! I also feel really strongly that the word needs to get out there and go practices should know what we know. I even thought of raising money to buy enough Claire weekes books to go round every practice in the country lol! So thought if you created a blog it might spread the word and media may catch in etc. I’m just rambling not pressurising.

    I don’t have Skype but wud like to email v much. Could we remind Paul do you think?

    X

  660. Tedder Says:

    Hi SarahS, right on! I actually did send some Paul David and Weekes references to therpists, so far no response… I get the idea that perhaps it is not considered ‘evidence based’ enough.. And is not included in their curriculum…

  661. Val Says:

    Agree Rob about magnesium,Vit d,B complex…….I take them and eat a banana every day…..very important. Also Omega 3 fish oil. Best wishes, Val

  662. Val Says:

    Hi Emma…can relate to your feelings and setback…..best wishes…positive vibes…..Val

  663. Rob Says:

    @Daniel

    I have actually had moments of what I would say is “normality” but I still felt this distance from the past. However, during these moments I was on my occasional 1-2 times a week benzo so maybe its because this sense of normality is artificially created and not real recovery.

  664. Ves Says:

    @Tedder
    How do we chill out? How much time do we spent each day for personal hygiene? We shower, take bath, shave, comb hair…..some people spent more time, some people do it less ..but at we all do it. Now, question: How much time do we spent for our mental hygiene during the day? None. That’s the key for chilling out. If we spent 1 hour a day for personal hygiene then we should try to spend at least 1-2 hour a day for our mental hygiene. 20-30 minutes for morning meditation, 20-30 minutes for evening meditation, 1/2 hour walking in the park, 30-40 minutes yoga/swimming/listening to the music and if we do it every day then we should start developing new habits after just 8 weeks.

  665. Lui Says:

    When letting off the tension while in the feared situation, is there anything big happening?
    As soon as I release some of the tension I get beat up by anxiety and I feel like I completely loose myself and turn into a different person. It feels like loosing control over the whole situation.
    Is this really happening?

  666. Tedder Says:

    You’re right Ves, I think the structure itself already provides for less anxiety/tension, I am in the process of implementing more structure including meditation that always helps, and more sport.

    Anybody comment on my attitude query?

  667. Horton Says:

    I often have this feeling which really scares me. I feel that recovery won’t be enough. Like when I’m old self and have my old feelings I will resent them, like they weren’t worth all the suffering and time I put up with. I feel like everything from old life has been ruined for me, like they mean nothing to me anymore, or worse I am disgusted by them.
    I know the general idea is to ignore how you’re feeling at the moment, but I can’t imagine myself embracing that old life even post recovery anymore.
    It’s one of those days where I am good about accepting and going about my day, not letting the bad feelings bother me. On days like these recovery seems possible, but even on days like these I don’t see the point anymore. After all the bitterness and heartbreak this has caused me, I doubt my old life will suffice.
    I just don’t think it’s worth it.

  668. Bryan Says:

    Horton,

    That’s the anxiety talking. Very common and expected. Do what Paul suggests and those false feelings will evaporate in time.

  669. lainie waller Says:

    norton i assure you moments of normality is indeed worth it its HEAVEN XXXX

  670. Bryan Says:

    Tedder,

    Well I can’t claim to have a perfect attitude during my setbacks, that’s for sure. But in response to your question I can tell you that the goal of mine has become to allow it all to be there, even a bad day and even if I have a bad response to a bad day. Does that make sense? What I mean is, being human we are rarely going to react perfectly to every bad day that comes our way. Some days we just won’t be able to act with pure acceptance as well as other days. Maybe we will fight or seek reassurance etc. obviously the goal is not to do those things, but at the peak of a bad setback our thought process isn’t right or we don’t act perfectly, I try to just factor that into the recovery process. Because that way, we can just let it go. We had a bad day, we didn’t do our best, next time we will try to just let it all be in carry it with us and learn from it.

    Claire Weekes says “practice … Never test.”

    (and as a sidenote, I am not a fan of taking benzo’s at all. Had a very bad experience and know others who have. Just my opinion, but I do not recommend it.)

  671. Kevin Says:

    Horton,

    I felt the exact same way. Now i dont think about going back to my old life. Theres nothing wrong with change. Embrace anything. I am only looking forward. My old life is what brought me here anyway, i dont need it. New feelings will come and thats fine

  672. Horton Says:

    Thanks Bryan and Lainie,
    Like I said it’s hard to imagine from where I am at the moment. I keep hoping a moment or normality will come, so I can know that “I am perfectly capable of feeling like my old, happy self!” To quote Daniel.
    I guess I just need to put faith in acceptance and myself, no matter how little results I see.

    Also, speak for yourself Kevin. And try and tell that to Rob, Daniel or anyone else.

  673. Tedder Says:

    Hi Bryan,
    Thanks for your feedback! Your comments are at The heart of what one of my favorite spiritual writers, Jeff Foster, teaches. He says that even the non acceptance is accepted within the vastness that we are.. As it is all allowed in the same “room”..

    And your way of accepting or not fighting/seeking reassurance is by just carrying on what you planned to do for the day or anything else? Feel the nasty feeling, be mindfull of the thoughts?

    Thanks again.

  674. Jennifer Says:

    After a better few days, feeling really horrible and crap again today, all wound up with too much anxiety which I wake up with every morning.
    Appetite gone again and it feels like I am back to square one again, which I know I am not but I just feel like the hill is too big to climb back to myself. I feel like how much longer do I have to tolerate such strong physical anxiety symptoms and the answer is probably that it will be for as long as I continue to dislike them. They will continue to be there for as long as my body feels threatened by anxiety and stays in the cycle, but of course I feel threatened, when such a strong inappropriate false alarm emotion has meant that

    I do realise that I won’t always feel this way and that I have had moments and hours of calmness, but this is just so frustrating.
    Having a friend round for coffee today, I thought, right I won’t avoid it, so she came and I felt myself all anxious and trying to not appear anxious and getting on with the conversation. It did die down a bit over time and I managed 2 hours just me and her, which I was a bit worried about, so I was pleased. But feeling really sorry for myself as all I want to do is enjoy life again, just like Horton and others are saying.
    DP has kicked in as well as expected and that alongside strong anxiety is such a wonderful combination…not!
    Just want to feel engaged with my family again but know this may take time and will come back but by bit, but I want to feel better now! there in lies my problem
    I feel like a child who wants to throw my toys out of the pram

    I am trying to get the right mindset and let it be

  675. Jennifer Says:

    SarahS

    I very much related once again to all of your post.

    Out of interest, do you/have you also struggled in talking like your normal self to people/your friends and family whist feeling bad? or did it not affect you in that way

    I have emailed just now and reminded Paul so hopefully we will hear back.
    It would be good to have contact with someone who experiences anxiety in a similar way as I have never had that.

    I too feel very strongly and have done for years about creating more awareness about Paul David’s website and book and have given it out to people and doctors when I have seen them and spoken about it.
    Its a lovely idea for every practice to have one of Paul’s or Claire’s Weekes book. Both are brilliant and so needed. All I keep coming across is CBT stuff as usual and I really don’t need to be thinking any more deeply and setting myself tasks, I am practising teaching myself that I don’t need to worry about anxiety again, not making a bigger issue of it.

  676. Emma Says:

    Thanks Val, for your well wishes. Xx

    I can’t tell whether or not the setback is lifting, just feeling generally “off” with some dp/brain fog and not feeling myself. I think one of the hardest parts is that winter is coming and winter is generally a depressing season, last winter I was in the thick of my anxiety so I tend to anticipate the same will happen this year which worries me. Hoping this setback will lift, it’s manageable at the moment but I don’t want it to get any worse — this is where my fear of depression surfaces. I’m just going to continue using mindfulness and hopefully this will lift before it gets any worse. Xx

  677. Daniel Says:

    Actually sounds like you’re doing well Jennifer. We all get those frustrated feelings when we kind of just get fed up of having to do this. Don’t beat yourself up over your own impatience. You’ll go back to accepting and getting better soon after you get impatient. I know I get the most impatient when I don’t see results, but I need to remind myself that patience is almost all it takes to get better.

    As for depersonalization, it is incredibly surreal and scary at times. But after a while it becomes one of the easiest things to ignore. It’s also the part I have the least difficulty talking to my family about, don’t know why exactly, maybe because I have some non-anxious family members who went through DP. Either way, roll with the “drunkeness” for now.
    I tend to repeat myself a lot, but I had anxiety (GAD) for 10 years before recovering. (Just so we’re clear, my first recovery was without Paul’s methods, acceptance or any knowledge of what anxiety even was or that I had it. I had assumed all the feelings/thoughts I had was normal.) Rather than getting stuck in the cycle by worrying about the feeling, I got stuck in it by believing every false thought and feeling my sensitized nerves put me through. Anyway, when I recovered (without meaning to) I remember how surprised I was at how delicious everything tasted to me. And then I really was surprised with how good everything felt, tasted, smelled, etc. What I’m getting at is, I was depersonalized for many years without realizing it, meaning it is something that can be put aside for the time being, and when you are recovered it’ll be a real treat to really involve yourself with the world around you again, you might even enjoy it more.

    A related question to everyone,
    I try to look at my anxious state as ‘okay/alright/fine for the time being,’ but I do always look forward to recovery. How can you not, right? Sometimes I’m concerned that I look forward to recovery to much. I mean I am getting in the mindset that “this is okay for now” but I always have that hopeful feeling that “one day you’ll feel as great as you did when you first recovered, maybe even better, and you won’t have to settle for anything less.”
    So what I am asking is, I am fine with not being fine at the moment. And I take joy in the fact that this will not always be the case. Both which Paul recommends, but is looking forward to recovery counter-intuitive?
    Been wondering that for a while. Curious if anyone has an opinion or experience on this matter.

  678. Jennifer Says:

    Thank you Daniel, I am glad its sounds like I am doing better as it doesn’t feel like it, but you know, that’s the anxiety talking. Really helped reading your response.
    I also think I maybe forget things/repeat myself/don’t seem with it and seek reassurance on this but my family say I seem to managing fine.
    Which is good.
    If only people knew what pain and horrible symptoms you have everyday, ay!
    Feel like I deserve a pride of Britain award…too far?
    I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

    In answer to your question, I think looking forward to recovery is fine. We need a motivation to help us pull through those bad days. Definitely do not over think that or beat yourself up. It sounds like you are giving yourself patience and time but just with a hope to move forward with it. Which we all need. Recovery creeps up on you and you do feel great, I remember it well.

  679. lainie waller Says:

    emma you are wanting your anxiety to go away so much. that is not accepting. accept and it will fade its the only way . xxxxxx

  680. Janet Says:

    Hallo everyone
    I am a 63 year old Grandma and have never done this before. When I was a teenager I had unrecognised panic attacks and fought through on my own. This May, after years of all sorts of stress (never admitted to) anxiety hit me in spades! Being 63 and vaguely computer literate I did lots of research on the subject having been checked out by my GP just in case the palpitations (never experienced before in my life) did mean something different. All was well apart from the ongoing anxiety symptoms made harder by the fact I live in Somerset and each week travel either to Sheffield or Surrey to look after my grandchildren for two days at a time; lots of driving and the fact I’m hiding the whole thing from the world (except my husband) – anyway, I bought Paul’s book which is great to dip in and out of and my strategy is “let it all happen to you and don’t fight it”. This I am managing though I’m sure, like all of you, there are days when you think “is this ever going to end????” Paul says give it time; let your body rest and recover; how do I do this? Surely he doesn’t mean sit around and do nothing? Does he just mean to let all the feelings happen and then gradually, gradually your body will recover? I know that anxiety runs in my family, on my father’s side. Could this be partly why this has now happened to me? I’d welcome any input. I know I shouldn’t say this but it’s truly comforting to know that I’m not the only one !!

  681. Eliza Says:

    Hi Bryan,

    I maybe wrongly or rightly noticing a twinge of superiority on the anxiety front from you. Like your sentence about worry is not the same as having the anxiety symptoms you outline now as someone who was hospitalised twice with an anxiety disorder I can tell you I don’t feel superior on that front at all and wouldn’t dream of talking down to people on this forum who seem to have a inferior anxiety to mine -they may not have had to run the full gauntlet of anxiety like I did but at the end of the day we are all here to help one another. I wouldn’t have been able to come on this Forum at the height of my illness I was too unwell – I am in a totally well state now and it is just one final step I have to take on the anxiety front and with support I will as I have done all the major hard work to have arrived here.

    Hi Cassie,

    Good to have a strong woman on the blog and good for you standing your ground and speaking up for Horton. I know I went on and on about things and I sometimes still do and it was the people that stood in that space with me and accepted me constantly repeating myself like a worn out record that meant so much to me when I couldn’t do it for myself. So keep up the good work.

    Hi Ves,

    Thank you for your very useful suggestions about the mental hygiene. You are so right you know – I am very sporty and do a lot of exercise and I must get the balance right now with mind and body – definitely will do some of your suggestions. Even just to come home and sit for a few minutes and acknowledge you have arrived I find helpful.

    Weekend was great Saturday – and Sunday I fell back I go into a very silly and draining conversation and as it went on my anxiety was rising and rising and I felt more and more out of my depth and eventually my common sense broke through and I physically removed myself thankfully. I know what to do when my anxiety overwhelms me and I have done it so powerfully and beautifully in other areas of my life that were a real struggle to overcome and there was huge resistance just as there is now but I can do it, I will do it and I on route to doing it. Taking back my power.

