Knowledge of anxiety and fear can only take you so far

Knowledge can only take you so far

Avoidance of life is never due to the fact that life is this big scary thing to no longer engage in, it is due to the fact that we don’t want to feel anxiety/fear and so we avoid life in the hope of not feeling it. Life itself is never at fault here, it spins exactly the same for all of us, it is only our minds fears and perceptions that make it appear different.

I had many aha’s moments in my own recovery and realised that life was not to blame for my fear and anxiety, if it was, we would all be scared of the same things and avoiding life which that simply is not the case, most people happily engage in it and find joy in doing so. I realised that if life was not to blame, then I had to stop avoiding it. By doing so I was teaching my mind that it was a scary place to be avoided and with this approach my life became narrower and narrower and my minds fears just grew.

I then realised that by building up my knowledge I was trying to get to the point where I had such a aha moment that I would be able to get rid of fear and anxiety and just go out live again. I realised this approach would never bring any real results and would be an endless waiting period and that if I wanted my life back, then I had to take the plunge and go out and live it once again. I had to understand that through my past avoidance behaviours my mind would still have a lot of worries and fears when engaging with life fully again, even if they were false.

There really was no getting past the fact that if I wanted to my life back then knowledge would not do this for me, the only way to get my life back was to go and live it fearlessly. This does not mean that fear would not arise, it means I understood it would do and that the feeling fear was part of growth. Its presence was a sign of me stepping out of my comfort zones and building new habits, beliefs and perceptions. My mind would come up with every reason I should stay within my comfort zones, as it would falsely believe that it was keeping me safe. I don’t blame it as I had taught it that the outside was to be avoided, it was just doing its job and trying to protect me, but I needed to teach it that life was not something to be avoided, I had to teach it that I was fine and I did not need its protection anymore and within time it would listen.

I also realised that it was never about trying to get rid of fear, it is a hard wired part of each persons mind, it was about being OK with the feeling of fear. I am not saying you have to enjoy it, it’s not a nice feeling, but ultimately it is a harmless surge of energy that has its limits. I didn’t like the feeling of fear, but in time I lost my fear of it and in doing so I was then no longer moved by its presence, I could make my own decisions on what I wanted to do and that is when my life started to expand once again. My minds perspective also changed hugely with engaging in life once again, as my minds fears started to fall away and it no longer fired off its protection when it was not needed. I had taught it through non avoidance that actually engaging fully in life was fine. I was its teacher and it was my pupil and the best way to teach it would come through my actions.

I always tell people I never came to some huge understanding and then I was fine. Once I understood things then I still had to go through a period of reversing everything which entailed feeling anxiety and fear. I just came to the conclusion that if avoidance had created so many problems, then the answer to reverse this was abvious and yes this would entail a lot of discomfort at times, but getting my life back was far more important than that.

Some people believe they can rid themselves of fear and anxiety through knowledge alone and so jump from one person to the next hoping to be free of anxiety and fear in one go. In doing so they stay stuck in seeking mode as they don’t want to go through the period of discomfort that is needed to reverse the process of avoidance.

Yes knowledge does help unmask a lot of myths about anxiety/fear, it helps you to be able to accept its presence better through understanding it, it helps to understand why you are doing what you are doing and the process you have to go through. But at the end of the day, knowledge is pointless if you never take the actual leap to go out and live your life once again, it beats any amount of knowledge hands down.

I am not saying it is easy and a lot of people may get defensive and go on about how tough it is. I understand this, it was for me also, but it is through the toughest moments that real freedom comes. Even if you make small steps at first and stay committed to expand your life little by little on a daily basis, then this enough to start the process of reversal. Building my understanding was massive for me, but the only reason I live my life fully now was by engaging in living again no matter how I felt.

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233 Responses to “Knowledge of anxiety and fear can only take you so far”

  1. Aj Says:

    Hi Paul
    As usual very insightful post. I am visiting this blog after long long time. Two years ago i was in that dark place,anxiety was full ON, scary thoughts, tremendous guilty feeling, tons of physical symptoms including constant stomach upset, sleeplessness and all. I have both your books and understanding and applying what you shared in those books got me out of that hell hole. Now i am much much better, enjoying my work and hobbies. Living fearlesdely is what i am still learning. I understood that most of the anxiety is self created by over thinking, brooding over the past, cursing your current situation…. Questioning WHY ME? Changing the perspective of looking at life as it is is very important aspect. We expect too much and then feel bad if what expected doesn’t happen

  2. Lauren Says:

    Hi Paul,
    I downloaded your app months ago and finally had my ‘aha’ moment. After medications and therapy and mind-tricks, the real answer makes so much sense.
    I have a big decision coming up that my body is trying to ‘protect’ me from, but I am moving forward down the bumpy learning road because I know it is the only way forward.
    When the feelings of anxiety pop up, I am still in a place where they startle me, but I am learning to cultivate an attitude of being grateful for the practice and remembering that my body is still learning everything is ok.
    My biggest trigger has been memories of going through the worst of it. But as I move forward I am creating new memories of living my life and my confidence is growing.
    Thank you for updating your blog!

  3. Ian Says:

    Wow what a post Paul.

    So much I read of that is what I’m working to over come.
    The fear that life is a big bad world.

    Last night while going bed I had what must of been a massive release, My heart felt like it was going to bang. It stop me in my tracks for a moment it was that big of a release. But after a second or so I saw it as a release smiled to myself and went to sleep.
    Today my heart aches but I’m getting on with my day and taking it as more is being released.

  4. Dr Venkat Ramesh Says:

    Please help Paul.
    A quick introduction. I am a 29 year old doctor from India. I have finished three years of residency in Internal Medicine and I am, additionally, a Member of The Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom. I am going to get married to a most lovely and beautiful lady in December who is aware of all that I am writing to you about .

    The major issue is this: since my late teens (around 16/junior high schools), I have always been plagued with anxiety and obsessive thoughts. I have been on antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, been to therapy, and I have read a number of books on the subject. This is an intermittent problem occurring only in periods of stress: January-May 2006, January-May 2007, June-December 2009, April-November 2012. I have been relatively (major) symptom free since December 2012 until the last month and a half.

    I had thoughts of going abroad even in my first year of medical school. However, I didn’t consider it after medical school because I was seriously dating a girl who was 3 years my junior, and I knew our relationship would suffer if I left. Plus my then girlfriend didn’t want me to leave. I wasn’t hell-bent of leaving either. After finishing my residency in Internal Medicine in May last year, I gave the UK exams. I even worked for a month in the UK. A few Indian doctors from there advised me not to move there, and said that they were planning to move back to India. Additionally, I found British life cold and the weather terrible.

    I started preparing for my fellowship-entrance exams in India, and got into a fellowship program at the best public hospital in my hometown. Although the exposure to cases was great, I found the hospital to be lacking in infrastructure and facilities. Additionally, the hours were terrible (100-110 hours per week), and I was slipping to my previous state of anxiety. I made a bold call after speaking to my fiancee and family to leave the program (there would be a 80000 USD penalty if I left later). I had also then made up my mind to move to the United States for a residency/fellowship.

    It has been 5 weeks since I left and I haven’t been able to commit fully to moving to the United States. I need to make up my mind as soon as possible. I am currently out of work, and am anxious all the time. It is essentially a repeat of where I was 5 years back : near constant anxiety, racing thoughts, poor appetite, decreased sleep. My fiancee has left the decision to me: she is not a doctor, she is an Indian with a British passport and works in Marketing. She says that her heart is in India but she is fine with living anywhere.

    I know all the advantages of moving to a first world country for a doctor from India (better pay, better facilities, better infrastructure, better training), and a number of my friends have commented on how well I will be suited to a more “Westernized” hospital culture. Yet, I am comfortable in India (outside the hospital), I know how the system works, how to get things done, who to go to if my anxiety goes out of control. I am also closer to my parents and to be in-laws (to be).

    Am I taking the easy path by not going abroad ? Is this self-protection or is this how I feel? I am so riddled with anxious though throughout the day that I can’t function. Please help.

    Terribly confused.

  5. Nisha Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Iam completely okay with the physical symptoms. The only thing am struck is with the thoughts. From my childhood I have low self-esteem and anxiety, which I realised few years back. Now, these thoughts appear so real and it projects every thing in a negative way. Iam unable to make decisions (from small to big). How not to believe the thoughts? For example. ” I will be anxious for ever and it will create diseases”. ” I don’t see any hope in my life”, “I am worth nothing”, “Only others can do anything and everything they wanted, but I can’t”,and so on. How not to get into these thoughts? Should I replace them with positive thoughts?

    Thank you in advance!

  6. Kostas Says:

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the post and all your beautiful work.
    I am a little confused and would appreciate any kind of advice.In general I get better as time passes,but one thing I struggle with is the fact that I understand that recovery is not a ‘do’ and these feelings are harmless and in fact helpful,but it is like I force myself to get better and I guess because of habbit always check my progress and do not accept any kind of mistakes.If anyone understands what I am talking about it would be very helpful for me to give me a tip.

  7. Bryan Says:

    Great stuff Paul. Thanks for thr post.

  8. Daryl Says:

    Yes, it’s tough no doubt but thoughts are just thoughts and according to Paul’s book (and others) the key is not recognising those thoughts as fact. The system is to understand that you have these kind of thoughts and always have but when you were well you didn’t take them seriously but now your nerves are heightened a lot of these thoughts stick.
    The idea is to allow them, accept them and carry on with what you are doing……’s hard and I haven’t cracked it myself because I keep revisiting them whenever I am at a loose end but a lot of us here are working on it………i got Paul’s book at the beginning of July and 4-5 months later I have definitely improved because I have a much better understanding of what is happening. I, like you just need to accept my failings, my worries and my thoughts without judging them or fearing them. Good Luck!

  9. Jackie Says:

    Hi all- I don’t even know what I’m looking to achieve while posting this, I have read all I need to read but can’t seem to get past the scary thought symptom of anxiety. I have a history of having anxiety and getting through it. I had my daughter and that helped, but two months ago after being under a period of stress and “normal” anxieties, I had a scary thought of hurting her while I was cutting her breakfast up. I know it is a off shoot of anxiety but for some reason I could not let it go, I ended up ruminating on the thought which then led to being afraid of the beginning of OCD, post partum psychosis, this lead to more irriational thoughts of hurting babies I work with (I work in the NICU) then moved on to every day people! It’s like any situation my mind is trying to come up with something scary and I can’t help it. What’s worse, is that I am a caring and kind person and love my daughter more than anything so I literally feel like my heart breaks each time I have a thought. It has put me into depression and I am tearful many days. There are times I’m brave and pass them off but I feel like they keep coming and it is so hard. I also don’t know if this would be considered a set back since I was recently doing really well and so happy. That is hard too, I keep going back to where I was before that thought and how proud I was that I didn’t let anxiety have the hold on my like it used to. Now I feel like I’m in a worse state than I ever was before because it has me questioning my character. Any insight please I’m so desperate. I know scarlet from her a while ago had similar thoughts with her daughter but I don’t know if she’s active on here anymore. Thanks in advance.

  10. daryl Says:


  11. Mamba Says:

    How long did it take people here for the conversations in their heads to clear? since reading the book i’ve become good at ignoring the negative thoughts and i’m getting fewer now but the conversations in my head and rehearsing conversations in my head (most of which i’ll never have) are still pretty bad. also going over and over music. you start to think is it just anxiety again? the same old stuff

    Any tips?


  12. Steve b Says:

    Hi Mamba. Songs was one of the last for me. Over and over for weeks. Then I had constant focus on death then puff. Like that. It was all gone.

  13. Mamba Says:

    @Steveb did you ever have a problem watching Films or TV? i just can’t switch off and relax. it has improved over the last few months but i kind of feel like i’m not watching something properly unless i totally switch off. I know my eagerness to be over the problem is holding me back but watching films means a lot to me.

    It’s like i have to stop caring about the thing i care about to move forward and enjoy them again which i’m finding very difficult to do :(

  14. Alz Says:

    So i was going to write posts several times but i stopped myself because I realised there is honestly no point. Like Paul says in his new post, you just have to live your life. I am currently in a phase where i am what you could call sleep walking- I am saying things but at the back of my mind theres a constant- did this happen or not ? Forgetting names etc is also very common . Then there are days like yesterday when i thought im completely delusional because i was doubting that my friend is hitting on my husband. Cant seem to get that thought out of my head. Anywya … all part of the package and i just have to live with it till it gets better. You know if by any chance i am heading towards madness then so be it. I can’t take this any longer.

  15. Laura Says:

    Omg the songs! They replay in my head constantly, whether it’s a jingle from the tv or the last song I heard in be car ?

    It used to bug me to no end, but i have finally accepted them. Paul told me it was just my brain having a lot of momentum. For the longest time I couldn’t watch tv either. Or concentrate on anything, really!

  16. Si Says:

    I would like to share a bit more of my experience (this also helps me to vent off a little)

    So… over the last 6 months I have had maybe 3 to 4 experiences of maybe a week or two of feeling normal ….. what’s my normal?


    I wake early (between 4.30 and 5.30) depends on what my minds doing, I feel ok, no anxious thoughts whilst in a semi sleep mode, I can sometimes drop back off for a few minutes and maybe just lay there and think of the things I have to do. I have even got out of bed once and sat downstairs alone until the family have got up (not felt anxious or impatient)
    I plan things I would like to do, weekdays usually what jobs I have got to do at work, what meetings I am going to ect (no anxiety). I walk to work and see the same old scene’s same people, the old man sat in his front room just staring into space (but I am not questioning it and saying to myself – I don’t want to live like that)

    I go to work – get involved, get somewhat excited (liitle) about things we are doing at work. I think I should go to the gym at lunch but necer do (but I am not anxious about it). I get the odd “I can’t be bothered to do this or that, but I ignore it and do it anyway (sometimes)
    I go home about 4pm and take the dog a short walk, watch some tv and occasionally get called out (on call firefighter), but I’m not anxious and I am not thinking “hurry up 7pm so I can just chill” (why 7 I don’t know but I usually feel ok at that time of day)
    Weekends coming up – we’ll go to the movies and watch a film, do some shopping, visit mum and dad a- all the usual stuff (no anxiety). This last weekend watched Daddy’s Home 2 – fantastic fun!!! Do it!!!!
    ….. then arhhhh …. I can feel my mood changing a little, I feel a bit lost, I feel tight chested, I’m not listening to people and just homing in on myself…. Oh no – it’s back !!!!!!
    So here I am again… my usual routine….. Back on the blog, suppose the Claire Weekes Adiou will be out soon, can’t listen to my favouratte radio station with Chris Moyles because I get very anxious. Wake up early, anxious mind playing all sorts of tricks. Feeling like I must do something to stop this, trying to work out why I feel like this again…… promising myself that I can do this, but now my mind tells me to go and see the doctor, perhaps my meds need increasing, what if it’s something I am eating, I need to look after myself, I don’t want to feel like this, I was looking forward to Christmas, I was feeling relaxed and now “oh no” it’s back and I don’t like it!!!! When will it go away again?????
    Well – vent over, it will go away again and it probably will come back again and I suppose the more this happens the less impact it has on me. Like Paul and a lot of others say “you don’t have to like it, but don’t let it stop you” – so I will keep going, doing wanting…. But if I have to force myself “SO WHAT!!!!”
    AlZ – I totally get you, I can say that you’ve come this far….. you’ll keep going and going until one day you forget, you forget you haven’t been on the blog, you haven’t questioned something so much you don’t actually do it… THIS IS HOW WE ARE FOR AS LONG AS WE ARE… I am starting to get the point of “it will go when it’s ready, and I look forward to the moments of clarity, no matter how short”

    MAMBA – the TV and Movie thing – oh yes I know where you are coming from and in a wiered way I am happy that someone else feels like that too, but I can tell you only a couple of months ago I was so anxious and frightened about watch some TV and going to the movies, but over time the movie thing has just disappeared, yep when I book to go my mind checks to see if I have a reaction (habbit) and when I don’t it feels great, when I do I have to and you do too think “SO WHAT” do it!!!

    I am sorry if none of this makes sence, I have done nothing but think about writing this all morning (over in my head), does it help – probably not only to the point that I have expressed how I am feeling anf hopefully help someone else understand that its just thoughts and feelings we are afraid of, because when you don’t get the feeling of dread, the thoughts don’t stick!!!

    Best wished


  17. Carl Says:

    Great post. Anxiety reacts on what we’re afraid of , even if it’s just a thought. We fear the thought if it’s bad and any association with that thought , using our senses and then we react uncontrollably. We need to recondition our anxious brains to go toward our fears , not away from them. Confront them and let your body give you a reaction if it wants, you know deep within you that it’s false. The more you condition yourself to these fears, the better you’ll be until it no longer gives you a reaction. It’s essentially exposure therapy but over a longer period if you don’t actually go for therapy. Real life is the therapy, not forced CBT. The brain will rewire itself when it’s ready to, accepting and allowing it all to manifest without getting involved. It does take courage , it does take patience and perseverance but that is surely better than worrying about it constantly.

  18. Mamba Says:

    @Si good post. i’d write a similar post but would probably write 10 paragraphs more 😀

    On the watching films/TV: it’s like my head has to check “am i into this, am i relaxed” my desperation tp just “be normal” and not be constantly thinking is stopping me. i’m putting off the films i really want to watch because i dont want to spoil them. i watched 2 yesterday i like both a lot but then i have the thought “i probably would have liked them even more had i not had this problem”

    It always helps when i feel that i’ll get over this, that at some point my head will just relax. Reading the book and knowing it’s possible to get over anxiety helped a ton, it doesn’t just feel like it will be never ending.

  19. Mark R Says:

    Hi Si,

    Interesting to read your post as I feel pretty much in the same position as you. I continue to be up and down with times of being totally fine as you have mentioned, mind free with clarity and pretty much myself and at other times, less so.

    Unfortunately I’ve had a pretty rough week or so where I’ve been dragged back into the woods. My mind is self focused, body buzzing with nervous energy, refuced interest etc. Ive stuck to my usual routine of work, exercise, and socialising but my mind harbours thoughts of ‘When will it go again?’.

    I think there are two ways to look at it though. One would be the mindset of ‘I was great last week, yesterday etc. It’s never going to go. This isn’t fair’. The other is that ‘Well I’ve had times of being myself and feeling good again. This proves I’m on the right path and my mind and body need a bit more time.’ The latter is much kinda to ourselves and we need self compassion in tough times.

    Sounds like you’re doing well. Hope to here back from you.


  20. Alz Says:

    Here’s a bit of hope for you all . I’m catching a flight in the next couple of hours to meet my bro whose wife is about to hv a baby. I am in such a bad state that I’m questioning everything ? Is there actually a flight? Did I pack everything ? Etc etc . It’s a point of utter depersonalisation but I’m going to take this risk , go ahead and see what happens . I’m scared . I’m nervous but I’m going to move ahead in life so that later when I look back I don’t hv regrets thanks to my anxiety!

  21. Si Says:

    Hi Mark, good to hear from you and a little re-assured that it’s not jsut me.

    When I have moments of clarity it feel so good and I remind myself that if it comes back (which it does) I will be better prepared and stronger, however this is not the case. I find it all most impossible to see any possitives when I am in what they say is a “set back”, I would call it routine! because here I am again wanting re-assurance, hoping that someone can help, dreading the day, the future not wanting to do anything but neither wanting to relax.

    Yep I think we are very much the same, I too continue with work (struggle through), do some exercise (but could do more) and socialising I struggle with but then I have never been great with it. Holding a conversation is a real task the best of times yet when like this it’s a real chore.

    Yes I am putting pressure on myself to feel better and I should be thankful for the times I have had recently.

    For me it like this……

    When I am ok – I do most things without thinking (over thinking) and I promise myself when I feel it again – I will manage ok!

    When I start to feel it – I make the mistake (or is it a mistake) of thinking oh no it’s back…. I put up with it for a day or so and then come back on here, put on Claire Weekes audio and cry way way too much. Loose all interest and think it’s never going away. (This is where I am now)

    I think you are dead right with the latter option, however it’s very hard to do especially when you have had a good spell.

    Best of luck

  22. daryl Says:


    I think that is all of us mate. It’s a chuffing nightmare………for me it’s obsessive thoughts…….and then I have days when they are never there (about my relationship) but I think the thing is that, like you, I notice they aren’t there which seemingly is a free invitation for all those thoughts to come back.

    When I have bad days I think of nothing else………just anxiety and obsessive thoughts, when I have good days I think of what I am doing and there is no room for anxiety because I am occupied until I stop……………then I start to think how good I feel and wow, could this be over?? Then BOOM that’s the invite for me to start the thoughts again…………you see what I mean. It’s like when I am in a loop I think about it, when I am out of the loop I think about it……..its habit, habit born of months of thinking this way……….checking in on how we feel.

    But a positive to be taken from this is that you have broken part of the chain…… have found a way to forget it, to not focus on it, you must have or everyday would be the way you feel when you are in a “setback”. It’s just you don’t notice that you have made that breakthrough because when it comes back you get deflated. Think about it……….you have some good days……..that must mean you know how to deal with it………it’s not like when this first happened (For me) I couldn’t stop thinking at all, I was in constant panic everyday……… have bad days and some good days and so you are on the way. What you have to try to do is stop checking in on yourself, good days or bad days (easy for me to say!!) because that is the crack in the door that it needs to squeeze back in…………then you get the F.E.A.R……..oh God!! It’s back and queue the loop again.

    Keep at it mate, and by that I mean the exact opposite to what I just typed!! Essentially stop trying, just accept it, it passes, you know that (shouldn’t be giving you reassurance!), the good days will be back soon and when they are don’t analyse them!!

    Now I just need to do the same myself :). By the way, you mention meds……….have they helped at all? I have a prescription here but I have not used it yet for fear of getting hooked and not doing this organically. Would love to know your experiences.

  23. Simon Says:


    Thanks for making the effort to respond and help me and others get through this, if this is a crutch then so be it….. I would sooner have the crutch than not be able to express myself to others whom understand. There does come a time when you do drop this visiting (I’ve been here before) and in a way you take it for granted, but it really is a life saver.

    I’ve been driving a lot today in my work and spend quite a bit alone, had Claire Weekes to keep me company, but this time I am even thinking “Oh I’ve heard all this before….” I can recite some of what she says word for word :)

    Yep I suppose having some good days and bad must mean something is happening, and yes after a good spell the bad times hurt more. If I look back over the year I have come quite a way and done a lot of things I didn’t think I could with anxiety. my attitude is changing very slowly but I do find it hard to switch off from it when it’s intense.

