How long does it take to recover from anxiety?

Today’s title has no definite answer and is almost like saying how long is a piece of string.

We are all different, but so similar in our suffering, the main difference can be how long we have suffered, as the person who has suffered many years may have built up more habits of avoidence, safety behaviours that they find harder to break then someone who has suffered a few months. Also the person who has suffered longer may have more memory of suffering and they may have fallen into a life where they have forgotten what it was like to feel normal, where the person who has suffered a few months, still has these feelings of normality close to them.

As people know I suffered for ten years, so I had certainly built up a lot of habits and memory of suffering was pretty strong, I had just got used to not feeling normal and it actually began to feel normal in my world, I had known nothing else for so long.

But deep down I knew the real me was underneath all this, I mean I had lived for 25 years without anxiety and D.P and 10 years with it, so I had more deep down memory of normailty, I just had to reverse the procedure. This takes me on to reversing habits, I certainly had developed many avoidence and safety behaviours and I had to go against my instincts and change these habits, not run away when I felt overwhelmed, not shy away from meeting new people, not putting off going places and let anxiety rule what I did and did not do. It was hard and I did just want to hide away at times, but I knew this new attitude had to become me and in time it did, the habit of avoidence started to reverse and it became second nature to not let anxiety stop me living my life, it still felt unreal, odd and overwhelming at times, but that was fine as I did not expect instant salvation. Again don’t wait to feel better to live your life and go places, live your life with anxiety present and all that goes with it, this is when you will begin to feel a shift. Again you are living a normal life and not hiding and shying away from how you feel, the more normal life you pack in the more normal you will begin to feel. Nothing is gained through safety behaviours or avoidence as you are saying ‘I don’t want to feel that way’ I will avoid, this attitude will always make a feeling the enemy, something to run away from, your body and mind will always go along with the message you send it.

You will find that you feel so far away from recovery one day and so near the next, again this is down to memory of past suffering. The smallest thing may have you feeling anxious or down again, the problem is when we feel anxious again it can hit us harder than before, mainly as we had felt some freedom, we thought this damn thing had gone forever, we may try and fight and scramble to how we felt the day before, if not then we must find out why we felt great yesterday and damn awful now, there must be a reason, what have I done wrong? Well nothing at all, you must go through this up and down process, no one can expect to suffer for so long and not have bad days, it is your mind and body going through a process of recovery. At one time you may have felt no good days, so just feeling moments of normality should tell you that you are on your way, a change is happening, but don’t expect that change to be plain sailing, trust me it is an up and down affair, the doubts will resurface, the willpower may weaken, you may feel as bad as ever at times, but be o.k with this, remember your body and mind is just going through a process of reversal.

In time you will have more good days than bad, memory of past suffering is not as raw and memory of feeling normal starts to surface, new habits begin to surface, going here and there and not avoiding becomes second nature, you no longer have to try. Not worrying daily about how you feel becomes second nature, not analysing how you feel becomes your new habit, living your life alongside anxiety becomes easier, at first you may have had to drag yourself there as the old you wanted you to hide away, not now, it’s become your new habit to live alongside how you feel and not let anxiety make decisions for you.

I need to get the point across that symptoms need not to viewed as a problem anymore, something to avoid, pull away from, the enemy, with this attitude they will always be something to get rid off, to pull away from, they will have you thinking ‘How do I get rid of this or that?’ It is the same with someone who struggles with anxious thoughts, these maybe scary, question our existence, etc, the thought is not important, they are anxiety based and rely on your hate and belief that they are real of them to stay in the cycle. ‘I must not think that’ , ‘Oh I think it therefore it must be real’ , ‘Am I going crazy?’ you may pull away from a thought, try and forget it only to find it sticks, this is because you are anxious about that thought, paying it all the respect it needs, this may end in ‘Oh how do I stop thinking this way?’ The far easier way is to no longer see them as a problem, let them shout loud, but understand they are not real and just anxiety based, I had many anxious thoughts in my years of suffering, these really threw me in the early days until I understood they were anxiety based and not important, I have no anxious thoughts at all now, because I am anxiety free, without anxiety they cannot exist FACT. I had a great insight into this after I used to go for a long run, I would come back having burnt off all my excess adrenalin and would feel great with a clear mind and in this short time I could view reality, I had no anxious thoughts at this time, proving what I already knew that all anxious thoughts were just anxiety based and they were not real or important in the slightest.

The whole point like any symptom is to stop seeing them as a problem, you will always have anxious thoughts, whilst your are anxious about them. You will always struggle with talking with others if you keep avoiding eye contact or make excuses to run away, you will always struggle with going places if you give in to how you feel and make excuses not to go. You need to stop seeing how you feel or think as a problem, see it as normal in the circumstances, which it is for now. If you view your thinking with this new attitude, then the next anxiety thought will not hold such importance, it will just be something you move on from, knowing it is just anxiety based and not important in the slightest, you wont need reassuarance about your sanity, you will understand they are not real and wont feel the need to not think this way. The shift in attitude is not to care what you think or how you feel at any given time, I don’t mean you have to like it, but begin to be o.k with it, take the stress and anxiety out of how you think and feel. I spent years stressing and getting anxious about how I felt, it was only normal when I had no idea what was wrong, but it is the single most important reason that made me sink deeper into the condition, it is only when I began to do the opposite that changes came about.

It really is a process you cannot rush and the answer to the Question ‘How long does it take to recover from anxiety?’ There is no time limit, it can depend on how long we have suffered, how we deal with bad days, our new attitude to how we feel, how much we are willing to go towards how we feel, not letting anxiety rule what we do and do not do. Putting a time limit on recovery just leads to you watching your progress, time limits lead to dissapointment, time limits lead to impatience. Recovery time depends on a few factors and the only thing that is important is to give your body and mind as much time and space as it needs to recover. The less pressure you put on recovery the better, don’t see it as important, that is when recovery will just creep up on you. I never even thought about it, I was just happy to feel better/progress and that attitude was very important.

Full recovery for me was not one day feeling great and never having a bad day. It was a process, I just started to have more good than bad days, my mind became clearer and clearer, my anxiety was at a very low level. I could still have an awful week, but these periods meant nothing to me, I just went with them and they soon passed. It got to the point where I had the very odd bad day and even then it was just a mere irritation, my mind would have the odd day where thoughts were laboured, but nothing like before, it was just the final process now, just bits of old memory hanging about, nothing at all to be impressed with. These bad days became so rare and eventually nothing, there was no celebration as it was so gradual. But I do remember wanting to pack in as much living as possible, I joined friends on every trip out, joined new clubs, finding new hobbys, loving the fact I could just go anywhere without feeling yucky, being able to hold conversations without wanting to run away, to feel enjoyment instead of just going through the motions, it was like being let out of a prison, but it was me that found the key. I am still like that today and have a full social life and one thing about recovery is it feels great to be apart of life again, my attitude to what was important shifted and I woke up with a smile each day, little things no longer bothered me, it truly was like being reborn.

That is open to everyone, nothing I read or was told in my early days had me believing I would ever recover, but I knew there must be a way and I was not going to give up until I found the answers. On this blog we only see a very small minority of people’s progress and the people who have been around a while will know how many came here in such a hole and have now gone on to fully recover after years of getting nowhere. I also get weekly emails from people who don’t come on the blog,  to say they are now back at work and things are getting so much easier, these are not monthly emails, I receive them on a regular basis. One thing that connects all these people though is they had the belief and patience to recover. In my next post I will post a collection of these success stories.


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697 Responses to “How long does it take to recover from anxiety?”

  1. Witheld Says:

    What an excellent post. Just what I needed when deciding whehter to go back on meds or continue trying to beat/forget about this dreaded anxiety myself.

  2. natalie Says:

    hi paul
    may i be the first to congradulate you on a wonderful explaination.. it sounds so simple but we all know the hard work that you would have put into that xx it gives me lots of hope and could not come at a better time. I don’t know if you remember when i came on panicing about ssp and maybe having to go back to work. well i have an interview lined up for a new job in two weeks and am having a back to work interview tomorrow. have been highly anxious since i made this decision and my sleep has already been effected with the odd heart palpatation.. but i know deep down if i was not anxious i would be at work as muich as i love my boys and have embraced being more of a mum i am not a full time stay at home person. i am scared and have already had the am i doing the right thing but i worked there for 10 years and was fine.. it is only the memory of what happened that holds me back. in fact my friend just said to me are you sure .. i don’t want to see you ill again.. and i started to doubt again. so your post has made me see that i have to do this just take it day by day.. don’t pressure myself .. try not to doubt but accept i will have days like this and move forward.. i don’t want to hide away anymore .. and even thought i have been feeling lots more in control and going out with friends and stuff i need to take the next step. would love your response if you get time and how you dealt with the doubt when you returned to work cos after 10 years am sure it was not an easy ride. thankyou again paul heres to keeping positive xxx

  3. C Says:

    Great post :) I love coming back on here for reassurance that im not a complete nut! I am better than I was but up and down like you have described. My anxiety comes from worry, I worry about everything. Before having my lightbulb moment of realising I had anxiety, I would often worry about something and then it would be forgotten. During the last year however that changed to worrying about it for ages. I think the worst possible things ever will happen to me!

    AS you often decribe aniexty can be healed and it can be changed – but can worry?

    I did the big one this week and went to the docs for the tests for the things ive conviced myself that I have. I have been worrying about it for about 9 months now but wouldnt go to the docs, have I done the right thing? I only did it cause it could possibly stop me worrying about it?

    I do let me head talk and talk and talk and i am carrying on with life – but this big one worry that I have ive finally gone to docs and they can say either yes or no. I wonder if this will help me?

    Hope everything is well with you and ur too busy! Take care x

  4. Diana Says:

    Paul, such a wonderful post and so, so right. I went back and read it twice because the part about memory really hit a nerve with me. Actually, this whole post was like a very gentle waterfall of words that soothe and make so much warm, caring sense. When I look back on the last 16 months and how far I have come with this anxiety issue that had dogged me for my entire adult life, I think, well no wonder it has taken me all this time to really grasp it and get better. I had 35 years of memory. The fact is, I don’t remember ever feeling non- anxious — up until the last nine months or so. So you are right, in my opinion, when you say that the healing is down to the amount of time you have been suffering.

    Now when I see how tied up and hurt and anxious I was, I think, well of course I was. It was all I knew. It did not matter if news was good or bad – I reacted in an anxious state. Got a new job offer? Only a question of time until they find out I am a fraud. Got a raise? I’ll probably get fired before the next one. And so on and so on. Through life. All good things were tinged with a little bit of poison. All bad things were horrid and expected. It’s taken me this whole year to just stop reacting to my own impulses. A whole year of no longer scaring myself when fear seemed like only way to react. A year of saying, ok, heart is racing, so what. so what. Keep moving, keep going. Nothing bad is going to happen if you just keep doing that you are doing. And then at some point it clicked. I stopped feeling the knee jerk fear. For the first time ever that I can remember. No anxiety. I still talk in my head a lot, and when I catch myself doing that, I can see that it’s very often when I am very, very tired.

    I can see the bigger picture now. Tiredness -> tired mind-> adrenalin-> fear -> exhaustion -> adrenaline ->panic. Round and round. Now, when I hit tiredness/tired mind, I stop. Relax, take a breath, read, change up my activities. I have so much built up memory of suffering, before this year I would cry on a dime thinking about how much I had suffered my entire life with anxiety. Now I am getting enough distance and some GOOD new memory in between that gives me some relief from thinking how hard things were. I am getting distance to my pain. I can’t really believe it but it’s true.

    Well enough. Thank you again, Paul. It’s meant everything to me.

  5. C Says:

    Diana – I am exactly like that e.g. get new job —> u put a downer on it! Mine also occurs more now when im tired. Its amazing how many people this effects. I just cant wait until i can think about other people and not me!

  6. Teresa J Says:

    Firstly, a great post Paul and reinforces the need for patience and courage to keep going and not avoiding anything. I can identify with so much in it – I am well into recovery but still at the stages where I can run for a while and then oops trip. I realise that this can be affected by outside forces too but it’s our response to the blips that matters not the blip itself. I still need lots of non reacting and non avoiding – sometimes I’m good at it and sometimes not, but it doesn’t matter – the fact is that I know I am on the right road, and when I doubt it i know it’s anxiety. This is not an easy road for anyone who is on it and I think that the fact you have reinforced what an up down affair recovery is should help a lot of people, anxiety sufferes tend to look for perfect and perfection (I should know i have done it long enough) and although we need to know that we can recover fully looking for the perfect day, week etc trying to match everyone else’s recovery – well it’s setting yourself up for a fall. So your post , i am sure, will give the hope and strength to keep us all moving , steadily – and hopefully accepting recovery when it comes and not demanding it.

    Diana – SO NICE to see you here and lovely to here how strong you have become. I’m getting there too, it’s still a up down affair – but the gradualness is building. Tiredness does affect me too and hormones, lol. but I am learning to not react or avoid – and hopefully as i said before, do nothing for anxiety and everything I want to do – I ,like you, have much ingrained habits but I’m unravelling the ball. We have so much to thank Paul for .

  7. lorryt Says:

    know exactly where you are coming from guys, currently thinking my hubby has got a new job, and my head is saying how long beofre he walks out on this one. rather thn thinking he has work well done. its almost like we are looking for the next moment to feel down about. i just thought i was a realist and basing my thoughts on that but i guess im ona downer a lot. glad others are lik ethis and im not alone ! and gklad we can sort it out too|! xx. good post paul too, i realised a long time ago i have always been very anxious and not until i got on here could i address it. i am getting there very slowly , but rather very slowly than not at all XXX

  8. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Nice to see you back Diana, always wise words and a great way of putting things. What you say below is so true.

    Now I am getting enough distance and some GOOD new memory in between that gives me some relief from thinking how hard things were. I am getting distance to my pain. I can’t really believe it but it’s true.

    I also had so much memory of suffering and all that went with it, habits were so ingrained, going to my workplace was the worst, I had always felt at my worst there, so many people to have to avoid talking with, trapped for hours when all I wanted to do was curl up at home. Even when I began to recover my workplace would still bring stronger feelings on, like there so much memory off past suffering. But as you also put it I began to create new habits, new memory of better times and some distance from my years of suffering.

  9. scott Says:

    Thanks for that Paul, it really gives hope and inspiration for those of us on the rocky road that is recovery. I’ve only been experiencing this ‘anxiety’ buiseness for nearly 5 months and its been very up and down. Weeks of feeling ‘normal’ again only for things to come crashing down. Whats hard is the changing face of anxiety, a new one thats croped up for me at the moment is intense obsessive thoughts and feelings in my muscles that I want to tense/twitch. I’m thinking I’m developing a nervous tic of some sort?! your book doesn’t cover this? I’m gusessing its adrenalin/anxiety so trying to just carry on but its hard not to watch and respond to it!. Thanks again your words are very helpful

  10. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Hi Natalie I do remember you yes, here is your post split up.

    hi paul
    may i be the first to congradulate you on a wonderful explaination.. it sounds so simple but we all know the hard work that you would have put into that xx

    When I write something and I no longer suffer it sounds easy to me, but I only have to put myself back all those years and I remember it could be difficult at times, esp in the early days, but trust me Natalie it gets so much easier and please do trust in yourself and keep moving forward, those little victorys will make you feel so much better about yourself.

    it gives me lots of hope and could not come at a better time. I don’t know if you remember when i came on panicing about ssp and maybe having to go back to work. well i have an interview lined up for a new job in two weeks and am having a back to work interview tomorrow. have been highly anxious since i made this decision and my sleep has already been effected with the odd heart palpatation..

    Natalie I may have posted this too late about your back to work interview, but you will be fine, you are bound to feel a little anxious, anyone would, anxiety or not. I was in the same situation. I had an interview and changed my mind 10 times about going, felt very anxious and then thought, ‘I am bound to feel anxious, anyone would, I feel it a little stronger than most because of my sensitised state’ and I stopped all the shall I, shant I, and just went. I coped fine, I felt a little anxious, but soon got chatting and my anxiety levels dropped and I got the job’. It was only a small part time job, but I went home and was almost skipping, I had not listened to that anxious voice telling me it would end in disaster, I had not given into a little fear, I went straight through and been totally fine, how much confidence this gave me for the future!

    When we feel anxiety, we always tend to fear the worst, exagarate situations, any tinge of anxiety and we don’t see it as normal, we see it as ‘Oh its going to go wrong’ we need to just breeze past this and do it anyway. There is a book that has the title ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ and this is so very true, we have been feeling fear since the dawn of time, it is nothing new and can do you no harm and it certainly can’t stop you doing anything. It is far better to live with a little fear than live in it

    but i know deep down if i was not anxious i would be at work as much as i love my boys and have embraced being more of a mum i am not a full time stay at home person. i am scared and have already had the am i doing the right thing but i worked there for 10 years and was fine.. it is only the memory of what happened that holds me back.

    As you embrace being a mum, embrace anxiety to, don’t see it as the big monster trying to hold you back, anxiety only has the power we give it. I remember someone once saying this and it is so very true ‘You must make anxiety your friend in order for you “both” to live in peaceful harmony’

    I felt anxious and fearful for a while and just kept going here there and everywhere, not once did it stop me doing so, not once did anything happen, I was in charge, not the way I felt, it just became the slight annoyance in the background and hardly registered. And you are so right, it is memory of what happened and how you felt holding you back, it may feel odd when you go back, you probably will feel a little anxious, but accept and be o.k with that, don’t view it as anything more than to be expected. In time things will become so much easier, you are going back with a new understanding, a new attitude. I have am sure you will find it far easier than expected and you will come home with a smile on your face that it was not as bad as you expected and you feel a sense of pride for going.

    in fact my friend just said to me are you sure .. i don’t want to see you ill again.. and i started to doubt again. so your post has made me see that i have to do this just take it day by day.. don’t pressure myself .. try not to doubt but accept i will have days like this and move forward.. i don’t want to hide away anymore .. and even thought i have been feeling lots more in control and going out with friends and stuff i need to take the next step. would love your response if you get time and how you dealt with the doubt when you returned to work cos after 10 years am sure it was not an easy ride. thankyou again paul heres to keeping positive xxx

    The best part of what you said above is below,

    try not to doubt but accept i will have days like this and move forward

    So true Natalie, trust me Natalie you will be fine in anything you do, I have yet to have anyone come back and say ‘I did not cope’, but so many who said ‘I did it Paul, it went far better than I expected’ the excitement in their voices is infectious and the exact way I felt when I acheived something against my instinct. Do come back and let me know how it went.


  11. Andre Says:

    What a true story Paul. I didn’t post until recently, but read and grasp every good advice, when i was in a big hole, never ask questions, just take with me the advices from this wonderful community. Deep down I known that i have to be patient if i wish to feel normal again, and so true when you said that this process is so gradual, that we even don’t know we are recovering. Like everyone else i was so impatient to feel normal again,I wished to be well again from next day, but the next day was again rubbish, full of deceptions, until the moment when i realized that to be well again i have to go trough to worst, and so it was.
    I have suffered from anxiety almost two years, and from last year i made so much progress to be where i’m today, recovered or not i don’t know (but i don’t care), but not preoccupied about recovery at all. I certainly know my mind get settled, and have not setbacks from a good period of time, and even if i’ll have i would not bothered at all, because what healed once, would heal again.

  12. jess Says:

    just flying by, wise words once again paul! Im doing very well recently and i want to thank you once again for all your fantastic advice…..

    Take care


  13. Michelle Says:

    I am from the US and just ordered your book a few days ago. I will be so glad to read it. Right now I am scared, worried, and alone. That’s the biggest thing. I feel so alone. I have suffered with anxiety and panic off and on since I was 15 years old. I am now 39. It’s been several years since I have had panic attacks and the more intense anxiety, but it has returned stronger than ever. I am not scared to go out socially. Actually, I crave social interaction. Most of the time I am isolated in my home because I don’t have a job, and times are tight right now. I’m sorry I’m blabbering on. I just don’t have a support system that I can release my feelings to and have not learned yet how to deal with this. I am just so tired.

  14. ClaireSB Says:

    Hi Paul
    Great post, it is so well timed for me, i have been doing brilliantly since June time had a rough few months before that but been doing great and had felt better than ever for most of the time. All of a sudden last week the old symptoms reared there head and had a bit of a up and down week, we are away this weekend and it hasnt been easy but i have kept on doing the things i normally would do without letting the horrible feelings get in the way. i know that they may stay with me now on and off for a while but hey thats life and as you say proof i am recovering as a few months ago i was constantly down in the dumps. Thanks again and i do keep coming back to this place for support and to keep updated on everyones progress. take care all, Claire

  15. natalie Says:

    hi paul
    thankyou so much for your response….well.. i went and i loved it… i sat chatting to all my old work friends and they welcomed me as normal like nothing had changed the new boss is lovely and everyone has said the snd i came out smiling and glad i did it.. my back to work date is the 1st nov and i am looking forward to it.. obviously the anxiety still there as i woke this am had a little heart palpation.. and my mind started racing but i know this is probably because i am pushing the boundary again :).. its a little tiring but today i am just gonna have a lazy saturday making pumpkin lights with my boys and doing the usual.
    the only thiing that is niggling me is that when i wake at 3.30 .. still and cannot get to sleep .. tried the just accept maybe a symptom and lay in bed but it builds cos i end up arguing with myself (sounds daft i know) cos my head going on about what i need to do to get through this and then i am like oh just shut up lol .. i would have said sounds mad but i know that we all have this from time to time. think will just get up outta bed in future and read a book or listen to some music or something??!!! sound a good idea??? this is the only thing at the min cos i love my beauty sleep ..:) xxx
    speak soon and some positive posts today .. we are all doing fine there is no right or wrong only belief in yourself that you can cope and trust that it will ease in time … heres to a good week for everyone xxxx

  16. sally Says:

    Thankyou Paul for a brilliant post it has encouraged me no end.I have had my anxiety problems for many years but with your help now understand about memory and habit which I have loads of.Iam sure I am improving as I have good and bad days now instead of completely bad ones.Again Thankyou Sally

  17. Emma Clark Says:

    Hello, i had written something before, but cant find it anywhere so ill write it again briefly as all i need is encouragement and reassurance, the rest im fine.. so i had dp about 5 years ago for 2 and a half years ive been recovered for a few years now, i had it 24/7 anyway i found my way out through what made sense to me and going by my inner guidance aswell as reading things.. it seems though that dp can be abit complex and i read something almost a year ago now that this girl had dp and anxiety and continued to get it on and off.. i didnt understand this and then i started imagining the worst even though i have common sense and knew everything that got me better i began to get obsessed with understanding.. now i do realise that perhaps she had it mild and everyone is different.. her life was not teh same as mine but i just need that extra reassurance.. life is hard without it, i suppose me thinking about this went on for a while then it had build up a habit of remembering dp.. and then things just spiral out of control and its hurt me alot because anyone who has ever recovered from dp knows the bliss and freedom and to even go back to thinking about it is uncomfortable and i need to move foward.. i realise that anxiety has played tricks.. once u go into a thought its harder to move out and move foward i feel like ive done well but latly i just cant stop thinking about things and i felt like i should post this because i was obsessing weather or not to get reassurance and i cant decide and it just keeps me there.. so here iam, i hope paul can answer me and just guide me foward with some words of inpsiration and encouragement is all i need, i can do the rest.. should i obsess over getting this encouragement, because i still think i should go to a pysc and just let it out.. but it keeps me there, i have all the ingrediants ready to trust myself and go with it but i guess i have this voice nagging me that i should do everything i can to help myself. the longer this goes on the longer i cant move foward.. and the thinking goes on.. please help.

  18. Michelle M Says:

    Hi everyone, Firstly i would like to say what a great post Paul, Very encouraging! I have posted a few times on here & throughout my anxiety, which is now just over a year, have had ups & downs. I so agree with what Paul mentions about recovery being a gradual process. I would put it as being like peeling an onion, it’s like a layer process. Somedays i have good days & others bad, but i just try to get on with the bad days as best as i possibly can. I find that the anxiety tends to happen when i’m away from familiar territory & that makes me feel uneasy. Yesterday i went to have a meeting with a lady about a job, however the meeting was informal, i still felt very nervous & that made the anxiety quite bad.As i have been out of work for 4 years now, due to having my little one. I had quite a bad anxiety attack on the way there, as i was feeling apprehensive about the job, ie: Would i be able to hold down a job at the moment with the anxiety, etc….. Although deep down i know that the way forward is to get back out there again & interact with people on a daily basis, & that getting back to work could be the best therapy for me, i still feel incredibly anxious at the thought of going back to work. The good news is, i was offered the job & I’m due to start on the 1st of Nov. But since I’ve been having anxious thoughts, I’m not sure if i’m being too ambitious, in returning to work. I just don’t know what to do right now? Some symptoms have eased a bit, where as others, like the racing thoughts Dp & Dr are still there at times. Just a question for anyone on here. Does anyone experience mental overload? where as you think about anything & everything all at one time like nothing makes sense & seems alien,like your brain is going to explode! it sounds crazy i know, but this is one symptom i seem to be getting a lot of latley. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. It’s so good to see that people on here are making strides in their recovery. It does give me hope, that one day, i too will be free from anxiety.

  19. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Paul – Thanks for your great book and helpful website! I bought and read your book yesterday. It helped a great deal. I do have one question: Near the end of the book, you told health care professionals and those stressed by their jobs to take a break from it. My company was recently taken over by another company and the job is so stressful!! There is no way I can take off, but believe me, I have thought about it. Is it possible to still get over this without taking time off? I’ve been trying to take more time for myself, but it hasn’t helped my body to calm down. And I know I haven’t been accepting of all the awful feelings. So I am being hopeful that with acceptance and time, this will get better. Please confirm. And thanks again for all you do!

  20. Rebekka Says:

    Hi Guys, Thanks to you paul for the above comments regarding how long it can take to recover.
    Michelle, it sounds like because of all the racing thoughts that you have been experiencing, your body and brain is just completely tired and thats why you feel like yor brain is going to explode. The added stress with thoughts around wheter to go back to work must be adding to that stress which then feeds the anxiety which then adds to you having so many thoughts coming in and out of ur mind. I tend to have intrusive/ negative thoughts which can be really really tough as i always think of the worst senario, i have now trained myself to just relax and just let my thoughts come in and out without giving them too much energy. I recently started thinking should i be working when i am having bad days, then i thought to myself well i have been working for years, i have a good professional job and this job gives me freedom, new relationships and a place where i don’t need to be worrying about myself day in day out. It may be very scary just the thought of going back to work but i’m sure you will get alot out of it. I have decided to join the gym and started exercising like i used to and have also managed to get the boyfriend to come which if you knew him is a massive achievement :0) But i think the adrenaline which i have just sitting could be released by exercising and just having fun.
    Becca x

  21. sasha Says:

    Hi Paul, Scarlet, Diana…and anyone…

    i am in a position wherein with my mindframe i dont feel any enthusiasm…i feel rather dull all the time..dont know what exactly is taking away my enthusiasm?

    so i push myself around to do if m a different entity from my mind..anyways i can carry on with what i ‘should’ i know those things ahd to be done..but things like talking to a friend or simply mailing someone doesnt come from within as i feel i have nothing to put across..hence i dont feel like simply be a listener as do i motivate to initiate myself to talk to someone…

    always there used to be a thought that used to put me down..i wont be able to make it..why bother..and i used to make it true..not going there..when i had this terrible anxiety tahts when i went against my instincts and felt really good wherein i felt i ahd the capacity to do what i want irrespective of my mood bak to my old anxiety but dullness and passiveness to teh core ..not able to convince myself that i can do…mind overtaking me…infact.. but no issues with doing my daily chores…

    anyone experiencing the same?…i can make myself call up someone n talk but its like my mind is adamant making me feel that i wont enjoy and i will be a passive listener..i dont feel anxious but its teh extreme dullness i feel..m not able to overcome that..i guess to make ourselves believe that for the time being it wil be like that so not to expect any good feeling to arise and hence keep doing..thats talking to people even if it doesnt interests me..i guess by then the power the low mood has on me making me avoid things will lessen..

    anyone …any suggestions u hav on this…?

  22. sasha Says:

    thanks Paul for the wonderful post…!!!

    does the self doubt be there till the end? ..whenever doing something or saying something …always my mind gets another strong negative voice coming inbetween to steal my happiness..sometimes i dont have the courage to move on as i think what if something happens if i dont listen to it…? making me so indecisive..
    i guess keep going, keep moving untill u get it right is the only key to it right?

  23. Caron Says:

    Thanks for the post Paul,

    I am trying to practice the mind set of ‘its ok to feel like this’ and tell myself there are many people in the world that are far worse off than myself.

    One thing I struggle with is the ‘how am i going to feel later or tomorrow’ etc. Eg in an evening I can be quite relaxed but then I think ‘oh no how am i going to feel tomorrow’ and am then filled with dread. I spose it is because I know the mornings etc are usually worst and is just habit but I just wondered if anyone had any tips on dealing with these thoughts or had anything similar?


  24. Victor Says:

    Hello everyone,

    I hope everyone is doing well, its been awhile since I have posted. I have been having a rough time lately. For those of you who remember, I was doing very well for a few months last year into the beginning of this year. I honestly thought I was recovered, but it turned out I was not fully recovered and have now been in a set back since February of this year.

    I am posting because at times it feels like I am doing pretty good. My biggest issue (again) are the odd thoughts i get, usually about my daughter. Sometimes I feel like I am doing a good job of just letting the thoughts flow, but then sometimes I will let one get to me and let it set me back more than it should.

    For instance, yesterday I had one of the best days I have had recently, my mind was flowing, anxiety hardly ever crossed my mind and I hardly had any odd thoughts about my daughter. Then at some point in the evening I got a thought that just really bothered me and it sent me into a cycle of worrying and thinking about my anxiety, my mind ended up racing most of the night and this morning obviously anxiety it still on my mind.

    My question is what is the best way to handle this kind of situation? My biggest issue has been having a great day, but then at some point letting one thought get to me and just send me down the road of worrying and thinking about anxiety. Thats why I am back here in the first place, I had been doing well for MONTHS then one day I let something get to me and it send me down this path again.

  25. lesley Says:

    i dont often post on here, just sorta of read and take it all in, if some of you re read your posts many of us answer the questions to what were asking in what weve written if you know what i mean,its as if we all know what we need to do but to actually live alongside these stress induced symptoms is easier said than done, ive suffered for 3 years now but since finding this wonderful site have seen brilliant improvements since june, its great what “doing nothing” can do, alot harder than it sounds but it really is helping, its always easier to advise other people rather than do it yourself but you need to keep thinking positive, improvement for me is good enough at the mo, i know im on the right track! (ask me again at the end of half term and i might be different lol) and caron did you see i wrote “at the mo”, try not to look ahead to much worrying about tomorrow, been there done that, its as if we worry about situations and it sort of sets us up to have a bad morning because weve told our minds/bodies that were suppose to? bloody nasty habit this anxiety malarky isnt it but one were all break!! x

    lesley xxx

  26. Victor Says:

    I have a question that will help me a lot if someone could answer it. These odd thoughts I have, are they the anxiety? or my worrying about them and letting them get to me the anxiety?

    The thoughts are just random odd thoughts that I let bother me. They are not scary thoughts, just odd thoughts that often make no sense. The next day I usually cannot recall the full thought, just bits and pieces of the thought. I feel they come out of habit, and the anxiety part is me worrying about them. I worry more about the thoughts and why I get them than I actually get the thoughts. hope this makes sense, anyone who could help me understand I would really appreciate it.

  27. sally Says:

    Hi Caron
    I know what you mean when relaxed{not often}I immediately question how long will it last? and what will tomorrow be like? a sort of self destruct of the good time and then having thought it the tension and anxiety return.Just wanted to let you know you are not alone in this habit and habit is what it is.All the best Sally

  28. Rebekka Says:

    Helllo Everybody,
    Just had a read through the posts, it looks as though some of you go through exactly what i do when my anxiety is at it’s worst. I must say it’s the hardest thing in the world and i do sometimes wish that Anxiety at this level wasn’t apart of me but it is and it has made me think that people experiencing this aswell must stay strong and talk about there feelings/ thoughts etc otherwise you can get yourself in a right pickle.

    I personally find it really hard at times because my partner is a doctor and a very sweet person, he knows i suffer with anxiety but i havn’t been able to talk to him about the odd thoughts i sometimes get as i sometimes feel ashamed and embarrashed and not sure how he will react or feel if i told him. I know it’s probably best to talk to him about it but i just can’t. Can anybody relate to this and have you any ideas how to explain this to your partner/close friend??

    I am starting Therapy soon because i think someone outside the family may give me some good advive and ways to deal with this. I have always been a anxious person butafter having a bad experience it brought out all these negative thoughts. They went away for a good while but recently they have started to reapper, i find it very frustrating at times. One day there the next day gone, that’s why i see the importance of just letting it happen and not give it too much energy, but when your a very sensitive person like me it is easier said then done.

    Hi Victor, just read your post. I can relate to what your saying, it is so hard having an unpleasant/ negative thought around someone you love but you know it’s not real and it’s just your anxiety trying to release itself. I always ask why and how could i think something like that but i guess everybody has thoughts negative/positive just sitting in our unconscious mind but when your an anxious individual you grab a hold of those thoughts and analyse them. Victor, I think anxiety can be different for each individual but i personally find going out and doing things or having a look back through Paul’s book does help. I also think exercise can help aswell, even if it feels hard and tiring, it may help you sleep- that’s why i have just joined the gym. Also you need to remember how well you did before, it sounds like the thoughts still scar you alot but if you just except them and train your brain to do that, they wont feel as stong and scary. I know how hard it can be though but stay strong :0) Becca x

  29. ross Says:

    hey everyone

    i recently told my girlfriend, mum and best mate what ive been going through and i visited my gp . after this i had my best week ever :) but the last few days have felt my anxiety creeping back . so frustrating at times .

    i need some help regarding some thoughts ive been getting and if anyone else has had them.

    i keep thinkin im not in control of my body?? and find it weird we can move without thinking about it? sounds crazy i know haha

    i also get moments that i feel trapped in my body????
    and i also feel as if this is 1 big knightmare ill never get out of ???

    these totally throw me completely .

    can someone give me some advice.

    i also always think to myself wats caused this ???

  30. sasha Says:

    Hello everyone..

    has anyone read the book ‘feel the fear and do it anyways’ ?
    how is the book? is it helpful? is it too technical or in simple words..would like to know what the book is all about?
    after Paul’s book, the book which really helped me was stop thinking and start living by richard carlson…

  31. Jen Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I am new to this site but I have to say your book is brilliant.

    I would like to know if it is normal to be afraid of thinking awful thoughts. My anxiety stemmed from thinking a scary word and then associating it with people. It then stemmed on to various other scary thoughts. What usually happens is I worry about thinking a scary thought and then I do. Then I worry that the thought will stay with me and then it does. Then when it does I get even more scared because I think I am awful. I know these thougts mean nothing but when they leave, its like my mind decides to look for something else awful to think about. How to I break this cycle?

    I had this 4 years ago and was fine for 2 years but it just came back there a while ago. I find it so difficult because I am a very sensitive person and evn thinking anything bad upsets me. I know I can get out of this as I did the last time but I just wonder why it never bothered me during the 2 years and now Im suddenly terrified of every bad thought/word my mind thinks up. Its like my mind just grabs hold of any scary/irrational thought and makes me worry.

    I want to laugh at these thoughts and not let them control me. But it can be difficult when they are always on my mind. Can you help.

    Thank you vey much,


  32. Si Says:


    I will be very honest with you and this is my own personal experience. I Have read “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” and did not find it too helpfull at all. There are some things in the book that I liken to “Coping Stratergies”. I have lots of books that were recomended by my therapist all of which I purchased and read over and over again!! NOTE…my therapist told me I would never ever be the person I used to be, which used to send me in a panic because thats all I was TRYING TO BE!!

    Sorry… Im going off a little from your original question. I truly believe the only books you need are Pauls and Claire Weekes, because I truly believe that they are the correct method. And the main reason I feel this to be true is because I had my “Breakdown” about 18 months ago and up until finding Pauls site NO-ONE ever explained to me about my symptoms and it was these symptoms that were definatly scareing me. I am not saying that the books don’t work for some, but they sure do push coping stratergies and I don’t thinks we need to cope, we just need to live like we used to.

    YES I get good and bad days, but just very recently I have pushed myself to laugh at my thoughts, do the things I want, don’t worry about my insecurities and I dont care half as much as I did.

    The thing that makes me angry is that if I had found Pauls book way back when… I would not have got into such a mess, but again… why worry about the past. I have a few people I know who also suffer from anxiety and depression and have recommended Paul’s Book and they are amazed just like I am how much both he and the people who write on this blog understand what we are feeling (Wish every Therapist would take a look instead of telling you it stems back from your child hood!!!!!)

    Best of luck to everyone :)


  33. Caron Says:

    Thanks Sally, it is such a comfort to hear that. Can you or anybody give me some advice on something else….yesterday I went to my GP just to advise him of how I am feeling at that I am having a “blip”. I said to him I am keen on not having my medication upped ( I am on 30mg of paroxetine) and that I have bought Pauls book etc. Maybe I was really hoping he would up my medication but he totally agreed with me and said that he didn’t want to up it as 30mg is a maintenance dose which will be balancing my serotonin levels so upping it would just act like a placebo. At first I was ok with that but now I am thinking -” oh no, so has the medication worn off?”, “was it me that got me better before or was it the tablets? And if it was the tablets and they aren’t working anymore how am I ever going to get better?”. Can anyone relate to that? X

  34. Si Says:


    I look at it like this now…..

    I have been on Venlafaxin 70mg for over a year now and I truly beleive it has done nothing at all for me because my mood changes so much and I never altered the meds.

    I went to see my GP a couple of months ago about weening off this medication (although 4 months ago a phyciastrist wanded to double it!!!). He told me to half it every other day and see how I got on.

    Now…. I tried this and when I felt bad days I put it down to meds and went back to 70mg instead of 35mg. But over the last couple of weeks I thought enough is enough.. be positive, go back onto 35mg and still at it and you know what… with the help from this site and Pauls book I have had no problems, in fact I would say I actually feel a little better. This is not to say I think everyone should come off meds, but I belive it again is an attitude thing and yet another crutch that you probably dont need. Lower your dose….. and don’t think about it “AT ALL” cos thinking about it is causing us the problem :)

    Trust in yourself

  35. ross Says:

    hey everyone

    i recently told my girlfriend, mum and best mate what ive been going through and i visited my gp . after this i had my best week ever but the last few days have felt my anxiety creeping back . so frustrating at times .

    i need some help regarding some thoughts ive been getting and if anyone else has had them.

    i keep thinkin im not in control of my body?? and find it weird we can move without thinking about it? sounds crazy i know haha

    i also get moments that i feel trapped in my body????
    and i also feel as if this is 1 big knightmare ill never get out of ???

    these totally throw me completely .

    can someone give me some advice.

    i also always think to myself wats caused this ???

  36. Caron Says:

    Thanks Si,

    What you say makes sense, I spose it is just hard for me to believe I can do it without meds as erverytime I have had anxiety before I have also gone to my doctor and had my medication upped. Now I of course don’t know if its the medication that ‘recovered’ me before or indeed my inner strength and I am just questioning it all and thinking I can’t get better. But then I think actually get better from what? It doesn’t make sense!
    Does anyone else think like this?

  37. Jess H Says:


    Paul this last post is just wonderful and a breath of frsh air for helping us on the road to recovery. I would say I am nearly there, the horrible thoughts are not as strong but still linger, i am trying so hard with this and usually they just pass within 3-4 seconds, although it does leave me remembering I have anxiety especially on a good day. Anxiety has never stopped me doing anythin which I am extremely grateful for, its just the scary horrible thoughts that grab me the most. This post is certainly one i will be rereading to try to absorbe it into my mind lol.

    I am struggling with one thing at present though and its that i am using this site and other people as a saftey blanket for reasurance. I have had anxiety since Feb this year and can see that i have really improved, although I find myself asking my sister questions ( she also has experienced anxiety) and coming here on this site for an extra pick me up. I no this is not a bad thing as it does pick me up and calms me to an extent but I am now wanting to do this for myself as in not needing constant reasurrance for me to move forward. I would like to put what i have learnt into practice but sometimes find this difficult. sorry to go on but are you able to offer any advise on this???

    Ross in regards to feeling that you are stuck in a nighmare, i completly had this and thought it would never go, i still do get the odd occassion but i try to push this to the side. so dont worry what your experiencing is totally normal…..

    Rebekka….. i can completly relate to where you are right now… i found it a struggle to explain to people my horrible thoughts, beleive me iv had them all from suicide(the worst), to horrible thoughts about something happening to me and my family, constabtly thinking what is life about, why am i bothering. I have been there and still get the odd thoughts but they are not as strong. What i would say is just express how you feel, i sat down and told my boyfriend it was slightly awkward and i didnt really want to say what horrible thoughts i was having but it really helped. I mean i feel i need to be strong as my line of work being a police officer does not allow me to be weak, but hey we all cant be perfect. lol. trust me once you explain to someone you will feel better, these thoughts can grab you sweet but dont worry, your family will know who you are and know they have to support you through this. Especially your partner i am sure he has seen this many a time in his profession, so just go for it!!!!! let me know how you get on!!!!

    Jess….. so glad to see your doing well, how did your assisgnment on anxiety go, bet you were great. I am doing well i guess till have the odds moments where the anxiety and horrible thoughts grab me but it is mainly good days now. Sending my love, your friend jess xx

  38. Leslie Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Not sure if anyone remembers me. I haven’t posted in quite some time. I’ve actually been doing really well. Recently, however, I find myself in a setback…..the worst I’ve had in months. I began suffering about 18 months ago. I found Paul’s site a couple months later, but it took me a looooooong time to put his advice into practice. Sometimes I still struggle. I’m just wondering if anyone else can relate to what I struggle with. I feel like I don’t know how to just live my life. I think about everything before I do it…..anything that involves “normal” living. It could be something as simple as making dinner or watching tv. And when I do think about it, I feel like I shouldn’t do it because of this whole anxiety business. My mind tries to convince me that I shouldn’t do anything that would help me to get better. My anxiety rollercoaster began with a feeling and thought that something was wrong with me…..I had something to worry/be scared about, but I didn’t know what. So at that point, I stopped dead in my tracks and became terrified to do anything (and I mean anything!). Well slowly, I’ve gotten better. When I was doing really great for the past few months, I felt like I was living more in the moment. Just doing things without thinking so much. And if I was reminded of my anxiety or a thought came in trying to stop me from doing something, I was able to easily ignore it. Now, it doesn’t feel that easy. All the sudden, the anxiety has taken center stage and I feel like I shouldn’t do things. I keep doing them, but the feelings have are really intense. They feel so real at times. When its like that, it feels really wrong to ignore them. Like I shouldn’t be ignoring them. The other main thing I struggle with are the nasty memories I’ve built up over the past 18 months (i.e. trips to the hospital scared out of my mind, antidepressants, thinking I was going completely insane, etc). Sometimes those memories send shivers down my spine! I just wonder if I’ll ever be able to get over that I got to that point and move on from it? If I will ever feel like it doesn’t matter. I’m very much a perfectionist and way too hard on myself (I’m sure many of you can relate!) and I just hate that this happened…..that I’m doing this to myself. When I was doing so much better, it was like my whole anxiety ordeal wasn’t that important. I still had some thoughts and feelings, but they just didn’t matter that much. I was able to brush them off easily and move on. Now it just feels like they’re getting my attention too much. Is that what recovery is? Making peace with the past and everything that you’ve gone through and just moving on? Basically allowing anxiety and all the bad memories to fade into the background? I guess I’m just looking for some reassurance. Any replies would be welcome! Take care all.

  39. Suranne Says:

    Hello everybody, what Ross has posted – twice- and because he needs comfort, could have been written by myself, so note to Ross, I hope you get at least a small shred of comfort to know that you are NOT alone, I am in the exact same place as you and it is bloody gruesome.

    I have been reading the posts for a few weeks now, since I got hit by a major panic attack about ‘my thoughts’

    Unfortunately, as I obviously was way too impressed by it, it has ‘stuck’ like glue. I seem to be afraid of any thought, nevermind the negative ones! I read Scarlet’s reply to another post, on another tthread about someone who commenced analyzing how/why the mind/brain works – she wisely pointed out that it would not get you any good results, whilst in an anxious state of mind. I had to smile at that, as that made real sense to me.
    The problem is, as this has become so stuck in my head (the question of why and how do we have thoughts, how does the brain work, why does it do such and such, how can and would I want to actually stop it working like that etc.) has sent me in such a downwards spin, I am all over the place. I swear, it will not leave me alone. Wave after wave of panic has been the dish of the day today. I am sure, it will pass, these things generally do I find. I am trying very hard NOT to analyse this thought, and get on with my day, but I just couldn’t seem to help myself from posting today. I so hope that in the future, I will be able to post a positive success story. I guess I may not even be making much sense, but I am sure at least some of you will relate. If someone can drop by and offer a few wise words of comfort I would be so grateful, matters are not helped as my husband is away on business, and although I am not a clingy type, he is so sensible (as am I in a non anxious state of mind) he can be such a comfort in his support, and I do know how lucky I am to have found one like that!

    Thanks for reading my ramble, all the best things to all of you good people out there, and Paul for dedicating his time to helping people like you and me.

  40. Caron Says:

    Hi Leslie, I can definitely relate to having memories and being scared of them! I suppose it’s a case of reminding ourselves that memories are just another form of thought and we don’t need to pay them much attention! Plus we got over them before so will again- meds or no meds!! Xx

  41. marc Says:


    what kind of twitches/tics do u get??? i get twitches in my back and neck muscles and it looks like my body and head is shaking! have had them for a while now, have seen a nuerologist and have had an mri scan done and it came back clear so my guess is that its anxiety related, but what gets me is that i dont have to be feeling particularly anxious when i get them! they just happen! plus i find sometimes if i think about them-i get them! they really are a nightmare because theyre almost constant with me and i find it hard going out socialising and going out in public because of them! i also find it can get me off balance and restrict me when im exercising, do u experience this????


  42. marc Says:

    scarlet,candie,sasha or paul

    just looking for a bit of reassurance guys in letting me know that im ok, and a bit of advice as well. the weirdness that i usually feel is at the highest its ever been, i just feel so horribly disconnected and not with it at all 24/7! i just feel like a robot going around having to act out my day, everything is just completely freaking me out! and i literally mean everything that comes to mind! my recent phase at the moment is feeling weird about ‘how we are feeling’, i.e feeling better or feeling worse. even if i do feel slightly better its like my mind automatically recognises it during the moment im feeling better and switches me back to ‘weird mode’! i know this is gonna sound nuts but its like my mind……….has a mind of its own! haha! its like it wont allow me feel anything else but this complete and utter strangeness/weirdness
    plus im also experiencing a huge hyper awareness of everything i do, especially speaking, like if someone is talking to me then i have to talk back its like im not controlling what im saying but i can just hear the words coming out( if that makes any sense! lol) and it completely freaks me out. plus if i am talking to someone, i can hear them and understand them fine, but its like i FEEL like i cant make any sense of what they are saying, like they are talking jiberish to me or something and its just so bloody weird!
    plus im so aware of ME! everything i do, or any scenarios im in, its like im automatically wondering if its real or not real! me and everything around me just feels so strange and unreal! and whats really disheartening is i cant feel the love and joy i should feel for my family and friends! i say disheartening but its like i cant even feel upset! like i said its like im a bloody robot just going through the motions!

    just wondering if u guys experienced this kind of horror and what u did to get through it. many thanks guys!

    marc :)

  43. Amanda Says:

    Hi everyone i am new to this site but certainly not new to anxiety, nearly 24yrs to be exact, that i didnt know until reading pauls book, i have suffered badly 5 times in that 24yrs where i have had to give up work and literally couldnt cope severe dp and dr no one ever explained to me what this was so reading pauls book was a godsend i am currently off work now because i let anxiety takeover it started 3mths ago work and home life was stressful at the time and i suffered a panic attack whilst at home and i started worrying and panicking omg am going to be ill again i cant go through all that again instead of thinking right this is my mind and body telling me to slow down and take a step back how i wish i had understood then i was making myself worse this went on for 2months until i eventually broke down and had to go off sick from work, i am suffering badly again at the moment but i know in time i will be well again and i know with the help and knowledge i have gained i will not let anxiety ruin or rule my life again

  44. Victor Says:


    I am going through similar situation, it has been my biggest obstacle with anxiety. I did well for about 6/7 months where I was getting very few odd thoughts, and it got to the point where I was getting none at all. Then I started getting them again due to a family situation I was going through, I started fearing anxiety and these thoughts again and sure enough they came back.

    I can tell you that FEAR is why they are back. Anxiety or not, we are all bound to get odd thoughts. I have spoken to family and close friends about my situation, and they laugh sometimes because they get odd thoughts too but they do not let it bother them.

    I know me personally when I was doing well my attitude was much different from what it is now. I did not care if odd thoughts came, it got to the point where my first reaction to an odd thought naturally was to laugh and think ” I cant believe I use to let these thoughts bother me”, but then I started being scared of them again and they came back. If ANYONE fears any kind of thought enough they would start worrying about it, not just us anxiety sufferers.

    Hope this helps. My attitude is slowly changing again, I have been doing well the past couple days. I have been getting thoughts but have been just letting them flow, and they have been less powerful.

  45. Rebekka Says:

    Hey peeps,
    Gosh it’s really strange reading through other people’s experience because at times i can feel so alone in all of this.
    I do think that anxiety is a part of you as a individual, when i look back i remember being very sensitive and abit anxious as a child but also very energetic and full of confidence. I do think that in some cases if you are anxious or very sensitive you are more likely to suffer with anxiety and if your not happy with parts of your life (and just go along with it) or if you have been through something tramatic it brings out negative thoughts and feelings which probably actually mean something completely different i.e if your angry with someone because of some reason or another it can bring on a negative thought if that makes any sense! Sorry i do tend to yap on abit. :-)
    Hi Jess thanks for your reply, that was very helpful. I have told my mum all about what’s been going on and she has been very supportive for along while now, however we don’t live near each other anymore so when times are bad i can’t just pop round for a brew and a Hug unfortunately.
    I guess because my partner is very pro medical model, I worry that he is going to try and diagnose me and advice me to take medication or something. I know medication can be really helpful for some people in conjunction with a good therapist but i personally am not requiring medicatioin at present. I guess that’s what i get abit worried about.
    I do hope that i find the strenght to talk to my partner about the times i get irrational thoughts but i think working out why i am having these thoughts and feelings first may make more sense of it all. It’s interesting because there are things i am not happy with in my life at the moment which i have just been going along with which i think has brought this anxiety on. When i was enjoying my job and having alot more friends around me and doing things i really enjoyed i.e dancing i didn’t have these problems. Can you identify with that?
    Jess i completely understand what your saying about coming on to this site and feeling as it gives you reassurance. I personally think it is ok to check once and a while but not get too focused into all of it as it can just stop you from getting on but i know that we are all DIFFERENT and some of us need more support than others and it depends on what support you have at home i guess. Also, with regards with wanting to put your experience into practice, i think when anyone has suffered or experienced anxiety they are able to help and support others to some extent. My partner had a small panic attack when we were recently travelling around Germany for a few days. With the pooring rain, been in a rather large expensive rented car and driving on the opposite side of the road, i definately think contributed to this but ‘Hey’ men do love there cars :-) Any way back to my point, he was in abit of state and i was able to really help him which made me feel very strong and quite wise because i could relate. Hope this makes sense

  46. Nelly Says:

    Hi there,

    I am glad i found this website and maybe i can ask for some advice. I have suffered from anxiety since 3 years ago and it was getting better up until now.. I had a baby 1 month ago and for some reason a week after giving birth i started feeling this weird sensation in my chest and throat…so i went to the ER and they diagnosed me with PVC’s, its been a month and they have not gone away. All i want to know is if anyone has had PVC’s due to anxiety or stress and have gotten rid of them… I really need help this is driving me crazy. Any advice will be appreciated


  47. jess Says:

    Hi Jess H
    You really sound if you have got ur head around things jess…. just use that know and let this new way of thinking become a learnt behaviour. Jess i tooo at one point was using this site as a security blanket, every morning i would wake up and the first thing i would do was check the site to help me scramble out of the early morning thought pool… But there came a point where i said to myself jess, thats enough… i have learnt all i need to learn now i really need to put it into practice. It was ok to read about acceptance but the real trick is to learn to live with acceptance… Jess i’m doing really well, and yes my thoughts are still there but would it be funny if i said i don’t really listen to them anymore… I believe they are there out of pure habit, and i haven’t had a thought thats made me go ‘PANG’ ( adrenalin rush) in a good couple of weeks….Ive been using pauls saying ‘what the heck?’ quite a bit or when its a bad one ‘what he F&%$?’ lol whatever works to remove that fear! I believe that overcoming this thing is all about changing your attitude to these thoughts….. Its all about re-training your brain!

    Ive been suffering since june jess ( the 4th to be precise) but as paul said recovery can take time to be achieved and im willing to wait, im just quite proud of myself at how far i have come…. and i want to pat myself in the back as i was quite bad at the beginning. I had the fear ( after watching a movie on child abuse) “what if (classic what if’s) i ever hurt a child?” and there i go trying to prove something that never had to be proven obsessing constantly and avoiding places where there where children creating a phobia in a sense! BUt what i should’ve done with that initial thought was shrug it off and say ‘what the heck?’ but anyway woulda, coulda shoulda….

    I now know that i was fighting a worthless battle, it was something that i never had to prove to myself…. i know i am a good person… anyway i just want people to know that paul is right it is all about patience and acceptance. Its taken us a wile to get ourselves into this mess, it’ll take us a wile to get out of it. Hahaha its funny i never mean to write this much, but then i end up scrabbling on… take care everyone!

    Im doing really really really well

    thanks paul


  48. Caron Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Reading some of these posts really do make sense and I totally agree that when in a bad way we use this as our comofrt blanket and support mechanism – i don;t think that is a bad thing though? I mean sometimes where else do we get support?

    So many posts ring true….i.e when we are anxious thoughts that would usually not bother us at all are so scary. I am contending with a new thought today but am telling myself (trying to) that it is just my anxious mind making it seem scary and trying not to pay it any respect. Afterall I know I have recovered before and looked back on such thoughts and almost laughed to myself! However, being in an anxious state is just such a nightmare which is why I get impatient.

    I read a bit in Pauls book last night which Jess mentions above – its the bit about it takes our minds to become tired and get into this state so it will take a while for them to become ‘untired’. I suppose we all want a time frame but that time frame depends on us and our acceptance. I hope I am making sense?

    One thing I just want to ask – does anybody find the mornings the hardest? I often wake early, before my alarm with that awful feeling of dread in my stomach. Then driving to work is a awful as I am so tired so struggle to keep my eyes open! Does anyone have any tips for the mornings or dealing with the ‘butterfly’ stomach?


  49. jack Says:


    5 years ago I started to have really worrying thoughts about my existence that confused my tired mind so much. I was in a vicious circle that I couldn’t break out of the worrying thought loop.

    Also, I would have similar thoughts to you, “why do we think” etc. I honestly thought I was going crazy.

    All I can say about this is that these unwanted thoughts do gradually subside and you will eventually free your mind from all the questioning.

    I finally started accepting these unanswerable questions that I was posing myself. I decided to let them come in whenever they wanted, let them have free reign….do what they want!

    by allowing them unlimited access and saying,”welcome in” to your worrying thoughts you will notice that they significantly subside over time.

    I hope this helps little

  50. Mark Says:

    Here’s an excerpt from a journal entry I did a few days ago, I really feel like I’ve finally “got it” after almost 2 years of struggling with anxiety, and at this time I wanted to write down exactly how I felt so I could remember it and what I was doing that made me feel so much better (usually the writing would be another way of trying to “quick fix” the anxiety in the past, but this time it felt like something huge had just happened, and I still feel great days after I wrote it, so I thought I’d share it). I think this would’ve be helpful to me so hopefully it will be helpful to you guys too!


    Just going to sleep now, I’m not feeling barely any anxiety though I realized I had at least 50 or so thoughts about things that would’ve made me anxious otherwise, but so let’s see what happened physiologically.. and really I can feel that THIS IS THE WAY! I have felt so great, and it’s all a result of this… Ok, as for a description of what it feels like… so it feels like my mind is open, and whenever a thought comes, I just let it be there, and the thought, BY ITSELF, WITHOUT ANY INTERFERENCE OR EFFORT ON MY PART EXCEPT LETTING MY MIND BE OPEN AND NOT REJECTING IT BUT ALLOWING IT TO BE there, it simply comes in and out, and there’s a crucial moment where the thought is in my mind, and I could go and “latch” onto it and try to control it or (rationalize, justify, counter argue, debate) it rather than just letting it pass, but I always let it pass and then quickly (not to avoid anxiety though, at whatever speed is comfortable) shift my focus back to the present because there is no need to analyze the thought. Now I feel completely anxiety free, worry free. I may feel a slight feeling in my head that doesn’t even hurt much at all, barely anything, but that doesn’t bother me because it’s just a symptom that I’m letting be there, and a thought will come up that says “what if the headache is… blah blah blah” but I just let that thought be there too and keep my mind open and it comes in and goes away, so long as I don’t try to latch onto the thought or grasp it and focus on it. I think we really do this to ourselves, creating habits of questioning and analyzing thoughts. Then we get to this point where when we have a random thought, we get this HUGE feeling that we have to “manage” or justify/question the thought or else something bad will happen – I think that is the prime reason that it continues, that we latch on to them rather than letting them come and go.

    Go toward your anxiety in the form of going towards things that make you anxious in the real world, but in your mind simply go on with your day or whatever you are doing WITHOUT stopping and questioning and that is what I call acceptance and not paying the anxiety any mind, because you really aren’t, you are just going on with whatever you are doing, there is no need to try to accept the feelings or to go towards them in your own body, all you have to do is go on with what you’re doing regardless of how you feel.

    What happens in my body is that I will get the anxious thought and then I will immediately just go back to whatever I was doing and feel those physical sensations of LIVING in THAT MOMENT, and that’s it, it’s – Anxious feeling – Nothing – Shift of focus back to the present moment/action; rinse and repeat.

    NO RESPECT means barely stopping for even a moment to try to ‘fix’ it or to justify or question your anxiety, not paying them respect means just going on with your day as if they did not affect you at all, let them be there, but just pay them no mind and go on with your activity,


    I really want to stress that part about “not latching on” to any thoughts that make you feel anxious. For some reason this entire time I’ve had GAD I’ve felt that I had to question those thoughts, to do something about them, to justify or argue them or find out what they mean, but that simply is not true. I can have any thought in the entire world, and I don’t have to do ANYTHING about it, no justifications, rationalizing, or further thought needed. I don’t know, for some reason I was taught throughout my life that I always had to question them every single time they came up, but I finally realize I don’t, and my anxiety levels have really toned down because of this. Anyways, I hope this helped some of you, and thank you so much Paul for your fantastic book

  51. James Says:

    OK, I think I am making some progress. I have had some quite good days, and my therapist thinks I am on the path to recovery.

    I am finding though on some bad days (like today), I am getting much more than just a numb feeling, and an inability to enjoy things. It is actually a really hellish feeling – like some filthy, thick sludge with intense derealisation/depersonalisation. It’s hard to put into words how horrible this can be, but it’s much worse than normal anxiety. When these bouts occur I find it very hard to do anything at all and just want to climb into bed.

    Is this normal or is this more than anxiety? I just haven’t heard Paul or other people speak about it getting quite this intense.

  52. Jen Says:

    Hi Jess,

    You sound really nice so just wanted to ask you something. I get these awful words in my head and they scare me so much. It started because a word frightened me and now that word comes into my head all the time. I know it means nothing and try to let it live along side me but its so hard. My mind will not think of anything else and I am so scared. Is this normal at the begining that somthing would be on your mind always. I am so upset as I write this. I thought I was much stronger than this.

  53. scarlet Says:


    The feel the fear book wasn’t good imho. Anyhow you are in the last 5-10% or so, and gotta accept that this dull feeling and one of not enjoying life will accompany you for a while yet. It will go when you are fed up of it to the point where you don’t let it rule your life any more. I’d say force yourself to interact as and when you can regardless if you can be bothered or not. Smile and pretend you are interested… worked for me for ages :-)

    Oh and yes,, self doubt will be there til the end, until you fully grasp the concepts on here and believe that they work (the proof is in the pudding so they say). Then you will be recovered fully.

    Just moved house to jbr a few days ago so am here briefly


    yep everything you say I went through… no worries, you aren’t off yor rocker 😉 just get on with your day and let the odd feelings follow you and don’t pay them any mind… Promise you in time your normal emotions will come back.


    “I have a question that will help me a lot if someone could answer it. These odd thoughts I have, are they the anxiety? or my worrying about them and letting them get to me the anxiety?
    The thoughts are just random odd thoughts that I let bother me. They are not scary thoughts, just odd thoughts that often make no sense”

    I’d say it’s the worrying that’s the anxiety, not the thought itself, it’s the reaction you are giving these odd thoughts. I can have an odd or troubling thought even now and I have learned give it no reaction. You have to learn to do this as well. Try changing your reaction to the thought from one of fear to one of amusement or indifference if you can. This really works with practice. Did you ever get the RC book Stop Thinking Start Living…. fab little book.

    No worries that you are having a setback, you just need to reinforce a few things that you learned. I had a major setback after one year into my recovery. Lasted ages as well, knocked me down to the ground again… but I picked myself up and here I am… this will be you too. Just follow all the advice that you have internalised already, and don’t pay heed to thoughts of this nature.