  682. SarahS Says:

    Hi Jennifer and all

    I relate 100% to your post too. Isn’t it tricky this anxiety business? I am up and down moment to moment at the moment with some days better than others. They are usually in the afternoons or evenings or days when not much on and can be with family without too much effort. My attitude also goes up and down from thinking well I’m not going to die, feel terrible, the way I feel now is just how I’m supposed to feel. To all the things you’ve said oh I want to enjoy life, what isn’t it going etc. I’m also flicking off the fears I have and any bit of bad news about illness etc is like an electric current if fear going through me. However I’m also trying to drop safety nets, face up to fears and sticking with how I feel so maybe i am doing the right things after all?
    I have the difficulty talking to people big time yes as not myself Nd just want to end the conversation. Appetite and sleep up and down. But still almost grateful for bringing the anxiety on again as I get the chance to face it and move forward. X

  683. SarahS Says:

    Pa I’m also very impressionable I feel. If my family are strong and ways around me it helps lots or if I see words that I relate to, say on here, I start to pick up, sometimes immediately with almost no symptoms left! But if someone were to tell me how awful all this must be for me or bad news I seem to go back to square one. X

  684. Rachel Says:

    Does anyone else feel that they are moving swaying when lay down x

  685. Daniel Says:

    @Rachel
    Dizziness, nausea and motion sickness are all pretty prevalent in my case. I think it’s actually one of the most common physical symptoms. I had a pretty rough night the day before yesterday in that regard. It’s really unpleasant, but I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Not playing it down, or being condescending, I just think physical symptoms (as unpleasant as they are) can been ignored and coped with better than emotional symptoms.

    Personally , I’m having one of those days where I just want some reassurance. The kind of day I come here and ask a question, expecting an answer that’ll make me feel better. Although I’m asking less questions lately, because I’m starting to recognize I ask them as a means of seeking some kind of relief. Also, lately I have been getting some discouraging answers which completely throw me off course, so I’m going to avoid asking as many question lately and wait to get my answers from my own experience.
    Anyway, that’s what’s going on with me. I’m losing a bit a lot of faith, but I’m sticking with the program anyway. It’s only been 3 and a half months, I can’t expect any visible progress in such early stages.

  686. Sara Says:

    Hi Emma,

    Reading your post was like I was typing this myself, havent been on here for months as been feeling good and just getting on with my life. Accepting that anxiety may creep in but not letting it phase me, I know it can do no harm to me, it is ME that allows it to heighten and stop me living the life I want. But….yes there’s a but, its that time of year again. And I don’t know why it gets to me, as I love Christmas and I love the cosy nights in with the family. But in the past around this time of year my anxirty has always built up, so its like I’m expecting it to happen again. I still sit there with the feellings and dont allow them to stop me doing anything, but theres still that nagging anxiety chatting away to me that “You can’t handle it” “You’re going to go mad and out of control” All of which I know won’t happen but still I allow it to be part of my thoughts. I know its a vicious circle which only I can break but its so frustrating !!

  687. Julie Says:

    Sara, I am exactly the same. My anxiety began in Nov 2012 after what happened with my brother and my son had a sudden emergency operation. Then last November my sister got intouch which opened up alot of wounds and I struggled with anxiety again, which led to my intrusive thoughts and a terrible time. I am having some stress in my life at the moment and I am noticing my anxiety rearing it’s head and trying to get to me even more. I love Christmas, I love our cosy family winter evenings yet at this time of year it all begins for some reason but for me there is always a true cause.

    I have all the nasty intrusives that I could go crazy, could lash out, could hurt myself or my family………. all the usual ones rear their heads.I just have to let them in and carry on cooking the tea, carry on taking my kids to their clubs………. it does pass but it’s also a good thing that i can see stress causes my anxiety to flare up and I think that’s right for many of us, if you think about it there is always a reason it flares up. Mindfulness daily, yoga, I also weight lift, I eat very healthy and take magnesium. I hate being on my meds, I always worry they cause my condition but deep down I know it isn’t the right time to wean off. I have been feeling better than I was earlier this year so why rock the boat.

    I hope everyone is doing better. It’s good to see old faces here when I pop in, and seeing you all with good advice for others.

  688. Bryan Says:

    Eliza,

    “Superiority?”

    I’m not sure where you come up with such nonsense. In fact my prior post was about admitting that sometimes we can’t be perfect and bring OK with that.
    It’s very human to struggle with wanting to be perfect during recovery. I made it clear that I struggle even to this day.

    I’m not sure why you chose to misrepresent my very simple and supportive post but perhaps you need learn to read more effectively before you start casting judgment upon people. If you want to pick fights with people, this isn’t the place for it.

  689. Bryan Says:

    Tedder,

    Thanks for the kind words and I haven’t read Jeff Foster but I will check into his work. Sounds interesting. It’s hard to try to implement because we just weren’t taught to incorporate a little failure into what we do in life very often. When analogy I might use is that of a financial institution. If you look at the bank or finance company, they all realize that theft and fraud will account for certain amount of losses every year. So, they actually write this into their business plan. Of course they try to minimize it, but large banks know that each year they will lose X percent to fraud and theft. So, they make it part of their plan, they write it into their numbers and then MoveOn and successfully find ways to run a profitable business. (Despite knowing that there will be a certain amount of negative impact from those factors.)

    Now I realize none of us are probably fans of huge financial institutions, but there is some think I think we can learn there. What if we all just realized that during recovery they were going to be times when we didn’t react perfectly? So many of us are perfectionists and we beat ourselves up when we don’t perform properly, even during anxiety recovery. I’m trying to implement the attitude myself that there are just going to be occasional days where I don’t let it all be there as well as I would prefer. But instead of adding extra stress about not accepting the stress, I just tried to say well that wasn’t a great day but I know that’s going to happen from time to time. Maybe someday I will reach 100% acceptance rate now I’m trying to allow that I won’t always perfectly. I feel like this allows me to get away from a setback more quickly after it happens. I’d be very interested to hear Paul’s take on the whole concept at some point.

    As far as how I get on with my day, it’s just by trying to concentrate on the normal things I need to do. I keep busy and attempt to keep my mind on external things. I don’t really have any specific solution for how I do it, I just try to keep pointing forward. Sometimes it may be a really hard day and I need to talk about it and vent for few minutes, so if that’s the case I allow myself to do it and then try to move on with more productive things. Like I said, even a few years into this and having seen improvement I’m still learning every day. That’s why I visit this blog and read all of the brilliant advice from those who have done this before and are doing this right now.

  690. Eliza Says:

    Bryan,

    I used the words maybe wrongly or rightly before I completed my sentence so it was left to you to confirm what you had meant, I didn’t find you clear and I am not going to tell you to write more effectively as that would be silly starting a row which is not my intention, so now you have made yourself clear it’s fine with me – over and out. I have explained where I was coming from and you have explained from your side so neither of us need to take this particular discussion any further as that would be just a waste of time for both of us as we are on here to support one another not for bickering –
    I really wish I had been an argumentative person growing up – my problem was I turned the other cheek too readily. Anyway best wishes to you, if there is anything positive I can help you with, just let me know.

  691. Kyle Says:

    Does anyone have a copy of a letter to myself they could send me? I cant find it online and the site says that it is under construction! Been feeling pretty good lately and I am much more upbeat and social as well as optimistic and just get on with my days. I do have some down times but they do pass. I am still not normal but through all this acceptance I find myself just being okay with not being normal which leads me to forget about the condition all together. Its only at those times when I feel good and then start to question if I will go crazy that I fear it all coming back and I get anxious. But things are looking up even when I feel off. But if anyone could send me a copy that would be really great! also, does anyone experience a sensation where it feel slike your brain is just thinking of random things all on its own? My mind seems to have a mind of its own which I cant control. Does anyone else experience this? Its not worrying racing thoughts but more of just constant randomness. Almost like a radio is on in my head that I cant stop.

  692. Rachel Says:

    Daniel
    Wish I could just pass off these physical symptoms if only it were that simple so very hard when you feel like that all day every day x

  693. SarahS Says:

    Really good post Bryan! I think you help people a lot. We are perfectionists and too self critical. For example tonight I’m doing shop bought fish pie and frozen veg for the family. Shocking! But stuff it I thought :-) we will all get there. Thanks for your great post.

    I do agree though it would be helpful if we could have Paul’s take on the bits we get stuck in chatting between ourselves.

  694. lainie waller Says:

    rachel the physical stuff dont bother me so they faded. its the mental i hate x

  695. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Daniel and All
    What you said about it being more difficult to deal with the emotional symptoms is so true! I feel like, If I had just physical or just emotional symptoms I could deal with it, but having both is such a drain and really making me feel horrible.

    I feel like I am making myself worse and its so up and down. I have a few hours restbite sometimes in the evening and the rest of the day its a struggle to eat, concentrate and interact.
    Its really really tough being ok with this.
    When I am feeling at peace I can get in the right head space but soon as my body goes into high anxiety mode (which is everyday for at least 4 hours usually and for no particular reason) I loose it all and feel so sorry for myself and crap because I just can’t be who I want to be or act how I want to act. Thats the trick of anxiety I guess.

    The DP comes and goes but the high anxiety is back a bit now. Monitoring/watching myself isn’t helping either.
    Rachel – I so feel your pain as I feel like that too at the moment.

    SarahS – you are indeed going in the right direction and doing the right things.
    I feel like you are the next stage on from me, which I have said before. My anxiety at the moment is a bit too constant to be at the stage where I can try and welcome it and say ‘come on then, do your worst’ as it is indeed doing it worst and I feel a bit defeated. As time passes, I am sure I will get to where you are at, as I have been there before and It was great to feel more peace just from feeling more in control of it. I am trying to float along with it all. Also aware that I have used to words trying and control, both of which are not a great attitude to anxiety. But its tough when I just want to eat and feel slightly more normal for longer periods.

    I am so glad you can relate to my post and its good reading your posts, we seem to have a lot in common. Stories of illness also make me feel worse

  696. Daniel Says:

    I think it is very key for everyone to not beat themselves up or blame themselves for any symptom or setback they experience.
    Easier said than done, I know. But it is something to keep in mind. It’s not your fault, you’re in a difficult situation and also you’re not always thinking clearly due to your condition. Slip ups and setbacks are bound to happen, it isn’t your fault.
    Be kind and forgiving to yourselves, you’re already putting up with a lot and you’re still persevering!

  697. Adam Says:

    Kyle…I absolutely know what you are talking about. My brain is full “on” all of the time since I developed my anxiety. It is truly like a radio being on in a room that you are occupying. This was one of the first symptoms I developed with my anxiety. I have learned to live with it now. I have found that focusing on a specific task with my mind makes it go away. Like when I am at work.When i am not working or focused on something…it will tend to happen-especially in the mornings right after waking. I just let it do its thing and go on about my business. I also have noticed that exercise removes it completely. Which has given me the theory that it may somehow be tied to the levels of cortisol and adrenaline in my body. Cortisol is at its highest levels in our blood in the morning right after waking. And its a proven fact that adrenaline is burnt off when we exercise.

  698. Rob Says:

    Well I just got out of the 2 horrible weeks of random depression I just had pheww..

    I have a question which mainly pertains to the thoughts that come as you get closer to recovery. I feel decent again but I just keep questioning “Am I the same exact person as before my dehydration on May 13” and then of course my mind then finds all the symptoms that are still there which makes that a total “No”. My social skills are better but I still keep questioning if they are the exact same social skills i had before anxiety. Its like I need to see a perfect big = sign and then that’s recovery for me.

    I guess this sort of boils down to how do you know you are still recovering vs if you have fully recovered. I don’t have the DP everyone talks about here but I have for example developed this habit where I think “something is is off” even if I am having a great day. How does that sense/thought of “something is off” go away?

  699. Emma Says:

    Sara,

    Yes, I can certainly relate to your post as well. I’ve sustained a period without any major symptoms for a while now. It’s not until recently that some of my symptoms came back and I’m dealing with a bit of a setback. It’s mostly just DP, a feeling of being estranged from myself — not “me.” I’m accepting it though. Last night I went over to my boyfriend’s and had a wonderful evening despite some lingering dp. Today it’s still there and I have that sensation of being “hyperaware of myself” but I feel better than I did when I last posted.

    Setbacks are difficult, but they are good practice. At times I feel myself on the verge of despair feeling really sorry for myself and feeling all choked up from the tears — but even Claire Weekes said, in order to recover there must be no self-pity! The key is to yield to all sensations and continue to accept — much easier said than done during a setback, but its the only way. How are you feeling?

  700. Emma Says:

    Rob,

    I too have had that sense that “something is off” but can’t quite put my finger on it. You simply need to accept that as well – that slight feeling of unease – and it will pass along too. I’m pleased to hear you came out of your 2 week setback, were you able to identify what triggered it? As far as feeling the way you did before the onset of your anxiety, I would say that yes you can regain a full sense of self again. You are still you beneath all the layers of anxiety, it’s only your perception that has changed, not you! So let that not be an additional worry! X

  701. Lauren Says:

    How do you accept when your thoughts (random thoughts) are in control? My mind is constantly thinking and my mind feels fixated (heavy) and is impossible to use mindfulness/acceptance. Does anyone know this feeling?
    Lauren :)

  702. Daniel Says:

    Emma and Rob,
    You’ve probably read this bit before, but I think you might find it relevant.

    Q.8 “What does it feel like to be fully recovered” and “How
    do you know”?
    I have been asked this question more times than any other. The feeling of full recovery is really special, but something I truly never aimed for. I just wanted to feel better and I think that helped me. I was not desperate to recover; just feeling better was my initial aim. But feeling better was an up and down process. It would go something like this…. feeling better, then having bad days – feeling great – feeling awful – feeling really good – feeling awful. It was up and down until the good days were really good and the bad days were not too bad. I may have had a couple of really bad days, but I had been there many times before, so I did not let them bother me. I had so much faith in the fact that I would soon be back to
    feeling great again.
    *Full recovery was strange as I thought I had just about recovered before.* But I do remember the day when I could just chat freely without reverting back to me, without feeling as though I had to place each word in a sentence. I said to my mother “I just know this is it, full recovery”. She asked how I knew and I said “well, you know when people say they think they may be in love, but they are not sure, but others say if you’re in love you just know’ – that is what it is like.” I thought I had recovered before as I had so many good days, but now I knew, it went to another level – total freedom. I never thought about anxiety any more unless I worked with it and then it was just like any other subject. It no longer bothered me and because I had stopped worrying or caring how I felt, so many other things filled my day. I had my life back. My mind was so clear and my nerves had healed. They were no longer sensitised and did not feel rushes of fear for very little reason. I was not racked with feelings of anxiousness and not constantly irritable as before.
    My mind was no longer tired through fear and worry and the deep thinking about my condition. It had regained its flexibility
    and felt so clear. It was like the whole subject was behind me. One thing though was that it felt odd to feel free again. It was
    just like being let out of prison and it took a while to readjust to feeling normal. Anxiety had been part of my life for so long it felt unnatural to feel normal.