    Anyway… to your question and hopefully a little advise from me, I have been on meds (Sertraline) for 6 months or so, my dose has been from 50mg to 150mg but I felt it was making me worse, so without the advise from my GP I have come back to 50mgs a day and actually feel that they have done nothing at all for me, but then that’s where the fear comes in…. do I drop them or not? but at the moment I am not bothered either way, don’t think the dose is helping but don’t think it’s doing any harm too. So my advise is if you feel you can manage without then don’t bother. I have a funny story (not like I want to laugh though) …. I went to my sons wedding abroad in July with 30 others and months before we went I was totally dreading it…. don’t know what I was dreading but I was dreading it. The week before came and I started to feel a little excited and then 10 days away and I never had one bit of anxiety, on return WHAM!!! it came back, I didn’t know what to do so I went back to my doctors whom I felt understood and explained that when I was away it had gone but now it’s come back……. get ready for it…… she said how old are you, I told her 49, she said oh so it’s a while before you retire isn’t it, have you thought about moving abroad!!!! – Sorry but I lost all faith in her that day, I know she only meant well but what would that achieve? What am I running away from, what will another country do….. I was ok on holiday because I was with friends and family and I suppose just enjoying myself. Moving abroad would not be the answer….. facing the fear and feeling it is.

    I am also not going to beat myself up now for posting on here – if I need to do it I’ll do it, if people think I am doing it too much “PLEASE PLEASE TELL ME”

    Thanks all, oh and Merry Christmas (got in early)


  24. Daryl Says:

    Mate, if it helps do it come on here as much as you like…….we’re all in the same boat HMS Anxiety!! But in reality you know your best times are when you sit with it and let it pass I reckon.

    Thanks so much for the heads up on medication……..I had my first diagnosable episode around 15 years ago and recovered 100%. I was on cipralex but knowing what I know now I reckon it was the placebo effect that got me rather than the meds themselves. I had a totally different no on them. I think the internet in some ways has hindered me getting out of it second time around……..I’ve searched for reasons just like I did 15 years ago but now I have access to a whole bank of information which in some ways helps but in other ways keeps me in the anxiety club.

    I can research so many things and when you can research, you can find negative info and that is what keeps anxiety going. It’s a modern phenomenon and I think that is why Paul talks so so much about dropping searching and googling in his second book.

    Don’t forget, when Claire Weekes was doing this, there was no internet…….no chance to check daily, every minute, every second…….she gave advice and it was taken at face value…….it probably wasn’t questioned and people accepted what she said……..our minds are powerful, even though you know both Paul and Weekes speak the truth, we are desperate to find an exception or a quick fix but that just keeps us in the loop even more…….as we both know.

    I am going to take your advice and keep going without the meds……mate, you’re fine, it feels awful but it WILL pass. Keep in touch and vent if you need to……it’ll be me next week!!

  25. Mamba Says:

    Does anyone do meditation? Have you felt any long term effect?

    I’ve been doing (trying) for months. it helps me in the moment but in the long term it doesn’t seem to have helped so much.

    On medication: I first took medication in 2008 and it drastically helped me. i’ve been back on medication this year and although it’s taken a long while to kick in it’s helped a lot. my head is a lot clearer, i’m not jumping from one mood to the next constantly, i was a mess to be honest. I’ve been on it 4 months, i’ve been told the full effect can take longer to work. i’d recommend it BUT whatever you do stick to the prescribed dose! if the you see no improvement after six weeks or so talk to your doctor about an increase.

    Is there anyone who posts here or lurks here who has beaten anxiety? i guess i’m looking for reassurance that i can get over this :(

  26. Roxana Says:

    Guess I need some reassurance again :) I know how it works, but still need it sometimes ?
    It’s already a few days since I feel my body buzzing, almost like a vibration in my whole body, especialy inside my head and a huge nervous energy, everytime I stop doing the things I’m supposed to do. I can ignore them while having physical activities, but if I try to relax, it gets almost impossible because of these feelings. I know it’s just my bad nerves and I know I should fully feel it without trying to get rid of all these, but I just want to know if anyone could relate to these sensations. It’s almost like standing always at the start line, waiting for the moment I need to run, but that moment always gets postponed :)

  27. Daryl Says:

    Hi Mamba, what medication are you using. You say it has helped and yet you still feel you are struggling so I just wonder what benefits do you think you have had and did you recover fully in 2008? Sorry for all the questions, just interested in your experiences.

    And yes, lots of people on here have recovered, there are lots of positive stories out there so I’m sure we all can.

  28. Si Says:

    For everyone on here – just a reminder…..

    We all come on this site for different reasons, maybe re-assurance, maybe to just vent off and maybe for some good advise and support.

    However if like me, when you are feeling “Normalish” and getting on with life how often do you visit the blog, probably not very often.

    All I am saying is that when you read the blog it is usually because we are struggling, which in turn means we are helping one and other with the struggle. The real help on here comes from those who have recovered and want to help us all by giving us that hope that one day all will be ok.

    All I am trying to say (an probably not making much sence) is that don’t be deflated by people struggling on here…… you must think of all the people that have been on here, got the help, recovered and to a certain degree maybe do not wish to re-visit for their own reasons.

    So…… onwards and upwards and ignore that voice that says “you can’t” – because we all “CAN”


  29. Daryl Says:

    Spot on Si.

  30. Mark R Says:

    Thanks for that message Si.

    As I said in my previous post that I’ve been crap for a week or so and today is particularly nasty. I’m at work and have zero interest other than how bad I feel. Will push on but sometimes this is a total bitch.

  31. Si Says:

    Mark… trust me you’re not alone at the minute I too am at work with no interest what so ever in anything, infact just about everything is annoying me and making me low (working in a remote site at the minute) I am doing work but really don’t see the point…. and yep, checking on here several times an hour to see if anyone is out there…..

    Just been for a walk outside but didn’t realy fancy it….. Ahhhrrrrrr

    Should laugh really…. infact sod it – I will laugh at being like this (for the next 5 mins)

  32. Chloe Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Can you recommend a supplement/vitamins if you have anxiety and panic attack.

  33. Mark R Says:

    Hi all (in particular Si)

    After reading an article I feel compelled to write this.

    I’ve woken today not feeling too bad, but as for someone who is baited with anxiety this means nothing. It doesn’t take long for the anxious cogs to start turning and in a short while I’m on edge and feel awful. Now my mind begins the same routine:

    Tells me the day is a write off.

    Repeatedly informs me that it hates the feeling and to look for a way to stop it.

    Looks at others, feels jealous and wants the same life they have.

    Remembers my last ‘good’ day and pines for it in a defeated, melancholy way.

    Hijacks my thoughts and throws a roadblock into any of my plans.

    Sound familar?

    Now for me to deal with a bad day the way I did years ago would be to go home, maybe have a cry, look up anxiety and project the misery forward. Years of dealing with this have given me the nouse to respond a little more skilfully….

    Okay I feel awful. I still have things to today so will get them done no matter how I feel.

    I won’t always feel awful. I don’t need to project anything forward, just need to focus on today.

    Resist the urge to think myself better, argue with my mind and figure out why I feel rough

    Try and take the positives out of the day (okay I feel lousy but I’ve still done x,y,z)

    Don’t get me wrong, I hate feeling like this but believe we can mitigate the impact with a change in behaviour. Taking something out of a crap day and knowing it will end makes it easier to bear.

    Hope all is well,


  34. Si Says:


    Thank you very much for the above, and I am sure you will agree that when you are in the midst of the rough feelings it is extremely difficult not to see the wood for the trees.

    Never the less – something I feel I have been practicing which is probably why I do get some good spells, but how so easy it is to drop back in the hole. Suppose I must continue no matter what – like everyone else.

    I do not like the word mindfullness and I don’t like all the trying this and that to make you feel better because that brings the focus back on the condition. But something sticks in my head I thought about the other day and thats to “ACT AS IF”, act as if I don’t have anxiety which in essense means do anything without it stopping you. Now I have a drum set in my man cave at the bottom of the garded, I don’t play them particularly well but I have a thrash about to some music. When I am on the drums I imagine myself in a band in a pud, nothing more than that and I feel relaxed and happy (when I haven’t got anxiety that is), so this I feel is a little like “mindfulness” but in an ordinary way….. we can change our thoughts to change our mood even if on ly for a short time, and with time we will feel better.

    Hoping this makes sense to everyone – don’t we all plan and play movies in our head?

  35. Ej11 Says:

    Hi Nolan or anyone else who have recovered,

    I just need a little extra advice or reassurance I guess. I just had a baby a few months ago and this trigged anxiety and some depression (I struggled with anxiety about 8 years ago but found Paul’s site and found my way through) Eight years ago I moved far from family and thats what trigged the anxiety. I got through it and stayed where I moved to. I found my husband and we just bought a house here a year ago. He loves the house and he really could not live anywhere else. We both have great jobs here and now have our baby and are able to visit family twice a year. I have always had a part of me that wanted to move back to be close to my family and I almost did once. But I feel so trapped right now because I am having obsessive thoughts of “did I chose the wrong life?” “I need to be near my family to be happy.” “Will I spend the rest of my life feeling sad and guilty about being far from my family?” “Maybe I should have never have married my husband and bought the house…” ” I feel like I lived a lie and should have told my husband that I want to live close to family…”
    I love my baby so much too so I feel so sad that I think that because if I didn’t marry my husband, I would never of had my baby. I know I love my husband too…I know I should not take these thoughts as fact but it is so hard to understand that this is not something I really want to do because at times I feel it so strongly. My anxiety and despair kicks in so much when I have these thoughtsI I just feel like I have a problem I can now never solve and feel anxious about it and that I will question this forever….Any more advice on how to not identify to these thoughts as facts or have a “so what?” attitude. Thank You!

  36. Mark R Says:


    Absolutely agree. It’s almost impossible to imagine feeling any better when anxiety is blowing at full force but the same goes for when we feel seemingly okay. When there is no anxiety in my head it just feels like it happened to someone else and is just a slight ache in my body.

    Yesterday was hard for me but I still did I needed to do. I’ve woke feeling the same too but I’m on the coach now to the football despite feeling total crap and the protestations of my mind.

    It’s utterly frustrating and can wipe the floor with us sometimes but we can only do our best can’t we?

  37. Simon Says:

    Had an awful few days now, everything feels pointless, I wake at 4am but just lay there with all the stupid anxious thoughts. I’ve got the granddaughter this morning and it so hurts not to feel the fun I should be feeling, had some more tears on the wife’s shoulder (she is my absolute rock). Can’t sit still but on the other hand don’t want anything to do. The wanting to be normal again is very very frustrating especially with it being close to Christmas too. Feel utterly misserable to the core and can’t seem to ignore my feelings. But I know I have to keep plodding on, even the evenings are feeling a little bad now but IT WILL PASS !!!!

  38. Mark R Says:

    Is Simon and Si the same person?

  39. Simon Says:

    Yes mate I am the same person don’t know why I put Simon dont usually. Think this is the Mark and Si show lol

    Sat doing a suduko but still can’t concentrate

  40. Jamie Says:

    Just out of interest, where is everyone based ?

  41. Liz Says:

    Hi All,

    So I’ve spent The last week reading older blogs and comments
    From the past maybe like 5 years ago. I am happy to know there is a current blog and discussion up to date. My story is as follows i suffered from anxiety and my first panic attack back in 2008 after graduating high school i was at work and suddenly felt dizzy that threw me into a panic and rushed to the hospital of course thinking I’m dying from that day on any sensation i felt i would freak out. Often scared to panic again would cause my panic. I tried medication, Paxil to be exact and it made me feel 1000’times worse. Some how some way i was able to get thru it doing acupuncture and holistic remedies. I don’t know or remember how long it took to over come it or when it got better but from 2008 to just a few months ago i some how was able to live a “normal” life traveling going out doing things alone giving birth to my son etc. 3 months ago after about 7 years i suffered a panic attack! Intense fear of passing out while driving and on the way to pick up my son. I some how made it home and that’s when the crazy thoughts came about a sudden fear i might harm myself or my son! I was so scared i instantly dropped to my knees and prayed and cried. After a few weeks the thoughts weren’t as fearful to me but the symptoms! They are driving me mad! To the point i fear driving! How can i fear driving i need to get to work everyday this cant be. I have such a fear that i might die or pass out and my two year old son will be home crying for dear life with no one to help him. Forgot to mention i just moved 4 months ago just me and him i think this has contributed immensely to the return of my panic and anxiety! I pray and hope and wish that soon i will have that AHA moment that Paul spoke about In his book bc i am drained mentally and physically!

    Sorry it’s so long i stlll can’t believe i am even writing on a blog! It’s like watching myself write this! I am Florida in the US to answer your question.

  42. Mark R Says:

    That’s okay. We’re both struggling and it helps to converse. It’s not like we hog the blog.

    You are right. These days always pass! We have had okay times so the proof is in the pudding really. I’m sorry you’re struggling mate, I feel exactly the same and everyone on here knows how it is.

    Jamie I’m in Birmingham.

  43. Simon Says:

    Cheers Mark – trying my best today to accept feeling awful, it’s strange because we do all understand it and know why we are like this yet when I’m the cycle you just can’t convince yourself and everything you do is such a massive effort both mentally and sometimes physically.

    Jamie I live near Nottingham

  44. Alz Says:

    Just wondering where Melissa, char, rich , Bryan , Doreen etc are ;Helen as well

  45. Jamie Says:

    Hi Alz

    I think as people begin to feel better and ‘recover’ (I know some don’t like that word), they visit this blog a bit less. I am sure they will pop back now and again to lend a bit of support

  46. K Says:

    Hi all,
    Great post. I do feel very overwhelmed with knowledge about anxiety and I think I am still paralyzed by fears. Mostly fear of living with chronic body pains, aches and stomach issues. These physycal things jumpstart my worries and sadness. I have been like that for months. I quit my job. I am a mom to a one-year old. I feel so guilty to be sad around her, she will start picking up on that at some point. I want her to be strong and happy.
    One thing that comforts me is that I believe I have “graduated” from many other symptoms. I have days or weeks (although not for a while) when I did not feel any pain and I am barely bothered by anything then. As far as remember what preceded those days and weeks is a conviction that I am absolutely healthy and that there is nothing wrong with me. Then some new doubt creeped up on me.
    It seems that we always have a choice between what we are communicating to the limbic system, consciously and unconsciously (reference to “nothing works letter”.) But I have a very hard time pretending that I am not in danger and just living my life without fear of being in pain tomorrow or for the rest of my lifex It is like I need to wake up in a good mood, with no pain, and THEN I am happy. I know that I anticipate being in pain. And because I started feeling pain so many times before upon awakening, I almost don’t know another way. Something about this is like faith in God. A non-believer wants to see a miracle before concluding that there is God. A believer just believes and lives her life.
    My mom keeps pushing me to try another medication. I am resisting, I do not think it will help.
    My husband shows pity for me. I hope he still loves me. I am an anxiety/pain-addict and pity is my drug.
    I probably sound like a crazy person at this point. Sorry, my mind has not been clear lately. It has been tough.
    Thank you,

  47. Anon Says:

    K, I don’t know if this helps but there is a pain doc named Dr Hanscomb who is a former longtime sufferer and explains that adrenalized nervous system has faster transmission, and that is why we feel pain when anxious. It is real pain, but it is due to anxiety and adrenaline. Like you, I had a very hard time believing this due to extreme lower back pain for over a year, which suddenly vanished once I was able to relax more and get more sleep. There were times when I could not move. But I did notice correlations, like back spasms when my kids were stressing me out. You don’t have to believe it but only to believe in the possibility that anxiety is causing it. That is enough.

  48. Julib Says:


    Good post, thank you Paul.

    Is it normal of anxiety to make you feel complete overwhelm every day? or is this more depression?

    I have had a bad setback in anxiety the last 2 months, it’s been very physical, panic attacks, high general anxiety and loss of appetite. I daily feel like a walking shell, weak, fatigued and unable to cope with just normal every day life, and as a mother that is hard. In the past anxiety has hit me in the form of intrusive thoughts mainly and anxiety about going out and socialising, it has never felt this physical or overwhelming. Every day I feel awful and struggle to get through each day and cry a lot. Even functioning at home is proving difficult most days.

    I feel completely stuck. I was wondering if anyone can give me advice on how to push through this because every day nothing is changing. I wake daily, dread in my stomach, strong nausea and unable to eat until later in the day. I have ibs so often on the toilet alot too. Dread all day and extremely worn out from it all that all I can do is rest and do minimal tasks.

    On top of this everything triggers anxiety and overwhelm. Examples, if I see people on TV out living normal life I feel anxious, sometimes my children can trigger anxiety if they are loud and talking a lot (it just overwhelms me), everything makes me feel sick when I walk about, cooking is tough because of this, showering and washing my hair can overwhelm me….. I am finding it hard to word this but it’s a complete exhaustion and overwhelm and everything seems to trigger my anxiety and stomach to churn.

    If I think of Christmas I feel sick and cry. I just feel my brain is so sensitized. I am constantly worrying that I can’t eat properly, worried I’ve developed eating issues, worried I won’t ever recover from this, worried why I am feeling my brain is in a dark scary forest and I can’t find a way out… That’s the best way to describe it, I feel I am in a dark forest and it’s eerie and everything is frightening. I feel so afraid and overwhelmed even just sat in my house.

    My husband is being amazing, he takes care of me after work and helps with the children. He says it’s all anxiety and I don’t need to see a doctor as all they will do is throw diazepam down my throat and insist I took medication. I reached out to a therapist privately last week, which took a lot because I even get anxious talking about my anxiety right now. Normal? She was awful, she told me to hug a pillow, breathe into paper bags, think positive and ignore the physical symptoms. She said I didn’t have anxiety, it was all past trauma stored in the body and I needed to do EFT tapping to get it out of me. Such a waste of money and I cried I would never get any support.

    Does this sound like anxiety? Can I help myself through this? I spend every day feeling so eerie, low, afraid, overwhelmed and can’t function much at all. I feel the worst wife and mother right now. Any advice is appreciated. I have been trying to apply acceptance but I am utterly useless at it right now, and this is all feeling like I can’t help myself out of this and I worry I am the worst case of anxiety there has ever been.


  49. Si Says:

    Hi Ju…….

    First and foremost….. you are not the worst wife or mother AT ALL!!

    I am not going to lie, I am not the best to be giving advice as I too feel just like you at the moment. One of the most frustrating things you are having as I read is that you are so overwhelmed by such minor minor things, washing your hair, fearing Christmas, wanting to be like normal people.

    This is all part of anxiety as I am sure most people on here would agree. That said it’s also a form of depression how can it not be, you feel totally lost and deflated with every aspect of your life RIGHT NOW…. I say RIGHT NOW because it will go and that’s one of the things you have to remind yourself kindly about. Will medication help – my experince is no, but that’s just mine.

    I’m having a bad patch at the moment, completely melted this morning for a few hours … cry, cry, cry……but I have had some good periods of late and it’s not until you feel this low that you appreciate you have had some good periods.

    I get it with the therapist, I bet you think to yourself “no one can help me!”, well they can, support from people on here can go a long way, ultimately we have to do it ourselves. I had this back in 2009 for a couple of years and I like to think I had made a full recovery up until last year when it hit me again. I thought it would go as fast as it came but guess what? But why does it still hang around, because although I tell myself not to fight it – how can you not?

    All the knowledge that you have regards acceptance is all you need as I was told by Paul back in 2009. We have to drop everything, all the coping stuff, stop searching and put ourselves out there and live NO MATTER HOW WE FEEL.

    Now…… I feel like a fraudster because I am giving advice that I also find very very difficult to follow when in a bad period. Only last week my boss who also has anxiety asked how I was doing, on the air of caution I told him I was doing well at the minute (didn’t want to push my luck incase my mind was listening and thought I’ll Show You). I told him that the bad times will come back no doubt but it was ok……. well of course it was ok to say that when I was feeling quite normal. So move on another week and look at me – I am on here every minute hoping for…. hoping for ….. hoping for … for WHAT???

    I think you are stronger than you are aware, in fact I know you are. One thing that WE need to do is to be kinder to ourselves, accept that we feel rubbish but continue to do the best we can. The thoughts are just thoughts and they create the feelings….. So lets both try to accept them by just acknowledging them.

    Wishing you well


  50. Anon Says:

    Julib, you are me. Every. Single. Symptom. I am mostly past this now. I took benzodiazepines for 3 months. They made it incredibly worse. Unbearable. My kids triggered me. Every single thing exactly as you write. It is temporary. Paul’s method works. It is a crashed-out nervous system that needs to rest. Meditation helps. Walking outside daily helped me. Listening to anxiety podcasts. You don’t have to fight or question it. Do any nice thing for yourself that you can. Any positive action helps. It is a very very slow recovery process. The thoughts are lying to you and it is safe to ignore them. They fade away so gradually it is imperceptible. You are not alone.

  51. Julib Says:


    Thank you for replying to me, it means a lot. Especially while you are struggling yourself, so thank you, you have given me good advice.

    I have been struggling for about 7 weeks. In those 7 weeks I have gone off food, I feel sick all the time and even fear being sick so I struggle to eat proper meals. So that’s become something my anxiety has latched onto. I hate being alone in the day because of it.

    I feel such a terrible mother, I have been almost housebound these last 7 weeks because of how awful I feel. In the early weeks I was having constant panic which has now settled and I may get 1 or 2 a week but every day my general anxiety is high, I feel sick, restless, uneasy and totally overwhelmed.

    I agree I of course feel depressed. Who wouldn’t in my situation. Everything overwhelms me and yes they are minor. I fear being sick, what if I am sick and need a doctor, what if I cant eat again and end up ill, what if I am ill Christmas day with anxiety and end up in bed all day (anxiety really can floor me that bad), what if I can’t cook for my family again,, what if I never get through this…. I panic doing simple tasks because I always feel sick and weak with fatigue, so washing my hair,, showering, cooking… all can trigger panic or anxiety. I feel everything overwhelms me and I am ashamed of being like this. I feel I am letting my husband and children down. I hate them coming home and seeing me probably looking tired and low, resting… I am ashamed.

    Anxiety seems to really depleate me energy wise, I am so tired from the last 7 weeks so I am struggling with that too on top of everything else. I really worry that I can’t get through this. I like I said, struggle to discuss my anxiety as even that can cause me to feel anxious, sometimes reading an anxiety book makes me anxious lol! What is wrong with me?

    Thank you again for replying to me, you made me feel calmer and some hope. I wish you well and I hope things get easier for you soon.


  52. Julib Says:


    Your reply made me cry, thank you for your reassuring words.

    If you see my reply to Si above you will see how much this is effecting me. I feel the worst wife and mother and worry I can’t help myself through this because of how fatigued, and how bad my nausea is, it’s hard for me to do things right now to distract.

    I really hope things are getting easier for you. Thank you for reaching out to me, it means a lot.


  53. Anon Says:

    I know, Julib. I had all the same intrusive thoughts. Try to accept that they are like a radio with bad music playing in the background. Once they go, you will see that you are in fact a good mother because of the fact that you still parented while dealing with these debilitating feelings that make it so hard. Don’t set goals, just do what you can. That is enough. It’s ok to have bad thoughts, but you don’t need to believe them. You might try a CBT book. It teaches how to objectively consider these thoughts. They truly are just mind noise. I know it’s hard to accept, but it’s just mind garbage. Truly.