    Back soon

  54. Wayne Says:

    I have been dealing with anxiety since January. Due to this site, especially Diana I am doing much better. I still have my moments but overall I am 95% better than I was earlier in the year.

    Now, when I run, bike and lift weights I am totally engaged in what I am doing instead of thinking about how I feel. Even when I listen to my IPod while exercising I am listening to the music and taking it all in instead of concentrating on how I feel.

    When I play with my two little girls I am listening to them and for the first time in a long time I am playing with them with such enjoyment I can’t describe. I am no longer focusing on me.

    Keep your head up everyone, this is a process but it is all worth it.

  55. Leslie Says:

    Just a quick question for Scarlet (if you’re around!). When you talk about how long it took you to recover, are you saying that you suffered for a while before you started to grasp what was going on and started recovering? What I mean is, when you talk about how long it took you to recover, are you counting from the time that you first started suffering or from the point when you actually started to accept? I know it’s an odd question and the amount of time it takes isn’t important, but I’m just curious! The hardest thing for me is the memories of suffering or the memories of thoughts. Sometimes I question whether or not it’s right to just ignore everything (although deep down I know its right)… just feels so wrong at times to ignore things that feel so real. Did you ever wonder if you could put the whole thing behind you and move on? It just feels like I can’t let it go……like my mind won’t let me.

  56. Caron Says:

    Hi Leslie, I know you posted to Scarlet but thought I may be able to help …. When I have recovered before, once I started to accept how I was feeling I can’t actually remember how long exactly till I was 100% but I remember thinking after a few weeks – wow! And then being really proud of myself! I hope that helps……
    Take care x

  57. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Everybody – Do you find this helps with depression, too? I seem to be doing better with anxiety, but the depression can settle in and feels so awful. Thanks for your thoughts!

  58. Amanda Says:

    james i have just read your post and i can identify with what you are saying about the intense feeling of D/P and D/R i get this , i think i am coping and then i get the intensity of these feelings that makes me feel really horrible and i think oh god this is it im really losing the plot and that sets me off on the fear cycle . i am begining to accept these feelings now and say to myself oh well if im going mad so be it, these feelings are frightening but i now realise it is still just the anxiety and if i was going mad i wouldnt be worrying about how im feeling hope this helps .

  59. jess Says:

    please do not feel afraid this is soooo normal, these words ( thoughts) are just words. What you have done is attach fear to these words, the words are not the problem, the problem is ur reaction to them jen. What you need to try and do is not care if they are there…. Your body is in overdrive at the minute and lots and lots of adrenalin is running through your body this is what makes the mind chatter very loud and CONSTANTLY there and im assuming very aware of all ur thoughts. I remember at the beginning i thougt i was gooing mad, i used to get frustrated at the fact my bf could sit and watch a movie and relax when i was driving myself insane in my head trying to prove something that NEVER EVER had to be proven, my mind racing sooooo fast.

    Jen what you have to do now, is change ur reaction to these words. This is whaT I did and i hope it helps i created a classroom of worries, i invited these thoughts in i said to myself “come on anxiety come in, come sit down in my classroom i want to teach you im not afraid of you” ( get it teach? classroom? lol) when a really bad one came into my head i made it write on the blackboard with doing this little mental exercise i am taking control of this thought im am changing my reaction to this thought and i am re-training my brain to not fear something i do not have to fear. Now Jen im not going to say do this for a day and you will be cured… this has taken me months and jen i still have the thoughts but they really don’t bother me. They still make me feel a lil uncomfortable but its a hell of alot better than the pangs i used to get… I used to want to run away and hide! But i don’t now, coz i know how far i have come in 6 months i am very proud of myself and i know this acceptance method works. Jen it will take time, but you need to give ur mind lil breaks so it can restore itself… Im having periods now of hours where i dont even think about what ive went through, then ill remember and a thought may pop up but its sort of lik it doesn’t even register with me coz it doesn’t matter to me anymore. I know there will come a time, where my mind will eventually move on from this and that day could be tommorrow or could be in a years time i’ll accept whatever as i am just happy and proud at how far i have come.

    I hope this helps… Ill pop back in a few days and see how you are doing

    Take Care Jen

    and remember you DO NOT have to be afraid anymore. Its just anxiety!

    Jess xx

  60. sasha Says:

    Hey scarlet & Paul..

    i just found a lot of answers now…to the way i feel from the very beginning not when i just fell into this pit..actually i used to wonder since my college days why i wasnt able to enjoy the things which my peers did enjoy like they led a very carefree life i was always uptight making sure that nothing goes wrong anywhere anytime as if.. if you dont ‘do’ something it will go wrong!!!…how can someone live like that? foreseeing each and everything and ‘planning’ and if some nasty thought arises u may tend to even prevent that…nonsense…but to unbelieve those random thoughts u need to ‘understand’ them as just ‘thoughts’

    actually u know what.. i am happy that i went through all these hell lot of crappy feelings…i got the biggest REALISATION of my noone can tell you whats wrong with your thinking neither can you find out for yourself…as i was always on the go with a tiring mind!!!…i used to get tired wherein my peers just do things randomly and they enjoy life..i used to get frustrated …never did i know what was wrong with me…

    i used to get upset easily and i take care of others the same way thinking they too will get affected if i behave that way…
    hence made my life a hell of tension !!!

    seriously i need to REWIRE my brain …this ‘thought virus’ actually affected me since a very long time untill it broke down the entire system..still i am not sad……!its time i learn a lesson..but its so difficult as all i know is analyse and worry..!

    when i want to do something dont know what all i take into account !!! which is not rquired at all making me indecisive, ineficient, scared and frustrated…and ultimatel self conscious..
    i have to get rid of this self consciousness which has made me unable to enjoy any situations..rather than making myself do everythign carefully…
    hell with it..

    i dont want any appreciation from anyone…i just want to get motivation frm myself and just focus on what i do…and ultimately peace…
    millions of thoughts run through my mind..even when i am aware(these days) that i am thinking i find it difficult to concentrate on what exactly i have to do..

    for people like me 1% of DP will do good becuse then i can tink only ‘what’ is required not being conscious ofthe surroundings…h
    each time i clear my mind..then begin making me believe what all i percieved is utter crap…i was so fed up last 2 days..hence these many confessions..i know the route but through habit i always tend to go the wrong way..!!!
    take care all of u my dear friends..!!!

  61. Caron Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Can anyone help me with a ‘thought’ that has come on?

    Last night I was analysing why I have anxiety like this and the thought popped into my mind that maybe it is my boyfriend causing it?
    It is silly becasue he is the love of my life, we live together (have never lived with anyone before) and hopefully will marry. Of course now I am just going over all his bad points and the bad points of our relationship and convincing myself I must split up with him or I will never get better!

    I know deep down this is silly and splitting up with him is the last thing I want to do but the thought is there!

    Please can someone give me some reassurance that it is anxiety playing tricks on me……


  62. Jen Says:

    Hi jess, you are so nice and supportive thank you.when you say a classroom of worries,do u stop dwelling on the word or thought and let it be there?i spend alot of time worrying what word or thought wil come in.i am most fearful of the thought staying with me for a long time.i will do what you said and understand its a process.its so hard not to be afraid of the day.thanks sound like you are doing realy well and from reading your posts before you seemed like you suffered alot.i hope i can be like you.jen x

  63. jess Says:

    yeah Jen i got myself into a bit of a puddle, and im not 100% yet but im getting there with just accepting these ridiculous thoughts… Now i remember at my worst jen i would have thoughts that scared the life outa me that hung around for days because i analysed them tried to work them out when i didn’t need to…. Jen just let the thoughts words be there invite them in because you need to teach ur mind that you are not afraid which you shouldnt be. Jen you can be like me… Just keep your routine and do not let anxiety get in your way…. as many people have said before you treat it like a bully it will treat you like a victim! Remember you are strong we all have the ability to recover from this, just trust in yourself jen…

    Ill keep in touch

    Your friend


  64. Caron Says:

    Jess, you really are an inspiration! x

  65. James Says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, isn’t intense D/P and D/R awful? The thing is, that it isn’t just the fear of going mad that I have. In addition, I get this truly horrendous feeling like there is this black hole in my head or something, with just a torturous feeling since. It really is hellish.

    I guess it’s just a mixture of anxiety and depression. It bothers me though as it seems too terrible to be normal.

  66. scarlet Says:

    Hi Leslie,

    “Just a quick question for Scarlet (if you’re around!). When you talk about how long it took you to recover, are you saying that you suffered for a while before you started to grasp what was going on and started recovering?

    Took me two years, the first year I walked around in the daze not believing that it was only anxiety/depression I had. Then I found online PND help, and then encountered Paul along the way who helped me enormously with the last few pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. The rest is history.

    “What I mean is, when you talk about how long it took you to recover, are you counting from the time that you first started suffering or from the point when you actually started to accept?”

    After hitting rock bottom, for me the time after that (i.e. climbing out of the pit) was recovery for me and this is what I refer to, although I can only see this in hindsight… whilst suffering I never realised I was recovering until around 90 percent or so.

  67. Leslie Says:

    Thanks so much for the replies, Scarlet and Caron. While you were recovering, did you ever have the feeling that it was wrong to move on after everything you’ve been through? I am truly doing sooo much better, but I still always feel like something’s stopping me from doing everything I normally did. It’s like I feel like I shouldn’t recover or something…..very weird. And did you struggle with just being able to put the whole behind you and move on from it… longer considering it something that was important anymore? Is this something that comes with time? Because sometimes I feel like it’s really not that important, and other times I obsess over it.

  68. Helen Says:

    I had exactly the same thing and it is horrible and it floored me completely for a while. The worst thing that you can do is analyse what it happening because part of anxiety, for me anyway, is wanting perfection so that nothing goes wrong. As we all know, no relationship is perfect and when you try and analyse, you will find things you don’t particularily like or that you feel could be improved on, this is fine when you aren’t suffering from anxiety but your body and mind are in a heightened state ready to jump on any slight fear or worry. With anxiety you feel like there is something you have got to ‘put right’ or change. “if I do this or that, it will get better”. You are probably thinking that obviously your partner is the problem and so to fix it or get better you need to leave him. This isn’t true Caron. Deep down you know that you do not want to leave him but anxiety has taken over and you can’t stop the ‘what if’s’. What you need to do is to not try and push these thoughts away, don’t try and rationalise what you are thinking and don’t analyse them. Go about your every day routine and carry on as normal. Let the thoughts do what they want, you don’t have to act on them and I promise you it will go. Anxiety picks on the things you fear most and, quite often, on the people you love most. How else will it survive? You will be absolutely fine x

  69. Caron Says:

    Thanks Helen,
    I know that splitting up with my boyfriend is just me thinking of a quick fix when in reality if i split up with him I would be devastated.
    I know I can get past this has have done it before but when you’re in the middle of it and everything is so scary its hard not to be impatient isnt it.

    Thank you to everyone on here though and to Paul, the support on here is so on the button as I have finally found people who understand and share my experiences which is a comfort in itself.

    I hope some of the things I have posted have also helped some of you.

    Keep Smiling
    Caron x

  70. Amanda Says:

    Hi James i was once told that your nerves can do really funny things to you, from someone who had suffered in the past so no matter how your feeling even if you dont hear somebody else having the same fears and feelings as yourself it is all anxiety i myself have weird and horrible feelings that i dont hear other people talking about and i used to question it, now no matter how bad i feel i just tell myself that its the anxiety its hard and sometimes i feel that bad i find it hard to cope but i know im going to better in time we just need to accept every feeling and every fear i have suffered alot of times with anxiety and really badly but i have always got better and i know now the way i have to go so i never let it blight my life again keep your chin up and know your not going to be like this forever

  71. Anon1986 Says:

    Hi everybody, this is my first post on here since i began suffering in february but really need to come on for some advice. I discovered this place in may and have slowly been recovering since, with plenty of ups and downs. Very recently I have felt almost back to normal. I went away last weekend with friends and felt no anxiety until i made a huge mistake. I have a girlfriend of almost 2 years but last weekend i ended up getting drunk and dancing with an older woman, who then kissed me for literally no more than 2 seconds. My girlfriend is the love of my life, and i have been crying knowing that this has happened. The problem is that the anxiety is taking over and it is telling me that it is a huge deal, when in reality, it could have been so much worse. Part of me wants to tell her but it would break her heart and I dont want to do that one bit, as I then think it is only a very small thing so is it worth telling anyway? And then i think, oh my god, i was doing so well and now i have done this, i feel like the time that i worried which was the onset of my anxiety in the first place!!

    Basically I just want help regarding how to ward off these feelings of regret, as they obviously seem ten times bigger with anxiety. I know something like this will never happen again as it has made me feel this way and it has just made me realise how much i love and care for her. Im finding it hard to use the “whatever” attitude because this time i’ve actually done something bad.

    Please help…

  72. Caron Says:

    Hi Leslie, I know what you mean about almost feeling guilty to forget about how awful things were? It’s like we have to remind ourselves of just how horrible it is! As you recover though you do just simply forget until you are not thinking about it all and it really does fade x

  73. Matt K Says:

    Hey Scarlet,

    I just read your post above and was curious what “PMD Help” is? I have been dealing with anxiety off and on for 19 years, but the past two have been pretty awful, up and down a lot. I have done some CBT therapy in the past, but I find the constant recording hard to do. I just started seeing a therapist today to keep working towards recovery. He has gone through this himself, so that is reassuring. He did say however that he still has uncomfortable levels of anxiety sometimes, but doesnt everyone? He just does not spin it anymore……He said allowing the symptoms and thoughts to just be there is very important. I get that message from Pauls book as well. How did you go about just allowing the anxiety to be there without freaking out about how you felt or if you will ever get better. I think I worry about never getting better and being like this forever, losing my job, not functioning, etc…… I’m working on trying to allow it, but when I sit at work and feel like I want to jump out of my skin, its hard to just say whatever….. Does that make sense?

  74. Sara Says:

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to say what an inspiration this site is and how much is it helping and reassuring me that I am not going mad and I can relate so much to what is posted on here, it’s such a relief to FINALLY discover I’m not the only one!!
    Helen and Caron I COMPLETLEY relate to what you are saying. I have had obsessive anxious thoughts for the last 8 years, suffered so much I just thought this was the way i was. I no idea what they were about until I had a breakdown last november. It was awful, I had become so consumed by one thought that I couldn’t get out of bed and literally thought I was losing my mind. I told my partner everything and he was completely understanding and supportive I went to the doctor, started CBT, anti depressants etc etc (i had had therapy the year before which although good didn’t really help to adjust my thinking) anyway, because I had no idea that my thoughts were anxiety based and adrenilin finding an outlet. I still continued to pay them too much attention and constantly analyse how I felt and what i was thinking. So one thought was replaced by another and I have had exactly the same experience as you regarding thoughts about my partner. Some mornings the thoughts would be going round and round my head like a mantra then i’d look at him and I couldn’t connect the thoughts to the person I was seeing which was in some way a relief. I also know deep down I do not want to leave him-in fact it’s the last thing I want to do, like you Caron I live with my boyfriend and am hoping that we can build a really strong future together. It is my anxiety finding an outlet as all the numerous obssessive thoughts I’ve had over the years were. Helen, thanks for your wise words about perfection too..I think this is something i have suffered with for a long time too. It is anxiety always seeking out the worst case senario and trying to almost find evidence for that one thought. It is tough though as there is always the niggling doubt in the background but the more I read this blog the more I realise that this is memories of the past and habit at work. We’ve just got to trust in ourselves and like Paul David says let our mind and body heal.
    Caron-we sound so similar! Sleep is a big issue for me i find myself waking up in the middle of the night and the thoughts beginnning, the constant monitoring of how I feel etc. In the morning I’m shattered and in fact was having a bad one until I started to write this today! I suppose all we can do is go with it, the butterflies etc and keep that little bit of hope above all that we will be ok and the knowledege that all it is is anxiety playing it’s tricks.
    Stay strong everyone and once again thanks to you all for sharing on here it really has been the turning point for me discovering this blog.
    Take care

  75. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Everybody – I love how positive this blog is and how helpful so many of you are! I’ve suffered with anxiety off and on my whole life. Was doing very well for many years, but through some ongoing stress and surgery earlier this year, began with the obsessive scary thoughts, anxiety, depression, etc. I think I am slowly beginning to get better, especially after reading Paul’s book, but notice the one area that is still hanging around is the depression. I think it’s from stress still ongoing and just exhaustion. I am hopeful that with continuing to accept and stop fighting it that this too will go away. Has anyone else experienced this and/or do you think that will help? Thanks!

  76. Caron Says:

    Hi Sara,

    Thanks for your blog – I agree we are so similar! you are right, we need to keep telling ourselves our thoughts are just our anxiety and excess adrenalin needing a release. My company has an EAP programme and I have contacted them, they rung me back this morning to discuss how am feeling and basically use the same methods as Paul about not paying attention to our thoughts or saying ‘whats that about – its jst a thought’ when they come along. He is going to set me up with some more telephone counselling so I can build on the techniques I am learning in Paul’s book.
    I am supposed to be going on an educational at work on the 10th Nov to Maurtitus. I know it sounds fab and I am sure you will think I am ungrateful for questioning it but I can’t decide if its a good idea – any suggestions?

  77. sara Says:

    Hi Caron,

    No problem! It is so hard to constantly remind yourself that it is anxiety and adrenalin that cause these thoughts but i’m of the belief that the more we do this the more of a habit it will become. I mean if we look at the fact many people on here have similar (if not the same!) thoughts and reactions to anxiety it does provide comfort to know that the thoughts are not real because so many people who have anxiety experience them too. That for me has been AMAZING and although I do have the doubts that can hit me really hard this knowledge does help and it’s something to hang on to when your’e really low.
    I think what we also need to try to do is not expect it to be a quick fix or something that will just go away overnight. It’s so frustrating and dissapointing at times but it is a matter of holding onto to that little voice that tells you that there is light at the end of the tunnel no matter how much the other thoughts and feelings get in the way.
    I too get really anxious about going away, especially for work, but i think if you want to go you should do and not let anxiety get in the way of what could be a really good experience. You might still get anxious but I think it’s all part and parcel of this thing, of living how you want your life to be and not let anxiety make decisions for you.
    Reading back on this I realise I am giving myself some advice here! It’s so hard to break those habits and like I said before I’ve had a particular rough few days but I’m also so pleased that I can also can also say that I now finally understand what’s been going on with me for so long!
    Anyway..I think if you want to Caron..go for it! It’s probably the fear of anxiety rearing it’s head that is holding you back and if it does you’ve got the knowledge now that that’s all it is and nothing to worry about!
    Good luck!

  78. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Caron,

    I know you directed your question to Sara, but I just had to chime in and say “Go for it!” You are learning the tools to help you face any situation. A big part of recovery is to go toward each new situation and not run from it. This will help you to gain confidence in yourself. You can do it!

  79. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    A friends mother passed away last week so I have had to take a break and help him sort things out.

    Plenty of new people around, sorry not everyone’s questions can be answered, there are just too many sometimes for those that do offer advice to help everyone. With the blog beeen mentioned in the book it does seem to get far more visitors, but hopefully it stays personal enough where people can fine some extra help and support. I will try and pop on from time to time and pass on some advice when I have a bit more time, I often get asked to build websites for friends and family and I am very busy with these at the minute. I will though post some stories of success in my next post.

  80. scarlet Says:

    Hey Matt,

    “I just read your post above and was curious what “PMD Help” is?”

    I had postnatal anxiety and depression, and the help I received was from a Post Natal Depression (PND) forum before I encountered Paul and his blog.

    “He did say however that he still has uncomfortable levels of anxiety sometimes, but doesnt everyone? He just does not spin it anymore”

    I personally don’t get any more uncomfortable levels of anxiety like your therapist said, perhaps I might get a pang or two before I fly, but it’s never at the stage it was in the early days, as I now put what I have learned into practice straight away,
    ie I don’t give an anxious emotional response to thoughts, I change my response to one of indifference, or a couldn’t care less response. So for eg. with flying, even before I had anxiety i could think myself into a bit of a panic just thinking about it. These days I think about the flight I’m about to make and if I feel myself getting a wee bit anxious, I change my internal dialogue from one of “Oh my Gawd………what if this?, what if that?” to one of “ya know what, whatever happens I’ll cope” and this in turn changes my emotional response. Works all the time now as well.

  81. sasha Says:

    Hi Scarlet

    as i said i’m with the very low mood phase for the past couple of days….it isnt anxiety …anything that catches my attention is of negative light and that drains my energy though i am aware of it just cudnt think otherwise..what cud i better do in such situations..? i am not avoiding anything..but whatever i do i am so hyperaware of my mood and that is not allowing me to get absorbed in anything or be in a neutral state of mind however i try to convince myself that its just thoughts …i feel thoughts seems to have more power on my mood status than me as a sad..!
    Pls help…

  82. yolande Says:

    Hiya Scarlet,

    Hope you are doing well. I just need some advice here – i recently started on a new job – been 5 mths into it and just last week i had a new boss in addition to the current one. the workload is creeping up and as usual i strted feeling anxious abt whether i cud cope. i wud difficulty in breathing sometimes but i do deep slow breathing to ease the tension. but more importantly whether all thess stress wud casue my anxiety to relapse??? this i confess, is what i am most afraid of. i tell myself that it’s just anxiety making me feel this way but i would like some advice if you can.

    It’s been a year since i hve anxiety and basically have come a long way since May this year – i still have some way to go before i hit full recovery.

    i just worry that maybe ppl with anxiety shdnt work in stressful jobs??? or is it how we manage stress that’s the issue?

    appreciate your advice or anyone’s for that matter.

    thanks so much

  83. Caron Says:

    Hi Scarlet, I totally know how you feel- even if you have something good to do you think “well I won’t enjoy it because these thoughts will be here”. I think you just have to try and be strong with yourself and say so what if they’re there – they can’t harm me and I will enjoy myself! Does that make sense ?

    I had a good day yesterday but then some awful thoughts came on in the afternoon, more like paranoia- has anyone ever had this? X

  84. Jen Says:

    Hi jess,ive been letting the words and thoughts in and not reacting.however my brain seems to get in the habit of having the word or thought in my head for this normal do u think when u start to let al thoughts can b scary at times!dont know when they wil go

  85. lorryt Says:

    hi all

    answer me this if anyone can, why at the moment even when my kids are getting told off are my nerves bad. i cant handle any raised voices makes me want to cry, although i am a bit vulnerable as last week losta very dear member of family very suddenly and we cant seemto adjust to the instant loss. it has taken its toll this week, as well as my hubby being out of work and extremely sensitive. am feeling really low lately and am finding it hard to keep on the positive side. i know for a while things were going really well and i felt and thought of nothingin particular and life was normal just cant help thinking that i want to get back to it again but the light at the end of the tunnel keeps moving. i am trying to lok forward and think of the good things in life but seem to all be tinged with sadness. dont mean to be negative but lost my way again a bit xxx

  86. candie Says:

    Hi Jen, repetitive words, images, thoughts, songs- i have had them all! Dont worry, the reason they are replaying is because you are worried why they are there that they play so often. As soon as you dont care if they are there you will still have them but fewer and fewer as time goes on, to the point of not monitoring your thoughts anymore and not noticing if words etc pop in. I remember having the word ‘scared’ stuck in my head for ages, drove me mad! Even when the fear goes they play a bit through habit but gradually taper off

  87. sally Says:

    Hi Lorryt
    Anxiety is a rollercoaster and we go up and down all the time{at least I do}.You are down at the moment and probably a bit depressed about your loss,a person without anxiety would feel sad at the loss of a family member.Don’t beat yourself up about how you feel reread Pauls book and I am sure you will be back on track before you know it.All the best Sally

  88. Matt K Says:

    Hey Scarlet,
    THanks for the quick reply. I’m trying just to go with the flow and not pay too much attention to how I am feeling. I am just feeling a little low because I am tired of suffering. I know that I need to change my attitude towards this anxiety or else I will continue to suffer. Being commited to recovery is a decision that we all have to make and until we are truly willing to feel the fear, the depression, the syptoms…..we will just keep spinning around and around. I’m ready to get off that merrygoround and stop feeling sorry for myself. It is what it is right now, allow it, accept it and move on. I appreciate all that you and Paul do on this site to help us out. Your comments and support are priceless!

  89. kat Says:

    Hi all,

    Looking for some support from any of you who may have experienced something similar. A few weeks ago, I posted on a different thread about a problem I am having involving a ‘setback’. The trouble is that I’m worried it’s more than a setback, at least as we anxiety-sufferers seem to know them. I mentioned that the trouble began when I had some problems in the intimacy department with my partner. I just wasn’t in the mood and it managed to manifest into a full-blown panic attack. I attributed this to how I felt in my previous relationship, eight years ago, and how the lack of connection caused that relationship to come to an end. Then, I met my new man, had eight years of total love and support and admiration, and in one fell swoop, panic, dread and constant anxiety. As he has been my greatest support in the last eight years, I am having the added trouble of not being able to express myself fully since the trouble seems to have to do with our relationship. Or, does it?

    I am very confused about all of this. I know that I love him, haven’t had any major relationship problems, but for some reason, the last three weeks have been horrid for me in terms of panic, anxiety and depression. Whenever I try to force myself to think of all the good things in our life together, including our daughter and home, I start to feel a rush of nasty adrenaline, which makes me think that all of these horrible sensations are indicating that I’m having an adverse reaction to him, which makes no logical sense to me at all.

    I have suffered anxiety/panic for ten years now, and I was making wonderful progress, and yet, this incident has really brought me round to the beginning, and I’m feeling absolutely flattened and saddened by this. How can I be a good partner or mother when all I’m doing is dwelling on this? Why do I keep thinking that this means my relationship is doomed? Where on earth did all of this come from?

    If anyone has gone through this, a loss of connection with loved ones, could you please let me know how to get through it? I am desperate to let go of these negative feelings, even though I know that logically I cannot force it. I just need some reassurance and perhaps some advice on how to cope.

    Much appreciated,


  90. candie Says:

    Kat, you have had an intrusive thought about something normally- its fine not to be in the ‘mood’ sometimes, it doesnt indicate anything wrong with your relationship. Whats happened is you have obsessed and scared yourself into thinking it means the worst- i did it lots of times with my loved ones! Then you obsess more, try to think of the good times, end up watching your emotions and trying to prove how you feel. This just made me feel numb towards the person, so in the end Scarlet told me to just allow the thoughts and feelings without trying to prove them stupid or rumernate over them.. i gave this a go and slowly over time the emotion i created trying to think my way out of the thoughts disipitated and i could see the thought was silly. If you give a thought attention, it will grow- it doesnt matter if you feel numb towards that person for a while now, your scary thoughts may make you feel it but just allow that too. The fact the idea of these thoughts been real upsets you shows that you deeply love and care for this person, just dont try to reason with the thought.

  91. Jen Says:

    Hi candie.thanx for your reply.i know you are right.its just the thoughts and words are so scary and im terrified they could stay with me.i usualy feel so guilty and awful and find i try to compensate by doing things for charity,buying things for my mum and dad,etc.i know im a good person but when the thoughts are there,i feel letting them in now and trying to live alongside them.ive had everything like you,words,songs it just a matter of letting them in and they become less important?

  92. Rebekka Says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Been having a really good week, managed to talk to my partner about what’s been going on and that really did help. I still havn’t told him about some of the frightening thoughts i get from time to time but i have decided to talk to a therapist about how to do that. I went to my first session of therapy the other day, it went really well and i think it will help me understand why i sometimes get scary thoughts etc (very expensive though) Going to have to cut back on the clothes shopping!
    Has anyone on here found that the thoughts come from an angry moment in the past which show in a state of anxiety? I personally think it doesn’t neccisarilly come from no where. for example when i was a teenager i got very angry with my father( for a good reason) and had one bad thought about him at the time then nothing for many years. However, when i hit my twenties and had a bad experience the scary thoughts came flooding in so i do think if one is not happy with something or is holding emotions in or going through an intrusive or bad experience the thoughts develop( a symptom of Anxiety) Can anyone relate to this?

    Hi Anon, Just had a read of your post. It sounds like because you are a big thinker and your mind tends to go over things alot, the experience you had has really left you worried. Personally i think however hard it is you should tell your partner about that night otherwise it will stay on your mind for a long while and may return in the future. If i was me i would like to know, small mistakes happen in life, and it sounds from what you have said that it was very small. If you get it off your chest and be honest you should feel alot better. Holding things in and keeping secrets will create an anxious person. Hope that helps and good luck. :0)

  93. sasha Says:

    Dear Lorryt,

    there are times when you will get into this low feeling..whatever ur mind gets hold on to will be of negative trait..that moment however hard we try we may not be able to find the positives in it as we know we are trying hard when negativity is coming naturally to us so we tend to think thats what we are…

    i hav gone through so many of them last couple of weeks after having so many good weeks..but then when i started thinking of issues or people that my mind brought into light may be partly its true or may not be..
    but for us its best not to dwell on anything negative which will tire us even further…

    we feel like reasoning all the time!.. like y do i have to undergo this? y did they do this to me? i am having such a bad time and so on…
    thoughts like this may float plenty but the moment you give them any attention then it just takes us down the down tahts why we feel we have reached the end of the tunnel but then we arent able to see the light…
    all we need is

    1 persistence…look forward for the good things to come..

    2 when u feel low dont pay attention to the thoughts which will drag u down…just get active and do things which will lighten u up

    3 however low u feel dont give the ‘feeling’ any power to withhold u from doing something…

    4 we need to rise up against our instincts. it will always suggest ‘u cannot make it’ when u r low. dont pay attention to this..

    5 execrcise or routine will also help u to move on in life when u get stuck..

    i am trying to find strength in myself whenever i feel low.. i dont want to depend on my dear ones for me to feel good as it will only lead me to rely on them always…

  94. sasha Says:

    Dear Jen

    all we need is practise …to practise how to get over low feeling by keeping ourselves occupied…dont feel bad for ourselves…because we may have irrational thoughts it doesnt mean we have to feel guilty it may be just because of situational pressure that thoughts of that nature pop has nothing to do with our own ‘self’ if we realise that thoughts are just ‘random’ and NOT REALITY!!!

    when guilty thoughts arise in our mind further pulling us down and making us behave as if we are ‘supposed’ to be overly good and caring ( it is good, but we dont have to do that thinking we are guilty)
    just replace them with the thought..they are just ‘thoughts’ i am always good and will only do good and in that direction u will be pulled and wont be in a desperate need to proove something…
    afterall we are just acting according to our thoughts we should pull the strings and it shouldnt be the other way..

    whenever i have gone through good days i come here and feel like writing what has helped me…and i too have those days like you all wherein i need assurances from you all…we will be able to get there like evryone around us for SURE …all we need is persistence and faith…
    and we have this wonderful place where we can always look for support and assurances…

    wishing u all a good day and week ahead…just be persistent never let anything put you down…!!! be strong and may be ‘fake it’ taht you are all well as scarlet said really helps you that way…read recently even when u r stressed out if u keep a smiling face rather than a frowning face part of the stress dissipates as its giving a positive signal to the brain…

  95. Jen Says:

    Hi candie,these thoughts and words are scaring me so much.dont know if i can handle them.they are there al the time and i keep associating them with scared i wont be able to be around my mum or anyone.they wont go to i deal with them.what if they stay forever.its so horibble.i just wana get a break from them.please can someone help

  96. Caron Says:

    Hi Jen,

    I know you addressed your post to Candie but I know exactly how you feel….

    When thoughts/fears are here all day everyday it is hard to think you can ever let them go. Thats what I am thinking now – how can I ever not think that and be scared of it? Its a cliche but I am hoping that when I start to ‘relax’ about the thought and take the whatever attotude then maybe it won’t freak me out as much.

    Does that help?

  97. Daphne Says:

    Hello Paul,
    I’m not a native speaker, so please excuse my mistakes.

    I suffer from Dp and anxiety for over a year now. I took ecstasy one time in my life and I was very worried after that if this had destroyed something in my head and I think all these worrying and my increasing self-awareness finally led into DP, because it started more than one month AFTER I took the Ecstasy pill.

    I found your site earlier, but had doubts about the promise that I can recover and didn’t trust the information. Also, though my DP and anxiety was drug induced, I thougt I mainly had to work with my childhood traumas, becaus I was severly depreciated by my partens and also physically maltreated. But I think now, I’ve done a lot on this subject and have to work with the habits that have built up secondary and prevent me from recovery. A few days ago I has a really bad panic attack and in my desparation I read this site again and decided to try what I read.

    I already feel better, though of course still not like being healthy at all. I had the main struggle with some obsessive thoughts caused by my DP like “Maybe I don’t really exist” and “How strange it is, that I’m always caught in my body” and bullshit like this and it helps a lot just to let these thoughts come and not to take them too serious.

    I still got a struggle, because my disorder started with DP and anxiety was only following (after I smoked weed after a half year when my DP was already better – bad idea – before I took ecstasy, weed, wich I smoekd from time to time, never did me any harm, but in my depersonalisated condition it led into the worst feeling of panic I can imagine) and I read everywhere DP ist in most times chronical – so I think “maybe I can overcome the anxiety, but never the DP”. But I try not to be impressed by this and cope with these pessimistic thoughts like I cope with the other frightening thoughts.

    Thank you very much for this site!

  98. lisa Says:

    jen i looked at my thoughts as though they were passengers on a train and i was the driver of that train. you can either be fearful of your thoughts (passengers) or just carry on driving your train which is learning to let the thoughts just flow in, pass by, which is accepting them, not fighting, battling, analysing, which then you become less n less fearful of them, your mind then realises your not frightened anymore, they slow down, still pop in from time to time then eventually leave you with normal everyday thoughts. nice post paul, i still look in from time to time but busy back at work now,christmas shopping all finished you know me lol :-)

  99. Jen Says:

    Hi girls.thanks for your realy trying but i feel like the fear is taking me over and i cant think of anything else.its the not thinking of anything else that scares me.i dont want to think this way.the train analogy is good.i wish i could just have someone put their arms around me and make it ok.i sound like a baby i know.

  100. Caron Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Please can you help me with my thought of the moment….

    I mentioned above about paranoia…has anyone ever had this? Its more thinking that EVERYONE knows about my anxiety and are waiting for me to just crumble. It feels a bit like The Truman Show!! Then I question everything like am i the only one who has ever had anxiety in the world, is this website real or just lies so really I am never gonna get better.

    Then I think to myself, gosh if I have paranoia does that mean I am gonna become a paranoid schizophrenic or something??

    I feel stupid writing this as know it sounds so ridiculous but when these thoughts pop in to my head I struggle with them!

    Please can someone offer me some reassurance or relate to that?

  101. Caron Says:

    Ps – I am know worrying that I have freaked you out! That wasn’t my intention xx

  102. LORRYT Says:

    Hi sasha

  103. LORRYT Says:

    sorry pressed enter to quickly !

    i know where you are coming from, and i totally understand, just sometimes need someone to help me through it. i know things like this happen to all of us and we all get throrugh just at the moment its hard to let thoughts pass.xx

  104. Sara Says:

    Hi Jen,

    Just reading your post made me want to reply to you as I can relate to those awful feelings of as if you’re losing your mind and feeling like you have nowhere to turn. But I can guarantee you as can everyone on this site that you are not alone. Don’t be scared by not thinking anything’s normal you have anxiety, there is nothing wrong with you. Allow yourself to feel the fear nothing bad is going to happen. There is nothing wrong with not being able to think anything but these horrible thoughts, I have been (and still am) in exactly the same place but with more understanding, time and patience I promise you will see these thoughts for what they are which is just anxiety finding itself an outlet. Don’t try to think your way out of it, let the thoughts be there and let them shout. There is nothing to be afraid of they are just thoughts and you don’t have to pay them any respect whatsover. It’s such a hard road recovery and anxiety is frightening and can grip you so hard sometimes, but with patience and time it will get easier. Remember these thoughts are just your tired mind, they don’t mean a thing. Promise. I hope this helps Jen. xx

    Kat and Candie, Have/had exactly the same thing.. I am finally learning that it is the fact of paying far too much attention to an intrusive thought which is driven by anxiety which led me down this road. Kat, I hope you are doing better and Candie thank you very much for your brilliant and so true advice xx

  105. Jen Says:

    Hi sara,thanks for your reply.i wish i could get a hug from all of you.i know it takes time but the fear is sometimes so big.if i could jus relax the thoughts might get easier.i feel like im suffering so uneccesarily.i am a person who is very compasionate and loving but dont feel that way alot.

  106. Caron Says:

    I hope I haven’t upset anyone with my comment earlier? x

  107. scarlet Says:


    Nope you won’t become paranoid schizophrenic with paranoid thoughts, they are part and parcel of anxiety. Like all other thoughts you must give an indifferent emotion when =a paranoid thought pops in and brush it off. eg. your thought that everyone knows you have anxiety and are waiting for you to crumble, let your internal dialogue say “so what, who cares what others think, let em think what they like” and obsess no more about the ins and outs of what others think. This takes practice but I promise you can do it with time….

    To think that you are living in a dream, or on the Harry Truman show, is also quite normal when suffering anxiety, again brush thoughts like these off. You are most certainly NOT alone, anxiety is extremely common. I have spoken to loads of people since I have recovered and you’d be surprised how many folks suffer in silence.

  108. candie Says:

    Caron i used to think like that all the time too, i did as Scarlet says and stopped caring if people new about my anxiety or not- looking back they never did and i couldnt care less now what anyone else thinks anyway! There is far worse things people can think of you and judge you for then anxiety, its thought 75% of the world will suffer at some point.. so most people wont be too quick to judge even if they did find out you had it.

    Jen, you are paying these thoughts way too much respect- exactly as i did. I would think intrusively about people, like awful things about them then feel anxious and guilty about it. Its only a thought, have a good look around this site about how to dismiss and accept anxiety thoughts.. i promise you some point in the future you wont care what you think about people at all, as it doesnt reflect your true feelings or thoughts.. as soon as i got to this stage i stopped testing myself with thoughts as i really didnt care about them anyway, so they went away

  109. Michelle Z Says:

    I get such an icy, hot cold feeling through my upper back and tops of my arms and it drives me crazy. Does anyone else feel this? I think it’s depression, but the therapist I was seeing said it sounds like anxiety. Thanks for your thoughts.

  110. Caron Says:

    Thanks guys xx

  111. kat Says:

    Thanks Candie and Sara.

    I have been totally levelled by this strange reaction I’m having and I have not been able to find much reassuring information about it. I can handle a panic attack when it has to do with most things, but the man I love? Where in the world did that come from?

    My last relationship ended three years after I started having panic attacks. I withdrew from him because he didn’t understand what I was dealing with, and I suppose that on some level I blamed him, even if I wasn’t doing so consciously. I never felt the way about him I did before the panic happened, wasn’t able to reclaim the old sentiment, so this time I panicked right away because I am desperate to keep this relationship intact. This man has been so supportive and loving, and there’s very little about him I don’t like, so you can see why I’m sinking, feeling like I’ll never be able to think about him the way I always did before. I immediately went into ‘oh oh!’ mode, and have been terrified for about three weeks as a result. I’m having trouble separating the ‘bluff’ thoughts from reality, at times believing that things have fallen apart, which makes me unbelievably depressed, as you can imagine.

    Thank you so much for your responses. This is the first time I’ve felt so alone in panic since it started ten years ago. I am actually upset with myself for not being able to control it like so many others are able to do. I worry that if I don’t get a handle on it soon, it will destroy my family. Very disheartening, and I’m really tired at the moment, but I hope things will get better soon.

    Thank you again.

  112. James Says:


    I have also taken ecstasy (although a lot more than once), and I have worried non-stop for years that my condition is due to damage from the drug.

    I still do worry about this from time to time, but from what I have learnt over the years, it is very unlikely. If you have only taken it once, then I can almost guarantee you have not done any significant harm.

    I do believe drugs can trigger anxiety, but I do not think we have done any serious harm to ourselves. We just have the same problem as everyone else here: a tired mind from worrying all day, every day.

    The belief that we have a permanent condition due to drugs is what causes the anxiety – NOT the drugs themselves.


  113. Caron Says:

    Hi Scarlet,

    Just checking – you mention the Harry Truman Show. I meant the film The Truman Show – are we talking about the same thing? I think so but wanted to be sure! Sorry to be a pain!

    How long have you been recovered now Scarlet?

    Hope everyone is feeling ok today? I have an appointment with my GP today, not sure whether to increase my paroxetine – any thoughts?


  114. scarlet Says:

    lol my mistake Caron, my brain elsewhere x

  115. Dave Says:

    ok im a regular visistor but rarely post. I have suffered on and off with anxiety and just as i thought i had made masssive steps it hits me. Recently split with a Gf which i have struggled with but been determeiend to make my life better.

    Suddenly 2 nigths ago on a night out i worried obsessivelyu someone had spiked my drink. I took this worry home with me even though i didnt feel ill at all. I worried so much about it that i have had panics 2 nights in a row. I know at this point the quick fix is to try and work it all out in my mind instead of juts accepting the ambiguity of the siutaion which is were the real cure to the anxiey lies. Its so hard though not to look for comfort !!

    Had to take a day off work today as felt so rubbish but want to get back as soon as possible but like all these things im not sleeping well as im thinking about the trigger in the night. Has anyone got any similar expereinces and how they dealt with them?

    My GP has been wicked and says this is a set back and encourgaed me to let it be and not invetsigate or ruminate to much but a tired mind, adrenalin, i found myself crying in bed with fustration of just not knowing and being fearful that my drink had been spiked. Even though this was now 48 hours after the event and i have been fine.

    I guess like most anxiety this is an issue of control that i have to get used to giving up. Very hard. Finding it hard with this set back !!

  116. Caron Says:

    ha ha, thanks Scarlet x

  117. simon Says:

    Hi,i had my 1st panic attack last july,now over more than a year,i had those anxiety symptoms of daily lightheadeness,palpitations.I have done alot of test and in and out of the doctors office appointments and they can find anything wrong at all,could this really be just anxiety or the doctors misdiagnosed something.If its anxiety,i cant believed i can actually feel lightheaded for a year now.sigh.

  118. Daphne Says:

    Hello James,
    thank you very much! I really think it was the constant worrying about and my feelings of guilt (how could I take drugs? there must be some kind of “punishment”) that finally brought me in this condition and it helps a lot to loose the doubts about this simple fact if you also tell me so. I was an anxious person before, though I haven’t had real panic attacs, so probably anxiety is really the main problem. For example I often worried about HIV without having had a real risk.

    As I felt after only a week a little ease I will go on to cope with the symptoms like I read it on this side. Most problems I still have in social situations, wenn I feel odd and anxious about what people might think about me. Although not really avoiding such situations (I knew before this is wrong) I was always trying to control the strange feelings and feelings of anxiety while holding a conversation. Now I understand that this is not possible and keeps the condition of DP and anxiety alive, and I changed my attitude and let the unconfortable feelings come. Yesterday I had already one moment of relief in a social situation (a very difficult one for me – with the parents of my boyfriend – I always worry about there opinion about me), just one moment, but I will be patient and not look out for quick full recovery.

    I told my therapist about this site and she said, that “this god man” seems to write some helpful things and I shall go on reading here :-) She will work with me on my self-confidence as this is another problem that is associated with my smptoms.


  119. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Just a quick post from me.

    I think a big shift comes when someone feels full of dread and wants to find a way not to feel this way, this can end up in feelings of failure, ruminating about how they feel, getting down about it, bewildered to someone who says ‘O.k I will live with these feelings of dread for a while, they arent that bad’ it truly is about seeing anxiety and all that comes with it in a different light.

    Daphne what you say below is totally the right way forward and the perfect attitude you need.

    Most problems I still have in social situations, wenn I feel odd and anxious about what people might think about me. Although not really avoiding such situations (I knew before this is wrong) I was always trying to control the strange feelings and feelings of anxiety while holding a conversation. Now I understand that this is not possible and keeps the condition of DP and anxiety alive, and I changed my attitude and let the unconfortable feelings come. Yesterday I had already one moment of relief in a social situation (a very difficult one for me – with the parents of my boyfriend – I always worry about there opinion about me), just one moment, but I will be patient and not look out for quick full recovery.

    You let the the uncomfortable feelings come, allowed them to be there without trying to ‘control’ and this is exactly what you should have done. Not only did you loosen your grip on yourself, you also no longer watch or care whats happening internally and then find it easier to follow a conversation, as before you were 90% on you and 10% on what the person was saying, then the switch is 90% on the conversation and 10% on yourself.

  120. SI Says:

    Paul pr Candie

    Wondered if this makes sence to you as I am now starting to get quite frustrated with it. I lack concentration and find it very difficult to remember things that are told to me and yet I have 2 very responcible jobs (of which I now believe I bluffed my way to getting) now of cause this is creating me more anxiety because I think I am not clever enough to get through this illnes.

    Last week I had a good week in which I did seem to brush off eveything I felt and to a degree I think I wasn’t bothered about my symptoms as much (still there but not thinking too deep) then all of a sudden the weekend came around and I started feeling low (very low) and when I get low I get dispondent and cry alot.

    How can I sustain these good feelings for a while longer as they seem to come and go quite alot but never have I felt good for more than a week at a time.

    Just one other thing, I just started working three shifts after a year of just doing days and afters which gave me a bit of a routine because I can be in bed for 10.30 most nights. but on nights I get home absoultly drained, but as soon as I hit the pillow thats is, anxiety kicks in, my mind races and races and then I have to get up, so 2 to 3 days with no sleep at all is not helping me.

    Oh and another for anyone……. do you notice when you are thinking, you are doing lots of things. this sounds stupid i know but wondered if anyone else gets this. I can be concentrating on something(ish), thinking worried thoughts and singing a song in my head all at once… Now surely this is not right, how am I supposed to get to grips with this if everything is going on!!!

    Hopeing for some answers


  121. James Says:

    Si that sounds so similar to me at work – unable to concentrate and feeling I have to blag my way through work. I constantly felt I was doing terribly and would be fired at any moment, but in actual fact it turned out I was doing ok. As long as it doesn’t cause you too much distress, keep going as the distraction of work is good for anxiety, and you will most likely do fine.

    I get that thing all the time where I am concentrating on something and worrying and singing a song in my head! Our minds are just in overdrive at the moment, and this is natural. I often find I am worrying about stuff without even really knowing it – it’s just going on in the background. We are holding onto so many worries, it’s like we are a computer with lots of programmes open at once. As a result we are sluggish in thinking, and confused with what is going on!

  122. Amanda Says:

    Hi just wanted some advice, i have been off work now for 7wks due to breaking down after suffering badly with anxiety for 2months at work i was trying to fight the anxiety because i thought this was the only way then i found pauls book and this site and now know where i went wrong and i am now putting these tools into practice and seeing a slight improvement, i still suffer with the agitation and lightheadeness thr dp and dr isnt as bad as when i first broke down my dilema is about when to get back to work i work as a community carer and it can be stressful the good thing is i am on the go and not tied to a desk wich i know i couldnt cope with having to sit still all day i am just worrying that i may be pushing myself to soon any advice would be appreciated thanks Amanda

  123. SI Says:

    @ James

    Thanks very much for that James, it does ease the pain to think it’s not just me. Yeh, people at work think I am fine but inside I sometimes feel so tense and stressed I wanna cry. However, the thing that I don’t understand (i suppose there is nothing to understand) is that I can feel anxious and stressed just listening to other people. I liken it to I actually feel so anxious and depressed that other people are going about life in such a way that I used too. Wouldn;t say I didn’t have a care in the world, but I didn’t have all the symptoms and lasck of sleep and constant battle with myself like I do now.

    Like I said, last week I had probably one of my best weeks for a year, actually didn’t get too caught up on my thoughts and so the feelings eased, the sleeping felt better and although I did have to push myself to do things once I was doing them I was ok (ish)

    I feel my major problem is that all the therapist’s I saw and I saw a few constantly tried to get me to work out why I was feeling like I did, telling me to look what changed that made me feel worse and tried to help me apply coping stratergies….. After reading Pauls book I honestly believe I was doing everything wrong, because I was doing all those things anyway… thinking thinking, working out, trying this and trying that… none of which helped. Yes I am alot better than I was when I first had my breakdown, but I realy hate the setbacks (they are such a dark place) and even thinking about setbacks brings on my sypmtoms – what hell.

    the mind, such a wonderfull thing hey :)

  124. kat Says:

    The thing I find unbearable is how I read something that reassures me, and then the next day, I’m a mess again!

    Clearly, the lessons are not getting through, and I feel awful admitting that. My latest pattern seems to be this: wake up feeling dread, drag myself off to work, come home feeling exhausted, feel the dread again upon entering the house to see my husband and child, withdraw because I’m on the verge of tears, mindlessly eat dinner, shower, try to talk to my husband about my feelings in a way he hasn’t heard before (which is hard since I seem to be feeling dread about him, and I know it isn’t fair), and then I fall into bed, on the verge of tears, wondering if my life is going to fall apart.

    To be clear, my husband has done nothing to me to merit the sudden adverse reaction I’m having. I do not understand where this is all coming from, and I wonder if it’s essential that I know. Is it more important to just try to cope with the feelings? I am soooo…sad, I guess is the word, because I was overwhelmingly in love with him for the past eight years, and to suddenly have my emotions seized by anxiety makes me very, very sad. All I want is to feel like I did before, and my thoughts keep coming in waves, things like ‘Oh, the love is over for good’ or ‘You probably don’t love him anymore and will never be happy’, and I feel supremely cheated, gutted even.

    He has been very supportive about all of this, and I’ve been as honest as possible because I trust that he’s wise enough to understand that I am really grappling here and not trying to hurt his feelings or make him feel insecure. He tells me that it’s okay, that he knows I love him and that this is just anxiety talking, but the trouble is that I don’t know anyone else who has gone through this, or at least, they’re not talking about it, and I’m really, really desperate to fix it.

    Thank you to those who have responded to me before. Like I said, I’m feeling like I’m repeating myself, but I suppose when you feel like this you just want someone to reassure you that things will be okay, in a way that you can actually believe.

    Believing has been very difficult for me, mainly because it’s been ten long years of emotional upheaval. Any suggestions you may have are welcome.


  125. SI Says:


    Sorry to admit but Yes!!! I too have the same feelings as you, but I think deep down this is because we are so aware of ourselves and that is robbing us of our enjoyment for life. One of my thoughts of which is not so much of an issue for me anymore is that would I be better off alone? I then look at my late grandfather who died over 17 years ago and who was single for much of his life (bit of a jack the lad I think) and wonder if I HAVE to be like him. I then take one look at my family and think…. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT, I have everything a man could want in life (which I don’t deserve – after an affair). Loving and such and understanding and patient wife, 3 fantastic healthy kids, nice house, nice cars, 2 good jobs ….. BUT why am I still depressed and anxious? WHY…. because I am stuck in my own little world, feeling sorry for myself for not being the person I once was. I want that person back (not the one that hurt his family) but the one that can go about life without questioning every SINGLE thing going on.

    If I am low, vertiaully everything causes tention and anxiousness, even sitting down at home, watching TV, reading a newspaper, looking at people and thinking why cant i be like them (HAPPY)

    Now is that normal, to feel anxious about anything – normal stuff?

    Well I will probably answer my own question here and say YES, anxiety and adrenalin is doing this to me, but when I am low, god it’s hard to pull out and when I do pull out I dread the next low mood coming

    Sorry if I have come across as negative, and if like me and your reading this then I’ve probably made you more anxious. SO I AM SORRY

    But…. I do believe that this method, when It actually clicks in is the only answer. The therapists just want you to keep searching for the answer, and like Paul said what answers?


  126. kat Says:


    You brought up something that struck me: you’re afraid you’ll be like your grandfather. For me, it was my grandmother, and as I was growing up, everyone in the family used to like to tease me about how much like her I was, that I was basically her in younger form. As you might have guessed, my grandmother was an extremely anxious person, often suffering ‘breakdowns’ and having to be taken care of because of her ‘delicate nature’. Now I feel like I’ve actually fulfilled the prophecy, existing rather than living, and inadvertantly sabotaging every positive relationship in my life due to self-obsession and a constant fixation on my emotions.

    I’m lucky to live in an age where this kind of thing is openly discussed, particularly in the age of internet where advice is nearly instant and from such a diverse group of people. My grandmother did not have that and died without ever really living, in my opinion. My greatest fear was to end up like she did, and somehow, despite all the therapy and best effort on my part, I don’t seem to be succeeding. Now that the ‘scary thoughts’ have come regarding my relationship, the one thing in my life I felt secure about, I feel like a cat trying to claw its way out of the bathtub.

    I think a lot of people have affairs due to anxiety. It’s a distraction from the horrible feelings, and sometimes people are so desperate for some kind of positive emotion that they act without thinking. It doesn’t make you a bad person, and if your wife has forgiven you then you need to forgive yourself, too. You’re human, and we’re all prone to a lapse of judgment when we’re down.

    I think you’re right about Paul’s method being the best, but as I seem to be the ‘slow kid in the class’, it’s really taking a while for it all to sink in.

  127. SI Says:


    Were both alike when it comes to “Slow kid in class” I feel exactly the same way…. seem to keep reading and re-reading, just waiting for it to click. Because I do belive this method is the best and people on her have proved it. I have read all sorts of self help stuff and have done nothing only remind myself I have an illness. This has become deeply engrained and now I have to live normal to become my old self.

    I try not to want to get the old me back too quickly because this causes more anxiety, but at my very lowest I can never see the end.

    Anyway, thanks for your reply and I am sure that the people on here that have been through this will hopefully shed a little more light on the matter.

    As for your grandmother and you, I think we have to look at it that maybe she wasn’t given the help and advise that we are getting on here, perhaps she was given the advise about searching for what was causing her anxiety?

    Searching doesn’t give us the peace we all want :)


  128. sasha Says:

    Hi Si

    I do agree with what James many thought arise in our mind at the same spot so it is naturally for our mind to get confused on which one to take upon and he said the computer gets slow if u open so many programs at the same time…

    i do get that especially when i am in social situations…like people who gel in wel with the surroundings i get a little confused as to how to interact ina large social gathering…..i do get reminded as in what to do next..:) sounds robotic..all anxiety bit…i just remind miyself thats its ALL ANXIETY…and dont pay any heed to that…anything and everything distracting myself to function normally i put it on anxiety and keep it on one side..then think what am i here for? to have a good time..i try to concentrate on one particular thing…maybe talking to a person..try to listen carefully what she is trying to say..and whatever nonsense thoughts arise in between i brush it aside saying its all anxiety playing tricks on me…

    i am able to picture myself what that person is saying and gettin more involved in their story not giving much attention to how i feel…
    this helped me rather than concentrating on what i am saying as it was such a pain i was just stressing on how i ‘appear’ to that person…
    i dont know if its making sense…

    Si each times we get back into old thinkng patterns thats when we get caught up…so take a break learn the new habits..think what have i to do now…may be to cook, got to work, which clother to wear, teach my child rather than encouraging thoughts like ”Oh I dont know if i’ll be able to cope at work, or why wear something good i dont feel like, oh i am tired”
    just dont give much attention to thoughts which drags u down..instead focus on positives..anyways i am feeling low!…its time i cheer life is a i…after years of hurting poor us…!so let me wear something good, njoy the food if am going to dine out, njoy the movie whatever…

    i dont know if i am making sense..this is how i felt better..whenever i feel crappy i dont listen to that(most of the times ok..still at times i do get stuck)…its like i feel sort of furiousness if i listen to that because all my life i was listening to all crap talks and behaved accordingly but when i started living the other way not listening to crappy thoughts but deciding what i’ll do to make me happy i feel thats making me more empowered on what i want rather that how i’ll cope if i felt bad…

    and now i have reached a stage wherein i am ok with new me..not really want to be my old self as i was too concerned about how others r feeling and almost taking care of them emotionally thats how i ended up like m happy to be a little more aware of what i want and what responsibilities should i meet for my family…i do it.. i dont crib neither do i encourage anyone’s complaint about me..
    i wish this is the final me..hope it doesnt evolve day by day..! Hmm

  129. Helen Says:

    Hi Si,
    I think it is inevitable that the ‘normal’ everyday stuff is scary. They were for me because I so wanted to feel like ‘normal’ people do (that is, people without anxiety). I wanted to be able to go shopping without thinking and obssessing, I wanted to watch TV and read a book but I couldn’t because I couldn’t own the situation I was in. Anxiety takes over and robs you of enjoyment in the smallest of things and the small everyday things in life are what are important.
    What I can also tell you is that it has got a million times better for me. I don’t questions and analyse things and when these scary thoughts come I let them and this works, it honestly works. By trying to avoid it or anticipating it in a negative way you feed it. By accepting any thoughts that come to you and just letting them flow they die out because your body doesn’t react to them in the same way.

    All the best

  130. Jen Says:

    Hi candie, thanks for your reply.i am paying them alot of respect but when they are there all the time,i do get scared.i think alot is habit?could i be it normal for the same thought r word to be there alot?especialy when i wake.what i want to know is it ok for these thoughts to be not reacting but im still thinking.will i think normally again

  131. Caron Says:

    Hi Guys,

    I am really disapointed as have had a good couple of days telling myself to just ‘be’ with how I feel and its not important!

    However this schizophrenia thought keeps rearing its ugly head! I know its my anxious thought process bringing it on and say its just a thought etc but then think ‘but what if’ and start googling the symptoms and then testing myself to see if i have them or am waiting for them to come on. If I here a funny noise I ask people around me if they heard it too to check its not in my head! I am even scared to watch the telly tonight as i know one of the symptoms is you think the telly is sending you secret messages etc!!

    I know I just need to let it be and accept it is just my anxious mind creating this thought but its the fear thats keeping it there. Another method I thought I could use would be to say’ so what if I am schizophrenic, I’m not dying so whatever’. Does anyone think this would be a good thing to do?

    Any help would be appreciated guys


  132. suranne Says:

    Oh Caron,

    I assure you that all this is perfectly, PEFECTLY normal when anxious. Why not try asking yourself ‘what if I get to be a lottery winner’ I can tell you now, that is about as useful, and untrue, as your schizophrenic question. Both are totally pointless questions, both are NOT reality and you have NOTHING to basis either question on. I had the same as you, lots of us do, but absolutely NOTHING happened to me, and it won’t happen to you, nor any if us who thought about schizophrenia, nor any other mystery ‘what if’ You either have it, or you don’t – simples. You on the otherhand, have ANXIETY, and that is what is causing you to adopt a behaviour, such as nerves about watching TV – just in case, this terrible illness should strike you.

    It isn’t easy to ignore the ‘mind chatter’ but that is ALL it is, we all get it, people without anxiety get it, it is part of life. The difference is, when anxious, it seems to take on a life of it’s own, and it is you who are giving it legs to run with! You can’t help being anxious, but you can help just not trying to justify or looking closely at these thoughts. I promise you, they are not reality. Also, what I can tell you, is after a bit, it dawns on you, that NONE of the terrible things you thought ‘may’ happen to you, happend.
    It is around that time, you will say to yourself, I am not going to keep playing this horrible game anymore. Then, you will feel some relief and gain some perspective.


    I wanted to say thank you so much for helping me when I was stuck in the mud a bit. I have not been on for a few days, was just trying to give myself a wee break from the subject – I hear what you are saying, and of course you make perfect sense. You know what this game is like, up one min, down the next – so thanks for being there when I needed a leg up.


  133. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Kat I will answer the below in stages and tell you were you are going wrong.

    KAT Says: The thing I find unbearable is how I read something that reassures me, and then the next day, I’m a mess again!

    The reassuarance makes you feel better as you view how you feel in a different way for a while, your mood lifts through a better understanding and you see a little light at the end of the tunnel. This is the same for everyone, but it does not last long as the return of symptoms has you thinking ‘Oh here we go again’ and then the mood goes dark again, we feel sorry for ourselves, understand that this will happen, don’t see it as unbearable. Anxiety loves you to hate it, to hide away, to feel sorry for yourself. You have to think ‘I am so emotionally and physically spent due to my anxiety, to feel this way is not nice, but normal in the circumstances’ whist you still hate/complain about the way you feel, you have not for one minute allowed yourself to feel this way.

    Clearly, the lessons are not getting through, and I feel awful admitting that. My latest pattern seems to be this: wake up feeling dread, drag myself off to work, come home feeling exhausted, feel the dread again upon entering the house to see my husband and child, withdraw because I’m on the verge of tears, mindlessly eat dinner, shower, try to talk to my husband about my feelings in a way he hasn’t heard before (which is hard since I seem to be feeling dread about him, and I know it isn’t fair), and then I fall into bed, on the verge of tears, wondering if my life is going to fall apart.

    You will wake and feel full of dread, this will not go overnight, you will come home and feel emotionless when eating your dinner, this is sending you to the verge of tears, you hate every minute, wonder why, go to bed questioning it all, wondering when it will ever end and rinse and repeat the day after. Again not for one minute have you allowed yourself to feel this way, you must allow yourself to feel dread, allow yourself to feel emotionless, don’t fill yourself with self pity or question why. You don’t have to plaster a smile on your face, just live alongside how you feel for the time being.