  703. Rg Says:

    Great post Daniel.

    That is what the road to recovery feels like and then actual recovery. It’s very gradual until one day you realize you no longer ask yourself “How am I feeling” when you wake up. It does take a little time to re-adjust because you really can’t believe you are out of it, especially if is your first time experiencing this journey. But I have had a few episodes through the years so I know very clearly the signs of recovery. And when it is gone, I don’t need to re-adjust, I just celebrate!!!

  704. Matthew Says:

    I want to say that I truly believe that recovery is possible. I am only 24 and have only been suffering through my current anxiety for a couple months, but I had my first anxiety attack about 4 years ago. I didn’t research it or dwell on it all day, but I remember it took me time to recover from it. I went on for years feeling like myself 99% of the time. I still had moments when I would get anxiety(like any “normal” human being does) and I would get some intrusive thoughts, but they didn’t really bother me and I was able to move on with my day. About 2 months ago, September 18th to be exact, I had another anxiety attack. This time it got triggered because I started a new career a month prior after graduating college. I was very overwhelmed and as time went by I found that this job was no good for me, mainly because most of the time I would just be sitting at my desk without much work and was just thinking about my anxiety 24/7. I ended up going to my doctor and seeing a therapist and my doctor prescribed me some medication and Xanax to take as needed. I was suffering from anxiety and mostly intrusive thoughts running around ALLDAY. I know everyone has different symptoms and they feel like theirs is the worst, but man, intrusive thoughts are SO scary and tough to move past. After about 4 weeks of taking this medication I found it was not helping at all and I felt like it was making things worse so I contacted my doctor and I stopped taking my medication. At that moment I found this website and read Paul’s book and I knew that if I wanted to fully recover I had to do it on my own terms. I could relate to MANY of the symptoms and it was such a sigh of relief. I then started a new career about two weeks ago and it has kept me much busier during the days. Since I stopped taking my medication and trying to follow Paul’s outline I have noticed a lot of improvement. I still struggle with the obsessive intrusive thoughts and the fears that come with it but I have had moments over the last couple weeks when I felt great, and I hope that they will continue to grow and grow. I have had some days where I have setbacks where I feel like I haven’t made any progress and feel worse, but I know it is all part of the process and in time they will become less and less. I also feel like the setbacks seem so bad because we were just feeling so good and then WHAM it hits you and knocks you down. But I truly believe in this way to recovery and hope everyone can recover.
    I do have one question though from people who are also recovering or have recovered. I know that the thought process is the last to go because we come so used to thinking and thinking, but..
    My intrusive thoughts run around almost all day about what if I become a bad person, or what if I commit some sort of violent act or do something wrong and end up in jail or whatever the case may be. I know I just have to let the thoughts be there and not react to them or dwell on them and I have been doing that a lot better in the last couple weeks but I am just wondering how you guys finally got over this hurdle and in time will they just fade away. It’s almost like they don’t bother me anymore but yet they are still coming? Is that normal part of recovering and moving on from them?
    Thanks and God bless!

  705. Lauren Says:

    This site has been such a comfort to me during the past year. I originally was prescribed Zoloft for anxiety/depression in 2005. Earlier in 2014 I decide I wanted to try weaning off my medication, because I thought that I could control my anxiety through yoga, mindfulness, etc. – I was in a good place, I had been seeing a therapist regularly, and I didn’t anticipate things going wrong. Long story short, I had a bit of a “crash” and needed wean back onto my medication. This was in April – it wasn’t until June that I started feeling more like myself.

    Now, I know Paul and many of you have succeeded on a prescription-free life, but it was determined with my doctor that my anxiety stems from a chemical imbalance, given its unpredictable nature and no apparent external stimulation.

    I feel that I’m at the best place in my life I’ve ever been – which was why, just a few days ago, I started to have the familiar fear/dread creeping in again…the feeling that I wanted to jump out of my skin, the overall terror…accompanied by a mild depression. I have an appointment with my doctor on Thursday to discuss – I’ve been coping through this setback as much as possible, but perhaps hormones and other factors may require a slightly higher dose of my medication (right now I have been doing well on an average dosage).

    Mornings are worst, but I gradually come around and am able to function – nothing like my post-weaning “collapse” of sorts back in April. I am confident that I can kick this in the butt again and go back to being my usual, cheerful, positive self. I truly have everything I could want and can confidently say I have no external factors influencing my mood – I truly believe hormones and chemistry are to blame.

    That said, the point of me writing all of this babble is to ask – are setbacks common? What I believe is that I may have gotten too complacent with the anxiety, feeling so good on the surface that I forgot to tend to the beast within that threatens to flare up at any time. I forgot to treat myself with care, to take time for relaxation and exercise, and caught back up in the general chaos of life without realizing that perhaps I had not been as mindful as I should have been.

    Additionally, I am struggling with the depression as an after-effect of the anxiety – last week intrusive thoughts (that had not been a problem in months) crept in, and that may have been a trigger for this combination of anxiety/depression that’s currently plaguing me. It’s so awful and scary to fear that you’ll do something horrible and be revealed as this terrible person, and those fears induce this feeling of utter hopelessness, and of course the ongoing anxious fear: “Am I going crazy?” Ugh. It’s a vicious, endless cycle.

    Then again – I probably should not be overanalyzing all of this. That’s a no-no – but I overanalyze pretty much everything in all aspects of life.

    Always interested in reading a post from someone who has shared this experience – I am sure I’m not alone, as this blog has really made me realize that, and for that I am grateful to have discovered it.

  706. Rob Says:

    @Emma

    Never quite figured out what triggered that setback. I think what happened was that I just woke up feeling kind of low in the morning after a few good days and then I overanalyzed that low feeling which just made it worse and then it sort of just persisted then eventually went away. I don’t think you necessarily need a trigger to fall into a setback. The path to recovery is non-linear so this stuff sometimes just happens for no particular reason I guess.

    @Daniel
    I saw that in the FAQ posted by Paul haha. I know I have made some great progress and whats happening now is that I am waiting for the last of symptoms leave me. I only have a few left: feeling distant from past, suboptimal social skills, thinking too much at times, unrestful sleep, bad memory, tingling, and some nausea but that has decreased considerably. Plus I keep wondering about how I am supposed to feel after recovery and I have a lot of anticipation built up.

  707. Rg Says:

    Matthew,

    So glad you are making such great progress – and you are!

    Setbacks happen during recovery because of the up and down nature of an anxiety episode. I’ve had a number of episodes throughout my long life, and I’ve had two major setbacks during this 10 month episode. I know how awfully disappointing they are. But believe me, they happen because we are just not quite there yet. I am now about 80-90% myself but I am still sensitized to some things. This is what I learned to do. When I feel a setback coming on, I need to know what triggered it. It could have been a phone conversation, or a smell, or as simple as something I was thinking but there’s always a trigger, even ever so slight. Once I know it, I can deal with getting past the setback quicker because the trigger is real and not my imagination. And our imagination during these times is scary and unpredictable. It seems like we have no control over anything, and being in control is so important to us. Setbacks make us feel like we are spiraling out of control again and for no reason. But there is a reason. Find the trigger, accept it, accept what you are feeling, and let time pass and the setback will go away faster. Although a setback may stall your progress a bit, it does not reverse your progress. Just as CW and Paul say, they are a sign of progress because you can only have a setback if you have progressed.

    Intrusive thoughts have the same imagination out of control element. I have had scary thoughts with every episode. They are usually the same awful thoughts and, yes, they are pretty much the last to go. While we are in the midst of it all with our entire being already feeling so out of control, the thoughts are the most horrible and frightening. We struggle with them in particular because we think – if we cannot control the thoughts, then what will happen next?? Then we begin to recover and yet they still linger around. Here’s why, IMO. As we recover, we regain some control back into our lives. So we assume our thoughts will also get under control. Reality is, we really cannot control thoughts that come in on a subconscious level. An intrusive thought in particular is like a worn record with the needle stuck in that same groove. See them as just that – just a worn out old record and accept that your fear of them is your anxiety talking. Intrusive thoughts will pop in once in a while but they will pop right out without any fanfare once your sensitivity to them is gone.

    Hope that helps!

  708. Horton Says:

    Rg,
    You’ve given me a lot of hope and made me feel more optimistic… so I’m very apprehensive about asking this, but the last couple times you’ve recovered, did you use Paul’s methods? Also, do you expect to fall back into this again one day after you’ve recovered?

  709. Matthew Says:

    RG,

    Thank you so much for your input. It is greatly appreciated. Glad to know someone who has been through it and can give some great advice! When did you get to the point where the thoughts no longer came with such force and were able to just move right past them?

  710. Ves Says:

    regarding intrusive thoughts,

    This is the insight that I discovered reading some Buddhist literature. Our thinking mind try to find “solution” to something that happened in the past. But there is no solution because it is in the past. Or, our thinking mind tries to find “solution” for some imagined event in the future. But there is no solution to that either because it is in the future. So basically our thinking mind is constant struggle and that struggle is what is anixety. The solution that Buddhist recommends is to gently allow our thinking mind to come to present. In present we are safe.

  711. Rg Says:

    Horton – I am so glad I helped. I had an episode in 2009. In my search for help at that time I came upon Claire Weekes book. CW was a lifesaver to me and I knew immediately that it was the right way to go. Then I came upon Paul’s book years later which confirmed the method. This method is key to recovery. I only wish I had found it years ago when I suffered through them on my own. I had never expected to have another episode with all the knowledge I have about it but my trigger is health scares and I had a bunch in January and that did it for me. Then I retired and I was out of my comfort zone (work) so it made it a little harder to get through. But I know that if I didn’t retire when I did, the episode would have been over in a month or so which is great progress. I will always have anxiety because its in my DNA like eye color but in general I always have a handle on the occasional anxiety attack. And I have many wonderfully normal years in between episodes. But I can’t say I will never have another episode because I am getting older and because I have health anxiety there may come a time when my anxiety spirals again but I hope not. Either way, I won’t be waiting for it on high alert. Once this is completely over, I am back to living life with gusto. If it does come again I am well experienced and have great tools and resources. One of them is this blog.

    Matthew – Anticipatory anxiety produces some of the worst “what if” scenarios which in turn puts more focus on the thoughts. For me, the thoughts stopped coming with such force when I focused on the present as much as possible. The more I did this, my confidence in myself started to return. I started to feel that trust in myself again. So, I don’t think its not about moving past them but rather just living your life, focusing on the present, and acknowledging how much you have accomplished so far.

  712. Rg Says:

    oop.. Meant to say “I don’t think its about moving past them…”

  713. riri Says:

    Hey everyone
    Hope all is doing well. I have been here a couple of times and I was doing great of 6 months. But today I have been feeling a setback coming on.
    I suffer alot with obsessive thought. Mostly fear of having some serious mental illness.
    When I went to the psychiatrist he told me I am suffering with pure O. That freaked me out and I thought I had a serious mental illness. Then I came to this site and began to understand that all pure o is anxiety. Doctors just split anxiety into different types. I overcame my fear of mental illness..
    But today I woke up bothered of having pure o. I know all it is is anxiety but I can’t seem to shrug it off. I know for a fact all it is is anxiety but why is it bothering me so much. I went through this before and overcame it. I guess I just need reassurance that all this is anxiety and no more.
    Bryan I think you should remember me and Emma. Bryan reassured all pure o is is anxiety. So why is my mind trying to convince me otherwise.

  714. Rob Says:

    @riri

    Pure O is anxiety, its not some other mental illness. If you were going crazy or psychotic you wouldn’t know it. Your mind will convince you its something else cause that’s what anxiety makes you do. Just ignore/accept the thoughts which will go away as your anxiety lessens. Maybe ask your doctor about trying out inositol supplements? They can help with the obsessions apparently.

    Not trying to steer the discussion into “Try this pill and be cured” but anything non-medication that can help is worth trying imo. Its a supplement which means just that–something to help you out with recovery not do it for you. I feel like there’s so many non medication things to try out but doctors simply push it all away.

  715. Emma Says:

    Hi Riri,

    Pure O is definitely just anxiety. It stands for Pure OCD, meaning OCD but without the usual compulsive behaviour (like checking, counting, tapping, etc). It’s also known as “thought” OCD, but here we just call it intrusive thoughts. You musn’t be alarmed by that, if instead he had said: “you suffer from intrusive thoughts” and it would have signified the exact same thing.

    When I would visit other forums and blogs I came across the term Pure O quite often. I’m glad we don’t use it too much on this blog because it’s more helpful in our recovery to accept ALL our sensations as anxiety and not compartmentalize them. Actually, in my mindfulness course, they told us to try to avoid clinical language when describing our feelings. It’s also why Claire Weekes refers to anxiety as “the nervous ills” and not as “anxiety” because clinical language can have negative connotations.

    Also, splitting up anxiety symptoms into different sub-categories doesn’t accomplish anything — it’s all under the umbrella of anxiety. You don’t suffer from Pure O, you suffer from anxiety and one of your SYMPTOMS is pure o/intrusive thoughts.

    Here’s an except from a book called The Panic Switch by Jeff Hammes. I think you’ll like it. I’ve been reading it to help remind me that my little setback is just anxiety and that giving up control is the key.

    “If you accept that the only thing wrong is your worrying (think about a life where you didn’t have that worry…all warm, sunlight, beaches, relaxation, love and happiness) – then you will understand that it is the physical reaction your body has to stress that has triggered this search for some ‘thing’ doing this TO you. You are doing this to you. Because the worry has never been resolved. Well I can resolve it for you. There is NOTHING WRONG with you mentally or physically. You are hyper nervous, over alert and on guar for some perceived “thing” making you sensitized. Your hypothesis is wrong. There is only YOUR WORRYING that “something may be seriously wrong with me” that causes your ill and anxious feelings and keeping your sensitization alive and well fed. Sensitization is always temporary and decreases (because your body naturally wishes to return to a calm and resting state) IF you stop bombarding it with worrying about worrying. But you have never stopped feeding the sensitization. So you are constantly on alert. It’s a matter of giving up control. That really is the issue with us panic people, past and present. We demand control over our emotions. Not gonna happen. It’s better to accept all your sensitization and ignore it as best you can. Don’t analyze it, don’t decipher it – nothing – just accept it al and be patient. That is the real strength.”