  54. Anon Says:

    Julib, you can search this blog. People have posted about food aversion many a time

  55. Julib Says:


    Thank you.

    I can see my thoughts are causing a lot of issues. They race all day but it’s the very strong physical feelings, weakness and fatigue I am experiencing daily that’s also causing me anxiety. Fear, adrenaline, fear cycle I guess. It’s exhausting me and I worry about how i feel all the time. I hate walking around for long because I feel so weak and drained. No fun.

    Thank you again for your help. I don’t feel I am doing enough, my husband cooks almost every night unless I can do it. Our children are all teenagers so that does make things easier but I still feel I am letting them down.


  56. Anon Says:

    Julib, it is awful, I know. But you are stronger than you realize. I had all the symptoms for more than a year and was convinced it was hopeless. I can confirm that they are not as harmful as they convince us. check out the site the worry games. She has 5 kids and writes about this from a mothers perspective. It helped me a lot to know how many people are in the same boat.

  57. Julib Says:


    Thank you.

    I just worry it’s not normal to feel so weak, sick, fatigued as I do. I feel so off my feet with it all and the nausea and fear of being sick is making me worse. I live every day in fear of how awful I feel physically, always remembering the last 7 weeks and how scary it’s been. It’s been so traumatic and the memories just surround me.

    I shall take a look at that site, thank you.


  58. Julib Says:


    Also when my physical anxiety spikes, like tonight we are without heating and I am cold and shivering, which for some reason has triggered my physical anxiety. I am shaking, cold, stomach nausea, weakness, flushed face etc.. then that triggers my sensitized mind. Anything anyone talks about then triggers me to panic, I can’t watch tv or talk to anyone when my anxiety spikes this bad. Is that normal? When my physical anxiety hits like this, I then feel sick, shake and anything anyone talks about can trigger me and I have to be by myself. Then I worry why that happens. Why I seem to trigger badly about anything and everything when my physical anxiety hits. Even watching tv and seeing people on tv at work, out with friends, or my kids just talking or my husband spikes my anxiety and i panic worse.

    It’s so strange and i worry what that is. Is it just panic?


  59. Si Says:

    Ju…… yes it is all anxiety, I too experienced this major, however it has lessened over time. All you have to do is accept it, accept you feel this way, don’t try to stop IT or try and reason with it or try and force it away….. live with it, it’s horrid but please please try not to worry because this creates more worry


  60. Anon Says:

    Yes Julib. It seems like nobody could possibly experience something so awful, but it is all par for the course, and we can all relate

  61. Julib Says:

    Since and Anon,

    Thank you, that’s reassuring.

    I’m very worried about the nausea. I have a fear of eating incase I’m sick so of course the anxiety obsesses over it and I get afraid to eat. I feel sick all the time and have an upset stomach at times (it sends my bowels into overdrive when I get anxious about being sick). So I am struggling to eat. When I see food or smell it I can even feel sick. I’ve never had this before with anxiety so it’s horrible. I’m managing to graze all day but for the last month I’ve been living off bananas, oat cakes, oat biscuits, plain crisps, oats and plain potatoes. On a good day I can eat a meal but some days I csnt manage a meal and have to graze all day. It’s horrible and yes I obsess over the nausea worse when alone in the daytime as it scares me. It’s a horrible symptom and one that’s bothering me alot and the worst part of all of this. I worry I will be ill if I don’t eat meals and I’ve not had meat for weeks because my stomach is so fragile.

    My husband says I am fine as I am eating each day even if it’s grazing. It’s just horrible how sick I feel some days thinking of food. Last week it was much better and I managed to even cook some meals and I had spag bol one night with no issues. My anxiety of course is making me worry I have emetophobia or an eating disorder because of this going on so long. Oh anxiety I hate you lol.

    Thank you for your kind replies today, they’ve soothed me so much.

  62. Debbie Says:

    Julib iam the same way when i have anxiety i cant seem to talk to anyone it makes me feel worse also i cant watch tv it scares me . I have the same thing with eating i have lost 20 pounds . I have a alot of stomach issues gastritis etc. so that dos not help.

  63. Stephanie Says:

    Hi Julib,

    I’ve been where you are, and I’m here to say that it doesn’t last forever! Nausea was one of my main symptoms, and like you I was tormented by it (made worse because I also have a fear of vomiting). I would think “What if my nausea prevents me from eating and I starve to death?!?” I would obsess about food while at the same time panicking before every meal. For weeks I would start my day off by having to go to the bathroom, then the nausea would hit and I would force myself to eat breakfast. I didn’t want to go anywhere, especially social situations where eating was involved. I told myself I was physically weak because I wasn’t eating enough. Days, weeks, and months were passing and I was spending the time solely focused on every bodily sensation. So what did I do? I eventually had to tell myself “So what you’re nauseous! Yeah you don’t like it and it’s uncomfortable, but you can still live your life.” And I did. I started some light exercising. I went back to work. I engaged with my family. All the while the nausea would be there, sometimes better, sometimes worse. But my fears never came true. I was always able to eat, even if I was forcing myself. Then, gradually, I didn’t have to force myself as much. I found myself enjoying food again. Then the nausea wasn’t there every day. Then it was gone entirely. And when it would come back during my more intense moments of anxiety, I knew it was just a temporary uncomfortable feeling.

  64. Mamba Says:

    Apologies to Daryl for not responding sooner. i try not to be on anxiety boards/blogs too much and i’d been looking through a few for the 3 or 4 days so needed a rest.

    This is probably going to be a long post…

    I first started on 20mg citalopram/celexa in 2008, i’d been advised by my Doctor & CBT Therapist to try medication but like you probably are now i was anxious about getting hooked or what the side effects might be. It wasn’t until a bereavement that i decided i needed something and i didn’t give a damn about the side effects or anything else at that point. it feels like a lifetime ago but the side effects weren’t too bad (everyone’s different) an increase in sweating, some insomnia, at times drowsiness through the day and for me the worst was weight gain. there can also be sexual problems, lets just say if you want a quickie think again 😀

    From what i remember i had few problems at the time. it helped a lot with my depression and my anxiety improved. CBT helped as well. i guess around 2010-2011 i started to skip doses, several days on several days ooff. weeks of feeling great then having to start taking again. i was sick to death of being tired, sick of having no motivation and concerned about my weight gain.

    Then in 2011 without going into all the details my life fell apart, month after month something else happened as well as another bereavement and another bereavement in 2013 (which honestly nearly finished me off) all during this time and up until this year on and off the medication, without telling my doctor anything that was going on.

    By 2015 i was completely off the medication my Mum (she’s fine now) was ill which took my focus off myself and i just got on with life. every 2 or 3 weeks i’d feel down and my rumination/chatterbox/constant thinking happened everyday but i coped. It started to get back on top of me by the end of 2015 so put myself back on 10mg and AGAIN just got on with life, every 2 or 3 weeks i’d feel down and my constant thinking happened everyday until…. i found a lump in my stomach.

    Anxiety’s definitely at it’s highest when you think you have cancer. i pushed and prodded the lump so much over the first couple of days my side turned a yellow/purple/black mess. saw the doctor 3 days later and he told me “just a fat lump” i should have been relieved but as i see it now my anxiety was so high and my messing around with medication was so dumb my fear just continued for most of the year.

    This year having again been off Citalopram for 3 or 4 months i decided to give it another try (you would think i’d have given up by now 😀 ) 10mg. still constant thinking every day but not hugely anxious or depressed, just the feeling down (feeling everything turns bad etc) once in awhile. then after a few months i decided to up to 20mg and my head just went crazy, i just couldn’t control my thoughts, feeling panicky, thinking stupid things, being hugely melodramatic etc i stopped taking it altogether the next day i felt normal again. still with chatterbox but i didn’t feel my head was going a million miles an hour.

    I was told on a forum that i’d been very very stupid to be doing what i had been doing. SSRI’s don’t work like this and need to be taken everyday for them to work. over the next few weeks i tried to learn as much as possible about SSRI’s and anxiety. Confessed to my doctor, slowly went back on citalopram 10mg to 20mg and i’ve now been on 30mg for 4 months. My head is so much clearer, the side affects (which increase with each higher dose) in the first month or two were bad this time around with some of the worst depression i’d had in years but there’s less chatter, the rollercoaster up and downs have gone. i’m still getting “blips” every so often but feel i’m on the right path. i’ve just finished my first part of CBT (now very different from back in 2008) and will be seeing a therapist in the new year.

    I’m not cured far far from it, if i had wrote this last week i was feeling hopeless again. i was introduced to the book At Last A Life by someone who had Anxiety for 16 years and with the help of the book and Citalopram is cured/over it, the book has helped me understand what i’ve been going through (shame a Dr couldn’t have told me) and i have hope at some point i can live happily.

    Should you take Citalopram or anything else? it’s a tough decision but it does help, especially when you find the right dose and give it time to settle, i’ve been told i won’t feel the full effect for another 2 months.

    Any other questions please ask.

    P.S Reading this back and it’s a little bit TMI!! i just started typing 90minutes ago and couldn’t stop LOL

  65. PAH Says:

    Hi folks

    It’s a long time since I’ve posted or even visited here. After a couple of years struggling with anxiety I have been absolutely fine since late 2015. Until a couple of months ago when I let a couple of funny feelings drop me into old habits. I think I panicked, ‘oh no it’s back’ and I now found myself feeling back to square one. The stupid thing is I still have days when I feel fine but days like today when I am lost inside my own head feeling miserable. I deep down know what i need to do, just crack on and allow myself to heel in my own time but I’m finding it really hard to stay positive and to stop trying to think and fighting myself better!

    Having felt fine for ages and then wham, I decided to re-read Paul’s book and everything makes so much sense. I had a period of pressure at work before my summer holiday and it was on this holiday when things slowly began to unravel. One question….. I seem to have an ‘inner commentator’ in my mind repeating things like ‘it’s ok to feel like this’ or ‘it’s just an energy release’. I’m conscious of not turning Paul’s meaaagw into a technique therefore do I just allow the commentator or ramble on in the background whilst I trying to crack on with my day????

    Think I’m maybe trying for the perfect recovery and thinking about what I need to do too much so any thoughts or sencoragement greatly appreciated!

  66. Julib Says:

    Hi Stephanie.

    Thank you for your kind reply. I hate to think of anyone else suffering like this but it’s reassuring just to know I’m not alone. I know seeking reassurance is bad for anxiety but I think at first getting that comfort can go a long way.

    I also forgot to mention how hypervigilent I am. Every single bodily sensation sends me into high anxiety or a panic attack. Last night is an example. I felt cold and shivery after washing my hair and wham I had almost a panic attack, I was shaking and adrenaline hit me hard. Why? I’ve no idea. It seems my body keeps doing this. Any sensation, it can be heavy chest, a few palpitations, feeling cold, warm flush… It will trigger panic and I shake. It’s horrible and worrying it’ll never stop.

    I also generally feel off all the time. Everytime I go downstairs to do a chore I tire easily, my heart races, I feel hot, weak, I feel sick and breathless and I have to lie down as I feel so ill. That scares me. Some days I’m ok and can potter about the house fine but other days those awful symptoms hit and I try to stay and push through but I feel so ill. My husband thinks thsts more I’m fatigued and reconditioned from being off my feet so much in the lats 2 months. I gave had to rest a lot and have done less so I guess it’s normal my body is struggling to keep up with the demands of the house. But even that scares me it’s not normal to be so fatigued that even walking around my house is exhuasting me. Some dsys though I can fine and I can fold the washing, cook a meal… But most days I’m so drained my heart races doing anything and I’m not even anxious it just hits because I tjink my body is so tired, like my husband says from weeks of adrenaline.

    All of this makes my health anxiety run wild. I worry all the time it’s not normal for anxiety to sweep you off your feet and need to rest so much, it can’t be normal to be so fatigued, or all the weird cold, and odd symptoms I feel every day. I just don’t feel right in my body at all all day and my anxiety runs wild. I even walk over hunched over some days as I feel so fatigued and breathless. In the early weeks if this last month I barely left my bedroom I felt so bad and panic hit hard everytime I went downstairs. Luckily that’s improved but I still can’t do lots of jobs as I feel so weak and my heart bangs. My husband reminds me all of this has come since the anxiety hit so I am just weakened from 12 hours a day of panic and shaking like I was the first 4 weeks.

    Sorry this got long. It’s just all worrying me a lot and I fear I’m the only person to ever feel so physically unable due to anxiety.


  67. Julib Says:


    Sorry I meant to thank you too.

    It’s good people can understand what I am experiencing but I hope things get better for you soon.


  68. daryl Says:


    Thank you so, so much for your detailed response. It is brilliant to hear from someone who has tried them. I know I was on Cipralex (a derivative of citalopram) around 15 years ago and it helped me massively and I fully recovered (I didn’t know it was anxiety, I thought I was depressed as I did this time until I worked it all out!).
    I have tried to rid myself of anxiety without the help of SSRI’s for the past 12 months and I have made progress due to this blog, Paul’s book, Claire Weekes and a couple of other very good blogs………….I just feel that starting the drugs may be something that just gets me over the line (I have hit a bit of a wall with my obsessive thinking) so I can concentrate on building up my resilience, especially to the irrational thoughts.
    Your post has been really helpful and is something I will put with other info I have for when I make my final decision. What is particularly helpful is learning that I must stick to the recommended dose and stick at it for more than a couple of weeks if I make that decision. You learnt the hard way and taking the time to pass that info on to me is very, very kind.
    I went to the doctors last month…………got the pills last week………… still ‘umming and ‘ahhing about whether to take them or not!! To be fair just having them in the house has helped me to focus less on my anxiety and I am actually having a good run at present (may be this is a compulsion!).
    Many thanks again. There is no replacement to hearing from those who have real life experience your advice is invaluable.

  69. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    I just feel I need a vent in all honesty so apologies in advance.

    I spent the second weekend in a row in that doom laden place where I felt so terrible and low that I felt like every minute seem like an eternity to get through. I still pushed myself despite how I felt but nothing was enjoyable. When I got to the end of the day it was a massive relief for me and I went to bed hoping that the next day would be easier. Sunday I even had some tears which was the first time in a long while.
    The last two days have been easier but I feel unhappy and p***ed off that I continue to be up and down. Some days I’m awful, some days and I’m middling and some I feel that detached from anxiety that it seems like a mild ache in my veins. I know it’s the same for all of us but I’m tired of going to bed with the next day being a lottery on how I will feel. It’s so frustrating that I can be whistling, singing, and then looking forward to meeting someone on a date in the evening to shuffling around the next day and hoping the time would speed up so I can dive under my duvet.

    I can go for months and months with only slight bumps in the road so I guess these last few weeks have been a sticky patch for me but unfortunately it has been the same for the last few Christmas periods. It will end, I will even out as always but when you’re in a certain place feeling any kind of relief seems unthinkable. Sat here now with all the stupid thoughts that ‘Yeah it will be another Christmas to write off’.

    Rant over.

  70. Tia Says:

    This one is for the ladies . While I m going through recovery with my own ups and downs I ‘ve noticed something.
    I haven’t had serious problems or pain during the monthly period but they started to intensify after anxiety to the point where I was describing my ups and downs to a friend and her straight question was “every month”? . While I m not excluding anxiety as a part of it all having a period can amplify the drama of it all and send one into a full circle setback and make them believe they haven’t done any progress .also another component is age and the hormone imbalance and body changes one goes through with age . I think the only way to look at it as just another layer. If one is to add a cold or a flu to it all the result can be a pretty veggie like feeling.
    I understand the way to befriend anxiety is to experience life . And that road has its ups and downs just like it has for normal people on different levels. We ‘re just more sensitive to the fine details.
    Hope this helps a bit .

  71. Stephanie Says:

    Hi Julib,

    Trust me, I understand, and you’re definitely not the only one. I spent months (not kidding) basically sitting in a chair all day. My daughter was only about 6 months old at the time, and we had to go stay with my parents so I could have help. I was literally afraid to do anything: walk around, take a shower, sleep, you name it. I was absolutely convinced I was going to collapse or pass out. I was afraid to be alone with my daughter because I didn’t feel capable of taking care of her. I constantly felt hot, sweaty, shaky, weak (and of course, nauseous). I felt trapped in my own personal hell. But like I said in my other post, I finally had to stop fighting all these awful sensations and waiting for them to leave. How could they leave when I was spending every minute obsessing over and analyzing them? I had to start living my life WITH the feelings. I had to take a shower feeling shaky and weak. I had to go to the store feeling hot and sweaty. It was a slow journey with many many ups and downs. My like Paul says, it’s never life that is the problem. For you it’s not cooking dinner or chores that’s causing your anxiety – in fact, those things are how you move forward. Every time you choose to not let how you feel stop you, you’re showing yourself that you are more than you’re anxiety.

  72. Char Says:

    Hi Alz!

    I’m here ! Been popping on now and then to keep up! Went from bad anxiety last Thursday me I was on her – to much better for a few months and now anxiety creeping back in…. such a pain isn’t it

    How r u doing Alz

  73. Char Says:

    My goodness I should read my posts before I post – sorry about the spelling ! I meant to say if you remember I had bad anxiety in the summer – that’s when I think when I was last posting on here. I got much better – “normal” even – what ever that is ! Can feel anxiety creeping back though… is it such a pain…

    How are you Alz?

  74. Jamie Says:

    Mark R and Simon – just a suggestion but do you do any physical exercise e.g. the gym or go running ? I really enjoy running and yesterday, after an up and down weekend, I felt absolutely horrendous yesterday night. When my daughter went to bed, I was downstairs with tears in my eyes and just felt like I could not face work tomorrow. With my job, I can start at lunchtime and work through to 8pm sometimes if I wish. I dropped my daughter to school and went to the gym for a workout. The effect is always the same for me and I always feel better. As Paul talks about in his book, it’s a great way to burn off all that excess stress and worry. I felt so much better and I’ve gone in today thinking clearer and a bit calmer. Don’t get me wrong, my anxiety is still there but it’s much less noticeable today. It’s not a cure of course but I’ve found it a brilliant way to burn off the excess anxiety when needed. Just a thought from me.

  75. Julib Says:

    Stephanie thank you, your reply makes sense.

    I had a tough day today with bad weakness all in my body, low blood pressure feelings everytime I walked around, weak legged, I just felt all over completely weak from morning till now. I’ve never felt this so bad so it did worry me today if was a health issue but my husband reminded me I’ve not eaten well the last 2 months so I’m bound to have tough days. I’ve had no choice but to rest all day, I’ve barely been downstairs because I honestly felt too weak. I’m hoping it passes by tomorrow because I’ve not felt like this in the last 2 months so I’m not all that sure it’s ok to just blame anxiety but we shall see, maybe tomorrow it’ll be better than today.

    I’ve weirdly felt a little calmer today despite feeling so physically awful, it hasn’t even triggered panic which usually any physical sensation and fear does.. It’s funny because I have chronic fatigue syndrome and was at my worst last year. I felt terrible some days but never had panic like I do now over even the smallest symptom. It’s quite possible today has been a flare in my cfs and it’ll pass if I rest.

    Your post has given me a lot of reassurance it’s very normal to feel so weak and off your feet. I’ve struggled so much with this bad anxiety spell that I’ve had to rest a lot. It’s floored me and caused awful weakness and yes a fesr of passing out.

    Thank you again.

  76. Mark R Says:

    Hi Jamie,

    I try and do 10k at the gym on the bike 3 or 4 times a week. I have a bad knee so I can’t run unfortunately. I agree that it is a huge help although sometimes I feel that bad I can’t face the gym.


  77. Julib Says:

    Hi Stephanie

    Sorry to bother you again, I posted on Paul’s last blog post, I was in the last few comments so I think it was over looked with the new blog post. If you get chance could you take a look and let me know what you think? It took a lot for me to wrote as it’s a huge part of this current anxiety set back and it spikes me badly anything of that nature so I’ve been so worried it’s not anxiety.

    Don’t worry if you are busy, I understand. I’d appreciate your opinion.

    Thank you

  78. Roxana Says:

    Hi everybody. Does anyone struggle with fasciculations? Those unwillingly short contractions of a group of muscles? I get them around my mouth, my upper lip actually…

  79. Stephanie Says:

    Hi Julib,

    It’s definitely anxiety. We can develop a fear over just about anything. When I was about 11, I had a bad nightmare. I put on some music to help me feel better. For awhile after that, whenever I heard that particular song that I had played, I would feel fear and dread. Now, was it the song causing this? Of course not; it was the association my mind was making with that nightmare. Same thing is happening now with you. Your mind (for whatever reason, it doesn’t matter) has currently decided to latch on to medical stuff. What do you need to do about it? Nothing. It’s not the medical stuff that is the problem, it’s always just your reaction to it. If you avoid, it will only get worse. So just go about your day, and if you encounter something medical related, so be it. If you have a fear reaction, that’s ok. Let yourself have the reaction (it’s probably happening automatically anyways), just don’t add to it by trying to suppress the feelings, questioning why you’re feeling that way, or running away. I know it’s very uncomfortable, but it’s the only way to move forward.

  80. Julib Says:

    Thank you for getting back to me Stephanie.

    Friday my son was hurt in school (nothing major but school rang to tell me) , I had the worst panic attack and was shaking, flushed face, dizzy, hot flushes and couldn’t get off my bed for hours. That’s how ill they make me feel. I thrn cry afterwards feeling like an idiot I can’t cope.

    Another thing is I mentioned I get overwhelmed easily and also sometimes my children just coming home can trigger my anxiety. My son every day has drama in school with a boy who doesn’t like him, and everyday he comes home, straight to me telling me stressful things about this boy he hates, or about a fight someone had that he witnessed or that he wants to move school etc… Basically all stressful stuff. Today he came home ranting about school and omg I suddenly felt overwhelmed. I’d had a bad day of raised general anxiety that even going downstairs to make a drink kept triggering panic. Unlike me as this had passed and I was functioning much better around the house.

    Anyway as soon as the kids came home my stomach started churning, my face flushed, I felt very high anxiety hit and wham as soon as my son came to see me telling me about school and the negativity with this boy he doesn’t like wham I had a huge panic attack. My face went red hot, felt dizzy, shaky, fast heart… I was lying on my bed terrified I’d pass our with how hot my face was. I then stupidly pushed myself to wash my hair in the attack and wham I triggered my attack worse.

    I’m now OK but upset, why am I overwhelmed this easily? My son seems to spike my anxiety a lot. I adore my kids. I have 3 and the other 2 I’m fine around but my other son seems to be in with a crowd that like to be mischievous in school and I’m forever having phone calls he’s been late to lessons or given cheek to a teacher. So unlike him as he’s such a good child but this crowd are at a rebelling stage in school. My husband says it’s no wonder it spikes me as it’s stressful, negative and what I don’t need right now and nothing positive ever comes from his mouth when he returns home from school. I guess he’s right but I feel stupid I can’t cope and even have panic attacks if the school flash up on my phone or when be walks in after school, I seem to get overwhelmed. At home he’s a dream child, no issues at all its just he’s in with this crowd in school.