    Your mind and body needs a break from this onslaught of worry and self pity. I felt exactly the same as you and cried a few tears, but I accepted this was going to be part of me for a while and I just had to get on with my day, feeling awful or not, what my mind and body did not need was me constantly questioning it all, worrying about it, getting frustrated, filling myself with self pity. I felt emotionless and empty for a while after, felt the feelings of dread, but in time I began to feel emotions again, not as anxious, my mind was clearer. The only reason why is because my body had a break, a chance to regain its balance. If I had to go through it all again tomorrow i would know exactly what to do. i would wake and feel awful, full of dread, but understand I would feel this way, this was normal in the circumstances. I would come home and cook the tea on auto pilot, yes my mind is exhausted and I have just spent so much time on me, this will pass in time. I would then go to bed and feel empty, I would understand I am just running on empty at the moment and just shut my eyes and go to sleep, I would not feel sorry for myself or question the whole day. Trust me it is your desperation to get better that is holding you back here, you are putting so much extra pressure on yourself to feel better.

    To be clear, my husband has done nothing to me to merit the sudden adverse reaction I’m having. I do not understand where this is all coming from, and I wonder if it’s essential that I know. Is it more important to just try to cope with the feelings?

    Most people when they look back will see that there has been some worry’s or a build up of stress that had them feeling this way, but now you have so much more stress and worry and that is the worry and stress of how you are feeling, this is what keeps you in the cycle, nothing else. There is no need to cope with the feelings, just try to see them in a different light, I don’t mean you have to like the way you feel, but just give in to it.

    I am soooo…sad, I guess is the word, because I was overwhelmingly in love with him for the past eight years, and to suddenly have my emotions seized by anxiety makes me very, very sad. All I want is to feel like I did before, and my thoughts keep coming in waves, things like ‘Oh, the love is over for good’ or ‘You probably don’t love him anymore and will never be happy’, and I feel supremely cheated, gutted even.

    These thoughts are just anxiety based and you question because you cannot feel emotions anymore, these emotions come back in time and you will feel exactly the same love, trust me on that. Your body shuts down your emotions to cope with all the worry and stress, it was not built to take it all. Also all the self pity builds up and depletes you emotionally and you feel so down and empty, all this comes back in time.

    He has been very supportive about all of this, and I’ve been as honest as possible because I trust that he’s wise enough to understand that I am really grappling here and not trying to hurt his feelings or make him feel insecure. He tells me that it’s okay, that he knows I love him and that this is just anxiety talking, but the trouble is that I don’t know anyone else who has gone through this, or at least, they’re not talking about it, and I’m really, really desperate to fix it.

    You know hundreds of people who are going through this, how many are on here? Please don’t see yourself as a victim, you are going through what millions of others have. Many people know what field i work in and they then feel they can confined in me and tell me they once felt this way or their mother or brother suffers, it is very, very common. Your husband has a great outlook and says to you ‘It is just the anxiety talking’ and he is so right, you are still the same person, you are just buried under symptoms at the moment, the old you will return, but you must allow it to. DON’T be despeate to fix it, this is really holding you back, just live alongside how you feel for now, I put this statement in a post above and it is so true and try and let it be your new outlook

    You must make anxiety your friend in order for you “both” to live in peaceful harmony.

    Or your anxiety would say

    ‘Kat I am going to be around for a while, so we may aswell get on’

    So Kat please, just get up and what the day brings it brings, some maybe awful, some maybe better, but just roll with the punches, don’t feel the need to work it all out( this will just tire your mind further and have you on you even more), don’t feel the need to fix it (time will do that), don’t fill yourself with self pity (this drains you emotionally) don’t let it frustrate you so much(this just adds to your anxiety) just try and change your attitude towards how you feel and you will begin to see changes, lose the desperation to be better and be happy with progress, don’t demand to feel a certain way or look back and count the days to check how you are doing, give your body and mind as much space as it needs.

    I will say it again ‘I was stuck in exactly the same hole you are in now, I never moved forward until I changed my attitude and approach and did what I say above and I was worse than anyone i have ever helped’.


  134. candie Says:

    Kat, id just like to tell you i had the exact same thought about my partner- frightened me to bloody death! All the anxiety made me worry to the extent i was exhausted, i was looking at a photo of him one day and the thought just popped in that what if i dont love him anymore, ofcourse i should of then just done nothing about that thought (but i didnt know how anxiety works and effects our thoughts), i obsessed, cried, made myself very numb.. had panic attacks etc. It got to the point where i was so emotionally spent it felt very real to me and i felt nothing at all because i was so worked up, my point is when you trually dont care for someone anymore.. it doesnt arrise through anxiety, the fact your feeling fear shows its not true. No matter how real it seems to you, do what i did- say so what if it seems real, so what if i cant feel much at the minute.. learn yourself to be fine with it. It doesnt happen straight away, it can take weeks.. months to adopt fully. Anxiety has caused you to have an intrusive thought, you then followed the path of rumernation taking the thought seriously.. you dont have to beleive its not true to dismiss it. Dismissing isnt getting the contents of the thought right, its removing any negative emotional reaction through understanding. My way of understanding was to allow myself to feel that way knowing it was anxiety based, once i grasped this the thought went from my radar and over time i saw it was obsurd. Dont fight with the idea, give in to it- you dont have to prove you dont beleive its true, you have to be ok with your mind not allowing closure on this. I dont have this thought about my partner at all now, i totally learnt from this experience too… love is how much you care about someone and is unconditional. You dont have to feel it constantly.. so dont look at him searching for positive emotions.

  135. T Says:

    Hiii everyone, its T :)!I am sure some people remember me because I was a regular poster here from November 2009 to April. Those months were a pure hell to me. Everything started on 5th of November 2009 wirh panick attack an depersonalization and it was the worst time of my life. I haven’t posted here I think, since April. So let me tell you about what happened.
    During the winter I was absolutely awful as some of you might remember, I was posting here almost every day with new problem and new fear, couldn’t even get out of house, dropped out of college, I was in my own head 24/7, was looking at anxiety websites all day, dp, derealization, visits to ER for panick attack (when they had to give me an injection to calm me), the most weirdest, bizzare thoughts, feelings imaginable, went to psychiatrsit but it didnt help a lot, bought Pauls book which helped a lot. I realized I MUST CONTINUE my life NO MATTER WHAT. This is the thought that helped me and pushed me to go forward. There is no third way, You can keep living or you could die and OF COURSE none of us wants to die, it’s our worst fear, so the ONLY thing I can do is just KEEP LIVING my life the way I lived it before. Life, the reality ( had sooo many scary thought about this) haven’t changed, the only thing that changed were my thoughts. So that’s what I did.I kept living no matter how miserable , awful, scared I felt and I still hoped that one day I will be better. I started to take course in spanish language, took driving lessons, started going out a bit ( force myself to go actually), then I did the best thing I could have done and started to look for a job. In june I started working at the airport as a ground stewardess and at first it was tough and my first day was horrible and I was crying when I got home from work, was so anxious and felt so weird, but I didn’t want to give up so I stayed and it started to be amazing. I met so many great people, new friends, the job was interesting and my life became a lot more interesting and that got me out of my head. I even met a guy there I liked, and he liked me, so now HE was in my thoughts and head most of the time which was a great change:) I still had anxiety, weird thoughts, feeling sometimes, had a small panick attack at the job, but all that was happening less and less, and I remember one day thinking about everything that happened and the state I was in during the winter and I just couldn’t understand how could I ever felt that way and think that way, now that everything was so clear and back to normal! I remember, I realized I was better when it was the middle of July and 5th of July has passed an I didn’t even think that it was 7 months since I started suffering. (because when I was at the my worst, every 5 th of month I would calculate how many months I was suffering )and when 5-th of July has come and passed and I didn’t even think about “monthly anxiety anniversarY” I knew I was better. And I knew I was better when one day I woke up and was feeling kinda down and tired but I didn’t question it why I felt that way, I just let it be, and tommorow I was in good spirits again!:) I think this will show to all of you that feel very bad right now ,that things CAN an Do get better, trust me, I feared I am the worst and that I will never, ever be better but deep down I did always have just a little bit of hope that things will work out for me.
    Well, now I must be negative again because, since first of november I don’t work there anymore because that was just a job during the summer and season, from june to november, my contract expired. And now, here I am, again, it’s November, its cold, dark at 5 o clock, I don’t have anything to do and the worst thing is that ALL the memories from last year are now haunting me more than ever and I just keep thinking and reminiscing about all that happened and that makes me so scared that I will surely slip again in that dark hole and place I was one year ago. I just want to let you all know how I was doing ( in case anyone was wondering, lol) , to let other people know that life goes on and there is a Sun after the rain, and, I guess to find a bit of reasurrence and advice what to do now when I am feeling like this when the memories are so hard and strong, they are making me feel a bit panicky and worried… big hug to all of you brave and amazing people, you are not alone:) and I hope I get some feedback!

  136. Patrick Says:

    Hey everybody, my name is Patrick, I’ve been following the blog for almost 2 years and I have recovered a lot since I first started. This is my first post. I have a question to everyone who has tried inositol. I recently started using it and had great results, however, one of the negative effects it had on me was that it caused sleeplessness. I did have the possitive effect of REM sleep, however, I would wake up several times per night. I did some research and found that a few other people had experienced the same thing (although most people report positive effects on their sleep from inositol). I’m just wondering if anyone else has experienced this? I only used it for two weeks and then stopped. Does it get better after 3-4 weeks? Is there a natural supplement that “keeps you asleep” when taking inositol? Like I said, I had great results using it which is why I would like to keep using it. While taking it I only had one pill of 500mg/day. I will try the 250mg ones and see if they have a milder effect on sleep. Please let me know if you have any ideas.


  137. Hawkeye Says:

    Kat just so you know you are not alone this was one of my major obessions and has now gone as I have found something else to obsess over. Just shows what a bluff it all is. Anxiety trys to get you in many ways. Have a so what attitude and things start to improve. If a thought about your husband enters your head say ‘thanks for coming stay as long as you want I don’t care’. Do not give it the time of day it is only there because you gave it attention in the first place. IT IS NOT TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!!! Your mind does not know fact from fiction it only reacts to what you are sending it. You do not need to question it analyze it or do what ever. Thank it for coming and carry on. So what if you feel yucky for awhile your mind is tired this is expected. IT will pass give it time though.

  138. kat Says:

    Thank you so much, Paul, candie and Hawkeye. I have been in such a state over this and was frantically trying to figure it out, only to find very little information anywhere on the web about this particular symptom, as it were. Your experience, advice and support are truly appreciated. I would have to attribute most of my worry to the fact that my last relationship never recovered from this, and I began to think that this relationship, which is far more important to me, would not survive either. Thank you for giving me the information, which also gives me hope, to carry on. I will do my best to work with what you’ve given me to help me get back on my feet.

    Paul, your site and blog are a necessity to anyone dealing with panic/anxiety disorder. It’s always such a comfort to come here, knowing intuitively that you are here, doing what you do, with nothing more on your agenda than helping others to free themselves of the ravages of anxiety. I admire you for your strength, courage and generosity. You’re one of a kind and I thank you wholeheartedly.

  139. hawkeye Says:

    I found a lot of information on ROCD a type of relationship OCD. ‘Do I love him do I not. It was reassuring to know that is was quite common and Claire Weekes even mentions it in her book. Don’t let the OCD label scare you though it is all anxiety that is all. Also I did not find the forums on this at all helpful as they just told stories. The information from people who had recovered from this use the same methods PAUl uses. It does not matter what your obsession is it all needs to be treated the same. With the right attitude you will come through this. I had done the same in all my relationships to but with my husband now I was determined not to let it ruin what we have. I see it for what it is not just my tired mind tricking me. Searching for information on it is not helpful trust in Paul, Candie and I when we say you can move through it. Think forwards and that is where you will go.

  140. Jane Says:

    Hi. I’ve just found this blog after reading the main articles. Like many of you I have had this anxiety thing for, I think, around 8 years but didn’t know that’s what I have. I imagined I have every ailment under the sun and have found the symptom checker and I just about tick every box. I just need to know if this tummy lurching feeling is all part of it? It stops me going to sleep, it’s the first thing that happens when I wake and just comes on spontaneously, lasts for a couple of seconds and may happen again and again or may stop.

  141. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Kat helping people gives me massive satisfaction and you know the biggest motivation ‘I would have give my right arm for someone to help and guide me all those years ago, I felt so alone, lost and so dreadful’ and I truly don’t want anyone to go through what I did, the sooner they have some information and understanding, the sooner they can begin to turn their life around. I am also just one of many who now advise on here, people like Scarlet, Candie, Diana and others do it for no gain, but just to help others. These people are vital to keep the blog going as with the growth it is too big for one person to try and help everyone.

  142. ian Says:

    Hi there. I am struggling with my thoughts and don’t know what to do. Every thought seems to frighten me. It is like any normal thought or action – from ‘shall I get up now’ to ‘what is going to happen to my job’ – absolutely anything seems to send me into a downward spiral of inward thinking, my mind just turns in and races and all sorts of thoughts come, incessantly, they may be around the ‘trigger’ thought or just subsequent thoughts, memories, images, dreams. I seem obsessed by all this, I really find it hard to actually do anything. It’s hard to get out of bed, it’s hard to drive down the road. I’m trying to talk to people with all this going on, the thoughts seemingly demanding my attention. Some of the thoughts are quite weird like I am deliberately trying to frighten myself – but it all seems so out of control. I barely sleep with all this going on through the night (haven’t done properly for months). It’s really frightening. I’ve posted before but I really can’t get my head around it (well I can’t seem to think properly at all). It is like the inward thinking that is the killer but I’m can’t resolve what thoughts to ‘allow’, it’s not like a repetitive obsessive thought I could say I was frightened of, it’s more like all thoughts at once and the obsession is with all of them – surely allowing this is the problem – allowing myself to obsess about every thought, thinking incessantly about my anxiety. Some thoughts are ‘real’ – like concern about my job, some are just silly, but I can’t get any perspective on what to do with any of them as they all seem to lead me down to this inward thinking, I am so tired I can’t seem to grasp anything. I can’t understand what I am to accept – if I follow the inward thinking (which is what frightens me most) then it’s just that, I spend my whole date focussing on every thought I have fearfully. Sometimes I might latch onto a thought to ‘allow’ it but it’s not that any particular thought is the problem it feels like the obsession with examining every single thought I may have is the problem and trying to figure out what to do, how to cope. I find it really difficult to engage in anything to distract myself – perhaps, as just now, I can concentrate enough to pull through a meeting, with the thoughts still inward and frightening, but frankly am frightened of what happens next, when the vague distraction has gone and I go deeper into this. I spend my day looking for moments away from people/distraction to try and figure out what the hell is going on and how I can make it through. How can I accept this sort of inward thinking when it is the problem itself and I can’t seem to actually function in any meaningful way with it there? I get extremely angry and desperate, as there seems no escape. ‘Just ignore the mind chatter’ just doesn’t seem to add up to what I am experiencing. I guess I just don’t know what to ‘accept’ and still be able to function. How can I allow myself to feel this way? Hope this makes sense (?) to someone. Sorry for the negative post but I feel I have tried everything for the last 2 months and am just so exhausted.

  143. Caron Says:

    Hi jane, the stomach churning is definitely a symptom of anxiety – and not a nice one! I have it for most of the time and wake early with it. It’s nothing to worry about but I know it’s uncomfortable. Hope this helpsx

  144. Jane Says:

    Hi Caron. Thank you so much for replying and I feel better that I’m not the only one experiencing this. I had no idea that so many people experience this awful anxiety and having read all these comments I feel for each and every one of you. x

  145. natalie Says:

    hi guys

    Bad Day !!!! have been reading some of your messages and can totally connect esp about partners and kids x have gone back to work this week having had a few good weeks and started well .. then today started to feel vunerable and hey presto lol then picked the boys up crying and someone being mean to one of them and started to think i was a bad mum.. which lead to an arguement with my husband. but i just got in had a bath let the boys go on there games .. left my hubby to chill out and come one here to share. i still feel crap but what can i do .. just have to accept that moving forward will be challenging and keep putting one foot in front of the other. but still feel like crying x thanks to paul i know that i just have to accept this have a cry and get on with my day . only time and hope will see me through this bad day xxx

  146. Helen Says:

    Hi Natalie,
    Bad days make the good ones even better x

  147. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    So true Helen :)

  148. ruth Says:

    hi Natalie

    I think you are doing so well going back to work.I remember your earlier posts with fear and confusion about going back to work and now look what you have achieved.this is another step of your recovery you have got to continue with the acceptance of sometimes horrible spaced out days that is so necessary with anxiety recovery.I hope that you will start having more good days.

  149. Helen Says:

    Hi Ian,
    You are trying to work out your anxiety, which thoughts to allow, why you are constantly inwardly thinking and this is causing the problem, it is making you more tired and you are draining your body and mind even further and you are in a vicious circle. It is made harder as some of your thinking is about ‘real’ problems like work so it gives you the idea that there can be some truth behind what you are thinking so you are trying to seperate what you think may be anxiety and what could be ‘real’ worries (I hope this makes sense). Because you are frightened you are looking for distractions in the wrong way. Yes, you need to keep busy but not for the sole reason of trying not to think. You need to allow your thoughts to come to you and not be frightened of what they mean, why won’t they stop, how can I allow myself to feel like this? The more you try and push them away, the more they will come at you with force.
    In your post you say that you find it difficult to drive down the road, to engage in conversation, to do your job but do you not see what a positive thing it is that you are doing these things. Carry on doing them but try not to analyse the your inward thinking, don’t rationalise why you are worried or having obsessive thoughts. You are on your way to recovery Ian, don’t put pressure on yourself.
    I have been through exactly the same thing and I honestly thought I would never get through it and I have and so will you. Accept that anxiety will be around for a while and don’t try and push it away, it will leave you but only if you leave it alone.

    Best wishes

  150. yolande Says:


    Does anyone ever feel that weekends are difficult to get thru? When i am at work mon-fri i can function – work is v busy but at least i dont reuminate. once weekend starts, then BAM all sort of thoughts come in. i have come to dread the weekend. i try to find things to keep myself occupied but it’s hard – as before when i get anxiety i wud just use the weekend to relax.

    now i find i cant do this anymore at this stage when i am recovering from anxieyt.

    T, i can relate to you. i think the one thing that has helped me is going back to work and finding a job that i like as well as the company and its staff. work helps. it keeps you from thinking too much and also helps cos it forces you to mix with ppl. i think you shd find another job soon – and i know that you will be ok. you have come so far! I know i have altho i do backslide once in a while.

    =====> Scarlet, i posted a question a while back and i hope you can advise me. lately i am fearful that stress at my work place would bring back some if not all of my anxiety symptoms. i KNOW this is anxiety talking but i cant help but fear it . any advice that you can share will be appreciated. i still get low moods but am learning (not always successfully) to accept them.

    anyone’s advice is also appreciated.

  151. Nick Says:

    Hi anybody got any views/ reviews on using st Johns wort, 5htp, or any other natural products? I am sure anti depressants are actually contributing to some depression. I just don’t think they work for some people, currently taking tricyclic AD after starting Prozac previously I went bananas! But unfortunatly I don’t really get any benefit from these apart from sleep. Currently using b- complex vitamin supplement and high strengh omega3, but any advice on any other natural products would be great. Could be an interesting post as would be great to find out what products help and is it just me or are anti depressants just rubbish and compound problems and symptoms more. Or is there a tablet out there that to suit someone. Weird also when you tell the doctor this he looks at me amazed like I should be great using these tablets! No win situation sometimes even making a doctors appointment. Take care everybody

  152. yolande Says:


    You said “Ifind it really difficult to engage in anything to distract myself –”

    I had and am still having this problem too. Just have no interest in finding things to engage in anything to distract me.

    let me share my experiences with you. when i first had anxiety last year, i struggled thru work -i dont like my office or my work there but i forced myself to lunch with my colleagues, to talk to them at work. it feels like shite in the beginning but slowly very slowly i can see some improvements- actually only realised it months down the road. you never actually realise that you are improviing at that moment, it’s always later that you see it. I have since left that job into a new job which I really love but which is getting stressful. so i am now having negative thoughts abt my work lately it’s “what if stress drives me back to anxiety’, ‘what if my colleagues can sense something wrong with me’. sometimes i can say ‘so what??” sometimes i cant.

    What Helen has said above makes a lot of sense. it’s not abt distracting yourself so you STOP thinking, it’s to let THEM IN but not take them further. not easy to do, i am tell you – am still learning.

    what i want to say is keep doing what you are doing now at work, cos honestly it will get better.

  153. jess Says:

    Great reply to Ian…. You are exactly right!

    really listen to what helen has to say, she is spot on! There’s nothing i need to add, the fact that you are living life, and trying to ignore the obsessive thinking is the way forward ( give yourself a great pat on the back). Remember Ian, it took us a long time to fall into this hole, it WILL take a while to climb out of it. Be patient.

    Ian when i was at my worst i was intune with every horrible thought that went through my brain, every second of the day was a struggle as i was petrified of what i was thinking. But Ian, i am living proof that we can recover, im 99% of the way there and it was with Paul’s method. Ian what you have to do is realise that its not the thoughts that are the problem, it is our reaction to the thoughts…. Try and invite these thoughts in.. As i have said before on this blog i created a classroom of worries in my head… I invited them all in, and when i got a really bad one i used to say “well anxiety come you and sit at the front of the class” and when i got a really BAD one ” it had to come up and write on the board” do you see what i was doing here? I was teaching my mind that I am not afraid of this thought, that i do not have to work it out, and that i am in control.

    Ian, if we get down to the anatomy & physiology of anxiety, you body at the moment is in the fight & flight state, during fight & flight are body is full of adrenalin (which causes a sensitized state). It is the adrenalin that causes the racing mind, what you need to do is try and reduce these levels of adrenalin and give your mind a break, every little time you give your mind a break it can start to repair itself. Remember the human body is a magnificant healer. Also the fact that we are in this state we are telling our bodies we are afraid of something we should’nt be afraid of, you need to re-train your brain, to tell it you are not afraid and this is what i mean when i say change the reaction to the thoughts. Ian i have been where you are, and it is absolutely horrible, but i done what paul teaches on this blog, and now i am reeping the benefits!

    Ian remember you are not ALONE! and recovery is possible… It has taken me 6 months to get to the point where i am at now, and you will be able to get here too, just be patient and try the methods that have been suggested.

    Take Care


    P.s. Nice to see you rach on this blog ( hawkeye ) hope you are well xx

  154. Andre Says:

    Hello T!
    I remember You very well, as You said You were posting every day, sometimes even more than once. :) I’m very glad You have come so far in such a short period of time, because i think from where you were a year ago and what You have achieved during this year is amazing. This is normal T, from time to time to embers the past sufferings, especially if you have suffered enormously one year ago, but as with time flow this will be just memory without any emotion, nothing more. I have so many episodes of this kind, but i’ve come trough every time, with the same attitude, so please do not engage into a mental battle once again, let the feelings, emotions, thoughts to flow, but not get ruminating about them. There will come much better days and with every episode you will become much stronger.

  155. hawkeye Says:

    Just wondering guys, I am chugging along on the upper end of a bad setback. However the thoughts still lurk. I am not adding as much second fear now, it sometimes catches me out but I mainly get the first rush of fear and move on. I have been having some good days but just wondered how or when the thoughts go.

    People say that they come through setbacks and the thoughts fade. Mine don’t seem too but my reaction to them does. I know I am still worried that they are there. But it just seems like I get to a point and the thoughts are still there. Then eventually I dive back into another setback.

    I just remember when I was younger and I obsessively thought about my parents dying when I came out of a setback the thoughts went and of course later they did come back but they went for a long time.

    Now they lessen but just lurk. Not sure what I am trying to say here. I have had moments when I am really engaged and they are gone but its like I mentally check back in. or they just pop back up. I am not giving them attention but they still pop back up.

    Thanks for any advice guys. I know the content doesn’t matter now.

  156. hawkeye Says:

    hope I made sense

  157. Ian Says:

    Thanks for the responses people, to a very negative and rambling post – so appreciated. I will try to move forward with what you say. It is such a lonely place anxiety, and I guess a cliche but suffers I think feel that what they have is ‘special’ to them. Managed 6 hours uninterrupted sleep last night so that’s a good thing – at work now and ready to go on (without looking here every hour or so hopefully!)

    I have experienced these really bad ‘breakdown’ episodes with my anxiety perhaps 3 times in my life before, once having to give up my job, and after a long period with little anxiety I understand that this is just making me more desperate right now, I so don’t want to live like this forever (and a lot my my thoughts/memories at present are around other periods of feeling like this). I can see that this is just adding to the ‘what they mean, why won’t they stop, how can I allow myself to feel like this’ scenario.


  158. candie Says:

    Hi T Glad to see your ok, i think the memory of suffering is last to go, you have to not care if it comes back because you know its not permanant and you can cope and accept it. This past month iv seen major improvements with my anxiety, i just know now any of the symptoms can come and i really just dont care! Paul once said you are recovered when you no longer care about the symptoms, my thought back then to that was ‘how can that be, these awful thoughts and feelings are sitll there’. Now i see clearly as they are no longer scary awful thoughts or feelings to me, just symptoms. I think for me it took me so long to recover as i was over looking what i was told here, thinking these people dont understand how bad my anxiety is- thinking i was unique! Ofcourse i can see now i never was, and i suppose now im in the same position as those recovered… im no longer scared to experience any of it. I think when you get to that stage it slips from your mental radar and you move on

  159. SI Says:


    Having read your post I totally understand where you are coming from. Every thing scares me to a degree. The most stupid of things!

    BUT…… Having read the responces, It all makes sence, still very hard to put into practice and I supose that’s what’s frustrating me and again making me more anxious.

    I admire the people that have got through this and are giving out so much vital info for us sufferers.

    I don’t think it’s a bad idea to keep popping on here when you feel down, cos now I feel that little bit better knowing that I am in recovery.

    What Helen wrote realy struck me….. My mind is very negative, but what she said about, you driving, going to work ect is a possitive and the road to recovery. I can never seem to find anything negative in myself… WHY? because I know I am searching to be the person I was. Instead of just letting things be I am constantly thinking of things to destract me, things to make me better, when what I should be doing is JUST DOING.

    Can Helen or anyone help or relate to this… My mood is that low that I have to push to do everything, from getting out of bed, to eating, going to work, playing with the kids ect. I get so many moments when I actually am LIVING without the thoughts but then suddenly I am aware again and feel deflated, what I try to do is push again but by this time my mood has changed again?

    Hope it makes sence?


  160. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Very good advice Helen and from someone who has totally got it and come through. When people come on and say what got them through, it was not unique to them, all our body’s work the same, it is their approach that was different to the one who still finds themselves stuck in a rut.

    What people sometimes mean when they say ‘I don’t get it yet, this is not working for me’ it means they have not unravelled the answer to make it all go away and it is never about that.

    Someone also mentioned ‘Paul’s method’ it is not really a method, it is how your mind and body works and responds. If you analyse the hell out of your anxiety, analyse why you think a certain way, analyse your thoughts, go round and round in your mind looking for answers of course you will sink deeper, as you will tire your mind out further, making it feel more and more clogged up, it will feel more and more dull and unresponsive, more and more fatiqued. If you keep analysing the way you think, how you feel, how you were yesterday, of course you will feel more and more detached, more and more self aware, more and more trapped in your own mind, it makes sense, it’s not a method, it’s how your mind and body works.

    One lady sent me an email and said ‘Paul everything was racing away today, the thoughts, internal fears, I felt detached and very self aware, but today I did not question, I did not try and fix it, I just went with all the craziness and felt a little peace, you are so right and I have learnt I don’t have to analyse the hell out of this anymore’. That same women is now fully recovered. It took her sometime, but she had finally understood and went through it all, not trying to jump over or walk around it, she went straight through it, felt everything at will and just went about her day, sometimes she said it was hellish, but she kept going, however she felt. It is when the feeling good or bad loses it’s importance that we really start to move forward.

  161. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Simon do what you say below.

    My mind is very negative, but what she said about, you driving, going to work ect is a possitive and the road to recovery. I can never seem to find anything negative in myself… WHY? because I know I am searching to be the person I was. Instead of just letting things be I am constantly thinking of things to destract me, things to make me better, when what I should be doing is JUST DOING.

  162. SI Says:


    Sorry this was meant to say

    My mind is very negative, but what she said about, you driving, going to work ect is a possitive and the road to recovery. I can never seem to find anything POSSITIVE (not negative) in myself… WHY? because I know I am searching to be the person I was. Instead of just letting things be I am constantly thinking of things to destract me, things to make me better, when what I should be doing is JUST DOING.

    Didn’t want to confuse you as much as I have myself. But does the advise I have given myself still count :)

    Thanks Pal

  163. Matt K. Says:

    Hey Everyone,

    I have struggled with this anxiety off and on for 19 years. Some years have been good, some bad. Mine also began like Paul’s. I dabbled in some drugs and one day had a bad experience with it. From that point on, I havent used drugs, but I became super sensitive to any type of anxiety feeling. Constantly worried that I permantely damaged myself that night or that I need to rid myself of this feeling. Basically being trapped in a vicious cycle of monitoring, wanting to get rid or and worrying about how I feel. I can see now that even in the good years, I avoided places that would bring the feelings. So I have built up many avoidance behaviours and saftey behaviours over the years. I have gone to numerous counselors and also have tryed many types of “cures”. I currently am in counseling with somone who has recovered from this anxiety for almost 17 years. We have been working with my thoughts and following them through to the worst case scenario, almost like an exposure with the thoughts. For example one of my fears is going crazy…so we followed that thought through to the end and it came to me being locked up in a Psch ward being strapped down and drugged up, loosing my wife and kids and basically being shunned from the family. A funny thing happened once I got to this point in our discussion….Something inside me actually started defending myself, some positive thoughts came out like…..Even I my worst, I have been able to function, you cant go crazy from anxiety, I can do this with patience and time…….It was almost like I was starting to convince myself and developing some belief in the process of recovery. The next exposure thougt was I cant handle this life! My instant reaction to this inside when he said it was “Hell, yeah I can handle this!”

  164. Matt K. Says:

    Sorry, I hit enter to fast.

    Long story short…..Belief in the process is something that does not come to me or probably many of us with ease, but it is essential I think to recover. If we keep doubting and fighting with the process, we will never get anywhere. I think we must work on our belief and faith that this is a road to recovery. We are no different that Paul, Scarlet or anyone else who has recovered. We just need to have faith and belief that we can as well.

  165. Jen Says:

    Dear Candie,

    I would really appreciate if you could advise me. I am still absolutly terified of the thoughts and words in my head. I am doing everything normally (I think) but my head feels like sometimes it will explode. Is it normal for the thoughts/words to be there alot of the time-like racing and going over and over again. Thats what scares me the most is the racing aspect. I get very frustrated at times. I am not sure how to begin to break this habit and want to be able to dismiss these. But everytime they come in they just race again so its hard to dismiss them. They are such awful words and thoughts that are hard to ignore. Im mind is so tired at the moment, I have lost s much weight and am very thin alredy. I want to be healthy but I need to know where to start. If these thoughts come in do I let them race and shout? When they do I get scared- How do I break this habit and not be frightened? Once I have a starting point, know I wil be fine.

    Thank you

  166. Caron Says:

    Hi Jen, Have you tried saying to yourself when a scary thought or word comes in to your head “your not really scary, it’s just my anxiety playing tricks”. That’s what I am trying to do today x

  167. Helen Says:

    Hi Si,
    Yes, I can totally relate to what you said in your earlier post. It feels terrible, when you are feeling so low, to push hard to do normal everyday living that comes so easily to others. But you are winning, you are doing them even when anxiety puts all it’s pressure on you, when you are feeling so low that you don’t want to get out of bed, you don’t want to talk to people because you know what an effort it is going to be. Keep on doing it, keep pushing on through, let the thoughts and feelings hang around whilst you are doing them and slowly you won’t have to push as hard. It is brilliant that you are pushing because this means that you aren’t giving up but don’t put pressure on yourself, don’t give yourself a deadline to get better, don’t wish that this would all go away because it will. Keep on with your every day living and live with anxiety until one day when you realise that it isn’t there anymore.

    All the best

  168. SI Says:


    Thanks very much for your kind supporting words. If I look back over the last 18 months I have definately come along way, the setback are trouble some, but I do keep pushing as much as I can. I’ve never been that good at motivating myself, but I did read in the book “Feel the fear and do it anyway” that…. ACTIONS come before motivation, and you know what, how true it is. OK it’s not easy for us when we are down, but when we do feel a little less pressure we do seem to try a bit more.

    I often THINK (there we go again.. thinking :) ) How many people say they are going to the gym because they want to get fit or loose some pounds, but how easy it is to stop going.

    I think what I am trying to say is that we can relate to anxiety a bit like this, when we don’t feel rubbish and give our minds a stop gap we can do anything, it just happens. When we feel/think we can’t we so easy give up. But I suppose those little times we can push that bit more…. we will get that bit more of a good feeling.

    Again thanks Helen and sorry if none of this makes perfect sence.

    All the very best to you too


  169. candie Says:

    Jen, honestly it is normal- i had the same thoughts every second of the day, in the end i thought i thought sod it! Decided i would allow myself to think them, even made myself think them on purpose- the first step to losing fear is simply everytime they pop in been ok with that. Telling yourself adrenalin causes us to think worst case scenario stuff and a tired mind causes the repetitive nature- almost like a broken record. They do go away, over time and you wont even notice them go as you get that used to allowing them they gradually just go.

  170. natalie Says:

    morning guys

    just wanted to say thankyou to helen and ruth for your posts.. a bit of rationality which was needed most and hello to ian totally get what you are saying and the funny thing is it has made me realise i have progressed because i was like you a few months ago and even though i still struggle better than back then .. this proves that slowly and surly i am getting better so there is hope ian.. it seems at the time you read the words on here and they do make sense but you just cannot seem to put them into practise. but don’t force it just take a sentence or two that really hit home and every now and then read it.. don’t try and put it in place just acknowledge it and slowly it makes sense and you can put it into practise.. just realise that you are not alone that you are normal and that you are not a victim but a very strong person that despite everything is continuing on with your life, have a cry when you need to ..your only human but keep hugging yourself you are very special and you will come through this it will improve.
    i still struggle but know that this will happen as i push the boundaries but if i really want to live my life my way i have to do this. but go at your own pace everyone is different. i think i have realised i cannot fix this only time and my body that in the mean time i just have to keep moving forward and find happiness in my boys and in life. this way it will not be as painful and will let the time pass more easily x
    by the way paul i realise that i have nothing to fear at work it is jsut having to get used to my thoughts and emotions which hopefully over time will become more positive and less destructive xx

  171. John S Says:

    Hi Paul, Candie and others

    I haven’t commented in a long time. I fist started writing on this wall along time ago and have had ‘anxiety ‘ for a long time. It takes along while to ‘realise’ how to recover. (i searched too hard trying to discover how to think, make myself better. That is not the way!!!!) It certainly took me a while but for the last year i dropped all the fighting and just let myself be. I got a job and went everywhere feeling awful, wanting to go home ect but i just let myself think and feel it all and did eveything. Its not great but its the only way.

    I am now much better, still have bad weeks and bad days but i also have great weeks and days. I now do more than before and sometimes i feel full of anxiety but i just treat it as part of me and Im so much better for it. I am pretty much living a normal life (work, cinema, sunday footy, races ect) with however i feel. Getting better slowly but defo better. I have improved loads over the past year and it will take however long it takes.

    Never put a time limit on anything. Used to that as well!

    The siet is looking great Paul, was a while ago i was on and I know you have plenty of followers so you may or may not remember me. Brilliant work mate and keep it up. Just wanted to give an update and say thanks to you and others who give advice.



  172. sasha Says:

    Hi Candie, scarlet, Paul or anyone

    Just curious about this…is it normal to get involved in another story parallel to leading a normal life ie while carrying on our day to day activities with no hindrance my mind brings in a lot of thoughts on a particular event and it becomes difficult to take my mind off. Actually speaking i know i shouldnt think of it as it will only tire me out….but its difficult to wind it off. there is no anxiety involved in it..but the thoughts arent very pleasant..because I am able to function normally in my chores i hardly notice or recognise that i am following a train of thought which is unnecessary or should be avoided at any cost as i can feel that its taking a lot of my energy…i get more involved in the story thats going on in my mind rather that whats going on outside…to be precise..guess its old habits creeping again to spoil my sanity and peace..:)

    any of you experienced this..that when u r totlly carried off by ur perception of an event and mind starts chattering and u become part of that story (but u can function normally) rather than u watching from outside and getting unefected by it?
    how to get to do just sitting on the rail and watching thoughts pass by.. or just tell myself dont start weaving the story..end it abrubtly and carry on focusing on what i do ?
    i am fine otherwise there are no symptoms there isnt much anxiety for me so as to say but these thoughts are so nagging to teh core that its keeps annoying me in the backdrop..rather than getting scared like before i am getting so annoyed and irritated that i am unable to focus on the goodness of life… see life as it is..

    i want to use my time and energy on the goodness of life gifted to me n for people around to chuck off unwanted thoughts..guess this is anxiety in itself isnt it? just that i am not scared anymore i dont know what this is….?

    Pls help me…on this anyone experiencing the same…!
    Cheers and wishing u all a good day friends…!

  173. Caron Says:

    Hey guys, hope you are all having a good day? I have been practising the method of ‘whatever , it’s just my anxiety creating bad thoughts’. It is definitely starting to work but I just need some reassurance with something if anyone would mind?
    It’s really hard to explain but I’ll try! Sometimes I think of things and they come true, for example one of my best friends sadly had a miscarriage in the summer . Obviously that is tragic but luckily she fell pregnant again. When she told me she was pregnant again I was of course pleased but also had the thought ‘oh what if it happens again’. Low and behold yesterday she lost it again :-(. I am absolutely gutted for her but then I also started thinking – ‘that’s a thought I had that came True- therefore what if all my other scary thoughts I have been having recently are true or are gonna come true’. just as I write this I have just had another thought ‘what if she miscarried because I thought it!!’.
    Does that make sense? Can anyone relate to that? Or at least reassure me it’s just another anxiety trick? X

  174. sasha Says:

    Dear Caron

    Its just anxiety playing with our minds..!!! But it can trick us so much into believing whatever it comes up we all have times that we can just brush it aside like any normal person does and those moments which makes us doubt…and sometimes it attracts umpteen number of other thoughts like a magnet all with the same intensity…

    thats when we need assurance but believe me Caron it has no relevance at all .There is no connection between your thought and what happened to your friend…its just a coincidence but we tend to panic thinking what if all our thoughts become true? it is just our tired mind coming up with all negative thoughts.. i felt the same the other day got looped in a particular thought and i was unable to get out of it making my thoughts so real and tired…

    after a while the intensity just reduced but it was there in the backdrop making me feel at unease i guess we need to shift our attittude ALWAYS when it hapens to us.. that it is just ‘random thoughts’ and giving way to new pattern of thinking ‘I am good, its just another random silly thought which i dont have to respond …and bringing bak our focus on what we were doing..? and continue with what u were doing…practise , practise untill it becomes second nature to brushing off any irrational thoughts… i am still on my way…:)

    Take care and dont worry about your thoughts to have something to do with has absolutely no connection..if that was the case we can start to believe that we may win the jackpot this time…so dont worry Caron

  175. Luc Says:

    Dear all,
    Many thanks for sharing your experiences. I’ve been crying and grinning for the last few hours after finding this blog as each new wave of recognition hit me with the knowledge that what I’ve been suffering is not unique, but common and even curable. My anxiety has dominated my life for several years now. I’ve been prescribed Prozac, Citaloprama and various others, tried hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, counselling…but they all seemed to exaggerate the danger, the apprehension, the importance, the magnitude of the anxiety to the point where I had a nervous breakdown and have been a shadow of my former self for the past two years. I used to be strong, take things on the chin and face up to stuff. I work in a UK university where work pressures can be intense; but it was becoming Head of Department and being so hamstrung by bureacracy and institutionalised fear of conflict that I became unable to deal with problems correctly. Instead, everything seemed to fester, in reality and inside my head. After three years I just collapsed. My marriage too, although I’ve since reclaimed that, thank god!
    Now I’ve been several years fighting day in and day out to try and keep my fears in place, trying to find a way to cope and even hoping that there might be a cure. I swore off prozac and am trying exercise, although mental exhaustion sometimes impedes it. And after reading all your posts I’m going to keep coming back for more – the feeling of finding fellow sufferers who have an objectivity about what is happening to them is exhilarating. And I’m going to buy the book from the website that led me here. Today feels like it mght be a good day, even though I’m crying as I type this.

  176. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    I do remember you John S and I keep telling people how many do come back saying how well they are when they truly follow what is said on here. There are no quick fixes and we have to go through the yuck and see it as part of us, shake it’s hand and say ‘Ok its me and you for a while then is it, lets get on then, I have wasted too much time trying to work you out and far too much time trying to get rid of you’.

    You say below:

    I am now much better, still have bad weeks and bad days but i also have great weeks and days. I now do more than before and sometimes i feel full of anxiety but i just treat it as part of me and Im so much better for it.

    the good and bad days you have fully accepted and this is a transition back to the old you and I love the statement ‘I sometimes still feel full of anxiety, but just treat it as part of me’ a great attitude and one that will have you coming back in a few more months telling us you feel even better. Good work john and great to hear you are doing much better :)

  177. Luc Says:

    Having spent most of the day reading the archives I’m already beginning to understand things at last – so much of what is written on here makes sense. I mean REAL lived-through sense that I’m able to recognise as adding up to a possible coping strategy. I’ve had counsellors wanting me to get angry at my parents, hypnotists having me battle cartoon characters, doctors prescribing one kind of pilll after another…nothing worked because it was all about intensifying and so exacerbating the focus on the anxiety – ‘worrying about worrying’ I’ve learned it’s called. Well, I’m more than willing to try something new, have ordered Paul’s book, and hope I can drop by for advice and support on occasion, maybe even get to the stage where I can offer it myself. Thanks Paul and all for the genuine pick-me-up. I hope you know how invaluable your contributions to this site are to people like me.

  178. yolande Says:

    hi all

    just need to offload. been a tough day today – really lousy mood, irritable and moody as hell. sometimes when it hits i just lie on the bed andhave no motivation to do anything – i know this is the wrong way to go about it but it’s so hard sometimes to get moving.

    i now konw what Paul meant when he said his recovery was very up and down. it really is. accepting the lousy days are still a little hard for me but i am trying and learning as i go along. a good cry helps a lot to relieve the pent up tension and stress.

    lately i have been hit by fear – it’s scary. i never had this. used to be just negative thoughts but now it feels more of fear . i know it’s adrenalin but gosh it’s hard to cope and I would welcome any assurances from anyone.

    sometimes i wonder how long more all this will last but i know it wont stay here forever. if it does stay on, well, that’s life then – i would just have to carry on.

  179. Helen Says:

    Hi Yolande,
    When you feel fear for no apparent reason it is horrible. Your body does what it is supposed to and adrenelin is produced to help you cope and you then have the ‘fight or flight’ scenario but with anxiety you are stuck as there is nothing to actually fight and nothing to run away from.
    You are right, it won’t stay forever and the way that you can make sure it doesn’t is to try and remember that when you feel the fear don’t try and work it out, don’t analyse it.
    It is very difficult to feel fear and just let it be there but it will go if you don’t react to it.

    All the best

  180. Wayne Says:

    Good day!

    I did it!! I did it!! I ran my first 10km race since I started suffering from anxiety last December. There is no way I thought I could do this 6 months ago even though I was still running I was too busy intuned to how I was feeling instead of enjoying my running.

    By following the advice on this website is the reason I am where I am today.

  181. Wayne Says:

    sorry pressed enter too soon.

    I realized months ago this is a process. I still have anxiety at times but know it is just adrenaline and move on with my day. Believe me there is hope.

    Thank you Paul, Diana and Candie.

  182. kat Says:

    I’m back again. I feel slightly foolish and a bit self-indulgent for posting again, but this has become a place to vent as well as seek advice, so here I am once more.

    I am trying to take the advice offered me the past few days and use it the way it was meant to be used. Yesterday was the first day in three weeks where I felt calm and fairly reasonable once more. I didn’t look at my partner with dread, didn’t hide in my room and wish I was asleep, but instead did some things with him and our daughter and made a dinner together. I felt good the entire time, to the point that I even felt attracted to him, and I was hopeful. I told myself that the anxiety would come again, but that I should try to live alongside it and not try to analyze it too much or I’d go right back to where I started again. I think I smiled quite a bit yesterday, believing I had the skills.

    Then, today. Not panic, but absolute irritability, to the point that I can hear myself snapping at my partner and what bothers me the most is that I don’t feel remorseful at all. Logically, I know that I will feel badly at some point about it, but just about everything he has been doing today has been annoying me and I’ve not been able to hide what I’m feeling. He is now keeping his distance, and rightly he seems offended, angry with me even, and I know I’ve no right to expect anything else. Of course, this anger/irritability on my part has also got the adrenaline flowing, and I’m feeling rather low as a result, wondering if I’ll ever get a grip and also whether this bizarre intolerance on my part is part of anxiety or am I just angry in general?

    As I type, I think I can already hear the answers, but for some reason this feels frightening to me and I needed to ask for help anyway. I hope no one minds. Feeling like this toward him is new to me and it doesn’t feel natural at all.

    Thanks, Kat.

  183. Helen Says:

    Hi Kat,
    When a large part of your anxiety is based around your partner you become very alert to everything you feel about them. When you have a good day like you did yesterday you feel great and don’t question it because why should you? It is a great positive feeling. But then when something annoys you as it always happens in every relationship you pick up on it because this isn’t a good feeling and then anxiety picks up on it. You may then wonder why he is annoying you so much, what does it mean? And then at some level you may be blaming him for you feeling like this and then you start to think some more trying to figure it all out. You are obviously concerned about it as you are questioning why you don’t feel remorseful.
    You are on the road to recovery but what you need is patience, with yourself and with your partner. You will have good days like yesterday or worse days like today. Keep communcation with your partner open and honest so that he knows what you are going through is a recovery and it is hard, very hard. Keeping communication open is important so that you both know that feelings aren’t meant to be hurt.
    It is very hard to go through anxiety and to also take care of the ones you love but you will get there. This is your road to recovery, don’t question the good days and especially not the bad ones.

    All the best

  184. Michael Says:

    Very good advice Paul. I come back and check your blog every few months to see what’s new.

    It is very re-assuring to hear from someone who has suffered for a long time and is now fully recovered.

    I have changed my negative mind (which I thought was realistic) into a positive mindset. My days at work, home, in general are so much better.

    I still have two specific phobias that I am working thru. I have been suffering with these two for over 10 years and sometimes it feels that no matter how well I am doing now, that these two will stop me from a full recovery, from being “normal.”

    I have hope after reading your blog. I have hope that one day I will reach my own personal recovery.

    Thanks, Mike from Texas

  185. kat Says:

    Thank you, Helen.

    I hope you are right (and I suspect you are), and I will do my best to weather this. I have trouble with separating my true feelings from anxiety, and even though I’ve actually cried with relief over how similar others’ symptoms are to my own, there’s still a little part of me that believes that I am the exception, as ridiculous at that may seem. I have always been a ‘nervous person’, and I honestly can’t remember a time in my life where nervousness didn’t play a central role in any given day. Though the panic is only ten years in, I can honestly say that I’ve been a worrier since birth and I wonder if I’ll ever be any different.

    Perhaps part of this supreme frustration. It makes me sad and angry at the same time to think of all the things in my life I have given up/walked away from because I didn’t understand my emotions. I did as you suggested and had another long conversation with him (I worry he’s tiring of this, but he smiled and listened to me anyway), and tried to explain my anger. He asked if I felt that the anger/irritation was a serious issue for me, if it meant I was considering harming myself or him or someone else. I said no, because it never occurred to me that I would ever want to do that, but instead tried to explain it as an engine that won’t stop revving. That’s what it feels like, until the adrenaline begins to pulse through me, at which point I feel like collapsing into a fit of tears. The worst part of trying to talk to him is finding myself unable to explain any of it. Though he listens, and often gives sage advice, I still come away from it all feeling a bit lost and worse for the wear. Keeping positive, as you might imagine, has been my greatest challenge.

    Thanks for the wonderful advice, though. I will do my best to accept my feelings and shall continue to hope and pray for success!

  186. sasha Says:

    Hi Kat

    Helen has already said what it is all about..i would like to drop my thoughts on this Kat. It is all part of anxiety that sometimes we dont get the right emotions be it handling a relationship or tackling a situation ..

    we ‘overemphasise’ certain aspect where we are concerned to make evrything perfect…so that there wont be any issues again..we keep checking ourselves ..we constantly worry whether things will go wrong again…actually thats when things may go wrong when we overly try to make something ‘perfect’ tahts when we become overly ‘conscious’ of that ..because we are always keeping an update on that…and when a slight change happens we get totally disturbed…

    best thing to do is to just carry on however u feel..when we keep a lot of ‘conditions’ to be met so taht we ‘ll be fine it always end up living all our life planning, analysin, avoiding but actually most of it is a creation of our mind..when we have anxiety our pattern of thinking majorly looks up only issues !! and we have so many…but if we are nt analysing all day long we hardly have any..i know its easily said than done..but try to just carry on with your day ‘however’ u feel and dont question any bad feelings because now we got the understanding that its anxiety and dont get too impressed by good feelings because we crave for that stressing ourslves and getting none…

    when we feel any irritation towards anyone for that annoys us to the core which wouldnt have bothered people without anxiety …
    because we analyse endlessly trying to figure out all the ‘why’s and ‘what ifs’ and that brings us to a viscious circle of worry…
    I had gone through the same and I continuously tell myself its anxiety doubling my issues it isnt as bad as it seems..then i am able to talk to them in a normal way as all the emotions hav been dumped on anxiety..and start off with a clean slate coming up with somethingelse to talk about …

    at times its difficult to differenciate our true feelings from anxiety…if we dont feel right or feel rather uncomfortable neednt panic…its only anxiety, nothing else and once you start carrying on with ur life u start getting less scared off it..because u are able to do what u have to do…but the irritation still persists for a while..but as time goes by it will all heal….!

    Take Care…

  187. Sara Says:

    Hi Kat and everyone,

    As you’ve probably seen from above posts I’ve had exactly the same thoughts and worries about my partner BUT I had forgotton about the fact they were the exact same type of thoughts I had been having for 10 years or so about a whole host of random, awful and frightening situations. I am so glad someone posted this topic on the blog because it goes to show just how many of us have these scary intense thoughts BUT how much of it is truly down to our anxious minds. Kat, please don’t think you are alone in this or that there is any reality in these thoughts. I have had (and still have at times!) that irratibility and annoyance with my partner (it’s pretty natural noone is perfect! ;)) but i think Sasha and Helen’s advice and lived in experience speaks volumes as to what it is all about. My anxieties about this one thought started a year ago and really took hold about 6 months ago. Do you know what though..after following the advice on this website and blog I really feel like I am beginning to make some slow steps and headway..Yes I still get thoughts that run through my head, trying to make me believe in them, yes I wake up early and immediatley begin to suss out how I am feeling, sometimes I feel down for no reason, sometimes I get a shot of adrenalin surging through me but the more I tell myself that I know this is just anxiety and I have suffered for so long it’s habit etc the more I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I know it may be a difficult journey but over the past six months or so i have seen some small but noticable changes in the way I view anxiety. I am starting to not be afraid of the thoughts anymore and that is making a real difference.
    Kat, I know it’s difficult to believe but the lived in experience on this blog tells us how much of this is anxiety playing it’s tricks. There’s nothing to be frightened of whatsover. It feels natural to try and control the situation and your mind but the more we try to do that the less we are allowing our minds and bodies to heal.
    take care
    Sara xx

  188. Jen Says:


    Thanks for your advice. I am more frightened of the way the same thought is there all the time-it just never goes and makes me wonder. Do I just let them be there all the time? Is alot of this habit like a record playing over and over- How does this actually go?



  189. Ian Says:


    Good day on Friday following the supportive comments here (like a belief thing happened), but a bad weekend. Like the ‘thinking about thinking’ decends (soon after waking – or it seems before) and I can’t escape. Went for a cycle with my friend on Saturday but my mind seemed to be constantly wanting to think about all sorts of things and I found it really hard to concentrate on talking to my friend. It was frightening, it was like the pull of my thoughts, to think about my thoughts, dig them up even, to analyse literally stops me living. Keep looking, in my head, for what to do to stop this, to be able to just live. This is the rub, not an ‘anxious thought’ more a process of thinking that somehow seems inescapable and debilitating.

    On partners, mine has been incredibly, incredibly supportive – and I’ve suffered anxiety to some extent for our entire relationship. However this weekend she was quite upset, and finally admitted that she feels really, really lonely at present. I can totally see that – I spend most of the time (last few months) literally locked in my own thoughts, barely communicating, not doing things. The fear of the impact of this made me get out and talk/do more at least.

  190. Helen Says:

    Hi Kat,
    One of the things that bothered me most was feeling like you do about what you think you have given up or walked away from. I was angry because I could of achieved more possibly and then my anxiety started as I would think “surely this means that I am not happy with my life then” and then I would try and work everything out, look at my partner for reasons why I am feeling like this, looking at all the imperfections and thinking that if I could fix them then that would make everything OK. I wanted to make my life perfect and it isn’t and I am now very glad about that.
    I, like you, have been like this since being a child, a worrier, very observant of everything around me so that I can see trouble coming and for a while I felt sad when I realised that if I hadn’t been this way then what could I have achieved?
    Now that I am recovered I realise that if I hadn’t been that person and the person that I still am I wouldn’t have the wonderful things in my life that I do only now I enjoy them much more as I don’t always have the underlying fear that I always had.
    Anxiety, at it’s most powerful, affects nearly all of your thinking and you must remember this. It is OK to feel sad, it is OK to feel angry but don’t question it. Remember that it can also make you very depressed but just let it sit beside you whilst carrying on with your everyday life. It will slowly lift and as it does, your mind clears and any questions you want answered just come to you, you don’t have to work it out.

    All the best

  191. Matt K. Says:

    Good Morning Paul and Scarlet,

    Well I think I had a little “aha” moment over the weekend. Something kind of clicked in my head and I realized that all that I am running from is a feeling! THATS ALL IT IS! I was being bluffed by my anxious mind in assuming that danger and certain collapse is right around the corner at all times! I believed my thoughts, I searched for the cures, I constantly monitored and tried to get rid of this awful thing! Well gues what, I cant get rid of it until I stop trying to rid myself of it!! What a paradox! So this weekend, I adopted the attitude of if it comes, it comes, but I am not going to search for it, nor try to get rid of it if it does. Funny thing happened that I was the most relaxed I have been in quite a while. I know that I am not out of the woods yet, but it was a much needed boost to my self esteem and self confidence! What a great weekend! I’m at work now and am working with maintaining that attitude! Trying to just stay in the now, not trying to rush time to get out of here, counting down the minutes……just being here in the moment. I think I can become a much stronger person from this! I’m ready for some more bad days, because thats how we get our practice with our new attitude and tools to just let it be!! BRING IT ANXIETY! You are losing your grip on me!!!!!!

  192. Eileen Says:

    Hello everyone,
    needing a little advice and support. Have been following what Paul advises in his book and in this blog since last October. Had a big setback last Christmas, but carried on and managed to continue to do everything with the anxiety alongside.

    Have always had to put up with a lot of tension mainly in neck, shoulders etc and the resulting headaches. For the past two months I have had continuous tension headache and tension in neck . Am continuing to do things as usual, but finding the headaches and giddyness very draining…
    Am walking a lot, doing yoga, and trying to carry on with the accompanying headache.

    Most people tend to talk about the psychological feelings with their anxiety, but I continue to have physical feelings in the main.

    Just wondering if anyone else had felt the same, and had come through eventually.,Thanks so much. E

  193. Matt K. Says:

    Hey Eileen,

    I’m still recovering, but I think I know enough about what you are saying to advise a little. The tension in the neck, shoulders and headaches are all part of anxiety. They are symptoms and quite common areas where we all carry anxiety. They can be draining and bothersome, but they will pass when we loose focus on them. I have felt all of those before and when I just let them be, they tend to pass and arent as bothersome. Sometimes after a good workout, I’ll do some breathing and breath “light” into the muscles that ache to help relax them. Its quite normal. Even people who are not going through recovery, my mom, for instance, carries her stress in her shoulders. She takes long baths to help sooth. Hope that helps a little.

  194. Jessica S Says:

    Hi Everyone

    I have never posted to this site before but I feel like I could do with some help. I read Paul’s book and I understand the concept of accepting and and letting go of the thoughts. Recently I had a great week where for a few days I had hardly any anxiety related symptoms and my mind could focus on other thoughts. I felt like the old me again.I was so so happy thinking this was finally it and then I had a really bad day and went all down hill again. Now I can’t stop thinking what if I cant get the acceptance back again and this thought keeps coming into my head saying you will never be better as long as these thoughts keep coming and all the memories of bad times are at the forefront. I was so excited to feel so well but now these thoughts are haunting me even worse than before and my symptoms are really bad.

    Any help would be most appreciated


  195. sasha Says:

    Hi Helen

    ”I, like you, have been like this since being a child, a worrier, very observant of everything around me so that I can see trouble coming and for a while I felt sad when I realised that if I hadn’t been this way then what could I have achieved?
    Now that I am recovered I realise that if I hadn’t been that person and the person that I still am I wouldn’t have the wonderful things in my life that I do only now I enjoy them much more as I don’t always have the underlying fear that I always had.”

    I do agree to this a lot..even i had been like this since i was a child…always cautious and careful..trying to get rid of anything that sounds trouble never had i confronted them in my life till i got into this. my life had always been easy and i loved my life..but only when i fell into this pit had i realised why things have started going wrong for i couldnt sustain in difficult environment…

    but as u said i REALISE now that i HAVE TO confront what i am fearing and not avoid anything or else i will never be ever able to live my life its a NEED..before i never realised as i always had a very secured life..its time i become independent and decisive and to belive in myself above all…

    i am ready to feel any amount of uncomfortability just to live my life without any fear…i am going to go ahead if i feel somethign is stopping me…actually its only the ‘thoughts’ thats stopping but since their so powerful its hard at times to be in the present moment…

    Happy for you that you’ve gone all your way to see the light at the end of your journey…

  196. candie Says:

    Jen it goes when anxiety leaves you. pay it no attention, trust me i did exactly the same- then the thoughts would play every second of the day automatically, its habit and when you have adrenalin it causes your mind to get stuck on certain thoughts thats all. Dont try figure it out, allow them to flow in and out

  197. marc Says:

    hey everyone,

    anybody experience bad twitching/shaking??? have had it bad for the last few months now! when it happens my whole back and neck tenses up and my head starts twitching really bad! it almost looks like im having some sort of fit! have been seeing a neurologist for the past while and have had a couple of scans done that c…ame back clear… im guessing its anxiety related because it comes and goes and can go some days without having them…but u know what its like when u dont know whats wrong with u! u start thinking d worst! iv been having thoughts thinking that i might have a mild form of parkinsons or some sort of disease! :( have an appointment with my neurologist tomorrow so fingers crossed!


  198. Nick Says:

    Hi, anybody using 5htp, st John wort, or rodilo rosea Or natural products instead of anti depressants? Really want to come of anti depressant but still feel awful all the time so am a little bit scared, so just seeing can anybody compare any difference using herbal products to anti depressants etc. Cheers

  199. candie Says:

    Marc i had it, i new it was just anxiety though- the adrenalin makes your muscles tighten up and spasm sometimes. I had it in my eyes, leg mostly. If you worry about it your creating more adrenalin hence more twitching!

  200. Jen Says:

    Hi Candie,

    Thanks for your reply. Is there anyway I could e-mail you personally? I dont know if I can cope with the bad thoughts there every second?

  201. Lisa H Says:

    Hi all!!

    Haven’t posted for ages as doing so well with the anxiety aspect of things.
    My problem is the depression,have taken the inositol for 2 months but haven’t really noticed a difference.
    What i would like to know is can accepting depression help to lift it??
    I have just been watching This Morning and Dr Chris Steele says its a chemical imbalance that needs treating with medication to help bring mood back to a normal level-he is on anti-depressants for life as were the other people on the show.
    I am trying to accept and welcome the depression but its horrible and maybe i do need medication although i have managed for 18 months without taking anything.
    Any advice from you gorgeous people would be really helpful.
    THANK-YOU.x x

  202. Mark R Says:

    Hi Lisa H,

    Just in response to your comment.

    Doctors will always argue that depression is a chemical imbalance as this is the medical model for it. Recent studies in fact have shown that the imbalance is a consequence and not a cause of depression. I came out of depression in 2007 on a very low dose of antidepressents. I believe that depression is a response to life events the same as anxiety.

  203. sasha Says:

    Hi lisa

    I dont know about the medication aspect but I can tell u that most of the people having depression believe that its their mindframe is permnent and they have no freedom out of it…But what they dont believe is that their frame of mind can be changed..

    our mindset is always on the lookout of problems and worries so whatever we have and wherever we are we have the tendency to notice only the negativities around us..since our mind had been like that since a very long time it takes the equal amount of time to reverse the habit of thinking negative…

    for eg when we are planning to go for a get together a person depressed will have mostly negative thoughts regading how to get over it as he dont have the mood for it..he already established that he isnt interested..but a normal prson having a bad day may go for it but once he is there his mindrame changes he notices people around him..he talks to them he totally forgets that he had a bad day…basically people who are depressed like to cling on the belief that they cannot feel good…

    but retraining their mind every single tim a negative thought pop in…never mind i am going to do that…each time you regain a new perspective that things can be changed but only through persistance and patience…
    Take care…

  204. sally Says:

    Hi Eileen
    I have had anxiety all my life I am nearly 59 now but with Pauls help have good days and bad days now instead of all bad ones but all my life I thought I was a bit mad but now I have the knowledge thanks to Paul.But what I wanted to tell you is anxiety is responsible for lots of different physical complaints myself have severe palpitations,headaches and IBS all compliments of anxiety.Just wanted to tell you that you are not alone.All the best Sallyx

  205. ross Says:

    Hey Everyone,
    Hope everyone is doing well with recovery!!!