    Only thing I disagree with is when he asks us to “ignore” our anxiety. It should never be ignored, that’s the opposite of being mindful of it. Instead, it should be embraced. X

  716. Emma Says:

    Just to add to Rob’s post if anyone is interested,

    I actually supplement with 5-HTP. I find it helps a lot. I started it in June during that bad setback I had. Back then I was really considering going on SSRI’s but I knew the initial side effects would rock me and was petrified at even the thought of feeling any worse than I already did. So I did some research and people RAVED about 5-HTP, especially those with depression and it was low moods/sadness was what I struggled with the most during that setback. I started at 50mg for a couple days and increased to 100mg. A few weeks later when I started feeling better I cut back down to 50mg and then eventually felt I no longer needed it. The 5HTP combined with Paul’s method and mindfulness really helped me out of that setback.

    Since my current hiccup I went out and purchased another bottle. Started right at 100mg and have been taking it every morning for the last couple of days. It definitely helps, could be placebo but at this point I don’t care lol. It’s not a miracle but it gives me a hand and when I combine that along with mindfulness techniques and Paul’s method. I think it’s a good combination. It’s only been a few days and I already feel a bit of a difference. Last time I felt the most significant difference after about 3 or 4 weeks. It’s a good alternative for medication and in my opinion totally worth a shot. Just make sure you purchase the right brand because it WILL make all the difference.

  717. Riri Says:

    Emma,
    Thank you so much. I guess i knew all of this all along i just needed someone to remind me. I had been doong so fine for so long that i forgot all this. Then today i was watching the dr. Phil show amd some lady had ocd. And my mind went on overdrive thinking about ocd.
    In the end it is exactly what you said a symptom of anxiety. I just hate how they put a label on syptoms like that. It just makes it worse. But ive always known it was all anxiety. If i wanted to follow medical terms i would have every type of anxiety disorder. Bevause when you are im anxuous state it takes you from one thiught to another.
    Thanks so much for the help. I love this page. Really is a life saver

  718. Riri Says:

    I know this is all anxiety playing its games. I have been super stressed this past month. I was doing amazing for about 6 months. But last month i went through alot. Me and husband have decided to get a divorce. So im going through alot. And i think it is taking a toll on me. I just need to keep reminding myself this is all normal from the state i am in. I know it will pass.
    Talking about supplements i don’t want to take a pill. That makes me feel something is wrong with me. I think i can overcome on my own. Don’t get me wrong it can help. When i first started experiancing anxiety i was so scared i ran to the doctor. I took antidepressants for 3 months. They did help a bit by boosting your mood. But i rrealized the only way to overcome anxiwty is within you. You got yourself through it you can get yourself out.

  719. Matthew Says:

    Riri

    I am in the same boat as you,.. I have the intrusive thoughts and what I guess would be similar to “pure o” but I definitely know it’s brought on by anxiety and it is something you can recover from. Good to know there are people out there who are dealing with the same things! It can be scary at times

  720. Matthew Says:

    I also want to add that I too know it’s all anxiety but it is so hard to accept it and just move past it at times because of the what ifs and all that but that’s all part of moving on and getting on with your day. It will get better eventually, many many people have so can we!

  721. Julie Says:

    Riri,

    I have been diagnosed with pure o. All it means is purely obsessional, so basically they say it’s all thought based with no compulsions which really isn’t true as we do have compulsions. The compulsions are just not as obvious, we seek reassurance, avoid things….. I used to post here all of the time for reassurance, I would avoid my children as my thoughts were about them, avoid objects I was afraid of harming me…..

    OCD is just anxiety, I had anxiety all of my adult life but once my stress levels became very high 2 years ago I started developing intrusive thoughts and I couldn’t let them go. I was diagnosed with general anxiety and pure o. I see a psychologist via Skype from the US and she has helped me so much. She specialises in OCD and she said it’s just heightened anxiety, pop it under the umbrella. Don’t dissect it Riri, or obsess over it like OCD will make you do, just accept it. It’s not a serious mental illness, none of this is. Anxiety is something that flares up in all of us when under stress, when we are less stressed the anxiety decreases, which proves it isn’t an actual mental illness. That is my experience.

    Don’t add more pressure and fear onto yourself. OCD is just anxiety, believe me as I have been through it. I have pure o and I just call it anxiety. My thoughts have been about harm to myself, my family….. it’s all just anxiety. Remember, the fact the thoughts scare us proves we are good people. The thoughts we suffer with are ego dystonic, they are the opposite to who we are, against our beliefs and morals. We are good people. :-)

  722. Matthew Says:

    Julie

    Great post as I have this also. One question I have is have you been able to move past it? I understand it will always be there to some extent but has it lessened for you?

  723. Julie Says:

    Matthew,

    I still have the thoughts, every day to be honest. I get frustrated that they aren’t lessening and I have even said to my therapist why aren’t they going if i am losing my fear of them? I am just told the aim of the treatment isn’t to be free of the thoughts but to no longer fear them, let them come in if they wish, thoughts are just thoughts. I must admit though I would love them to just go completely.

    The fear has lessened though, yes. They are more of an annoyance now. I still have anxiety but it’s different now, I don’t obsess over the harm thoughts like I used to despite them still lingering around.

  724. Matthew Says:

    No one has said they will always be there… bad choice of words. I know from my last anxiety issue years back thst they do fade away and pop up once in a great while. But this time I read into it way to much which just scared me more and made my anxiety worse but I’m learning how to go about my day and try to move past it. I know it will get better in time but it’d just hard at times when setbacks happen!

  725. Bryan Says:

    Kyle,

    I have a copy of Nothing Works. I posted a link to an archived version from Chris’ site above but my comment is in moderation, maybe because I posted a link in the comment? I’ve been posting here for a year so I don’t know why else it would be.

    Hopefully Paul will allow that post and you can download the file. If not, we can figure out a way for me to email you the PDF if you’d like at some point.

  726. Lui Says:

    Hey Kyle,

    I send you a link but it’s in moderation. Just google “a letter to myself weebly screenshot” and a screenshoted version of it will pop up.

  727. Lui Says:

    oh sorry, i meant: just type in” a letter to myself weebly”. don’t add “screenshot”. should be the fifth search result.

  728. Riri Says:

    Thanks everyone
    I don’t even think i have “pure o” anymore really. All the scary intrusive thought i used to have about mental illness have all gone away. I can care less about them. It is just the label of pure o that bothers me. But in the end it is all just anxiety.
    Come to think of it then i think ive had all types of anxiety. Not just intrusive thoughts. All the symptoms. And they have all gone away. I was recovered for about 6 months no anxiety symptoms at all.until yesterday this thought tried to creep itself in. But i caught myself before a huge setback. Thanks guys for the help. Back to life.

  729. Kyle Says:

    Thanks guys! Hopefully those go through! Lui ill try looking at the screenshot if all else fails. Been doin really well lately except that feeling of being tired has been annoying. its like I am fighting to stay awake all day.

  730. Dawn Says:

    Hello all,

    I don’t know if anyone is around who was here in 2012 (hopefully not because that means recovery is more likely to have happened), but I was a regular user of the blog around that time. I was in a terrible place and I am so grateful this support network is here, the advice given to me then really helped me get through a horrendous time.

    I will try not to go on too much here (try being the operative word) but basically I had what could be described as a breakdown in April 2012 following a thought popping into my head about my now husband (a week before my wedding, worst timing ever!!) “are you sure you really love him?” When the thought came into my head…..well you probably know the rest! I had a panic attack there and then and then that was it, the full nightmare package of obsessing, depression, sky high anxiety, constant crying, no appetite, no sleep, reassurance seeking, constant self-awareness, constant googling etc. etc. I turned everything over and over in my head so much I was just numb and could barely function. I went ahead and got married but it ruined what should have been the happiest day of my life, I had terrible DP and I really don’t know how I got through it. Before that we had been engaged for 2 years, living together for 4 years and we’d always been really happy. I know logically my husband is perfect for me, we just get on so so well, he is the funniest person I know, and I’d never doubted getting married and spending my life with him. Leading up until the wedding I had had a lot of stress building over the previous 2 years with a change in job, lots of family problems etc.

    To cut a long story short, with a course of CBT, a year’s psychotherapy, the use of the AD sertraline, the advice given to me here and the support of my fab husband I gradually (I mean gradually) improved to where I would say I was around 95% there by the beginning of 2014. We had bought and moved into a house and I was so grateful that the clouds had lifted. I had the odd strange thought here and there (mainly when stressed) so it wasn’t like I never thought about it again but because I felt happy with my husband I could just brush it off without the need to engage and it didn’t come back. I didn’t feel the need to seek any reassurance online or offline because I was busy living my life again! I had the odd down day but who doesn’t! We had a lovely holiday to the Caribbean in Sept 2013 which I like to think of as our actual honeymoon as the first one was so spoilt. In May of this year I decided to taper off the sertraline, I honestly felt like I would be fine without it and because we have talked about children etc. I knew I would need to get off the meds to even think about this. We went on holiday for a week in June and I did have a brief return of the thoughts but as I put this down to coming off the meds and also a very stressful week before at work it passed.

    Unfortunately this Summer has continued to be very stressful work wise, and has driven me to such frustration that I would go home at times and burst into tears and obsessively think about that (hmm see the pattern…) There were also other family things going on that were stressing me out more than I realised. I noticed the relationship anxiety starting to pop up again about 6 weeks ago when my hubby was in the states for work which gave me far too much opportunity to think and start getting anxious over the thoughts and feelings again. This culminated in a visit from my parents a month ago which made me feel 10x worse, my dad was in a depressive episode (he has suffered from depression all of his life) and this made me feel anxious as hell as the weekend was just a total nightmare.

    Since then things have got even worse again, I feel down and quite numb, and am not constantly thinking the thoughts, its more the fact I don’t feel right and like something is nagging away at me. I feel like I have to seek reassurance and am spending far too much time googling again (even though I know I shouldn’t as I am also really busy at work). That nervous feeling hangs around constantly in my tummy. I am nowhere near as bad as last time, but this is what worries me in a way. I can sleep and can eat (although my appetite is not what I would call normal as I keep feeling slightly nauseous when I am anxious) and I can have conversations with people, focus on other things (although it is always niggling in the background) and function OK. I do keep crying at some point almost every day though and often feel like I am on the verge of tears. I get the thoughts more because I am trying to work out why I feel the way I do which then makes me more anxious if that makes sense. I also know I am doing the checking my feelings thing when I am with him but finding it hard to stop. I do need to say that I am happiest when I am with my husband despite all this and he is the one who can still make me laugh. For some reason I feel the need to follow him round like a puppy and hug him and tell him I love him all the time when we are at home. He knows I am suffering from anxiety and depression and is really supportive but doesn’t know the “theme” of my thoughts as I can’t bear to tell him and upset him. I know I need to stop trying to work it out and accept but I manage this for a day then when I still feel all “wrong” or numbed out back on the merry go round we go. The problem is I don’t really know what to do, I feel like I need some help but if I go back to the doctor it will either be meds again (which I really don’t want to have to take again) or more CBT and I’m not sure that would help as I’ve already done the course. I keep doubting that anxiety is what is causing this therefore am finding it hard to accept that it is not real. All it takes is to read or hear something and I’m off again. I do know though that the thought of splitting up with my husband makes me feel physically sick and tears come to my eyes straight away which is not a logical reaction when you want to split up with someone but as we know logical thought does not help here as it is the lack of feeling of “rightness” which sends me off down the rabbit hole again.

    Sorry I have rambled on loads, its hard not to! Can anyone offer any insight or advice? I keep telling myself this is just a setback and I need to accept and stop engaging in order to feel better but I am so alert to everything I think and feel at the moment.

  731. Yolande Says:

    Hi all,

    Havent been feeling v good lately so came on here to get moral support. Nolan’s posts really helped a lot. been feeling really low and down for the past 2 weeks – horrible. I go home with a long face daily and just clamped up. i feel very agitated and frustrated a lot. I guess part of it was due to the fact that i am frustrated with my job search which is not reaping results as fast as i would want them.

    part of my problem is that i am super impatient. I mean REALLY SUPER. i want everything fast and when it doesnt happen i get agitated, frustrated and finally depressed.

    i have always wondered y my sisters dont get this (not that i want them to) but i keep having it. This is the 2nd time. my sisters are in really stressful jobs and they still managed their work and not get anxiety attacks like me. i had to quit my previous job cos i couldnt or dont know how to handle stress – like NOlan, i started getting irritated abt little things and started pushing back work. Colleagues complained about me, and my boss commented that my work performance is not up to par. all these made me really depressed and wham anxiety is back.

    ACCEPTANCE is really hard to do sometimes. i cry a lot sometimes which helped to release some pain. i takl to my family but my sisters are getting tired of me. So i read the blog and it helped a lot to hear what others are going thru and it’s the same as what i am going thru. nothing special. it gives me hope that these too shall pass.

    ONe day:

    – I shall recover
    – I shall find the job that i want but for now i shall continue at this current job altho it’s dead boring

    i am at say 90% recovery but i still keep getting low moods so i guess there’s still some way to go. I just want to ask, does anyone here get back aches??? i get these a lot and i wonder if these are anxiety related too. when it really hurts, my spirits plummet……………….. so would be glad if anyone can share.

    Take care all!

  732. Marek Says:

    Hi there,

    I have just one curious question. When are you asleep and dreaming, do you feel your racing, anxiety mind? For me, when I am dreaming I don’t feel any psychical nor physical anxiety, it’s like my anxiety mind is shut. As soon as I wake my anxiety appears and lasts whole day.