    I’m very worried tonight why I’m overwhelmed so much when he comes home and worried why I can’t cope with anything right now. Is this normal? It’s upsetting me a lot. I feel a useless mother as it is being so off my feet. I’ve had to rest so much recently and not always able to cook dinner and rely on my husband. I’m upset as things were improving and the last week I’ve been thrown back into general high anxiety all day and now the panic attacks that cause such a hot flush to my face I panic I will faint. They had stopped. They literally floor me and I end up bed ridden as I’m so hot, dizzy, weak and feel so ill during and after an attack. I feel like I can’t recover and keep worrying is a health issue causing this so I obsess about that too because I’ve never had general anxiety or panic like this.

    Sorry to offload. I’m just wondering if what I’m experiencing is normal. I feel very lost and have nowhere to turn.

    Thank you for being so kind.


  81. Stephanie Says:


    You’re overwhelmed easily because you’re very sensitized right now. There’s nothing else wrong with you. You don’t need to analyze every new issue that might pop up, it’s all the same. Doesn’t matter if it’s about your health, sleep, relationships, social interactions, self-harm, or whatever else your mind can concoct up. It’s all anxiety, and so the response is always the same. Always. Always. Always. Let yourself feel however you’re going to feel, but continue living your life.

    So let’s take your reaction to your kids coming home. You start to feel the fear/dread. You get hot, sweaty, shaky, nauseous, etc. Now, you can choose to escape your room and lay down, thus reinforcing the idea to yourself that you’re “ill” “unable to cope”. Or, you can greet your kids and ask them about their day, thus showing yourself that there’s nothing wrong with you. No matter what you choose, those uncomfortable feelings will be there (because they’re happening automatically at this point – your mind’s way of trying to keep you “safe”), but one way is just going to keep you in the loop and the other will allow your mind the space it needs to find peace again.

    Now, I know you might be telling yourself “I can’t. The feelings are too intense.” I told myself the same things. And the longer I did, the longer I was tormented by these feelings that I was never allowing myself to fully feel. I know it’s scary. But peace and freedom are only ever on the other side of the feelings. Suppressing, avoiding, making excuses will just keep us on this side.

    Read Paul’s post again. Knowledge can only take us so far. We have to start living it out. You said you stupidly pushed yourself the wash your hair when you were feeling anxious, and then you felt worse. That wasn’t stupid! You felt worse because you’re so used to avoiding how you feel, that of course you’re going to feel worse at first. Remember, your mind is just trying to keep you safe, and you’ve been telling it for awhile that these feelings are dangerous. But now it’s time to start showing it – by your actions – that there is nothing wrong with you. Stop making excuses for yourself and do just one thing today that isn’t dictated by your feelings. You’re the only one that can make that choice.

  82. Jamie Says:

    Mark R and Simon – I asked where people were based as I wondered if any of us were near enough to maybe meet up. I thought it may help. I’m in Kent

  83. Jamie Says:

    Great posts Stephanie. Would you class yourself as fully ‘recovered ‘ now ? How long did you suffer bad anxiety for ?

  84. Julib Says:

    Hi Stephanie

    Great advice and yes it all makes sense.

    You know my reaction lol.. It really is too hard for me to carry on, it’s why I worry I’m beyond recovery and the worst case of anxiety. Of physical anxiety. It knocks me completely off my feet.. For example when the panic hit tonight, I felt dizzy, weak, huge hot flushes to my face, shakes, heart racing, blood pressure throigh the roof. I feel awful, I honestly can’t stay on my feet. It’s why I’m resting so much because when I walk about the house those attacks can hit me hard. They had got easier but this last week it’s back bad again and I even dread going downstairs to make a drink during the day because even a 5 minute poo downstairs makes me feel bad. Today panic hit so hard, I was hunched over, heart banging, dizzy and terrified I’d pass out. By the time I got back upstairs i was floored on my bed feeling horrific. It makes me terrified I will pass out.

    This eveey day has depleted my energy and I’m drained daily. I have chronic fatigue issues anyway but this has worsened things and it’s hard to apply carry on with life regardless. Everytime I try I’m either exhausted or I get those awful strong panic symptoms. Which yes is making me feel a useless wife and mother.

    I spend every day like this, dreading a shower, washing my hair, getting food and drinks…. Then feeling guilt for not cooking daily or cleaning. I can some days but this week it’s been so disabling.

    I’ve no idea how I’m going to cope with Christmas feeling this bad and I cried all day today about it.

    Your advice is helping and I’m going to sit and read Pauls book tonight. I hope I’m not the worst case and even I can recover. Despite these several symptoms.

    Thank you again. It means a lot to me. Sorry for so many questions.


  85. Suzann Says:

    Hi Stephanie and Nolan,
    I first had anxiety when I moved far from my family 8 years ago for a job and an adventure… I found Paul’s book and site and really felt recovered and stayed where I had moved to…sometimes when I would get stressed my anxiety would pop back up but never like the first time… however when I was stressed I would always blame it on living far from my family and tell myself if I moved back I wouldn’t have anxiety…. but I never did move back…I do really miss being close by my family but I met my now husband and we just bought a house and have a new baby… right after the baby was born my anxiety came back full force and now I keep questioning the decision to live so far away from my family and where I grew up… my husband has worked so hard on our house, we have great jobs and get to see family at least twice a year and I know my husband would not be happy living in the area where my family is… so now I feel like I have this unsolvable problem… all I think about is how much I miss my family, that I made the wrong choice, questioning if I should have never agreed to buy a home here or marry my husband…being in my house even makes me feel anxious…I’m scared that I should have been more truthful to myself about how much I miss my family being close… I love my husband and baby so much but these thoughs come with so much feeling I’m having a hard time seeing them as false and letting them pass through… what if I have been surpressing these homesick feelings and want to move home for so long that now they are coming to light and are the truth… I’m so scared that I will always think this way and never be at peace with the life I chose… it’s like my only options are be sad missing my family, divorce my husband or make him live a life he doesn’t want… all of these options make me feel so anxious, scared and sad…I feel like I can’t even enjoy my time with my new baby now bc I am anxious about these feelings all the time…I didn’t really feel these thoughts while I was pregnant but I think they have been in the back of my mind for a while and now I have to face them….should I look at these thoughts as anxiety/obsessive thoughts and my nerves are just sensitized right now or is it a message that living far away is causing me to much stress … and I need to do something about it…sorry if this doesn’t make sense… feeling like I need some reassurance that I will feel normal again and not constantly question my life choices… thank you!

  86. Sally Says:

    Hi Julib This is rare for me to post BUT
    If you want to recover and I don’t mean living in happy happy land every day that is not sustainable for any human being you have say to yourself this is me for now and I have to live with this as best I can for now When you stop questioning looking for a so called cure the fire inside you will quieten and give you some sort of peace All the worrying about your symptoms and how you feel only makes things worse I know this may sound harsh but believe me I am an oap and a veteran of this condition Instead of concentrating on this say to yourself I can do this I have a husband and children who need me One other thing self pity is our worse enemy we only have anxiety we are not ex servicemen with anxiety and no limbs and have to cope with that Remember they are only feelings horrible I know but they can’t hurt you You can live a very good and full life your future is in your own hands we all have choices Good Luck Sally

  87. Julib Says:

    Hi Sally

    Thank you. I appreciate your reply.

    I agree, it’s just so hard as my symptoms are so very physical all day. Like today I’ve felt so sick all day, dashes to the toilet as it’sioset my bowels. I feel sick all day and struggle to eat. I have churning dread in my stomach all day and just generally feel drained and weak all the time so I find it very hard to function. I also get overwhelmed doing basic chores and panic hits so easily. Today feeling sick has made me terrified I case I am sick. Its really hard for me to accept this. I so wish I could.

    I wish I could grasp acceptance of how awful I feel and not add more fear. I’ve never been very good at the acceptance thing lol.

    I really do appreciate your reply. It makes a lot of sense to me.


  88. Sally Says:

    Hi Julie
    Believe me I have been where you are now and the intensity of it will pass if you let go and learn to accept
    Sally x

  89. Julib Says:

    Thank you Sally.

    I hope I can. My head fills me with fears daily, afraid to walk incase I faint, afraid to eat incase I’m sick…. All because physically I feel so bad with the anxiety. It’s tough. I wish I could learn to not fear the symptoms and fears that whizz through my head.


  90. Carl Says:

    Hello all,

    I am an Anxiety sufferer, however with one fundamental difference. I have lost all fear and all thoughts. The only thing that makes me a sufferer still, is because I get symptoms still, occasional butterflies and a fuzzy head feeling. They come and they go, i no longer care about them as they are harmless and nothing bad will ever happen. My body is well on the way to recovery and whilst I’d love to be anxiety free, I’m not wishing my anxiety to go, I’m embracing it, welcoming it, showing it that I don’t care and accepting it. Do me a favour all, try making New Years resolutions for yourselves, never come back to this website again. Pretend to live a normal life and take it with you. I wonder what would happen other than recovery?

  91. Stephanie Says:

    Hi Jamie,

    I guess that depends on your definition of recovered. I still deal with anxiety frequently, but the difference is that now I’m not as bothered by it. I’ll have a particularly rough patch every now and then, but I always come out of it feeling more free and understanding than before.

  92. Mark R Says:


  93. Mark R Says:

    For some reason my posts aren’t coming through.

    Sorry to post but I’m having a torrid time at the moment. I’ve been to work today and been as productive as I can and engaging. I felt so low on the drive home that I got in and sobbed on my living room floor for an hour. It can feel so desperate at times that you feel isolated. Just getting through the day as best I can. If I look to the future feeling as I so it seems so bleak and hopeless.

    I do try and be as practical as I can for others on here but I can’t be always. Sorry in advance.


  94. Sally Says:

    Hi Carl
    Exactly Carl well said So what are we all to do if we can’t make it go away there is no choice but to learn to live with it and It diminishes and becomes manageable

  95. Melissa Says:

    Hi everyone,

    It’s my first time back in months and things are going a lot better. I got some good news that I’m pregnant so it’s still early, but I’m trying to do all the good things for my body, including trying to accept and limit anxiety and panic. I’ve been very tired because of the pregnancy, so that hasn’t helped my anxiety.

    I’ve also been having a rly weird symptom and it has me freaking out. I’ll be in my apartment and then I get kind of thoughts or memories of what my old house use to look like and then I compare where I am now to where I used to live. It’s the weirdest feeling and it’s starting to scare me. I’m worried I’m losing my mind (obviously)…anyone else had these kinds of symptoms?


  96. K Says:

    Hi Mark R,

    I have been in a loop for weeks myself. This week I had one clear day. What precedeed it was my forced willingness to deal with whatever pains and anxious thoughts I had at the moment. I did not try to take something that would make me sleep (nothing helps anyway), I did not start stretching my muscles, I did not go to my husband for comfort. I just stayed there for a good part of the night just observing what was taking place. I noticed that pain was changing location every few minutes or so, and the more I just observed, the less achy my body felt. I fell asleep and woke up a tiny bit refreshed. Half an hour or so into it I started checking on my symptoms and they eventually came back. Since then, I am trying the same thing – just observing. My symptoms are not gone and I catch myself checking on them, but being an observer without taking action makes me feel not as helpless. I am hoping to continue on this path, and I know that is the right way. It’s just so damn hard!!! I just want to cry and feel sorry for myself most of the time. Please try that too. Just be willing to not do whatever is it that you do when you feel your symptoms. Even if you just sit and medidate or take a nap or go for a walk or movies if you feel like it. Do something that you would do if anxiety was not torturing you at that moment. You don’t have to do something that does not otherwise interest you. Just do something regardless of anxiety. And keep doing it over and over until we beat this thing by no longer caring about it. I know it will help.



  97. Mark R Says:

    Hi K,

    Really interesting you should write that about observing as it is a good meditation method I use. I’ve noticed even just 10 minutes of meditating can bring the mind out if that highly anxious state. I usually do it in the evenings and observe where all the tension is. Makes you realise how much our minds resist all of this.

    I bawled my eyes out yesterday and didn’t feel any better for it. Today after work I treated myself to a new phone and a Toby carvery haha. I must felt the weirdest guy in there but oh well. I know all this crap is temporary.

    Thanks for the message.

  98. Louise Says:

    Hi I struggle with thoughts can anyone shed light on the tyoes of thoughts thy have or hav had… Im worried im goin crazy… I cud be doin something simple lik looking out the window thn a thought willchit me but more lile a weak thought from somewhere its strange. Its like as soon as I feel settled or happy wham its bk with negative thoughts

  99. Julib Says:

    Hi all

    Well I’ve had a very tough week but I put into practice some things Stephanie, Si and Sally advised. Despite feeling horrific physically with racing heart, shakes, nausea, hot face, etc.. I still have walked about the house, washed my hair with high anxiety present, cooked dinner and last night I even sat downstairs with my family for 2 hours and put the Christmas tree up. Anxiety was rife, I kept feeling very light headed and terrified I’d pass out and at one point had a huge rush of panic. It made me run to my bedroom, I lay on the bed for 20 minutes then went downstairs and carried on. Normally after a rush of heat, shakes etc I’d feel so light headed I’d not go anywhere but I did and faced it. I had 3 panic attacks yesterday, for me as soon as I feel the hot flush to my face it triggers panic as I fear passing out. I was exhausted before bed.

    How do you deal with hypervigilent feelings? My brain gives me a running commentary eveer time I walk around my house. Oh you feel tingly in your head, oh you feel light headed what if you faint, oh your legs feel bouncy, your heart is banging, oh your face is flushing, omg panic… … So I end up with such severe panic I feel I will pass out I go so hot in my face and dizzy. I am quite deconditioned right now. I have chronic fatigue syndrome as it is but this high general anxiety and anxiety attacks are tiring me out. I’ve had to rest more than usual these last 2 months so I’m even more unfit now which probably is why I feel exhausted cooking, walking about and get the physical symptoms worse as I’m tired so easily.
    . It’s hard juggling such physical anxiety and chronic fatigue, and lately I’ve been floored by it all.

    Also the fear of fainting because I flush in my face and feel so light headed lately is rife. I worry about fainting everytime I walk about. It’s hit me hard this setback. It rules everything I do. I even worry I will faint if I think medical things etc.. Fainting is a huge part of my anxiety. I was scared doing my tree last night incase I fainted and my anxiety wanted me to lie in my room. I resisted other than that 1 time. I also feel light headed due to my fatigue. If I overdo things and don’t pace myself with the housework I always get light headed for a while, I had this all last year with the cfs. It was my sign I’d done too much as my heart would race and I’d feel woozy in my head. As much as I didn’t like it, it never caused panic, I’d rest and it would pass. Where as now I’m anxious, when I do alot of jobs at home and it hits, wham I flush to my face and can panic about passing out. Even if I’m back having a rest, my anxiety notices all the symptoms going on a day wham I flush to my face and panic hits. .

    Any tips for dealing with these couple of things would be appreciated. I’m working hard at acceptance, for me it’s work as it doesn’t come at all easy. I’m just so stuck with the hypervigilent mind and fear of fainting.

    Thank you

  100. Alz Says:

    So good to hear from you ! I have been the same but I don’t try to come on this blog much . Since we last spoke , I started therapy and I see this lady every three weeks. It’s really nerve wracking befr I visit her because I hv to let out everything but I’m going to continue . In these 4/ 5 months a lot has happened – I flew to my mom to witness the birth of my nephew ( brothers son ). It was so stressful after what happened to me( he’s the first child born in my family after my loss) . However no matter how out of it I was feeling , how disconnected ,how obsessive , I went .the minute we found out he was born my brother, mom and I cried. People at the hospital were just staring at us but they didn’t know why this was so stressful for us . Anyway he’s adorable :)
    Then my husabands brother is getting married at the end of this month and the preparations are intense . Will be having a lot of family and relatives over – excited yet hesitant .
    Finally I resigned from my job ! It was getting super stressful and while I was going on and on and on to test myself , the day I got bk to work after visiting my family , I found out they’re giving me more work with no increase in the salary package . That’s where I just thought enough is enough . Everyone sees the hard work I’m doing and there is no appreciation for it . Also the place I work at is known to squeeze the juice out of u and make u work extremely hard . So I’m happy and can’t wait to have another work opportunity ( a better and more fulfilling one ) come my way !
    Anxiety wise I’m bad . I’m questioning reality and am obsessional about whether an event happened or not when I’m talking to people -don’t know if I understand that . I can’t talk to friends, family or even my hubby properly because I’m questioning what I’m saying – if it happened or didn’t happen or whether I’m making sense .Besides that it’s uncomfortable going shopping thinking evone is looking at me because of my anxiety ( or in my head my madness )
    Char if u could get in and out of vicious cycles then the anxiety creeping back should not scare u . Ur anticipating it and that s increasing the sure there’s some life event that’s triggering it . I know ul be ok :) u r ok !

  101. Alz Says:

    Melissa !!!!!
    Congratulations :) yes ur back here after months with such good news! So happy for you . Remember that your hormones will go a bit awry during pregnancy so attribute any weird thought/ feeling to that and know that it’s just anxiety / hormonal imbalance . Every symptom is weird , scary , new and bizarre. If it scares u – its anxiety

  102. Stephanie Says:


    I’d encourage to read Paul’s post again. I do want to point out one part that I think is applicable to where you are:

    “Some people believe they can rid themselves of fear and anxiety through knowledge alone and so jump from one person to the next hoping to be free of anxiety and fear in one go. In doing so they stay stuck in seeking mode as they don’t want to go through the period of discomfort that is needed to reverse the process of avoidance.”

    I think you’re stuck in that seeking mode because you don’t want to feel the discomfort. But you are going to have to go through the discomfort if you want to experience true freedom. There’s no way around it, no shortcut. Getting tips from different people might encourage you along the way, but the journey is still one you have to walk yourself.

  103. Matt Says:

    Is shortness of breathe normal with anxiety? I alsways think that it’s normal with panic attacks, but not chronic anxiety. However, I’ve been having some odd sensations of feeling short of breath that can last hours. It’s very strange. I’ve had anxiety for 5 years, and my symptoms always seem to change, so not sure if I should be concerned or not. Thanks!

  104. Mamba Says:

    I’m not sure if this can be discussed on here but i’m feeling real bad tonight. apologies if not

    Can taking SSRI’s permanently effect your sexual libido especially the ability to sustain an erection?

    I’ve been on and off citalopram 20mg since 2008 with no problems. i’ve been on 30mg for 4 months and twice in the last 2 weeks i’ve lost my erection. now i’m freaking out that Citalopram has caused permanent damage. i have been fine 3 times during the 2 weeks as well.

    Any advice would be very helpful thanks

  105. Sally Says:

    I just googled Citalopram and one of the side effects is loss of sexual desire or ability You can look it up yourself

  106. Char Says:

    Hi Alz

    So pleased you are making progress despite the anxiety. Lovely news on your brothers baby and well done for making your work decision – wow good for you and I’m sure a fab opportunity is waiting for you !

    Yes I can come out of anxiety so I guess I’m doing something right , but I guess I have not lost my hatred of the anxiety and that’s my sticking point….

    Keep in touch Alz


  107. Julib Says:

    Thanks Stephanie

    I will and I agree I have to face this and I am doing with the things I’ve been doing but it’s so hard for me as my attacks floor me.

    Yesterday my anxiety spikes in the afternoon. Once it’s that high I so easily can trigger an attack and it’s so intense. Yet I decided despite how high my anxiety was to go downstairs. I did and wham severe panic. Herat banging, dizzy, fuzzy vision, felt faint etc… I stayed and got my drink and then went and sat down. I felt dreadful and after that my anxiety stayed super high for a good 6 hours plus. I ended up terrified to wash my hair that evening because once my anxiety is that high doing anything causes the most severe panic attacks. I’ve never experienced this in my life until the last 8 weeks. .

    On days my general anxiety is lower then I can go downstairs, wash my hair etc with ease but once the general anxiety is stuck high and I’ve symptoms at a high level like the bad nausea, light headed feelings etc… Panic can hit really strong. I get about 2 days a week like that and it is awful. I keep pushing thinking I have to still walk about regardless of how awful I feel but wham the attacks hit so strong I have no choice but to stop because as my hubby agreed I look and feel too bad.

    I cried last night to hubby and said how can I recover if on the dsys the general anxiety is high I can’t push through it without feeling such intense panic that floors me. I try to so things regardless and feel it but its honestly that strong I am floored by it. I keep trying to so things and feel the symptoms and on days it’s not as high I can handle the level of discomfort but on days it’s that severe it wins. I’m terrified I can’t recover then. I had 2 good days and thought I’d cracked it until yesterday and now I’m dreading the day ahead today after how bed ridden it made me from late yesterday afternoon.

    Thank you for replying. I just feel defeated right now.


  108. Julib Says:

    To add to my last post.

    This morning horrific anxiety going downstairs 3 times to let my children out for school. My heart rate shot up and I thought ok I will just sit in the living room and let it pass but no I feel such severe nausea and I had to run the toilet and had the runs.

    I’m now on my bed feeling so light headed a day crying because some days it’s so strong. I feel bloody traumatised by it and no idea how I can recover whwn it makes me feel so poorly. I am so light headed since, feel sick and scared of passing out. It’s awful as this strong anxiety had calmed a lot and now it’s hitting me hard again. Why can’t I just see my kids off without feeling this severe anxiety? I feel I’m too bad to recover. Once a bad attack like today or last night hits I feel traumatised by it and upset for ages.

    I just wanted to explain how bad it can make me. And why I’m struggling to accept. I’m sorry to post again, I’m feeling at a loss.


  109. daryl Says:


    It is the anxiety………yes that SSRI can cause loss of libido as the leaflet in the box tells you, it is usually temporary as far as I have read. The thing is, if you focus on that then of course that will make the problem greater. In terms of anxiety I think that is one of the major issues we all have. We focus on it and that is what feeds it. You have never had problems before and 2 times in 4 months does not really seem like a problem when you look at it objectively. What is a problem is adding that second fear to the problem.

    When I had “issues” with humming (a tune or jingle from the radio) was the issue the humming? I was humming a tune, it was annoying but was it something that warranted total fear? Nope, it wasn’t, but that didn’t stop me panicking that I would: Never be able to sleep, will have this tune in my head for ever, go mad etc, etc. Cue me going down the hole and making myself scared and massively anxious IRRATIONALLY.

    The problem isn’t the side effects of the SSRI’s it’s your reaction to not being able to keep it up a couple of times over 4 months. You are scaring your self that this is permanent or dangerous. In reality you know it isn’t……’s an irrational or obsessive thought.