    Not been on in a while doing really well with recovery until I had a setback today!! really frustrating!!!!!!!!

    Always get it at work, really feels like im nothing at all, if that makes sense.

    Im constantly focused on me and talking is really strange. always feel like i cant speak!! please say some1 else has this??? also when i do speak it feels like im listening to myself???? its sooo weird and really scares me .

    Also when i walk around work i feel im walking so fast and strange cos i feel im going to fall over!! sometimes feels like im walking down steps on a level floor?? haha.

    Maybe i should just quit my job as I feel a change would introduce a new start within me. i really understand Pauls way of not caring and the whatever attitude but at work it really gets overwhelming with the weird speaking feeling????

    I really feel so tired and worn down and the thought of working fills me with dread . I really need money just like everyone else but sometimes I think my well being is more important .

    I went to the doctors about a month ago and im waiting to hear about CBT therapy.

    These setbacks are really annoying cos I have the ‘whatever’ attitude all the time but at work everything just gets on top of me and I cant seem to function properly .

    is being neurotic the same as having anxiety?????

    any answers to my questions would be brilliant and thanks for listening , I hope everyone gets to recovery soon

  206. kat Says:

    Helen, Sara and Sasha,

    Thank you for the supportive words. I don’t know that I’ve managed much in terms of progress, but then, being an impatient sort I suppose I tend to focus on what doesn’t feel good. I’m learning!

    My question to you, and to anyone else who may have ‘lived-in experience’, is how to handle those creepy waves of dread. I have always thought of them as a ‘icky’ feelings, mainly because I couldn’t identify them outright. As I have indicated previously, I tend to get the feeling lately whenever I consider my relationship, or any other relationship for that matter, but I have certainly felt it before over different things. Like yesterday, I was reading a story about a couple who were clearly in love, and something about it gave me the ‘ick’ feeling. Given all the reassurance I’ve received from others on this board who can relate to the dread regarding relationships, I try not to pay too much attention, as it would seem that anxiety has found a new target in me, but my question has to do with how to ‘float’ through it.

    I’ve recently read ‘Self Help For Your Nerves’ by Claire Weekes, and she seems to hold a lot of the same beliefs that Paul does. The main focus of her steps to recovery are to face, accept, float and let time pass, which I have been reading in Paul’s methods as well. I seem to be having problems with understanding what ‘floating’ entails. Whenever the horrible feelings come, I tell myself that I know what they are, that they are not real, etc., and that I accept them, but I do not have the first idea how to ‘float’ with them. Instead, the feelings take hold, and I begin the habitual/obsessive thinking, worrying that I’ll not come out of this setback without damaging my relationship or other matters of importance to me. I think the ‘belief’ factor is a bit of an issue for me as well, even though I have read all the success/recovery stories, because there’s a part of me who has not let go of the habit of thinking I won’t recover. To be clear, logically I know the tools are all here, but for some reason, when the unpleasant feelings come, I lose focus and revert back to the negative thinking.

    Do any of you have any tips for how to float through it? I would really appreciate it.

  207. hawkeye Says:


    You need to let your thoughts in. I can clearly see your dislike of them. You can not say you are accepting and then expect to feel better. Acceptance comes only from practise. When you have these thoughts change your attitude to thanking them for coming. For example when the thought comes ‘maybe this means I don’t love my husband’. You need to thank the thought for coming and have a so what attitude or else the analyses begins as follows: ‘oh no I can’t feel anthing for him I have fallen out of love with him’ ‘Maybe I am thinking like this because I know I have to leave and I just don’t want too’ and so on and so on.

    However if you start analysing thats fine as soon as you realise you are doing it change your attitude to ‘oh so what thanks for coming I am going to carry on doing what I want to do with you there’.

    To float you need to take it all with you. SLLLOWWWW DOOOWWNN!!! and take it with you.

  208. hawkeye Says:

    Kat you are still getting involved with the thoughts. LET MORE TIME PASS and don’t be hard on yourself its not easy but in time it will get easier. Don’t believe these thoughts there is no truth in them, otherwise you would not be questioning it you will jsut know. LET GO OF THE FEAR OF THE THOUGHTS!!

  209. Matt Says:

    This is the first time I have written on this blog but read it often. My question for everyone is do you have problems with memory, and difficulty learning new things. It just seems like my mind is so cloudy that nothing comes naturally anymore. At work if I get frusturated I can feel the confusion setting in. It is so difficult to not pay attention to this due to it affects everything I do. For example even watching movies is difficult due to it is hard to follow the storyline. It is so difficult living like this due to I feel like I am a fraction of who I used to be.


  210. sasha Says:

    Hi Kat…

    what we are more concerned about and what we really care about and dont want to lose are the thoughts that most often comes to our mind because we fear that aspect ‘for no reason’ if something happens will the relationship be affected and so on.. you are actually thinking of an unneccessary angle in your relationship where you know he is a very loving person but it is that instinct that often pops up in your mind because you care…simple..!!but because it pops every now and then u get scared..because of its repetetive nature…but as u’v realised that it has become second nature to you at the moment to link any thoughts with a negative tone when it comes to relationships..acknowlege it…

    let me make it simple for eg someone who is scared to fly gets into an aeroplane fly with each breath controlled he is already in panicky mode as he is in full dread thinking what if it loses control n so on…its best for them to acknowelge whatever happens will happen theer is no point watching every moment as he is not in control anyways…try relaxing and to focus attention on readin or even sleeping…c there is no link between his dread and the safety of the plane.. just because he fears doesnt mean there is some is the just the MINDSET..

    it wouldnt make you think otherwise overnight…so let it come up with anything …anxiety is playing with you trying to tease u to bring you under its power …and u tend to fall under its prey but when u have this understanding …ie anxiety thoughts are diferent that is ”obsessive thoughts that scares you every second..its absolute senseless thoughts…”!!!!
    have an attittue like ”oh u are there..ok now what..i’m getting bored” or watching your thoughts as ”just thoughts” have also helped me as i know they are just thoughts and i dont get carried away…
    it is annoying to teh core but let me tell u when u adopt this attittude slowly the fear u have diminishes as u understan them as mere anxiety throws…
    just go on with what u will otherwise do in a day….
    Take care…

  211. Lisa H Says:

    Mark R and Sasha,thank-you,i am going to try and just get on with it,deep down i know i am doing this to myself,as with anxiety though you just want it all to go away and be back to normal!!!
    Sasha can i just say you are doing really well,i remember you from a while back and you really seem to have grasped it all and are doing brilliant-good on you!! x x

  212. sasha Says:

    Hi Lisa..

    I had landed on this site when I was totally lost and didnt know what was wrong with me…thanks to Paul…Only because of him scarlet and other people I have grasped it and got to know it was anxiety and now I know why it happened to me..

    but the underlying problem had been with me since i was a child..i still dont know y i had been always apprehensive all throughout my life..i am working out on that..i had aways been a ‘thinking’ person so most of the issues arise there..secondly i am very conscious and cautious of my surroundings and people…i guess that rooted from my own thinking…

    hence i couldnt speak up for myself i get entangled in other people’s perception..hence if tehy say any cmplaints about me i ‘assume’ i have done something wrong and sabotage myself…worst part is i feel bad..
    so i guess inorder to avoid that i avoided difficult people and always default status was ‘nice’.and i was aware of how i feel.. i am happy i realised this…!!:)

    i guess this is the difficult part inorder to consciously change the ‘way i think’ m trying to take life as it start with a clean slate…m trying to live with a revived attittude…do what u should do, never overanalyse..put a fullstop…go with the flow…the moments we really live in te present moment is the best feeling ever…i lived my life as if i was obliged to be always nice never did i see who i really was and whats my opinion on life in general…

    has anyone encountered something like this in their life ever?..
    Take care …

  213. Caron Says:

    Hi Sasha,

    I know exactly what you mean. I always worry that I am a bad person and worry what people think of me. I always think I have to do the right thing and often think to myself ‘gosh how can they behave like that or do that, do they not worry about being a bad person’. Does that make sense?

    On another note, can you (or anyone) offer any advice?? Like I said, I have been having a set back for around a month now. I have anxiety bouts every 2-3 years, obsessive thoughts etc. By using Pau’s methods and spking to my doc to alter my medication I have been able to get on top of this the last few days and tell myself all my bad thoughts are just my anxiety playing tricks on me etc, in fact last night I even slept untill 6.45 this morning (usually I am up from 5ish with the stomach churning etc). However, because I have now seen a slight improvement the thought that has now cropped up is ‘oh no, what if I get bad again’. It’s silly because I have just gone through it and have dealt with my thoughts etc but I think it’s the fear of being like that again that keeps the thought there. Also when I have setbacks the first intial thought is ‘what if i get ill again’ and then it spirals out of control so my anxiety is telling me that I am going to spiral downwards again!

    Can anyone offer some support on this?

  214. Caron Says:

    Oh also – forgot to say. What does everyone think about alcohol and anxiety? I find a glass of wine of an evening helps me to relax etc but then if I have a few (or a few too many!) my anxiety is horrendous the next day. Do you think its best to avoid alltogether? x

  215. sasha Says:

    Dear Caron…

    i guess we always ‘regulated’ our emotions according to the norm…never letting it flow naturally …anyways..

    I would say Caron we realised only when we couldnt get the grip on our thoughts as it had been working overnight…never did we realise untill it shut down on its own…
    to be honest when i had slight DP wherein I could only see where I am and just talk with no preconceived notions..that was the best times I had ever felt in the past few years as nothing woud bother me..i could just go on talking and carry on with my day as emotionally i felt neutral…
    then i realised that was when i couldn’t feel scary thoughts had no particular affect on me and happy thoughts too dint bring much joy…always neutral…
    i understood one thing we are ‘thinkers’ and as long the habit is there we will find something…when we r feeling good we tend to think what if it go spiralling down again how will i cope?
    and when we feel bad naturally we feel bad…
    only thing we can do at the moment i feel neutral whatever it is.. which is apt for the moment as we cant take in a lot of emotions right now as every other thing has got a HUGE EMOTIONAL RESPONSE on us…
    as Paul said whatever happens…i will cope…
    and be in the present moment…if u r in the present moment u hardly think what happens tommorow..evn if u think what will happen tommorow when it comes the next day if u can be a the present moment ‘what if’ thoughts wont bother u much……this attittude worked for me when i sincerely followed it…
    Take care…

  216. Caron Says:

    Hi Sasha,

    I think I understand. I need to accept the whatever attitude more i.e whatever happens I will cope like I have been the past few weeks. I think its like others have said – its the raw memories that give you the fear. BUT I have coped before and have proved to myself that the whatever acceptance works so I just need to remind myself of that.

    Thanks for your support – sometimes I feel like all of us on here should have a big get together!


  217. KH Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I’m from Malaysia. About a month ago, I have experienced body jerks and muscle twitches. This caused me to freak out and I went to a hospital for a check-up, but the doctor told me that everything is normal.

    However, my worries did not stop there. It has continued on for a few weeks and I tried my best to ignore it. Last week I was feeling much better and was able to live a normal life. However, this week I couldn’t sleep and begin to get random thoughts while trying to sleep. I also suffered from panic attacks as well while trying to sleep. I believe that I was going crazy! I kept on thinking if I will be able to fight against these thoughts, and it caused me many sleepless nights. I felt that this will be one of the worst times in my life!

    When I was feeling confused and lost, I stumbled across your site and after reading the articles, I believe I am getting ready to fight my anxiety. I know it will not be a smooth journey, but as you said, life is too precious to be wasted. I just want to tell you how much I appreciate the shed of light which you have shown me. As I am also very fortunate that my girlfriend has been very supportive and has did a lot to encourage me, I will now try my best to ensure that I will recover from my anxiety.


  218. Matt K. Says:


    I do the same thing about fearing that I am going to spiral down again. I’ll have a few good days and then feel a little twinge of anxiety and start to question my whole recovery! “Will I ever get better? Is this really the right way to go about recovering?” That is a very hard one for me, but I think it is essential to have the belief and faith that this is the right road.

    Any advice from the “Recovered” individuals?

  219. Caron Says:

    Thats exactly what it is Matt, the belief that full recovery is right around the corner! And of course impatience!

    I think for me as well I always question medication. I was put on paroxetine the first time I had anxiety and as I recovered I obviously put it down the ‘the magic tablet’. Ever since then, when I have had a setback I have gone to the doctor and had my medication upped and again have recovered so have put it down to the tablet again. I have had my paroxetine upped this time to 40mg, started this last Thurs.
    As I am now having a bad day I am questioning medication again – ‘is it not working anymore?’, ‘have i become immune to it?’ and have obviously been googling this and found that it has happened to other people.

    I know what I should be doing is saying to myself: just let it be, even if the medication isn’t/doesn’t work you have now found the tools to work this out for yourself and the above are more ‘thoughts’ that mean nothing at all. And anyway – what is it that I want to get better from….worrying that I have anxiety? Who cares if I have!

    I’m just having an impatient day and am down feeling down because I have had a couple of good days.

    Any advice?

  220. ross Says:

    Hey Everyone,
    Hope everyone is doing well with recovery!!!

    Not been on in a while doing really well with recovery until I had a setback today!! really frustrating!!!!!!!!

    Always get it at work, really feels like im nothing at all, if that makes sense.

    Im constantly focused on me and talking is really strange. always feel like i cant speak!! please say some1 else has this??? also when i do speak it feels like im listening to myself???? its sooo weird and really scares me .

    Also when i walk around work i feel im walking so fast and strange cos i feel im going to fall over!! sometimes feels like im walking down steps on a level floor?? haha.

    Maybe i should just quit my job as I feel a change would introduce a new start within me. i really understand Pauls way of not caring and the whatever attitude but at work it really gets overwhelming with the weird speaking feeling????

    I really feel so tired and worn down and the thought of working fills me with dread . I really need money just like everyone else but sometimes I think my well being is more important .

    I went to the doctors about a month ago and im waiting to hear about CBT therapy.

    These setbacks are really annoying cos I have the ‘whatever’ attitude all the time but at work everything just gets on top of me and I cant seem to function properly .

    is being neurotic the same as having anxiety?????

    any answers to my questions would be brilliant and thanks for listening , I hope everyone gets to recovery soon

  221. geoff Says:

    Hi All,
    Just wanted to post my thanks to Paul and everyone on this website – really helped me over recent days as I’ve been going through a bit of a bout of anxiety recently. Sometimes I think just to be able to read about everyone here keeping themselves going on the path to recovery, really helps to remind us that we are not alone.
    I can trace my anxiety right the way back to being at school – when I remember having to be taken out when I started feeling over-anxious in the school choir at a couple of concerts. If only someone had sat me down then and taught me the lessons Paul covers on his web-site – I’m sure this would helped me enormously then, and in later life.
    As it was I was left in ignorance and therefore vulnerable to future anxiety – around the age of 14, I started to suffer from panic attacks – due to a special fear (fear of dying) which would generate circling anxious thoughts which inevitably led into a flash of panic. These panic attacks continued for almost 30 years, before I finally realised what was happening, and that I could train myself to break the circling anxious thoughts, and therefore stop the panic from flashing.
    A panic attack pushed me into an anxiety state for a few months when I was a student aged 21, and then again age 29 and 32. And the break-up of a long-term relationship when I was 39 pushed me into another very difficult patch of anxiety – I got some counselling help which helped me through this.
    More recently, I’ve found myself in a very responsible job which, although I cope most of the time, does generate a lot of pressure and stress for me. I had to go away to a conference for 3 days last week, and found the tension and anxiety building up more than usual. Luckily I found this website and the reassuring and helpful advice contained here has helped me through a difficult few days. Particularly, I found it enormously helpful to have a reminder that anxiety is just adrenalin playing its old tricks on body and mind – thinking about it in this simple way really helps!
    Best wishes to all, Geoff

  222. marc Says:

    hey candie,

    thanks for the reply! seen the neurologist and got the all clear! everythins fine-mri scan,bloods,kidney d whole lot so relieved in some way! and havent twitched now in a few days so maybe things are startingto look up! :)


    whatever u do dont quit your job mate! not unless you can secure another job before u quit your current one! all your experiencing there is d.p mate, nothing more nothing less! i from time to time have the weird talking thing to-like i can hear my own voice and wondering does it make sense what im saying etc. its perfectly normal! just go with it when it happens,i know u feel completely weird when it happens and your freaking out with it, but realise that all it is is d.p and is only temporary! dont waste your precious time obsessing about it! just go with it! and trust me having no job and not being occupied makes it worse! i lost my job there last month and the d.p got worse! but thankfully things are starting to look up a bit!

  223. kat Says:

    Thanks Hawkeye and Sasha for your responses. Clearly, my stubborn mind is the main obstacle. Kind of explains the last ten years, I’d say! I suppose I am ruminating because of what the fear could possibly lead to, namely spontaneous decisions that could have a negative impact on my life. My emotional struggles have, at times, made me a very inward, selfish person and the feelings of others took a backseat to whatever I was feeling. I have been worried about not finding the strength to recover and possibly damaging the one relationship in my life because of confusion over how I actually feel. There’s that and the fact that I have young child to consider and I really want to learn how to correct all the bad learning before she learns it from me and commits to the same pattern.

    Thank you for the advice. As always, it is greatly appreciated. I’ll keep trying!


  224. natalie Says:

    hi guys hope you all well x just a quick note beffore i start work today.. and candie if you could reply would be lovely because its to do with my family.? you and i know you can appreciate this as well. but since starting back at work have been more angst which i expected but i have also started to feel very emotional particularly towards my kids to the point i could cry most of the morn it wares off by time i am home again but hard in the mornings .. any tips to help me deal with this , would be greatly appreciated

    thanks well off to work i go :) x see you all soon and keep the faith xxx

  225. Sara Says:

    Hi all,

    Bad day for me yesterday and today (so far!) Started off by not being able to sleep on Tuesday and then gripped by anxiety in the middle of the night, went to work and did the usual felt like i was dragging myself there but was telling myself the usual “it’s just your tired mind” etc etc. I work in mental health (?!!) and my job can be very intense and of course personal. Anyway there has been a course on recovery which I have been attending but have decided not to carry on with as I want to and believe that this method is the one that makes the most sense for me . The course was quite challenging and deep thinking and as many of you know that isn’t always great if you have anxiety! Anyway in a team meeting yesterday we were talking about having a training day on recovery and I just felt my eyes filling with tears! I had to run out and have a big sob in the loo! Luckily many of my colleagues are supportive but it hit me really hard as I feel that I am bang smack in the middle of recovery and it’s so so personal to me. My poor partner (having never had anxiety etc ) does find it hard to understand but he is there for me no matter what. I had a big chat with him yesterday night about it all but if you’ve not experienced it is so very difficult to relate and I do understand that. I also realised that he often doesn’t know what to say and doesn’t want to say the wrong thing. I said that sometimes it seemed like he doesn’t care and he was very hurt by this. I also think (as mentioned somewhere before) that anxiety pushes you to always see the negative and I’m so tired of this too. Terrible sleep once again, back at work today exhausted and puffy eyed, with a big presentation to do tommorow!! Arrgghhhh!! It is so so so frustrating to feel like you have come so far and the bang something hit you hard again. I keep telling myself I have been here many many times before and it will lift again but it’s so hard isn’t it! Natalie I too have been very emotional of late ( I am guessing it is all part of the recovery process too) sometimes I feel like i coud cry for no reason whatsover. I think all we can do is put it under the umbrella of anxiety and know that with time and patience it will pass. Could anyone offer me some words of comfort though as am feeling a bit wobbly and could do with some reassuring that this is just a down part of anxiety and not reality (do you know even writing that last sentence I know it’s true!) I hope everyone is having a good day today xxx

  226. Ian Says:


    I hope that others will come in with the reassurance of the recovered, but just to let you know that you are by no means alone. I have found work very, very difficult, and I have found myself crying in the toilets too. Sleep (or the lack of it) for me is terrible – sometimes I wonder how I could make sense of anything during the day with only a couple of hours sleep a night, let alone trying to deal with anxiety and all it brings at the same time. Like you I also believe that the process of acceptance is the way through, it has to be, but it sure as hell isn’t easy. It IS anxiety, and we will get through.

  227. Caron Says:


    Another bad day for me too….

    All the scary thoughts have returned and my head just feels like its about to explode. I can seem to be able to even get a grip of my thoughts to tell myself they are JUST THOUGHTS nothing else. Its like my mind is going into shut down.

    I really feel like crying but then think that means I must be really bad! But then I think maybe that will release some of the tension??

  228. Ian Says:

    Belief has been mentioned here before, and just a random post about this. The better days (few as they have been) I see in my mind (whether true or not) as times when I actually believed in what I was doing was the way forward. Unfortunately this belief doesn’t last long, and I struggle to remember what I believed the day following. One memory I just can’t get away from is 6 weeks or so ago, I quickly looked on the internet one evening and got a qoute from Claire Weekes – I just thought to myself anxiety is adrenaline. That night and the following day were amazing. Still had physical symptoms, some degree of detachment but I felt so absolutely ‘there’ in the moment, able to appreciate things, to not worry. Felt free, though still anxious. There is no way I recreate that moment, those thoughts, whatever they were that got me there, and it gets further and further in the past now. In my worst moments I think of that day of what seemed liked absolute clarity (yet with anxiety. Not sure if this is helpful or not to me, sometimes it reminds me of what I can be, that I don’t have to be overwhelmed, sometimes it feels like a struggle to achieve what I did then to try to regain some understanding. Sorry random posting really.

  229. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sorry this is the first time I have logged in for a few days and there was loads of new posts to moderate and some very positive ones from people who have come back to say how they are and some new people posting for the first time. Any you don’t recognise will be well worth reading. Esp Joe’s who makes some very valid points on what has helped him see the light and he puts it very well, esp the need to not place any conditions on how you feel and not to do mental gymnastics with yourself in order to make yourself better, so very, very true. He has placed it in an old title and at the time of writing is the last comment here


  230. Sara Says:

    Ian, Caron and Paul,

    Thanks for sharing. I think it’s so hard not to slip back into the old habits of believing it is more than anxiety that we are going through. It’s so hard to shake the belief off that there’s more going on than that. Having gone back and read Joe’s blog I can see some truth in it. When you’re so used to fighting your way through each day or each bout of anxiety it does become a habit, something that we’ve practised and learnt over time.I know that 8 years of going through this had left me thinking this was it forever, that and not knowing what the hell is wrong with you makes you feel so stuck and trapped in this horrible thing. However, since discovering this site I have slowly been able to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I have had a pretty good spell of good days recently (by that I mean days where being anxious didn’t bother me-not just suddenly being better) and I suppose it’s about holding onto to those good days knowing that they will be back again but not forcing them. In the same respect,, I suppose we have got to recognise the bad days for what they are..just that. There may be a bad day tommorow or even for the next week but also to not not try to force them away. I think I fall into that trap of wanting it all to be better quickly when I have a blip, but I am pleased that I can finally have some answers to it all and work with that. It’s definatley a better place than I was! I don’t know if I’m going to feel better today, tommorow or next week, month etc but I am going to work with that-do nothing, even if it does seem scary (which at times it does!) and keep that little bit of hope that it’s just my oversensitised, tired anxious mind doing the work and let it burn itself out.
    Ian-the fact that you have that day shows that things are beginning to change, but we have got to remember that it’s a slow process. When i discovered this site there was a part of me that was like “right I’ll be better soon!” and it’s taken me a good six months to begin to accept the anxiety (and I really do mean begin.) Being in the moment and free of this thing is where we want to be but it’s like learning anything, we’ve just got to not force the process. I really appreciated your words, thanks.
    Caron, maybe a good cry will help? I had one yesterday and although I don’t feel good today I did need it. Regarding the thoughts, I don’t think we can control them and that’s why we are here because we are trying to so much. I know it’s seems scary but if you let the control over them go you might find that they can just chatter away and disapear quickly. Do you ever laugh at how ridiculous they are? I do sometimes and that can help.
    Thanks for the support on here=-sorry if my messages are massive but it helps to just vent some stuff!
    Take care everyone x

  231. Ian Says:

    Thanks for highlighting this post Paul, I can really relate to it, especially the mental gymnastics (as is evidenced by my post immediately preceeding yours!)

  232. Ian Says:

    Sara –

    wanting it all better quickly, or just to get rid of this or that part of it, believing that would be the ‘key’ is the killer. Certainly for me. Lot’s of ‘mental gymnastics’ to try to achieve that thing, which is of course not going to happen – or at least the complex thing I thought one day won’t last until the next. Wanting to believe I am like everyone else for reassurance (difficult as it is to correspond what I feel with others experiences – Joe’s point about true belief in what it is you are suffering), contrasting with wanting to believe that ones own experiences are unique (which they are in many ways) so that some ‘special’ thing/thought/action will resolve it for you. Guess what I am saying, to myself as much as anyone, is no matter what the unique experience we may have, it is ANXIETY and we truly have to believe that. It can be awful in so many ways, and I’m as guilty as anyone of coming here for reassurance, confirmation. The blog is kept postive, which is a good thing, but at times I want to scream at just how awful it all is.

    I believe, like you Sara, and I guess most who come here, that acceptance of it all can be the only way to true recovery. I’ve suffered for over 20 years, with 3 ‘breakdowns’. I want to deal with this properly, which at some times makes me put on way too much pressure/limits, I know, but also at others, gives me hope.

  233. Sara Says:

    Hi Ian,

    Having a break at work I was reflecting (surprise surprise!) as to what a journey this is and that as you said in order to deal with this properly means you are going to have to ride out the highs and the lows. Keeping that hope going is the most exciting part of it all at times. I think paul talks about how we all have unique experiences but we are all united by the fact that we have anxiety, whatever form that takes. That in itself tells us that the often shared sypmtoms we have are simply-anxiety. It can be such a lonley place which is perhaps why we see our experiences as unique-however just knowing you are not alone has been such a overwhelming factor into beginning my recovery. Acceptance is the key but also the knowledge that this will not happen overnight, as much as we would like it to.

  234. Muriel Says:


    I have been reading Paul’s book and prior to that Claire Weekes books and both have made a lot of sense to me.

    I have suffered from anxiety on and off for the last 15 years, the last 3 being the worst. I had a couple of good weeks but on Sunday night began to feel nauseous – a particular anxiety problem for me. When I start to focus on the nausea, it gets worse and the thought of eating / preparing food makes me break into a sweat and I can hardly get the food down. To make matters worse, I am diabetic, therefore cannot avoid eating. When I am not in this spiral, I love my food. Can you give me any words of advice? I felt so despairing this morning – I just want to be back to normal.

  235. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Ian the mental gymnastics, searching and searching around for answers, trying to make myself feel better, wondering how I would be later, how I was at that present time truly had me stuck in a vicious cycle and something I worked on not doing anymore, it does not come instant as it is a habit we may have fallen into. But I learnt to not bother anymore, not to try and work it out, to stop using dialouge to make myself feel better and as Joe said have no expectations of how I should and shouldnt feel, I just abandoned myself to it and just basically ‘Dropped the subject’ as best I could, not to ignore it or ‘try not to think’ about it, as this is back to fight, more learn to no longer care and not feel the need to analyse anymore.

  236. Amanda Says:

    Hi everyone, just wanted to say what a wonderful site this is and what an insight it has been ,went to the doctors today and recomended it to the doctor for other sufferers, i just wanted to wish every one well and to say im going back to work in a wks time after being off for two months i am still suffering and still have a way to go and very apprehensive about going back but have decided anxiety is not going to hold me back any longer ive been fighting anxiety for 24 years and am now in flight mode the right way to go thanks to pauls book god bless you all and never give up hope recovery will come to you once you let it .

  237. KH Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I believe anxiety has caused us to keep ourselves in the past, but what we need to do is to move ourselves into the future.

    I am having insomnia as a side effect from my anxiety. Used to feel very grumpy and frustrated as I couldn’t sleep. I felt like I was going crazy few days ago as I couldn’t take the sleep-deprivation anymore. But after reading Paul’s advice, I decided to ignore my anxious thoughts when I sleep. Although I didn’t sleep right away and I was still rolling in my bed for quite a while, these few mornings when I woke up I felt much better. Not because I got more sleep because the number of hours I slept were still almost the same, but because I took my first step and am ready to let go of all these anxious thoughts. I must really say thanks to Paul for his great advice on this site. I would like to wish everyone all the best in their battle with anxiety and we can all do it.

  238. Matt Says:

    Just wondering if anybody had a chance to read my post from November 10th. Wondering if anybody else has these experiences.



  239. lorryt Says:


  240. lorryt Says:


    really sorry , am having a rough time and things for me although are getting better anxiety wise , i am realising that i am under extreme stress and that doesnt help, the rest of my feelings have gone completely to pot. hubby lost his job and we recently lost a very dear emeber of family, it all seems to have just snowballed and ino longer feel in control at all. sat here crying as i type, i cant take anymore angry outbursts from my hubby . i have kids to care for who are getting impacted by it all. sorry i wont go on as it isnt really anxiety related but am finding it hard to cope.xx

  241. Caron Says:

    Hi Matt,

    Yes I know exactly what you mean. Your head is so ‘fuzzy’ that it is hard to concentrate and engage in a conversation becasue you are thinking about how you feel all the time?
    I also I am so tired that I end up not continuing what I am working on and just end up kind of staring in to space – do you know what I mean?

  242. Ian Says:

    Caron, Matt-

    yes, yes to all of that.

  243. sasha Says:

    Hi lorryt,

    i know it can be very difficult when u have a family to look after and when other issues pop up along with it..once we understand about anxiety we are able to cope up ..because we are able to acknowlege its anxiety..but at times it is difficult to keep emotions intact as we had gone through a lot..! and when we get out of anxiety and start to live facing life face to face things may affect us ..

    situations may be troublesome..but instead of putting how the situation is hard and finding us in a hopeless situation try to bring your life under our control…In stressful situations when u r having an argument u get emotional and lose out on our words and may not be able to come up with what u actualy thought of saying will make u frustrated.

    when emotions run high and u feel that u no longer can control your emotions ..just watch your emotions and ask yourself do i have to upset myself shouting back? let the person complete..i have to maintain my peace of mind which is imporatand to me..this is not denial..meanwhile u will get time to think what u have to say…your emotions get back to normal and u get clarity to speak up too…not making you feel that u r at the recieving end always…

    dont worry…

  244. Helen Says:

    Hi Matt,
    Your mind is so, so tired from thinking all the time when you have anxiety that when you try and take new things in or try and remember something you simply can’t sometimes. Don’t allow this to worry or upset you, it is part of anxiety and therefore part of your recovery. Accept that your mind is so tired and that it is inevitable that you are going to have problems with memory. If you worry about why this is happening you are going to add to it and just get more tired and more confused. You are still the same person as you always have been but you are tired so don’t out pressure on yourself. It will just lift naturally as long as you don’t fight it and try and work it all out.
    I remember, at my worst, my boss talking to me at work and I couldn’t actually hear him, it was like my mind just refused to take anymore in. I was so frightened and my body felt like electricity was being pumped through it but I knew that I had to keep on going. This happened everyday for a long time but as I stopped questioning it and just let it happen, I would actually hear more, my body stopped feeling so alert and would start to feel ‘normal’. Leave it alone and it goes, it really does.
    Matt, it is the most frightening thing in the world to feel that you are only a part of the person you used to be, to feel like you have no say over what you are thinking and how you live your life. Anxiety is a bully and for as long as you react to it it will have control. Accept that you are tired, accept that it is anxiety and accept the thoughts, feelings, bad memory and everything that goes with it and the grip it has on you will slowly loosen. I and others that contribute to this blog are absolute and definate proof that this has worked for them and it will for you, I have no doubt whatsoever.

    All the best

  245. Caron Says:


    Your words are so sooothing. I have had the worst few days. All this questioning of my medication and am I ever going to get better etc.
    I feel so tired and not with it and emotional, have cried so much today!

    I can’t even seem to think about my thoughts to tell them they are just thoughts and just my anxiety playing tricks as my head feels so fuzzy!

    Maybe the fact that I can;t get hold of them is becasue I am starting to accept them?

    Please can you give some reassurance and some tips?


  246. Helen Says:

    Hi Caron,
    You are right. When you really start to accept without thinking about it (hope I make sense) you actually feel a bit numb because the thoughts don’t have as strong a reaction from you as they once did but you are still very tired emotionally and physically. It feels a little like grief as you are at some level letting go of something that you have had with you for so long.
    Don’t question your medication Caron and don’t wonder if you are ever going to get better because you will, you just really have to believe it. Don’t fight whatever comes at you, just accept it or you will become even more tired and confused.
    When you have a really bad day, when your thoughts are going round and round and you feel like you can’t take anymore. When you feel like you want to cry 24/7, when you don’t think you can face talking to people, when you can’t seem to function in any way (I am listing all these because this is how I felt) please, PLEASE know that better days are coming to you but to get to them you have to go through the bad days without question. You will do it, just be patient and don’t put pressure on yourself, anxiety is doing enough of that for you.

    All the best

  247. Caron Says:

    Thanks Helen, I just feel terrible at the moment and so tired but still wake at 5am! Is it normal to question everything about your life? I.e is there anything good in my life? Was I really happy before this came on! I’m struggling to remember a time when I was really happy? Does that make sense ? Am I right to just say to myself that’s the anxiety again playing tricks? X

  248. Helen Says:

    Hi Caron,
    It is absolutely normal to question everything when you feel so terrible because you don’t want to feel the way you do. You want to work out why you are feeling this way, you look back to see if there was a trigger so that you can ‘fix it’ and maybe avoid what you think may have triggered it in the future. You look back and try and think of happier times, as surely this would give you some comfort just for a minute but it doesn’t because your mind is so tired. Then you wonder ‘was I really happy at all’ and this makes you feel frightened and more confused and you carry on trying to work it all out. STOP!! You are putting yourself under a huge amount of pressure.
    Think about maybe one thing you would like to do today. It may be reading a page of a book, it may be washing the pots, it may be going for a walk, it may be just trying to hold a 5 minute conversation with someone but do it. Accept that the thoughts will still be there, you may feel absolutley exhausted just at the thought of doing it but do that one thing. Whilst you are doing it and your thoughts come at you because they will Caron, don’t let it stop you from doing what you are doing
    and don’t fight what is going on in your head and how your body feels just accept them.
    The biggest mistake we make as anxiety sufferers is to wait until we are better to carry on with life. What I found is that I have always been happy it is just that anxiety wouldn’t let me feel it for a very long time.

    All the best

  249. kat Says:


    Your words are so right.

    With the recent swell of anxiety around me, I started to look back at my life and try to think of the things that made me happy, the moments in which I felt like ‘me’, only to come away from it filled with dread, like those moments even were ‘poisoned’ somehow. I watch movies with happy couples in love and I feel angry and turned off. I see people smiling and laughing and I feel annoyed with them somehow, like they know some secret I don’t. The worst part is looking back, though, and thinking how I hope I never have to do any of those things again, even if I was perfectly content doing them at the time. Anxiety has filtered my view of my past and present, and I’m highly resentful of that.

    I also agree that we have a tendency to wait until we’re happy before we carry on. I’ve been doing that for years, occasionally doing things when the ‘mood was right’. I attributed those good moods to my partner, and now that things feel different with him, due to the anxiety, I have been a mess because I don’t feel like I can do anything above what is imperative. This past month I have literally had to force myself to do everything, and that only makes you more tired!

    Still plugging away, though. I haven’t given in entirely and I am doing my best to accept what my thoughts are saying, pushing them aside with a ‘so what?’. It isn’t easy, but I’m trying!

    Thank you for your comforting words, and good luck to Caron!


  250. Caron Says:

    Thanks Helen, I did go for a walk today which felt good, the thoughts were there but I managed to cope! I am now worrying that my medication is making me worse coz I upped it- I can’t win ! When I got back I tried to have a sleep but the thoughts were so strong and my heart was beating so fast I just wanted to scream! Then I get scared even more bout what’s happening to me! I spose I just need to accept that ANY negative thought is just my anxiety and when this passes so will they? X

  251. Sara A Says:

    hiya everyone,

    I’m new to the site but i have posted a couple of times on the obsessive thoughts bloggy.
    I had a really bad day today, it hurt.
    yesturday and the day before were not too bad and i thought i had let it go and accepted my racing thoughts but today i seemed to suffer even more with them. I let them pass or atleast i tried but it was like one straight after the other.. all memories, people, places ive been, stuff i used to watch, words etc etc! basically its like my life is flashing before my eyes. None of them that i enjoy thinking about. I feel so numb and i cant even get angry or cry about the thoughts but they are just there.
    I see a doctor regularly at the moment because i am pregnant. Does anyone think that the reason i could be stuck in this cycle is due to the stress that im having a baby, awaiting a house move, there has been alot going on this year. where did it all go wrong? i thought i was handling the stresses so well and then bam im struck with thoughts that just constantly come. they are so nasty.
    this site is so comforting at times like this. i feel overwhelmed at how every1 supports each other.


  252. sasha Says:

    Hi all,

    just a random thought…we end up in the anxiety pit because of the nature of thoughts and the repetetive pattern of it…this subject is intriguing me to know a lot more about y ceratin people have this pattern of thinking and can we change the way we see things altogether by being aware each time our mind picks on something…

    i am out of anxiety symptoms..but i guess now the emotions have started to resurface i find it difficult to get over things..initialy it was easy for me as i could bluff anything and everything on anxiety and it never used to bother me much.but now when i am very much in the situations i am getting overemotional and this scares me to hell more tahn anxiety…
    it was always my over emotions that led me into this where i lose my rational mind..i am worried of depression even as it takes a lot more time to snap out of it…

    has anyone who got out of anxiety symptoms had any issues with getting overemotional and tackling it

  253. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Caron I know you feel awful at the moment and bewildred by how you feel, but you seem to still be in a cycle, worrying about the level of your medication, worrying about what is wrong with you, these worries are keeping you in the cycle as your anxious about feeling anxious. It is far better to dislike how you feel, than worry about it and question it all, this will get you nowhere.

    Your post above was all about questioning it all, how you can overcome it, is there anything good in your life, questioning how you feel. You are just having a massive battle with yourself each day, questioing and worrying. You need to learn to be far more ok with the way you feel as awful as it can be, this is the only way. You CAN’T worry and question yourself better, this will just keep you in the cycle. Does the man on the street go around all day questioning how he feels? does he go around all day worrying about how he feels? No and if he did he would also begin to start to feel more stressed and detached. To become like the man on the street you have to behave like him. And that means accepting all your symptoms without question and understanding that they are all just surface symptoms and that the real you is still there underneath. Your symptoms are all worry and stress induced and you are worrying and stressing about them, your whole day is just centred around the way you feel, you have to begin to learn to move in the opposite dirtection and not make it the centre of your day, been there, done it, got worse.

    When you go for a walk, go for a walk, don’t go for a walk wondering or hoping it will help, questioning how you feel all the way around, tuning into how strong your thoughts are etc….When you wake at 5am, don’t question why, feel sorry for yourself, question your whole existence etc…I did everything you mention, it crushed me, I never moved forward, I just fell deeper. Your mind and body is desperate for a break, please learn to step out of the way and give it one. You will have to live alongside your feelings for a while yet, but learn to do that, what you are doing now is the opposite and living your life against them.

    As your other post above states:


    Your words are so sooothing. I have had the worst few days. All this questioning of my medication and am I ever going to get better etc.
    I feel so tired and not with it and emotional, have cried so much today!

    Caron I am not being rude here, but please listen to what people say, the whole book/site/blog states not to spend hours questioning and worrying and how this is just counter productive. You spent a few days worrying and questioning and then wonder why your mind feels so tired and your head feels so fuzzy. I want you to come here and say ‘I understand now that questioning and worrying about the way I feel is fruitless, I just go around in circles and it just has me feeling worse’. There is nothing to question Caron, please learn to stop worrying and questioning, this is vital if you want to move forward. If you re-read all your posts they are all filled with you worrying and questioning, if this is making you feel worse, why not try and begin to do the opposite?

    Lets go to another post of yours

    I also I am so tired that I end up not continuing what I am working on and just end up kind of staring in to space – do you know what I mean?

    You end up staring into space as your mind is overloaded with the subject, there is no space to think, you spend so much time on you and the way you are feeling nothing else enters your day, your mind is just so cloggerd up and tired. Think of the person who meditates, that person has given their mind a break, it feels refreshed and flexible, thinking is so clear and easy. So let thoughts race, let your attention be on you, but learn to no longer get involved, don’t try to force clear thinking, allow your mind to be clogged up, dull and fuzzy and be o.k with it, all this will help clear your mind, but be prepared to give it time and drop this utter desperation to be better today.


  254. Caron Says:

    Thanks Paul. I know I just need to drop my tools and accept this is me for now and not worry about what’s going to happen to me. It’s just so frightening. I do listen to everything try to stop my questioning and be ok with how I feel. Thanks

  255. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Caron that’s right, please try not to get so frustrated with the way you feel, it’s a big step :)

  256. sasha Says:

    Hi Paul

    is it normal to feel low for a long period? offshoot of anxiety? thought pattern will be the culprit in here..but there are no anxious thoughts…but each moment of dullness or ”i couldnt do” moments should be just taken up as a moment to do the same or something else to get out of the rut …right?
    if u could just encourage me to go out and do stuff when i dont feel like…feel very negative at the moment….how do i get to change my self image?best is to untrust the thoughts about me right? i guess each time we do what we ”think” we cant gives us the power over our thoughts….isnt that so…
    would love to hear few words of encouragement..i sometimes fear this low feeling as it keeps me in that frame of mind for alonger period of time rather tahn anxiety and its symptoms.. …
    hope to hear from u..

  257. Sara A Says:

    hiya paul,
    I posted a couple up – i am following your advice but would just really like comformation that what i experiance is normal too? i am not letting it hold me back because i believe it will work. my main issue is remembering the memories which are always negative, films, it seems to be associative at times. I am letting them flow in and not paying them attetion but of course i am aware they are there. i could have the same things pop up again.
    I know that since i purchased your book a week ago that i have improved because i am getting up and going out etc. However this thought pattern is new and the only thing i have now. Is there stages to recovery?
    I know you are very busy but if you do get chance could you read my post above and maybe give me some reasurance. i would be very grateful :)

    Sara A

  258. Matt K Says:

    Hey Paul,

    Just a quick question for you. Will your advice work for whatever anxiety disorder someone has been diagnosed with? I have mostly generalized and social anxiety with an very rare panic attack thrown in for good measure :). Is this process meant to work with these types of problems? I am very afraid of embarrasing or humiliating myself. I thinks thats why I have a big problem at work, so what would you suggest?

  259. louise tague Says:

    Hell everyone,god i havent been on here in a while,i still like checking in from time to time though,i find the website and all of pauls advice invaluable.Pauls book and the people on his blog played a massive part in my recovery from anxiety. Im doing really well these days,im happy and content and more in control of stress and all its negative symptoms.
    Im at college studying health and fitness,in fact,im the class rep!!If someone told me this time lastyear id be the spokesperson for a group of 25 people id have thought they where mentil!!Im not the best at public speaking but im a whole lot better than i ever gave myself credit for. Thats the nature of anxiety u see,your feelings are always magnified but theyre not always the case,theyre not always the reality. Matt,i so hear what your saying,i can relate 100% my biggest problem was social anxiety.I was so bad i cant begin to explain!! I avoided everything and everybody for fear of making a complete fool of myself,i was terrified of talking in the phone,i used to rattle if i bumped into someone in asda or anywhere,all someone had to say was “hi how r u! and id b in tatters-it was awful but i am better and if i can do it so can u………..firstly i did not get better over night,its taken time a whole lot of patience and many mishaps along the way,the biggest change u can make is deciding once and for all to FACE everything,avoid nothing,bend like a willow and just go,avoidance will keep u locked in anxiety 4ever. Anxiety has tought me to respect myself,because of this i wouldnt allow anyone to disrespect me,but this attitude has developed over time. Be yourself around people,people are generally really nice and wont think or say anything about your nerves,and peoplle that do dont matter anyway. Having anxiety is only one part of you-find the rest-enjoy life-find hobbies-spend time with family-challenge yourself at work to approach people,strike up conversation and put yourself out there,if it goes bad,hey,theres always 2morrow!!!!!!!Get rid of the fear of anxiety and trust me theres not much left,u can do this xxxxxxxxhope this helps

  260. Joe Says:

    Oops–I meant to place my post under this section. Glad it helped some people.

    As important as it is to accept your anxious thougts/feelings for the time being, and as important as it is not to do anything about them, it is very, very hard to do this without BELIEVING that anxiety is all that it is. So many people (and I was one of them!) tend to think like this: “Well, I feel awful right now and these thoughts are scary. However, I think it’s only anxiety. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s all it is. But what if–“…. And this “what if”, whatever it might be, can keep you in the anxiety trap (and it is a trap. The whole thing is a big put-up job!) As long as you think that it is something other than your currently sensitized mind and body (your anxiety), or even think that it very well COULD be something else, acceptance will be very difficult. Once you are truly convinced that anxiety is all it is–that every bizzare/obsessive thought and uncomfortable sensation is grounded in your anxiety ALONE, and that without this anxiety these thought/sensations wouldn’t be there–then acceptance comes a whole lot easier. And 9 times out of 10, anxiety IS the only real trouble.

  261. Ian Says:

    Didn’t read the blog over the weekend and just so much that resonates with me here this morning. Thank you Helen, Paul and Joe.

    Caron – I can relate to a lot of what you say. To say that my life if very difficult at present seems a huge understatement, I have often found myself asking how can I NOT be so desperate. But I do find reassurance here. I do realise my desperation is part of the problem.

  262. KH Says:

    The comments from everybody is very helpful and I would always come back here for comfort. I tried my best to disregard all thoughts with the firm belief that I can recover from all this. My anxiety is beginning to be in control but I feel very tired and would occasionally wonder if all this would come to an end.

    I felt very exhausted as I cannot feel any happiness no matter anything good has happened. However, on the positive side, my fears and anxious thoughts have been reduced and I would hope that this would mean that recovery is not far away from reach. So good luck to everybody as well !

  263. KH Says:

    I would like to ask a question here to those who have fully recovered. May I know once you have pretty much recovered would you feel like how you used to be?

    I am not expecting myself to return back to my old self as I have learned to accept my current self. But I would only wonder how is full recovery of anxiety like as I am still on my journey to recovery.

  264. Helen Says:

    Hi KH,
    Recovery from anxiety for me is very humbling because you realise when you are out of it or well on your way to getting out of it how great life is and I don’t mean it is like the ending of a film when you suddenly know you are better and that everything is going to be great from now on (that is what i expected for a long time!), I mean that because you have learnt so much about yourself from just being who you are and accepting whatever comes at you and allowing anxiety to attack you because that is what it does, you realise how very strong you are.
    I am my old self; a happy, loving person but now I don’t have the underlying fear I always had (I have had anxiety on and off for most of my life, I am 35 and I have had 2 very, very bad episodes). For a long time I did not believe that I would ever recover and felt like giving up sometimes but I didn’t.
    There isn’t a defining moment when you know you are better, you just are and the only, ONLY way to recover is to know that you will, accept the bad days without question, accept the good days without question, accept feeling so depressed but get up, go to work, go for a walk, wash the pots even when you feel desperate. Let your mind and body do what it wants to at whatever moment it wants to. If it wants to race and throw a million words or thoughts at you, if you feel like you are going insane from the ‘what ifs’ then let it happen.
    Recovery is yours, you own it and you will get there. That is the one thing that anxiety cannot take away from you.

    All the best

  265. Joe Says:

    Hi Ian,

    If I were you I think I’d try to go for a while without checking out this blog or any other anxiety-related site. I understand that this can be hard, but sooner or later you’ve got to come to the point where you just trust that you know all you need to know to recover. You know why you are feeling this way, and, knowing this, you are prepared to accept whatever comes your way. And, as the thoughts/feelings are now being accepted (with a “whatever” attitude), you will come to find other things grabbing your attention more. Bit by bit, outer things begin to capture your interest again, as you are losing interest in yourself (once you truly see anxiety for what it is and accept it for what it is, this is inevitable. You don’t have to force it). As you go through your day to day life with this new attitude of acceptance (i.e. letting your thoughts and feelings do whatever, without trying to control them), you will have some bad periods where you may be tempted to think, “This just isn’t working. I must be doing something wrong.” Let this thought be just one of the many thoughts that you ignore, that you allow to be there in your mind, without delving into it and analyzing it. If it makes you feel anxious to ignore it, so be it. Remember, the new attitude is one of “whatever”, and, as Paul said somewhere, If the anxious thoughts and sensations don’t matter anymore, there is no reason to analyze them. Don’t think about trying to force these thoughts out of your mind with other non-anxious thoughts. Try to think of it this way: on the left are a bunch of anxious thoughts. These thoughts stay with you almost all day long, whatever you might be doing. On the right, there are other thoughts–thoughts about what you’re doing at work, a hobby, a book, etc (anything non-anxious). Let these different groups of thoughts sit side-by-side one another, without trying to make the one set push the other away. In time, the anxious thoughts will leave of their own accord, without any conscious help from you :)

  266. Lesley Says:

    Phew this road to recovery is bumpy but……i have good suspention so I’m sure I’ll be fine lol!! Just wanted to say what two great posts above, full of encouraging positive words! Thanks x x

  267. Si Says:


    Just wanted to say I can relate to everything you mentioned about getting angry about people having fun, getting on with life and totally questioning “WAS I EVER HAPPY BEFORE”. It’s good to know it’s not just me :)

    I can also tell you this, I have just had a good week (compared to most). I got interested in things I used to be interested in, still had the thoughts there but for a strange reason I didn’t pay much attention to these. I actually felt so close to being my old self, things like DIY felt quite enthusiastic about doing it… So it does go away. Went out at the weekend with some mates (I realy didn’t want to go, but glad I did now, cos I proved to myself I can do it)

    However the last 2 days I have felt quite down again, and I know it’s hard to not think yourself better. But I am not half as dispondent as I used to be…. I truley belive this is a time issue and to live along side your thoughts and feelings like Paul says. OK it’s not easy to do things when you realy don’t want to, but I found that last week I pushed myself a little bit more to ignore my tired mind and get on with things, laugh at my silly feelings and thoughts, listen and interact with other people and trust me WATCH the movies that make you feel low, God I cant tell you how good it feels to know I was not the only person who felt like this, but I pushed and pushed myself to keep watching, keep doing the stuff I didn’t have the energy to do and I felt a LIFT!! OK it’s come back down again like I said, but over the last few months I get a decent week and a couple of low days where as before I had all bad days. It certainly is a time related condition and I know in the next couple of days I’ll be ontop of this again.


  268. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Good advice Joe and without doubt you have got the total correct attitude, it shines through. I did also say the below somewhere in the blog a while back and it is worth really taking on board.

    “If the anxious thoughts and sensations don’t matter anymore, there is no reason to analyze them”.

  269. Sara A Says:

    Hiya to every1,

    I have written a couple of posts not far up and wandered if any1 could reasure me that im on the right track? The thoughts i have and am constantly getting are always there, but i know they are ridiculous. I just came back from swimming with my husband and i wont let it all stop me from doing anything or going anywhere because in the past i wouldnt have cared… although a little hard i still want to do it.
    I am 20 and pregnant so its not easy with the whole not having a time limit on recovery because my babys due date is 3rd feb. I believe im letting the thoughts have as much room as they like, however i have an issue with my mind wanting to refer back to other thoughts, its like my mind says ” ok your not thinking anything lets throw you something that you really didnt like” i dont think im actually making a concious decision to look back because i know deep down i dont want to.
    I try and look to the future and the positives but they don’t come as clearly as i’d like… is this because my mind wants me to stop and just be for now?
    I have my doctors later and i think he wants me to be put on antidepressants.. my gut feeling is telling me no, as horrible as this all is i care too much about my babys health and i think it would add another stress.
    So yea please if any1 could read my posts above and get back to me would be alot of help :)

    Thankyou Thankyou
    Take care

  270. Ian Says:

    Thank you.

  271. Fiona Says:

    Hi Sara, i come on the blog now and then usually to give some advice if i think i can. I have had a baby recently so please be assured that you will cope fine with everything. Im pretty much recovered but did experience a setback when i had my baby. But it is important to understand it is a traumatic experience with or without anxiety. Things you’ll have to deal with are the pain of childbirth and the recovery period, lack of sleep, strain on your relationship with hubby, getting to know and bonding with your baby. DO NOT PUT A TIME SCALE ON YOUR RECOVERY BASED ON YOUR DUE DATE. I would just expect to still have anxiety, that makes it easier tl accept and just get on with becoming a mum. Unfortunately you cant switch anxiety off it doesnt work like that, it slowly disappears in an up and down process.
    As far as anti-ds, i have never taken them and i dont think anyone has really found them to be beneficial, recovery comes from within you.
    All the best and keep me updated.
    Fi xxx

  272. LORRYT Says:


    thing is i dont shout back , i listen to all the ranting and raving and try to take it in but its like my ears wont hear it ! sounds weird, i was brought up in a very calm environment and no arguments were tolerated! , hubby is having a bad time and seems we are all paying for iy at the mo. im sure things will calm down but my nerves are always on edge and its so frustarting when you feel like you have come so far and things just get in the way and you are in a set back. i am tryin g to help him but ther eis only so much i can do !. thanks for the support hun it means aloads xxx

  273. Maike Says:

    Dear Paul,

    I found your website and your blog a few weeks ago and was crying with relief after I read what you wrote. I’m 30 now and am struggling with anxiety since 10 years. Over the past weeks anxiety reached a peak it had never reached before and I am rarely leaving the house anymore. I was always against taking any antipsychotic drugs except for homoepathic stuff but right now I am at a point where I would take anything just to not feel this constant fear and sadness anymore. But I won’t because I know it won’t help and it won’t cure me. I will order your book today and be patient, letting recovery slowly take place, one step at a time. Even if it takes years, anything is better than how I am feeling right now.

    My boyfriend is very understanding and tries to be there for me all the time but I feel so guilty and ashamed for he deserves a better life, without someone who is constantly unhappy despite all the wonderful things he does for me. I am holding him back and dragging him down and that is not fair. I hate what I have become and I feel that it might be a punishment for not being a good enough person in the past.
    I am so thankful for your website. Thank you for sharing your experiences and for wanting to help other people. God bless you!


  274. mark Says:


    I read Paul’s book a few months ago, and although it relates to me, I sometimes have difficulty putting it into practice.

    I see a therapist who tells me I need to think positive in order to overcome many of my fears and anxiety. Although I agree with him (and I’m sure Paul would too), sometimes I believe that this is “fighting” against my symptoms. So when I tell myself to think positive, a voice in my head creeps up and says “you feel bad, so thinking positive is fighting your feelings, which will make you worse – the exact opposite of what Paul said to do.” This angers me, so do I ignore these thoughts or believe them? I mean positive thinking can’t be bad! On one hand, Paul says to accept these thoughts and feelings, but on the other hand my therapist is saying that these feelings are trash and to think positive. Maybe I’m overanalyzing and missing the big picture, but everytime I try to devote myself to living a certain way, there is a strong doubt inside me that says “But you are doing this the wrong way.” It’s so frustrating, and it sets me up this whole internal, obsessive dialogue that limits my ability to live my day.
    The only way I can break free of this is to be “mindful” of the environment around me. This helps, but I always return to the argument I described, so it feels like more of an escape. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps I’m missing something here.

  275. Matt Says:


    Yes I definately understand what you are saying and Helen thank you for the kind words.

    I know that I have conveyed this before but does it really get better? I mean the memory, and the confusion? I go to work and I just can’t comprehend things like I used to. Concepts that I know I would have understood before go over my head which causes me more anxiety. It is so scary. It’s as if my IQ has dropped off of a cliff. My head feels like it is filled with pressure and I am lightheaded but the constant confusion is what scares me. I know that I have to quit analyzing if I ever expect to improve but have people gained back there ability to think and problem solve?

    I am going to continue to attempt to not focus on my anxiety and such and take all of your advise but I just feel like I am alone with the mental confusion that I experience.

    Thank you all for your support and comments.

  276. Sara A Says:

    Hiya fiona,
    Thankyou so much for replying. I really appreciate it.
    I’m going to continue the way i am, i think im in the up and down process,
    yesturday evening i was so confident and able to let thoughts come and go and they became less frequent and for about an hour i was able to watch tele with the hubby and be me, although i did recognise that i was watching myself if that makes sense.
    This morning i woke up and has the images/memories etc and new ones.
    I know i shouldnt question why they havent gone but i thinks its just one of those things that i have to get passed.
    I turned down the anti-d. I have midwife friday and i think she will give me some imput on support i could have after the birth.
    If you dont mind me asking how did your anxiety affect you?
    Dont feel the need to respond to that question if its raw or uncomfortable.

    Thankyou again. Hope to hear from you soon.

  277. Hollie Says:

    Hi Paul!
    Around April or May this year, my mum found your website and ordered the book for me. I had been struggling with anxiety for about 2 years and it got to the point i thought i couldnt cope anymore. My hair was falling out and i got psoriasis (the doc told me it was due to stress!) I remember the first time i read your book – i actually started crying!! The relief i felt from knowing that someone else felt the same way i did was unbelievable! This may sound far fetched – but i dont care – i feel that you have saved my life!! All i ever wanted to do was be at home in my bed, and even then i would feel anxious.
    Im still recovering now, i still have bad days and i get stressed very easily (I am training at a job which can be very hard work) but i feel a million times better than i did. I actually started feeling better the day after reading your book, because i knew i was not alone and i was beginning to understand WHY i felt the way i did.
    I feel exhausted alot of the time, and i get the `tight band` and feel dizzy. But this is usually only at work. Any other time i am fine! I read back on your book alot to give me the encouragement i need to recover. I know i will get there one day, and there is no question of where and when, it will just happen. It is happening!!

    I cannot thank you enough for what you have done to my life and many others. To me, you are a saviour!

    All the best Paul, Hollie xxx

    P.s – My hair is now intact and my psoriasis has completely gone!! :)

  278. geoff Says:

    Hi Mark,

    I hope you will permit me to answer your post – as I recognise a lot of what you’ve described in my own personal experiences.

    Yes I think you are missing something, as it seems you are mixing-up two very different things;

    I suspect your therapist is advising you to identify what may be a well-developed habit of negative thinking, and to practice a new habit of using cold, hard logic to challenge those negative thoughts in order to develop more optimistic ones.

    This isn’t the same as ‘fighting your symptoms’ – anxiety symptoms being things like; churning stomach, sweaty palms, panic feelings etc. These symptoms are the result of adrenaline – they need to be understood and accepted, because any attempt to fight against them will release more adrenaline and only make them worse. Whereas a habit of negative thinking needs to be understood and challenged, because negative thoughts left unchecked simply lead into a downward spiral of your mood.

    I also wanted to say something about that “internal, obsessive dialogue” you mentioned… as this is something I’ve been bogged-down with myself. This actually serves no useful purpose, and simply spoils your enjoyment of your day. It needs to be stopped as it’s draining mental energy which you need for productive purposes (try googling ‘stop ruminating’ for some useful techniques).

    Hope some of this is helpful, Mark. Keep in touch with how things are going.
    Best wishes, Geoff

  279. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    That’s great news Hollie, I remember the ‘crying’ with relief moment myself once I finally had some information. I have never felt so lost and alone, having not a single clue as to what was wrong with me and no one could seem to tell me anything. Someone in the medical field once said ‘Paul doctors have to know a little about everything and can’t expect to be experts in the field of anxiety, it is a subject in itself’ I replied ‘Yes but would it not be good if every town had just 1 person with decent knowledge that they can be sent to, even just to explain and then advise them on where to get extra help?’

    Just a simple explanation would have saved me years of suffering. I got worse because, not only was I fighting to get better, I was also trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me. It is the biggest most single reason people visit their doctor and yet in most cases no one can tell you what is wrong with you. hopefully in years to come that will change, it needs to!

    Anyway well done on your progress, I never tire of people coming back here to say how much better they are doing.


  280. Michelle M Says:

    Hello, just a quick question. Does anyone still feel odd & detached, even when not feeling anxious? I feel like this most days now. Had my third bout of anxiety really bad in Sept last year, & have made slight improvements, but still feel quite strange, almost like i’m not really here, & nothing in my life has any relevance, If that makes sense? I would really appreciate, if anyone that has, or is experiencing this feeling, how to cope with this. Many thanks Michelle

  281. Michelle M Says:

    Just read the above post & i absolutely agree with you Paul. So much more needs to be done to create awarness of such a misunderstood & debilitating condition. If there were more awareness then alot less people would be suffering right now, as there is so much ‘Stigma’ attached to mental illnesses. Why should Anxiety & Depression be sneered upon? It’s time certain people stopped being ingnorant & realise that these illnesses are Real! If some one can be ill with Diabetes & not be frowned upon, why can’t someone not be well in the mind? After all we are only human. Keep up the good work Paul, you’re doing great! I have already recommended your book to a few people & it has helped loads. Thank you, for taking the time out, to help others in need. Michelle.

  282. mark Says:

    Thank you Geoff. I understand where you are coming from with your post, and I appreciate you getting back to me.