    Do you have the same experience ? Or are you anxious also during dreaming ? (I don’t mean nightmares :) )

  733. Daniel Says:

    Marek,
    Absolutely without fail every night I have “anxious” dreams. And I agree that they are something different from nightmares. Sometimes their content is that of my intrusive/anxious thoughts or what I ruminate about and sometimes my dreams content is nothing to be anxious about and yet I am anxious throughout their entire duration. Funny thing is, before my anxiety I was a pretty deep sleeper and never really dreamed. Of course I looked them up, and it turns out they are a normal symptom of anxiety, what a shocker, right?
    Anyway, don’t worry about it. I pretty much have gotten to the point where I can mostly ignore mine, no matter how unpleasant their content or how they make me feel. Just write it off as another symptom that’ll be gone when you recover.

  734. Marek Says:

    Hi Daniel,

    thanks for the answer. So, do you have anxious racing mind during dreaming? Maybe, I didn’t formulate it correctly, but I wanted to say the exact opposite that during my sleep and dreaming I am not anxious at all, don’t feel racing mind, don’t feel anxious symptoms, don’t have fear from insulting me , not even thinking about anxiety at all, as I’ve never had a problem with the anxiety. But when I wake up, my mind starts working.

    So, my feeling in the dreams is absolutely anxiety free.

  735. Eliza Says:

    Hi Yolande,

    I feel your pain on the career front, I myself have not gone anywhere in my career, with me it was always about my feelings being so overwhelmed by them and I would not take responsibility for them and that caused major problems in the work place, I also have guilt and frustration that I haven’t done as well on the career front as my siblings and peers. Like my parents afforded us the most wonderful educational opportunities and even to this day, my very clever witty and kind father when he heard I had taken up singing recently, ran out and got me recording stuff, he never gave up on his kid and I am well grown up. My siblings like yours are in very stressful jobs and are constantly getting promoted which is nice as they are earning lots of dosh and even one of them has to keep turning down opportunities but that is because he wants to see his kids grow up and he would never be home. Does that mean our siblings are less emotional than we are, I don’t think so, I think they have more confidence in their ability to handle stress than we do, so okay it doesn’t come as naturally to you and me but we can work on it.

    You talk about friction in work – it is not about the work or the other people it is about you managing you – when your anxiety flares up – Keep the word professional to mind, even if you go off track – just keep bringing it back there, – that keeps your personal self protected. Like I have worked in my current job a number of year and people know very little about me, nothing about my illness and they do not need to know about it and I do not want to talk about it with them, when my anxiety gets too much and I do look for reassurance which makes me physically cringe but I still never go there and discuss my illness, anxiety that very private part of myself, I just say silly things – so even in the midst of madness I protect the most vulnerable part of myself – and you can too – we are much more powerful than we realise.

    Another thing you mention about talking to your family and sisters about yourself and your sisters are getting tired of it ,they are only human, they are not therapists and we can be very heavy going and if the conversation is all about me and more of me and another bit of me – it is hard on our families to have to listen to that day after day – there is no let up – I did that for such a long time so I should know – now when I go up home – I do talk about myself but I make sure to ask them about themselves – it really helps and you can even see their faces brighten – they really wish you well but they have a life too, have their own problems. If you find it very rocky and really need to talk to someone – maybe go to a therapist – the only qualification that a good therapist needs is to be kind and non-judgemental – works wonders – I should know.

    Back aches that sounds like you are housing some anxiety there – our bodies I think are the key to getting us back on the right track – we need to keep tuning into them.

  736. Emily Jason Says:

    Thank you very much for this post and for the things you do! It’s extremely helpful and well explained. We shouldn’t be afraid of anxiety and run away from it…we have to face the problem and work it, and also accept it as a part of our life.

  737. Matthew Says:

    Horton,

    I think the fact that hundreds of people have posted on this blog throughout the years and only a few come back who are still struggling is proof enough that it works. Got to have the faith that things will get better. Everyone, regregardless if you have anxiety or not, have bad days and anxious times. So I wouldn’t get to into the doubt because that feeds into it more. Like many people say recovery isn’t coming you chase, its something that has to come to you.

    Just my thought on it. I think that the fact that you can go back and look at his first blog post and probably not recognize any names is proof that this works. Just takes time

  738. Marek Says:

    Good point Matthew! Hopefully, you are right!

  739. Lui Says:

    Hey guys,

    I moved on this last week. I have a new weird approach to anxiety. I am terrified of social judgements. I was afraid of that all my life, even in Kindergarten.
    For several months I tried and tried to accept but always prayed to not get judged and always wanted to look good in people’s company. But I think my attitude changed over time.
    So this week I thought even if you’ll be weird, or you’ll be bullied or hated, it does not matter because there would be no difference to now. And I would not want to live anymore anyway when my whole life will be like it is right now.
    So I can risk it. I have absolutely NOTHING to lose!
    And today I accepted like a 15 percent. No much but at least it’s something! :)

  740. Bryan Says:

    Horton,

    Are you kidding? I’ve collected an entire word document of success stories and quotes from this blog. There are recovered and improved people all over this thing. Go back and read past posts. They’re everywhere. There are people on this very post who are recovered or much better. Of course it works.

  741. Rg Says:

    Your absolutely right Matthew and Bryan.

    Horton, many who recover don’t come back to these sites. I’ve kept a journal for the past 10 years in which I write in everyday I am in an episode. It chronicles some of my past episodes, every symptom, every fear, every thought, every setback. When I am in an episode it always feels new and going back in my journal shows me I have the same symptoms, fears and thoughts every time. More importantly it shows the progress and recovery. It really helps me to know this. But once I recover I no longer write in my journal – just don’t have time, just don’t have the need. And that is how it is when you recover, you just go on with your life and leave these things behind.

    Also, not everyone has repeat episodes. Some people have just that one major one and no more. Some have social anxiety, some have health anxiety, some have situational anxiety, etc. So there are a lot of variables that makes it hard to say definitely that you won’t ever have another or yours will last this many months, etc. I have health anxiety so its understandable that I may have repeat episodes because our health is a constant thing. But those with situational anxiety may only have that one episode depending on the situation that caused it and when it resolved itself. Also, for me, I don’t think I would have had repeat episodes as I did if I had the resources that are available today. I didn’t and I went through a number of them without even knowing the name for what I was going through. But even then I did recover and I have recovered every time.

    Bryan is correct. There are plenty of posts of healing and recovery here. There are also plenty of websites that promote the same method. It works – understanding, acceptance, letting time pass.

  742. Ves Says:

    Hi Yolande,
    I see in few of you sentences some judgments about yourself and about you sister. Judgments are unwholesome thoughts. You should observe and investigate your judgmental thoughts. You can’t stop them for time being but you can observe them and see if you can learn something from them. Apply mindfulness to them and see if they are really true.

    It does not really matter if someone else has more success in their career. Just because society drums this to us every single minute there is no natural law that says that is essence of life. We have been programmed to accept success, career, and money as real and valuable. But these are just cravings that are making us always unsatisfied. The thing that people should thrive for are not measurable where you can point to them and say: “I did this”, “I did that”. These are a peaceful mind, a concentrated mind, a peaceful life, lack of inner and outer conflict. Just sit, relax, breath and you will start seeing things in different way.

  743. Rob Says:

    @Marek & Daniel

    Since anxiety I have also been dreaming frequently which makes me feel unrested when I get up in the morning. My dreams actually usually don’t have much anxiety in them and I feel normal at times in the dream where I am socializing with friends and doing normal things without anxiety. Even if my dream has ruminative content I tend to not be anxious during the dream itself. I have even gotten weird sleep paralysis where I think I am awake but literally can’t move or speak. Doesn’t happen that often though.

    By the way, is there any specific advice for getting through the last 35% or so of recovery? I tend to get really excited about recovering and then that excitement adds to the anxiousness lol. My moods have improved and rumination has decreased. I think I just need to fix up my social skills back to normal, get memories of past/ feel continuity again, and have sleep restored to normal. Is there anything besides just accept and wait it out? Sometimes I don’t even feel that anxious and these symptoms are still there…..

  744. Matthew Says:

    I hear you on that Rob! The last 30% or so seems the toughest especially when you have some moments on clarity! I finally have been getting some decent sleep as of late.

  745. Riri Says:

    Hey guys
    So i am definitely having a setback. I have been thinking about all day and it is making me have really weird strange thoughts they sometimes don’t make sense. For example my sister said a curse word and then it bothered me a bit. So now everytime i hear a curse word i am like super aware of the word. I don’t even know if that makes sense. And then i worry if this is anxiety or some other mental illness because it is so bizarre. Does anyone have any thoughts on this. I guess my mind is trying to convince me that this is not anxiety,so its its giving me weird thoughts maybe. I have gone through this once before and i forgot about it. I fear going crazy so my mind gives me crazy thoughts. Once i had a thought what if all i think about is my jands hands and it stuck. All i thought about were my hands. But it to faded away. When i focus too much on my anxiety it starts pumping more bizarre thoughts. I dont even know if im making sense.

  746. Riri Says:

    I honestly believe deep down all im going through is anxiety. When i am in an anxious state everything i hear or see gets blown out of proportion. So thats why i was bothered by the curse word so bad. But the days i am not anxious this thought does not even cross my mind. It is always the thoughts thay get me.

  747. Matt Says:

    I think I know the answer to this question (see Rich’s post), butttttttt….

    has anyone had several days in a row where they just feel abnormally fatigued and have no “get up and go”. Usually day to day energy isn’t problem for me, but for the last few days, I’ve felt awful, and have no energy, which makes it hard to get myself to do the right things to accept. I mean, I know that accepting feeling this way is the answer, and I’m doing so the best I can, but I think I’d also feel a bit better if someone else has felt this way from anxiety. Just writing it a bit makes me feel better too.

  748. Riri Says:

    I’ve felt that way before Matt. It is totally normal. I had a couple of times felt i wanted to sleep all day for a couple of days. Dont mind it. It too will pass

  749. Matt Says:

    Riri,

    Cool, thanks! I kinda figured! But it was just bothering me this morning, and I wasn’t defusing from it well, but at least I knew what I was doing :)

    Hope you’re doing well! And thanks for the fast response!

  750. Beachgirl516@optonline.net Says:

    Horton people who are recovered dont come back unfortunately. However I can tell you I am almost there. After 15 years of suffering Paul’s method is the only one that worked for me and believe me I tried them all

  751. Riri Says:

    Does no one have any advice for my question. I know this is anxiety but i just want to know if anyone goes through this. My anxiety takes everything i heat see and think and blows it up into something awful.
    Ive also been having the racing mind and random thoughts. I keep fearing omg what if all i think about is anxiety 24/7. My whole life. I know this is so irrational because i thought that once before and it didn’t happen.
    Before this slip up i would of considered myself recovered. All symptoms went away. Thoughts didnt scare me anymore. Anxiety wasn’t important in my life and i could always brush it off.
    Thats what i believe recovery is. Recovery is when all fear is gone and anxiety doesn’t bother you anymore in life. We will always have anxiety. Everyone in the world has anxiety. But it will be a normal amount. That is what true recovery is.

  752. Rob Says:

    @Riri

    If you scroll way up I had an irrational thought regarding some street I walked and I got afraid it would trigger anxiety again and kept thinking about it. That thought eventually fiddled away and while I still get it sometimes, it bothers me less. You may have your crazy thoughts frequently now but then you will have them sometimes, then rarely, then probably never. And the fiddling away def did not take as long as I thought it would….

    I am struggling with balancing my motivation and anxiety with this last 35% left. I have quite a bit of motivation and pretty much gotten back into reviewing some academic stuff/future planning while im on my semester break. I feel motivated and at the same time the anxiety tries to hold me back by telling me I’m still distant from my past and still have trouble socializing.

  753. Emma Says:

    Hey guys,

    I feel a tad better than at the beginning of this ‘setback’ but still not where I want to be. The dp is seriously lingering, don’t feel like me and even when I talk sometimes my own voice feels foreign. It’s all dp but it doesn’t seem to r shifting, I’m just plateauing at the same level it feels like. Also getting racing thoughts but those don’t bother me a great deal, not feeling like “me” is what’s really yanking my chain. I’m accepting that this will be the case for a while, I guess I didn’t want to accept that at first, didn’t want to accept that I may feel depersonalized for awhile, but now I accept that it might take a little while to fade. I’m generally more anxious as well and the intrusive thoughts are there but trying to apply mindfulness to them. I guess I’m just bummed that I’m having a setback and that i feel depersonalized and have all these racing/intrusive thoughts when I was feeling so great before. Trying to keep faith xx

  754. Yolande Says:

    Thank you Eliza and Ves for replying!

    Eliza, you are so right in saying that i should care more about those close to me. i am been to engrossed in myself that for months all i have been focussing and talking about is me, me me. It got to a point when my sister finally told me that i shd learn to care about my family more and it hit me that she is right. I am trying to do that now altho sometimes not easy. My parents have been the best ever during this period and what you said abt your dad really touched me cos that’s what my parents are for me too. THey never gave up on me and they are always there for me. It makes me want to be strong so i dont disappoint them as it’s hurts me when i see them worry esp after some good days and then i feel bad again. LIfe sometimes is not easy, but with my family, I am blessed in ways that I cannot describe.

    I also have this fear sometimes that i may not be able to find another role where i can work professionally in as before. That i am somehow damaged by this condition. i know this is false fear but it’s hard to tell myself that sometimes.

    I hope you are doing as well as you are Eliza.

    Ves, you are right too when you say i am too judgmental. I will try to practice being calm and i know in the end that things will right themselves. Thank you.

  755. Lui Says:

    Today I woke up and felt a sense of calm.
    No thoughts, just me startig to panick why I did not worry as usual. And I felt a sense of “fuck everything, I give a shit about what people think”.
    It’s unbelievable how far I came attitude wise. I thought I’d never come to this point. I still just accept like 15% and I’m surprised that I feel already so calm. It’s unbelievable!
    But I know anxiety pretty well by now, I don’t know what this evening or tmr will be like, my new attitude might vanish completely. Would suck, but I would build it up again.