  110. Mark R Says:


    I feel for you as it’s clear you are really struggling. Unfortunately we have all been where you are and its not pleasant. I think it’s important to point out a few things though which may be hindering your progress….

    It seems to me that you are scared of anxiety and everything that it brings. Who wouldn’t right? It’s bloody vile. We need to remember that anxiety is not some illness or outside thing that appears, it’s us that creates it but obviously not intentionally. In a sensitised state these symptoms and feelings appear at a hair trigger response. So you could have the thought ‘What if my kids are late to school’ and it can send you straight into a panic. At the moment there is no choice, we simply can’t stop this happening.

    What we can do is acknowledge the feelings and carry on with what we are doing. I think a big step for you is not to retreat upstairs to your bedroom or bed every time you feel overwhelmed. If you continue to do this you are reinforcing the message that it is something to be frightened of and the brain will get the wrong idea. In order for your brain to lower the anxiety response you need to show it there is nothing to be afraid of. It takes a lot of courage and patience but it can be done. I’m not sure what your situation is but if you are alone during the day you could maybe do some housework, some painting, or pick up an old hobby.

    Typically I find that it takes 4 days or so for the brain to receive the positive messages we are sending so on that premise what we do now will feel beneficial in a week or so. You probably think that from the way I type I am recovered but I still have tough weeks. An example is that last week was very tough for me with the lowest point being Saturday. It was a total waste, every minute was torture and I could only find relief in tears. I went to bed feeling utterly desperate. Sunday I decided not to succumb to the wasteful energy of anxiety, I was going to make something of my day despite how I felt. I then drove to Liverpool for the Merseyside derby which took 5 hours due to the snow!! Sure I felt like total crap but my mind was on other things. In the evening I felt peace for the first time in nearly two weeks. I’m not showing off here but just giving an example to show it can be done and we’re not broken. Our minds can find peace if we let it.

    Make a promise today not to come on here. Not to retreat to your bedroom or bed. Pick up something else that isn’t anxiety related. You will reap the rewards J promise.


  111. Julib Says:


    Thank you for your kind reply.

    My anxiety hits my physically so hard it knocks me ill. Since the panic this morning I have felt so sick, upset bowels (sorry) and unable to eat. I have felt drained too so that’s why I retreat to my bedroom because I just cannot walk around the house feeling so sick and weak. I also have found the last 2 months my bedroom became my safe place, which I hate to admit.

    THings have been so tough that I’ve only been out twice in 2 months because of how awful this has made me feel physically. Some days I feel so physically sick and weak I can’t function even at home let alone go out. I fear I really am the worst person anyone has ever seen with anxiety with how little I can do. I mean who has such severe panic just washing her hair or seeing her children out of the door to school? i am ashamed of the way I am so reaching out here is hard.

    I have 3 children and a husband, during the day I rest on the tough days but on days I feel less sick I can actually function. I can cook a meal and eat it, I can read, watch tv, wrap presents, write…. but on days like today I am so traumatised by the mornings panic that I just lie crying and feeling so sick and ill all day.

    I had 2 great days and now i am back feeling terrible. I ate 2 meals Sunday and now I can’t even force a banana. I always know I am doing better when tI am on the toilet less and able to eat properly lol.

    Although this morning was horrific and I am upset by it, I have been downstairs 3 times today to make a drink, put the washing on, make a light lunch (I am yet to eat it).. I keep trying and trying.

    My biggest fear is the physical symptoms will cause me to faint. I don’t over breath with anxiety strangely but I think the fast heart and huge rushes of adrenaline just make me feel all light headed and my face flushes. I then panic I will pass out. I find it all very traumatic especially when my stomach issues trigger and I have no option but to go to the toilet during a panic attack, I find that even worse. It’s horrible. Sorry for the detail.

    I live in hope i can recover but I fear I really am the worst case of physical anxiety as it limits my life so much right now and hits me so hard. I worry how I come across here but I am desperate and lost right now feeling this awful. I worry this will be me forever with how ill it makes me feel and my inability to keep going when the panic hits hard. It’s too hard and even retreating to lie down doesn’t help, I can feel awful just lying down. Once high anxiety and panic hits I can feel awful for hours or a full day. I know I am making some progress because my husband reminds me in the early weeks I would have a panic attack and then have one after the other for up to 9 hours and lie shaking for that long too. Now I don’t shake and a panic can pass within 10 minutes and although I may get a few after eachother I am usually ok within an hour but may have some lingering anxiety. I need reminding of those times as it’s hard to see progress on bad days like today.

    Thank you again for replying to me, I do appreciate it.


  112. Anon Says:

    Julib, have you tried drinking molasses tea for a couple weeks? I have found that to calm down my system.

  113. Daryl Says:

    Great post, I always find it helpful to read positive posts. I think your 4 day lag between doing positive things and feeling positive is really interesting and I think you could be on to something. What I often do when I get myself into a loop is get frustrated that by doing something I do not get instant relief from anxiety. I had never thought of that lag between doing and feeling but it is a really great way to look at this.

    Essentially that I may not respond the benefits instantly but if I keep doing the right things I will feel the benefits eventually. Cheers Mark. PS are you a red or a blue?

  114. Julib Says:

    Hi Anon

    No I’ve not heard of drinking that to be honest. I’ve been drinking peppermint and camomile teas to help soothe my anxious stomach.


  115. Mark R Says:


    Yeah read it a few times on certain forums and books and seems to hold true for me.

    I’m a blue mate. You’re going to tell me you’re a red now and make me hate you?! Haha. Football seems to be a big help for me. I’m in Newcastle at the moment from last nights game.


    Just wondered if you used to post here under a different username about 3 Yrs ago?


  116. Mamba Says:

    Thanks for the replys

    @Sally i looked at google too much which is why i was so anxious and desperate to post the other night

    @daryl 4months on CIT but problems happened twice in two weeks.

    Still pretty stressed about it. speaking to a doctor (not one of my usual docs/a fill in doctor who at times i wondered if she could understand me, she’s not from here, i’m trying to say nicely that she’s from another country :) ) REALLY didn’t help

    She said she never heard of someone having this problem with Citalopram. which freaked me out a little. then started talking about blood tests, more freaking out, started talking about it not being a problem there’s plenty of medications you can take for it, More freaking out

    Asked me if i wanted to switch to Fluoxetine (i think thats the one she said) even though she didn’t think it could be the citalopram. i asked if i should reduce dose and see if that helps, she said “side affects aren’t dose dependent” she also asked if i’d read the leaflet that came with the medication like she had no idea what she was talking about.

    Trying not to catastrophize it but failing. every twitch, movement and muscle ache near my groin is a sign of something. i’ve also been ill over the last few days which is making me think its something other than the medication. barely eating, feeling hungry but not wanting to eat, regular trips to the toilet,
    keep checking my glands in my neck, left side slightly swollen, i think, maybe it’s just the anxiety playing with my mind. i’m not usually a hypochondriac

    I’ve spoken to and seen many people online who have had this problem with citalopram & other SSRI’s. i agreed with the doctor to reduce the dose first, actually i think i insisted.

    Problem is with Christmas around the corner i’m worried dropping the dose might increase my anxiety and also affect my recovery in the long run. I don’t want to be the miserable guy at the christmas table ruining christmas for everyone and i also wouldn’t mind enjoying it too

    Are there major side effects when dropping from 30-20mg?

    Thanks for any help

  117. daryl Says:

    No mate, I’m not really a footy fan TBH. Rugby League is more my thing and I am a big Saints fan. I love it! My Dad is a Blue though so I feel your pain ;).

    It’s funny when you talk of the thoughts being a hair trigger……..that is exactly how I see it. In books they say, see the thought, let it come and just don’t engage with it. The thoughts come so quick that it is almost impossible for me to spot them before I have engaged. I look back on my year of anxiety (12 month anniversary!!) and I see that I have improved and having only read Paul’s book at the beginning of July I suppose its only been six months so the improvements are there so it is frustrating when I have bad days. I now just seem to struggle with intrusive/obsessive thoughts and I have booked myself in for CBT starting in a few months time and I am still toying with the Citalopram that the Doctor prescribed (as in whether to take them). My telephone appt with the therapy service said OCD could be at fault for this which I know is just an offshoot of anxiety.
    Like you say, when the nonsensical thoughts come it is only after I have reacted that I notice them and that annoys me. It’s a struggle and it gets me down but positive posts from the likes of yourself are really helpful. Especially when I know how hard it must be coping with all this on top of being an Everton fan 😉

  118. Julib Says:

    Hi Mark

    I used to use the blog a few years ago yes.


  119. Kostas Says:

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the post and all your beautiful work.
    I am a little confused and would appreciate any kind of advice.In general I get better as time passes,but one thing I struggle with is the fact that I understand that recovery is not a ‘do’ and these feelings are harmless and in fact helpful,but it is like I force myself to get better and I guess because of habbit always check my progress and do not accept any kind of mistakes.If anyone understands what I am talking about it would be very helpful for me to give me a tip.

  120. Julib Says:

    Hi all,

    I reached out to another therapist to consider therapy after Christmas. I told her how I’m struggling these last 2 months with general anxiety. I told her I constantly have unease, upset stomach, nausea, generally anxious constantly. It can trigger panic doing anything and I only feel calmer when sat or lying still but even then I can feel horrible generally anxious and dread of what I have to do that day. The moment I function the high anxiety hits and it can trigger panic. She basically said she wasn’t going to lie to me, and that I won’t ever be recovered from anxiety and that with cbt we can learn ways to manage it. I felt so deflated.

    She then asked what I’d been currently doing to cope with the overwhelm and high anxiety I feel functioning day to say. I explained about Claire Weekes and Paul’s work, basically accepting it and carrying on. Building up slowly doing chores, getting out etc.. And she said ‘well that won’t help you. Pushing yourself whwn the symptoms are as severe as you have and the scary thoughts that overwhelm you, pushing through will only make the panic worse’. She said I had to find ways to cope when I walk about, do chores etc.. Not push through when the symptoms are that severe. My symptoms at times are so bad I have to stop and wait till it passes before continuing.

    I have constant general anxiety, I always feel on edge, unease, generally anxious and I feel it all in my stomach. I often have to run to the toilet as it flares my ibs. If I rest it’d there but less so than whwn I walk about. Example, just now I went down to make a drink, do the washing… And the whole time my stomach was churning, upset stomach reeling hit like I’d have the runs (sorry), hot flush to face and just a general horrible unease. I stayed and did what I had to do and then sat to have a rest and let it pass. I find after I’ve done things thsts when the panic can hit because the general anxiety is spiked so high. But I lay down and let the heat in my face pass, let my heart rate fall and it passed. Now I’ve been practicing this 2 months and it’s not getting easier. I’ve never ever experienced anxiety like this. I had chronic fatigue all of last year and I’d feel anxious functiining due to how unwell fatigue made me but I never had severe anxiety or panic functioning even though I felt like death doing chores. Yet now I’ve got fatigue again probably due to 2 months of anxiety and waking at 5am most days, I feel horrific. I’m beginning to worry is a health issue causing it or something because the horrible general unease and panic whwn doing chores just isn’t getting better even when I face things every single day. I’m doing more now than a month ago yet I still feel horrific doing things. Last night I even panicked washing my hair, and that had got a little easier.

    Can anyone relate? Is that normal to feel unease and such awful general anxiety doing anything? I just want to feel able to function around my house normally again without feeling so sick, bad bowels, unease and panic. All I’m doing is putting washing in the machine or making a drink for goodness sake lol.

    I’m so confused. I’m beginning to think therapy isn’t the answer. Sorry this got long. I just feel lost and like this is me stuck and the worst case of anxiety anyone’s ever seen.


  121. Debbie Says:

    Julib i hope u feel better i felt alot like you feel i went through it all dizziness ,breathing ,every symptom . Now iam stuck with leaky heart valves i have and i get panic over it and my heart starts beating fast sometimes my pulse gos to 140 from having a panic attack i know how horrible they are anything with medical i get them . I have found anxiety centre has helped alot its 38.00 for a year it explains everything about anxiety you can get a therapist and skype with them . Also every few months you can skype with jim folk the founder and others in a group for free .

  122. Louise Says:

    Can anyone shed some light on intrusive thoughts this seems to be something that I struggle with, I hear people mention thoughts about relationships and health.. Which iv had but has anybody ever had any about self harm or harming others or worry about death in general. Its the one that I just cant leave as I worry that it will happen if I do. Please any advice.

  123. Mark R Says:


    I think the issue with using a CBT therapist is that it can conflict with the advice on here. This isn’t CBT, this is acceptance. I’ve found that the best type of therapy to compliment the advice on here and Claire Weeke is Act as this is acceptance based.

    The one thing I found the most important from Claire Weekes books more than anything else was ‘no longer mattering’. What I mean by this is that eventually the symptoms won’t matter to you and your mind will give them the brush off. However to get to this stage life stuff needs to become more important. Only you can do this by accepting how you feel and doing things regardless. At the moment your anxious storm is raging as it was for me last week but I kept going to work, to friends, football etc no matter. This week has been easier but I’m stuck with the pesky annoying thoughts and symptoms, but a huge improvement.
    From an outside point of view and please don’t take this the wrong way is that what is keeping you stuck is looking for a cure outside of yourself. You repeat yourself over each day which probably feels cathartic but in the long term won’t help. There is no magic bullet here unfortunately, trust me on that, I’ve been looking for years.
    You’re in a storm/setback/blip/wobble, whatever but the only way it will calm is for you to resume life as it was a few months ago no matter. Yes it feels like hell but if even just 1% of you wants to do something then do it. You’ll look back in a week and things will be better but please refrain from repeating your story as it will only hinder you.

    Hope that helps.


  124. Mamba Says:

    The one think you have to remember with intrusive thoughts is they’re meaningless, just something popping into your head and the feelings are getting stronger the more you stress and try to read more into them.

    Let them pass, don’t react to them (it is difficult, i’ve gone through this) and they will mean less and less. then they eventually will have no power and stop.

    Try watching this

    Good luck

  125. Stephanie Says:


    I agree with Mark. It’s not helping you at all to keep coming on here and sharing the same thing over and over. People are responding to you and giving great advice, but you keep coming back with the same post, asking the same questions. I’m not sure what you’re trying to accomplish, but the time you spend writing a post on here would be better spent doing anything else. Frankly, you are the one keeping yourself in this state of suffering, therefore you are the only one who can get yourself out of it. Please, do yourself a favor and take a break from the searching and questioning. Do something for somebody else. Take your mind off of yourself for even just five minutes.

  126. Kostas Says:

    Hi Julib,
    Have you ever thought to consult a physician for taking appropriate medication for anxiety? If the treatment is successful for a period, then the vicious anxiety cycle could break, and be able to face it better!
    I was able to face my nervous breakdown this way in the past.
    Now I am also free of the medication, after a huge effort of course.
    Best of luck

  127. Julib Says:

    Mark – thank you for your reply. Much appreciated. I just reached out to a therapist as my own friends suggested I should see one but I’ve reached out to 2 and not had the best experience so I guess I cane here to post about it because I was wondering is this something I can deal with myself or should I keep trying to find someone. It confused me I think. Your replies are helpful, and I do take things on board as I’ve made some progress this week despite still feeling awful.

    Stephanie- thank you for your reply. Like I just said to Mark, the therapist situation confused me. I’ve reached out to 2 now and was confused about whether I can deal with this myself. I am doing my best, in my recent post alive explained how I keep pushing through and doing chores etc despite how terrible I feel. Which is progress for me. I had a huge panic attack yesterday and sat through it, didn’t call my hubby and within an hour I was walking around the house, washed my hair, started with my daughter and played a game. So I am really trying. I’m not coming on the blog daily reading or posting, I’ve posted whwn I’ve felt I needed support and I have taken a lot on board as my husband has noticed a change, despite still feeling awful I’ve tried.
    I’ve had a horrible week with the general anxiety and then the therapist experience confused me so I just wanted to post about that as I’ve had friends suggesting I try therapy but I’m unsure whether to after the rubbish experience I’ve had recently.

    Kostas- I’m on medication already which I tried to wean off this year but it didn’t work out. I for now am staying on it. Ive been on it 4 years now for sleep, lack of appetite and the trauma I experienced 5 years ago. It worked well and maybe it even still was until I slowly started withdrawing in the spring.

    Debbie – I have seen he Anxiety centre website. I wasn’t sure how worth it was signing up. I k ow therapy is extra but ie there much more on the website if you have membership?

    Thanks again all. Have a good weekend.


  128. Julib Says:


    I had intrusive thoughts for about 18 months or so a few years ago. They were awful and I honestly thought I’d never be without them but now I am living life free of them.

    I was told they were a form of OCD, basically just high anxiety. When we are anxious we are so hypervigilent that we notice every ache, pain, thought etc…. We have thousands of thoughts a day but when anxious we grab hold of the worrying or scary thoughts and think, what does that mean? will it happen? am I a bad person for thinking that?

    My thoughts were what if I hurt myself or others. I threw out any objects I feared could harm myself or my family. I was terrified and at one point I would be too scared to be alone or near my children. I’d live in fear of them being unwell and needing to be home alone with me (they had amazing attendance at school lol) and I’d dread school holidays. As a mother I felt terrible for feeling the way I did but it was all anxiety.

    I did have some therapy to help accept them but honestly Pauls book and Claire Weekes made me realise they were a product of high anxiety, nothing more. The fact I was so terrified and avoiding certain things proved it was all anxiety.

    A thought is that, just a thought, not a desire or fact. The way I overcame them was to go towards my thoughts and say ok maybe that will happen but for now I am going to sit and cuddle my children and watch a movie. I used to hug my children and husband everytime a scary thought hit. I stopped avoiding things and slowly my brain got the message that there was no danger. It did take a long time but it worked.

    My GP told me they were high anxiety, our worst fears are what the intrusives focus on. It’s all so normal.

    Now a few years on I love my children being home during the holidays, I love days alone with them, I can be alone too and not fear any of those things. Do the thoughts still hit? Sure, they were a habit for so long so of course at times the thoughts come into my head but they float out like clouds. In the same way any thought does. I no longer grab them and think oh no!!!! I no longer get the punch to my stomach with those thoughts. They just don’t concern me at all.

    My best advice is just allow them in, run towards them and say ok bring it on anxiety, think whatever your anxiety wants you to think. They are just thoughts. Another thing I recommend is meditation, it teaches you to just notice thoughts with non reactivity. It helped me no end.

    You are not your thoughts, they are not fact. Learning to step back and realise they are just thoughts and not action is what helped me to recover. I know thoughts of that nature are awful but they are no different to a thought of what you’ll cook for dinner. If there is no desire or excitement to carry a thought through then trust me, it’s 100% anxiety.


  129. Louise Says:

    Hi julib thank you so much for replying I jus get so involved that I ebd up feeling so dwn tht I fear il become depressed n carry it through I nwver realised thoughts could be so scary thank you again x

  130. daryl Says:


    Great advice again……….how are you getting on, hope you are still on an upwards trajectory. I think you are right again……..”Do stuff” even though every fibre in our bodies tells us not to. It’s only by doing stuff that we give less space to anxiety.

    Cheers and have a great Christmas!

  131. SI Says:

    I’m back again……

    So here I am again, it’s like ground hog day only the difference is each time I am back I am stronger in acceptance as I know it’s only for a short while.

    What Mark R says regards positive thinking and a delay before mood changes (I think that’s what he means) rings so true…. So the last time I was on here (2 weeks ago ish) I felt terrrible (and I probably will do again), but what I did was just work through it, don’t let it impress me too much, even though trough habbit it does. I push myself past my negative feelings and just DO WHAT I NEED TO DO – it’s not easy, it’s not nice, I wished I didn’t feel like this but you know what, I DO FEEL LIKE THI, and what can I do – well it’s easy I do nothing about the feeling, ok yes it’s in the back of my mind all the time thinkiing ok I feel ok right now but what in 10 mins, so then I have to tell my self “so what in 10 mins”.

    There has now been many times when mind has enough clarity to just enjoy the day and think “i’ve done it”, but now I think “It will come back”, but is this a bad thing, if I say yes it is and I don’t want it I am taking a step or 2 back, if I tell myself, even my freinds and family that I’m feeling ok at the minute but it may not be for long, but I don’t mind then I am making progress!!!

    So Julieb – you need to just let it all be there, maybe “act as if” every now and again – this must trick the mind to beliving everything is ok (because it is). Take me for instance – when I get moments of clarity I want to do things, look forward to doing things and don’t very often worry about if I can do it or feel like it, but when you are in the storm “everything is flipped on the other side” BUT NOTHING HAS CHANGED – it realy is upto us…. we don’t have to act on our mood, we can’t help a re-actio but we can but a stop to it after then. So your going to feel rubbish, have horrible thoughts thatwon’t leave you alone, but I can tell you that you get the same thoughts when you feel better but the re-actio gets milder and milder…….

    PLEASE trust in yourselves to get through the bad times and keep looking forward to the better time (the mind is tricking you already to think there is something wrong) so play the game and trick it back.

    One thing I have learned is that nothing the anxiety can and will come when it wants no matter how hard you try to stop it, I am at the stange of having a good few days then some crap weeks – but so what, at least I am getting some good moments

    Best wishes

  132. Mark R Says:

    Hi Daryl,

    I seem to be on an upward path since a week ago although the last two days have been hard. I continue to do things despite how I feel and refuse to hide away and let anxiety boss me around. At the end of the day it has to learn. I’ve had the odd day and times over the last week where I have felt completely fine but as Simon says in his post they are fleeting.

    I hate how I feel in all honesty and part if me wishes I could turn the clock back a month or fast forward to feeling okay again. I know I will be okay if I keep doing what I’m doing, it just never feels like it’s working at the time.

    How are you getting on?


  133. Debbie Says:

    Iam having a really bad setback for the past few days i feel that fear of everything and afraid my heart is gonna start beating fast and it dos i run home to my bed. Its awful . I still push my self but its hard. Then its like the flood gates open of intrusive thoughts,images etc .

  134. Louise Says:

    Has anybody had intrusive thoughts qothout any anxious feelings, its worrying me a bit coz my thoughts are about self harm but today I fwel flat and its worrying me as im not gettin my ususal tingling or rush, I have started to jus let the thoughts be there so dnt know if its that or am I becoming depressed any advice

  135. Julib Says:

    Thank you Si for posting to me.

    I am struggling with days of horrible general anxiety, just anxious all day and I feel close to panic when my general anxiety is high. It’s horrible. Yesterday it wasn’t too bad and I had a nice calm day with veey few anxious moments but today the general anxiety is high and I feel horrible. Lots of anxious thoughts and they of course trigger with nausea, shakes, hot flushes… Thsts what I find difficult, how to accept it all when feeling so awful. I am exhausted today but I did something huge today, I went out and walked my dog alone. Just 5 minutes but I’ve not done that in 2 months and I’ve only been out 3 times in 2 months. It’s tired me out but it’s something positive today.