    With that being said, I still struggle to a very strong degree with pervasive, scary thoughts that haunt me on a daily basis. These thoughts tend to be focused on my current relationship and life situation. Thoughts tend to pop up suddenly, and I doubt anything and everything, such as “Why can’t I love my girlfriend, Why don’t I miss her when she’s not around? Is she cheating on me?” They’ve gotten so extreme that I have begun questioning some serious qualities within myself, even so far as my sexuality. With my therapist, I have tried replacing all of these negative, sabotaging thoughts with positive ones. The more the negative thoughts persist, the stronger I come back with positives. After many months, I still fight these thoughts but to no avail, they keep coming back. Not only is this time consuming, but it is a severely debilitating process that leaves me emotionally drained and more confused than ever.

    I am confused what direction to take. Unlike in Paul’s book, I do not question any physiological symptoms, mainly b/c I have none. I do not have tight bands, shaking hands or anything, and if I do I usually do not question them. I tend only to doubt my emotional feelings, not my physiological symptoms, if that makes sense. My most successful approach has been using “Mindfulness,” where I focus and ground myself on my surroundings. It helps quite a bit, but in the end these thoughts creep back and dominate my thinking. It’s more of a coping mechanism than a solution. It’s a very well-documented and published technique, so I will continue using it.

    I have also taken some of Paul’s advice to laugh/smile at the thoughts and realize they are just a physiological response to adrenaline. This does help to a certain degree, but is this really the answer in my case? I want to put my confidence fully behind it, but wouldn’t I have full-on panic attacks and physiological symptoms (tight band, etc.) if it was all due to adrenaline? If I don’t find out the reason for these thoughts, then I tend to believe they are just innate desires trying to manifest themselves, and that scares the hell out of me. My therapist tends to believe they are fears, not desires, but how can I tell? I want to laugh these things away, but not knowing where they come from isn’t all that funny.

    Obviously I’m still confused, and every day is a struggle. I try very very hard to maintain an active lifestyle, and I do not avoid situations, but my thoughts follow me everywhere I go. I have a difficult time enjoying things because I am so distracted and drained by my thoughts. If anyone can please shed any light on my situation, I would be very appreciative. Thanks so much.

  283. Andre Says:

    Hello Michelle,
    i felt this way – so said – in the second step into my recovery. I don’t know others how they felt, but i can definitely relate to this. For me, when i understand my condition this was somehow more easy to accept, even if it was awful and embarrassing. There were periods when this oddness lift up, felt so good, almost free, without any anxious feeling, but i understand that i have to give up the fight and let my mind to settle himself.
    At the same time i realized that i have to give up with the coping strategies, because if i would to live a normal live i had to act as normal. So my suggestion would be, try to let yourself feel miserable, with that knowledge back in your mind that this wont persist forever and with time you will feel better and better. (Sorry if i couldn’t formulate better)

  284. Sara A Says:

    Hiya mark,

    I thought that i would respond to you because i am in the same kind of situation- i dont have any of the physical symptoms which did make me question at first wether all my thoughts/images etc were because of adrenalin but i guess i have realised now that me questioning that was anxiety based. I guess you really dont have to have all the symptoms to have anxiety. So smile your not alone on that one.
    I have noticed with being so aware of what im thinking that i tend to say to myself if i see something i dont like ” oh please dont think that, please dont stick ” and of course because i gave it the attention that it wanted it stuck haha. I think its just about taking it all with a pinch of salt. The things i would love to stick dont because i like those thoughts- eg : my wedding.
    I honestly believe its a learning curve that we all have to go through. I don’t want to stay this way- of course i dont but i cant stop my mind right now. Try not to question why you have no physical symptoms and be glad that you dont :) its not a nice experiance if you have had them.

    hope it may help you.

    sara a

  285. geoff Says:

    Hi Mark,

    I can really see how confusing and exhausting this must be for you, struggling to keep going with these thoughts troubling you so much. Worrying and disturbing thoughts are something that a lot us anxiety sufferers have to contend with, I know from personal experience – particuarly when I’ve been under a lot of stress. I see Paul has a webpage covering this particular problem, so it’s obviously very common:

    The “Mindfulness” technique does sound like it is providing you with some relief though – I do hope you can keep going with this, you may be underestimating the benefit this is giving you. Troubling thoughts tend to ‘stick’ in a tired, emotionally drained mind, so obviously any technique that gives your mind a bit of a rest is worth persevering with.

    I wonder if you will allow me to make one other observation? Your posts are full of questioning; questioning your therapist’s view of your fearful thoughts, questioning Paul’s advice, questioning what direction to take, etc. This is all very exhausting – I’m sure you can see how much less exhausting it would be if you stopped the questioning (for example by using a “Stop” technique). I realise this is quite challenging of me to say this – you are obviously a very intelligent and perceptive person who wants to analyse things in great detail – but in the end all the questioning is more likely to simply drain you further.

    Best wishes to you, Geoff

  286. Kat Says:

    Hello all,

    Just a bit of an update, I suppose. On the one hand, things are better in terms of panic as I’ve been almost cheerful the past few days and have been much more focused than I have been for the past month. On the other hand, there is still fear around my relationship with my husband, as well as dread, but I know that it won’t alleviate overnight. That said, I am back looking for more support as I have begun to brim with doubts again and do not want to start the obsessive thinking.

    I found out that I have the day off work tomorrow, and it was a wonderful surprise. I was excited to have a day to spend with him where our daughter would be at school and we’d be able to spend ‘quality time’ alone together. Then, I got home and the ‘thoughts’ flooded me, and I was back to feeling dread. Now, everything I have read tells me that this is anxiety-based thinking, but there’s that nagging part of me who keeps whispering ‘your relationship is in jeopardy!’. I have been feeling weepy since and have begun to back-pedal which I really don’t want to do.

    I know that I need to let the thoughts come, but, after a month of keeping a distance from him and constantly feeling as though I have to test the waters just to see how I feel, I’m exhausted and frightened. I was hoping any of you who have gone through this and have managed to get past it would perhaps tell me how you did it? For the record, I’ve had panic disorder for ten years and this is the first time in our eight year relationship that I’ve felt this way with regard to him. In fact, up until just over a month ago I was wild about him and felt absolutely secure.

    Any advice?

    I’m sorry if I’m being redundant since I’ve posted about this before, but I am really hoping for words I can build on.

    Much appreciated,


  287. Hawkeye Says:

    Kat first of all I had this for a long time. But I knew my now husband was the one for me for I had to face and accept the thoughts. You will know the answer to this to. There is no doubt in my mind that you love and want to be with your husband as everything you have said I have been through. i yes it is so scary you start to question everything. it wasn’t until i said to these thoughts ‘yeah so what I don’t love him i am going to carry on anyway’. That I made head way. I accepted that the thought was there. that did not mean i believe it. But it stopped my inernal dialouge. one of the scariest things for me was that I thought it kept coming back because i knew I did not love him and i had to leave. I thought it was intitution trying to tell me something. Like you describe that nagging feeling. Well it was all bullshit. As in my calm states i saw the truth. Nothing comes from a negative head space no answers and you can never think yourself out of a low mood. You need to give up finding the answer, you need to wave the white flag. Let these thoughts do what they want and I promise you and I really mean this when you feel calmer you will know the answer which will be you love him. You can not feel these feelings now as you are surrounded by fear. When you are surrounded by fear you will also be so aware of yourself and feelings you will be analysing. So hug your husband tell him you love him let ALL THE DOUBT BE THERE! iTS LIKE DO THE OPPOSITE!! and try not to analyse how you are feeling.

    You know how you truely feeel its just that that voice of doubt is so loud at the moment. Fear is very powerful give up the fight. Let all your thoughts feeling float through you and carry on with what you truely want to do.


  288. Hawkeye Says:

    I had this grmlin in all my relationships and when I meet my husband i knew I had to face it
    Recovery lies in the places you fear the most -Claire weekes

  289. Sara Says:

    Wow-great post Hawkeye (rach?!)

    As I’ve mentioned above Kat, I have exactly the same difficulties with obessive thinking around this subject, it is exhausting and frustrating and the thoughts have stuck about for a long time. I think it might have been Helen who also talked about how when you are in this anxious/negative mind state it makes it easy to pick on the negative issues in your realtionship or life, magnify them and turn them into something which does not remotley resemble the truth. I honestly believe that if I had the advice found through this website and book much much earlier I would not have become stuck in this merry go round of analysing, obessive thinking, determined to find any hint of truth which could propel my fear. I really liked what you said Rach-“Recovery lies in the places you fear the most” ( Claire Weekes’s book is the next buy on my list :) We can take some comfort knowing that it is the fear we are afraid of not the thoughts themselves. For me most of the obsessive thinking is born out of pure habit. It became normal for me to be in this constant state of anxiety and worry (even though I knew deep down that there wasn’t any truth in the thoughts) and as such all I did was transfer one worry onto another which I now realise I have done with my relationship. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that it isn’t about the thoughts but about the fear. If it isn’t about the thoughts then there is not need to pay any attention to them.
    Honestly Kat, I really understand what you’re going through and look how many people on here do to! That for me is a great relief that there is no truth in the thoughts whatsover. If so many people with anxiety have this (or different types) of fears then it has got to be anxiety!
    Mark-again really related to what you were saying amongst my many many irrational fears and obssessive thinking was sexuality. Again-totally and utterly anxiety based. I realise this now BUT I have to say it’s not an easy road when you have suffered for so long. I think knowing it is anxiety based and “sitting with the thoughts” is the way to recovery. I know we have all got it in us to recover we have just got to ride this bumpy journey for a while.
    take care everyone
    Sara xxxx

  290. Helen Says:

    What Hawkeye says is absolutley spot on.
    I have been through the EXACT same thing and know 100% that you will get through this with your relationship intact. In fact, your relaptionship will be stronger as will you. You will get through this x

  291. Trisha Says:

    Hi all, i come along here to mostly read when i need support but post from time to time. I find it some comfort to feel like i can say it out as apposed to keeping it in. I have been doing pretty well since discovering this site / book a year ago snxiety is something i have dealt with for a about 10 years but much improved and very much enjoying life thanks to this however i have had a set back in the last two weeks. basically i went into hosp to get all my wisdom teeth out and have been left with ..hopefully temporary numbness in my mouth ( apparently im the one in hundred!!) i started to get anxious and worried last week when it didn;t appear to go away i spent my entire week of recovery worrying and my anxiety went throu the roof! i had been out of my routine of excercise, eating healthy and being outdoors. I really was freaking out mainly i discovered because it was out of my control and there was nothing i could do…i function better when i feel well and appear to panic when obstacles get in the way this being one. basically i was so scared and went to the consultant who said i could be like this for another month or two as you can imagine. stupidly i went online and read up on horror stories about permanent nerve damage. im getting married early nect year and was very concerned. anyhow not going to bore you with all the dental details but as a result im shattered and mentally exhausted from worrying for two weeks about something that at the end of the day i have no control over and need to give it time and have patience. im really learning alot about myself this last week in terms with how i cope with stress ( not very well it turns out!) im trying to get back into my normal routine to distract myself but it is so difficult. i quess in the past i dealt with anxiety after something had happened this however is very different when something is ongoing. but perhaps i need to still use the same techniques. thanks for reading sorry to bore you all. just feeling quite scared and upset at present t XX

  292. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Michelle says: Just read the above post & i absolutely agree with you Paul. So much more needs to be done to create awarness of such a misunderstood & debilitating condition. If there were more awareness then alot less people would be suffering right now, as there is so much ‘Stigma’ attached to mental illnesses. Why should Anxiety & Depression be sneered upon? It’s time certain people stopped being ingnorant & realise that these illnesses are Real! If some one can be ill with Diabetes & not be frowned upon, why can’t someone not be well in the mind? After all we are only human. Keep up the good work Paul, you’re doing great! I have already recommended your book to a few people & it has helped loads. Thank you, for taking the time out, to help others in need. Michelle.

    Yes I agree with you Michelle. I can’t believe something so common is so ignored and seems to have such a stigma attached to it. Even to this day there are many friends and family members who have no idea what I went through or what I now do. When you deal with close family members and friends of mine who reguarly say things like ‘Mental illness doesnt exist or refer to people as nutters’ then you know it is better not to try and bother explaining to such ignorant people. Though I will say I have friends and family who think the total opposite and know exactly what I do and often say they know someone who suffers and more should be done. You get a feel for the ignorant ones, but it is generally these people that has so many people suffer in silence through fear of ridicule. No one who suffers should be ashamed, as my own doctor said it was the single, largest reason people came to see him.

    Some on here may remember, but over a year ago a doctor actually came on here who suffered and had no idea what was wrong and came on asking for advice, he said he felt so ashamed, as he thought he really should know how to help himself and that if he was able to move forward he would try to REALLY help anyone who came to him in the future and not brush it off with a few pills and a 5 minute chat. It just shows anyone can and does suffer, I get emails from every walk of life.

    My own view is that basically everyone understands a cold as they have felt one, so it’s real and people get sympathy and understanding. Things like cancer, heart problems, etc, exist as it says so on the TV and in so many magazines/books and many people know many who have suffered, so it exists and again people will sympathise. But anxiety is seemingly not publicised, swept under the carpet, people keep quiet, with so few out there who can seem to help, there is certainly a lack of understanding and sympathy there. Again this needs to change quickly and maybe as the internet grows and more and more publicity is given to the subject, hopefully it may do.

    I remember one lady who said her husband did not understand and told her it was all in her head and to just snap out of it. She replied ‘Do you think for 1 minute I want to feel this way, not sleep properly, feel dreadful, not want to go out, do you really think I would chose this way of life! you understand nothing!’

    It is that lack of understanding that has people suffering in silence, but I loved her honest reply.

  293. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    By the way I was asked how people find the site/blog and I had to answer it could come from a few different ways, but I was not sure on how most people found the place, but expect it was a google search. This is nothing more that me now being interested in how people landed here and what is the most popular source of people finding this place.

    If people who don’t mind could put at the end of their post how they found the site I would be just purely interested, it is not a survey or anything :) It could be a google search, a recommendation, a link from another site/forum or another way.


  294. KH Says:

    Hi Paul, KH here. I stumbled across your site while I was doing a Google search. I was googling “fear of going crazy” when I discovered your site and I am very glad as it has helped me to go on a road of recovery.

    I’m almost recovering with very little anxious thoughts which would occur at times. But I was lucky as I only suffered for a month before I found this site, while there are here who suffered for years. For those others who haven’t recovered yet, it’ll all be eventually worth it and you all can make it !

    I totally agree with you that people with anxiety / depression are not nutters, they are just caught in a cycle which they found no way to escape. We are all humans and sometimes we do get caught in a worrying cycle for too long. Unfortunately, there are just too little people who are aware of this as they have never actually experienced it. Some of my close friends also agree with me that they would never understand how it feels as they were never caught in anxiety / depression.

  295. Sara A Says:


    You say that the thoughts should be left to come and go… i am doing this.
    Alot of people on this blog have thoughts which are completley irrational and scary for them.
    All my thoughts are memories and they attach themselves with a strong feeling almost as though im being dragged back to the past. It really is scary now because im not sure if anyone has had this. It is memories/images of places i have been, films i have watched etc and also i have noticed that smells, noises etc can trigger a thought/image.

    i am feeling more disheartened because i do have the wateva attitude.

    Please could you let me know if you have had cases like this brought to you?

    I feel as if im being a pest.

    I found your site on google search.

    Take care.

  296. Joe Says:

    Personally, I was never a big fan of the term “mental illness” when it was used about anxiety. I always thought, “Sure, it really sucks to feel this way and I might be stuck in a rut right now, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve come down with an illness.” In one way or another, everybody thinks there way into an anxiety condition; you do not think your way into the flu. And I think the stigma of anxiety being an illness, more often than not, helps people feel more powerless against it. I preferred to think of anxiety as being a natural bodily/emotional roller coaster ride, which I alone was ultimately responsible for. No outside influence caused it, and no outside influence perpetuated it (which is not the case with real illnesses). Feeling better again is a process–a process of breaking bad habits and, in the process, desensitizing yourself. It is learning how to handle stress, what to do about “what-if” thinkiing, and (in general) learning how NOT to worry. In short, it is about learning how to undo all the bad mental habits that got you into this anxiety-condition in the first place. I once heard a former sufferer say that he would not trade in his anxiety-ridden days for a million dollars because he learned so much from them. But, of course, he was sure to add, “But neither would I go back to them for all the money in the world.”

  297. Helen Says:

    Hi Sara A,
    I know you posted to Paul but I am going to reply to your post as well tomorrow as I am going out now but I wanted you to know for now that I have experienced what you are going through and I will write a post that I am sure will put your mind at ease as it is actually a positive thing (I know it doesn’t feel like this for you at the moment at it is very unsettling) and it is a result of recovering from anxiety. For me, I knew this was a sign of recovery and I will explain tomorrow but please rest easy that you are not the only one x

  298. Sydney Carton Says:

    I suffered a minor breakdown last May due to caring for an aged mother, an aged aunt and personally undergoing surgery. This has resulted in a 7 month period of anxiety with little respite. I did, however, experience 4 wonderful weeks of ‘normality’ which ended 2 weeks ago as a weekend holiday loomed. I seem to be back in the DP and DR cycle and although I am living my life and going places there is little improvement and I seemed locked in a parallel universe. The usual symptons apply – feeling outside of reality, nothing, such as the time of day or current events seem to register, surroundings/people which should be familiar seem strange – most of you know the story. The dark November days don’t help either. The acting is fooling everyone except my wife who regularly witnesses the mask slipping. I was fortunate, through length of service, to retire early and I wonder now whether this was a good or a bad thing. The unoccupied mind has too much freedom. Sometimes I get flashes of reality which feel raw and automatically I recoil into the DP/DR cocoon. It is a shame that I didn’t spot the build up of stress earlier in the year but I have a history of worrying for England and certainly didn’t see this coming. Does anyone agree that there should be Olivier Awards for anxiety sufferers? Meanwhile head down and try to relax into whatever comes along. Great supportive site Paul – you are a Godsend in the true sense of the word.

  299. Sara A Says:

    hiya Helen,
    Thankyou so much, really look forward to your post.

  300. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Joe I think the term mental illness is hardly used with anxiety and certainly not by me, never have, never will, I refer to it as a condition.

    My reference above is how friends would not understand or have time to understand anxiety when they question all forms of mental illness, basically anything outside of the norm they don’t understand. It is certainly not a mentall illness, more a learnt behaviour/condition that is very reversable.

    Sara I will let Helen answer and then add my own thoughts, it’s getting late here at the minute and time for bed. Sometimes it is hit and miss if I get back to a post as sometimes I log in once a day, then it can be 4-5 days and most posts I have missed, I probably only get to read 25% of posts. I then tend to pick one out that I believe will help the majority or I think needs expanding on. That is why it is so helpful that others advise and support others.

  301. Matt Says:

    Paul or anyone else just wondering if anybody else experiences anxiety like I do or am I alone on this? Please refer to my post from November 17th, 2010 at 12:16 am

    I also have the disturbing thoughts but as mentioned earlier my main concern in the mental slowness/confusion.

  302. Kat Says:

    Thank you Helen, Hawkeye and Sara for your continued support and encouragement. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without it! I took your words to heart and had a nice day with my husband. There weren’t any fireworks, but instead we had a nice, calm afternoon, having a quiet lunch together and doing a bit of holiday shopping. It wasn’t until the the end of the afternoon that any of the doubts popped up, but I’m doing my best to take them as they come and try not to give them too much respect.

    What amazes me is how anxiety has affected every area of my life. First, it made me afraid to leave the house or drive a car, then I stopped wanting to work, then I basically became afraid to move for fear any sudden action would bring on an onslaught of terror. Now, it seems to be attacking my relationship and for some reason, instead of seeing it as just another outlet, I really came to believe that things were ‘wrong’ here. Thank you for the reassurance, especially since I haven’t seen much written on this particular symptom. I really felt like it was an independent issue!

    Paul, I found your wonderful site after a few hours of scouring the internet for a site that wasn’t promising miracles or asking for hundreds of dollars to combat anxiety and panic. I believe I used Google, though it was a couple of years ago. I immediately put it on my ‘favourites’ list for two reasons: 1)the way you write about your experiences is written in a way that is totally relatable, and I think I may have even cried with relief when I started to go through your posts, and 2) the fact that you continue to support people with this problem, by constantly offering reassurance and wisdom, asking for nothing in return, is far more genuine than anything else I’ve encountered while seeking a solution to my problem.

    The biggest reason, though, is that you are recovered, and that people like Scarlet and Helen are recovered, and that you all come back to extend a lifejacket to those of still struggling to keep afloat. For the first time in ten years, I’ve come to truly believe that recovery is possible, thanks to all of you.

    Much love to all,


  303. Mike H Says:


    You may find this very comforting. Hopefully some others will realte or be able to understand it.

    Yes, the parallel universe thing is a feeling that comes with depersonalization. You put it perfectly when you said that the time of day doesn’t seem to register. I have had this for almost a year now (after a breakdown). And day time just looks different. There’s no way to explain it to anybody without them thinking you aren’t making sense. It is like you used to be alive and do stuff during the day but now you are REALLY SEEING THE DAY. The blue sky looks different. It’s the same but some how dull, or cartoonish. Faces look weird for me, but most of the time i can ignore it. The night doesn’t ever feel weird for me, maybe because I just like the lower lighting. I am 23 and cannot imagine living like this for soo many more years. Anyways, I experience times when I do not feel out of sync with life, when I am not analyzing people and the way life looks…and that is how I know I’m recovering. It encourages me that I will be completely healed one day. I am going out and living my life, going to work at two jobs actually. I figured it’s better to work two easy part time jobs then one terribly stressful office job. it seems to work alright.

    Yes, Depersonalization/Derealization is the scariest thing I have ever experienced but it is getting better.

    I like what you say: The unoccupied mind has too much freedom. In a way I wish that I could always be studying something or drawing or playing an instrument or whatever. But there’s always times when you just have to be unoccupied, like at work and when your just not in the mood.

  304. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Kat says: Paul, I found your wonderful site after a few hours of scouring the internet for a site that wasn’t promising miracles or asking for hundreds of dollars to combat anxiety and panic. I believe I used Google, though it was a couple of years ago. I immediately put it on my ‘favourites’ list for two reasons: 1)the way you write about your experiences is written in a way that is totally relatable, and I think I may have even cried with relief when I started to go through your posts, and 2) the fact that you continue to support people with this problem, by constantly offering reassurance and wisdom, asking for nothing in return, is far more genuine than anything else I’ve encountered while seeking a solution to my problem.

    Kat there are a lot of ‘miracle cure’ get rich quick guys out there that don’t like me because the site has become so popular and it is stepping on their toes and offering something that wont strip your bank balance or offer stupid predications that cannot possibly happen and it is bound to take away a lot of sales for them and they don’t like that.

    I also get numerous emails every month from site owners to put there products on my site and we will go half on the profits, I turn them all down and will never have any affiliate products or adverts on my site, it’s not what I am here for and I could not sleep at night endorsing and making money out of useless products to vulnerable people. I spent a small fortune in my early days and it still irks me at some of the things I was told would help and useless treatments I was given.

    One guy who I spoke with a few years back paid £25 an hour to speak with the owner of a well known site, he spent £5,000 as he was so desperate, he then ran out of money and rung the guy up and was told told tough and then completely ignored. I can’t mention the site, but I know who it was and how that person who claims to care can sleep at night is beyond me. There are some genuine people out there on the net and most are on my email list, there the true people I respect.


  305. Helen Says:

    Hi Sara A,
    Anxiety as we all now in mainly future based as we feel fear and try and work out what it is that is causing it. Thoughts come into your head, the ‘what if’s’ the ‘am I’s’ and you spend your time trying to control what you think, fighting the thoughts and avoiding situations that make you feel so terrible. You try to control your present so that it benefits you in the future.
    I also experienced what you are going through where anxiety pulls you backwards. For me, this was because I had learnt to accept that I can’t control what happens to me in the future and I was feeling more content with just living my life the way I want to and know that whatever life throws at me I can handle, however; I still felt odd.
    I then started having dreams about people I hadn’t seen in years, people that never really meant much to me. I would experience flashback type episodes during the day, smells would set my heart pounding and I couldn’t work it out. This frightened me just as much as my future based anxiety did as I wasn’t consiously thinking these things, they were just popping up in my head. This was new to me and it set me off trying to work out why this was happening, did something happen in my past that has made me an anxious person? It was relentless and I felt more and more drained as I thought I had come so far in my anxiety recovery. Then something in my thinking just changed. I was going though this for one of two reasons:
    1. Something did happen in my past that made me this way and if it did it was good that this was happening to me as it meant that I would have to face it and deal with the issue.
    2. I really am recovering, my mind is clearing and I am allowed to have memories, I am allowed my own thoughts (something I didn’t have for a long time).
    When I realised this, I stopped trying to work it all out and slowly anxiety died.
    The types of thoughts you have and the trigger are irrelevant Sara, it is how you react to them that makes you anxious. Your attitude towards them ALWAYS has to be the same. Don’t react, don’t analyse, don’t fight just let them be. You know this is anxiety, it can be nothing else and you are recovering.
    Don’t be frightened Sara, there is an end in sight, I promise just don’t try and race towards it. Let your thoughts sit beside you, whatever they are and however they are triggered.

    All the best

  306. Sydney Carton Says:

    Mike H
    Thanks for writing. It is always comforting to know that you are not alone with your ‘condition’. I am 64 and thus far have had a happy life punctuated only occasionally with bouts of reactive anxiety/depression. Paul’s book has been a life saver and I dip into it whenever I feel isolated or spaced out.

  307. Sydney Carton Says:

    Sorry Mike H et al
    I pressed the submit button too soon – put it down to agitation or something. I’ll write again when my wife (who is sitting at the table behind me) has finished rustling paper and wrapping Christmas presents. All I would say for the present, Mike, is things will get better for you and I can assure you that as far as I am concerned my long good times have easily outweighed the short bad ones.

  308. Ian Says:

    Helen – your posts are so helpful at present (can’t pretend I haven’t been here this week, despite Joe’s advice…)

    I found my way here via google, probably searching for something like fear of thoughts or something. The bit on depersonalisation really struck me when I got here, something that I felt I have had on and off for a long time and never understood or even really perhaps associated with anxiety. Despite having had this for a very long time, thinking I understoond ‘anxiety’ simply because of experience and even being recommended a Claire Weekes book from my first (uselss) psychotherapist over 20 years ago, there has always been that fear of ‘madness’, or something ‘else’. The comprehensiveness of experience here is brilliant Obvioulsy as is the whole attitude/approach of the site/Paul.

  309. Terri Says:


    I hit the submit button before finishing.

    I could tell that I was improving with ups and downs along the way and I’m far better off than I was 4 months ago but, I’m experiencing tension in the back of my neck and head. It’s been constant everyday from the time I wake until I go to bed at night. It’s like a migraine headache in the back of your head. Is this part of my anxiety or do I need to have my neck checked. I’m constantly wanting adjust and crack my neck. Will this go away in time or do I need to see G.P.?

    Thanks Paul. I pray for you daily.

  310. ken Says:

    I read the book and it helped me a lot i seen so many docs its not funny .I’m doing better but my morning are hard. i wake with strong attacks try to just let them burn off but it takes hr’s .Was wondering if this is the norm in my recovery? Odd i use to be a morning person loved my mornings was the only time i got the house to myself.

  311. Helen Says:

    Hi Ian,
    When I first found this site and Paul’s book, I was desperate. I wasn’t sleeping as I found I was so scared of waking up and feeling so awful that I couldn’t sleep. I did manage to get to work everyday and how nobody knew what I was going through, I have no idea as my sight and hearing were badly affected due to depersonalisation/derealisation. It wasn’t that I was ever ashamed of what I was going through, I just couldn’t explain it, how could I? I had lived with this for so long that when I read the book I realised straight away that what I was reading was right as nothing else had ever worked, not constantly looking inside myself for answers, not looking at other people for answers, not fighting what I was thinking, not going to the doctors as I thought I was ill, absolutely nothing.
    During my recovery I rarely came to the site or re-read the book as I had been provided with what I needed to do. I knew, even at my worst that I am the answer, it was up to me to just let go and accept what was happening. I also knew that I could not feel any worse than I did so why not give it shot.
    If this site provides you with comfort then there is absolutley nothing wrong with that so long as you don’t rely on it. I am not saying you are but if you rely on something then it becomes a crutch and you loose sight of what you really need to do to recover. I think that is what Joe was saying.
    I am glad you are find the post’s helpful and I look forward to the day when you are posting to help others.

    All the best

  312. Joe Says:

    I hear ya, Paul. My post wasn’t directed at you. Obviously you don’t think anxiety is a mental illness. I just saw the words and remembered how awful and helpless I felt during the early period when I really did think that I was mentally ill. I even had a psychiatrist try to convince me of that once, and for about a month she succeeded. Terrible.

  313. yolande Says:


    Thank you for your reply to my post last week.

    I wonder if you or anyone for that matter, have ever felt really tired sometimes like you just have no energy to do anything. some of this could be due to disinterest but mainly i just ache all over. maybe my work is quite hectic so it affects a little but i am not sure if others experience this too? Usually on weekends i am too tired to do anything but lie there – i am a bit worried as i am not sure if this is due to a symptom of anxiety or just a normal day to day thing?

    sometimes i still feel a little numbed like in my mind – but i just keep going over the text until i get it.

    Cany anyone advise?

    Scarlet, if you do come on, wud appreciate your comments too.

    thanks all

  314. yolande Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Just reading the old mails and I stumbled upon your site while googling – what a life saver it has been for me. Before I got to your site however, I did join a few other forums but after a while I gave them up.

    Thanks for setting up this site!

  315. natalie Says:

    hi helen
    just wanted to say what a wonderful way to explain the thoughts to sara, it made so much sense and i presume you are fully recovered and still wanting to help others, which is something i find a lot of recovered people do.. just shows there is so much hope and help out there. i am at the moment struggling with past thoughts and emotions. my anxiety started after a stressful year with my husband splitting up getting back to gether etc, i find that when we have a fall out or i think he acts like hes being distant it brings up all there emotions again and i feel angst. sometimes i think maybe easier to walk away and then i won’t have this daily onslaught but maybe i giving in to the anxiety. the part about it is not the trigger or the thoughts that are important but your reaction really hit home. i know it will take time because he is my partner the emotions are very strong but i need to trust int he now and not fear the what ifs, even if the worst thing happens i will handle it.. i’ll handled all the stuff so far :) x thankyou helen.. thankyou for sharing your knowledge and keeping this site positive. i will try what you say.. and even if at first it doesn’t seem to make a difference .. i know that eventually it will start to shift my attitude xx luv to you all life is a gift its just at the moment we cannot see that because of the symptoms xxx

  316. natalie Says:

    ps .. does anyone have days were they just feel sad and like they want to cry for no particular reason?? i don’t knwo if this is usual or if i am being a wuss !! but i try just go go with it and tell myself i just emotionally this right?? xx questions questions .. lol

  317. sasha Says:

    Hi Natalie

    I had some days wherein i feel very low, doesnt have the energy to pull myself to go and do anything..even sadder is the fact that it demotivates me to do the things which i have done easily the previous day..i believe its all part and parcel of anxiety as it affects our mood quite a lot.
    the difference between a normal person having thoughts and an anxious person having thoughts is we have umpteen number of thoughts all pulled in one direction…with a negative touch attached to each thought..

    we can do only one thing…when we are on our way to recovery we start having our own thoughts after a long break…! seems new for a while…
    thoughts wil pop up in abundance…we may get carried away without our knowlege as we started to have our own thoughts and now its a flow…but jus remind yourself that its all anxiety that the mind is juggling with a lot of thoughts..let it….u will be able to not take it seriously when u tell urself its anxiety and nothing else and carry on..

    it happened to me that sometimes i get carried away with these thoughts that i hardly notice reacting to these thoughts…i guess thats when my mood sulks big time…!

    i have to tell myself each time its just anxiety will pop dont worry..i differenciate myself from the thoughts…

    and Natalie dont worry about being emotionally happens…because our mind is so overworked n its tired as u said it cannot pull itself to the world outside for a while.its taking will be bak after a while…
    its an up and down journey…until u reach the other end

  318. Helen Says:

    Hi Yolande,
    Yes, I used to get very tired, still do, everyone does but you have to remember that you are recovering from anxiety and doing nothing is not helpful, it isn’t for anyone whether they have anxiety or not.
    I know how exhausting dealing with anxiety is but don’t give in to it. If you feel like not doing much, go for a walk to the park, sit on a bench and people watch for while, go and have a cup of tea in cafe but don’t allow anxiety to disconnect you from the outside world. Outside stimulus is a brilliant thing, as you can allow your thoughts to come to you and let them be there but they become diluted with things that are going on around you. If you are lying in bed in familiar surroundings all you focus on are the thoughts and you will undoubtedly feel more tired.
    Get out there even when you are knackered. I forced myself to go to the gym mainly as a test at first to see if I really was shattered (I never was) and I always came home feeling better.
    The best way to recharge your batteries when suffering from anxiety is to do physical exercise, not necessarily pumping iron at the gym but going for a walk, hoovering the house, anything that gets you moving.

    All the best

  319. Sara A Says:

    Hiya Helen

    Thankyou so much for the post. It has been comforting for me and i have more belief that i will get better.
    I have been through alot in my life – it has always made me want to run before i could walk but this is a scenario that i know i cant rush through.
    My baby is due in 10weeks so i know that my hormones again will change but this i have no control over.
    I seem to be going through a phase today in which words that i read catch my attetion and stick around. I think this has been brought up by others on this site.
    This process of recovery isnt easy is it? It does take alot of will power.
    Is it also normal to have thought straight after thought? i could have 10 in 20secs. Is it because i dismiss them that i get another one straight away?
    Hope so.
    You seem to be such a strong person to give the knowledge that you have to people. I eventually want to do the same. – in time of course :)

    XXX take care XXX

  320. mark Says:


    I took Geoff’s advice from above and it seems to be pretty effective. Thanks for that Geoff.

    Anyway, I have a question for those who doubt and question everything. My doubting has become so intertwined in who I am that I question things like it’s my second nature. For example, a thought will appear saying “Mark, it’s important to accept thoughts for what they are.” Then, for no reason, a voice will appear and say “But what if you are doing it wrong….” It’s EXTREMELY draining because instead of just having faith in a way to recovery, but brain is always throwing out a slew of “What if you’re doing it wrong….what if this isn’t the right way…, etc.” and I listen to it. The reason I listen to it is because the questions make logical sense.

    So my question is How do I handle this situation? Every time a doubt arises or a What If, I want to yell STOP!! From a post a few days ago, Geoff mentioned using this stop technique. It seems to work for the most part. However, I’m wondering if it’s the correct technique because I’m not “accepting” my thoughts. Instead, I’m demanding them to stop. (Now of course, I realize I DOUBTED Geoff’s technique, which is my problem). But it’s so difficult to discern which is the correct method to use. By throwing out WHAT IFs, I start to automatically overanalyze the situation and try to figure out what to use. I get completely stuck. If I could have faith in what to do, then I believe I would get out of this rut.

    If someone could lend some advice on this doubting and questioning, I would be very appreciative. Thank you.

  321. Amanda Says:

    Hi all , i am really struggling with a symptom of anxiety AGITATION i find it really hard to deal with , im doing fairly well over all and going back to work this week ,like today i was in a shop with my partner and he was looking at an item and i just stood there mind blank as if i didnt know what i was supposed to do very uncomfortable feeling ,i get when im in a conversation aswell as if i dont know what to say is this just down to a tired mind ? would really appreciate any advice hope everyone is doing ok Mark i found if i just let the doubting and questioning carry on in my mind and say to it carry on all you want im not bothered any more seems to work for me and then think about other things or do something the thoughts doubting and questioning may still be there but ignore them hard i know i used to struggle with this when i first suffered anxiety but just let it your mind ramble it will eventually get better i can promise you that

  322. Ian Says:

    Helen (Joe) – you are correct, I am relying on this site, on reassurance, this is obvious to me, as it is perhaps to you. Hopefully you won’t have the opportunity to remind me of this again anytime soon. As you suggested Helen, nothing at all has come close to Paul’s written experience and to this site to help understand the breadth of the experience of (my) anxiety and what it means (or doesn’t mean!)- nothing. Thanks.


  323. Paulina Says:

    HI All. I am kind of new to the BLog, I posted my story on the “obssesive thoughts” blog. I have been suffererin with anxiety for about two months.. before that I had panic attacks and was started to ve super concern and worried about health issues.. specially my heart. I have been reading posts here and I also bought Paul’s book which I could say it was my life saver.

    ALtough, one of the things that I will think usually is if there is anyone out there cured from this awful “condition”. what i mean is that, i get a little sad thinking that I was fine and normal six months ago and now panic and anxiety has destroyed my life. I really dont want to imagine having to “cope” or “get used to” living with it.

    I have been trying to put everything into practice but I am still so conscius of myself and my thinking that get tough to get distracted by other things.

    I feel positive about this.. eventhough the obssesive scary thoughs, constant anticipation, and scared of suffering from health issues are on my everyday routine.

    I read some posts from Helen and the made me feel more enthusiastic about this.


  324. Eileen Says:

    Hello all, suppose I am looking for reassurance again….

    Found this site and Pauls book in October 2009, after posing the question ‘will anxiety ever go away’? Have been trying to follow the advice, although not always found it easy..

    Took early retirement last December, from a very demanding nursing job, as the anxiety episodes were becoming more frequent and made it difficult to give 100% to the job. Since then have been busy with childminding, yoga, art classes etc etc, all to keep me busy and my mind occupied.

    The anxiety symptoms never seem to go away completely, and this past 2 months have been quite bad. I am waking up with the usual churning, sicky feeling which is lasting all day, and the headache and lightheadedness.

    Had a bout of flu last week which didn’t help.. Am continuing to try and follow the guidance. Get up, shower{always put on make up , as it makes me look slightly human!!} and try and occupy myself as much as possible. Suppose at this time of the year everyone is busy, anticipating Christmas, and I feel stuck in this anxiety rut once again.At the moment feels like a never ending roller coaster which i want to ger off and live normal life again..

    I am trying hard to get ‘acceptance’ of this condition, and live my life as fully as possible, but I am finding it difficult at present with the never ending symptoms. Anyone got any words of wisdom, for a believer who is wandering a little?

    Thank you. E

  325. Helen Says:

    Hi Eileen,
    You need patience, that’s all. Keep living a full life as you are but don’t TRY and accept anxiety. If you are trying too hard you are putting yourself under pressure. You need to get to a point where accepting just comes naturally and it will, you are doing everything right by the looks of it. You are getting up and getting on with your day even when you aren’t feeling great. Just carry on, accept that you have woken up with that churning feeling and that it is anxiety. The minute you start to think ‘will this ever go away?’ or ‘will I ever live a normal life again’ you give in to it and impatience sets you into a vicious circle of inward thinking.
    This will go away but you need to allow it to, it looks like you are doing a brilliant job so far so pat yourself on the back and let anxiety hang around until it becomes bored of being ignored.

    All the best

  326. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Amanda Says:

    November 21st, 2010 at 5:10 pm e

    Hi all , i am really struggling with a symptom of anxiety AGITATION i find it really hard to deal with , im doing fairly well over all and going back to work this week ,like today i was in a shop with my partner and he was looking at an item and i just stood there mind blank as if i didnt know what i was supposed to do very uncomfortable feeling ,i get when im in a conversation aswell as if i dont know what to say is this just down to a tired mind ? would really appreciate any advice hope everyone is doing ok Mark i found if i just let the doubting and questioning carry on in my mind and say to it carry on all you want im not bothered any more seems to work for me and then think about other things or do something the thoughts doubting and questioning may still be there but ignore them hard i know i used to struggle with this when i first suffered anxiety but just let it your mind ramble it will eventually get better i can promise you that

    The ‘Mind blank’ is very common with anxiety Amanda and is something I suffered with, I would regularly have these moments, mainly when chatting with someone that I did not know well, but it could just happen.

    It is just an off shoot of anxiety and there is no real answer to ‘not’ have these moments, but things can help. If anyone anxiety free met a film star, the queen or someone who do public speaking for the first time, they would probably also have the same experience as they would be anxious, it is a psychological change through stress that causes these moments.

    When anxiety leaves you then so does this symptom, so it is again about not making an issue out of these moments, I tried not to baulk away or let these moments throw me and did’nt try to force clear thinking, if my mind went blank when in conversation I would just carry on the best I could and not become concerned by it, this seemed to relax me and it did help.

    I was always better around people I knew as I was less anxious, which proved to me it was all about my stress levels. I also noticed that I was anxious about having these moments when meeting others and this seemed to bring it on more, which makes sense now, so I basically just dropped the subject, if I had these moments then fine, if not that was fine also, it was no longer going to be an issue.

  327. sasha Says:

    Hi Geoff & Mark

    ”This isn’t the same as ‘fighting your symptoms’ – anxiety symptoms being things like; churning stomach, sweaty palms, panic feelings etc. These symptoms are the result of adrenaline – they need to be understood and accepted, because any attempt to fight against them will release more adrenaline and only make them worse. Whereas a habit of negative thinking needs to be understood and challenged, because negative thoughts left unchecked simply lead into a downward spiral of your mood.

    I also wanted to say something about that “internal, obsessive dialogue” you mentioned… as this is something I’ve been bogged-down with myself. This actually serves no useful purpose, and simply spoils your enjoyment of your day. It needs to be stopped as it’s draining mental energy which you need for productive purposes (try googling ’stop ruminating’ for some useful techniques).”

    Thanks Geoff..i could very well relate to it isnt any anxiety symptoms thats bothering me..its the relentless negative thinking thats bothering me..

    some days when i dont consciously put a STOP to these negative thinking by rational thoughts it seems to go on and on……i mean being AWARE of it that its on a negative track…it helps me sometimes to not get carried away..
    these thoughts pop up because we have underlying anxiety
    i guess i should affirm positive statements in mind each time and acknowlege its anxiety based hence i dont feel the need to analyse them..

    what do u usually do when ur mind starts negative talking about urself?

  328. MLK Says:

    Hi Everyone, I had been doing better for about a couple weeks, feeling positive and not thinking too much about anxiety, but recently I have become more anxious. I have been driving myself mad by overanalyzing EVERY little thing in regards to my physical health. The other day at work, I had a distortion in my vision, and I had a panic attack. Its like this immediate thought process that shoots straight to the worst case scenario. I thought I had a brain tumor or that I was going to die. I went to the eye doctor in which he told me that it was an ocular migraine. NOTHING SERIOUS and QUITE COMMON. He also told me that stress can definitely bring it on. I recently have been told by my boyfriend that I have been grinding my teeth more at night. Like to the point that he got me a mouthguard. And what do ya know?? STRESS AND ANXIETY are a big reason as to why people grind their teeth in their sleep. I guess what my question is, for anyone that can answer, will these physical symptoms reside as I learn to relax and not put so much emphasis on my anxiety?? I drive my parents mad by calling them and having them tell me that it is nothing serious and that it is my anxiety. At the time, I really think that something is wrong with me, so it is almost impossible to convince me otherwise! Also, I have been feeling more “spacey” that usaul…driving home the other day and a wave of panic hit me when I suddenly felt odd in my head. As I type all this out, I can see this pattern, but nontheless, it is so hard to think rationally when I am at an anxious peak! Just looking for some words of encouragement! Thanks :)

  329. Wayne Says:

    Just read some posts from a few days ago. I found the site by google. Also, Paul I have to agree with you about how this condition is treated by doctors. When the anxiety first started for me I went to the emergency room twice within 5 days the doctors looked at me like I had two heads when I told them how I was feeling. Even the nurse who signed me in did not seem to understand. Then I went to my family doctor and he looked at me with that blank stare like I did not know what I was talking about. Then I found this site and took your advice and educated myself the best I could. I found myself when I went to the doctors telling him what I needed as opposed to being brushed off.

    I talk to friends who tell me how they feel and I know they are suffering from anxiety but their doctors just put them on medication or tell them to take time off work.

    More awareness is out there but I find the stigma still remains.

  330. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Thanks Wayne, it seems the major reason is google for most then, just curious.

  331. Mark Says:

    Hi Sasha,

    To answer your question, when I start thinking very negatively, it’s very difficult to break the cycle. Sometimes I logically try to tell myself a positive uplifting thought, which can help to a certain extent. What I’ve noticed is that my negative thoughts usually keep coming, so you may end up “battling” yourself with negatives and positives, which can be frustrating.

    For the last couple days, I’ve taken advice on this blog by seeing the negative thought for what it is – as just a thought. I try to change my attitude to one of almost laughing at the thought. The thought isn’t even real (although it seems very real) – it’s only happening in your mind. So I don’t try to change or manipulate the thought, I don’t try to make it go away, I only try to change my ATTITUDE towards it. You really can’t control many thoughts from appearing, they do so automatically, but you can change your reaction to them. Instead of being so scared, try to take off a little of the edge by stepping back and kind of laughing or smiling at it – after all, it’s not even real, it just popped up out of nowhere. The more scared you are of the thought, and the more you recoil, the stronger the stranglehold it will have on you.

    Sasha, I’m also very new to this blog, and I’m also new to changing my habits. So if anyone else can comment on my opinion, then please I will take any help or criticism also. The main idea that has helped me is take the fear out of your thoughts. It’s such a challenge, but over time you will learn techniques and habits to help you. I only know this because I’m starting to learn some myself.

  332. Amanda Says:

    Thankyou for the advice paul , i also found your site through google, and Wayne it is so true about the stigma still remaining, i have suffered anxiety on and off for most of my life because of the lack of understanding and knowledge especially 24years ago when i first suffered there is more knowledge of anxiety now but i think that knowledge comes from the people who have suffered and its frustrating that the stigma still remains .

  333. Sara A Says:


    Im stuck – something happened to me in my past and ive remembered it or my mind has chosen to and i cannot get rid of it. Or its because im so aware that ive had that thought that at every given minute im wondering if it will stay.
    Can someone please tell me that because im aware ive had this thought now that its normal to be fully aware. It was a very traumatic experiance for me at the time and i had left it behind. I could bring it up in my mind if i wanted to but now i am so so concious of it.
    I feel so silly asking for more reasurance but i dont know now where to go – when i had just got my head around my issue with random thoughts eg films, names etc. i obviously managed to put the traumatic event behind me back then so why not now?

    Ive been given so much great advice from others on here. But i just cant deal with this one.
    im sorry.

  334. Helen Says:

    Hi Sara,
    There are 2 issues here. One is the traumatic experience and one is your anxiety. You say you could bring up this experience in your mind if you chose to but now it seems like the thoughts are coming into your head without you choosing them and this is what is frightening you. Anxiety has found a great fear, a traumatic experience and the two coming together are horrendous.
    You have been through the traumatic experience and you know how terrible it was for you and you had left it behind and it may be something that you need to go back to as there may be things about what happened that you need to get straight in your mind but don’t be frightened that the thoughts are coming into your head involuntarily. You are fighting them, you don’t want them to be there, you don’t know why they are there and because of this the fear is building.
    If you stop fighting (and it will be very hard) you will come up with one of two possible answers:
    1. You may need to face your traumatic experience as there may be some unresolved issues. If this is so, it is a very good thing (it won’t feel like that for a while).
    2. Anxiety will pass (eventually). Also a very good thing!
    This is hard Sara, I have done it and for a while I truly thought I couldn’t take anymore but when you stop fighting, stop analysing and reacting the answers just come to you, whatever they may be. Have faith in yourself that you have the strength to get through what is happening because you do.

    All the best

  335. Emma Says:

    Hello Everyone!

    I am new to posting. First I want to say how thankful I am for everyone sharing their experiences with anxiety and I am also so thankful to Paul and his book. I posted this in the Obsessive Thoughts blog and already got some comfort and great advice but i figured I would post here because it is more active.

    I believe my anxity started about 8 months ago when I had my first panic attack. I didnt really understand what was happening to me , but I did get through it within about a month and started feeling like myself again; recently though (about 2 months ago) I had another panic attack and spiraled into the constant worry and thinking that somethiong else was wrong. I found Paul’s site and book last month and it has been an amazing tool and guide for coming through this! I know what is going on with my body and what anxiety truly is and I KNOW that has put me on the road to recovery!

    One thing I am struggling with now; which I see that many others do as well is the “questioning life” thoughts. I have been able to let so many other thoughts pass through and I no longer fear them but these “questioning why everything is here and what is the point , why am I not happy, what is happy….” type thoughts are hard for me to ignore. I also fear that I will have them forever as though it’s like since I have thought them now, how could I go on without questioning agian (even though I know I went 24 years without becoming obssessed with them…) I also have great moments where I begin to feel like my “normal” self but I then it’s like I don’t let myself because I still have “these thoughts and this anxiety…” I do keep on doing things I normally would do and more too because I know that is key but I just wish I could enjoy them more….

    I guess I am just looking for the reassurance that these thoughts like the others will fade as I give them their space and time…Sorry this post is not very uplifting and I know I am in setback right now (which I truly believe is a good thing because it is a sign of recovery..) I know I am on the right track but I guess I just need a little comfort that these “questioning life” thoughts will float/fade away in time. Has anyone else experienced this and have the thoughts eventually leave?

  336. Sara A Says:

    Hey Helen,

    I feel so sick about this whole experiance. Its proper yucky.
    Thankyou for the reply. I will continue to follow what you have said.
    I know it sounds silly but why does my mind seem to want to recall it again to check if the thought/image or whatever is still there? Is this a habit my mind has fallen into? I know that by it recalling it it gives it the respect – but its automatic.
    If the images arent in my head it already feels like they are there because i know i had them :S
    I’m getting on with everyday things but i am so so aware of how i have been feeling lately that at every moment im not 100% distracted my mind goes back to the anxious thoughts etc.

    How do you know when your making progress? I cant actually see it myself.
    I really dont want to be putting this all on you, it feels like im being unfair
    I know i will evetually have to go it alone, im just not ready yet.
    Take care of yourself

    Sara a

  337. Nick Says:

    Hi Guys,

    I have been posting on the other thread about scary thoughts quite a bit but wanted to update and ask Paul or others for some help here.

    My anxiety started about 6 monthes ago, after a panic attack, brought on from smoking some weed (which incidentally I hadn’t done for years).

    Initially I had DP and thoughts I was Mad/Crazy etc but these have completely dissipated. I have also never had a panic attack since, came close but just faced the feelings and they went away.

    Initially I was so anxious I would wake up with my heart beating out my chest everyday and a deep sense of worry and sadness. Things have DEFINITELY improved to the point where I almost feel normal. But now I seem to be stuck with these constant ‘questioning life’ thoughts that Emma mentions in her post. And they worry me so much.

    Mine are really apocalyptic, ‘Whats the point to my life’ ‘ Why am I even here’ ‘I have nothing to look forward too / to offer the world’ ‘I should just die’ ‘how will I cope with life and move past this’ ‘How will I ever be able to enjoy stuff again without worry and achieve stuff in my life’. Always the same…..they never change. And of course my attention is overly on myself although not as much as when this first happened.

    And It’s like they mask all the reasons I have to be thankful for life and put a dark cloud over all the amazing possibilities and joys life has to offer. I also get very nostalgic and have dark dreams.

    The problems is that after reading Pauls book and Claire Weekes I fully understand what I have to do and that these thoughts are trying to bluff me but I still start believing them and can’t seem to see past them. I have accepted the way I am for the moment, It’s just i’m still so worried. Some days much more than others, but even on good days the thoughts are still there it’s just their impact is not as severe. The only time they are not there is when my mind is occupied on a task, but then I am reminded of them when I am not occupied.

    I know I must face an accept and try and float past but again like Emma mentioned again , this ‘dark cloud’ I carry everywhere is just so unbearable. I was in a bit of a rut prior to this although would have never considered myself depressed or anything, but I just feel like I have no where to turn, It’s like I need some reassurance constantly and have none.

    I was running a lot when it first happened, getting up earlier and meditating too but my new routine seems to be slipping a bit. I just feel so far from seeing the stage where paul describes how he felt so thankful for life and all it’s joys.

    Hope others are well though, great to hear from people who have recovered too, gives us all hope. Just looking for some reassurance I guess.



  338. peter Says:

    Sara A….I’ve been in a similar situation to you. My thoughts started off very benign with names, music etc getting stuck in my head. I started to cope with them and they got more volatile and disturbing including a traumatic experience involving my daughter. These would fly around in my head and really upset me, which raised the anxiety levels leading to more horrid thoughts. After much research I started to let them be, pay them no attention and they gradually subsided to a point where I no longer feared them and now I do not even think about them and some occasions I have actually laughed out loud at their absurdity. I will be honest it takes time but they will go. Please don’t do what I did and carry on reacting and making them worse. They love to feel important.

  339. natalie Says:

    hi just wanted to say a big thankyou to sasha, your response meant a lot to me and i have even took some of the statements and put them in my handbag in case i need that bit of reassurance. am still having higher levels of angst at the moment not helped by a so called therapist saying maybe my job is to stressful and i need to understand that i will worry that i have to manage my time and only do what i feel capable of. i am now doubting myself .. but if i understand paul that is giving in to angst and all jobs have some level of angst .. my kids are at school when i go and if i don’t feel like doing the housework or what ever i leave it or do in stages.. can anyone let me know if this is the right way of thinking or should as this lady says i give up my job (16 hours) with people i really feel comfortable with and get a mundane job to reduce my stress levels. i knew going back would probably affect me like this but hoped over time would get easier.. as i retrained my brain that i could manage.. i want to give the best to my boys and not be a stessed eric as it were lol x been feeling very tired and my head aches at the moment with all the stuff running around . i try to let be but somethings like this hang around

    thanks x

  340. Sara A Says:

    Hiya peter,

    Thankyou for sharing what you have gone through. I find letting the thoughts just be there the hardest. Today started off with the traumatic experiance and then shifted back to names ….as soon as i get to grips with one thing its something else again.
    How long did it take for you to see signs of improvement? I know everyone is different and it depends how long you have suffered.
    Because i am pregnant and don’t work i dont know how to fill my days.
    I think if i had a focus i might be able to see things differently.
    I will remember what you have said to me and persist with trying not to react. Your words have been encouraging. thankyou.

    Sara a

  341. CC Says:

    Major setback….. blah. Going to do my xmas shopping regardless. Im so tired.

    reading a book by Dale carnegie anyone read it – stop worrying start living? Its quite good, makes me feel beta that Benjamin Franklin had worrying problems!

    Sara – firstly congrats on being preganant so lucky :) secondly – concentrate on your baby. Think of how lucky u are to have her/him. Have a schedule for ur days, wake up eat chill relax. Clean a bit. wash ursef (nice relaxing bath) and then have a task of the day. e.g. organising baby room, baby bag, Make urself a baby hamper of everything you will need. Pop on the internet and look for some baby coupons, etc etc Then go for a walk take a deep breath and just walk with no time limit or intention of going anywhere. See people talk laugh. A famous man said theres nothing better for the mind than religion, music and laughter.

    It took a while for me to start ”feeling better’ thats because I stopped waiting for it. I pretty much said im going to feel bad so thats it deal with it. you get the flu u feel bad, you break ur leg etc so treated this the same. I also kept a POSITIVE diary of things i was dong and things I wanted to do e.g. visit mexico one day, have my hair long and dark again, being a size 6 again!!!!! Believe me I had the worst thoughts going thru my head constantly, I thought I was never going to stop concentrating on me, but you do once you let it live with you. Enjoy your time off hun put ur feet up and if all else fails – watch friends it takes no thought just light hearted life :)

  342. A.L. Says:

    I just want to take a moment to thank Paul for his all his great blog posts. I lost a fellow band member, who was also my best friend ever in July totally unexpectedly. A couple of months later i had a complete nervous brakedown and was extremely anxious up until a couple of months ago when i came across pauls book. I at first was scared out of my mind as i had never experienced anything like that before, but after begining to read pauls book, he literally described everything in great detail exactly how I was feeling. I read the whole book from start to finish and immediately began to feel improvement, and am happy to say that even though I am not completely out of the woods, I have made significant recovery. I am beyond grateful to paul as it seemed like nobody understood what I was going through and I was losing faith fast. Paul has shown me the path that can eliminate suffering, and after going through what I have, I hope and pray that paul continues to spread the word and share his information, as Anxiety is truly terrifying, so to be shown even some hope to recover makes such a huge impact to a person suffering. Thank you so much again Paul.

    This recent post is so right about how you cant rush recovery. I have been having more and more good days, but recently I had a super strong fever and was layed out for about two days and after it subsided the anxiety hit me out of nowhere and I seemed to relapse into a bad spell again. Paul was also right about how after you have alot of good days in a row, its even harder to take the bad days creeping up on you again. But after reading this post it has really reassured me that it is just part of the process to be up and down and that you just have to relax and it will run its course.

    I have only had one panic attack since the breakdown, but the main things that seem to bother me are thoughts that analyze myself. I tend to all of a sudden become aware of my breathing, or my blinking or a clock ticking in the background and then i cant stop focusing on it, but then once I get doing something else or something fun and positive, it goes away till the next time. If i am not anxious and having a good day or days, the thoughts seem to just ricochet off me with little importance. But if its during a down time they seem to hit with such force and can cause a bit of bad feeling.

    Does anyone ever have the same things happen to them? Any suggestions?

    Either way, I am just so glad to have more normal and good days like I have been lately and whenever I recover, I recover. I totally agree with paul, no time limits or importance on recovery time. Compared to how I was when I first started, I will forever be grateful. Thank you again Paul, it means the world, you have truly helped me and I am now helping anyone else I come across that seems to be suffering. Please continue to help people and inform everyone with your awesome info and insight, it really does help! :)

  343. Sara A Says:

    Hiya CC,

    aww thankyou for the post! It’s lovely to get input from others.
    Your right – this is my first successful pregnancy, i havent got long to go and there is quite alot that needs to be done. I’m having a little girl so it will make shopping alot more exciting!! I will also have to get the paint brushes out – moving house before christmas. I thought also about going back to writing in my diary but i guess i thought i would have nothing positive to say when the days are bad. I will make only a POSITIVE diary.
    sounds like we have abit in common – fitting into my size 6 clothes again! All in good time – quite nice to be able to eat the naughty stuff hehe.
    Also got to plan for my 21st birthday!

    Have fun doing youur christmas shopping! Let me know if there are any bargains out there :)

    Take care and thankyou again. Hope to hear back.

  344. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sara, I see something in you that can hold you back ‘Don’t build your life around recovering’ you mentioned the other day ‘How long does it take to see improvements?’ Don’t demand or watch progress, just let it happen, don’t put time demands on it.

    I have said it many times in the past, but I went through all sorts of symptoms, my whole day would be all about trying to break it down, figure out why I felt this way, what would help, getting so frustrated as nothing was working, it was all a waste of time, I should have just dropped the subject and got on with my day, but I did not know that at the time, I was sure the answer was to go over and over until I had that eureka moment.

    At night I felt like I was floating when I shut my eyes, my ears would ring, I felt detached, my mind raced and much more. I eventually learnt to go with the ‘craziness’ and whatever it brought on, it brought. I still disliked the way I felt, but I stopped trying to ‘fix’ it by internal dialogue, I stopped the need for an answer and explanation for everything and recovery came to me, I truly stopped looking for it, it was like swimming without arm bands for the first time.

    Don’t feel the need to stay on top of it, to understand everything, don’t keep reaching out for reassurance, the anxious mind will soon pick up on something else anyway.

    Once we have a better understanding and more knowledge on the subject, we don’t need to over complicate it after that, too many do. They want to know why they feel this symptom, that symptom, what this means? Is this something else, it never ends. This can be when we first discover information on anxiety, we feel the need to know everything, our thirst for knowledge increases and we want to leave no stone unturned.

    Take a break from the blog when you feel the need, have a few days off, pack some living in and drop the subject for a while. If you want to come back for a little support or to read a new post then do so, you will probably find it easier to take on board, your mind wont be as clogged up and the information will sit more easy.

    Try not to over complicate recovery, don’t watch or demand progress and have some time outs and trust in yourself.


  345. Si Says:


    I have just been to see a physciatrist (GP refered me). It came across to me that he had little or no interest in my condition, infact it stated that he felt I didn’t need his help due to the fact that the condition is not actually causing me problems like not being able to work, ect…..

    On one hand I was relieved because I didn’t want to go and come away with some LABEL that I would find even more difficult to handle… im sue people will relate to this but I thought I was gonna be given the new fasionable “You’ve got Bi-polar” diagnosis. On the other hand I still have issues of low moods and don’t believe my meds are making any difference.

    I get moments when I feel almost 90% normal, but then all of a sudden I remind myself that I still have this dreaded condition. A previous therapist did not agree with the CBT I was having and I also agree that this did not seem to help, all it did was make me think even harder to work out why I was how I was. This therapist suggested I get up in the morning, rub my hands together and “ACT AS IF”. It works for a little while but my moods still dictate my feelings if that makes sence.

    I believe I have got alot better over rescent months especially dropping the therapists ect and totally using your method and nothing else, and if i look back, some of my fears are no longer fearfull which is a good thing I hope you agree.

    My main problem is that when I get low I cannot help but get very tearful, although this does eliviate the tention a little, it makes me more frustrated that I cannot control my imotions.

    What is your view on “acting as if”? again I can do this sometimes at a push but I question it almost as soon as i realise I feel normal.


  346. Sara A Says:

    Hiya Paul,

    I completley understand where you are coming from now. Thankyou for getting back to me. So yes i will take a break from the blog and see how i get on. I have always been one for needing constant reasurance but i realise there is nothing anyone can do for me – it comes from within.
    Everyone is so lovely on here and it is such a positive place :)
    I am grateful to have found your site and have your book. I can’t thank you enough.