  756. Daniel Says:

    Ok I have a question.
    But first let me repeat myself, because I feel that I need to give some background and make some distinctions. I had anxiety for a good 10 years before recovering the first time, but this first episode was different from my current one in that it had crept on me so gradually that I hadn’t realized it was there during that entire decade and I had assumed every thought and feeling I had during that period was normal. Anyway after many years it faded and I was left wondering what had changed that had made me start feeling so amazing and free all the time. This second time it came more suddenly, and I had memories/experiences of being anxiety free so I actually noticed it was there and something was wrong this time.
    Now my question is, what am I doing this time that I hadn’t done the first time? I mean I never had the added worry of my anxiety itself when I was younger, and yet it still took me 10 years. Is it simply that this time I can separate myself from my anxious thoughts and recognize their cause and discredit them rather than taken every fear/worry/feeling as fact? Is that enough of a change? Is there anything else that would make this different? Is there anything else I should be doing?

  757. Eliza Says:

    Hi Yolande,

    Your welcome. You sister was very caring pointing it out to you, we keep talking about ourselves using our family as therapists, trying to rid ourselves of our uncomfortable feeling but talking like that doesn’t take it away – we just end up feeling more and more uncomfortable and also succeed in making the people we care about feel very uneasy too and by us taking responsibility for our uncomfortable feeling takes back our power, our sanity, Like when we say I feel anxious, I feel angry – not blaming anyone for our feeling that’s powerful stuff but it is when we keep moaning and going on about me and poor me and more of poor me that’s when we get trapped with the feeling and lose our power our sanity so best way to break free is to focus on the other person -it really does help.

    Sounds like you have a lovely family – my folks should have got rid of me a long time ago but they hung on to me – no matter what I have done or said they still care greatly about me. Our parents just want to see us happy, I am not a high flyer like my siblings and my folks don’t care about that, like your own parents they just want us to be happy in life and we are the only ones that put pressure on ourselves . Good things will happen for us maybe just a little later in life than our siblings but it is not a race so who cares.

    You are not damaged if anything all of this pain will make you a more compassionate and kinder person and that is a great asset to have in any career. Best wishes to you and it sounds like you are on the right route home.

  758. Bryan Says:

    Lui,

    Great job. Remember this feeling.

  759. lainie waller Says:

    when in high anxiety 24/7 does anyone have a feeling like your going to lose control and depression. as soon as it calms the feelings go x

  760. Rachel Says:

    Silly question but how do you no you have anxiety xx

  761. Julie Says:

    Horton,

    Acceptance does work and I love reading success stories. I rarely come on here now but if you read my past posts you can see how bad I was and now, although I don’t think I am recovered, I like to think I am much better than I was 😉

    Pauls book, Claire Weekes, A Letter to Myself…. all teach the same method of acceptance. I read them all and like bits from each one that all helped.

    I like to think that we can fully recover, but it’s a road of ups and downs. You have to go through the bad to fully appreciate the good times. Anxiety really has taught me alot, how precious life is and how much I want to live it. I still have tough days , but when I look back to the Julie I was early this year I am proud of how far I have come. All of us can overcome this, it has to come from us, noone else. Accepting it, letting it be there and living your life is the only way through. Passing through your fears, thoughts… will strengthen you and once you unmask anxiety it can no longer have a hold on your life. Slowly we all get through this.

  762. Riri Says:

    I guess why i am so bothered is because sometimes my thoughts are so random and the things that stick are very bizarre and weird i wonder of this is anxiety or not.

  763. Rob Says:

    Currently my mind is so preoccupied with my remaining symptoms that I started getting a physical symptom I never had before: chest pain. Just can’t stop thinking about my memory loss and poor social skills. I can only remember a few memorable events in freshman year and barely remember events from HS. Whats even more confusing is I even wonder if I could remember these things back when I didn’t have anxiety. Basically anxiety is causing me to focus on these memories and tries to make me hunt for them.

    To make this worse, I’ve been taking an occasional spread out 1-2 times a week benzo for like 2 months and now im agonizing over if the benzo is giving my memory loss worse even though I had this symptom before taking that stuff.

    Don’t quite understand what to do here. I saw in a past blog that best thing to do is do nothing. So one day randomly I will get every remaining thing back and be able to freely talk to people? People mention the social stuff in the context of DP but I don’t even have DP yet I feel like I can’t socialize as well with people. I want to and I go out with friends but I feel like something inhibits me…

  764. Emma Says:

    Is anyone else dealing with DP as their main symptom right now? I had DP in the very beginning and it hit quite hard, it dissipated after a few months then it was just the general anxiety with the intrusive thoughts we know and love, but the DP is back and not momentarily, it’s consistent throughout the day. Just wondering if anyone else is dealing w DP as well at the moment? Xx

  765. Val Says:

    Hi emma….i have dp when not occupied or with friends…..my depression has lifted but with medication…i hate the dp and dont quite know how to handle it….i know paul says accept its a tired mind etc….i probably have no other symptoms now…i have been on one overseas trip in June and two interstate hols in aug and sep ….and no symptoms AT ALL!……so hope recovery looms closely! Hugs to you…val

  766. Val Says:

    Emma…what is 5 HTP ??? Val

  767. Val Says:

    Its ok emma….googled it..????

  768. Lui Says:

    What really makes me wonder is that I feel just little flashes of panick with my new attitude. How come that so much adrenaline just seems to be gone?

  769. lainie waller Says:

    Lui its because you have stopped fighting you have accepted it . so the adrenalin as faded it now knows your not scared of it . keep it up well done x

  770. lainie waller Says:

    hi guys, could you please scroll up and look at my post please from yesterday. ty x

  771. Bryan Says:

    Great one Julie.

  772. Lui Says:

    fuck yeah haha

  773. Daniel Says:

    Ok I have a question.
    But first let me repeat myself, because I feel that I need to give some background and make some distinctions. I had anxiety for a good 10 years before recovering the first time, but this first episode was different from my current one in that it had crept on me so gradually that I hadn’t realized it was there during that entire decade and I had assumed every thought and feeling I had during that period was normal. Anyway after many years it faded and I was left wondering what had changed that had made me start feeling so amazing and free all the time. This second time it came more suddenly, and I had memories/experiences of being anxiety free so I actually noticed it was there and something was wrong this time.
    Now my question is, what am I doing this time that I hadn’t done the first time? I mean I never had the added worry of my anxiety itself when I was younger, and yet it still took me 10 years. Is it simply that this time I can separate myself from my anxious thoughts and recognize their cause and discredit them rather than taken every fear/worry/feeling as fact? Is that enough of a change? Is there anything else that would make this different? Is there anything else I should be doing?

    Also,
    @lainie waller
    I think the feeling of “losing it” is present in every case and is most present when symptoms are in full swing (which doesn’t mean when you’re farthest from recovery or when you are at your worst. It’s just the most extreme feeling/thought anxiety can put you through.) Same goes for depression, I think during this period it’s normal to be sad or depressed, but when anxiety is at it’s worst and we’re feeling most afraid we get a certain kind of depression that mixes with the feeling of “losing it,” I’d describe it as a feeling of complete hopelessness. It makes sense we’d feel hopeless and depressed at the same time that we feel most panicked and scared.
    Anyway, I do think that those feelings are some of the worst things anxiety can throw at you. So remember when you’re in thick of that feeling, that it is just a feeling and also that feeling is the very worst thing anxiety can do to you. You can look at that as an opportunity to defy your anxiety and disregard it as just a feeling, after all that’s just what it is. When your condition is throwing everything it possibly can at you that’s the perfect opportunity to recognize just how little power it actually has. I know when you are feeling those feelings and thinking those thoughts it’s so very hard to believe that ‘this is just tired nerves making me feel this way, it has no control of me and in time I’ll get better,” but that doesn’t meet that’s not true.
    Take care lainie waller!

  774. susan Says:

    Oh wow, can I check something please. I assume it’s an intrusive thought but I am so freaked out as it is not like my usual ones. I had my normal intrusive self harm thought but this time the thought “go on just do it” followed. Freaking out, maybe I do need to be locked up. I thought I had a hold of these thoughts, I have been doing so well but I am not sure this is one? Please help me. I am trying to rationalise that it must be an anxiety thought otherwise I would not be freaked out but why on earth would my brain put that there if I didn’t want to do it. What if I am urging myself to do it. Surely this is not normal. My psychologist signed me off saying I had to have more faith in my abilities to deal with this and since then my anxiety has gone through the roof. Do I just treat this like other thoughts and try let it go, reading this back through I can see I have assigned meaning to a thought and reacted to it, however it is so hard not to.

  775. susan Says:

    I know a lot of people on here struggle with intrusive thoughts but such almost urges???? I hope I am not just the only one.

  776. susan Says:

    Riri you make complete sense to me. When my adrenaline is high my intrusive thoughts can attach to ANYTHING in the environment, wherever I am. Therefore I know that they are just products of adrenaline. I know that that is normal for anxiety and high adrenaline.

  777. rachh Says:

    Hi Susan I used to have those urges your talking about. Back in 2012 and last year (you will probably see my posts) i was in the same place as u. I was crippled by my scary thoights and then the urges would just add insult to injury because they reinforced my fears by making me think and ‘feel’ I wanted to carry out those things.
    I can only say that the only thing that helped me during those times was to reassure myself because I felt unsafe. The thoughts you are having and the urges are just tricks.
    As long as you know that deep down its all a bluff complete mindless b*llox.
    What I struggled with there on after is well what thoughts do I believe if these aren’t true what thoughts do I trust. Gain as much knowledge as you can and you will get through. You just have a fantastic imagination which is unfortunately turning on you.

  778. Emma Says:

    Susan,

    YES sometimes they feel like an “urge” to actually carry out the thought. The OCD almost tricks you into really feeling like you WANT to. I had this back in May and I posted about it, everyone told me that the anxiety manifesting as an “urge” to carry through the self-harm is strictly OCD-related. People with depression often describe having thoughts of “abuse” toward themselves and that they do their best not to listen to those thoughts. I always wondered how those differed from the self-harm thoughts that people with anxiety have. Maybe someone can shed light on this? Regardless, don’t worry Susan. I had this in May and I was terrified that it meant I was suicidal — I was convinced that I somehow wanted to do these things … but deep inside I didn’t I was terrified which was why I posted about it, and it’s the same reason you’re posting about it too. Consider it just another intrusive sensation. Xx

    Val,

    I’m happy you’re depression lifted, that’s great. DP for me is also less featured when I’m with friends/family or when I’m busy. But, the minute I think about dp again it comes back. Today I forgot about it for a few hours then it came back when I ‘checked’ for it again and it’s still lingering. I keep trying to figure out why DP is back when I haven’t had it since the onset of my anxiety (2 years ago). The only thing we can do is accept it and pay it no attention. I find that DP tends to amplify the more you pay attention to it. For instance, if I stare at myself in the mirror and think existential thoughts, it triggers DP.

    Does anyone else have the fear of depression? I’ve had a fear of depression since my setback in May when I felt the low moods and sadness. I was terrified I was becoming depressed. I must have taken a dozen online depression screening tests to reassure myself I wasn’t. However, I still very much catastrophize about depression. I don’t know what it is about depression that scares me so much, but I am always questioning whether or not I have a hint of depression because I know anxiety & depression are often co-morbid. What really scares me I think is that depression can get so dark and so bad that it can lead to fatality. I have read a lot of descriptions online about what it means for individual people to “be depressed” and some people describe similar sensations to us. I want to let go of this fear because I know I’m not depressed…I have FELT depressed but I don’t think I HAVE depression. What I experience now and again is just random low moods and sadness, a kind of a melancholy I guess. But even the word depression makes me uncomfortable. How do you guys convince yourselves that you do not (& will not) have depression despite the anecdotal accounts of people who have depression and sound similar to us? Xx

  779. Rob Says:

    Any ideas on how to pass through this weird stage where it doesn’t feel like I have anxiety even though I do? Like I don’t feel that anxious but at the same time things seem totally off–can’t socialize as well, memories distant, life discontinuous.

    Isn’t this stuff is supposed to come back as the anxiety decreases? The rumination certainly has decreased but with that I expected all this other stuff to come back too. Why do I still feel this way even though im not as anxious? Can I expect that for me this might be the last thing to come?That’s it pretty much for me. Once I get those things back I will be pretty close to my normal self and my goal of true 100.00% recovery.

  780. Daniel Says:

    Rob,
    I don’t have any idea on how you can overcome that final hurdle, but I can say that my anxiety began with those feeling longs before the more straight forward anxious feelings came along. So it seems like your anxiety is diminishing.
    All I can suggest is keep going forward and don’t sit and look out for those thoughts, feelings and memories. You worry and obsess over these last symptoms and you’ll just fall back into the cycle. You don’t try to fix or change anything and normality and happiness will come to you!

  781. susan Says:

    Thanks Emma and Racch, I will try to heed your advice, difficult to believe this new symptom is still anxiety. I am petrified that the urges “do it” thoughts may attatch to intrusive thoughts about others too. I guess as I am afraid of that they might so I should be prepared for that and have the same attitude to it. Anyone else have this with anxiety? Julie I notice you struggled with intrusive thoughts too?

  782. Val Says:

    Hi Emma…I’ m sure your doctor would know if you had depression. Mine came after anxiety caused by a family trauma. I pushed myself to go for walks etc and took a while to find right meds which worked. I wasn’t eating much but again due to anxiety. I think people with severe depression struggle to get out of bed….I have a friend who finished up having ECT. I think I am a lot older than you so thank you for caring…..i find the dp frightening but obviously we’re not alone…..hugs…val

  783. susan Says:

    Emma, the fact that you have to try convince yourself you don’t have depression shows that it is anxiety. Also the fact that the word triggers an uncomfortable sensation, underlines this. Just like for other people the word germ, or suicide, or schizophrenic will trigger that anxiety uncomfortable sensation. Tell yourself: so i think I have depression, so flipping what! Do not avoid that word depression, sit with it and hold it in your mind or repeat it over and over, eventually it will lose its force and become noise. hmmm guess I should do that with my ‘do it’ words. Just goes to show, easy to give advice.