    When my general anxiety is high those are the days I struggle to cope with it and panic can often easily hit as my mind seems to trigger over the slightest thing. Even the children returning home can trigger panic on days like today. Other days when general anxiety is calmer I’m ok.

    You’re doing amazing and will come through this. Your advice always soothes me so thank you so much.


  136. Si Says:

    Hi Julib…..

    We are all very good at giving advise, because we know what we need (don’t need) to do. I am in a blip at the moment, one of not wanting to do anything, not being able to think about anything other than my feelings, everything I think about gives me a jolt and I get more and more down. At the weekend I went out for a Xmas meal and enjoyed it very much, then suddenly and it is sudden Sunday I felt very anxious and of course that set me off again.

    What do I do… I then try to work out why I feel like I do, was it because I had such a good time, was it because I drank too much, do I wish I had the nice feeling all the time, do I now wish not to feel happiness that much if all I do is come crashing down after.

    In an “anxiety state” we can’t see the wood for the tree’s, we can’t see the possitives, we only see doom and gloom, and how very hard is that especially this time of year with young children.

    BUT…… you have achieved like you say – you have made a big move, you have gone against how you feel, do you feel better… probably not, do you feel worse…. probably not…… do you see positives…. probably not, so now what do you do…. you carry on regardless of how you feel, no matter how much it hurts.

    If we follow the advise from Paul we can do this (I have done this before myself). We I feel are over thinkers….. we think too much, so what I am trying to do is something that Will Beswick (Paul is awareof him) says and that’s when you “FEEL” the “FEELING” it’s too late and it can’t be controlled, but what happens after that we can control by not engaging in mind chatter, just let it be and continue with what your doing. In time this will become an automatic response and not something that you have to do.

    Keep up the good work, don’t push yourself too much, but try and make a goal of doing something like you have today, everyday.

    So tomorrow when your alone and you think I’ll take the dog a quick walk – DO IT, your mind will tell you you can’t or tell you there is no point because thats what anxiety does, BUT YOU and ONLY YOU push past this thought and do it anyway, but don’t expect to come back feeling different, if you do thats good, if you don’t thats good, why – well because your telling the mind that you have some control and the dog gets out of the house too :)

    Best wishes


  137. Julib Says:

    Thank you Si.

    Great advice again. Thank you for replying to me.

    Yes I will. It is hard when you do something good and feel a boost then a few hours later I get the dread and fear again and feel floored by anxiety. I’m also exhausted now which always flares my anxiety. I feel so tired I’m now having a rest, and anxiety in my mind and stomach is rife. I have to wash my hair later and even though I only have to sit by the bath and hubby washes it for me (it’s become a thing he does it as I’m so fatigue shy evening) it fills me with dread and I get so anxious about it which then causes me anxiety before hand for hours. It’s horrible and all because hair washing these last 2 months become overwhelming, as did most things but I had a few nasty attacks after hair washing so I now dread it. Hopefully later this will pass but whatever I will do it. I just hate how anxious it makes me, I feel so stupid. I hate the overwhelm doing simple tasks because I fesr the panic it may cause.

    My chronic fatigue has flared badly this afternoon so I’m just having a rest now. Your advice has really helped. I will keep doing something each day and whwn I need to rest listen to my body.

    Well done going for your meal, I’m so glad you did that and enjoyed it.


  138. Alz Says:

    Hey Char! Or anyone who can help !
    My feelings of unreality are really intense .. I’m questioning everything and it’s hard to talk to my husband even without thinking in my head that I am losing my mind. It’s worse when I discuss my symptoms because it really makes me feel like I’m losing it . Forgetting names , words , questioning things while telling them to people and worst of all I can hear myself when I’m talking.. can someone pls tell me when this will get better . Iv just resigned and my notice period is a bummer .. the feeling of not being with it and questioning everything is too much.

  139. Mark R Says:


    Its good you can be objective about the times when you are in that anxious, twisted place. I can discern the difference between those too. I wasn’t feeling all too bad yesterday and went to the gym after work. When I’d finished I just felt mega low and mind grew morbid quickly. As you say you can’t see the wood for the trees and everything just seems terrible if you look forward.

    In these times I have to remind myself that I have been okay despite how my anxious brain is blocking all that out now. It’s only been odd days over the last month but for large chunks of the year I’ve been fine. Just wish things were easier now.

  140. Mark R Says:

    That was meant to say Si not So!

  141. Stacey Says:

    Hello everyone. I’ve been looking on here for the past 12 months wanting to write but have decided not to but here goes…
    so just under two years ago I was going through a huge life change moved away from all my family for my husbands job to somewhere I’d never been before. I was getting on fine but dealing with a lot of stressors with our new house and organising my wedding!!
    I started feeling many symptoms of anxiety but after googling for months I developed an intesnse fear of depression I was making myself feel depressed and googling it brooding in it all the time. Then many other mental problems! I was told by a psychiatrist GP and psychologist it’s anxiety and I need to stop googling stop researching stop talking about it but as my weddin grew close I felt awful I was getting married and not able to enjoy it!i then fell pregnant and still felt the exact same getting up every morning thinking thinking thinking googling asking people if I’m depressed and felt so awful. I live quite isolated due to my husbands job so I’m inside my own head all day trying way to hard to keep busy to get “better”
    I had my daughter in July and was fine head over heels in love with her but after a few days I then had the fear of post natal depression! She is now 5 months and I am still battling everyday with this fearing I will be like it for life searching for reassurance and a way out. I want to be back to my old jolly outgoing self but this has zapped the life out of me as I keep thinking there’s something irreversibly mentally wrong everyday and my biggest fear is this is stopping me enjoying my family and being the mum I know I can. It’s also making me so emotional. Everyone says I’m so outgoing happy and that these stupid thoughts are ruining my life!
    Any words of hope would be amazing.


  142. Julib Says:

    Hi all

    I’ve had a good few days which has been nice. Very fatigued since pushing my l self out for a walk but thats normal for me with cfs. Also be be functioning well around the house, miles better than I was. My husband says he can see a big change which is encouraging.

    My anxiety though hit today the moment I woke up. I just woke up with general anxiety and bad upset tummy, nausea feelings. It actually made me realise how well I’ve been doing because it’s been a while since I felt this sick and bad morning anxiety, this week it’s been much calmer. I’ve even eaten well, all good signs.

    Waking like this has triggered my Christmas worries. Every year I’m ill at Christmas with anxiety, I even had to lie down last Christmas day the fatigue got too much at one point. I’m feeling a lot of pressure to be able to sit downstairs in the morning with hubby and my children to open the presents, sit to eat the meal…. And with having chronic fatigue syndrome that can be very exhausting but having anxiety and panic, it’s more overwhelming. Waking feeling sick today has triggered my worries of feeling poorly Christmas morning and being as bad as I was when this awful setback hit 2 months ago. I was on the toilet most of the mornings and severe nausea which would trigger panic. All that has really calmed so of course my anxiety today is rife about being bad like that Christmas day. What if I faint fears, what if I feel poorly, what if I have a day of panic and cant sit and enjoy Christmas morning with my family, what if my anxiety is so bad I can’t sit downstairs with them etc… Because I’ve only just started sitting downstairs a little more and functioning downstairs a bit,. I feel overwhelmed about Christmas day but I get this every year the last 5 years since having anxiety.

    I hate I can never look forward to it. These last 5 years I find it hard but this year it’s the hardest with just having the worst 2 months of panic and anxiety so I’m feeling the pressure more so.

    Any tips appreciated. Thank you all for your support the last few week, it really has helped me. . I’ve really put a lot into practice. My little girl said to me the other evening ‘I was thinking about you today. I thought I can’t remeber the last time I saw my mum cry. You’re doing amazing, you should be very proud of what you’ve overcome. I’ve noticed a big change and you’re always making me laugh’. She then gave me a big kiss. It’s made my Christmas. I admit there were times I couldn’t hide how anxious I was it was so bad and I’d be crying quietly but she would notice and give me a hug. I try to hide my anxiety and tears but I guess sometimes it can be hard to on a tough day. My family have been amazing, I’m so blessed.

    Merry Christmas

  143. Si Says:

    Hi Julib,

    I am glad you’ve had some relief from anxiety for a couple of days and that you are going about your life in as normal manner as you possibly can. I can’t give you any tips however on how to overcome your feelings at the moment other than to carry on regardless of how you are.

    Now that said, I am (don’t like to use the word) realy struggling myself at the minute, I feel very anxious from the moment I get up till late evening when it calms a little. I think the pressure of trying to feel better for Christmas will be hitting alot of us at the minute, how could it not, the wanting to feel normal is intense, I am looking at Christmas like this at the minute and I don’t like it…..

    I see People having fun, getting excited, shopping, preparing for parties and family coming around, Christmas films on TV and I feel such anger inside….

    Then I see people less fortunate than myself, I hear sad Christmas songs on the radio, TV has moments when people reflect on lost loved ones and I feel so angry inside….

    I have everthing I need in life, I don’t want anything else other than have more moments of calmness and clear thinking, just to feel moments of normallity a little more often.

    So now for someone who loved Christmas and all things Christmassy, Inside I’m wishing it to all go away, but then how guilty I feel because I have kids and Grandkids, nephews & neices all excited (AND SO THEY SHOULD BE!!!!!)

    So I am just going to go with it…. I have no option and to a degree I probably am going to have to put a front on for everyone, but does this go against what we should be doing, this is where I get confused because who want’s to see somone crying, looking misserable over Christmas. Then I look back and think, hong on you’ve had this for over a year now and you get through everyday and so I can get through this period and maybe (fingers crossed) I will have some enjoyment – like I am sure we all will (even if it’s a smidging)

  144. Si Says:

    Sorry about the negative post – I do hope that one day (not so very far away) we can all look back and think “I’m glad that’s over, but if it comes back – I’ll be ok”

    Best wishes


  145. Mark R Says:


    I feel exactly the same in all honesty. Its our works Christmas party today and I’ve woken feeling particularly s**t. It is hard seeing everyone else being joyful and having fun when you feel dead inside. I’ve volunteered to work between Christmas and New Year because I don’t think time off will be particularly helpful to me at the moment.

    I think a positive spin on the situation would be that this time of year brings a lot of distractions which is an opportunity to be external. For me the good days always follow when I have pushed myself and been able to ‘forget’ about anxiety for a short time.

    Yes it sucks at the moment but we won’t feel like this forever.

  146. Si Says:


    Thanks mate I needed to know that it’s not just me. It’s not great feeling like you said “Dead Inside”. I too am working between Christmas and New Year, normally I’d love the time off to chill and relax, but chilling and relaxing with anxiety and depression isn’t easy at all.

    it is strange how in the evening before I go to bed I do feel almost normal (almost) and then in the morning back to square one (or it feels). I do worry that at some point that couple of hours will also become anxious only because I don’t want it to.

    I get the pushing yourself and being able to forget for a short while, but why does it keep coming back, are we doing something wrong?

    When I do get a couple of clear days I tell myself that “next time” it comes I will not beat myself up too much and just go with it and perhaps it won’t hang around too long. But when it comes it just knocks me off my feet and I feel so deflated, anxious, frustrated, angry and yep scared!!!” all the things I shouldn’t let both me:)

    Lets hope it’s all just a process of making us stronger people

  147. JT Says:

    First post here, have been reading this blog for several months, along with Paul’s book. Have been going out and doing more, regardless of anxiety. Have been at this for a few months. Most days I am affected my this most of the day. Some days a bit better than others. So tough facing days like this, regardless of all the head knowledge I now have. Looking towards the time when none of this matters anymore. From my understanding, it’s the practice of going on with life and not avoiding that will eventually lead to a care less attitude? Any suggestions from others who now have gotten to that point? Thanks, and Merry Christmas!

  148. Julib Says:


    I’m sorry things are tough for you too. It’s hard and the pressure we feel is awful. I used to love Christmas and got so excited.

    Today waking feel sick after a good week or 2 of that gone has been a shock and now my anxiety is frightening me I can’t eat dinner with my family, what if I’m sick Christmas day etc.. Urgh why does anxiety terrorise me. I’ve a fear of being sick since this anxiety began with bad nausea. It used to trigger bad panic and I couldn’t even smell food. Typical the nausea has returned before Christmas.

    I wish you a merry Christmas and to you too Mark. I hope it goes well for you both and you can enjoy your day.


  149. Stephanie Says:

    Hi all,

    I know the holidays are a difficult kind of year, but there’s nothing wrong with you for feeling how you feel. We can’t make ourselves feel happy anymore than we can choose to not feel anxious. However, we can still choose how we act. We can engage in life; we can ACT in a happy manner (different from feeling happy). The days are passing regardless, so wouldn’t it be better to look back and know that you made an effort, that you didn’t let your thoughts/feelings dictate your life? Make this Christmas about more than just yourself and your feelings. Make it about your spouse, your kids, your grandkids, your friends…

    Merry Christmas and God bless!

  150. Jamie Says:

    Hi all. I have been reading through the recent comments and I, like some of you, have spent the last few weeks wishing I was happy like others, looking forward to Xmas, loving the Xmas songs and generally at ease with the world. Instead, I feel very self aware a lot of the time and still, even now, spending a lot of time in my head going over sayings / mottos / attitudes.

    As Stephanie says though, I will take my ‘condition’ with me to see family tomorrow for Xmas day and do my best to act happy for the sake of everyone else. My 10 year old daughter having a good Xmas is far more important than how I feel and all the rubbish that is going on in my head. Regardless of how I feel, I will just accept all of it and have the best day I can without all of my silly techniques. I won’t judge the day when it has ended either.

    Happy Xmas to one and all

  151. AA Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I decided to post as I’m going through a tough period of anxiety at the moment.
    I have managed anxiety for a number of years & know that acceptance is the way forward but I’ve been struck badly with relationship anxiety over the last two weeks.
    We are a newly engaged couple. I love my boyfriend more than anything in this world. He always has my back & supports me during bouts of panic & anxiety.
    I started a new job recently where I’m working closely with another man, he’s taught me heaps & we get on really well.
    I had a thought about him & what if I had feelings for him (which I know I don’t but my mind has a way of making me try to believe them)
    I feel guilty & distressed. I also feel sick & im dwelling / ruminating on these thoughts.
    My boyfriend is the best thing that has ever happened to me & lately, I’m focusing on what I’m thinking when we’re together, cuddling…
    These thoughts are distressing me so much & I just want to get on with our life.
    I have also had history of other obsessive thoughts in the past about mental illness, harm OCD, fears of depression…
    I want to enjoy our engagement & our future together but these thoughts are going around in my head, if any of you have had or been in a similar situation, I’d love if you could provide some advice.

    Merry Christmas to you all,

  152. Simon Says:

    You are both right Jamie and Stephanie…..

    We should make Christmas bigger than anxiety and depression. We should do it for others if not for ourselves, and yes I am sure that over the coming few days we WILL have moments when we may laugh, smile and joke, and probably remember we still have anxiety looming…. but SO WHAT!!!!

    Merry Christmas to all of you


  153. K Says:

    Hi all,
    I feel anxious, have pains and aches, get upset about it, my stomach is acting up, I am thinking all sorts of negative things (I can’t get along with people, I have not succeeded professionally, I don’t connect with my husband, I have tried everything and am still in pain and depressed). I feel much older than I am. I am feeling miserable. I am trying not to do anything about it. But it has been like this for months. I don’t see any improvement.
    I have been there for others. Please tell me what I should do.
    Thank you,

  154. John Says:

    Hi K,
    Have you tried medication? I am taking very very low dose of Zoloft and it helps me a lot. About 7mg(yes it is very low) and also I apply Paul’s method and most of my anxiety and stomach problem is gone. I understand you may want to try without medication but if anxiety is making your life miserable atleast you should try to get some peace and apply Paul’s method.

  155. Stephanie Says:

    Hi K,

    You have to stop looking for improvement. Being accepting of how you feel isn’t a method to make yourself feel better. It’s a mindset that you’ll be open to however you feel, but your feelings won’t stop you from living your life. Every time you find yourself focusing in on your thoughts/feelings, just redirect. “I’m feeling anxious…oh well, back to cooking dinner.” “I’m having really negative thoughts…who cares, I have a husband that needs me!” Acceptance takes a lot of time and patience. There will be times that you find it easier to allow, and here will be times you feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath you. You might not be able to stop yourself from having that automatic fear reaction to your thoughts/feelings, but you can choose not to add any more importance after that.

  156. Melissa Says:

    Hey everyone,

    Does anyone else have the fear that hey may develop schizophrenia or some other severe mental illness? Past few hours have been tough since watching this movie with this man who’s schizophrenic. So scared that I have it, but that no one has caught on yet.

    The crazy thing is that I know it’s completely unreasonable, but then I get these intrusive thoughts and feelings that are like ‘what if none of what you are looking at is real…?’. So scary. Help :(

  157. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Hope you all had a good Christmas. I was pretty much dreading it to be honest but surprisingly I had a decent 3 or 4 days and quite enjoyed it. Unfortunately this week I’ve had a few days of being dragged back into the hard times again. I’m being kind to myself though as I had a very rough month in December and I don’t expect it all to be plain sailing. I woke today feeling pretty awful but I’m off to the football, I’m on a very sweaty minibus to Bournemouth.

    So if you are feeling like me today just remind yourself that it’s temporary.

    Have a great New Year.


  158. Jamie Says:

    Hi Mark

    Going to a football match in a minibus full of people and back again with anxiety is a huge success so that needs a pat on the back if you ask me. Much better than sitting around at home :o)

    Happy New Year all

  159. Uriel Says:

    Hi Everyone
    Happy new year.
    I have been struggling with anxiety in the last two-three months. It’s started from a night of smoking to much and developed into something bigger due to my very fearful reaction to the situation. My panic attacks were less physical but more of disturbing thoughts which i tried to discuss and taking me a while to understand that there is no winning in that argument but that if you let them live there and understand they are just a symptom they will fade with time. Discovered this page two weeks ago and was already doing in a matter of saying some of the advice given here, stopped trying to figure it out, looking at my past, trying to predict the future. Just started to try to live with it. I did not have any disturbing thought (that sticked at least as I really changed my reaction to them) also no panic attacks in a month or a bit more. I do feel that i’m recovering and I arrived to the conclusion that all the symptoms are a a part of this anxiety cycle I develop.
    I desinstize myself and i’m not really afraid of watching some that can bug me on TV (besides thrillers or psychological thrillers that used to scare me before also :)), i’m not afraid of reading books and I have no social phobia or anxiety around or of how people will look at me.
    What bothers me the most is the insomnia and mood swings.
    The flow of thoughts. I try my best to not get caught up with the thoughts and for the most time realize that after sometime I don’t remember what i thought or that i have to try to remember if I try to.
    Are mood swings something to expect? Sometimes I don’t know if i’m down or just convinced myself that i’m down.
    Also that sleeping issue, sometimes i get around 5-6 (waking up at least 3-4 times between them) hours of sleep but sometime i’m up after two or three hours and just lye in the bed with a current of thoughts which i most of the time welcome and remind myself this is just a part of the symptoms, let the thoughts be and sometimes i get like a small rush of Adrenaline from them but i really do not fight with it or try to supress it, I just accept it and stay in bed trying to fall a sleep or get up to read a book but the nights can sometimes be really frustrating.
    I guess I just want to know if I sound on the right path and also to ask if a non stop current of thoughts (even if I don’t engage with them, thinking about anxiety, thinking about the past, future for small bits of time) is a symptom that will pass.
    It took me sometime to realize that every new issue I had or thought i had was connected to this and just stop looking for the sources and accepting this thing as it is and sometimes it is more difficult than others.
    Also I don’t know i had DP or not, I don’t think so but I know it doesn’t really matter.
    Well hopefully i’m on the right track, maybe just needed to vent a bit, this is new to me and has shaken me properly.
    Waiting for the day (whenever it comes) that i will be able to help others and relax them on their way to recovery allthough it seems sometimes that this marathon will never end (i know it will sometime)

  160. Bryan Says:

    Happy New Year all!

    Melissa, you describe a very common and harmless thought process that seems to almost be Anxiety 101. Yes it’s upsetting but it’s highly common for a fatigued mind to concoct such nonsense. Mine used to concoct similar stories.
    The good news is, there is no such thing as “developing schizophrenia.” That’s not how it works. It’s genetic and most who deal with it don’t have anxiety.
    It’s a total non-sequitur. Do your best to allow those thoughts to ramble themselves out in the background as you get on with external, real life things of your choice. You’ll find that at some point they elicit emotion no longer.

    Jaime, Mark, Nolan and everyone here… hope you have a great new year. Congrats on another year of progress, understanding and loving externally. Thanks to all who have shared knowledg and encouragement around here and thanks to Paul for providing the platform.

    Happy New Year folks. Here’s to a great 2018.

  161. Bryan Says:

    *knowledge ??

  162. Nicholas Says:

    I thought I share my experiences, as bizarre as this sounds it’s the truth, no placebo or imagination. I started with anxiety about 9 years ago. Started citalopram and cut the story short I thought I’d recovered. Came off and anxiety again. Tried to cope but just ended up in a bad way. Tried Prozac lasted 2 days, then tried doxapin with no effect…came off and extremely bad!! Now here’s the weird part…….. went back the doctors and back on citalopram. Scared as he’ll to start the meds I just took the tablet, 3 hours later my brain literally rewired and all my mood lifted to the point I felt normal and all my obsessive thinking literally started fading and made a complete recovery with the odd bump here and there. From struggling big time to feeling happy was literally like a miracle and I stayed on citalopram. Last January I relapsed and put on venlafaxine.. no real progress but did have spells where was great.. doctor again stopped me to citalopram straight swop. Took 10mg citalopram and the next day felt like a miracle again! Felt amazing for weeks, I’m shocked at why this happened so quickly, going from constant thinking to present moment – ok well the thoughts where vaguely there but more positive than negative. Ok anxiety has come back. So let’s see how I go.. the only advice I can say is if anxiety goes just enjoy!

    So my question is has anybody had any experience of anxiety going quick? Or massive relief from tablets so quickly? My only conclusion is that because I had citalopram initially that my body knew what to do with it. Or addicted or it’s mainly chemical. Oh ps my second time on citalopram was like a Christmas tree lit up in my brain and I just remember going from constant thinking to being able to hold my attention and dismiss any negative but felt very calm and normal. And yes anxiety has been as bad as anybody’s on here for sure. I’ll check back for any comments to see if anybody can offer any advice or had a similar experience. Thanks

  163. Paul David Says:

    Firstly I have just moderated a lot of comments so those waiting to post should now be able to do so.

    Also a very good comment by Stephanie below, it is spot on and coming from someone who clearly understands the message. I will do a post soon o this to try and really get the message home, it took me a while and a lot of trial and error to truly get the attitude required to fully allow.