    Hey everyone, keep going strong, look after yourselves. talk soon xXx

  347. Patrick Says:

    Hi Paul,
    I have a question.
    At the moment I seem to fight or flee from everything.
    It goes like this:
    Unpleasant symptom–> automatic fight or flight–> realize I should accept. It’s like an inbuilt response to “push away” any though, feeling. Only when I am very relaxed does it go like this:
    expected unpleasant symptom–> accepting it, letting it in to do whatever it wants to do knowing it will leave just as sure as it came in.

    My problem is that I can’t relax that much during the day. Not because I have stressful days, I just can’t seem to relax. Not even when doing stress free chores at home.

    The days activities just seem to stack up on each other, I just get more tense and the only thing I can do is to “put up with” at the moment. Its been like this for a couple of months now and every time I try to let go I just go into “putting up with mode”.
    Please do you have any advice on what I’m doing wrong?
    Thank you

  348. sasha Says:

    Hi Si,

    Let me just put my thoughts across…I guess u have come into terms with the fearfull thoughts or irrational thoughts that it is only anxiety thoughts and could brush it aside more easily..but after getting over scary thoughts u are reminded that once u had this condition so this thought brings in a little fear in you and even when u r fine u are worried what if i get back into old habits..never mind Si..its just habits of our thoughts which got so wired into our thoughts preceeds another thoughts all in one direction..and after a while no wonder we feel so LOW..

    i had the same issues..I dont have any scary thoughts but because we had a pattern of thinking for so long..getting out of the bubble and facing the world afresh it takes a while i believe to get into that very ‘normal’ living…
    but dont worry..each time your mind reverts back or is feeling low..bring it to the present moment..its not ‘acting up’ its just that ur acknowleging that ur mind is on a negative track which will only drain your energy so you are focusing ur attention on the present moment as there is no point in relentless thinking…u can notice moments when we are feeling low is mostly when we are thinking about our past..or what could happen to our future or on some unnecessary things..

    after going through such a lot of emotional upheaval now i realise y it hit me when people around me are fine..
    1) firstly we analyse a lot even when we were normal..i feel if we analyse beyond a limit its not going to bring any positive impact because we go into all what ifs and why’s

    2)we have a constant internal dialogue going on most of the time even when are with the world…dont give too much of attention to it ..or let it be there but focus on the outside or the present moment..

    3) i think its a process of retraining our mindwith our new attittude..but we should be desciplined and have faith in it..that these low moods are all part of anxiety in doesnt matter what i think..if something doesnt feel nice for my wellbeing i’m taking my attention to teh present moment…its not denial as u understand later most of the thoughts our created by our own mental frame..rigth now being a negative one..dont bother..let it chatter.that not me anyways…

    we feel that we are depressed sometimes ..let me tell you something..when i felt that way my mind came with umpteen number of things which made my belief ‘seems’ to be right and i feel thats me..what can i do? but now i realise its just a thought and i reinforced each time it popped up giving it more and more control on me…
    so i changed my attittute( tried this for a long time and stil trying bcos sometimes get back into old habits) i considered that thought to be like any other irrational thought..i dint deny it neither did i agree to it..i said to will keeep blabbering..let it..i am going to do what i have to do for this day..i went ahead…as u said my low mood was predominant.but i thought whatever let me carry on…end of the day i felt good as in i felt i had a lil control over me than leaving my fate with the so calld ”thoughts”because i went ahead with my day…sometimes you have to take in the responsibility to live ur day…we can…!!!

  349. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Paul – I, too, found your website through Google. I searched “obsessive scary thoughts” and your site came up first. Initially, I only read the post on obsessive scary thoughts, but about a month ago or so I checked out the rest of your website and bought your book. After paying loads of money to a very well known (in the states) anxiety organization and not getting relief, I googled and found you. Although I slip up (and that’s why I came tonight for some support), I have had way more good times over the last month than bad times for which I am very grateful. I know I will “get it” fully one of these days and be one of the recovered people coming back just to support others. Thanks much!

  350. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sorry the site has been down all day, I did not know until around 6 O’clock, it was a hosting problem that I have spent the last couple of hours trying to sort out. Anyway we are back :)

  351. Mark M Says:

    I just wanted to say one insight that’s really helped me recently. I don’t know if it’s already been covered here, and I don’t remember it specifically in the book (though Paul talks a lot about thoughts), but lately I’ve really started realizing the simple fact that I don’t HAVE to believe my anxious thoughts. It really just hit me like a ton of bricks, but I started not only being skeptical of my anxiety (about everything, being exhausted, not having enough to eat or enough money, being worthless etc.), but I also allowed myself to just stop believing almost anything my mind tells me.

    I cannot tell you the relief this has brought me, it analogizes to what Paul says about not having to “question” the thoughts and not giving them importance or analyzing them, but for some reason it felt different, it was like I had control over believing if an anxious thought was true or not, and I choose now to not believe nearly 80-90% of what my mind is telling me because it is so adrenalin charged and ready to jump at any small stimulus.

    I’ve had a ton of trouble sleeping, and I’ll start feeling anxious about it and have the thought “Why can’t I ever sleep? I’m just a person who has sleep problems and is destined to not be able to sleep” and thoughts like that, but now I am so skeptical about these ‘conclusions’ that I’ve been fed for so long by my anxiety, these ‘stories’ about how I’m damaged-goods and I’m destined to be anxious for the rest of my life just because I had a small bout of anxiety which was prolonged until now. The anxiety didn’t cause me to develop into this disorder, it was that damned story I kept telling myself that I was “destined to be anxious” or just an “anxious person” from the time of the incident onwards, which is just plain wrong, After putting holes in the story, it has just evaporated, and other ‘conclusions’ that I’ve been carrying with me all this time (that I’m weird, I’m awkward in social situations, I get anxious when it’s too cold outside, that I’m needy), those have started to fall away too, and everytime they come in my mind, they just don’t have the power they used to have anymore because I don’t believe a damned word they say anymore. I just remain skeptical, and then focus on the reality of the situation (that I have many loving friends, I’m often confident in social situations, I’ve been in the cold plenty of times in my life, etc.).

    I don’t know if some of you have experienced this too, but try it if you haven’t, don’t believe your mind! You’ll do something like have to go into a social situation, and you’ll feel that *ping of anxiety, but then, immediately after that *ping, you will have this story in your head trying to explain it to you, a story put there by your anxiety. Don’t believe it! That ping of anxiety could be from anything, don’t for one second believe in what that story in your head is telling you (this is going to be a weird social situation, I’m not a good talker, I’m awkward, etc.). This has helped me so much to overturn these conclusions that keep me in that prison that has concluded (with my consent) that I’m just an “anxious person” now and there’s nothing I can do about it. All it is is adrenaline, and conditioned emotional responses brought on by giving too much focus and importance to my fears, and what I’ve now learned too, which is actually believing in those fears as if they are valid when they aren’t and I don’t have to

  352. ross Says:

    any1 else feel there accepting anxiety and letting everything be there but arent seeing a change??

    also do everyday life stresses hold your recovery back?? e.r relationship problems, work.

    I feel like a month away on holiday would help but cant afford to.

  353. Paulina Says:

    Hi Paula, Sasha and everyone else.
    I posted a few days ago, but i just wanted to say thank you for this website and the book.. that have helped me tremendously for the past 2 -3 weeks. My anxiety levels were higghhh!. but now i feel just fine..I can carry on my day with optimism and positivism.

    However, I notice that I am very concious of myself, VERY. and questions like “what is it to be me? What is it to think? how did I think before this happened? and then some other identity questions along with remembering constantly what i’ve been truough ever since my first panic attack and followed by anxiety 24/7.
    Questions that I dont think anyone has answers to.. so i just want the questioning about life, and being humans, etc start to diminish.

    But again.. full recovery feels soo close… I took all the good advise from Paul and people on this blog… I stopped questioning anxiety which had made an incredible difference.

    HAve a great day everybody… 😀

  354. natalie Says:

    just wanted to say everyone read what mark m has said, i myself have had a really bad week, having just started back to work 4 weeks ago i think i started to get a little stressed, felt symptoms started to quesiton have i done the right thing coming back etc and today my anxiety is high and i due to go out with my mates. so can to look on here and marks explaination really makes sense. i have the same thing like an internal blog saying the same thiings when i get anxious. usually that i pushing to fast need to slow doen that i will damage or set myself back, when really it is just the up and down of anxiety and i have to just ride it out till it burns itself out. my head hurts so much with all this internal dialoge and arguing telling myself out. so i will try marks way and just not believe it .. sure will be hard but hopefully this is the way forward. paul could you advise is this the right way

  355. Teresa J Says:

    Hello all
    I’ve been browsing the site and notice a lot of new people and and a lot of older members giving excellent advice on how to travel the path to recovery. I know Paul and a few others will know my details – basically i am one of the people who had anxiety for a long time before I came here and now about 18 months down the line I understand things so much better and deep down KNOW the rules. However I wonder if some of the more experienced amongst us could straighten me up a bit.
    I have been doing well – some days almost anxiety free other days not letting the symptoms get to me. Little glimpses of a greater understanding where I can understand even more about the nature of the anxiety and that it only exists because we are allowing ourselves to be in awe of it.
    However, as is the nature of this thing – I have started disliking the aches and pains that can accompany it and in so doing have found myself wanting to be rid of them and therefore starting to try the ‘mental gymnastics’ that Joe mentioned in the last blog. Add to that my mind has picked up on the fact that Paul/Joe and other people recovered have said that the only thing that kept them IN anxiety for so long was they had not fully accepted – ‘when i gave up on all that and fully accepted, NO CONDITIONS was when I started to get better’ – and others have said similar. Now I really understand most of this but there is an angle that is telling me that I am not fully accepting, that’s why I keep myself coming back to dislikng/not accepting my symptoms. Can you please give me your opinion on what I am now doing –
    For your research Paul I googled ‘no more anxiety’ I did not know there was a site of that name but had always been too scared to google anxiety and had been getting by with claire weekes books – thank goodness I did.

  356. Teresa J Says:

    Don’t know if you’ve gone out with your mates and this message too late but one thing I can tell you defineitely not to bother listening to – that you are moving to fast and that you may damage yourself – don’t bother, you won’t damage yourself, quite the contrary you will unleash yourself. you may watch yourself for a bit but you will lose interest in yourself and all of s sudden you will forget to watch yourself. go for it – don’t let the voice stop you going out with your friends, you’ll enjoy it and feel so pleased with yourself for doing it. I have been on a family holiday and was worried whether I would be able to keep up with everyone etc – I was no different to anyone else. There really is nothing you can’t do with this – and it weakens as you do more.

  357. Mike H Says:

    Paul David, or anyone who can help.

    I have had this problem for about 7 months. I keep anazlyzing words in my head to the point where english sometimes sounds like a foreign language. Words just sound unfamiliar, ….like if you say a word a lot of times it has no meaning. This is so annoying. Maybe it’s just an offshoot of depersonalization. I already feel very selfaware and detatched from myself…but I know it goes away from time to time, so I’m sure I’ll get over all that eventually…but my mind is just going over words again and again when I’m listening to people. It’s so frustrating. Has anyone experienced this? Can I really believe something like this will go away? It makes hanging out with friends frustrating because I’m in the middle of a conversation and it just sounds so foreign.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

  358. Andrew Says:


    Just replying to Mark M’s comment about the analysing and not believing thoughts. It made me smile certainly about the “destined to be anxious” thoughts and will always be this way which I can totally relate to. Another thing I do is go back into my past and try to remember times when I was anxious and fearful over something then try to figure out if that was “anxiety” (the label) have I had it all my life and I didnt realise it ect ect. Further more I’ve always been a quiet kind of guy not outgoing so this also gets analysed as well, the thought is is that social anxiety and so on This off course has no benefit as it just tires the mind further and thus continues the analysing behaviour and the anxiety circle. As Mark says the response when these thoughts start to circle is “who cares”, I didnt worry about my behaviour before all this started, it’s interesting about how worrying about the very thing your suffering from keeps you suffering!!!

    Also some of the comments about reassurance are also something I can relate to. When I first started experiencing problems I was in and out of the Doctors, ringing helplines paying huge amounts of money to see private therapist which the only benefit was to empty my pockets. I then moved on to books on positivity which i carried round with me all day even at work, just having them in my bag where I could get them out to read was a huge comfort. I remember getting Pauls book at the turn of the year which went everywhere with me and when I found this site I would get up in the morning and the 1st thing i did was log on then several further times during the day. There is no benefit to this as Paul says it keeps the subject at the forefront of your life so you pretty much become your anxiety, it dictates your thoughts and behaviour.

    As advised above I keep off the blog and now just check in every few days and have stopped carrying the book around with me. I have started to face outwards instead of constantly looking inside myself, its a slow process but have started to take up my hobbies that I dropped when all this started, it isnt easy but its the only way to bring back the old you.

    I still find the upsetting thoughts difficult, I’ve had them all over the years, sexual, violent which some have gone completly only to be replaced with different ones, at the moment its hearing something on the news such as a reporter will being to say a sentance such as “a 21 year old man from Mnachester… then in my mind I finish the sentance off …is dead, then get a rush of panic but i’m taking my “whatever” attitude with me all the time, its the only obvious answer to recover, the opposite to what i’ve been doing to fearful thoughts which is panic and fear is to not react, I didnt react to them before which is why I didnt have anxiety then, seems straightforward when you say it like that!!!!

    Good luck to everyone


  359. lorryt Says:

    Hi all

    can totally relate andrew to your last comment. all i want to do is get on and live my life without these thoughts consatntly in my head, they do seem to jump from one thing to another at the moment . i am trying to adopt the so what attitude as they are after all only thoughts, and cant hurt us. it is so easy to say but when you try and adopt it its different!. guess its coz we have been in th eloop of doing it for so long its just second nature. also i am in such a negative place at the mo its hard to get anything right !. i know things will turn around but i guess while im waiting im not living . i am rushing around trying to fill my time, hoping that he thoughts will go away but its not accepting is it!!!!., trying timesxx

  360. Gail Says:

    Can anyone give some advice on how not to worry?

    Paul, I read your book, including the chapter on worry. I know it’s useless, but no matter how many times I tell myself that, I still worry.

    I’m a musician, and whenever I have a performance, I get so anxious weeks before. I have a big program for Christmas and, even though it’s a ways away, I’m so anxious about it.

    Anyone have any advice on worry, I would appreciate it.

    Thank you!

  361. Emma Says:

    Hello Paul and Everyone!

    I was just wondering if anyone has experienced the thoughts of “if everything is real?” I know this is an off-shot of anxiety and I should just let the thoughts in and let them go but it can be hard because I start thinking “is all this advice real?” I never thought like this before anxiety and when I am busy doing “normal” things the thoughts seem to fade. It is just hard because when I start to feel happy and normal, I question that too… and then I start to think negative about if my true emotions and positive outlook on life will ever come back. I have only been having these feelings for a short time so I know I need to let time pass but I would love just some reassurance that these thoughts do go away when anxiety fades away…I know this is all part of the recovery process and I am just very sensitized to everything I think right now but some advice would be great! Thank you everyone for your support!

  362. Mike H. Says:


    yes, believe me this is normal for anxiety!` I have wondered that kind of thing for so long that it means nothing at all to have that thought pop up. Eventually you’ll see that it is just a thought. Sometimes it helps to remember when you were a kid. Just imagine when you were like 3 years old. If someone said, “Hey Emma, none of this is real” it would mean nothing at all. Nothing whatsoever.

    You wouldn’t even understand the concept of what is real and unreal when you were a kid.

    Therefore it’s just a stupid thought. It had no effect until you gave it immense respect. Logic does this.

    I’ve studied philosophy and religion ever since senior year of high school…about 10 years ago, and I have so many annoying abnormal thoughts it is rediculous. But they don’t bother me as much as they used to. I definitely find myself wishing from time to time that I was just a dumb person who did not have the burden of intellect. If you think too much about anything you turn it weird. My advice to my future children will be: Don’t think too much about anything. Just play sports, play music, date girls..etc. I don’t want you to go through what I’ve gone through…lol.

    HOpe this is comforting in some way.

  363. CC Says:

    Hi Sara,

    I hope ur feeling a bit better and got urself somemore baby things! Awwwhhh a little girl is the best person ever to shop for, dont even look at baby ted baker stuff its sooo cute but major expensive.

    I seem to be having the worst setback ever this week, feel like im back to square one but worse, so im right back with you now. But as Paul Advises me this will happen and if I give my anxious thoughts there room they will go. Its kind of like trying to enjoy the company of a member of your boyfriends family who clearly doesnt like you, but you do, oviously you can wait til she leaves but you deal with it and carry on the same.

    I advise you to do as paul says take in all the advice youve read from here that applies to you and try n get on with your life dont bog yourself down reading reading reading trying to get better, choose that one road and follow it with positivity. Its actually really hard for me to say this feeling as I am right now, but ive moved past this before I can do it again.

    Hope u are ok chic and try enjoy life as much as you can, even feeling this bad xx

    Paul or anyone that can help, couple of questions.

    Did you ever get toilet troubles with your panic e.g. I have been about 4 times last night :( The churning in my stomach and my scary thought coming true just wouldnt let me stay in one place. I had to get out of bed.

    The worst thing about my thought is that it could well come true and if it does im in some seirious trouble, Its what is plaguing me. I am waiting for a phonecall :( I think ive got 3 weeks to wait to know what everything will be ok. A silly mistake in work because I wasnt thinking straight. And the worst part is it will effect someone else not me! I think thats what is scaring me the worst. I was doing so well aswell.

    If anyone has got any words of wisdom today is the day I really need to hear them – as no one around me seems to be able to understand how I feel. Thanks xx

  364. Helen Says:

    Hi CC,
    Look at your thought with logic. If you have made a mistake then you can deal with the consequences whatever they are. You have to remember that it is a mistake, whatever was done wasn’t done out of malice, it was a mistake.
    If you allow yourself to be gripped with fear and basically hold your breath for 3 weeks until you find out then you will have wasted a lot of time and energy on something that you don’t yet know the outcome of. You also know that this mindset makes you catastrophize the situation, you play out the worst scenario in your head and then you believe it and it gets worse and worse.
    CC, you don’t know what is going to happen in the future even when you know you have made a mistake, you just don’t know how it is going to turn out. Allow the thought to be there ‘what if it comes true’ but answer it honestly and the answer should be ‘yes, it might and if it does, I will deal with it’.
    Also, to add, yes, I used to get up to go to the loo about 10 times in the night when I was very bad!!

    All the best

  365. lorryt Says:


    that is so right, we all do it no matter. what happens just get on with life. i am in a situation whereby things arent great , and i feel that its all falling apart around me. but i know things arent great and my mind is just playing out all the possible situations that could happen if it does all go bottoms up!. i know i have the tendency to catastrophize, and its a horrid thing. Its all the what ifs coming in to play, and i cant seem to see past them at the moment. just feels like im caught in an endless loop of it. then i think its just me feeling sorry for myself, then i have to remindmyself that the past 6 months have been extremely stressful and this is my heads way of dealing with it. take me back 3 years and things would have been a lot different. by coming on here i have learnt a lot of coping mechanisms which have come into play, and im no longer scared of my physical symptoms which really have almost all gone, its just the lingering thoughts that have not moved. i have been given so much advice on here and the support is soo great. its just seems so hard to retrain my brain, then things start going well and something comes along and sets me back. im not moaning , its just this last thoughtsd symptom has held me back for soo long now its increasingly difficult to believe that im gonna recover. xx

  366. Sara A Says:

    Hiya every1,

    Decided to come back and check in, I went away thinkin quite positive but today is a nightmare….. i’ve got so many horrid thoughts rushin through my head and ive even added my own sentences which have scared the life out of me. I don’t know what im doing anymore! Could hardly get out of bed this morning….i dont recognise myself anymore. Seems to be getting lots worse. i had a few good ish days and now im tearful alot.
    I have images, songs, violence, sexual everything now! i can’t cope. I’m afraid to look at anything just incase it sticks. Alot of things stick! yuk!
    I am going to the doctors tomorrow, I’m worried about being left alone.

    Can anyone tell me how these new thoughts have come about and is this recovery or am i really getting worse? I hate myself.

    sorry for the miserable post. xxxxx

  367. CC Says:

    Helen thank you so much for ur reassuring comments makes me feel alot better, my toilet is going to be out of order soon.

    My mistake could cause pretty bad effects and I feel if it did – and there is a chance Im sure I could live with that. Thats my fear and beleive me its so hard to get past that,

    But like you said maybe I have blown it up. 3 nights on the trot with no sleep and no food. Im not going to go on much longer with out being ill. Im trying to accept the churning in my stomach its just hard, What did u do, hope ur ok and feeling strong xx

  368. peter Says:

    Sara you’re preganant right??? Of course you will be anxious, it’s a huge life changing experience. The thoughts will feed off the anxiety and the more you worry the worse they will get. Don’t hate yourself these thoughts are anxiety based and bear no resmblence to the real you. As i said before just let them be, give them no importance and I promise you they will dissipate. The new thoughts are just anxiety they do not represent anything else.

    Keep busy and try and refocus your mind, its not easy but entirely worth it. Everyone has horrid thoughts and I mean everyone, its just your reaction to them which is upsetting you at the moment.

  369. Sara A Says:

    Hiya CC and Peter

    Its all too much this. I take in what you say…it goes towards helping me thankyou.
    I cant seem to understand whats me talking in my head and what is the anxiety. When the thoughts do go, its a strange feeling in my mind like i know what it was to do with but i cant grasp the words used…or not correctly. Why does the mind always want to remind me of what ive already thought about? I have things in my head from 2-3weeks ago that still come up. It’s also like im finishing the sentences in my head :S
    I’m at a point where im just to confused with it all that im shaking constantly.
    Even writing this post, im so aware of saying each word in my head, this surely is normal right? A person without anxiety would do this?

    Paul is so right when he says that when you have a few good days the bad days hit you worse than before.

    Thankyou for being supportive. Just going to take me a little longer to grasp i guess.

    O and CC it made me smile when you said about ur alien image. I can see why you laughed.
    Hope it will all start to improve for us sweetie.


  370. Helen Says:

    Hi Sara A,
    I feel for you so much with what you are going through but you will get past it as I have and so have many others but I do know how horrendous and hopeless it feels for you right now.
    You are so in tune with yourself and nothing else that everything is magnatised a million times. Every thought, action & memory is being analysed, checked over and processed. For me it was like looking at myself whilst I was doing everything that is why you are so aware of saying every word in your head and no someone without anxiety wouldn’t do this. Someone without anxiety would just write the words without giving them too much thought but Sara, you have anxiety. You are looking inwardly constantly, checking in and this is because you are frightened and desperate to get better.
    What you are Sara (from reading your posts, forgive me if I get this wrong) is a young pregnant woman who is kind (you seem to care about others even when you are feeling like crap) and fightened and living with anxiety. This is what you know. When you look in the mirror you are you. It doesn’t matter that you are finishing sentances from weeks ago, it doesn’t matter that you are so aware of yourself. You can have the most horrendous thoughts whatever they may be and whoever they may be about but it doesn’t change who you are. It doesn’t change the fact that you are a young pregnant woman who is kind and quite frightened at the moment.
    You are clearly trying to work it all out still, wondering why you are thinking like you do wondering what everything means and you KNOW that this isn’t helping. When the thoughts come accept them but remember who you are, who you really are.
    Your hormones will also be having a bit of a party at the moment with you being pregnant so you have a double whammy!!
    Sara, accept everything what is happening to you but be kind to yourself, give yourself a break. You aren’t going mad, you aren’t a bad person, you aren’t going to hurt anyone, you have anxiety and you musn’t forget that or you will continue with trying to work it all out.
    The crux of it is is that you are a girl called Sara and you have anxiety and when anxiety goes you will be Sara. Don’t hope and wait to be better because you will, the pressure you are putting yourself under is keeping you in the grip of anxiety.

    All the best

  371. ross Says:

    is it best to totally ‘let go’ of anxiety??

    if anyone knows wat i mean. I keep thinkin if i totally let go ill loose myself.

    like not focusing on yourself etc??

    also i feel there is a complete block on my brain stoppin me from feeling any happiness…. anyone else have this??/

    apart from these things i feel im accepting and not caring about anxiety i just want to feel ‘me’ again :)

  372. candie Says:

    Would just like to tell Sara i was pregnant and really bad with anxiety, words, images, intrusive violent/sexual thoughts.. couldnt sleep or eat.. life just got so dark. I had my baby, had many ups and down but gradually in time, anxiety faded as i changed my attitude towards it and i didnt find the thought scary anymore so they went away. To begin with just tell yourself today i am going to let my mind conjure up anything, as i have anxiety and it needs to manifest itself in some form of scary way. Then when they come as they do and often, just feel the strength within to learn to be ok with that- tell yourself they are anxiety end of. Dont have to be 100% certain that they are anxiety, just flat past them without reading into things. Never lose sight of the FACT they are created by anxiety, so if you add more anxiety over experiencing them you will think more scary stuff. You have to reverse this and the only way is to accept what is, ANXIETY.

  373. KM Says:

    I’m new to this website and i have to say I think its fantastic and its really helped me out in the past few days. My story with anxiety has been off/on for past ten years or so, and I suffered my worst after the birth of my daughter who is now ten. I suffered as i didn’t get the correct support and information, not like whats available today. For the past five years i’ve lived relativly free from anxiety, not to say i didn’t experience it, I certainly did, but it never overwhelmed me like it once did, and i could usually pin point the trigger (too much alcohol, hormones, stress etc) and let it run its course! Although i held onto some phobias, which i avoided, this year I overcame my fear of flying. But one of my worst fears recently became a reality which has thrown me right smack bang in the middle of a setback, one i’m struggling with. I was always fearful of becoming pregnant again and I’d made the decision years ago I was happy with my one beautiful child. OUt of the blue, 6 weeks ago I discovered i was pregnant, I have a loving partner and a great life, but neither of us wanted anymore children so we made the decision to not go through with it. This shock of being pregnant, the process of terminating and the roller coaster of hormones and stress, has left me a mess! Although I used my skills and allowed the anxiety to be there and out of the past 5 weeks i’ve only had a few really bad days, until last week! My cycle finally returned and I had told myself that once this happened i could move on and go back to normal, this didn’t happen! For the past week i’ve been having overwhelming anxiety! And i’m terrified that i’ll end up back where I was ten years ago with post natal depression. I’ve been doing my best to ‘keep on keeping on’, I haven’t missed one days work, despite not being able to eat, sleep or think about anything else other than my ruminating stupid head! Although I had a good weekend, went to the country with my partner and our kids and i was relativly calm, it just seems so up and down! One minute my mind is telling me i’ll be fine it’ll pass, then the next I’m despairing!! I’ve spoken to a few close girlfriends who’ve all reassured me that this is normal and it will pass, but to feel this bad again after being on top of it for so many years is pretty scary! I’m determined to not have to return to ‘therapy’, as im not sure how many more skills they can teach (I could teach them) and i’ve always avoided medication, which i still will! But i seem to be enveloped in it, its suffocating!! I no all I have to do is nothing, but my tired mind and body are picking at it all the time! Even in the hours that I feel good and its definatly reduced and the voice in my head has settled and i’m able to talk and thing other things, its still niggling away! People around me would have absolutly no idea I’m so good at hiding it, but i miss my old happy self, and want it to pass, when i feel better I feel so relieved, but when the thoughts consume me and i feel doom, my heart sinks and i think, god this will go on for months again!! Any reasurance would be appreciated :)

  374. lorryt Says:

    having a lot of trouble today with the thoughts thing, its all centring around hubby and work etc. seems never ending, im scaring myself half to death with it all. frightened that this or that is gonna happen . its all stupid stuff andy am i still believeing it after all this time i have come so far with it, its been really bad. cant seem to let my mind drift into anything it has a grip today and i cant shake it.xx sorry to moan its all i seem to do at the mo.xx

  375. Helen Says:

    Hi KM,
    Just remember that you have have got over it before and you will again. You are clearly doing everything right but impatience will keep you in an anxiety vice. Setbacks are difficult as you react with shock and despair as you have the experience of knowing what you went throught the first time round and you know how hard it is but you also need to remember that you have the experience of getting through it and how good that is. It is very easy to forget that when you have a setback.
    Just keep doing what you are doing and be patient and it will pass.

    All the best

  376. Lellis Says:


    I HAVE BEEN RECOVERING FOR ABOUT 6 MONTHS NOW AND I AM LIVING A Life almost completely the same to my old but in a more mindful and calmer way. I really am very proud of how far I have come and the adjustments I have made to get here., little side track put please to all the newbies, stay with the Blog this really is the best site out there and the advice really does work. time is the best healer for this but unfortunately it takes time, cheesey advice true but now over.

    One little niggle is still here and I wondered if affects anyone else, my biggest anxiety was always myself, I could not understand my anxiety and was therefore convinced it was a serious mental illness. Since that worry has left and I have so much room for other worries I still find I am easily obsessive with certain thoughts.

    At the moment it is my relationship, I am worried at all times that it isn’t going to work or that I am going to end up unhappy like my Mum and Step Dad. Is this normal worries or is anxiety still there and is going to sabotage my relationship.

    I have always been a worrier and i know it is my make up and personality but I am concerned that recovery isn’t as near and I have just shifted my worries to another subject.

    I also hate feeling like a doom and gloom munger, I wasted so much time thinking about the worst case scenario I just want to be a little more positive and I truly adore my new man I just cannot seem to live in the present I am always slightly dreading the future.

    Sorry for the rant but here always seems like the perfect place to vent.


  377. Lellis Says:

    Just a little advice for KIM

    Hormones were and to some extent still are my trigger. I know this is an obvious thing to say but it used to help me to be reminded, this is only anxiety, nothing more and it will pass. I know that is obvious and I know that I sound rude but at my worst I could never get this into perspective. I also what to remind you that you have done this before, you have coped when you didn’t know what it was and when you had a new baby to look after. Something very brave and admirable.

    You sound like a wonderful mother so you will cope again and remember this time there isn’t that dread that this feeling could be forever. It won’t be providing you allow it to pass rather than fight it and make it enormous.

    Keep at work, keeping cooking dinner, reading stories to your kids and smiling even if you have to fake it because eventually you won’t remember to pretend it will just all be natural and relieved.

    Good luck and keep calm


  378. Jessica S Says:

    Hi Nick

    I can sympathise with parts of your post

    ” I have accepted the way I am for the moment, It’s just i’m still so worried. Some days much more than others, but even on good days the thoughts are still there it’s just their impact is not as severe. ”

    I too have read Paul’s and Claire Weakes’ books. I have had some fabulous days but I also struggle with the worrying thoughts. If I feel slightly anxious I start having the “oh no I am never going to be rid of this” and the constant worrying about my future with this condition. However, sometimes I just think to myself” So what, who cares!” I feel awful, I go around constantly worrying about it and I feel worse so stuff it I am not going to worry about this for another second and just let it be and eventually I get some relief. I know this sounds so simple but it works and yes the anxiety does come back but I just have to keep letting it be there and not caring! I am currently going through a set back and as I type this I know the words are true but I am finding the attitude hard to apply. But I will persevere and hope for the best.


  379. CC Says:

    Lellis – Im like you I have a new obssession everytime one leaves I just grab another as soon as possible if im honest I does my head in. Ive had enough of it but it whats my head does and I cant control it.

    Im having a horrific week, worst setback yet. Just want to come home all the time and watch TV but when I get to bed its where I feel the worst. What can I do?? Please can someone help me. I thought I was getting better. Tonight I opened a jar that was supposed to be full before you open it now I believe Ive given my self bad luck. :((( my belly wont stop churning…..

  380. Helen Says:

    Please stick with it. Do not give in to what is happening to you. Don’t be fooled into thinking you aren’t getting better. Every day that you get up and go to work and do the everyday things that you have to means that you are recovering, it just doesn’t feel like it because of the thoughts you are having and how your body feels.
    Remember, this is a setback. Setbacks are shocking as you have had a time when you have felt better and when setbacks happen it plunges you straight back into some of the worst times you have had but it is a SETBACK. Don’t forget what you know. Don’t analyse, don’t fight and let whatever thoughts come to you to be there.
    The obsessive thinking passes but you have to let it happen. You know when you are obsessing so accept, be obsessive about whatever the subject is at the time but don’t act on it, don’t wonder why it is happening. You will stop obsessing about one thing and then something else will be the subject but it eventually just goes. If you accept your thoughts, anxiety becomes bored because it isn’t getting the same reaction from you. Anxiety is powered by your reaction to it. When you give anxiety your full attention it is like a very bright light but as you accept and stop trying to work it all out the light slowly fades to nothing but this takes time, you can’t just switch the light off!
    Be patient, accept this THIS IS ANXIETY and know that you will get through it.
    This time 2 years ago, I would never in a million years have thought that I could understand anxiety, would never have thought that I would be happy again and if I am honest this time 2 years ago there were times when I didn’t want to carry on at all but I knew I was still me at some level, somewhere deep inside so I kept on and I am so glad I did.
    Accept that this is anxiety and know that with strength and patience you will get through this.

    All the best

  381. KM Says:

    I really appreciate all the kind advice, and i’m feeling so much better this week so thanks to Lellis and Helen. Its really amazing how hormones can really trigger things off, i thought this when it was happening and certainly days after the surgery were the worst, but i allowed for it then and waited till it passed, five weeks down the track, i was panicking about my anxiety, “it should be over, i’ll be back to where I was before, etc etc etc”
    Over the weekend I just chilled out, and allowed myself to take a back seat to it and watch it like a carnival parade with out putting on the carnival costume and joining in!! It was unpleasant, uncomfortable, annoying, but I also didn’t care, as I KNEW I could handle it and didn’t let it push me around! My life is too full of good things to allow anxiety to consume it, so take back the control, get angry with it and go live your lives!
    All the best

  382. CC Says:

    Helen a million thank yous for your kind words. Im feeling better tonight not 100% but im eating! I will remember my old ways and let the feelings be there let it churn let it scare me. Im glad its not jus me who feels like this, yet at times it can be so lonely in the prison of anxiety.

    Im scared of everything these days its mental. I was planning pregnancy in May but might leave it a while having a baby in this state is not good for her/him. Its funny I dont worry I cant get pregnant but worry something will be wrong with the baby, something I do :( im so fearful my actions effect others I have no idea why this is. People make mistakes I know this but I CANNOT the thought of me altering someones life for the worse because of a STUPID mistake is something I cannot handle. Im like this about everyone. I went to the dentist last week, conviced the girl helping the dentitst had done something to my injection – had a feeling she didnt like me because of a past boyfriend. I mean WHAT?!? how irrational is that. I understand the concept of feel the fear and do it anyway but its so much harder than I ever thought. I have no interest in my job that I used to love so much. Ive lost my party girl ways even my fashion interest has gone :( it takes alot for me not to want to dress nice.

    I like the way you describe it as a light, its very true I cant turn it off just let it fade. Im going to think of that. Someone gave me a great piece of advice that directly relates to me – think for the moment, dont worry about the future until it happens. Thats most of my FEAR in the future… Im all talk tho no action.

    Is it a good idea to take a new interest up like paul did, running, playing guitar singing lessons, joining a netball club. I love my yoga sessions I wish I could find more than one a week.

    Thanks for all the advice on here everyone, esp Helen today, ur the star I needed today you made a girl feel alot better. x

  383. Nina Says:

    Omg, i still feel weird after all a year. Im back to normal, now im even working and all but i still feel unreal, and this bothers me. i feel like im in a dream still. I just feel like theres something off, like if soething needs to click for me to feel normal again. Ive been feeling like this for a year now, is this normal? also will it ever go away? this is the only symptom that just wont away, i dont cry about it but It hits me sometimes and I get upset. Please help!! am i the only one?

  384. lorryt Says:

    hi nina

    no you arent the only one hun. i think the majority of us have been through something that wont go away. All i can say is it will go away, cant tell you how long , as i think we are all very different in our symptoms. but i know i am much better than i was 3 years back, and i am coping very well in the circumstances. just under lots of stress and its heightening my anxiety a lot. i know it canbe frustrating and upsetting but it will pass. we are all with you girl xxxx

  385. lorryt Says:

    hi all

    i really think i have gone wrong somewhere as my symptoms have got a lot worse recently. its the sameold same old obsessive thought bout worrying about everything money relationship kids etc. it has all recently snowballed and i manage to get to sleep but wake up early hours and my brain is off on its usual trip , alli can say to myself is just relax and get to sleep but i seem ti be tuning in to everything its telling me. before all this started i could move on with my head but cant seem to stop ruminating and it feels like its destroying all that i have. can someoen set me straight !!!

  386. David Says:

    Hi guys. im reading alot of posts about obsessive thoughts at the moment .I am going through a big set back and this seems to be my common theme also. Constantly going over events in my mind and then suddenly my anxiety will latch onto something else and latch onto that. Its very hard to let be and float and let time pass as most of the advice suggests. Lorryt and CC i can relate to whatever your worrying about and i guess with all this snow and everyone being stuck this isnt the best time not too worry !! Im feeling your concerns and the advice is too face the concern and let time pass…Im having a hard time to practice what i preach though..Any tips!!!

  387. Clare Says:

    Hi guys,
    I havent been on here since about June time so many wont have read my story, I had been suffering for around 8 years till enough was enough and I wanted to take my life back! Throughout the 8 years it came on and off, mainly around holidays and travels, the big push to sort it came earlier this year in March, 3 months before my holiday to Florida (I live in the UK so quite a big holiday), I was petrified, lost weight, sick, couldnt sleep, constant shakes and a very tired mind. This site and Pauls guidence really helped me, I survivied the holiday (obviously I knew I would) and felt very very proud, Teresa J really helped me with her tips and I am so grateful for those. My anxiety was there every day nearly every second of it but I just embraced it and I suppose ‘annoyed’ it by keeping going. When I came back my anxiety levels subsided but now there coming back, I suppose this would be ‘setbacks’.
    Im not too bothered by these but I found at the first ‘setback’ I forgot everything for a while till I remebered what I was meant to do, just stay out.
    I am in my final year and university so very stressed out which as you can imagine is not really nice with anxiety so im feeling anxious all the time again, like I said before im not bothered I know one day I will get over it. The only thing that concerns me is that in Macrh 2011 it will be a year since I found this help and I kind of expected it to go by then, although I know i shouldnt set a time limit it will go when im ready and healthy again.
    If anyone else is having setbacks all I can say is stay put where you are and stop reassuring yourself like you did when you first started this process, you’ve moved on and your mind knows what it is to do now, just find something else to concentrate on or go for a walk, read a book.
    Dont ever let this ruin your life, theres light at the end of the tunnel, believe me I can see the light (slightly)

  388. Sydney Carton Says:

    Thanks Clare – your post came just at the right time for me – travel always sets off my anxiety and I have to throw myself on to train or into the car. (not literally)The DP is always prevalent on these occasions which, as most of us are aware, can be quite alarming. Often I feel as I am going to disappear during a conversation as I don’t feel real or part of ‘normal’ life. Nevertheless, the 9-32 train awaits tomorrow and weather permitting I will be on it !!

  389. Wayne Says:

    Good day!

    Well, it has been one year since I started dealing with anxiety. 2 trips to the emergency room in 4 days, heart palpitations, worry, headaches, jaw pain, DP and no sleep. The next two weeks home from work. Two echo’s, 4 EKG’s, multiple blood work and a heart monitor (all came back negative), anxiety medication.

    I found this site soon after and I can’t tell you how much better I feel. I realized early with the help of Diana and later Candie that this is a process and will take time. How much time no one knows but follow the advice on this site and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I had DP and heart palpitations the longest and I had many days where I thought something more was wrong with me. I did get through it, by using this site as my source of knowledge, and you can too. I am back to doing the things I love and not so focused on myself 24/7.

    I feel we should share our successes as well as our struggles to show that we can all move forward in time.

  390. marc Says:

    hey everyone!

    havent posted in quite a while, which is a good thing because iv realised that i dont need to constantly look for reassurance(whenever i have a negative thought or feeling, or feeling just completely weird) like i always used to!!! well id thought id post today and let u know how iv been getting on since the last time i posted which was around 3 months ago i think…well in regards to the situations(besides anxiety) in my life they have gotton a tad worse, i was let go from my job in the gym(im a fitness instructor) so that was a double hit in A-little or no money and B-since being let go from the gym iv been very un-active and have been doing little or no exercise or activities at all!!! i still dont get to see that much of my friends because the majority of them are always busy with work/college and girlfriends! my mum is still suffering bad with her nerves as well…….so one thing that i have to do is cut myself a bit of slack and realise that of course im going to go through anxiety with all this going on in my life! and one question i asked myself to realise that is-‘if i woke up tomorrow with no problems,had a great job,happy family home,a million quid in the bank,had cheryl cole as my girlfriend……would i have anxiety?’ and well the answer is obvious isnt it!!!! i think one of the biggest mistakes us sufferers do is we think that anxiety just came upon us out of nowhere and we bombard ourselves with questions like why me? what did i do to deserve this? and what we really need to do is look at the current situation in our lives, because let me tell you we dont get anxiety just by conciously worrying about something, that certainly wasnt the case for me, i have never considered myself a worrier, but obviously everything that was negative in my life had a huge impact on me without me even realising it! its just like paul says-‘anxiety doesnt choose anyone’ and i learnt that the blody hard way with months spent of useless pondering!!!
    But anyway back to how im getting on, one thing that i have to realise and accept is that i am on the road to recovery. the reason why i say that is because in the past while i have been up and down, i havent had a complete normal day yet where my anxiety has completely vanished, but i have had ‘ok’ days where im not too bad where i might still be feeling a little bit weird but not to the usual extent! and well the bad days, i think everyone that is on the road to recovery or that is recovered will agree with me that the bad days can be worse than the days you had when you were at the height of your suffering!!! and in regards to my d.p i still feel like that-‘this is all i know, i wont be able to get back to normal or reality after going through this’ but its like what paul says in his post about having 25 years of normal memory and having 10 years of an anxious memory that he had to realise he had spent most of his life living normally than living anxiously and that he was going to have to change things to get back to normality. and thats what i have to realise, im 22 and my first bout of anxiety was when i was 17 and since then i have had bouts with anxiety on and off, so for 17 years i have lived completely normal, and the last 5 battled with anxiety and d.p on and off, and especially because it has been on and off for the last 5 years and not 5 years straight, that i really should be looking at the different picture that of course i can get back to normal if iv managed to before! :)
    The thing i hate most about anxiety, well more d.p really is that it can manifest in so many different ways and you can stay trapped in that merry go round of questioning your sanity and not realise just to put it under the umbrella of anxiety!!! i really have been through it all with d.p from philosphical pondering, questioning my existence and everything around me, thinking that im not in control of my body and its actions, feeling like nothing makes sense at all, feeling completely spaced out all the time, wondering how we process thoughts or images into our minds and wondering if they are really there or not and completely freaking out over it,feeling overwhelmed constantly,feeling like im dreaming,feeling like im just acting out my day and going through the motions and many MANY more! even today which is a bad one unfortunatly, i was feeling really weird and my mind was racing about how we think and get images in our head and a whole load of other crap thats so complex that i cant even explain it and i was gonna come on here and look for reassurance and then i just thought ‘i know this is just d.p playing its trick so why the bloody hell am i looking for reassurance when i know what this is!’ so i know i just have to get on with it and live with it for the time being.
    Anyway im gonna try finish up here cause iv been rambling on for way too long now! haha! in my last post there a while ago i said i was experiencing twitching/tremors in my body and my head and was getting it checked out by a neurologist, and well surprise surprise everything came back clear!!! but iv done a bita research and apparently it is a very common physical symptom that comes with anxiety, now it has bashed my confidence in a huge way because im really embarrassed and awkward when it does happen if im out in public, and if its not happening then im completely aware of it and nervous incase it does happen!!! and because of this i have avoided situations, i havent been on a night out with friends in over 2 months because of this because im so embarrassed of what people will think of me if it happens! and believe me iv tried it all to take these tremors away from herbal teas to magnesium tablets to hypnotherapy and none of it has worked! so now i know what i have to do, i have to suck it up and face it like a man and accept it for the time being, and anyone that does judge me about it can go f*@! themselves because its through no fault of my own and i shouldnt have to feel embarrassed about it!
    So from now on things are gonna change! i have wrote up myself a daily routine to keep busy while im out of work(strongly reccommend it to anyone else who is unemployed), im gonna join a gym next week when i get money and pay monthly,im gonna change my diet up,try hang out with friends more often, and above all get myself back out there on nights out socialising no matter how i feel or if i get d twitches/tremors!
    Plus i just wanna say guys that im after finishing a book called ‘the energy of prayer’ by a buddist monk and he said something very wise in one of the chapters called ‘true happiness’ , he said ”when we persue the objects of sensual desire, such as money,fame,power and sex, we are not able to produce true happiness.Rather we create a great deal of suffering for ourselves and others. Human beings are full of desires. Day and night they run after these desires therefore they are not free. If they are not free, they do not feel at ease, and they do not feel happy. If we have few desires, we are satisfied with a simple, wholesome life and we have the time to live deeply every moment of daily life and to love and look after our dear ones.” and thats when i thought to myself-‘what do i desire most?’ and well its obvious when suffering with anxiety, to get back to my old self and rid of this hell! and thats when i realised that i need to stop obsessing about getting better and back to my old self and rather live along side with anxiety for as long as it takes and to just be thankful for the positives in my life! :)
    anyway thats enough of my short essay! 😛

    marc :)

  391. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Just to let people know I will be putting up a new post next week, which will be a few of the best success stories I have saved/pulled up recently. I am going to try and cut and paste the stories in, but wordpress blogs seem to have a problem with this and the layout and fonts end up all over the place, so if it does not work I will have to use the comment boxes below to place the stories in, this works far better.

    The snow is still not shifting here either :(

  392. Ethel Says:

    Hiya, this is my first post … I have been suffering from anxiety for just over two months now. It was a rapid onset created by physical issues that manifested itself into HUGE panic attacks and then seems to have settled into generalised anxiety. It is now with me 24/7 and it is quite hideous. I appear to have the whole ‘works’ the heart palpitations, sweats, shaking, stomach churning, irrational thoughts, obsessions with death both my own and everyone elses (as in … I dont want it to happen!) Worryingly, I have lost ALL of my appetite, it has gone totally. I have no desire for food at all but I have been forcing in some Complan and porrige to keep myself alive. I have lost tons of weight and it is a bit of a worry … is this usual? and if so, will my appetitie come back in time?

    On the plus side, I found this Blog and bought Paul’s book about two/three weeks ago and since then I have been pushing myself to do ‘things’ a bit more. Easy, baby steps … I have been out on my own driving, shopping etc. It has been hard and scary but I am sticking with it. I am allowing my physical sensations to kind of sweep over me, yes, it is hellish but I appeciate that allowing them to scare me as much as they did at first is not productive. It does however worry me that some people appear to suffer for years … I DO NOT want this to be me. I have seen some small improvements and I suppose I just wanted some reassurance that hopefully because I have suffered such a short period of time and have found Paul’s help early that I might have a hope of dragging my ass out of this as soon as possible. My D.P is very minimal and I want to keep it this way. The last slap in the face with a wet kipper is …. I work in the field of Mental Health … and I never EVER thought that I would suffer in this way. That’ll teach me then wont it!!

    Paul if you are out there, does this short period of suffering and finding your information at an earlish stage mean that my road to recovery will be a shorter one (I dont want this monkey on my back for years and years)

  393. marc Says:


    ”I work in the field of Mental Health … and I never EVER thought that I would suffer in this way. That’ll teach me then wont it!!”………first off just let me be the first to tell you that you are in no way mentally ill, all you are is just mentally tired. there is a huge difference! your nerves have just taken a bashing and now its time for you to give them the space they need to heal up, so dont let your anxiety hold you back from living your life, try to live it the way you were before you got anxiety, no matter how horrible you feel. this is the way forward. dont give any of your symptoms the respect they dont deserve!!! this is the biggest problem i suffered with, i paid my symptoms way too much respect and gave into them! and slowly but surely im still getting my life back the way it was…… and as for people who have suffered for years, trust me these people are the ones that either have very little knowledge on anxiety and rather take their ‘magic pills’, or people that are very knowledgable about anxiety but still refuse to implement the certain changes they have to make and give in to their symptoms. so consider yourself very lucky that you have suffered for only 2 months and within that space you have found this site and the support you need, trust me if you listen to paul and do what he says you will be rid of anxiety sooner rather than later, but the main thing is not to put a time limit on recovery, live and accept anxiety for as long as it needs. since i found pauls site back in july(i think it was) i have been on the road to recovery since and trust me it is a very up and down spiral!!! i suppose the last piece of advice i can give you is dont go googling symptoms! thats one of the worst things i did! perfect example is that i have head and body tremors and i didnt know that it was a symptom of anxiety so i went googling and all sorts came up-parkinsons,MS,epilepsy etc and i spent months waiting from the hospital to get the results from my scans and blood tests etc!!!! and thats when i found other people that have suffered with them from anxiety! any questions ya have never hesitate to ask on this site cause will always get an answer!

    marc :)

  394. jade Says:

    hello paul and everyone here

    I have been following your work and dr claire weekes work which I have found amazing. I have a question on up and down days days.

    I have suffered with recurring violent images for a year and have come a long way in this year, it took me 4 months simply to accept this WAS anxiety. Now, I havent had a day without them YET, but they are coming less and less and dont hurt or bother me half as much as they used to.

    I have great days where if they come, or feelings of anxiety are there I just dont care, but some days I really get wound up and upset over them. Is this what you would call a setback, or a down day? Or is a setback where you have no syptoms at all then they come back? I am just feeling a bit lost on my road to recovery in that I am still aware I have not had an anxiety free day yet…and just checking Im doing ok I guess!

    Thank you so much x

  395. Ethel Says:

    Cheers Marc, I appreciate your quick response. I haven’t googled any symptoms I had received advice early on not to do this. I am bunching everything under the anxiety umbrella. You say you found this site in July … oooh! that seems an awful long time to still be suffering – have your ‘improvements’ been good and noticeable or is life still a struggle for you? I realise that I have little choice but to accept how I am feeling but I am not going to pretend that it is easy, the things that were once so easy are now tinged with fear/physical sensations and trepidation. It is early days for me but I have made some steps towards progress. At least I get up and dressed in the morning, go for walks, tidy the house (a little) and cook dinner for my family. These seeem like tiny steps but if you could have seen me 5/6 weeks ago, even these insignificant things were impossible. I am so, so envious of those who have recovered and like everyone else, I am afraid that ‘what if’ I am the one person who doesn’t. I dont want to ‘manage’ my anxiety – what sort of life is that? I want to get better, I want my life back.

  396. Eva Wilson Says:

    Hi Jade

    Just wanted to say that I too used to suffer every day by horrible thoughts which got me upset. The fact you are up and down is an excellent indication that you are on the road to recovery, this is all part of body repairing itself. You say you took 4months to realise that your thoughts were anxiety, in that time your body builds up bad habits i.e. reacting to the thoughts. I received some very sound advice here that really helped me through these harder times. When the thoughts come, no matter what they are, really tell yourself that it’s ok to think these things, because they are really only thoughts….nothing else. As soon as you really accept that they are only thoughts, a huge wait will be lifted from you. I remember having a tiny smile on my face the first time I relly grasped this, that to me was what acceptance was all about.
    Dont get me wrong, I still have days where I have dodgy thoughts, for me at the moment I always have periods of wondering whether I want to leave my boyfriend….I know now that these thoughts only stick in my head because I give them attention. The point is that these thoughts do become less and less, you start having less up and downs and your body builds itself back to full strength. I hope that makes sense.
    You’re doing great, remember that!


  397. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Ethal says: Paul if you are out there, does this short period of suffering and finding your information at an earlish stage mean that my road to recovery will be a shorter one (I dont want this monkey on my back for years and years)

    Ethal if you read the post above it answers your question. Don’t put time frames on anything and demand a quick solution. People who suffer a long time (like I did) is all down to the fact they don’t find the right help soon enough, not because they are different. But if you read above it will tell you that the quicker people get the right info, the better, habits are not as ingrained and memory is not as fresh.

    It is never about how you feel, it is your reaction to it that is important. Like someone who has anxiety based thoughts, if they percieve them to be real, if they let them scare them, if they take them serious, try not to think this way, get frustrated by them, think they are real, then they are going to get stuck in a cycle. If however they smile at them and truly understand and believe that they are just anxiety based and get on with their day, they will move forward far quicker, the thought has no fear to feed on.

    The same thing happening, just 2 different reactions.

    I never got rid of my symptoms, there was no magic pill or sentance that made it all go away, it was my change in attitude to how I felt that moved me on to full recovery. The change in attitude was mainly through knowledge, how could I ever accept something that I did not understand?

    My whole day used to be built around feeling better, this got me nowhere, once I educated myself I did the exact opposite. Once I finally understood why I felt the way I did, it was no longer the big enemy holding me back from living my life, more my annoying brother :)

  398. Mark M Says:

    Hey guys I just wanted to point out something recently that’s helped me and may help you. Ever since I got anxiety I ended up feeling muscle pains and leg pain/arm pain/back pain and it really messed up my recovery for awhile, but I’ve recently gotten the hang of what I was doing wrong before.

    When I would get back pain (which is undoubtedly from anxiety, no other source, though I’m sure my anxiety would like me to go get a million check ups and be frantic about what’s wrong) I would keep worrying about it and then I’d start to be scared it would come back, the same would be for other muscle aches, and recently I realized this is exactly what happens with thoughts and the weird images that anxiety can give you sometimes. The thought or image will come, and then I’ll fear it coming again, and so of course it starts coming again and is fueled by the fear. I figured this out with the images and thoughts awhile back, but what I didn’t realize is that my back pain works the exact same way.

    It was really weird at first, because I didn’t think those symptoms were the same, or that simply by worrying about my back pain I would create the ACTUAL sensation of back pain, but I’m serious, this is exactly what I was doing. For the past week or two, I would get the back pain, and I’ll get the thought “Oh no I’ve got back problems, I’ve got to shift my life to avoid this pain and so I don’t do anything that could possibly ever make my back worse,” but then I’ll say immediately to myself “No, actually I don’t really have back pain, that’s just anxiety trying to distract me with something.” And I’m dead serious when I say my back pain eases almost immediately, and the symptoms disappear within minutes, and my back has been so much better since then. I would caution you to rule out some obvious causes of the pain if you have them, but for me anxiety’s the only thing going on for me in that realm.

    Also, when I stopped my back pain by stopping my worrying about it and stopping believing that I actually have it, the pain would appear in my arm, or my leg, kinda like anxiety wants to distract me again with something else because now my back is fine. And so I repeat the same thing again, just not worrying about the pain at all and not believing myself when I have those symptoms, and they subside just like the others as well. It’s just the importance I’m giving to it that makes the pain worsen.

    Anyways, it took me forever to realize this that those are just physical symptoms, where the others are more psychological (with thoughts and images), but it’s really helped me lately and I hope it might help a few of you too

  399. Ethel Says:

    Sorry! … it’s me AGAIN. Friends have just left. At the start I was terrified of facing them, burst into tears and hid in my room. I knew they would comment on my weight loss. BUT … then I thought … sod this! and came down the stairs, yes, I still cried, yes, they did comment on my weight losss and then I cried some more but I stayed downstairs and chatted with them. Parts of the conversation were odd and I felt so unenthusiastic and detached and I had little interest in the conversation but I stuck it out and now I feel very proud of myself. I told them what has been happening with me and they were great, they told me not to be embarrassed and reassured me that I would get better … in time. I seem to cry at the drop of a hat these days … is this normal? Strangely, crying does appear to help sometimes. This anxiety thing can be so overwhelming and sometimes I just need to release the cork and let the tears come … is it ok to do this? I have to admit that I am struggling to just ‘go with the flow’ and my physical symptoms seem to push harder and harder to get a reaction from me. I know that I have a road ahead … and one that I have to travel alone but does anyone ever feel down about this?? I dont want to PRETEND or go around FORCING the smiles etc … it is just so bloody wearing. I am talking more about my anxiety as I just dont want to act out being me … is talking about it ok? Ahh … so many questions, please forgive me … I am a newbie!! …. Also, I cant wait to hear some success stories …. this would give me a boost and regenerate my motivation.

    Thanks for listening.

  400. Ben Says:

    Hi everyone, not been on here for a while as to be honest I have been doign reasonably well with my anxiety and found that reading this everyday was just giving it way too much focus that to be honest it didn’t deserve. I am however still struggling with one particular aspect which is the setback aspect for which I would be interested in anyones view on how best to deal with the way they seem to come on for me.

    I have noticed that they way they seem to come on is that everything is fine, anxiety is not important, couldn’t care less etc for a month or two and then suddenly there may be a minor anxiety related incident (blushing, feel a bit funny talking to someone etc) and then I start worrying it is all coming back, thinking about it a bit more and hey presto I feel crap again. So, whilst I am certainly beyond the point where I need to seek reassurance for every symptom and question them all, there still seems to be the odd occasion where something happens that makes me question everything for a few hours and the cycle starts again for a few weeks.

    I’m hoping I’m getting towards the end of my journey with this, so maybe that’s part of the problem trying to rush it, not fully accepting etc… hmmm…

    Thoughts ?

  401. yolande Says:

    hi everyone,

    does anyone still get sensitised nerves when you are almost recovered? like sometimes i would feel irritated for no reason, and just feel like lashing out. now that i know what causes anxiety which is sensitisation followed by fear on why that is happening, i am not so worried. but i just want to know if anyone still thinks/ finds that their nerves are still a little sensitised?

  402. sasha Says:

    Hi yolande

    hey.. i have almost come out of anxiety and its related symptoms..i understood one thing from the whole experience that i am somehow in tune with how i am feeling all the time..dont know why it happens..may be its a habit..before when I did not know I used to go to the roots to find out the causes..but now the diffrerence is I know why i may feel low key..its all thoughts related rooted to anxiety…moments i know its all anxiety and could totally trust it is i have no issues…
    but at times i forget and i follow the random thoughts endlessly…it becomes a viscious circle of low key feeling and frustration and as u said feel like lashing out …
    i feel our thought pattern is a little distorted that it sees all in black and white..or putting us as victims…best solution i found out is realise and acknowlege it is a lil distorted and that’s not us…so dont go the line of thinking it through..
    i guess it has a lot to do with self image…if we know for ourselves wat we are these thoughts wouldnt be given much weightage..its just that aftr all these anxiety episodes our self image went rocketing we need to assure ourselves taht we are what we are deep inside..pure soul lies within..but these nasty random thoughts just clouds our self image and these nasty thoughts comes visiting us again and again because we give them too much attention thinking its reality which is not….! but its hard to keep a watch always..hmmm…
    hope we could accept it anytime like its second nature to us…!

  403. Emma Says:

    Dear Paul, Scarlet, Candie,

    I just have a question for the three of you or anyone else who has fully recovered. I guess I really just need some reassurance. I feel so close to my “normal” self after begining the healing process from anxiety a few months ago… I feel that I have gotten very good at the “whatever” attitude towards my anxiety and so many thoughts but I am struggling with the “questioning life” thoughts; “why are we all here,” “who am I”, “what are humans”, “why do we do the things we do and look the way we do”, ect.. So much questioning, haha.. I know I latch onto these thoughts more because of my anxiety because I have always questioned life and before suffereing even sometimes enjoyed them and almost felt proud that I thought these things and didnt just believe one thing about life.

    I just am struggling to accept these thoughts now and I do worry that now that I have put so much emotion into them I will always question like this…sometimes I feel like I;m losing my mind when I start to think about life in this wayand question everything… I really just want the peace of mind and looking at life as a gift agian. I just wonder if any of you experienced these thoughts throughout your recovery and how you helped these thoughts to fade and even appreciate your “life questions” again? Sometimes when I am feeling positive, I think this is almost what comes along with coming through anxiety because you are coming out stronger and almost being “reborn.” Hope this post and my questions made sense. I think I just need some reassurance that the “questioning life” thoughts fade away like other thoughts.and I will live with peace of ming again.. Thank you so much for all of your support; hearing stories of recovery is what helps and guides me the most! I know I will and look forward to posting when I am fully recovered! Thank You!

  404. KM Says:

    Hi Emma,
    The thoughts you’ve described I’ve had many times, its just obsessing and your brain is good at it and chooses these thoughts as you can’t think your way out of them, i’ve spent countless hours ruminating about those silly things when stressed and still come to the same conclusion, I usually get distracted and start thinking about something else! I used to obsess about the concept of time, “what happened to yesterday if it only now exsists in our mind, did it really happen, etc etc! I can still sometimes send myself stupid with these, and the only thing it evokes is unpleasant physical symptoms!
    Lately when i’m not anxious I worry about feeling depressed, I may feel down for a while then worry i’m going to get, clinically depressed! Just wondering if anyone has had this, and whether the skills used to manage unpleasant anxiety feelings and thoughts are the same to manage feeling down and worry about feeling down. I seem to get very scared of this and get really wound up about it! I can usually distract myself and forget about it for a few hours then some thought will trigger it off and i feel down again! Do i just keep going on with my day and not be too concerned about it? Some thoughts and ideas would be appreciated, as depression of feeling down, doesn’t seem to get much focus on this forum mainly anxiety, i’ve never suffered from depression only severe anxiety, but i often feel that when i’m not so scared of anxiety, the feeling down symptoms appear! Its like a ton of lead sitting on my chest sometimes!
    cheers KM

  405. Paulina Says:

    Paul or anyone with some good advise.
    I have posted some days ago about my story with anxiety and all its symptoms..
    Pretty much it started as a panic attack becaue stress and too much negative thinking i guess. Then all the worry about health and thinking I was sick or some hearth problem.. all that worrying then became anxiety 24/7. I still remember when it all kind of just when off and then:
    All the questioning about myself, feeling of detachment, questions about life, spirituality and who i am.. and the list just goes on and on.
    I will get scared about having a stroke or heart attack, and I will be cecking my self constantly.