  784. Daniel Says:

    I’m really not feeling myself lately. My thinking and actions have been erratic. I am incredibly agitated and feel like I have no idea what’s going on, where I am or who I am 24/7. I keep having insane arguments with my family and I’m losing the people around me. Recovery is seeming less and less worth it and possible.

    Can someone please answer my question:
    Let me repeat myself, because I feel that I need to give some background and make some distinctions. I had anxiety for over 10 years before recovering the first time, but this first episode was different from my current one in that it had crept on me so gradually that I hadn’t realized it was there during that entire decade and I had assumed every thought and feeling I had during that period was normal. Anyway after many years it faded and I was left wondering what had changed that had made me start feeling so amazing and free all the time. This second time it came more suddenly, and I had memories/experiences of being anxiety free so I actually noticed it was there and something was wrong this time.
    Now my question is, what am I doing this time that I hadn’t done the first time? I mean I never had the added worry of my anxiety itself when I was younger, and yet it still took me 10 years. Is it simply that this time I can separate myself from my anxious thoughts and recognize their cause and discredit them rather than taken every fear/worry/feeling as fact? Is that enough of a change? Is there anything else that would make this different? Is there anything else I should be doing?

  785. Bryan Says:

    Daniel,

    Would you describe yourself as totally accepting and letting it all be there right now?

  786. Mia Says:

    Hello everybody,

    i haven’t been on this blog for soo long, I think for more than a half year!
    As I went through the comments I saw that there are still many of the people posting who already posted when I used to come to the blog!

    Well, i am here to give lots of hope to you guys! Because you CAN recover!
    Why? Because many did, everyone can and so did I! First of all I wouldn’t say i’m 100% recovered, but nearly! But now I know, that you don’t even need to be 100% recovered to get your happiness back!

    I don’t want to share my whole story now, as this would take a lot of time.
    I would rather like to try to answer your personal questions. Everyone has different problems when they suffer from anxiety and I don’t want you to feel confused by listing all the symptoms that I had, but if you have special questions I would really like to share my advice :-)

    Mia

  787. Lui Says:

    Aaand my attitude is gone. But that’s not bad. It’ll come back.

  788. Karen Says:

    And that’s a great attitude Lui. Your attitude has clearly not gone!

  789. honey Says:

    Horton
    This has been the reason why I cannot get back on track at the moment. I’ve kind of given up. This method is my only hope so thinking there are hardly any recovered people on here out of all the people still suffering just makes me feel totally miserable. But there are recovered people all over the internet. Our anxious minds lead us into believing all the negative things we hear and discounting the positive things. Naturally there are more negative desperate people on Google searches… Healthy people don’t want to wallow in it. I never googled anything before this started. I agree though the book could do with lots of positive recovery stories to make people feel sure of the method because a little doubt isall it ttakes to make us question everything again. We need to have full faith in this method in order to make it work. I’ve wasted months looking for fully recovered stories online and on the blog. there are quite a few out there all using this or a similar method so we just have to have the faith

  790. Val Says:

    Hi Emma…how r u ???? Feel we are both at similar stages…..the difference is that I am old…LOL…and also on meds but I do try to adapt Paul’s methods….I hope you are ok……8 am here in Australia…time to face the day….r u in UK? I have become FB friends with some of the lovely “girls” who used to blog here. Best wishes…Val

  791. Horton Says:

    Hey Bryan could you maybe do Honey and me a solid and share some of those success stories you’ve been reading? I think it’d mean a lot to both of us. I know it’s sort of counter-productive to feel the need for a success story when we’re feeling down, I mean having hope/faith is a big part of recovery, but I think it’d help Honey and me get back on track.

  792. Daniel Says:

    I do apologize for repeatedly asking the same question, but it really feels like a question worth asking. Normally I let things be and like to spend my time on the blog giving positive reinforcement and advice to others, but this question is driving me up a wall.
    I’m going to see what my counselor as to say about it when I meet with her tomorrow, but she never answers my questions (which is good, because I wouldn’t really respect a counselor who didn’t allow me to come to my own conclusions.)
    I do understand that as of late the blog is being frequented by newer ‘members’ and people who are facing some setbacks whilst a lot of the more recovered people have moved on or are visiting the site less frequently, but I think all of us need to look out for one another especially us who are less recovered than some.

    Anyway, here we go again:
    I had anxiety for over 10 years before recovering the first time, but this first episode was different from my current one in that it had crept on me so gradually that I hadn’t realized it was there during that entire decade and I had assumed every thought and feeling I had during that period was normal. Anyway after many years it faded and I was left wondering what had changed that had made me start feeling so amazing and free all the time. This second time it came more suddenly, and I had memories/experiences of being anxiety free so I actually noticed it was there and something was wrong this time.
    Now my question is, what am I doing this time that I hadn’t done the first time? I mean I never had the added worry of my anxiety itself when I was younger, and yet it still took me 10 years. Is it simply that this time I can separate myself from my anxious thoughts and recognize their cause and discredit them rather than take every fear/worry/feeling as fact? Is that enough of a change? Is there anything else that would make this different? Is there anything else I should be doing?

    Really thank you to everyone on this website that have helped me so far, I owe so much progress to you!

  793. Rob Says:

    @Daniel

    The agitation really is a tough one. In my setback 2 weeks ago I had tons of agitation 1 day and just ended up popping a benzo to stop it. Started looking up clinics that offer ketamine infusions cause I was so desperate. Needless to say that setback ended and now I look back on it like “wtf was I thinking then…..” Just ride it out. Go for a swim to let out all that agitation. Sit in a spa. Does your family know you are suffering from this/are they understanding of it?

    I don’t know if you are already doing this but from what I got from the book and on here is to sort of act like you didn’t have anxiety? My counselor told me this too–fake it till you make it. Just pretend like anxiety doesn’t even exist I guess. Or recognize it and don’t react. This part is really tough when you get agitated though…

  794. Lui Says:

    Hey Karen,
    you were right. It’s still there! I think I am just a bit nervous to let go of all the worries in general. This is all so new for me but I’m really curious as well.

  795. SarahS Says:

    Hi all – I’m in quite a tizz. In a nutshell I had anxiety for many years before I found Paul’s site and Claire weekes books but in that time I built up fears. The main theme was how the hell will I cope with big stress like illness and death if I can’t cope with this? I improved greatly when I found Paul and Claire weekes but recently moms been poorly and my fears have hit hugely. Mainly I’ll have massive anxiety and won’t be able to cope if anything happens.

    Can anyone help please?

    Xx

  796. SarahS Says:

    Ps I get so anxious when I hear of bad news from people and rather than think oh that’s sad I think oh gosh I’d be so anxious if that happened to me! Selfish I know. I’d really like some advice if anyone understands.

    Thank you x

  797. honey Says:

    Yes Bryan that would be really amazing! I get what Horton says… About how we shouldn’t be reassurance seeking but at least having faith in the method will get us back on the right path… at the moment I feel like I’m in limbo.

    SarahS I feel like that too sometimes. Like how would I cope if something went majorly wrong. But I think you just do. You crack on! But bare also in mind that people who don’t have anxiety disorder still feel rubbish when something awful happens to them. We will never be immune from life’s downers just like everyone else. I worried when I was last pregnant that I would panic through Labour but I was so caught up in it that I didn’t get a chance!

  798. SarahS Says:

    Thanks honey. I think you’re right. I was just going to attempt to answer my own question and then ask for feedback/guidance. I’ve been trying to think of an answer to stop the anxiety but that’s not the way forward is it.

    So my moms poorly but might be fine I hasten to add. My first reaction was oh ok so that’s not all bad news but then a couple of days later the anxiety and fear hit of oh my lord I don’t cope well with stress (only ever done it in sn anxious way). So, the anxieties here now so let it all come and whatever happens or not at anytime then if I handle it anxiously then so be it I will?

    X

  799. SarahS Says:

    So let it all come feel the fear. Think so what to not sleeping or eating much and eventually facing things this way will help to reduce such strong reactions to a more normal reaction? X

  800. honey Says:

    Yes it will. I’ve followed this method or over two years without fully accepting if you know what I mean. I’ve done it half heartedly. So I know that things get easier. It’s about desensitizing to it. The more you face it with he right attitude the faster it eases up. I’ve been questioning it all lately and doubting il ever fully recover. It’s the thoughts and rumination nower days.

  801. Julie Says:

    Susan, I hope I can help you with your question about intrusives feeling like urges.

    I suffered with harm thoughts, I have been told these are harm ocd thoughts but it’s just anxiety, all under the same umbrella. I have had some CBT/ERP and I learnt alot about thoughts. My thoughts used to give me rushes, they still can at times where it feels like I am about to act on them. That was pretty terrifying in the beginning. I was scared to be near my children because of the thoughts about them and rushes in my stomach terrifiying me I was about to act on them. I had similar rushes about myself. I struggled with intrusives about ending my own life and I was worried they meant I was suicidal. Of course they didn’t as they were causing me anxiety which showed me that it was all anxiety causing my thoughts.

    I have learnt that the urge feeling is very common with ocd type thoughts. It’s just another trick anxiety plays on your but it’s also a reaction to the thought, it’s a fearful rush that makes you panic you were about to act on the thought. It’s all anxiety and adrenaline.

    The content of thoughts really doesn’t matter. I have had thoughts what if I did this…… what if I hurt….. for a long time i had one about the windows upstairs in my house and I used to panic that I was hearing something telling me to do the very thought I was having. I wasn’t, I was actually bringing on all these thoughts myself. What I am trying to say is the content of the thought really doesn’t matter, they will change topic all of the time as they see you lose your fear of one another one will pop up. You have to build up your tool box with the tools to deal with these thoughts. These tools I have learnt are accept the thought, whatever its content. You don’t question it, engage in it…. you just let it be there. Almost imagine yourself seeing it above your head in a speech bubble. You are then being mindful, you are seeing it there but you are now going to refocus on something else. Whatever needs doing, the ironing, bake a cake, cook dinner, go for a walk, do a workout…. . Do not sit there crying, ruminating etc.. you accept, and then move on with your day. It’s hard but the more you practice this then the easier it gets and the thoughts soon lose their grip. Also the goal isn’t to be free of thoughts, it’s to lose your fear of them and carry on living regardless. We all have intrusive thoughts, they are normal. Remember these tools and then with each new thought just treat it as a new wall, but get out the same old tools in your tool box to deal with it.

    I hope this has helped you a little.

  802. SarahS Says:

    One minute I’m getting the message the next all fears return. I know that anxiety can play huge tricks but this isn’t a trick, my mom or anyone in family could die and I’ll no doubt have masses of anxiety. I can’t see it in perspective yet and every bit of bad news around me is sparking off more anxiety. How can I accept this?

    Thanks for your patience.

    X

  803. Ves Says:

    @SarahS
    Accept the impermanence of the life. Surrender. Start with easy stuff that do not produce emotional energy that trigger your anxiety like: does your skin change from day to day, month to month, year to year. Yes it changes. That is impermanence. Do we try to stop it? Yes , we buy creams, laser surgery ..Does it work? No. Not at least in the long run. When do you give up? Some people never give up, and suffer till the end of the life. Some people give up late in the life because they don’t care anymore. They realize they can’t do anything about it because that is the nature of impermanence.
    The same is with loss of family member. It just have more emotional energy because that is somebody close to us. But it is exactly the same as wrinkles on our body. We can’t do anything about it. So you surrender to impermanence.

  804. SarahS Says:

    Ves thank you so much for your time. Surrender and accept. It’s all down to the same message again then isn’t it? Underneath all this angst I’ve actually achieved so much. I think I’m trying to accept but it’s still with me, not sleeping and not all that hungry. It feels strong and scary and my attitude needs to be so what, you don’t scare me anymore. But it does. Is that wrong,? I appreciate your help with this.

  805. Jennifer Says:

    SarahS –
    I know exactly what you mean about all of your comments and can totally relate to everything you have said, those are my fears too – about hearing bad news and worrying you wouldn’t be able to handle it. Thats what started off this bout of strong anxiety, worrying about a family member being hurt or passing away. I struggle to even write it Sarah let alone say or think it.

    Its being sensitised to others pain as our bodies and minds are all sensitive to pain at the moment.
    My appetite is still not there and I am waking up in my sleep regularly really hot and unsettled. Its so hard not to let it scare you, but you have done so well just by reading your past posts. It just takes to get used to a new attitude and really believe that it works and that can only come from practicing and learning through yourself.

    As I still haven’t heard back from Paul about what to do to swap emails securely (he is a busy man) I have created a temporary email account in which we can email and then close it down. If you want to connect, which would be great, please do email me on jenniferslife30 gmail.com

    Vas – great post

    Thanks

  806. Ves Says:

    @SarahS
    I could not do with that attitude “So what, you don’t scare me”. It does not do the trick with me. Personally I think it is little bit confrontational to interact with your thoughts in this way. I am sure it helps some people as they say, so I don’t have the reason not to believe. For me the only thing that works is applying compassion to your thoughts. Practice compassion to yourself and your thoughts, practice compassion to people around you, practice even compassion with people that you have neutral feelings like co-workers and practice compassion to people that maybe you have negative feelings. What are you are doing is re-wiring your mind. We all have this ability because we were always complete beings. We were just distracted along our life.
    Sit, breath, and tell yourself “May I be safe”, “May my family member be safe”, “May my neighbour be safe” and so on. Create your own wishes, phrases and tell them to yourself.
    The crucial thing here is that YOU are expressing your WISH. Life will for sure go their own way and that wish maybe will not happen. But that is OKEY. because that is life. But you will not suffer. Because you are opening your heart with these wishes. If heart is big you can not suffer. and that is the key: eradicating suffering that your anxiety produce.

  807. SarahS Says:

    Ves I really like that. It’s quite lovely thank you. I get that very much. I have had trouble with the word accept and it often churns me up. I’m more into doesn’t matter and it’s a big bluff which of course the secondary is. But compassion takes away the need/desire to get rid of it quickly I think. Thank you

  808. Ves Says:

    Yes Sarah. Word acceptance it could be misunderstood. It is not acceptance of scary thoughts that our mind creates because that would be really scary. How I understand acceptance is non resistance, non struggle. Because the struggle has creates that additional underlying fear, anxiety and so on.