    You have to stop looking for improvement. Being accepting of how you feel isn’t a method to make yourself feel better. It’s a mindset that you’ll be open to however you feel, but your feelings won’t stop you from living your life. Every time you find yourself focusing in on your thoughts/feelings, just redirect. “I’m feeling anxious…oh well, back to cooking dinner.” “I’m having really negative thoughts…who cares, I have a husband that needs me!” Acceptance takes a lot of time and patience. There will be times that you find it easier to allow, and here will be times you feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath you. You might not be able to stop yourself from having that automatic fear reaction to your thoughts/feelings, but you can choose not to add any more importance after that.

  164. Alz Says:

    Paul , you’re so right ! However walking the talk is the difficult part. These days I can hear myself while I talk , I’m unsure of almost anything I say, conscious of going to shops lest I make a fool of myself , say something wrong or ‘lose it’. I’m just sort of living and after trying to keep myself together , the most tempting thing is sleeping . I don’t know why my symptoms hav exacerbated so much and it’s not like I’m not going on but , when talking is becoming a problem and unsurity of what I’m saying ( is it true or not) is happening 24/7, it’s just too much to handle everyday ..
    oh btw Bryan good to see u on the blog after so long!!!

  165. Si Says:

    I just need to vent off a little …. sorry!

    I have a journal that I write in quite often, mostly I put myself reminders in on what I should be doing / not doing, I record moments I have felt ok – all these things I only go to when I feel I am lost and have no hope. Today I’ve broken my New Years Resolution to myself and that was not to get upset and cry when I feel the emotion come on and not to come on this blog. I’ve had a day at home with my daughter whist my wife is a work, we have cooked, made cakes and quite a bit of stuff, but I just can’t seem to snap out of this very low mood.

    I wanted Christmas and New Year out of the way (How selfish of me) because it hursts so much not to be the person I was. I’ve been looking back in my journal and I am even more anxious now, because I am still writing the same stuff down as I was 18months ago…… why can’t I accept how I feel?

    I totally get Pauls teaching, but has time goes on I am getting more and more lost with the thought that this is me forever, if I am still doing what I was 18 months ago – I obviously haven’ t learnt anything or have I?

    Don’t get me wrong I have a some good moments but compared to last time I had this condition – I didn’t notice then how it went away, but this time I am so aware that when I do feel good, it’s not going to be for long. What do I do to help acceptance (because If it worked before and it worked for others – surely it should for me too).

    Sorry for the moan – and now I’m thinking whats the point in writing on here, this will not help me will it?


  166. Daryl Says:

    Don’t know what to say mate except………I feel for you. I feel for all of us who are regular readers here. I think it is us that are stuck, almost like this has become all encompassing in terms of it has become an obsession. The checking in, whether good or bad, just keeps us in the loop.
    I spoke to my brother yesterday and he said to me my biggest problem is that I don’t stick at anything long enough to see long term benefits and that really resonated with me. Even when I have the good days I am lying in wait and fear of the bad days……….when I do the right things, I just don’t seem to stick at those positive processes long enough and I fall back into bad habits. I am basically OCD and this checking online all the time is not helping me just like it isn’t helping you Si. Your rationale for stopping coming on here was right but you have fallen back in when it became painfully uncomfortable………….I don’t blame you and don’t think I am criticising because that is not what I am saying, I do the same thing! But really, I think we both know that by giving in to the urge to come on here or doing any other research in to the problem that we are giving it the power and oxygen it needs to survive. Feeling uncomfortable for however long is seemingly the only way to heal the tired mind that seems to be how all the others on here have recovered. By giving in when we feel uncomfortable, we just keep ourselves in the grip…………’s short term relief for long term pain. It’s the weirdest addiction I’ve ever had :) and I hate it :).
    Good luck mate, don’t be down, just try to accept it and take each day as it comes.

  167. Nolan Says:

    Hi EJ11,

    Sorry for the delay in responding.

    But you have these thoughts that carry a lot of weight for you emotionally. Regrets of wondering if you should have done something different…. guilt over the regrets because you love both your son and your husband…. and then that feeling of profound loss of not being able to be near your family.

    Those thoughts come up and they crush you under their weight. I would wager that nights are a beast for you because many times those thoughts really amp up their intensity as we’re trying to let go.

    It’s going to be hard for you to see these thoughts unbiasedly because one of them (the desire to be near your family) is what leads to the others. It’s the feeling of that profound loss that brings on the regrets…. and it’s the regrets that allows the guilt.

    I’m terrible with change. When a change is coming I cling so hard to the ‘old way’, the comfortable way, the familiar way. And there is good in that old way… but my passion for holding on to it have many times brought despair to my life and frustration to those around me.

    But it’s not a life sentence.

    I know you really want to be back near your family. Your expectations were X and you currently have Y. It’s when we can’t accept that we cannot immediately have X that torment and hopeless start to build up.
    However it doesn’t need to be that way. You’ve placed so much importance on X that it skews your ability to view both X and Y as they truly are. X is viewed with such rose tinted ideals while Y is that which is blocking you from attaining X.

    When that intense and seemingly overpowering sense of longing for that which you don’t currently have wells up stop feeding into it. It’s not going to be easy immediately, but firmly remind yourself “I have a family of my own now… and this is my top priority”. When the profound sense of longing (and the accompanying despair, hopelessness, confusion) surfaces stop mentally playing with the notion so much. I’m sure it drains you of your resolve, but push through and attend to the things that are currently in your life. Adopt a new attitude of “I know I would like that…. but for now, this is where I am”. Be patient with yourself and if you find yourself falling back into that pit of longing (and all that comes with it) just remind yourself to “begin again” with your new way of viewing your circumstances.

    It’s hard, but you do have a family of your own now. It seems like your affections will always be tilted in the direction of being with your other family, … but that’s not true. It’s not that you’ll stop loving your parents, but you’ll be able to view the situation in its proper context with the appropriate importance being placed where it should be. But again, be patient with yourself.

  168. Alz Says:

    Hi can someone reply to my post above ?

  169. Char Says:

    Hey Alz

    I totally get the hearing yourself- I have that a lot with anxiety. There is a scientific reason although I can’t remember all the details- but it’s all connected to the feeling of unreality which is what all your other symptoms are linked to. There is a slight processing delay between what u see and what your brain processes- it’s caused by the high anxiety chemicals circulating in your system.

    You need to just try and trust this and carry on as well as you can – be kind to yourself and most importantly just trust it’s all anxiety and that you recognise the symptoms and believe u will get better.

    Si- some thoughts from me – my opinions that it’s not a problem to check in on a blog if it helps u when u are anxious. As u get less and less anxious u won’t feel the need or want to check in – don’t b hard on yourself – it’s not the blog or checking the blog that caus s anxiety. When I’m anxious I will log in and read posts as it helps me – it reminds me that other people get how I feel, that I’m not the only one and to hear other people describe the same symptoms as me helps me greatly to remind myself that it’s only anxiety – and I don’t say it’s only anxiety lightly believe me cause I’ve been to rock bottom and back with it.

    Anyway hope the above might help,’I’ve had a good run recently-‘normal anxiety levels if there is such a thing!

  170. Stacey Says:

    I am still having good days then bad days but after two years of this hell the bad days are getting worse last night I sat and sobbed as I’ve had hardly any sleep the last 3 nights and I feel I am just not being as good mum to my 5 year old and 5 month old.
    I’ve seen psychologist psychiatrist but I’m still convinced these good and bad days are bipolar and it’s now a HUGE fear. I also can’t feel love for my husband and children and I can’t stop having thoughts on bad days that I don’t love them. It’s seriously heartbreaking

  171. Char Says:

    Hello Stacey

    I have been in the same place as you are and it’s very hard but you are doing well and coping and having good days is great! Bipolar isn’t about having a good and bad days, hopefully your psychiatrist etc could explain that – but I note that sometimes they don’t . Bipolar is a specific psychiatric disorder and it’s not about anxiety that is described here. Worrying about bipolar is really common- I had the same myself .


  172. Stacey Says:

    Oh char I just cried reading this.
    I honestly fear I can never be myself again and love my family and be the person I was. It’s so awful the hardest thing I’ve ever been through
    I have fears I don’t love my husband
    Fears I don’t love my children
    Fears I can’t sleep
    Fears of mental illness.
    My husband has a job which has moved us away But I keep running home back to my mum and leaving him back home like some safety behaviour.
    Itsnso awful

  173. Char Says:

    Hello Stacey

    I can tell you 100% I have been where r u. I had severe anxiety on and off after both children – mine are now 10 and 5 years old. Mental health worries are so common with anxiety -most of us get them! I also used to have my mum come and stay as I couldn’t be on my own. I had thoughts about not loving anyone and everyone..

    I didn’t sleep well for weeks on end and didn’t eat.

    Ur getting help I guess as I think u said u have a psychiatrist?

    I had councelling, took meds and read everything I could on anxiety to understand what was happening.

    U r not alone

  174. Stacey Says:

    Yes I’m seeing a psychologist who’s been through this also he’s amazing he said it’s all fear and intrusive thoughts and it attacks my core values. I will come out so much stronger but my god it’s hell on bad days. Thanks so much char

  175. Melissa Says:

    Hi Stacey,

    I just read the thread between you and Char and I have to pipe in.

    I had this fear, and I still do. If you notice my post above (a few days ago) I mentioned my fear of schizophrenia. My fears bounce from one to another. I get these weird thoughts about my husband not being my husband, or life not being real. As Char said, though, it is all just anxiety playing it’s tricks.

    I can tell you that if you have seen a psychologist/psychiatrist, they would have caught on to you having Bipolar already. I try to tell myself this too. I have had 5 psychologists over the past 3 years (I had to change due to cost and insurance), and all of them said that what I have is anxiety and OCD (which is just anxiety on steroids). They would have picked up on any other mental illness as that is their job.

    I am sending you so much love. This is hard. Probably one of the hardest things you will have to deal with. You are strong, and it is okay to have bad days.


  176. Stacey Says:

    Thanks Melissa. On good days I feel that it’s gone and the thoughts seem almost laughable but as soon as I start to wobble I despair and spiral down into googling reassurance seeking crying asking my husband time and time again what he thinks it is. In the last 3 years (I’ve had this two years) in the last 3 I have moved 3hours from home gave up work moved house three times got married had another baby. But I feel so sad that this horrible thing has took my joy away from my wedding day and baby!
    If I could crack the fear I would be half way there. I just can’t see it for anxiety lies.

    Love to you all xxx we will get there

  177. Melissa Says:


    I can relate so much. Even just writing that message to you before brought on so much anxiety and instant DP/DR. I am currently pregnant and am feeling off physically which also brings on feelings of anxiety. For me, I have been scared of having post-partum psychosis.

    You mention a lot of changes in the past few years, I can totally relate to that. Changed jobs twice, left a very abusive job situation. Moved, got married, and got pregnant. I feel like during most of these event I have always had a baseline anxiety. So frustrating.

  178. Alz Says:

    Char ,
    Thanks a lot! Ur post actually kept me going today . I don’t understand why narrating stuff to people brings on so much anxiety ( like Melissa said it’s ocd – anxiety on steroids.. haha) . But if I had to really u derstand it , I know my adrenaline levels and e excessively high and my flight or fight response is going bonkers . Given that explanation and generally that the chemicals in my brain are a bit off , why is something that is meant for my protection;
    1.Making me question everything ?
    2.Stripping me off my confidence such that of I’m at a shop , I’m always thinking I have gone mad and am not thinking normally ?
    3. Giving me such a hard time suddenly?? I know it’s possibly leaving my job and being in this state of uncertainty plus hectic family commitments but Iv never been this anxiety ridden .or myb I hv and like most anxiety sufferers I feel that this is bad . Actually char , this setback has lasted since June and it’s kind of worsening .
    Melissa . U know there was a time when I was questioning If my hubby was my hubby or my mom , my mother and it was u who told me to accept all these feelings and that I’ll come around . U actually helped me during that time. If u had that faith and certainty to guide me then u should know it’s just hidden beneath ur anxiety. Also pregnancy does mess with the hormones which trigger anxiety so u hv the explanation- u just need to accept being this miserable . I guess make it ur new normal for sometime. That’s what I’m trying to do except I see myself falling and it’s not a good feeling given that I know I’m capable of doing so much !
    Stacey Melissa and char are spot on . Iv come to the right place . Again , I think anxiety just picks on our worst fears and tries to mk us believe they’re true . Dunno how that’s protecting us in anyway but I guess it’s just the brains chemicals being over excreted .

  179. Alz Says:

    Char any tips on what’s caused the good run ? I think I need to resume my exercise regime. Anxiety/ depression also makes one really pity themselves And part of the problem fr me is also that when I see myself now, I just feel sorry for myself – weight gain ,no gym etc . Should get back on track .
    Another thing – started smoking and need to stop that .
    Plus what you said – having the faith that it’s anxiety and it’ll get better ! Strangely enough I’m comfortable chatting or whatsapping and it’s a BIG pain talking to ppl face to face . New symptoms with new challenges ! Haha

  180. AA Says:

    Stacey & everyone,
    I have had very similar fears; fear of not loving my fiancé when really he is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, fear of developing schizophrenia & most recently (again) fear of not sleeping.
    This time last year (Jan 17) I truly went through an extremely difficult patch with inability to sleep. I dwelled & ruminated on the thought & it consumes me. I reached the point where I was like “I’ve so many things to be grateful for, I cannot allow this to consume me any longer”
    I focused on acknowledging the thought & allowing it to be there without engaging. How did I do this? By creating a space between me & my thoughts / feelings. I worked so hard after this period last year to manage anxiety instead of allowing it to control me. I truly thought I had bet it.
    But now (Jan 18) I am now being consumed again by the memories of the rough patch last year & I feel I’m entering a set back.
    I would love to hear any advice any of you may have.
    Thank you,

  181. John Says:

    Hi Stacey,

    Are you taking any medications in addition to following paul’s method?.


  182. Stacey Says:

    Hello John no I tried meds last year but they wasn’t for me.
    I have good weeks where I feel I have cracked it but with me I go into complete despair after a good week or two as soon as I feel I might be going back into it.


  183. Stacey Says:

    Also the thing is..I had this when I was 11! I had so many intrusive thoughts about harm coming to my mother that I couldn’t even go to school. It was hell ! But with no meds no drs no therapy somehow I got fully over it then. So I know it can be done. The difference back then was I wasn’t rushing to different professionals I didn’t have internet so wasn’t googling or buying endless books xx

  184. Char Says:

    Alz and others ,

    Anxiety is a protection mechanism but it’s just gone a bit haywire ! So think of it like a level , at the moment your anxiety level is set too high. It’s kept high because you are feeding it with your fear of the fear/ thoughts/ symptoms . The part of the brain which is set too high is called the amygdala. Normally it is our prefrontal cortex that we use for rational thinking, but when anxious the amygdala can take over – the amygdala then causes the irrational thinking Andy we don’t feel like ourselves etc. The amygdala is responsible for flight or fight response , we need it, as we can’t be debating to ourselves whether to ,one out of the way of an oncoming car or something – the amygdala takes over and thinks for us instantly and makes us move. But with high anxiety the Amygdala gets stuck like an on switch and hence we are in the anxiety loop

  185. Char Says:

    You/ we all need to reset our anxiety level lower and show the amygdala there is no danger,. Have u read the letter to myself ? That’s what helped me more than anything , I’m quite a science based person and so when I read the letter to myself I fundamentally understood what was happening to me and could class it all as anxiety.

    I also do yoga as I love it and a new dance class that I have to really really concentrate in, and I love it (and I’m also overweight and hate it ).

    I’ve started a load of new little hobbies like organisation, planning, all stuff on top of my day work/job.

    Hope this helps and how was your day ?

  186. Alz Says:

    Just woke up :)
    Yesterday was my last day at work . Highly emotional since my colleagues did a lot – made a video , gave me gifts and basically just let me know how much they’ll miss me . I was in tears throughout . Today is another farewell tea for me :( . Anyway I guess I was happy when I quit but these last few days hv been a bit of a downer – I don’t know what I’ll be doing next . Also I want to tk some time out but I don’t know if that’ll be good for me.
    Thanks for the explanation btw! Yes I just recently reread Chris’s letter – nothing works. He explains the scientific part so well .

  187. Liz Says:

    Hi all,

    So i posted here weeks ago but somehow my commemt got lost along the way because of moderation. Anyway I’m here it’s 1:4am where i live and i can’t sleep. I feel awful i have such a fear of dying or something happening to me. I live alone with my toddler son that’s 2 and my biggest fear is leaving him without a mom. Some days i can accept this is anxiety and some days the symptoms are so strong I’m just convinced something has to be wrong with me! From the moment i wake up to the moment i go to sleep i don’t feel like myself! My body just feels like auto pilot I’m constantly yawning or taking a deep breath feeling smothered body tingling fear of passing our aches and pains chest feeling heavy arms feeling tingly. My boyfriend has left not to long ago and the feeling nausea makes me want to just gag myself. Every day i tell myself I’m talking myself to the hospital. I just don’t know what to do I’m so drained! My body is tense my shoulders are rock hard and im just terrified that these symptoms are not anxiety it doesn’t help that i live alone with a toddler that depends on me! I’m supposed to be up in 5 hours for work and the way i feel i don’t see myself sleeping at all. This sucks i Just want to be normal! :-(

  188. Char Says:

    Hi Liz

    Big hug and everything you described sounds like a lot of us here ! All horrid and uncomfortable anxiety symptoms . U sound like u manage very well Liz , looking after a little one on your own and working and managing anxiety and little sleep – that’s all a great accomplishment I think!


  189. Liz Says:


    Thanks i appreciate it!! I am not sure how i am able to get through the days like this i guess bc i have no other choice and i can’t afford to let it fully take over but i can say I’m exhausted and completely drained. I’ve gotten about 2 1/2 hours of sleep and I’m up needing to go to work and take my child to school. The nausea is driving my insane somethings gotta give !

  190. Char Says:

    Hi Liiz

    Ah I totally get it. Have u tried the usual things like hot bath and yoga and lavender or oils to see if they can get u a bit more sleep ?

    As the anxiety comes down so will the nausea – i suffer terrible with nausea
    When anxious- I can’t eat at all so I totally understand.

    Do you have anyone U can talk to or are u having councelling or anything ?

  191. K Says:

    There is a lot of great advice above from the other “surge of energy” sufferers, and so many of us can relate to what you are describing. The more you worry about not getting sleep and getting by on 2.5 hours, the more likely it actually happens. The solution is to stop caring about the consequences. I know first hand how hard it is to split your time between anxiety and a toddler, but I also know the nights when I do get sleep or at the very least relax are the nights when I tell myself that I am not going to give a damn about whether or not I sleep and in what state I go about my day tomorrow. If you demonstrate to your brain through action (rather, inaction/indifference) that it doesn’t matter to you, you will eventually relax and eventually get your rest. It will take time but you will get there. Some days after such sleepless experiences are actually the best days because you faced your worst fears and saw that you are still fully capable of getting through your day and taking care of your child. Stop scaring yourself with “what ifs”. You are strong and healthy and all you need is to retrain your brain.

  192. John Says:

    Hi Liz,

    Please search “sleepschool” in internet and follow their methods to get a good nights is based on Paul’s method but in a eloborated way just for sleep. Once you sleep you will better manage anxiety and apply Paul’s method. I went through this and you can overcome it with help of sleep school.


  193. John Says:

    Please also try porobotics, herbal supplements(ashwaganda), and multi vitamins to manage your stomach anxiety symptoms. If you manage your stomachs symptoms and other symptom may improve as well. I always had burning sensation in my stomach and probiotics and herbal supplements helped a lot. If you need some encouragement while I going through please provide your Facebook name and I can connect through that. I know the pain of going through this alone. Hope things will change for you.

  194. Alz Says:

    K has hit the nail on the spot . U can survive for many days without sleep- eventually ul be so tired , ur body will crash itself .also again, whether you slept 1 hr or 2.5 , don’t count . I know it’s hard but stop seeing the watch whenever u wake up – that way you won’t know and you’ll stop calculating . Claire weeks has written some awesome stuff about sleep . Again the key is acceptance and floating with ur symptoms . I know it’s easier said than done but we’re all in this and hv suffered from physical symptoms of anxiety so don’t think ur alone . It sucks big time but again, u need to show ur brain this symptom is not scaring u – fake it till u make it !

  195. Debra Says:

    John what probiotic are you taking and what multivitamin?

  196. Melissa Says:

    I suffer from severe anxiety, panic attacks and ptsd. I have come a long way since 2015 thanks to reading your book. I was so disabled suffering from severe anxiety to the point of not being able to drive or be alone. I was so bad I even needed help taking showers. It was a dark hole. I still struggle with dayvto day anxiety and symptoms of dizziness and fearing the worst. I have a huge fear of traveling by plane. The last time I traveled was 16 years ago. I really would love to take my daughter traveling but always end up disappointing her because of my fear and set backs. I am so angry at myself of how week I am. I fear of having an attack and experiencing severe depersonalizations to the point of having a huge mental breakdown and not being able to care for my kids if I put myself through that fear of getting on a plane. I am struggling trying to overcome this fear. I often feel hopeless and think I will never be able to travel?

  197. Liz Says:

    Alz, John, K, Char

    Thank you guys so much! I agree K when i have my crappiest of nights the next. Days to follow seem easier because i tell myself wow you literally just went through hell and survived it! Although i live alone which causes the bulk of my fear I’m not 100% alone i have family and friends that are aware of my anxiety and i also have a co worker that lives two floors up from me but you know with anxiety and depression some how some way you still end up feeling alone ! I have tried out a naturopathic doctor she recommend i change my diet and to introduce b-complex supplemants as well as something called L-theanine it’s all natural supplement that helps with the nervous system i also have tried Passion flower tea its seemed to help these past few days . As you all have said i am slowly working on my screw this attitude . Who cares if i wake up feeling crappy I’ll get through it i always i pray eventually my brain will get the signal that i am okay ! Thank you guys again i really appreciate you taking the time out to give me advice this is the first time I’ve felt this type of support from others that have felt what i felt rather than support from ppl saying it’s all in my head !

  198. John Says:

    Hi guys be trying to follows Paul’s advice now for a few years having first met with anxiety in Feb 15, I have had some good periods where I have felt almost normal but to be honest they don’t last for very long, however recently I am struggling a little with a strange symptom( I know I shouldn’t ask about individual symptoms) however I have been getting weird sensations/pains in my hands and feet, has anyone else had this so I can finally put this to bed many thanks and again sorry for asking about individual symptoms


  199. Belgian Says:

    Congratulations, you are all going through the most difficult time of your lives!

    Some people might hate me for congratulating you on this. Others will think I must have lost my mind.

    And yet, I really mean it.

    There is my life before I suffered from anxiety and there is my life since then. It has been almost 4 years that I am aware of the fact that I am an anxious person. Since then, I am learning to cope with my condition by embracing it as much as I can.

    I have learned that all of my personal strengths couldn’t have developed and exist without anxiety. My capability to understand people by feeling their emotional state, to manage a crisis, to communicate better with people.. all of them are born in the fire of anxiety.