    About a month or so of not knowing what was going on I googled and found this site. I am so greatful for all the good advise I have found from Paul’s book and other members that help people like me.

    I would just like to get cheered up a lil though, I am starting to think that I havent accept it YET and I will get a very low moods where I just want to cry and cry. Is it ok to do this?
    Any simple scary event I read or topic of conversation will get stcuk in my head and making me feel very unconfortable.
    I have notice that I cant seem to concentrate on simple tasks or on a conversation, which sometimes people notice and then I feel upset at it aswell.

    A ton of “what if’s” still are around my head, and doubts about recovering and being me again… I have a trip planned for next month and I would love to be able to enjoy every moment of it :D.

    So Paul, Scarlet, Fiona or any that can give me some good input I will LOVE it.

    Have a great week everyone!.

  406. Fiona Says:

    Hi paulina, you have classic anxiety symptoms. The start of your anxiety is exactly the same as mine was! When did all this begin? It sounds to me like your at the start of your journey with anxiety. Unfortunately, this is when you just want it to go away. You feel unwilling to accept the idea that these Horrible thoughts and feelings being around as they don’t seem natural or normal, but in your anxiety state they are! It takes time, patience and knowledge and understanding of anxiety to make progress. It does not disappear overnight but dissapates slowly with time. Stay positive, trust what you read here and accept it is not going anywhere soon. In fact you’ll know you have recovered when you stop trying to! I know that is confusing, but sometime soon it will make sense sometime soon. Fi xxx

  407. rosemary Says:

    Can anyone relate to the following:
    I have suffered with anxiety for almost 3 years. (with some good days scattered in too) I have in the last few months starting taking tablets from the doctors and they do seem to have helped. However my problem is this: I spend most days feeling worried, on edge and really sick in my stomach (I have had days when I feel fairly relaxed and well) Its when I wake in the morning the sickness and worry just jump on me and I spend the day trying to shake it (in my head I am saying its fine to feel like this, just get on with your day,and then, oh god why doI feel like this again) however in the early eve and night I feel great almost 100 percent.I have a clear mind,I have an appetite and I generally sleep really well. I then think Oh I feel so good but I know when I wake in the morning I will feel bad all over again and I cant help myself to stop this. I am having CBT too and that sort of helps as well. So to summarise: why do I feel so caught up in the day and manage to feel almost fine in the evenings..any help or thoughts would be appreciated. I do sometimes wonder if recovery is really possible….Also, I do all the things I want to do no matter how uncomfortable they feel and normally end up just fine. Have had some good evenings with friends,dancing, singing home to bed feel great, wake up…feel as bad as ever…

  408. Paulina Says:

    Thanks for your reply Fiona, and you are right I cannot get rid off it. Although in a way I feel lucky that my worst anxiety started about two months ago..following panic attacks since june.
    I will stay positive and working on accepting this is me (for now) hehe.
    Another quick q’: I have notice that I will have thoughs (not always bad or disturbing) that seem to come back on a daily basis.. I hate label and if i read something as ocd or something like that, that thought will be around making me ask, Do I have that? But again.. this just started a few moths ago.. never suffer from panic or any of its symptoms before.. so its all new to me.

    Thank you again!

  409. Fiona Says:

    I had the odd panic attack before the whole anxiety thing but they were short lived and nothing like the actual anxiety. I thought I must have OCD as a reason for the constant recurring thoughts and googled it etc but I can assure you it’s just another symptom. I think a few factors cause it… Awareness of your own thinking brcaeuse your tense and looking for particular thoughts, worrying constantly and the inability to relax and shrug your shoulders at the thoughts keeps you ruminating. But I assure you it’s not OCD, like all symptoms they fade as you make progress
    Fu xx

  410. Paulina Says:

    Yeap, same here.. panic attack then a few months of too much worrying about it an then plop. anxiety struck!. Its funny all the weird thinking that will come out of these thing…sometimes I will be worryig about worrying. And then off course i will start to worry about other expternal thinks that I have never in a million years will be so obssed about. I am starting to think its even funny. :)
    Hope to keep on hearing from you and perhaps other advices..
    I find it sometimes hard to concnetrate on a conversation because my head will be in the subject nonstop huh!
    I dont live in Uk and I am not really seeing a doc or psy, so this site and the book have been my guidaance and medicine for the past 3 weeks!
    Thanks again!

  411. Si Says:

    Hi everyone.

    Had what i would call a near normal week last week, I can actually say alot of the old me was back, didn’t seem to go around forcing myself to do things or to question things intencely before talking myself out of doing something. However I just started feeling low again over the weekend and when I feel this way it always ends up with me being in tears for a couple of hours. I hate admitting it, but I feel like I am recoving and doing everything right but these so called ‘set backs’ for me seem to be every other week. I want to accept this anxiety but when I end up in tear which I always do I feel like i’ve failed myself yet again…. I have everything I need l life, just can’t seem to be happy with myself. My spark has gone and I want it back

  412. Si Says:


    Just needed to say this…. when my mood if fairly reasonable I can push myself to try to be more possitive and thats the only way I start to feel more with it. But like I said every other week or so I can actually feel my mood dropping slightly and then I just spirals until I am back to not wanting to do anything, not wanting to talk to anyone, just feeling sorry for myself…… I have always been a mardy person (I can admit that) but this is different, this is the biggest challenge I have ever faced and the scarey things is that only I can get out of it…. but I feel my mardy side will not let me be strong inside. Sorry for the negativity, last week I would have posted saying how great it feels to be alive, I suppose some of you understand where I am coming from x

  413. C Says:

    Rosemary – you pretty much sound like me. Very simular story to be honest. I was taking beta blockers and they did help as they slowed my heart down but you have to think what will you do when you come off them??? maybe use them to help you in the first week but sooner or later they will run out and you will have to stand on ur own. Also with the CBT which I am also going to use their methods by all means but remember that following one path is so much better that 2 or 3 as it can get confusing and you can get lost! I follow pauls path but use my CBT man as a therapist someone I can tell everything to and he tells me wether im being stupid or realistic.

    My main problem is worry. I worry about things that are possible but at the same time unlikely. For example im ill, i think im going to pass it to my newhphew and he is going to catch it bad and not be able to cope and the unthinkable happens, I then get the blame from the family they all hate me I have to move away. I cant cope with guilt and …… Can you see how horrible that thought it?!? yet its unlikely but I still do it. :( ugggh

    The next thing FEELING GREAT AT NIGHT SICK IN THE MORNING this is classic me! But this does lessen the less you take notice of it, see it as morning sickness and its just something you live with. For example if you were one of those people who have sleep in ur eye everymorning really bad, then you would wipe it away and carry on with ur days thinking no more of it. Its because youve placed so much importance on ur anxiety and how to get better and how ur dying to feel better that it makes you feel sick, its an awful circle. Its not important, eat what you can get ready go to work, do some cleaning whatever it is that needs doing. Honestly it does FADE and hopefully (im not there yet) the feeling will go away.

    I hope ur feeling good today and getting on with everything…. use your friends as if they are good ones they will make u laugh and thats the key.

    I like the saying all you need to live is good music, a strong belief in a religion, love and laughter. Take care xx

  414. Fiona Says:

    Hi rosemary, as with all anxiety it’s a learnt behaviour. You have learned to think you are bad in the morning but ok in the evening. There is no real reason behind this except your own perception of how anxiety effects you. If you feel good in the evening you can feel good in the morning also. From your post your spending far too much time worrying and try to work this out. It comes back to basics, accept you’ll feel a bit rubbish in the mirning and it won’t be such a big desk. It’s your dread of anxiety everyday that keeps this going but you can see as you progress through hhevdst it’s not ghat bad and you start to feel better. Stop stressing about the morning feeling, it’s not important.

  415. Fiona Says:

    *won’t be such a big desk!!! Lol, predictive text :-) x

  416. Si Says:


    Although my post an hour ago was very negative, i’ve cried enough for today and want to say I feel Fiona is right when it comes to feeling bad in the morning and good at night. I used to feel that way too, and too be honest still do a little. I do think not paying any attention helped me to not feel as bad in the morning, and yes I also think it’s all a learnt behaviour… but what a struggle to change a bad habbit. x we will get there in time

  417. Teresa J Says:

    I am so pleased you managed your trip to florida and that it was a success – I am back and fore on the site but as I have big gaps (for the obvious reasons) I often lose the contact or thread of someone that has been in contact.
    You gave me such a thrill to know i had helped you – I am so pleased. I have had SO much help on this site from other people – and have learnt so much to help me and others that it really is nice to know that I have helped someone too.
    I notice that you mention you hoped that as it will soon be a year since you came on here you would hope that it would have gone – I know that feeling, I used to do it (ans sometimes still do). as you know , it doesn’t work like that – recovery will come, just like the relief you felt earlier this year. I am still here, still learning, getting better – having to come back for refresher courses, lol – but it generally gets less scarey. Paul will soon be posting some success stories which will help us all reinforce the belief that really – anxiety is nothing to worry about.

  418. Joe Says:

    Hi Emma,

    If you have anxiety, and if you are having persistent and nagging thoughts in which you question life in an anxious manner, you can rest-assured that these thoughts are anxiety-based same as any other obsessive thoughts. I didn’t struggle so much with ‘questioning life’, but I did struggle with many forms of obsessive thinking in other areas. At one point, for example, when my anxiety was really bad, the thought came into my mind, “What if I’d completely lose it and kill those who are closest to me, perhaps my parents?” How odd and how absurd! Yet this thought scared me very much at the time, and so it kinda latched on to my mind for a while. As long as I thought that the fearful response I got from this thought was, or even that it POSSIBLY was an insight into reality or truth, it continued to make me absolutely anxious and miserable. Once I saw it for what it was–simply the inner workings of anxiety on a tired mind and body–I no longer feared the thought. It still stuck around for a bit, but I no longer cared, because I saw it for the b.s. that it was. Once you come to see your anxious thoughts in this way (it does not matter what they are about), it is inevitable that they will leave you. Only while you still take them to be insights or potential insights about how you really are, or how the world really is, will you take these thoughts seriously, and therefore analyze them. Stop the analysis by seeing these thoughts for what they are: they are all bogus, and that remains true no matter how loudly they may scream to the contrary. From now on, when those thoughts of yours come, recognize them for what they are. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have to “feel” that they are false; the feeling part comes in time. For now, just KNOW that they are false, and that the fearful feelings that come along with them are to be explained in terms of the fact that you have anxiety, not because they (the thoughts) are real.

    You are just fine, Emma, no matter how you may be feeling. There is nothing majorly or seriously wrong with you or anyone else whose major problem is anxiety; you only think that there is (or that there very well might be) because your currently sensitized mind and body makes all these strange thoughts and sensations seem so very real and important. They seem so real at times that it can be very difficult not to think, “There just has to be something more to this than the mere fact that I have anxiety. There must be something else”– and we then proceed to go round in circles trying to figure out what this ‘something else’ could possibly be. I did this same thing, and for many years, and I never improved but found myself gradually getting worse. Then, as I read over the information on Paul’s site here, it gradually began to dawn on me that this constant searching for the ‘something else’ was a fools errand–that there was nothing majorly wrong with me at all, and everything could be explained on the sole basis that I had anxiety. I was simply ‘covered’ with a layer of nervous sensitization which would leave me as I stopped worrying about it and began to live my life, and this sensitization was, in the final analysis, paper thin. It is all surface.

    I hope some of this helps. :)

  419. Paulina Says:

    I jsut read your post and i ws very nice to keep on hearing the good comments from people that were there and specially for some many years. I have just “suffered” with this anxiety for a few months and one of the firsts thigs that started to diminish were the scary thoughts.. it was really incredible how they just seem to appear and with less force. 😀
    I am still very vey aware of it all.. not so much scared though. I am starting to accept more and more. Altough i do get some of those doubts and what if’s. Some d.p here and there but overall much better.
    Some days i do feel like crying my heart out… will it be like leting anxiety win if I cry so much because of this?
    Will love to hear more from your recovery,( if you are on the other side now)
    Other than that..thanks to you , paul, fiona and any other person with good insights. :)

  420. james Says:

    Hello everyone

    I’ve recently started to see the difference everyday since my anxiety attack last week. I went from disturbing thoughts it seemed like every second and non stop headaches from thinking about it and trying to fight it, to eventually everythin is starting to slow down. I still get some thoughts and still upsets me that I’m thinking this way but I’m tryin to stay positive and give everyone hope that you will overcome this. It’s just all about Time and you will feel better! :)

  421. Kat Says:

    Just feeling as though sharing would be helpful…

    The past couple of weeks have been somewhat better than the one before them. I think I may have laughed a little in there, and felt bits of the ‘old me’ in the mix of things. My feelings toward my partner improved dramatically, and I felt the wonderful old stirrings, but then, yesterday, as many of you might be able to imagine, I was back at the negative and panicky thinking. As a result, I’m frazzled today, extremely tired and worried, but I’m doing my best to see my thoughts as nothing more than anxiety’s attempt at bluffing me. That said, I have to admit that I’m troubled that it keeps coming back to the things in my life that I hold the most dear. I look at my man and I can’t grasp on to the way I used to feel about him, the absolute security and wild love that I came to depend on, and it’s crushing.

    Words do not give justice to the way any of us feel when we’re like this, but sharing with you all has been very helpful to me over the past couple months and I continue to hope I’ll best this thing yet. I am working at accepting all of this, something I’ve been unsuccessful with the past ten years, and as hard as it is I continue to hold on to the hope that I can one day feel the freedom those who are recovered write about.

    Not an entirely optimistic post, but I have definitely felt waves of calm and happiness over the past bit and that lets me know that it’s still in me, somewhere 😉

  422. Joe Says:

    Hi Paulina,

    Crying itself is not necesarily a problem, but I would try to avoid all thoughts of self-pity. If you are feeling down, it is OK to feel down…but try not to get down over the fact that you’re feeling down (if that makes sense?). It’s similar to saying “don’t fear your fear.” When we begin thinking deeply about the anxious state we are in and feeling sorry for ourselves because of it, (and I know how easy this is to do!), desparatly wishing that it would all just go away, we are doing the very opposite of accepting. To truly accept is to be OK with how you are feeling for the time-being, and making no effort to rid yourself of your anxious thoughts and feelings. If they are going to stick with you all day long, so be it. If they are going to be with you when you go to a party, a movie, to dinner with friends–well, that is OK too. It is OK because, now that you see them for what they are–just a bunch of uncomfortable sensations, none of them threatening, and false or unlikely thoughts, being fueled by anxiety alone–you no longer see them as important or worth delving into. You trust that they will leave on their own once you stop paying them so much respect and attention, which you are even now in the process of doing.

  423. Joe Says:


    As to my recovery, I like to think of myself as recovered even though I still experience the occasional anxious symptom (which is very mild). I know that even this will be gone presently, while at the same time, not caring whether it sticks around forever. Kinda strange, but that’s how I feel about it now. I reached this point simply by following Paul’s very simple but effective formula, which might be reduced to the following: understanding+acceptance=recovery (one might add ‘time’ as a variable:) ). The information Paul provides on this site and in his book are really all you need for recovery. I shudder to think of all the money I wasted on various “anxiety elimination programs”, looking for the quick fix or cure. Some of what I found in these programs were helpful, but many hundreds of dollars later I was still as anxious as ever. One evening, as I was engaged in my usual nightly routine of googling about anxiety for hours on end, I stumbled upon Paul’s site, liked what I read, and immediatly bought his ebook. The line that grabbed me and has stuck with me ever since said something like, You will never get better as long as you are trying to get better. And as he went on to explain why this was true, everything began to make sense. If you follow his advice, recovery, sooner or later, is inevitable.

    Paul–your book and your blogs are goldmines! Thanks for all you have done and are doing, buddy. Folks like myself can never thank you enough.

  424. Si Says:


    Well done!!

    I am also having what you refer to as “waves”, yep it hurts so much when the negative feelings come back. I bet if like me, over the last week when you look back you probably did not pay much attention to your thoughts and feelings and you thought you had “Cracked It!!” and then for no reason what so ever you start to feel a little low and then it all come flooding back?

    I am so full of self pity and that is my main problem. Yes I find it very very difficult to pull myself out of the self pity thing, but I keep looking at this as all part of the process. I think we have to go through this. My slightly possitive side although it not strong, i keep reminding myself that I have good times and bad times. I know I don’t have to give either of them too much respect and just keep carrying on regardless, but it’s so easy to put into words isn’t it?

    Chin up

  425. Emma Says:


    Thank you so much for your reply! It was very comforting and just gave me the little push and guidance I needed to remember to let the thoughts come and go as they are just werid thoughts caused by anxiety! It is also so helpful to hear from people that have come through. I KNOW that I will come through as I keep following Paul’s advice and also just let time pass; I know this is not me forever. I have only suffered a short time and have gone 24 years without so I know it is just a short chapter in life that my body needs to go through and I am OK with this. Thank you for your advice Joe, it is so appreciated! It would be great (if you get the chance) to share some more of the things that helped you as you recovered. The positive stories of people and their recovery help me the most!

    Emma :)

  426. rosemary Says:

    A big thanks to C,Fiona and Si for the reply, it means alot that people take timeout to listen and respond.
    I cant imagine how people coped before the internet and sites like this one. Looking forward to the positive recovery stories as I find they give me so much positivity and confirm that recovery is possible.Thanks Paul.

    I know that things have improved for me loads but i know i still get frustrated by the panic and sickness in the mornings but I will treat it as morning sickness, take away its importance and let it go.
    Wishing you all a VERY relaxed and CALM

  427. amy Says:


    Hi!! :) How are you and your baby doing??

  428. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Rosemary, great advice to yourself ‘take away its importance and let it go’

    One thing I will say is ‘don’t think we have to like how we feel’ I still disliked the way I felt at times during my recovery, but just got on with my day, the old me would return in time. It takes a lot of faith at times as you want the quick fix, the googling may start again, the self pity, I would sometimes get dragged into it again, but soon stopped and regained my faith in what I knew was the right.

    When you start to see improvements you KNOW you are on the right track. That is why so many come back on here to say how much better they are feeling, they are not there yet, but with the improvements know it is only a matter of time, they know this is the way and want to share it with others.

    Don’t over complicate recovery. What you feel is stress induced symptoms, so don’t stress about them and keep yourself in the cycle. Your mind is tired through all the worry and deep thinking, so don’t add more worry and deep thinking that will tire it further. You feel distant and unconnected because you are so concerned about how you feel and let nothing else into your day, so do the opposite and learn to pay how you feel no mind and just live your life alongside how you feel.

    When we first suffer it is understandable why we sink further and make the above mistakes, as we don’t understand why we feel this way, how to help ourselves, we don’t even have a name for the way we feel. It is totally understandable why we worry and spend each day going over and over how to make it better, but now we have some answers and knowledge that can reverse the way we feel, the success stories will enforce this.

    The new post on the success stories will now be next week, I have all the stories in my documents, but my computer is at the repair shop due to me cracking the screen and I am having to borrow one and don’t have access to my documnets, as soon as I have my laptop back I will post them up.


  429. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sorry Joe just seen your post and thanks for your comments, you were one of the first to ever buy my book in the very early days and I remember you well, I am so glad you are doing so much better and hope your group goes from strength to strength, I did have a listen and you were pretty good.


  430. Andre Says:

    Hello Joe,
    just i bit curious how long it take for you to recover to the stage at where you are now?, because i’m right in the middle of a setback. I felt so well on the last few months, almost without any anxiety symptoms, but a very stressful period at work made me feel very tired with some very strange thoughts popping in my mind. I’m not impatient at all, and fully understand my condition, but after a so long period of feeling good it’s somehow unpleasant this setback. :)

  431. Fiona Says:

    Hey Amy, i’m great … some anxiety symptoms post birth but nothing major. The wee man is amazing! A complete joy! Such a good baby! How are you?
    Fi xx

  432. CC Says:

    another one of those days……. GRRRR its up and down up and down. Im doing the naughty thing and taking the rest of week f work, im so tired im falling asleep atmy desk and feeling nauseas all morning. The panic is there and im not trying to rid it I just need to know everything is going to be ok :(

    By the way is it me or is there alot more people with anxiety and stress problems at the moment? I see more and more people not being able to cope with their feelings and emotions. I wish they could see this site to know that they are ok and can get better.

    I wish I could know that my worry is ok but I cant know, i just gotta wait x

  433. H Says:

    Hi, I was suffering with anxiety for a good 3-4 months, because of a panic attack that I had. I am now much better, and don’t fear these feelings, but I developed some eye floaters, which I think was because of the anxiety, has anyone else had these? And has anyone had them go away after their anxiety? Just wondering, these eye floaters are driving me nuts!

  434. Sara A Says:

    Hiya every1,

    I seem to be getting alot worse. I’m starting to worry about remembering everything. If someone says a name my mind will actually go back and remember it and its all adding up. Am i doing this or is this anxiety? I worry why i remember names of places. Even typing that makes my mind want to find a place i have been. I seem to tell myself everything im looking at aswell and what im doing. Its like narrative. And then i start questioning if im actually saying it in my head or wether its coming naturally. Whenever i think of this blog aswell the name natalie always jumps into my head because its one of the top ones. Im scared as to wether im making myself say stuff or wether its anxiety? I’m goin food shopping later with my mum and im so scared because of all the items that i could remember. If i notice that i havent said in my head what i have seen then it triggers it to actually say it. like impulsive. How do i stop my mind from wanting to refer back to stuff i have heard or seen? i don’t want to do this but its like my mind is obsessed.

    A negative post again im afraid. I have tried my best and i havent been on for a while so if anyone could help. I feel so alone and lost right now.
    I havent heard anyone say that they had this. The voice in my head that i hear is mine but why cant i look at something without it saying what it is im looking at? its always bringing up stuff that i dont actually need to know.

    Thank you


  435. Helen Says:

    Hi Sara A,
    You are getting worse because you aren’t accepting anxiety in any way. You are questioning everything constantly and assessing everything that you are thinking and feeling.
    What you need to do today is not think about what might happen when you go shopping, just go and accept the thoughts that come to you. Don’t worry about obsessing, don’t wonder why you are remembering the names of places just let it be.
    You will never give your mind and body the break it needs to recuperate if you are constantly analysing, obsessing and reacting to what is happening.
    You really need to start accepting anxiety, this is what you have and this is why this is happening to you. The way to recover is to just let it be, stop fighting Sara, it is doing you no good at all.
    I have been in the exact same position as you and I can promise you that the way you are trying to work everything out at the moment will not help you in any way whatsoever. It will make you feel much worse.
    Sara, go shopping today and accept the thoughts that come to you, don’t be frightened, don’t try and push the thoughts away, don’t try and work it out. Accept it and carry on. It is hard, frightening and will push you to the limit sometimes but you will recover if you do this. You will not recover if you continue to try and work it all out as your mind and body will never get the break it needs.

    All the best

  436. Helen Says:

    Also Sara A, the voice in your head is anxiety, nothing else. You aren’t going mad and you aren’t alone in this symptom.

  437. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    H – Eye floaters are one of the most common symptoms of anxiety, they used to drive me crazy and demand my attention until I learnt to not bother about them, so do just that, you will find so much relieif and they will pass.


  438. SI Says:


    That’s so true what you are saying but also like you said very hard to do. When I get the down times I can realy get down, then It’s too hard to get back up. But I understand what you are saying. I don’t want to go into great detail but I work in a public service that can be very demanding and stressfull, but when I attend an incident I am my old self for most of the time, don’t have a worry in the world other than the job I am doing and then all of a sudden I can get this what I call “PANG” and instant moment of memory of feeling down I suppose. I am still trying to put alot of this acceptence into practice but yes it’s hard. However I hope I am doing it right because I do get good days and bad days.

    Sara – this is also me down to a “T” – I can talk myself out of doing anything, however I am learning to talk myself into doing things and just letting be, it’s not easy but I know from past experiences of not wanting to do something and then doing it makes you feel that little bit better, maybe not for long, but long enough to feel a glimps.

    Paul – Eye floaters??? I have had these for years and years yet only thought I had anxiety over 18months after a breakdown – does this mean I have had mild anxiety for more that I think I have?


  439. Sara A Says:

    Hiya Helen,

    It seems that you really want to help me, and im very grateful….it just all seems way too difficult. After reading your reply i turned to my mum and asked her how do i just accept it? She gave me a very sharp look to basically say that any thinking about the subject is just going to feed my anxiety. I guess this is exactly what you are trying to say? I will just go with what you say. So the jist of it is, whatever i think, wether i may have triggered it or my anxiety just ignore it as best i can and not question which one did cause it? Accepting straight away won’t make me less aware of myself straight away and that to persist because this will inevitably take time? Not be afraid to look at things? Not be afraid to remember things? What then if my mind chooses to stay on the same thing and repeat it? Let it?
    Am i starting to understand now?

    I know this is silly but does anyone actually get to know each other on here more personally, actually become friends? I don’t actually have many ha how sad does that sound? Just be interesting to know where people live and their interests etc. Not actually talk about anxiety but other things that are everyday. I do understand that there has to be a line drawn because you will get consumed in each others issues.

    Just thought I’d put that out there in case anyone has actually themselves thought about it. xxx

  440. Helen Says:

    Hi Sara A,
    That’s it!! Anxiety is a bully and it will bully you for as long as you let it. Let it do what it wants to do and it will fade as the power it holds over you becomes weaker and weaker.
    You will recover Sara, of that I have no doubt whatsoever. Stay strong and patient.

    All the best

  441. Rochelle M Says:

    Hi, I’m new to this site.
    I’ve been suffering with Panic atacks/anxiety since i was 17, I’m now 32 i’ve had 3 episodes in that time 2 of them lasting 1-1 1/2 years. I’m currently in another episode which has in total lasted nearly 2 years. i just can’t seem to break out of the cycle. i have had CBT therapy which haas not really helped as much as i would have hoped. I cannot understand why i can’t get better this time. I feel in terrible. I try so har to ride with it and to carry on with a normal life as much as possible and have fully recoved in the past so can’t understand why i cannot get better this time?.
    I have really bad depersonalisation which is with me 24hrs a day. This is the hardest part to deal with. With this episode have become slighty agrophobic which means i find it very difficult to travel past the end of my town on my own and have only just started to tavel within a 3-5 mile radius. I really want to get my life in track but feel like i’m losing the fight. I feel like i am never going to get better :'(. I had my son 4 years ago and have not worked since he was born. I really want to get back to work as he is in full time education now but if i can’t travel, what can i do. I’m really stuck in an awful cycle. Is there such thing as recovery? I’m not so sure anymore. I just cannot shake this feeling off. x

  442. KH Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I just want to drop by to say hi and a million thanks to Paul for setting up this blog. 2 months ago I suffered from anxiety, and my life was instantly turned upside down. I started to be afraid of everything and thoughts just came by even without me thinking about it.

    Today, I have made tremendous progress in healing my own anxiety. With the ways which Paul has written, I begin to focus more on my life and started picking things up instead of staying at home. I have had bad days, where a random thought which popped up in my head would cause me to fall back into the anxiety cycle. But today, I truly understand what Paul meant by accepting and not giving any attention to the thoughts. The obsessive thoughts would just disappear almost instantly when I pay it no attention.

    Just want to say a million thanks to you. I was lucky that I stumbled upon your blog without suffering for too long.

  443. amy Says:


    Soooo glad to hear you’re doing well! I think about you periodically :) Of course you had anxiety symptoms pop up, par for the course…sounds like you handled it wonderfully. I’m happy to hear you have such a wonderful baby, what a blessing! My hubs and I are STILL trying and have tried a couple procedures that haven’t worked…so that isn’t helping matters, but I know God will bless us with a child in His timing, not ours. You’re such an inspiration…thanks for being here and encouraging others 😉

  444. Clare Says:

    Teresa J, I know what you mean you sometimes think ‘surely you should be off by now?’ but you just remember to keep going. I dont come on here much, I feel better for not coming on and I think this is us moving on from support and looking at ourselves all the time. I find though that because I am moving on and I know I am that when it suddenly comes I forget what to do as ive got use to it not being there (makes me laugh sometimes). Im still scared of it but I just let it be there and move on. Your help really supported me on my holiday, makes you think when your walking around such a large place like disneyworld that there could be hundreds in here with anxiety too! I feel DP is creeping back a little so im trying to remember to just laugh and shake it off and focus on the present! Booked another holiday to keep me just letting anxiety be there! x
    Sydney Carton Im glad my comments came along at the right time, sometimes I think ‘this is so annoying’ but I guess its just us moving on and being ready to carry on life without anxiety!
    I dont care what it does now I just let it hang about till its bored and goes away!

  445. CC Says:

    Does anyone seem to have one obsessive worry then once thats been resolved go on to another one? And even if that worry seems to be ok I somehow build a new worry from that??

    My worries are like the worst ones you can get, life threatening disease to accidently poisioning people?!? honest im so tired :( These worries are posible and I think thats the hardest thing.

    Paul or anyone that can help even if the worry is possible do you still let it go, i almost feel guilty for getting on with it in case it happens.

    Im managed to conquer most fears but not this one.

    Sara I hope your feeling ok, my mind is awful for attaching names, songs, pictures and noises dont worry, I did it before I knew I had anxiety I didnt take much notice.

    The floaters – Ive had them for years, which proves ive been anxious for years. I’d conviced myself I could atoms lol! xx

  446. hawkeye Says:

    Yep worried about death, then whether my partner is right or wrong now worry about ‘f the world real’ Ha ha so funny. But you can see the bluff as when you start to worry about something else your worries about the other things goes away and you don’t evn think about it. Laughable real all of it

  447. hawkeye Says:

    that was ‘is the world real and why are we here’ not f the world

  448. Mike H. Says:

    this feeling of depersonalization: where all your attention is on yourself and you can’t shake it. It’s like you’re on drugs all the time and all you see is yourself talking to people, yourself doing things. Is there any advice on making this go away? I’m living with it. I’m going to work with it. I’m faking like everything’s ok…but I just can’t shake the attention on myself.

    Is the best way to get over this, just to be as social as possible? To be constantly occupied ? Or what? ANy ideas. It’s the most surreal feeling.

  449. sasha Says:

    Hey does anyone have any suggestions on this?

    i have become quite self conscious these naturally when i meet people or talk to them i have this attention on me quite a lot..i try to focus on the other person but it ends in vain…
    people who have rcovered how did u all get over this? i keep doing things, meeting people but that ‘attention on me’ isnt really going away..hence i am not able to grasp the things as i should have and most importantly for me i am not able to ‘think for myself’ …to have a mind of my own, my opinions..ofcourse i will not when i am preoccupied with myself..but it just happens naturally..did not have much problem with this last couple of months…
    guess anxiety in its nature will pop up something each time to try and see if we are falling for it..if we fall for it, then it keeps nagging,

    so anyone any suggesions on how get rid of this habit of monitoring my feelings when i’m engaged in a conversation with someone…
    i guess i’m so emotional that most of the things people say has got some emotional meaning to me and no wonder i get tangled in those unnecessary emotional web….
    i want to think rational..because it really helped me move forward in my life when i was least emotional…
    cos i could feel the diffrenece
    i dont want to be self conscious at ALL
    any ways or methods i’ll do that…

    cheers to all….

  450. Helen Says:

    Hi Sasha,
    You can’t get rid of monitering your feelings, it will just go, in time. When you are talking to someone and your focus is on you, it makes it hard to engage in the conversation and this is turn causes a major problem.
    Your emotions become heightened because you want to be ‘normal’ again and the act of not being able to hold any sort of conversation is very upsetting because this is the basic form of communication for all of us. When you can’t really hear and take in what someone else is telling you it is awful and you feel worse and your inward thinking gets deeper and deeper and then you want to retreat. Anxiety at this point wins with a lot of people and they start to avoid communication with people as they cannot face how this feels. This is classic avoidance.
    When you are talking to someone don’t ‘try’ and focus on them. Trying to focus immediately puts you under pressure as you are attempting to do something that won’t come naturally to you at the moment. Talk to people with the acceptance of knowing that you have anxiety. When your mind picks up on a word or a sentance and starts attacking you with it say ‘there goes anxiety again’ and stay in the conversation. This is very hard and for a while you have to learn to ‘nod, smile and say yes’. I am not telling you to act but this is a way for you stick with it. The more you do this, the more you will be communicating and gradually you will find that you do actually start conversing with people. You will find that you will start to focus really on what they are saying. When this happens you start to ‘spark’. It is like coming back to life, things that poeple talk about, things that you hear start to ignite in your brain and the focus on anxiety starts to weaken.
    The crux of my rambling is this: don’t try an ‘rid’ yourself of this habit, it will go on it’s own. Accept that this is anxiety and ‘talk’ to as many people as you can. Your attention on you will gradually fade and you won’t feel as self conscious, I promise but it will take time. Don’t put pressure on yourself.

    All the best

  451. Ian Says:

    Helen – good and bad the last couple of weeks. Managed a good weekend away with partner and friend – lots (and lots) of DP but had fun even. Terrible since getting back (this week). I really relate to this conversation and inward thinking post (having just got back from an awful meeting here where I did just want to run… and cry). What I find frightening is that this is the case at home with my wife as well which sort of makes me (and her) sad. What you say about anxiety picking up on thoughts and attacking you with them during this, I find my inward thinking in this situation compounded by having these thoughts – being frightened of things people are saying, or my reaction to it anyways – why is this thing they said causing me to anxious, what’s wrong with me etc. etc. and then I think what do I ‘accept’ here, the thought, my reaction to the thought, the inward thinking, all this while trying to actually ‘be’ in a converstation or meeting and I just feel so confused. It seems so stupid to say this and I feel stupid. Is it enough to say ‘there goes anxiety’? It feels like there is so much to ‘do’ yet this ‘doing’ is obviously a big problem for just being there.

  452. Helen Says:

    Hi Ian,
    When I was in the thick of my anxiety, I was literally frightened to look at my partner. I was horrified of the thoughts that would come into my head, they were awful and I couldn’t stop them. I wanted to tell him that I loved him, I wanted to feel that I loved him but I couldn’t feel anything but panic and then shame and guilt for thinking like this. I wanted to run away from all that was happening to me but something stopped me. I was looking for an answer continuously, any reason why this was happening to me. I didn’t feel able to connect with anyone not just my partner. I couldn’t do the shopping, I couldn’t walk to work, I couldn’t do anything without my thoughts coming at me and taking over and the incessant slog of trying to work out why this was happening. This was day in day out for so, so long.
    Then I tried a different approach. I forced myself to do the opposite of what anxiety was making me do which was cutting myself off from the rest of the world. I knew I loved my partner, so I told him even though for a while I really thought I must be a liar as my head was telling me that this wasn’t ok. I was looking at him telling him ‘I love you you know’ whilst my head was telling me ‘no you don’t’ and inside the panic was horrendous but I knew that this was the only way to go. I joined a theatre group and whilst smiling at people and saying ‘hi, how are you?’ I felt like my world was crumbling around me as my head wouldn’t stop. I felt like running away, I didn’t want to do this. I wanted to feel real in the world not like I was acting in it but I didn’t. Deep down, you are guided by who you are that is why anxiety never actually completely wins as you are in a constant battle with it and yourself. That is why people with anxiety aren’t mad as they often think they might be.
    You aren’t going to be the life and soul of any conversation for a long while, I wasn’t. You have to accept all the things you have listed above, the thought, your percieved reaction to it, the inward thinking, everything but you need to believe that this is part of your recovery. IT REALLY IS. You say in your post above that you were in a meeting where you wanted to run and cry but you were in the meeting, anxiety wins when you stop going into your meetings. You clearly can do this but it is very hard.
    You have to accept what is happening to you and carry on. The ‘doing’ is accepting and carrying on. You aren’t stupid, you have anxiety and you are going to be confused and scared for a while but carry on, go to your meetings feeling like crap, ‘be’ in a conversation whilst feeling like crap but do not question what is happening in your head whilst it is happening. You may have to act for a little while to get you through but this isn’t a bad thing, it will help you to carry on doing normal everyday things until you are back to your old self.
    I hope this has made some sense, it is a bit difficult to explain things via posts sometimes.
    Just so that you know, I fully recovered a while ago but whilst I was still quite bad with anxiety I put myself up for a part in a play (I have never acted before). I got the part and was racked with fear but I made a promise to myself not to give up and I did it!! Thoughts flooded at me right until I stepped onstage and were gone the minute I performed. They came back the minute I stepped offstage but I accepted this and every night got easier. Doing the things that frighten you most always prove how strong you are and how anxiety will never beat you.

    All the best

  453. MLK Says:

    I have eye floaters as well! They are REALLY annoying, and harmless I might add. I went to the eye doctor recently and my eyes are perfectly fine, and I mentioned to him the eye floaters. Nice to know that the symptom will pass as I accept it. But I just wanted you to know that I am dealing with them too! :)

  454. Ian Says:

    Helen – yet more thanks are due to you. I would say you have no idea how helpful your comments are but as someone who has been through it I think you know that already.

    Just to comment on your ‘acting’ experience. I ran a one day conference I have been organising for a while a couple of weeks ago and felt pretty good on the day, in fact people commented on how relaxed I seemed. Although feeling a bit unreal and shaky I did feel OK. It is just crazy though, as before and after it I really felt like I was going mad with all sorts of other things to do with my anxiety, incessant thinking about nonsense, crying, shaking etc. etc. This apparent disparity (like my weekend away) is exhausting.

  455. MLK Says:

    Also, are headaches a common symptom of anxiety? I have been experiencing them a lot lately and I wake up in the morning wondering if I will get one, and maybe its a brain tumor..maybe I need to go to the doctor, then I google brain tumor symptoms..ugh! Its never ending!

  456. Fiona Says:

    Awwww Amy thats so sweet, your welcome! When i do come on its to give a bit of advice if i can! You’ll fall pregnant and you and your hubby will be wonderful parents! Are you in the UK? Im in Scotland and currently snowed in. Reason i ask is because having just had i baby i’ve been so impressed by the NHS and i know of people who have had help to concieve through the NHS and have highly praised them also.
    Fi xx

  457. amy Says:


    I’m in the United States. I don’t know what NHS is? I have a fertility Dr. I go to here. I have had 2 IUI’s (artificial insemination) recently, both have failed :( I would LOVE to do IVF, but that is approximately $13,000!!!! I can’t afford that, we will probably start trying to save for that though. I know it will happen for us, it’s just very frustrating to keep trying and failing…and not to mention it’s hard on the anxiety.

    Thank you for responding. I’m just thrilled that you are doing so well and are enjoying your precious baby…it’s very encouraging, b/c even though I want a baby more than anything, all those anxiety-related “what if’s” pop up about having a baby!

  458. Kat Says:


    Just read your response to Ian and am once again glad to have read someone’s comments on feeling frightened/unloving toward their partner. As you know, as I’ve written about it before, this has been the worst symptom of anxiety for me. I feel like I could deal with everything else as long as my love for him is protected, and then, out of the blue, it all went downhill.

    I am doing my level best to accept the strange and upsetting thoughts I’m having about my relationship, but am finding it tremendously challenging. I look at him and try to find the emotions I’ve had for him the last eight years and find they’ve been replaced with dread and fear. Also, there has been no physical intimacy for some time because of the anxiety that fills me whenever I think about it, embarrassing as that is to admit. I understand that it takes time to recover from this, but I was wondering if you’d share how long it took for you to begin feeling normal in your relationship again? You once wrote that you emerged from this fog and your relationship was stronger for it, but when did you begin to emerge?

    Honestly, this has been the most bewildering experience for me in terms of anxiety, and the most frightening. My last relationship did not survive my obsessive thinking and it’s beyond important to me that this one does. Have you any advice on how to stay patient with this?


  459. CC Says:

    Hi guys hope everyone ok. Well caught up on my sleep a bit and finding it dificult to let me worries be there when they scare me so much! The worries are like silly small things that can turn into big things. someone please help I actually think im going mad. My mum is so woried about me ive never seen her phone me so much :( I feel bad for her and I pretend to be ok. people in work have started noticing and saying gosh shes such a worrier. Im oviously getting worse not better!! :( Im ok with knowing what ive got and understanding – but why didnt I worry about these things before? xx

  460. Rob Says:

    Hi all ,I posted on here about 3-4 months ago about the last of my anxiety symptoms ( well what I thought was the last ) I’ve read Pauls book back to front so many times it helped the most to rid me of anxiety. I have now lent it to a friend and also returned the Claire weeks books to the library after 6 months. All sounds well? My final hurdle that I have now is whilst I was ill and basically inward thinking my girlfriend has got close to a friend of mine over the Internet etc. Now I know anxiety plays tricks on us! but when u find his number in her phone under a differnt name and several other things like they met up after she rang him on 1 nite out with the girls, it sets the obsessive thoughts about wats she up to ? I’ve asked her and she says he’s just a friend . So I ask u, if the things that have happend are real (and there are more) how do u know what’s anixety and what’s real , I love her so much and have got so clingy ( totally the opposite of some people who question there affection) it feels like when u first meet someone u like but every day all day , it’s also like that inward feeling but all about her. If u just mention his name now I get anxious. I now don’t know if I have actually got better or if my worries have just shifted to her and just to add to the mix she’s now three months pregnant which I love to bits but carnt enjoy because I have doubt some days in my mind if Its mine, I’m I mad, sad or still just got anxiety , p.s my councillor signed me off 7 weeks ago saying I was ok but I still get the pit of the stomach worry feeling and not good sleep , please some good advise of anyone , sorry for long rant x

  461. SI Says:


    Thank you so so much!!!

    The detail to which you replied to Ian is so comforting, I related so much to what Ian say’s, I find it so unreal that other people are experiencing the same things as me (bit of a relief I must say). I know I am in recovery, some good days some bad weeks, but I am getting use to it a little better now.

    KAT!!! – all I want to say to you is I know how you feel regards your relationship, but do take on what others are saying….. I do think alot of relationships break up because of anxiety and I also feel this is so unnessesary, stick with it, don’t let your thoughts run havock with you and as for intermisy, yes I had some problems with this too but again, dont ovoid it even if it doesn’t feel the same (cos for a good while it wont) Honestly Kat I do understand, you are not alone on these thoughts but as hard as it feels just try to do as much as you used to do. I find that virtually everything I try to do I get a instant feeling of “I can’t do it” but I can tell you now it helps to just say to yourself at this point “Yes I can do it” and DO IT!!!! no matter how you feel. I am in the trap at the moment of doing things and expecting to feel no anxiety at all, but it’s still there sometimes …… This condition I do feel is like peeling onions, something fresh under each layer, but look at it like this…………………

    Peel the onion enough and what are you left with?

    Yep nothing and I hope that’s whats happening to us and anxiety, keep peeling till you realise its NOTHING :)


  462. sasha Says:

    thanks Helen…
    i shall try to just be in the conversation as u said…whether i am interested or not..the problem basicaly is of my prejudiced mindset which comes to a conclusion that i am not inetersted to talk to anyone not of anxiety but i have nothing interesting to say feels like an effort to listen to others…as i feel i’m just being nice to them and talking to them where in real i feel im just ‘doing’ and being there for others..gues its classic eg of depression more than anxiety..
    before i could go into any gathering or talk to anyone when i convinced myself that i had anxiety so i need to do whatever my mind says no..and i was on a spree..went ahead and did all of that and felt good..
    now i dont feel anxiety as such instead a strong emotion of negativity towards me and everyone around..whcih is not helping me to progress..

    i am getting annoyed easily fro eg when someone asks me to do a favour
    i was so happy to help before now i can only c what people want from if they are all opportunists and if i co operate i wont be able to find myself as a person..(sounds foolish i know) i want to change the mindset which isnt positive but my mind makes me feel its so rigth that people are just making use of me…( i know its just that mindframe which is making things worse..i know that..BUT..i am not able to untrust my mind) this is where i am finding it difficult..
    if i knew it is distorted thought i would be able to change it looks more like truth…and i feel bad for thinking that way..its a loop..!
    let me just go ahead and try talking to people..the moment i start conversing, mind takes me to anotehr level of analysing what they cud mean and i am not liking it..i just want to talk to someone as they are a normal person and we can talk with no prejudices and negativities..
    i am worried as people may think that i m scrutanising them which i cant help it…this makes me not like me as a person…!

  463. Helen Says:

    Hi Kat,
    It took me almost 2 years to recover from this. Don’t let your first reaction to me telling you be ‘I can’t handle this for 2 years’ (that is how I would have felt if someone told me this).
    When I came out of this I realised that this had been 2 years of personal growth and it is so worth it. It doesn’t feel like it when you are going through bad days, weeks, months even but every day that you manage to find a little piece of your true self is a triumph and that is what you do when you are recovering from anxiety. Every day that you manage to go to work, hoover the floor or go and buy a loaf of bread that you need is a triumph when you have severe anxiety.
    My relationship with my partner was pushed to the limit sometimes whilst I was trying to understand how to recover. My anxiety made me question everything about him but I knew that I loved him, deep down or I wouldn’t be going through all this. If it was simply that the problem was him then the answer would have been to leave him but I couldn’t because somehow even when the anxiety was at it’s worst I knew this wasn’t the answer because I love him, plain and simple.
    Kat, you don’t realise this at the time but you are emerging every day. If you do what you need to do which is let anxiety happen you learn something every single day, you will not see this at first.
    Be yourself, have the terrible thoughts about your partner, feel sad if that is how you feel on a particular day. I have said this before but you will be guided by who you are, the parts of you that you think have gone. Anxiety tricks you into thinking that you aren’t the person you once were but you are it is just that you can’t feel it at the moment as anxiety has taken over for a while.
    It may seem odd for me to say this but treat anxiety like a friend and learn from it. Don’t fight what is happening to you. You will become yourself once again and you will have your partner back.
    I lost myself for a long time and I thought I had lost my partner too and this was horrendous for me. Instead, with acceptance and patience (from both of us) we are stronger than we ever were (we were always so good before this, this is why it was such a shock when it happened) and I am stronger than I ever was.
    However long it takes you to recover doesn’t matter, you will see this when it happens.
    You will learn so much from what is happening to you but you won’t realise this yet.

    All the best

  464. steveo Says:


    I just wanted to reiterate what others are saying with regards to how helpful your posts are. I have been reading and re-reading Paul’s blog of ‘how long to recover’ and i have highlighted the important bits to try and get them into my subconscious. Your posts are also so reassuring that we can get through this.

    Your posts are so so true and if only we could all do this so easily, the thoughts would go away.

    Were you on any medication through your recovery process or did you do it alone?

    I also think you are doing amazingly well if you have fully recovered and you are still able to talk about it on here and help others.

    I am in the process of a good few days but they do not last long, as soon as i am in the car driving home or awake first thing in the morning… guess what i automatically think about!!

    I really want this to be gone now as I do feel some good moments of some days (sometimes very good) and it feels so important to me to get this to continue. I have amazing things in my life and i am very fortunate to have these and i do not want to lose them.

    I also have a referral come through to see a psychologist, for CBT or possibly something else, I’m not sure whether this was wise to keep the anxiety fresh in my mind.

  465. Paulina Says:

    As I was rading your post my tears started to fall.. These last days have been a lil tough, And millions of doubs about people, or thinking that certain people are bad..tons of negative thoughs run day and night.. But this is some layer that just started about a week ago.. Also the questioning about reality and some other nonsense pops up here and there. But reading that other struggle just as I am gives me some much courage.
    I sometimes get trap in a dilema..For example: I get a though about Person X is bad and could hurt my brother, and then the cycle of negative and terrible images of someone hurting him, just makes me shaky and very anxious., then I realize its pure anxiety thats making me overreact at certain situations or lil problems…
    So my Question will be do I try to put reasoning into the negativity, put my real me to reason the weird thoughts? or should I just let them be there, listen to them…
    SOmetimes they are so confusing that its like two me’s trying to put some sense into this.
    Love reading the positive comments, and I wish you all a great weekend!

  466. Alg Says:

    Hi everyone, great website and forum. The book has halped me a lot. I come back on here when I’m struggling a bit. I still get bouts of anxiety but not as bad as say a couple of years back. It’s still very frustrating when I do get it. I ask this question as there seems to be a pattern. Do you think shift work is an anxiety provoker? ie night shift? I always seem to relapse around night shift or the thought of doing more night shifts.

  467. CC Says:

    Lack of sleep and worries plaguing my mind. Im really not coping with this setback at all.

    Rob -I have no idea where real life and anxiety end, and I cant even say go with your gut feeling because if you anything like me its always there anyway. If you think she is cheating its hrd to confront it without accusing, I would defo have some kind of conversation tho and ask her things such as ”are things still ok? – are u happy?? etc. atleast then youve tried but not acused. so sorry I cant be of more help becausing im finding the line of realistic worries and anxiety very thin indeed myself!!

    anyone else having this problem. x

  468. CC Says:

    which book is the best by claire weeks by the way?

  469. Fiona Says:

    Hey Amy, anxiety will pop up about everything and anything that is current in your life whether it is babies, work, friends, family etc. I think you are really strong and havent wavered in your determination to become a mum (mom :-) ) It will happen, its doesnt happen first time for most people. Make sure you are looking online for ways of maximising your chances etc. The NHS is the health service we have in the UK, our health care is free and is paid for by our taxes, unlike US where you must have insurance. So in the UK people get IVF free….. although the waiting time is maybe a year or so. NHS is similar to what Obama has been trying to push through the White House, I think his bill was successful??!! I hope it was, everyone should have access to high quality health care.
    Keep in touch,
    Fi xxx

  470. Rob Says:

    Hi cc , the books I read were Self help for your nerves, and essential help for ur nerves, these were very good but pauls book is more up to date and got me through the worst patch by just believing in it ,, it took the fear of fear out of it and the worry out of anxiety and gives u knowledge which gives u understanding to stop more worry. Now as for ur sleep wat helped me were sleeping pills , but don’t just say YES they will work! wat I did was know they were there but try not to use them , at my worst they would only give me about 1-2 hours anyway , but gradually with the reading and acceptance I used them less and less, I’m now at the point were I’ve got some still left but never seem to use them I just accept my problems and get back to sleep sometimes , hope the helps ur sleep because this was the start of the recovery for me x

  471. Rob Says:

    Oh thanks cc for ur thoughts about asking my gf about how she feels , but I’ve done that and her answers are always yer ofcourse I still love u , but now the doubt is in my mind, And small worries become big worries and once I accepted one problem another one pops up and knocks me for six, I just feel trapped cos I constantly question myself and her, so feel lost, but couldn’t possibly leave her not knowing if it’s my anxiety blowing things out of proportion or things are realy going on ? Paul says worry is the most useless emotion we have and I agree but second to that must be the emotion of love if ur wasting ur time? X

  472. CC Says:

    well congrats on the baby first rob – Im sure its urs dont let anxiety ruin that for you! Try not to think of ur anxiety as gone, because it will never ‘go’ its just youll know how to handle it better?! if you get my drift. My dads a recovering alcholic and his illness will never go but he just knows how to deal with it now and lets it live peacefully beside him, now hes stopped the fight and taken a day at a time hes living a better life.

    Hey no offence but if ur are/were anything like me when u were anxious I would be putting numbers under a different name. The last thing my fella would want to do is worry me more! My advice to you, leave her dont go through her phone and trust her especially with a baby on the way. She probably needed someone to talk to. Just make it clear that u trust her, beleieve her but wil never tolerate cheating. The boundaries have been set then. This anxiety is a right pain in the ar*e isnt it.

    My main problem is worry its actually going to drive me to insanity if I let myself think about this again, its something that could happen and it would of been my fault, because I was stupid and didnt think. Life threatening of course but when isnt it when it comes to anxiety. I just wish things wouldnt pop up on the news that directly relate to it!!!!! I seen a doctor on the news today and it gave me the sick feeling back in stomach,,, id been doing so well today concentrating on corrie!!!!

    I might stay on the beta blockers for a lil while im only on 10mg and although they give me nightmares my heart doesnt fly out of my chest!!

  473. CC Says:

    PS – if youve been with her long enough im sure u will know when she is lying. Having someone elses baby is not something even cold hearted people can take lightly so im sure she would be worried and not herself. x

  474. sasha Says:

    Hi Paulina,
    I can very well emphathise with you as at times thoughts comes in wherein certain negative traits of peopl come to forefront and you dont know whether its a true thought or not, whether you need reasoning or just brush it off as anxiety..If the thought was about some unrealistic event it was much easier..but these random thoughts just engages you to analyse…
    thanks to Helen …her words consoled me when i was stuck in the rut… and moments when i could be a sensible person and think rationally i decided be it anything the person good or bad..let it be..the more i think of it it makes me feel i thought of shrugging it off and the more i am in analysing mode…whatever i think does need analysing and the world is such a difficult place to live in…But alternatively, i realise its best to live in peace and be content with what we are…go ahead in life no matter what…
    let any disturbing thoughts be on the sidelines..just shrug it off and walk ahead..move on with our life…
    i felt this attittude really works for me…but I know after couple of days or weeks i may pop in because i have his analysing habit so ingrained in me….i guess that worry gene is in me..only through practise of accepting i will be able to move forward by being able to bring all disturbing and confusing thoughts under one umbrella..and thats anxiety…!

  475. Nicola Says:

    I just want to quickly say a big thankyou to Helen for taking the time to come on here and post.

    Helen you are really speaking to me and how you describe anxiety/recovery and what we are all going through just resonates with me. Bless you for sharing your experience!!


  476. KH Says:

    Hi to everybody,

    Just want to make a quick post here as I am experiencing a setback. Previously I was feeling much better and all of a sudden anxiety is back torturing me! Had all sorts of odd and obsessive thoughts which were not with me previously. I am still living my life normally but at the same time it’s like a war raging on in my head. Sometimes I just find it so difficult and wonder when will it all be over but I am following Paul’s advice to stay strong and have faith in myself.

    Just a question, is there any way to help combat against irrational thoughts? These thoughts can stay in my mind and I am giving it the “whatever” attitude. But it can really get very exhausting as they would still be shouting in my head although I’m not giving it any attention.

  477. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    KH, Don’t let this episode throw you, just ride it through. One thing I will get across to everyone is you may have a few tears, many frustrations, days when you think ‘I can’t handle this anymore’, days when your willpower will weaken. I had it all, but I always brushed myself down and onwards and upwards, the will to be me again always won the day. It took me quite a while to get back to the old me, I rarely tell people how long, as many will come here and think ‘pffffttt no way that’s way too long, I am going elsewhere’ and they will be on the miracle cure route until they understand that is not the way.

    The trouble is that when we feel good and have little anxiety, the whole world feels a lot better, our outlook and attitude to the future is positive. But as soon as a bad day comes along, the willpower is weak, we feel very down, the outlook is bleak and we think this is us forever. That is where anxiety takes over, it makes us feel weak, it has us believe this is us forever, it crushes our willpower, take no notice, the good days are around the corner, always ride through the rough days, it will make you stronger in the long run. The more bad days you go through, the better your attitude long term, as you have been there many times before, you don’t let these times crush you as much, you see them as tempoary and all part of the process.

    So KH understand it will be difficult at times, don’t expect an easy ride because you have a far better understanding. Don’t make anxiety’s day by wondering when it will all be over, don’t make it your daily aim to get better, don’t look back wondering how long this has hung around. New habits and memory will take over in time trust me, you will begin to see a shift, this will be gradual, so don’t try and rush things or begin to question it all over again, just give yourself as much time and space as you need. How many people do you see come back here and say how well they are doing? One thing they all have in common is they gave themselves time and stuck with it through thick and thin and one other thing they all have in common is they all went through some bad times to get there. The day someone tells me they recovered overnight or they ‘got it’ and had no more bad days, I will surely let you know.


    Again the new post will be up when I get my computer back, it is all in my documents which I can’t access.

  478. CC Says:

    Paul Thanks for the post. where do you think the line is between anxiety giving you irrational worries and real worries? I cant tell wether it is something to worry about ir something ive made up x

  479. Fiona Says:

    Paul says:

    The day someone tells me they recovered overnight or they ‘got it’ and had no more bad days, I will surely let you know.

    So true, even when you pretty much feel you have recovered and understand the symptoms you can still have the odd bad days as the memory is still there. It will always be there, but it gets to the point that you have moved on so much that its not important any more and remains just a memory xx

  480. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    where do you think the line is between anxiety giving you irrational worries and real worries? I cant tell wether it is something to worry about ir something ive made up x

    Anxiety just intesifies feelings/emotions, so something you would brush off with little thought when anxiety free now seems important, this could be a comment from a friend or a stranger, you may go over things more, a littler problem becomes massive, it is just your heightened anxiety that changes the way you percieve things.

    I honestly let everything go over my head, worrying serves no purpose, never has, never will, ask yourself if you have ever worried a problem away? Of course there are things that need sorting and certain stresses in life that we can’t ignore. I went through something a couple of weeks ago that was truly worth stressing over, but rather than worry, I had to sit down and sort it out. There is a difference between worrying about a problem and sorting one out.

    The anxious person tends to worry and be more sensitive, but most of it is not worthy of a moments attention. I learnt to let all insecurities go, I built an attitude of what will be will be. I had enough on my plate without going down the worry route, the worry route was one of the big reasons I got worse. I worried how I came across to others, went over a comment from a friend/stranger through being sensitive, worried about getting better, worried my partner would leave me, it never ended and I decided what will happen will happen, this worrying is not helping and is more down to my anxious state and not reality. Now recovered I can’t believe some of the things that had me worried and I understand how destructive worrying about everything is. I am such a laid back person these days and live each day as it comes and don’t worry or go over yesterday or worry about tomorrow or next week. I try to sort problems out and not waste time worrying about them. Coming through anxiety teaches you so much and gives you a better outlook on life.

  481. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Fiona Says:

    December 11th, 2010 at 4:59 pm e

    Paul says:

    The day someone tells me they recovered overnight or they ‘got it’ and had no more bad days, I will surely let you know.

    So true, even when you pretty much feel you have recovered and understand the symptoms you can still have the odd bad days as the memory is still there. It will always be there, but it gets to the point that you have moved on so much that its not important any more and remains just a memory xx

    Also Fiona it is the continued doing that changes memory and confidence builds. Places and situations that I once avoided were really tough at first, but once you go through the feelings and nothing happens your mind and body get used to the situation. The trick is to not put any pressure on yourself to feel a particular way, even if you went out and felt awful, totally distant and anxious, don’t feel the need to go over it, don’t question the whole night. Just go out without any expectations and however it goes learn to be ok with it. If you go places without expectations you will find you don’t monitor yourself as much, which is always a good thing.

  482. angela Says:

    Hi Paul!

    I really love your last post!Amazing!it is exactly what I needed. I think there are different stages of recovery and I think I am pretty much over the ‘worrying about worrying’ so now, I still worry a lot about everything. The list is actually endless and it is sooo annoying!I worry about everything I do and how it is perceived by other people, I worry my bf will leave me, I worry I am not good enought to do my job, I worry about staying at home too much and then I worry about going out too much…ETC ETC ETC ETC…it’s actually ridiculous. It’s SUCH a terrible, destructive habbit and one that lead to my anxiety problem in the first place. I would say I am one million times better than when it started but I am glad that I have been feeling bad again the last few days, because I really need to change my attitude. Desperately, there is no point in being able to accept anxiety and not worry about feeling anxious, if you still go around worrying about other stuff all the time, because that will make it much more likely for you to get stuck with it. Anyway, thank you Paul as you are so right, worrying never solved anything. It’s what started this mess in the first place.

    Be happy everyone x

  483. Teresa J Says:

    CLaire – I agree with you that we tend to stay away until we need to be reminded and i think that’s healthy – great news you have booked another holiday, I have had many and I am getting a lot better at going on them. as Paul says it’s good not to make ‘expectations’ and just ‘get on’ with it, I have had FAR more good times than bad times and always feel a sense of achievment when I return. In differing ways we all help each other on here – I have found a lot of encouragement reading Joe and Helen’s post recently. It does all start to make sense, we do need reminding from time to time – but the understanding grows slowly but surely and changes your for life for the better. Thank you to all that contribute on here – as Paul said it is not what is happening to us, it is our reaction to it.

  484. CC Says:

    Thanks Paul I needed that. I need to bloody get on with it!!! What will be will be. Yes I will burst into song, ksaraaaaah saraaaaaah!!! :)

  485. ross Says:

    Just want to pop in for update. Read through Paul’s book again its amazing what you forget been ages since i read it. done me wonders still hae scary moments but now that i beliee nothing bad will happen im ok with it.

    Hope everyone is doing good with there recovery. Ive been 2 the worst places with anxiety and now I’m really making strides with recovery , so keep believing!!

    anxiety=tired mind playin tricks!!

    nothing bad will happen with anxiety never has NEVER will!!!

    Be ok with your symptoms, once you do that your pretty much sorted,its just a case of getting on with life and letting your mind rest and restore to normal. any advice needed im willing to help cos i know how lonely it can feel. but just remember worryin wont make it better!!! recently i thought i was doing everything right when it came 2 accepting but I realised I was still in fear and impressed by my symptoms so that was keeping me in loop of anxiety..

    Its a pity we all feel like but just imagine how amazing life will be at the end of it :) this has taught me that worrying is a useless tool, its also taught me how amazing life is and how important the little things that make you laugh are. in a weird way im glad I’m going through this as now i know its making me a better person ,and it will for everyone else.