  809. Stephen B Says:

    Hi All

    My anxiety is currently focused on my partner. Im trying the acceptance (doing things I would normally do with her and letting it be there telling myself its only anxiety/adrenaline) but it seems to be making my anxiety/adrenaline levels worse? Should this be the case? Makes me doubt that its anxiety and that I don’t want to be with her (I know this feeds the anxiety)

  810. Rob Says:

    Feeling somewhat low today. Hopefully this will pass. Trying to quiet my worry about having another setback….

  811. Jennifer Says:

    Looking for anyone to relate at the mo please?
    Made a little effort not to live on here this week but thank god it is here as it does give me some relief, which I can’t blame myself for wanting even if the idea is to be with feeling like death warmed up.
    The constant introspection/DP in my mind has made my surges and feeling of panic worse all throughout the day which is so tough. I am sitting at my desk at work not with it at all, feeling either panic/high anxiety or feeling like my brain has given up and wants to put me to sleep. I will not let this defeat me and its so hard not to be scared about this just getting too much and making me stay in bed, unable to talk to anyone and not being able to work. All because i am so in my head and obessed with anxitey and full of it physically that I won’t be able to function.
    I have felt terrible so far and still functioned somehow even though it has been dreadful so I guess I am catastrophising as it feels like I am constantly on the edge

    My last anxiety bout 2 years ago taught me that I won’t actually ‘loose it’ so thats one thing at least but its still feels like all these thoughts trashing my life and personality.
    Strange thing is, I know we can all recover from this without a doubt, because I have done it twice and it DID happen and quicker than you imagine.

    SarahS
    One of my posts is being moderated as it has a temporary email address that i have set up so that we can connect so keep an eye out for that if Paul ok’s it on here as it will appear further up in todays date

  812. Matthew Says:

    Hope everyone’s doing good on here! I have been practicing acceptance and I have been doing pretty well at times but still struggling with the last couple parts of recovery and the last couple days have been pretty up and down to say the least. I find myself always thinking about what I’m going through and have been having a hard time focusing. I have been having some moments of normality but they aren’t lasting to long. I find myself struggling with some intrusive thoughts although they aren’t as persistent as they were before, but I’m constantly in my head trying to find answers. I also keep thinking of questions I want to ask and just am always thinking about my anxiety. I was just wondering if anyone else deals with this? I think from what Paul and others say that this is very common with anxiety and is usually the last to pass because it has become a habit to think it. Just looking for some advice/answers! Thanks everyone

  813. Rob Says:

    @Matthew

    I am also kind of near the end last 30% of recovery. The last part is kind of tough. It feels like the progress has kind of plateaued for me.

    I also don’t get persistent intrusive/rumination thoughts but I still “check” for them and then subsequently get them. Its like the pink elephant thing if you have heard of that. Also still cannot stop thinking about anxiety and I have lingering symptoms with my social ability/ from past/ afternoon fatigue. But I am learning to just let that stuff happen in the background.

    Not only do I think about what I am currently going through like you but sometimes the annoying thought about my early anxiety days comes along. I get the annoying thought about the bad ecstasy comedown I had and still wonder how the heck I could still get anxiety despite recovering from it. Basically, I am having a hard time just “forgetting” my anxiety and moving on.

    I feel like its pretty much impossible forgetting our experience with anxiety. Remember when Paul said at one point the word “anxiety” sent him into a panic? That is what is sort of happening with me.

    The low I had earlier in the day thankfully passed after a nice nap! 😀 warded off that potential setback…

  814. Kevin Says:

    Jennifer,

    I can relate to you. In fact, today I felt the most anxious that ive felt in weeks. I had actually had a good 2 to 3 weeks of feeling great. Anxiety was the least of my problems it felt like. It started last night, I was lying in bed and as usual my heart was beating super loud and super fast. I didnt let it bother me for a while but last night I thought about it too much. A rush of panic came over me. It bled into today. I woke up with bad dp/dr and felt anxious pretty much all day. The gym was scary. Usually I workout great and dont hold back. Today after lifting some weights for almost an hour I got up from a workout and felt extremely faint and panicky. My vision was so blurred and i saw spots. It made me afraid of anxiety again. This is a pretty good setback i got here. My health anxiety is back and I feel like I want to go to the doctors and get tests (since I never got any in depth tests besides a basic blood test) but I know that nothing will be wrong with me.

    In the past, the one thing that really scared me were the thoughts. I could handle the physical symptoms for the most part. Today completely changed that. The fear is back. But im trying not to obssess. Im still staying off google and doing what i need to do. Im thinking i might go to the doctors just to rule anything out since I never really did. But I know it will pass. It will for you too. Good luck!

  815. Jack Says:

    @rob and @matthew

    Hey dudes, I’m in the same boat as you both I think! Rob my anxiety stemmed from drugs as well, I was totally normal dude before no major anxiety or anything until this August when I had a full blown panic attack from a tiny little bad shroom trip I had. Was fine 2 weeks after I took the drugs but then I saw something that reminded me about them and I had my attack! I feel I’m at both of your levels of recovery, have had so many normal moments but my days are testing. It was funny actually the other night I was at a party casually drinking and my buddy gave me some marijuana edible and I didn’t think it was that strong and it destroyed me, didn’t freak out but felt like I was dieing goin crazy etc.(I know extremely stupid decision I honestly don’t know how I survived) I don’t mean to bring drugs to this sight for I am telling this story as it does have a point toward anxiety. I had taken an edible before a couple years ago and felt the same way. I realized that the anxiety I have exaggerated my experience for I am still sensitized. It made me feel have hope that I’m still the same person!! My days are all testing like how u both say but I also have those crazy stupid thoughts and now there just getting annoying!! I guess what I’m gettin at here guys is that (atleast for me) I finally realized it’s the DP that’s holding me back and these ubsurd thoughts. Matthew the only thing holding me back as well is thinking “why the hell is this still going on?! It’s been 3 months!!” That also sends me into my weird funks where I feel strange and hopeless. But what I’m realizing is this is all the self pity and inner thinking Paul says keeps us in the cycle and keeps our adrenaline pumping. It really is all about calming the mind and I can attest how tough it is when your habits are always thinking about yourself. But what I’m realizing is I should be feeling crappy and thinking inward, that’s all I’ve done the last couple of months! I feel like I’m on to something when I say that we have to finally accept ourselves for feeling this way, atleast for me it’s the anger I feel for being the person I exactly wanted to be 3 months ago and now feeling like a zombie.. I Think it’s all the thrashing we do on ourselves because it really is just our minds finding logic as to how we feel at the moment when we never give it it’s break! Well that’s what I have to say gents, hope recovery is going well for the rest of everyone here, God bless!

  816. Jennifer Says:

    I am obsessing with reading anxiety books and websites at the moment and its stopping me getting on with my day. It is the good and useful information on anxiety but I am still struggling not to read or log on at every opportunity. Its understandable that I am doing this as I want me back and am trying desperately to get the right approach and make myself feel better.
    I am so worried that I just can’t focus and be well enough to work and that this is getting worse.
    Taken leave today to try to and give myself a break from work and all I am doing is reading about anxiety. Are others able to work and how do they get on with concentration and surges of panic/high anxiety?
    I so just want me back and find I am crying more at the moment.

    My family say I am interacting fine with people and that my memory etc seems fine but I don’t feel I amon the ball at all or interacting very well and this worry and symptom is the worst of all as I need to engage with others to help me gradually come out of being stuck in my own mind. This is DP I guess.
    Also i am

    Sorry to be so negative but can anyone relate I feel so sad about all of this.

    Kevin – thanks so much for your response and well done for staying off google, you have learnt that you don’t need google or this blog everyday. I will get to that place one day soon as well

  817. Gerry Says:

    I can’t say enough how much Paul’s book has helped me 6 months ago when I had yet another anixiety episode following the tragic death of my in-laws. Anxiety is something I had been dealing with off and on for over 20 years using all kinds of avoidance strategies.
    I read numerous books on the subject and had seen several therapists along the way. But Paul’s book nailed it in a way I had never come across before: my last therapist was quite impressed and has recommended it to some of her clients.
    Now it’s winter again (the season when I usually feel more vulnerable to anxiety) and I’ve been catching myself going back to some of the same old anxiety-related thought patterns again. It’s almost like I fear a “relapse”. I’m currently going back to Paul’s book to remind myself not to get caught in the same trap again: trying to stop, fight or get rid of unwanted feelings… Taking loadsof vitamins and supplements…
    Anyone has had similar “fear-of-a-relapse” experience?

  818. Anxious Indian Says:

    I am new here and would really love some help. I came down with anxiety abut 3.5 months ago. Using Paul’s methods, I have been able to get rid of 90% of all the physical symptoms in a span of 3 months. All that is left is a constant vibrating feeling in my fingers and chest/throat on alternate days.

    However what is troubling me now much more than the physical symptoms is the “attention on myself” feeling & “trapped in my own mind” feeling.

    Perhaps it is my tired mind but I am confused about something. Is the “Attention on oneself” the same as “constantly thinking about oneself and anxiety” which also causes the “trapped in my mind” feeling?

    What I am trying to ask is, is it possible to not think about yourself, but just have “attention on yourself”? I am finding this hard to practice.

    Also, I feel very numb, emotionless and slightly depressed :(

  819. Gerry Says:

    @Anxious Indian,

    That’s exactly the point! This almost constant “attention on oneself” is what gives the anxiety machine the fuel it needs to keep going. I wanted to add that in my previous post but I got distracted…
    The question is how to stop it? I guess by letting it be and put your attention on whatever task you’re doing in the moment. From experience I know it can tricky sometimes but to apply Paul’s advice, I would say “Don’t fall for it”. Avoid getting into a fight with yourself (that applies for me as well at this particular time when I start picking up some old familiar signals again…)

  820. Daniel Says:

    Hey Rob,
    Once again regarding your Nov. 15 post. Some people start off with DP and later get panic attacks, some people start with panic attacks and develop OCD-type stuff. Both Horton and I initially started off with the lack of emotion, lack of interest and loss of our past/memories/identity and the other stuff came later. It is likely as far as we are concerned that those will be our last symptoms to go. And regardless of whether or not they were your initial symptoms doesn’t really matter, at any rate they’ve just outlasted some of your other symptoms. Maybe that’s because they bother you more and matter to you more. Either way, treat them as you do any other symptom. You’ll get past this last thing.

    Also, a selfish question, but do you still suffer from depersonalization? I’m currently working on the theory that the disconnection from my past is directly caused by/attributed to that part/aspect/product of my GAD. It makes sense to me, but I was just curious if that was the case.

    Take care everyone!

  821. Daniel Says:

    Also, welcome to the Blog Anxious Indian. You are in good hands. There are a lot of good people on here.

    I recommend you check out Paul’s website, it’s got almost as much info as the book but is very concise.
    The bit on depersonalization might help you, if you’ve read about it before it might help you more this time.

  822. Marek Says:

    I’ve been thinking about the anxiety, maybe from little bit different perspective.

    Anxiety is very similar to an addiction or obsession on thinking about itself. The stronger anxiety, the stronger addiction. Let’s compare it to gambling for example: Someone addicted to playing slot machines decides to stop it and to recover. Now, he is still visiting the pub, but instead of playing the machines, he just observes his friends playing. Is he doing progress to recover ? Yes because he is not playing anymore. But is this the best way to fast and truly recover? Certainly not, unless he stops visiting the pub and watch others playing…

    I wanted to say that maybe, also observing to our anxious thoughts (even with not putting additional fear to them), don’t need to be the fastest way to recover.
    Similar to the man addicted to slots needs to stop vising the pub, we need to stop thinking about the WHOLE anxiety content. What if the best and the fastest way to recover is to STOP:
    – listening to anxious thoughts (not even observing them)
    – thnking about questions related to anxiety
    – thinking about giving advice too often
    – visiting this site too often (maybe only once per day)
    etc.

    We already know that we cannot control our thoughts, it’s only possible not to react to them in order to recover. Still, two good options last.
    1. When anxious thought comes (or anything related to anxiety), just observe it (without putting additional fear)
    2. When anxious thought comes, slightly refocus attention on the senses (on breathing, smelling, touching) – mindful way

    I think, the second option is better and puts even less stress into the body.

    It will be hard, but I want to try :

    limit visiting this site, Claire Weekes videos etc. ,
    stop observing my anxious thoughts (what my mind told me 1 million times),
    stop thinking and imaging giving advice,
    leave the anxiety content at all,

    HOW? Every time anxious thought comes, refocusing the attention on the sense (breathing, touching) until it leaves.

    My opinion…

  823. Lauren Says:

    @Jennifer –
    Re: searching/reading anxiety sites – I too fall into that trap. (Hence why I am on this blog at the moment.) The seeking of reassurance, as others have said on this thread, is extremely common in anxiety. I seek it everywhere – from sources, from friends, from my incredibly patient husband, and it’s just a rabbit hole.

    I too try to reassure myself with the thought of, “I’ve been here before, I’ve come back, and I’ll do it again” – though the anxiety tries to negate that. But what I’ve found is that, at least in my case, my brain kind of put a cocoon around my thoughts/feelings from my last go-round with anxiety/depression, which is a good self-protective measure, but also prevents me from fully remembering that yes, this is exactly how I felt before, and with hard work and patience, it went away.

    Also, I think it was you, Jennifer, that said that to everyone around you, you appear totally normal and functioning. I had an absolutely terrible, anxiety-wracked weekend, and my husband actually thought I looked, sounded, and acted a lot more calm and composed than what I actually felt. So, as someone else said, the “fake it till you make it” really does help. I also call it “fake it till you feel it.” Retrain your brain!

    Though speaking of said reassurance rabbit hole…

    In one of the posts above (can’t find it at the moment, but I just read it) mentioned that intrusive thoughts about self-harming are very common, and I have to admit, that was the answer I was seeking when I came on here today. I am in the process of recovering from an anxiety/depression setback that occurred over the last 2-3 weeks, and the intrusive thoughts – as before – are the last to go. I