    I would never have realized this if I didn’t go through the same excruciating experiences as you are going through now. I know this message doesn’t soften your pain nor does it ‘heal’ you. Believe me, I would offer you the quick solution if it existed, but there is no such thing.

    The true solution lies deep within yourself. In your ability to accept your anxious symptoms. To stop trying to be in control. To surrender to life. This is a path and not a destination. A path that takes time. A path that takes you on a journey if you let it.

    We seem to have forgotten that true strength, true wisdom, true love, true friendship are born in their counterpart. We seem to have forgotten the purpose of suffering. And yet, life is full of it.

    At any moment in time you have a choice. A choice to accept or to fight. You have been fighting for so long. What did it bring you? What if you tried to start and accept?

  200. Kostas Says:

    Hello guys,
    Hope you are all living your life and staying strong despite all of your weird feelings and thoughts.I have started to do things I used to enjoy and engaging with my life and it seems that little by little my mind gets clearer.One thing I cannot understand is whether I have to change sometimes my way of thinking.Because of habbit I guess we all sometimes think like we used to despite having been taught everything Paul and the others have shared with us.What is your opinion on this?Should I engage with thoughts that are focusing on my anxiety and what I am doing right or wrong,or just let them stay and see them like a habbit that will reverse naturally and without tiring my mind with questions like ‘Am I accepting my feelings?Am I gettibg better?I have understood that living your life is not a technique but when feelings are harder to accept without my fault I engage with these kind of thoughts.Is it something that will change naturally or is it something I have to control?

  201. Alz Says:

    Belgian !
    Thanks . It’s really motivating and refreshing to hear someone speak from the other side :) give me hope .
    YOU know I always knew I was the anxious sort but every time some sort of episode would start ,I’d put a lid on it – I’d take medications and somehow get better. Yes things would always get better!
    The loss of my child exactly two years ago prob caused my anxiety to exacerbate in ways I could never have imagined . It’s from thereon that my frequent visits to this blog began and the days when I thought I could not take it, passed because someone or the other like an angel would steer my spirits on on this blog. God bless all of you who have .
    Symptom after symptom , anxiety knows which string to pull next and what fear to create which will cause one sliding down this slippery slope again . To be honest, I am in a state Iv never experienced befr- conscious talking to people, thinking Iv gone mad, obsessive about whether something happened or not and it’s not fun BUT BUT BUT I’m practicing acceptance ( no other alternative really ) and the u certainty that anxiety brings . I’m giving it time and I know that only time , acceptance and positive strategies will help me get out no matter how bleak and lonely it feels on this side !

  202. Stacey Says:

    Ok.. so after spending time back home surrounded by family for Christmas and new year I have come back to “home” and it’s all come back again! I hd been feeling fine and confident with it all but it’s all crept back in same fears of not loving husband having this and having that and just generally feel horrible. After a lovely break from it when surrounded by family I really thought I would have the confidence to tackle it now I’m back here. I reallllly wanted to show my hubby I was back feeling confident and good again

  203. Louise Says:

    Hi I havent been on the site for a while, iv been doing alot better afetr advice from people on this forum but im stuck. I took citalopram in 2016 which left me with anxiety I dont take it anymore I was also taking antibiotics had a reaction which caused a major anxiety attack which I know was down to the citalopram (iv taken amoxicillin and penicillin all my life with no effects) basically has anyone had or got this fear as im scared of taking any meds now even pracetamol and I need to get through this to progress any advice please would be gratful.

  204. Jon C Says:

    Hello all,

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to retrain the brain to feel no anxiety at all around certain ‘past’ triggers? Basically whenever I see or hear certain things, I have a flash of fear to my stomach, which quickly subsides and goes back to calm. Is this me now forever? Or will my brain eventually stop the misfiring signals and regain calmness? Oddly, I can sometimes have no fear reaction at all though, it varies. I’ve been accepting my anxiety since August last year and made real good progress, I guess it’s just frustrating now when I get the odd fear flashes with no apparent danger. If it’s just a matter of time.. I can deal with that.

    Thanks , Carl.

  205. daryl Says:

    Hi Stacey,

    I am in the same boat as you…………..for me it was something else that triggered my anxiety but then it morphed into this relationship anxiety from absolutely nowhere. I can remember the day it flashed across my mind…… clear, so obvious………..i had confessed indiscretions, i had admitted mistakes. By doing that I assumed I would be back to myself……….I would just recover because by confessing I would have purged my guilt and solved my problem.

    The relief never came and I assumed I had depression (I knew nothing about anxiety at that time). Because the relief never came I continued to search…… my mind, search mind my for the reason………..the reason for my suffering and then came that terrible flash across my mind…… was vivid, like an explosion of colour, the colour of total fear, sucking the life out of me and suffocating me. I had found it!!!! I had found it!!! IT’s THE RELATIONSHIP!!!!!! BOOM!!!! That was it, if I just finish the relationship the relief will come………….it will come and you will be free of all this suffering.

    Thing is, I don’t want to break up with my wife…………..but my mind has convinced me I do……….but I don’t, but my mind tells me I do. It’s crippling, I know your pain, I know your fears and I am afraid I don’t yet have the answers because I can’t shake this myself no matter how hard I try. What I think we all need to do is accept the system…………accept the pain………..accept the suffering. No matter what your brain tries to tell you, you are not unique, your situation is not different to everyone else’s the rule works for all if we truly accept and do something different. I am in a spike at the moment and it is hard and what do I do when I spike? I research, i look for answers to convince me it is anxiety or ROCD and it isn’t what I am really feeling. Is that the best course of action…………nope, so I am failing, but just by typing this I am bringing this unhelpful behaviour to my own attention if that makes sense!

    Stacey, keep going, I don’t want to offer you reassurance because that just feeds it, it won’t help you because you will just keep looking. Just live with it and realise the spike passes and if I ever get to the point where I am free of this I will let you know :) what I will say is that I solved my initial problem by confessing past sins…………..did that bring me peace? So will ending my relationship bring me peace? Somehow I doubt it don’t you? Somehow I think you will substitute one anxiety with another, one problem with another, one obsession with another…………Paul says put everything in the one anxiety basket. Beat anxiety by accepting it.

    He’s right, I reckon. Time to put it into practice.

    PS Sorry for the super long post!

  206. Louise 1 Says:

    hi Stacey and Dary
    I have had these thoughts of not loving husband and I totally understand how you feeling. it ha seven the worst symptom of anxiety I am now at point where thoughts not there most of time but can pay a visit just to test almost. alot of people have gone through this and all.have same thoughts. the fact these thoughts bother you proves they anxiety

  207. Julib Says:

    Hi Melissa.

    Sorry I can’t help with the plane issues but I just wanted to say I can relate to the dark hole you talk about as I’ve recently had a 3 month setback with disabling anxiety. I’m coming through it slowly but it was so disabling I struggled to shower, walk around, cook etc.. It’s left me very weak and fatigued and thats’ what I’m still struggling with.. The anxiety at times is still an issue but I’m a million times better than I was a month ago.

    I just wondered what helped you through such disabling anxiety was it Paul’s book? You’ve done amazingly well. It’s a very hard place to be. I also have ptsd and anxiety disorder.

    I hope you can achieve what you hope to. You’ve done well to overcome what you have so far.


    There seemed to be an issue with my posting on the regular email i use, not sure if there is a problem on the blog or I am unable to post here for some reason? I tried posting this a few times and it wouldn’t go through. Sorry if they later appear and this is a duplicate.

  208. Alz Says:

    I know I’m repeating myself but every time I talk I am conscious of what I’m saying and when I’m narrating an event there’s always this running commentary in my head – did this happen or not happen? I’m giving it time and accepting it but it’s annoying! My therapist says i must accept and has given me different visualisations etc but I’d like to get some advice from people here who might hv experienced the same thing …

  209. Debbie Says:

    Alz i use to have that same thing hearing my voice it went away you will be fine you will see .

  210. Amanda Says:

    Hey Louise
    I am in the same situation, I am at a point finally where anxiety does not bother me 99% if the time however I will not take medication or drink alcohol as I am worried it will mess with my head even panadol! I used to love a social drink but now won’t have a sip. Any advice on how to overcome my last hurdle anyone.

  211. Louise Says:

    Hi amanda I see ur exactly the same can I ask did you have a side effect or was it just a actual fear that has manifested through anxiety. I too used to take any meds and hava social drink but now I avoid it at all costs. If anyone has got past this would they please give advice

  212. Amanda Says:

    Hi Louise
    I think it was initially a side effect that just grew. I’m really paranoid about things like caffeine and sugar too.

  213. Belgian Says:

    Hi Daryl & Stacey,

    I have posted quite a lot on anxiety affecting our relationships.

    Feel free to read some of them.


  214. Stacey Says:

    Where do I see this Belgian x
    Sorry I’m new on the blog

  215. Stacey Says:

    Feel awful again this morning I feel like I’m looking for reasons and explanations for my feelings al day long. Thinking is it my marriage is it where I’m living is it my children. I have a small baby so sleep is hard which I know makes this worse but I keep thinking my psychologist has missed something and now I have watched the news this morning about someone with bipolar I feel petrified low sick and generally awful.
    I have a beautiful husband and children I just want to get back to myself. It’s been nearly two years I’ve felt like this with short weeks here’s and there where I’ve felt fine. I have moved house three times got married and had a baby but I just want to enjoy again and not look inwards all day long. I’ve been a little frustrated and short temepwrwd the last few days so now I’m lookin inwards thinking I have an anger problem but if you ask anyone they would say I’m the most caring loving person. But I don’t feel this way.
    Sorry to go on(again)


  216. Louise Says:

    amanda im exactly the same caffeine and sugar, I watch and avoid mainly caffeine. I have got through most of my anxiety but the one that always keeps coming bk is intrusive thoughts mainly about harming myself and at times others but I dont want to do it. I just begin to feel im getting somewhere with it and it comes bk. I have had advice about letting these thoughts be but I worry that I may carry them through, I feel such a down feeling in my stomach im thinking is it me im not happy, I dont feelhappy then the downward thoughts spiral. Do people with anxiety think like tgis or isit a more majore problem as im beginning to think I have bipolar or major depression please any advice anyone. Sorry for the rant.

  217. daryl Says:

    Sounds like you are having a tough time. But hold on to the thought that it does pass……….you have had good times over a difficult 2 years and you will have them again.

    I just read the Art of Happiness and it said “It is not important to know who shot the arrow but it is important to take it out”. I thought that was an apt phrase for what a lot of us do with anxiety. We spend a lot of time working out why instead of just accepting the anxiety as anxiety. The problem when we do that is that we begin to believe all kinds of things which in our hearts we know are not true. That then in turn can send us further down the hole of ruminating and adding second fear to the fear we already had.

    Best thing to do is accept the thoughts for now even though you hate them and try not to engage with them. Easier said than done, I know, but just know that it will pass.
    Take care

  218. Shirley W. Says:

    I have just spent a long time going down the posts since just before Christmas and trying to think what I might like to reply to. Julib has not posted on here for a while and I was hoping to be able to reply to her posts. In general I will say that it is a good job that we do have th
    is blog to come back to because there is some very helpful advice from ‘posters’ and the moderators. I agree with Char – there is no harm in checking in with the blog when you need reassurance and as she says – you will know when the time is right that you don’t need that round the clock assurance. I look back on how I was two years ago and know that I am improving – it’s slow progress but even though I have a number of backward steps I am much improved. The fact that I take knocks to my progress upsets me as feeling better is a much better place to be. But when you go from having Anxiety 24 hours a day to starting to notice it or question it less – then that is progress. I know there is no time scale but each positive should be marked as a milestone. Even in my case just going into the kitchen to make a cup of tea! We see our setbacks as a weakness – it’s natural but dealing with Anxiety and Depression is the hardest path and the fact that we deal with this on a daily basis makes us very strong people. If this were passed over to someone who doesn’t suffer – they would crumble in next to no time. We have to be proud of all of our achievements whether they be large or small. So Julib – you are doing wonderfully well. Let me congratulate you. As Paul says ‘We need one road more than one road to follow will confuse and put pressure on our tired minds. Find one way and put all the rest to one side’ So Julib your approach is the correct one.

  219. Josh C. Says:

    Stacey, remember, a tired and stressed mind and body overreact to thoughts. Allowing the thoughts seems like the worst thing you should do, but that is EXACTLY what takes the fear out if the thoughts. Allowing those thoughts starts to change your bodies reaction to them. They are after all just thoughts. A thought can’t make you do anything. You aren’t out of control. Give the thought(s) some attention for now. Face them. Stop running away from them. Let the anxiety flow through you. As crazy as this sounds, this will REALLY help with loosing your fear of scary thoughts. Take 5 mins to sit and just let all the feelings, all the thoughts flood your mind and body. Let them do what they’re trying to do…get out of you. Don’t keep it all trapped in you. You can teach yourself to be completely fine with having scary thoughts and anxiety running through you. This is when anxiety starts to lose its power. This is when you start recovering.

  220. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    I’ve not been on for a few weeks now so I just thought I’d catch up to be honest.

    As I said in previous posts December was a very rough month for me but I carried on regardless. I was dreading Christmas and New Year but in all honesty they turned out pretty well and I had a good time over the period.

    Since the turn of the year I have been feeling a lot better and I have been having a lot more good days than bad. The tough days crop up and then leave again and I’ve been in that more comfortable state where anxiety feels like a feint ache in my body.

    The last few days however have been tough. There has been a downturn in my mood, loss of interest, can’t think straight, body feeling terrible. My mind is flooded with ‘When will it go’, ‘Why is it here etc. I think it was Nolan who said that it makes no sense how it got here, makes no sense why it goes and I thoroughly believe in that.

    My message to myself and others on here is that no matter how tough it feels at the moment our bodies can always find the way back to peace again. It always helps me to remember that okay I’m struggling but it was only a few days ago that I was feeling fine. It helps me ride the waves of the bad times.

    Hope everyone else is doing well.



  221. JULIE Says:

    Hello Shirley,

    I just wanted to thank you for thinking of me and leaving me a lovely reply, very kind of you. Your reply was very comforting.

    I am doing much better than I was at the end of last year, thank you. I haven’t been able to post an update because for some reason I can’t post. I have commented Paul but not a reponse as yet to find out why.

    Thank you again for thinking of me.


  222. Julibb Says:


    Just thought I’d update and wish you all Happy New Year. I hope you all had a great Christmas and a good start to the year.

    Things have been going a bit better for me, I was suffering from debilitating anxiety and panic attacks for 10 weeks towards the end of last year. I pretty much ended up bedridden due to the severity of the attacks which had me shaking for around 10 hours a day. I’m glad to say that they have now stopped and I am able to function a little better at home. I have been left with a chronic fatigue which isn’t a surprise after nearly 3 months of adrenaline every single day. I feel my body has been stuck in the stress response since that setback so I think that is adding to the fatigue. When I walk around the house I feel still very tired quickly but I am managing to set myself small goals of short bursts of activity to slowly build up my stamina again and confidence.

    I was diagnosed with PTSD 2 years ago because I have experienced a lot of trauma in my life but the most recent trauma was five years ago when my brother attacked me and my mother and sisters turned verbally aggressive with me because I would not forgive my brother’s behavior. Losing my whole family literally overnight lead to the anxiety and acrophobia. I made about an 80% recovery and then a couple of years ago I experienced another stressful period in my life when my son was ill and that led to the return in my anxiety. I also suffered some health problems. During this time that is when the anxiety hit hard again but not as hard as it did in the three months recently.

    I was seeing therapist last year but had to stop for a while because she felt my fatigue was getting in the way of me concentrating fully on therapy as she said psychological therapy is very draining so she advised I took a break. I have been considering returning to therapy and I inquired with a couple of therapists before Christmas who basically told me that I could never recover because they said PTSD is very different to anxiety. They told me that basically having PTSD I would only ever be able to learn to manage it. This obviously disheartened me and I’ve been feeling quite lost in the last few weeks as to what to do. I read Paul’s book and I think that helped me get to a better place from where I was just a month ago and also the advice on this blog I definitely took on board.

    My question is, is there a difference in recovering from anxiety than there is to recovering from PTSD? Because I’m feeling quite disheartened since the therapists suggested that was the case. I am very isolated, I have agoraphobia, I haven’t done an appointment in the last year, I am socially too anxious to be around people other than my husband and children, I rarely go out, and of course having the chronic fatigue syndrome that I was diagnosed with 2 years ago that definitely impacted my anxiety also because I went out for less due to the health problems. These therapists have made me feel beyond help because I explained to them the extent of what I cannot do in life and how restricted my life is now and for them to basically say I probably wouldn’t recover has upset me. They also said that treatment for PTSD is different from recovering from anxiety with acceptance.

    Can anyone explain if this is true? I just feel at a bit of a loss because although I have improved greatly from howl I was before Christmas with the anxiety, it has just made me realise that in the last two years my world went back to the anxiety controlling me, the agoraphobia returned, the social anxiety, and my world got smaller and smaller but I would say that this time it’s affected me more than it did after I was attacked 5 years back. I have a lot of work to do but these 2 therapists have confused me about whether anxiety treatment is the same as you would apply for PTSD treatment.

    I apologise the long post, it is a question I’ve been wanting to ask for a while but this week I’ve done a lot of soul searching and thinking about how this year I’m going to make sure that I don’t struggle so much, because since 2012 I seem to be on the road of being 80% close to recovery and then something else smashes me down to the ground. I then I build myself back up and something else hit’s me. I also really want to get back to where I was 2 years ago before the health issues and the stress with my son affected me. I have got to a point where I am so isolated and cut off from life that I am desperate to work on things but of course my CFS condition does restrict that somewhat but I think the trauma and anxiety causes a lot of the chronic fatigue I experience.


  223. Steve b Says:

    Hi julib. You may have taken what the therapist said the wrong way or just focused on the negatives? I know that when I had bad anxiety every little thing was twisted in my mind to make me more anxious.
    If he/she did say that then it’s just plain wrong. Also, saying that has triggered you. If we go back to what anxiety is. Your fight flight response. That comment is a threat that you will never recover, and you are reacting to that threat.
    Spend the next 48 hours imagining they said to you. Oh, PTSD, that’s easy to recover from. No problem. You will feel better soon. Truly believe they said that for 48 hours and see if you feel even a slight bit better. If you do you will see how it is all just fear that you are creating in your mind.

  224. Julibb Says:

    Hi Steve

    Yes it was said to me, sadly. 1 therapist said ptsd cant be treated in the same way as anxiety. So i was worried Pauls method can’t help me recover if trauma is greates differently. . The other therapist said ‘i wont lie to you and say you can recover from anxiety and trauma, but you can learn to manage it a bit better’. I felt totally disheartened.

    Thank you, nice advice.

  225. Chrissy Says:

    For those who recovered

    I know I am supposed to feel awful allowing the feelings however I feel the inability to handle stress the most difficult
    I’ve hidden and avoided for so long

  226. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Sorry to post again and bump a post.

    Things appear to have become very difficult for me again over this past week and I’ve woken today feeling very anxious and low.

    As I mentioned in a previous post I had been doing very well since the turn of the year. January has been very positive for me so far. I’d got back into the swing of things again and even cancelled my therapist appointment. I feel annoyed with myself now for being complacent.

    To me anxiety has never followed any kind of stress, just seems to hit me out of the blue. Earlier in the week I was happy go lucky and even had plans to have a short break away next month. By Wednesday I felt myself slipping and now I’m worried about getting through the next hour. For me it’s unfathomable.

    I don’t usually ask advice but feel I need it at the moment.

    Many thanks


  227. Chrissy Says:

    You have to take the good with the bad
    Allow the bad to be a test in acceptance
    You’ve been down this road before
    Nothing happens except your tired anxious mind
    Wanting to release energy and thoughts
    It’s our reaction to it that is the anxiety
    Let your mind do what it needs to heal. Let it root
    You’re ok

  228. Stacey Says:

    After a great few days I had a night out with friends last night and today feel quite hungover and tired as I don’t usually drink alcohol. It’s escalated all the fears so much and I feel absolutely awful. Had anyone else found this?

  229. Josh C. Says:

    Anxiety doesn’t leave because we want it to. Anxiety leaves when we don’t care if it’s there or not. This is why I and others had to get to the point of COMPLETELY giving up. Literally no more trying to change how we felt. No more wishing my thoughts wouldn’t make me feel scared. No more holding on to the good days. No more dreading bad days. Just live without any methods to follow or ideas of how you should be feeling.

  230. Char Says:

    Hello all

    Quick check in with everyone . I’m still doing well , so happy to help anyone where I can. Stacey what u describe is normal – alcohol is proven as a depressant and the following day it will increase anxiety in some people – it’s a medical fact – hope that helps ! Of course if you have been triggered by the anxiety again it might hang around but keep doing what u were doing before the alcohol!

    Mark sorry to hear u struggling , maybe your memory is playing a role in your anxiety as u say u doing not have the usual triggers? Might be worth raising with your therapist ? I know that certain thoughts or places can bring anxiety back for me aswell and I guess the anxiety pathways we create can be strong and or easily brought back?

    Shirley w – thanks for your kind words!

    Alz – how are you doing – hope u well!

  231. Stacey Says:

    Thank you Char.
    The thoughts about not loving my husband are still botherinf me on my bad days so much.
    There’s no reason for this to be my fear he’s lovely gorgeous there’s no problems in our marriage And the intrusive thoughts have always been about mental illness going crazy fear of depression and it’s like as im feeling better it’s latched now onto this which is so annoying as if you would have told me 6 months ago I wouldn’t be afraid of the other things anymore but my fear would be not loving my husband I would have laughed!!
    It feels so so real tho!
    Makes me feel awful when I’m around him which is heartbreaking.
    Thanks for all being there to listen.
    Helps knowing others have anxiety and simalar fears

  232. Char Says:

    Hi Stacey

    Your anxiety has just found your weak spot – thoughts about your husband and so it latches onto that. It really doesn’t matter what the content of the thought is – cause it’s all nonsense !!

    U r doing well Stacey .


  233. Alz Says:

    Hey Char !
    Always good to hear from you . So I went to my Therapist (god bless her !) and she’s really calmed me down. It’s all anxiety / obsession. I went off the blog and am trying to face my fears . Went out of the city to meet frnds . If I can’t concentrate, feeling despair and can still hear myself while talking , I’m letting it all be . At the end of the day i joy down my thoughts and write a counter argument ( cbt). Obviously it’s not fun listening to urself talking and wondering how ur making sense , trying to concentrate while people talk and fearing that you will lose yourself BUT there’s no other alternative but to live and carry on with my life goals . I have not had it this bad or so I don’t remember it being thisbad but it’s all chemicals affecting the brain which can be rewired and though I hv not lost the fear I’m carrying on with life !
    Glad to hear you’re well !
    Thanks for asking ?

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