    So dont fear anxiety its just a stupid feeling because of our tired minds

  486. james Says:

    Hello Everyone, just wanted to give another update.

    It’s been over 2 weeks since I had my anxiety attacks and I can say I feel like it’s almost over. I still have the disturbing thoughts once in awhile and I know it’s common and nothing will ever happen but it still bothers me and feel like it’ll never go away. Last night when I went out everything seemed normal and it felt great. Today I had a few setbacks were the thoughts popped up but other then that I feel like the old me.

  487. Rob Says:

    Dam this anxiety ,, all physical symptoms are gone by using and understanding pauls book,it’s taken six months of just letting go and almost laughing at the symptoms because u know they go ,, and then a real relationship problem gets so exaggerated because ur not just recoverd fully ,I wish I didn’t worry about what ifs , but it’s so hard when u love and care for someone, just carnt seem to say to myself what will be will be!, p.s cc if ur reading I was put on them beta blockers as a first thought from the doctor and stayed on them for roughly 3 months but came off them buy skipping every other day and in my case actually got better , I still get deep beats and skipping heart thuds now and again (can even be for a whole day ) but they go and u know they will so dont worry if ther there :-)

  488. Paulina Says:

    Great to hear that James.. I do feel like the old me more and more…THe stupid obssesive thoughts that keep on coming back,, If its not questioning relaity, or life and being human, its excessive worry about something that has not even happened, or perhpas health… its like my mind is always looking for something annoying to focus on..
    But the days seem brighter and brighter.
    Thank you Paul, Fiona, Sasha, Scarlet,, ..and everyone else.!

  489. ian Says:

    Reiterate the thanks to everyone. I know this place is (and needs to be) kept postive, but it has been the recent posts, especially Helen’s about what the experience can be like, just how awful, that have been helpful. Helps with the feeling of (not) being alone with this, and also hope in recovery from that place.

    Saying all that, I need to get away from here (yet again). My obsession with ‘it’ is becoming worrying in itself. Sleeping has been a real problem for months but for example in the weekend I spent all, and I mean ALL, of Saturday night awake, after being unable to sleep, thinking about what to do, how to deal with it. Going through ‘accepting’ a thought or thoughts and feeling worse, focussing on my body trying to ‘accept’ the feelings and feeling worse, turning on the light and looking in the book for what I needed to do, either to ‘accept’ or to just get a bit of sleep. Closer to sunrise the more I felt I needed to find something to help me with the day ahead. Sunday was spent searching and searching, looking in the book, on the blog, in my head (did go out and meet a friend which was pretty awful – couldn’t focus/concetrate, fear /thoughts etc.). Of course with all this and with no sleep I could barely keep my eyes open let alone think about anything, nevermind what it was that was going to help. Just waiting for bedtime (and the vague possibility of some sleep). Still pretty lost but this sure as hell isn’t helping at all, I can’t keep re-reading my little (well quite large) list of copied qoutes from the blog every hour or so, hoping that something will jump out and help. Accepting what is happening to me (and just how bad this is) and carrying on, is about as simple a thing as my head can handle right now. Lets be going with that then….

  490. Joe (Mk1) Says:

    Hey Paul,

    Just to clarify. I am Joe who bought your book a few years ago and play in the band. Yes I am doing very well thanks. I am now back to where I was pre-anxiety and very much enjoying life. Glad to see that there are two recovered Joe’s on this page. Proof that you all can get through this!

  491. Nic Says:

    Hello everyone. Paul, if you had a comment I would sure appreciate it – or of course anyone who has experienced something similar/ bad/scary thoughts and obsessions.
    I have been looking at this site for about two months – and purchased Paul’s book as well. I think it is a great book – I’m just having a REALLY hard time applying the “whatever” thinking to my situation.
    I have always been a worrier -and I definitely have anxiety to the max…but I didn’t start REALLY suffering until last March when my (now) husband and I started talking about getting engaged.
    I remember all these thoughts flooding in – like: are you sure this is the one? Do you really like his personality etc?
    When dating, we had so much fun and I’ve known my husband pretty much all my life (loved him all my life too) but when the commitment came – I freaked out. I am sure some of this anxiety about marriage comes with all of my family having gotten divorced – and my perfectionist personality.

    This has been a very rough first year for us. I have tried so hard to get a grip on all of this and to stop the bad thinking – until Paul’s book. Now I try so hard to “just let the thoughts be there” but I feel I’m doing a horrible job of it. I cry all the time it seems. The reason I cry is because I think such horrible things about my husband. I worry about divorce – what if I never get better? I have thoughts like – maybe I don’t really love him – or other horrible thoughts like maybe we weren’t meant to be or he annoys me….
    That is the reason I get so upset. And I’ve also been having the re-occurring thought – what if this isn’t just anxiety but maybe we weren’t meant to be and I’ve screwed up everything and I have broken his heart so many times and this battle has been horrible.
    Deep down I know these thoughts are not true. I love this man so much – he is a Godsend – he has stuck by my side even though he has known the horrible thoughts I have had toward him.

    Some days are better than others, as I try to re-read the book and apply!

    Thanks so much

  492. KM Says:

    How do you allow yourself to have a bad day and not become overwhelmed with it? I’ve had a few bad days in a row and am starting to feel like i’m getting worse. I’m not avoiding situations, i’m going to work, attending meetings, taking calls, being an attentive mother, i’m eating, sleeping, and trying to keep busy, but my head is raging! No one would know about it, i’m calm at work, but inside i feel like im about to drop my bundle, even though i know that means nothing really and i’d jsut have to keep on keeping on. I’m just having trouble riding out the bad times. Its the intropection that is freaking me out, its like the volume in my head is turned up real loud and i struggle to hear conversations. I thought i was pretty much recovered and didn’t experience a set back for 5 years, but my recent pregnancy loss (2 months ago) has thrown me right back in the deep end, again i feel despairing and like i’ll never be over it! Helens posts have been somewhat of a comfort to me but does anyone experience wanting to run from themselves?

  493. Lesley Says:

    @ KM
    You sound like me at the mo, I’ve had few rough days lately, feels like it’s really testing me to see how much I’ve learnt and can cope with, I know I shouldn’t let them but these bad days do get to me, hard when you’ve had such a good week or two then bang! You wake up and just know this day is going to be poo, even though the bad days are nothing like they were they somehow feel just as awful as I think you start to get used to your good days so anythin not quite up that good sort of hits you big time, you know I’m still doing everything that I want to do good day or bad day, can never let myself get bored so I’m always doing somethin (good job I love housework) went to one of my daughters school Xmas play yesterday, had my hair done, ride my horse four times a week and have a hectic 7 and 2yr old lol. Stayed off this site for about 2 weeks but have now found myself back on here few times a day for a bit of a boost ( is this a bad thing? ) try to keep my spirits up but this bloody anxiety is a pain in the arse and pee’s me right off when it hangs around !! Find it bit difficult to let it be there when I’ve have these crappy days x x

  494. KM Says:

    We are on the same path, i refuse to not do what I always do (and have never ever once spent a day in bed or missed a days work or anything like that) I too drag my anxiety with me where ever i go! And for most of the time I’m good and again just like you I know when i’m struggling as i check the site a few times a day! I know we are not meant to but when i have days like this going home from work and having a great glass of wine helps, it takes the edge off for me, i’m in no way an alcoholic, and cant even remember when i had more than 3 glasses but i find it a comfort!! hahaha!
    Also surrounding myself with friends, family, partner and child and just trying to ride it out! I agree with Helen its our “doing” of life that gets us through! When we give into it, stop work, avoid situations, and retreat from it, thats when it wins, but if it scares us, puts us down, makes you feel less confident! All those things return when your not as anxious, I know in my core that i am who i am, I just get overwhelmed with anxiety at times, and come out the other end! This can be in a moment, a half day, a full day, a week, but I always experience times when i feel ok! Although when your in it, it feels like this is never the case! For me my hormones play a huge factor, especially recently as well, my cycle has gone through some turmoil, and as women, like you described, we are not allowed to fall apart, we have to be strong, not show our children any sign of weakness or distress, thats why its an internal struggle and why as women we are more likely than men to suffer from anxiety. :)

  495. AR Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I have got your book yesterday and reading it. I am an anxious person by nature but the first anxious act I have experienced was in early 2008, when my stomach was upset but I was thinking that it is something very serious. I was diagoned with underactive thyroid at the same time, taking 150mcg thyroxin every day. In late 2008 I experienced some disturbing thoughs, got homeopathic remedies, settled in mid 2009. I am having anxiety/ocd (baseless, stupid thoughs) from 4 months and taking homeopathy remedy. My head is going in circles all the time, from one thought to an other. I will highly appreciate any advice..

  496. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Right Joe I got you mixed up and thought you were the original ‘Joe’ poster, my mistake. Well again nice to see you are doing well.


  497. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    ian Says:

    December 13th, 2010 at 12:52 pm e

    Reiterate the thanks to everyone. I know this place is (and needs to be) kept postive, but it has been the recent posts, especially Helen’s about what the experience can be like, just how awful, that have been helpful. Helps with the feeling of (not) being alone with this, and also hope in recovery from that place.

    Saying all that, I need to get away from here (yet again). My obsession with ‘it’ is becoming worrying in itself. Sleeping has been a real problem for months but for example in the weekend I spent all, and I mean ALL, of Saturday night awake, after being unable to sleep, thinking about what to do, how to deal with it. Going through ‘accepting’ a thought or thoughts and feeling worse, focussing on my body trying to ‘accept’ the feelings and feeling worse, turning on the light and looking in the book for what I needed to do, either to ‘accept’ or to just get a bit of sleep. Closer to sunrise the more I felt I needed to find something to help me with the day ahead. Sunday was spent searching and searching, looking in the book, on the blog, in my head (did go out and meet a friend which was pretty awful – couldn’t focus/concetrate, fear /thoughts etc.). Of course with all this and with no sleep I could barely keep my eyes open let alone think about anything, nevermind what it was that was going to help. Just waiting for bedtime (and the vague possibility of some sleep). Still pretty lost but this sure as hell isn’t helping at all, I can’t keep re-reading my little (well quite large) list of copied qoutes from the blog every hour or so, hoping that something will jump out and help. Accepting what is happening to me (and just how bad this is) and carrying on, is about as simple a thing as my head can handle right now. Lets be going with that then….

    Ian you are making a classic, classic mistake. Stop searching and searching, throw away the numerous quotes, stop re-reading everyday, stop making this subject your life, stop ‘trying’ to get better 24/7, no wonder you feel lost, can’t focus or concentrate on anything else as you are letting nothing else in.

    This is very, very important to take on board. I did exactly the same in my early days. All I cared about each day is ‘How I felt’ watching, monitoring, trying to fix it, going over quotes to try and make it better. Then I learnt to stop caring and just go with it, this is when slowly, but surely, I let other things into my day, my mind finally had a rest and was allowed to think and concentrate on other things. I finally began to blend back into normal living, my mind cleared, I thought of other things, I no longer spent wasted hours trying to ‘fix’ me, I did’nt have to search for normality, normality came to me.

    Again it is not how you feel, it is your attitude to it and the desperate need to ‘find’ something to make it all go away is what is making you worse.

    Trust me on this and learn to do the opposite.


  498. Paulina Says:

    Dear Paul,
    I just read your response to Ian I have yo admit that I do also find myself craving to come home and re-read posts that I have saved on my comp. or remember them in my daily basis, like a broken record…Although, I have come to a very very well point compared where I was two months ago. I soon as I bought your book my anxiety leves started to drop down, and many what’if’s started to disappear.
    This is really a process, although I would just like some insight in something that I have been strugguling with lately,
    Of course anxiety is the first thing I think about when I wake up, and the last thing when I go to bed. THe whole subject is just there 24/7. But I am not so annoyed with it as I was a few weeks back. I go out with friends, to school, run a few times a week and sleep relatively well. I dont really have scary thouhgs anymore. and I feel I am not pushing for recovery.
    But the obssesive thinking about “existence” and who am I, or soul vs body thing, how dos my brain work, and every thing related to that subject has been stuck with glue for a while now. All that questioning that no one really has answers to just makes me get dp and dizy i have to admit.
    Any thoughs or advice as how to “deal” or go over this layer, that seems to be one of the last ones to overcome?

    Thank you again

  499. KH Says:

    @ Paulina

    That’s the thing about anxiety, it makes you question about things which are odd and seemingly irrational. I have been through the very same stage before, though my obsessive thoughts are on different things as yours.

    When I was getting all the obsessive thoughts in my head, I was in a very major depression as well as I was confused. But after reading Paul’s advice, I have decided to make a change in my life by keeping myself busy. I begin to pay more attention to my work instead of focusing on all these thoughts. Initially I wasn’t very attentive at work as I was constantly experiencing obsessive thoughts, but over time they eventually went off. I begin to see them as thoughts caused by anxiety, which I know because these thoughts are there against my will.

    My suggestion to you is to continue to keep yourself busy while you allow yourself to recover. As Paul has mentioned, time is a great healer and I believe that over time all the thoughts will no longer be able to affect you. Hope that sharing my thoughts can help you.

  500. Nic Says:

    I would also like to mention that with the help of Paul’s book, I have been able to kind of allow other irrational/annoying thoughts to just go….but because I love my husband so much and don’t want to think anything bad about him or our marriage, I am stuck on these things.

    I understand that this is just making it COMPLETELY worse – as I am doing exactly the wrong thing!!! I understand that but still am having such a hard time just accepting the thoughts and NOT analyzing!!

    I know this stuff would go if I would let it go!!!

    Thanks so much.

  501. Paulina Says:

    Thanks for your comments… I see what you mean, and it is true that they all anxiety based… its just that sometimes they come with such strenght that its hard just to listen to them. with our reacting (which is I believe the right approach right?)
    Its funny how even just having a simple conversation my mind will start to raise questions like, how do they think? or how do we process info,, really annoying stuff to be honest.. or sometimes even questioning reality can begin without me looking for it.
    I am reminding myself constantly that these are all anxiety symptoms.. and I just see them as one. instead of trying to figure out each of them individually.
    .. (looking forward to see the recovery stories Paul 😉

  502. Emma Says:


    I know exactly what type of obsessive “questioning life/reality” thoughts you are talking about. I have alot of these thoughts as well (alot of the same as you described). They were really strong and scary at first but they have faded ALOT. I still think them and at times they can still come with force but I am learning how to just accept them as anxious thoughts.

    I think of it this way that seems to help me: I have always been a deep thinker and questioned why we are here and all of that but it never bothered me, they were just thoughts that popped in, made me ponder in a good way and then I would just go on with my day/life. They just seem worse right now because our emotions are sensitized right now so they seem like bad thoughts when all they are are thoughts, even thoughts you may have even had before anxiety. (I know you are prob now thinking “yes, but what are thoughts?” See, just anxiety making you question EVERYTHING, haha. I honestly try and laugh it off now.

    I feel that I am really coming through, but I know how frustrating these thoughts can be but I truly believe they will fade and just be average thoughts as you let time go by. Also, make sure to keep busy (not run away from thoguhts) but it give your mind a new focus and you start to feel like “yourself” agian. I know sometimes the thoughts come out of no where (even when you are feeling good…) but just let them be. Hope this helps, Paulina. Believe I know how you feel and if you read other posts, there are others who have had the same thought processes and have come through ( I believe there is a post from Scarlet somehere who gives someone advice about just saying “who cares” to these thoughts and also reassurance that they fade when anxiety fades.) I am not even fully past these thoughts yet, but I already feel confident enough to give you advice on these thoughts so I can tell you it will get better :) Just float right on through these thoughts and let time pass :)


  503. hawkeye Says:

    Paulina and Emma
    Thats so funny Emma I was about to say exactly (well nearly the same thing) I never worried about these things I always had the thoughts ‘wow how cool how did we get here etc etc’ but I loved them never bothered me but then I was sensistised and my mind latched on and made them scary. Just proves what a big bluff it is. I too now are not that bothered by them. Life is a miracle and we shouldn’t question it it’s a gift and I feel so lucky to be here. Paulina let your mind do what it wants etc in conversations (I went through doing exactly what you did) I don’t even think about it now. Don’t analyse why it is doing it just let the thoughts float through you. It will pass.

  504. AR Says:

    Hi Paul, Paulina, Emma and Hawkeye,

    I have left a post yesterday but no response yet from any body, anyways I would like to ask you these irrational, irritating, baseless, obsessive some thime abusive thought we all talk about, gives anxiety. Are these classified as OCD or OCD is some thing different. Please advise.

  505. ian Says:

    Thanks Paul. Beginning, just beginning, to live.


  506. KH Says:

    Hello everybody,

    Have been feeling much better after the recent setback I was in. Anxious thoughts will still come at times but I don’t give them any attention and my work has successfully diverted my attention away from the thoughts. Now I am truly seeing how Paul’s advice works. Every time when there’s a setback I begin to take less time to overcome them.

    To Ian,

    Don’t give up on yourself. You have taken the first step to live your life and if you continue on, you’ll definitely be able to overcome anxiety. I was also once a person who was always contented with everything until I had anxiety. So trust yourself and you’ll be able to do it !

  507. Mark R Says:

    Hi All,

    Not posted in a while so but just letting people know where I am.

    I am suffering from 3rd bout of anxiety/depression at the moment but having a think and looking hard why my previous breakdowns have happened at the time where something was going on in my life with regards to work, career etc. ie not enjoying my job and needing a career change.

    So with the above in mind I think its foolish not to have ruled that out as a possible cause of stress for me. I went to see a CBT tutor recently, expained my problems to him and he concluded that I was right and needed more direction in my life. I became desperately unhappy with my studies around the time all this started again for me in Jan/Feb this year and lost focus. I started a company in May for the future for possible Ebay business, which has kept me busy in my part time hours along with full time employment.

    My CBT tutor told me he went through a similar experience himself becoming anxious and depressed due to being unfulfilled at work. He became better when he made positive changes in his life.

    Coming back to me when I made changes in my life before it allieviated my anxiety and depression and I recovered in the subsequent months. I am unsure whether this was due to me getting on with my life and my body recovering or that this was fuelling my anxiety and lack of direction.

    I know that CBT kinda goes against the grain of this website but just wondered from either Paul or any of the recovered if they had any thoughts or similar experiences.



  508. Robbie Says:

    Hello, this is my first post, ever I think. Let me first say that this website has been a Godsend. I suffered from anxiety off and on for about 8 years, when I finally had a horrible episode about 2 years ago. Like most folks I didn’t know what was wrong with me, went to the doctor, he put me on meds and I got…worse for a little while. Some of those anti-depressants really mess with your mind! Anyway, I struggled through it, told myself that I will not give into it and continued to go to work, social functions, perform my family duties (I’m married and have two children, ages 7 and 4). I really struggled with obsessive/intrusive thoughts. Mine particularly revolved around fearing that I would become extremely depressed and would quit enjoying life, and maybe harm myself or my family, let them down, then I would panic, which made it worse. The cycle would just go on and on and on and on……..

    Well, looking back I recovered after I did my own research and found out what I had. No one (including the doctor or therapist) told me that I had anxiety. My father had a similar experience when he was my age and really helped get me through it. I think I talked to him everyday for 3-4 months. That’s why it is so important to surround yourself with people you love. It if wasn’t for them I don’t know what I would have done. Anway, I would mark in my calendar what kind of day I had – good, bad, very good, etc. (which I now realize was probably not a good idea!) For some reason I still kept that calendar and looking back I all of a sudden just stopped recording how I felt. I don’t remember making that concious decision, I just stopped. So, I completely agree with Paul that you don’t just wake up in the morning and say “I’m recovered!” Yes, you notice changes and you notice that you are having more good days than bad, but once you truly stop thinking about how you feel on a consistent basis you will recover and not even know it. It is truly a freeing experience! Also, keep busy. Don’t let anxiety control what you want to do. Do what you enjoy doing, but don’t do it because it will help you get rid of you anxiety. This will only make it a chore, which is the last thing you need to do. Do it because you enjoy doing it.

    Why I’m I telling you my story? Well, about 4 weeks ago I had a setback. I’m not really sure what set it off, but I started having the same obsessive thoughts and it really freaked me out. I thought I was fully recovered and now I feel horrible again!! Just this past weekend after having a tough couple of days, I just Googled “Anxiety” on the internet and this website came up. It was the first time that I had seen something posted that put anxiety in such simplistic terms and gave a very common sense answer to recovery. It was like a light went on! No one was trying to push meds on me, no one was trying to categorize what I had, no one was trying to tell me I had a problem. Instead anxiety was looked at as something that provides you with an opportunity to grow as a person.

    I know that after I recovered from my first major episode 2 years ago, I came out of it a changed man. I used to be shy, nervous around people, and intraverted. I would get really nervous if something changed my routine (travelling, having to work different hours, not getting enough sleep, etc.). Now, I am very outgoing, actually desire social interaction and love to travel.

    Well, I’m still trying to recover from my setback. I woke up this morning full of energy and positive thinking and now I’m tired and starting to reflect on “how I feel.” That’s when I’m at my worst, when I’m tired. I know I’m almost there, but I can’t kick the self monitoring habit. My family and I are travelling to Walt Disney World (we’re from the U.S) the day after Christmas and I’m a little (OK, a lot!) concerned about how I will feel in a very magical and enjoyable place. I still have the “what if I become severely depressed” thought, which I think is what is causing me to monitor how I feel (“am I depressed” “do I feel down” “why didn’t I sleep good last night” “Why am I not more excited about Christmas than I am”).

    Anyway, sorry for the rambling, but this site has really helped me realize that we can’t help the way we feel, but we sure as heck can help the way we react to those feelings. Being anxious about how you feel just feeds the anxiety, which feeds more anxiety, which makes you feel down, which can take the enjoyment out of life, which can lead to more anxiety, etc. It can become one heck of a vicious cycle. You do have control over your life. It is a gift and you only have one, so live it to the fullest. Soak up all those little moments that make you laugh, don’t be afraid of moments that make you cry, and treat everyone with respect because you don’t know what they are going through.

    Well, thank you for the opportunity to share with you folks. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  509. Wayne Says:

    Good day!

    I have been dealing with my anxiety for a year now and I am doing great. I have been feeling odd about feeling “normal” lately. Like I am waiting for DP to kick in or odd feelings to happen. Is this part of the process? If anyone could comment that would be a great help.

    Take Care!!

  510. hawkeye Says:

    ocd or pure o or whatever is all anxiety based and can be treated the same way. You are worried about the thoughts and the fear of the thoughts is what bothers you. Let them in let them do what they want. Give them no importance. Any thought that scares you needs to be treated the same.

  511. Rob Says:

    Hi AR as far as I am aware the thoughts we have are caused by anxiety and OCD is an offshoot of anxiety caused by ingrained habits , the same method still applies to accept and let time pass , I belive if you take the fear out of the thoughts by accepting (just say watever they will pass etc) in time the thoughts become less disturbing until eventually they mean nothing , once they don’t frighten you or cause you distress they lose there worth and u even in time just smile to urself and say things like” is that all u got” ! , hope this helps abit . P.s what worked for me was- keep reading Paul book till you truly understand + Claire weeks books to helped too,, hope this helps :-)

  512. Emma Says:


    You replied to me a few weeks ago when I was struggling with the thoughts Paulina was talking about and your reply helped me so much. That is one of the reasons why I wanted to reply to Paulina. So I hope that our recent replys gave comfort in the way that yours gave me comfort and reassurance a few weeks agi! Thanks agian, it really is great to have support from one another :)


  513. KM Says:

    Hi Robbie,
    Your post spoke mountains to me, it’s almost as if I wrote it myself, our circumstances are very similar, even our obsessive thoughts are the same, and the monitoring how you feel, and constant intropection is dreadful!
    I too am in the midst of a setback one thats really thrown me and takin all the joy out of Christmas. I’m here in Australia a long way from you, but our experiences are so alike its amazing. I too have had bouts of severe anxiety and managed to pull myself out of them, and your totally right, when i did get better I can’t even remember how it happened, it just did, but i definalty remeber the suffering, and this is what terrifies me. THis week i’ve been struggling with almost every minute of the day, watching the clock, head racing, just wanting the day to be over so hopefully the next will be much better. Today i caved in and went to my GP and told him all about it, he’s referred me to a psychologist who i’ve seen many years ago who specialises in anxiety and i’ve had some great results from her in the past. Its just really hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when your so mentally fatigued. I too have a partner and kids and even though the kids have no idea, my partner knows but he wouldn’t unless i told him, as i’m so good at hiding my distress, which of course makes it worse. I too am totally impatient, and want to feel better again straight away as the past few weeks i’m up one day down the next and when you have several bad days in a row you think, Oh god i’m going down hill and nothing can help me! Its truelly been the worst thing in my life i’ve had to manage! I hope you get some help soon and use this sight, just don’t over use it, as then thats when you feed it and make it worse, i’ve done this myself a bit this week, and had to stay off it completly! Fingers crossed for both of us we learn to not let it get us too down, the fatigue passes and the voice in our head calms down.
    Best wishes

  514. AR Says:

    Thanks hawkeye & Rob and all,
    I have been through these thought from few months, some thime they are persistent and some time my mind racing going into circles, one thought after another. These are the baseless thoughts but when I get persistent thoughts abouts my health, some thing very small is v big for me. I will give you a last night example, I went for swim and sitting in Jaccuzi accidentely drank a little amount of water. This is a big thing for me that some thing going to happen to me or catch some disease and so on…. My father and brother are trying to convince me that it will give no harm but can not stop thinking about it. any comments.

  515. joe Says:

    Hi AR,

    When you have anxiety little things can seem a massive problem. A small worry which we would brush off if we did not have anxiety becomes magnified because of the physical/emotional reaction that occurs in our body. When these thoughts come, just remind yourself that its only your anxiety shouting a bunch of nonsense in your ear and carry on with what you were doing, refusing to analyze it BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT THE EXPLANATION FOR IT IS. As for swallowing some jaccuzi water, I’m sure you’ll be fine. If you end up having to go to the doctor (very doubtful), so be it. Just tell yourself you’ll cross that bridge when and if you get there. Meanwhile, I’d chalk up your worry about it to your anxiety and not analyze it for another moment. Let the thoughts be there if they insist upon staying. Just don’t delve into them.

  516. KH Says:

    Hi AR,

    This is exactly what anxiety is doing to you. It’s causing you to worry about things which are easily negligible when you don’t have anxiety. Well as joe has said it, you must have the courage to face the consequences of whatever that has happened. You should continue on with what you’re doing and if you really have to see a doctor because of swallowing the jacuzzi water then let it be. It’ll definitely be raging in your head for a while, but if you truly pay no attention to it, these thoughts will slowly disappear without even you realising it.

  517. Nicole Says:

    Hi Paul,
    Hope you are well, I have not posted in a long time and have been doing well despite the odd bump in the road. One of my recovery ‘sticking points’ which seems to open the door to setback is doubt. In your next post on recovery stories I was wondering if you might cover this topic a little? I find that when I am in an upswing, after feeling good for awhile I start to doubt how I got there, I can’t remember what I did right, then I start to over think the whole topic and I know while this is happening that I am engaging in the wrong behaviour…anyway you get the idea. In my heart I think this is a confidence issue and a lack of faith. How other people have dealt with this issue would really help me and most likely other people break through this barrier.
    Thanks Paul, hope you are enjoying the holidays even though I know you are a bit of a Scrooge :)

  518. christina Says:

    Hi Lesly, your post from 12/14 struck a chord with me. I am over a year into recovery, and have had periods where I really believe it is gone or at least does not throw me when it comes. But, like everything in life, practice makes perfect. It’s when we have felt good for a while, that having symptoms return (for any reason) gives us the opportunity to see if we really don’t care about anxieties tricks. The reality is that sometimes we react in fear, tension, and worry, to what previously did not seem to disturb us. Then we think (think is the PROBLEM) why am I not handling this as well as I did several weeks or months ago? Don’t we get better over time with acceptance?

    Sometimes we just fall back into bad habits. Sometimes we are more tired or stressed or just more vunerable. And as you said, our expectations are raised as we come through this. We have a new “normal”. I have had some challenging days lately, and I can see how much our reactions either escalate or help diminish our feelings of fear.

    I have suffered periodically over my life, starting in my teens, with feeling high anxiety, and every offshoot it can produce. I’m realizing that I do need to be patient with myself and be willing (as though I really have a choice :)) to allow it to take as long as it takes. I have come through several such periods, but I never really lost my fear of it. I would rather be in the training camp longer and really learn full acceptance (which would mean not being conned by anxious feelings) than to just come out from under it, and still question myself and be afraid of this “thing” coming back.

    I know I have not yet completely lost my fear or apprehension, but then bad habits are the hardest to break. I so appreciate this website and all the great people who have contributed to it. We can all lose are fear fueling reactions, it just takes awhile.

  519. Paulina Says:

    Thank you so much for your reply. It is really comforting to know someone is or has gone through the same, and really KNOWS what these feelings or thoughts feel like. Having the holidays arriving and few changes in general have had some irrational, existential thoughts running around 24/7. Mind chating and inner thinking is just one of thouse thigs that do not seem to diminish. I do sometimes get really mentaly tired.. Like my head just doesnt know what else to question or obsess about.
    But I feel I am coming through.
    Thanks again you all! and like you said, its great to have support from one another. :)

  520. PAH Says:

    Hello, this is my first post, i decided to post as I feel as though i’m really struggling at the moment. I started feeling anxious and having obsessive and irrational thoughts about 5 months ago. I had a similar episode a number of years ago after a family bereavement which was aweful period of my life but i eventually got over it after a couple of years.

    Prior to my recent episode i was as happy as I could ever be having recently got married to the a wonderful, beautiful women who i love with all my heart. I have a good job, lovely house, brilliant family, everything a man could want. All of a sudden that seems a distant memory as my mind seems out of control with irational obsessive thoughts, questionning and analysing everything. I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for the things that I normally enjoy. I have constant mind chatter and it is driving me mad.

    I have read Paul’s book and understand why i’m feeling so crappy (anxiety with all its tricks) and that i just need to continue with life laughing silly thoughts off. I have had ok days over the last couple of months and had enjoyment once again but these last few days have been really bad. I’ve been very down in the dumps, tearful, feelings of helplessness meaning that i’m really struggling to have a positive whatever outlook. I can’t seem to stop analysing things and am really fearful of losing all the fantanstic things i have in my life or dropping in to a deep depression, feeling as bad as did previously – viscious circle i know!

    I went to the docs when i initially started feeling crappy and i’m on a low dosage of tablets plus i’ve seen a psychologist. Seeing the psychologist was good as she basically gave the advice that Paul does, stop thinking, your not going mad, you are just emotionally upset (for whatever reason i don’t know) and it is a temporary phase that will work itself out.

    Until the last few days i really thought i was making progress, I have not stopped doing anything even though occasionally i don’t feel like doing them (playing football, going out etc) i was looking forward to Christmas and a holiday that i’m going on boxing day but the enthusiasm has now disappeared. Work is difficult as it is a quiet period and I have lots of time on my hands throughout the day therefore the last couple of days i’ve been worried about coming in as my mind will inevitably wander. How can i go from being so deliriously happy with life to this?

    Sorry for the rant, i’ve been thinking about whether to post for the last couple of days, i know its not the solution to the way i feel, i must really adopt the whatever attitude to all elements of my anxiety. I’ve been quite successful with some of my stupid thoughts but not others whilst the feeling down is really hard.

    I know i’ve got to just crack on and allow this set back to pass but it is hard none the less.

  521. AR Says:

    Hi Everybody,

    Thanks for your comments Joe & KH, I normally deal with this type of situation asking few friends that what they will think if they face this type of situation. For example I will ask my family and friends what they will think if they swallow some Jaccuzi water and they all say they don’t care if it happens to them, it will be only calorine in the water and will not do any harm. Then I will say to myself why I can not think the way other people think normally & it works. I will appreciate any comments from any body out there..

  522. Suranne Says:

    AR, let me try to put your mind to rest….

    I used to sell Hot tubs/Spa’s so I know exactly what go’s into them, and without going into detail, you are and will be FINE.

    Trust me when I tell you, it is not as if the manufactors, hadn’t already thought that there is a more than likely possibility that water could and will be consummed in error. It is the same with swimming pools. My spa is surrounded by snow right now – perfect, tell you what, I will have a quick swirl, gulp a mouth full of the water and I promise you, I will still be here later to check you have got my message 😉 Ok?

    Seriously AR, if the thought must be there, then be there it must ( I know what that is like – it’s why I am on this site!) Just don’t try to puzzle your way out of it, it aint the truth.

  523. T Says:

    why did my comment disappear??I didnt write anything wrong?:(

  524. lorryt Says:

    hi guys

    i realise that lately i have been using this place to get out my negative feelings and i seem to have a lot of them. i am as usual continuing asnormal and not lettign anxiety stop me from doing anything but its the constant numbnessof feeling that i hate. i should be enjoyinh xmas with my family , but am dreading the day as we all stay indoors and it causes friction and tension and i get very anxious and it is noticable. i so want to enjoy stuff but i guess you cant force the feelings and push thoughts away. I am wondering if its my attitude to it all thats wrong or i need to accept to let more time to pass, or maybe all of it. i may have dropped back into my old habit of overanalyzing everything without realising. a friend commented the other day that i am a deep thinker adn all the analyzing must wear me out, i finally think shes right. i cant seem to move on with a thought or from soemthing that has been said. its like it all sticks in my head and i have to go over it till i can justify it all and i get so upset . you’d of thought i’d know by now that its just a thought and it cant hurt me, or its me thats thinking it and i feel awful for even doing that !. i really need to let go and give myself a break coz this endless viscious circle is doing me no good whatso ever. i want to be better and i feel i have come so far but have still a way to go. guess im frustrated by it all and cant see a way through this bad patch. xx

  525. AR Says:

    Hi Suranne,

    Thanks for your comments, I am feeling fine now. My real problem is that my mind needs a topic every day. I am suffering from these type of feeling from few years but most effected from last few months. One thing I am thinking about my health and the day I have got sorted and my mind is relaxed, I wll be looking for some thing else. Then my mind go into circles for Irrational, Iirritating & baseless thoughts. I am reading paul’s book these days & keeping positvie. May God take all of us from this hell.

  526. Helen Says:

    Hi Steveo,

    Sorry I have only just seen your post.
    I was not on any medication at all as I felt that I wanted to try and recover completely on my own and for me this helped a lot as I didn’t want to think that I was using a crutch in any way. My good days were good because they really were and my bad days were bad because that is how I should have felt that day. For me personally, I knew that taking medication wouldn’t have been good for me as I would have been wondering ‘am I really getting better or is it the medication’.
    There were times when I was pushed to the limit and I thought ‘I can’t do this on my own’ but I knew that, for me, I had to, so taking medication wasn’t really an option, I just didn’t want to do it.
    My anxiety was severe to say the least and it consumed my life for a long time but I recovered by accepting absolutley everything that was happening to me. I know how hard it is but I also know what a joy it is just to start coming through, to see some glimpses of better days ahead.

    All the best

  527. Fiona Says:

    Robbie says

    “you don’t just wake up in the morning and say “I’m recovered!” Yes, you notice changes and you notice that you are having more good days than bad, but once you truly stop thinking about how you feel on a consistent basis you will recover and not even know it. It is truly a freeing experience!”

    so so true and its only when you are recovered you realise this! That is why acceptance is crucial because the anxiety isnt going anywhere in a hurry, its a gradual, sutle change which you hardly notice and that is key to recovering. Dont try to get better, dont fight it, just ‘relax’ into it! It will never be too much to take or overwhelm you, in fact you might just realise kinda pathetic really!!
    Fi xxx

  528. Amanda Says:

    Hi everyone,hope your all doing ok, not posted for a few weeks ,thanks to this site i plucked up the courage to go back to work after 10 weeks off with severe anxiety, it was a real struggle to go back, i nearly ran off from my back to work interview because i felt so weird and unreal but hey i did it and am so glad i did ,its not been easy and ive been ready to give up on a few occasions but i didnt ive persevered recoverey is on its way but i know it takes time and this time round im willing to accept and wait for recoverey, I just want to wish you all a HAPPY CHRISTMAS ( not easy when you suffer with anxiety)AND A BETTER NEW YEAR take care every one x

  529. james Says:

    Hello All,

    My anxiety and panic attacks all started around the time I had to put my dog down a few days before thanksgiving, and during that time I was in the process of purchasing my first house. Everythin kind of hit my at once and that’s when it all hit me. I have never been on my own, I’ve lived at the same house with my parents my whole life. I commuted to College so never really experienced the whole college living. I think the biggest factor that caused this was the fact that I’ll be living on my own for the first time in my own house. I’m also single so I feel like I’ll just be alone the rest of my life and that scares me the most. About 2 in a half weeks ago I started to shake and had all those side affects that come with anxiety. The worst part for me and what is still kinda of affecting me are the disturbing thoughts of hurting myself, or someone else. I know I will never do such a thing but having that going on was horrible. It was affecting me at work, I couldn’t concentrate, when I came home all I wanted to do was just stay home and go to bed early and hope it all went away the next day. I understand that it’s all about time and eventually it will all go away, I just get upset that I have these thoughts. I can tell I’m getting better cause there are moments were it seems normal but it hits me again or I’ll see something violent on tv and I get nervous again. I can see the light, and hopefully everything will go back to being normal again soon! :)

  530. christina Says:

    Hi lorryt,
    It’s understandable to be dealing with negative feelings when there are legitimate circumstances that are difficult. And, as we know, anxiety magnifies these feelings. In my recovery process I’ve had to deal with some ongoing family issues that had fueled the anxiety in the first place. It’s been hard for me when I have a setback to not tend to blame the situation/person for making my nerves act up.
    I know from reading your posts when I first found this site almost a year and a half ago, that you have made a lot of progress. Eventually we will get to the place where the emotionally charged issues will not stir up anxiety anymore, at least not this type of anxiety.

    Take care, your friend in recovery.

  531. lorryt Says:

    hi christina

    im glad you ae so positive as at the moment i am still in a great place xx

  532. SarahS Says:

    Hi Lorryt

    Your post on 17th Dec sounds just like me a while ago. I’m getting much better at dealing with what you describe though now. The words you use are “I should be doing this, I need to be doing that, I’m trying to do the other”. If you’re feeling anxious and put more pressure on yourself then you will feel worse, guaranteed. Instead, feel anxious, acknowledge that it’s christmas, that you will all be at home together and go with the flow, don’t try to make it anything, just be. It doesn’t have to be the best day ever just because it’s christmas. Christmas is difficult for many people but what you can do is make the most of it, no matter how difficult it is. So get up as usual, watch the kids open pressies, cook the turkey, washup, play a couple of games without trying to make yourself feel this that and the other, without watching yourself, stop keeping a check on yourself. If you feel anxious and have all those symptoms that go with it that we all know so well then feel them willingly without trying to get rid of them just because it’s Christmas Day. Then you’ll see that the day may have been far from perfect yes but it was okay after all, just like everybody else’s Christmas Day. I often found that I couldn’t remember what to do in situations like this when I wanted it to be okay, but I eventually learnt that there was nothing to remember other than to just be. xxxxxxx

  533. Robbie Says:

    Hi, KM: Thanks for the response. It’s comforting to know that others are going through the same thing you are (although I would not wish this on anyone!). I had a bad episode several nights ago, but am feeling much better now. I feel like it is still in the back of my mind waiting to re-surface, which makes me a little aprehensive. It’s like my mind keeps wanting to go back to that place, but I don’t want to. I just remind myself that the fact that my mind wants to go there means it is a habit I have developed, which also means that I’m well on my way to recovery. I also know what you mean about getting too obsessed with this site. It’s a great place for comfort and knowledge, but as with anything, becoming obsessed with it only reminds you of anxiety even more. I just want to put some distance between myself and how I felt, which is difficult at times. I’m glad that you have a psychiatrist that you trust and have some positive past experiences to go to. Just talking about it and getting instant feedback helps a lot!

    Right now I’m struggling with the “questioning life” obsessive thought. Why are we here? What’s the point? What if I get to a point that I don’t enjoy life anymore (there’s anxiety trying to re-phrase my fear of depression thought!), etc. I wake up in the morning and start to dread the day, but I find that once I get up and get going, I’m fine and actually have a normal day. I dread any down time I have as it seems like my mind starts to wander. I just tell my self that this is an obsessive thought, and then move on. The good news is that I think I’m starting to get this idea of “accepting.” I felt nervous/anxious at points this past weekend, but just told myself that if that’s how I feel, then that’s how I feel and moved on. It works. I had a great weekend and if I can just move on from these obsessive thoughts, then I think I’ve got this thing licked (once again).

    I would like to take a moment to encourage others that may be suffering. Time is your friend. It may not seem like it now, but you will get better! Trust me, I’ve been through it, and everytime I’ve came out of it a better person. But, you need to help it along. Don’t just sit on the couch waiting for time to pass. Live your life. You may not feel like it, it’s part of the process. The more normal you live your life, the more normal it will become. Also, don’t get caught up in self pity. I started to go down that road and it is one of the most unproductive things you can do and will only drag you down.

    One more thing and then I’ll shut-up!! When I went through a major episode 2 years ago, I looked for the quick fix (meds). While that may have helped take the edge off, it caused me to not develop solid coping skills. Then when I had this recent setback, the first thing I did was question the effectiveness of my medication, which in turn fueled my anxiety. It’s not until I found this site that I finally realized that I need to develop skills that will enable me to get past this thing. Medication is not the long term solution, I found that out the hard way. I’m not bashing meds, as some folks may benefit from them, but don’t rely on them entirely. You’ll find out that you’re better off in the long term to learn skills to help you adapt to anxiety rather than trying to put a band aid on it.

    Anyway, I’m done!! This is such a positive blog and I’m very impressed with how everyone is really supporting one another. My therapist told me that anxious people are some of the most caring. That is certainly evident within this community!

  534. Kat Says:

    A belated thank you to Helen…

    I meant to thank you earlier but have been unable to until just now. Your words are very helpful, particularly since the matters that you have been advising me on (obsessing about not being in love anymore with my partner), are not widely discussed anywhere else. I’ve just about gone made over this! I came to this blog for reassurance and you have been kind enough to offer it, so thank you.

    The past few days I’ve been ill with the flu so I’ve had a lot of time to sit and think, which, as you’ll know, has not been a good thing. I’ve been on the verge of crying, thinking about how easy things used to be with my man, how instant the connections would be made, how safe I felt with him. Now, feeling myself tense whenever I think of our relationship, I am still grappling to follow your advice. I absolutely believe what you say, but have been trouble taking your direction and applying it to my respective situation.

    I have no intention of ever leaving him as I know I love him (you don’t just stop loving someone overnight!), and we have a life and family together, but I absolutely panic lately about things like marriage (we are common-law, and I had always wanted to get married, only recently developing a phobia about it) and physical intimacy. I am trying to act as though everything is fine, but he knows me well and has been making little jokes about our very quiet bedroom. He always finishes these with reassurance that he understands, but I worry that soon he will be unable to see the situation with humour and will instead interpret this as my lack of love for him and will possibly move to end our relationship. I am trying to get back on track as quickly as I can, but as we all know, you can’t rush these things. Every passing day is like a very loud, forboding tick on the clock. He does what he can to make me happy, and sometimes, as ashamed as I am to admit, I get annoyed with him for it!

    I just want ‘us’ back.

    I’ll be very glad to see some positive stories on the blog soon. I need more reassurance from those who have recovered from this horrid problem, more inspiration as well as proof that what I’m feeling is nothing more than a bluff. Obsessing over it is pulling me apart.

    Again, thank you, Helen. Everyone here is so helpful, but your guidance on this particular matter has provided me with some measure of peace when I was at my wit’s end!


  535. Clara Says:

    Hi Paul, Helen or anyone

    As anxiety does pondering over obsessive thoughts, what i feel right now is thinking on an automated basis what i should do in a given situation? my mind just wanders on how people are , how could they behave like that. i feel like i am in a confrontal position wherein i feel i need to answer them, feeling vulnerable for no reason …
    when they make fun or any sarcastic comments i tend to react immediately emotionally though i dont show them instead i feel very hurt..I have noticed that only i feel so hurt in situations like that when someone else has been poked with fun they would have either brushed it off or given a proper reply…
    basically i am not able to speak up to the situation instead i feel tormented with self sabotaging statements which further bruises me..
    why does this happen to me? i am thinking why am i not like others? why cant i react to people on the spot?
    because of that i constantly battle with negative thoughts about me..
    is this also anxiety? as i feel i have constant thoughts on how situations and people are not able to be ”carefree”
    pls help…..
    i guess affirming positive statements each time a negative thought appears will help…
    any suggestions anyone?

  536. rosemary Says:


    Read your post recently where you explain how you were feeling through anxiety. How u joined a theatre group etc… You say that you are now recovered which is brilliant news. I wanted to ask you about the stages of recovery and in particular bad days. I do have some really good days
    where I feel like the old me, relaxed, happy,contenet and a bit of a comedian then for no reason I wake and feel awful again. Sick, nervous, edgy, low,etc… I am trying to learn to cope with the bad days and as Paul says dont give them too much importance but when that bad feeling grips its hard to let go as I am sure you will remember. I guess with Christmas round the corner the pressure is on to have a good day,be happy etc…I really want to enjoy myself. I know I shouldnt pressurise myself but I dont want to feel crap on such a wonderful day. I know i am recovering but it really is up and down up and down. Any tips Helen??? How long did you suffer and how long til you recovered? Would love to hear from you.

    If anyone else has any other help it would be much appreciated

  537. natalie Says:

    morning guys, have not been on the site for a while which is a good thing becasue still been having bad days but coping as best as i could and carried on with the day. came on today becasue feeling so silly with some of the thoughts and reactions i am having. namely thinking my husband is having an affair even though he is either at work or with me and i know i am being silly but have the thought then look for “evidence” if that makes sense then feel so upset and sad like he has already and he is lying to me, but just read some of helens posts and can see this is a usual thing that you kind of focus on your partner prob becasue you love them and if they left would be so upsetting hence the focus. so thankyou helen i hope one day when i recover i am able to offer such good advise to others becasue like so many of us i am sure we would want to help others because we know what a dark place it is to suffer with anxiety.
    my other focus today is my little boy who has just turned five it is his party later but snow looks like many people might not be able to make it and i am really stressing over this.. getting mad because i cannot control the weather or if people come so why worry ?? yes he prob will be upset (he is hightly strung) but not the end of the world and we can still make a fuss of him .. but i think he will be crushed that none of his friends come .. then it goes on to a whole life of being disappointed etc.. irrational and silly thoughts that will not come true but at the moment seem so real.
    any advise ?? guessing i just have to run with it carry on with the day feeling and thinking these thoughts until they start to fade. in the mean time i feel like crap tired and bad for my family that i am like this..yes the guilt i think it is a mothers curse lol x sorry for my miserable post so close to christmas guys i know deep down it will fade and i will have a lovely bath later and early nite to pamper myself later .. think i just needed to express my feelings and have a little reassurance guys thanks x
    by the way paul i am still back at work and doing ok, have had some good days and felt a lot stronger for it..also proud i can say i am at work again xxx thanks again everyone for your support and this website it means so much x

  538. ross Says:

    hey everyone,
    Any chance of some advice please??
    Been doing really well with recovery but due to some excessive drinking at my work Christmas party (as u do haha) all of a sudden its as if i have a new type of anxiety????

    I feel really bad like i don’t want 2 be in this world?? – if anyone understands be great I always have obsessive thoughts about the universe and how anything is here?? stupid i know sounds crazy when i write it haha.

    Yesterday at work I felt really bad like i was stuck in a time warp :( like my memory from the past was deleted and i couldn’t imagine the future …very very scary!!!!!!

    I had mastered acceptance i thought as i was finally feeling recovery coming to me but this has really scared me and knocked me for six.

    I know alcohol has caused this but i feel cos i have thought these thoughts now its going to be like it forever.

    Also i always feel i have 2 breathe for myself!?? anyone else have this?? so annoyong and tiring .

    Would really appreciate it if someone could get back to me . Thanks

  539. James Says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I have been doing much better lately! Went out last night and at first it was ruff but as the night went on everything seemed to feel like normal again. I feel allot better today. I still have those thoughts from time to time, but it’s just me thinking about what I went through and there not as scary. I figure even though they still pop up, certain places or situations remind me what I use to think about, time is slowly pushing these thoughts and anxiety away.

    Everyone stay in there and you will get better, enjoy the holidays! :)

  540. KH Says:

    Hi to everyone,

    I have been doing well lately as well, believing only time will be able to heal my anxiety. As such, those odd and obsessive thoughts were less persistent and I am able to concentrate on work. I believe that if I have came so far from what I used to be, I will definitely be able to continue my life and leave anxiety behind. Anxiety has truly gave me a lot of insight in life, and I learned a lot from the experience.

    Either ways, Merry Christmas to everybody and hope you enjoy the holiday seasons !! :)

  541. lorryt Says:

    hi all

    christina and sarah, i guess i have come along way but still find it frustrating. i have seen so much progress and want so much more to get better.i just want to be how i have felt in the past happy and not worrying.i know i keeop saying i have had a particularly bad year and lots has happened but ig uess i have to let go of it, and have recently been using alcohol a lot ot relax me not great i know. its tough when you are trying to do it all for the family. but thanks guys for all your support and heres to a great 2011 and much more progress xxxx

  542. Jo Says:

    Hi Kat,

    I went through the very same thing as you with very intrusive thoughts about not loving my boyfriend, i just wanted to provide you with some re-assurance that you can and will come through this. The thoughts are due to your anxiety and they are horrible so you respond to them as something to be scared of.

    I’ve read some very useful things on this site time and time again and some of the things i found most useful were ‘if a thought makes you anxious you can be sure that it is caused by anxiety’ and also someone once said that you need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable and that each time you feel anxious or have anxious thoughts it is another opportunity to practice what you know about acceptance. Take a step back from yourself and let yourself feel however you feel.

    With regards to intimacy, before i realised i had anxiety i was terrible with it i would avoid it with my partner for fear of feeling awful, when i realised i had anxiety i knew that this was something i wanted to change. It’s like any fear avoiding only makes it worse, just accept how you feel at anytime and don’t be overly impressed by thoughts etc.

    Time is your best friend with all of this because in time memories of past suffering fade and although they may resurface in setbacks or bad days all the good work you do can never be undone. Through each setback you definately emerge stronger but it is a very gentle process of tooing and froing rather than a BANG your better!

    Trust me you will be fine, you don’t need to feel guilty for your thoughts you cannot help it and it is not a reflection of you as a person, it is very common and it makes sense really, anxiety makes you feel as bad as possible so of course you focus it around the people you love the most because thats what has the most impact, and once you find something that really scares you it tends to stick on that thing most.

    Don’t rush it or put any pressure on yourself to feel a certain way in any situation because you will only set yourself up for disappointment and monitor yourself, go with the flow like a little boat bobbing about on the surface of the sea!:-)

    Keep the faith hun, if you have found this site you have everything you need to recover, good advice and time.


  543. hawkeye Says:

    Great advice Jo. Kat I have gone through exactly what you are talking about. In fact I am in a bit of a setback with it at the moment. The thing is though I recognise the thinking as the same old thinking that has tried to scare me many times with other things. With every setback etc I become stronger and I do not listen as much it’s a load of crap. Same s*** different day setbacks are truely your friend You learn so much more. You will come through this. Jo has, Candie has I have and so will you. You must say what would I do if this anxiety wasn’t there and go and do it. You don’t need to feel guilty your true feelings are still there they are just surrounded by fear. It’s hard to feel anything when fearful. Don’t attach anything the the thoughts let them float through you

  544. Lesley Says:

    Ross, I to have the old breathing thing, this is my main symptom, ( though am on my way to recovery ) it can be absolutly awful and so scary, it’s as if your having to concentrate on rhythm and pattern, feels as if we don’t stick to us manually breathing that we will stop this then adds to the anxiety like fuel and your then in a cycle, but we know that breathing comes naturally and the silly thoughts about it are just our mind playing tricks.stick to pauls advice and just get on with things, I keep myself busy and try not to leave lots of time for your mind to start running away with it self, i’ve had a really good week this week, have a lovely Christmas everyone x

  545. Helen Says:

    Hi Rosemary,
    I got myself in a bit of a mess with Christmas last year as I so wanted the day to be perfect and for me to feel relaxed, happy and content. Of course, that didn’t happen as I spent all day wondering why I was feeling the way I did when it was Christmas Day, a day when you are with your family and everything is supposed to be great. The minute you want to feel a certain way at a certain time you put yourself under pressure and you scrutinise yourself constantly. This will just make you feel worse.
    Don’t expect anything of yourself on any certain day, Christmas Day being the day we are talking about at present. If you wake up on Christmas morning feeling life utter crap, so be it. Don’t question it at all just get on with it and smile and do the things you need to do. DO NOT spend the day feeling guilty or looking for answers, just go with it. If you wake up feeling great just go with that too, don’t wonder when you feel bad again.
    Don’t add any pressure to yourself, get up and get on with your day however you feel and it just gets easier.
    I suffered with anxiety for most of my life and have had two very bad episodes. It took me a long time to truly recover but I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. It has made me a stronger person and forced me to do things that I never thought I would be able to do.
    You really just have to take life as it comes and deal with issues as and when they arise. Anxiety tries to make you pre-empt everything with the idea that you can control everything so that you are safe. Life just isn’t like that, if it was anxiety would be bottled and sold!
    Have a ‘Whatever Christmas’ Rosemary. Whatever the day brings, don’t analyse, fight or feel guilty just go with it knowing that you are recovering. Don’t put pressure on yourself, you don’t have to be gloriously happy or terribly miserable, just be.

    All the best

  546. Kat Says:

    Thank you, Jo.

    Every time someone writes that they have experienced what I am currently experiencing I am surprised. I really, really felt like my world was coming apart and that no one could possibly understand. I am so grateful for everyone who has shared their stories with me. I don’t know where I’d be right now if I didn’t have that kind of support and reassurance to lean on.

    Right now I am still in the thick of anxiety and depression about how I’m feeling with regard to my relationship, but I am taking every personal story/experience others have shared with me and am trying to learn to accept that what I’m feeling is anxiety and nothing more. As it is, I’m still stuck in the ‘what if?’ thinking, but at least I’m aware that I’m doing it! That’s new. It doesn’t help that the holidays are here and that with it comes the stress of trying to ensure a ‘perfect’ time for everyone involved. Thankfully, Helen’s post above helped to put things into perspective a bit. I am trying to relax as I type, and took a break from cleaning and cookie baking to come here to seek reassurance, which was here as soon as I arrived. I am so grateful for that.

    I am on the site a good deal more now than I ever was before, but I’m in a period where I need the support as well as the information and inspiration. I am appreciative of everyone of you who is here to share and to teach. You are literally a lifeline.

    All the best to you,


  547. rosemary Says:

    Thank you soo much. Have had an up and down day today but have enjoyed the ups as it confirms my road to recovery. I will have a whatever christmas and make the most of it and try not to question..Thanks Helen enjoy your Christmas and hope to speak again soon.

  548. Mike F. Says:

    I would really like some advice. I have been making progress in overcoming anxiety thanks to Paul David (and also Will Beswick’s book). However I am not totally recovered, and I am possibly about to enter a new relationship – my first in 15 years! (since this anxiety problem got really bad). But I am afraid I may ruin the relationship not only with the anxiety but also low self esteem and low confidence issues as well (which are definitely linked to the anxiety). Now I had these issues before my anxiety got really bad, I’ve always had a problem with shyness/confidence/self-esteem as well as always being prone to worry and anxiety. I’m just wondering though if maybe I should seek help from therapist for the esteem and confidence issues, but I don’t know it would be wise to treat these as separate from the anxiety, and wonder if getting help from a professional might contradict the approach I have learned here. As Paul says in his book, we need one path, so I don’t want to come at these related issues from different angles. I hope what I am saying makes sense and is clear. I’d appreciate anyone’s thoughts/input on this!

  549. scarlet Says:

    Hi Ross,

    “Yesterday at work I felt really bad like i was stuck in a time warp like my memory from the past was deleted and i couldn’t imagine the future …very very scary!!!!!!
    I had mastered acceptance i thought as i was finally feeling recovery coming to me but this has really scared me and knocked me for six.”

    I remember feeling exactly like this, like I was frozen in the moment. It’s not a new type of anxiety I can assure you. I once spoke to a nurse about not having any memories when I was suffering from anxiety (because it was so scary), and she looked at me gone out. I promise you that your memories have not been deleted. They will come back and so will your thinking of the future when your mind has had a rest from all the over thinking, so do not get afraid of this feeling, just let it pass. Remember the phrase “analysis paralysis” Claire Weekes said, well this is just that. You’ve been in overdrive with all your thinking and your minds having a well earned rest that’s all 😉

    “I know alcohol has caused this but i feel cos i have thought these thoughts now its going to be like it forever.”

    Ross, the alcohol may have helped, but your anxiety caused this. I never drank at all and felt the same. Nope it won’t be forever, so try to stop being afraid. Accept that this odd, weird feeling is one of the many anxiety sensations and carry on with your Xmas celebrations.

  550. christina Says:

    Hi Ross,

    Scarlett is so right. This kind of thing can happen even far into recovery, so try not to let yourself become too concerned about it. I have had this too, without drinking alcohol. There are so many different iterations of anxiety and we need to visualize that umbrella and throw every thing under it.

    I have been significantly better for just over a year, after having several months of intense anxiety. I have had many periods of the “anxious state” since I was a teen. There probably isn’t a symptom I can’t relate to in some way, shape or form. The problem is I never lost my fear of it. At times I have no fear, but to say I’m completely fearless, would be overstatement.

    Just keep the faith that you are learning more and more, and through it all gaining greater insulation, even when you feel it has been stripped away. Maybe especially when you feel it has escaped you.

    Merry Christmas to you!

  551. Helz Bellz Says:

    Greetings All,

    just thought i would throw in some thoughts. I was last on the blog about 2 years ago, when was coming out of a 2-year bout of anxiety, and have been pretty much ‘recovered’ for 2 years, but over the last 4 months have been slipping back in (but refusing to admit it to myself, life got very stressful and just couldnt seem to cope with everything, it all seemed out of control) and now feel like i’m back at square one all over again. i can see that i never fully accepted the anxiety, and was still worrying (although at low levels) just like always. suppose this is a chance to try again and learn to truly accept the anxiety.

    I do have a question though about this new symptom i’ve got. my ears are constantly ringing, its really annoying and can be really scarey when the thoughts start kicking off around it ‘is it tinnatus?’ ‘what if i’m stuck with the ringing in my ears?’, they caused the first panic attack in ages yesterday. ringing ears doesnt seem to be a symtom that gets mentioned that often, but have noticed it on the list on the main website.

    Merry Christmas to everyone!

  552. james Says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I feel like everything is starting to slowly go away. Time is really healing everything. Compared to how I was a month ago, I feel like the old me again. However, I still have these random thoughts of hurting someone, I will never do that, but it’s how it use to be when i first got my anxiety. I’ll catch myself acting normal and not thinking of anything, just being normal and then I catch myself and kind of think back to what I use to think about and what I went through. Just wondering how many of you have gone through this, and do you think it’ll go away for good?

    Thank you!

  553. Helen Says:

    Hi James,
    This is a true sign of recovery and will go away eventually. Severe anxiety is a traumatic experience and you get ‘taken’ back to intrusive thoughts. It is like a test sometimes to see how you respond, just carry on and let them float with you and don’t worry about them.
    Be very proud of yourself that you have got to this point, you are being shown what you have been through and how far you have come. As always, let your mind do what it wants to do and carry on regardless. I promise it will go away for good.

    All the best

  554. marc Says:

    hey guys just looking for a bit of advice and if anybody has experienced something similar

    now before i go on i do have a bit of a tendency to ramble on! 😛 basically guys i have been on an up and down spiral to be honest, i felt at one stage that i was starting to get better, but typically enough, things feel as if they have got worse, not just worse, but the worse they have ever gotton! basically in the past couple of weeks my dp/dr feels like it has been the worst it has ever been! sometimes i can feel so horrible and disconnected that its like im stuck in some kind of trance, like time stands still! its like you know when your watching a dvd and you hit ‘pause’? its like my mind is on pause and my body is just going through the motions, its absolutely terrifying! it feels like im having some sort of breakdown or something!
    another thing guys that has come back to me is the scary/irrational thoughts. i used to get these before, like i thought i was going to harm someone in my family or something, but then they diminished because i realised that they are just thoughts and whats keeping them alive is the respect im giving them… but the thoughts that im having now are like ‘paranoid’ thoughts and they are simply terrifying! i think they might have been brought on by my dp/dr, or it might be because(and i dont know why i did this!) i read a book on psychosis there a few days ago and it kinda freaked me out!!! basically whats going through this melon of mine at the moment is like my life is one big plot or program or something, and everyone is in on it! kinda like jim carey in his movie ‘the truman show’! its like everything i do,say,think,or feel is like it has been plotted out or some shit! its like every scenario(eating food,having a conversation,shopping,visiting friends or family) that happens is like it has been put in its place in this ‘world of mine’. even things that are surprising and spontaneous, like say i dropped a glass and it smashed everywhere, its like it has been plotted out or something! even being here writing on this blog, its like its been plotted out! like i dont think theres some bloody entity or something on a different universe sitting there with the controls! its just………ahhhh its so bloody weird that its hard to explain!!!! even with my thoughts, its like im thinking they have been plotted out of some sort! even thinking that ‘my thoughts have been plotted out’, its like that has been a plot in itself! my mind just does be going around in circles! see the thing is i know that its all bullshit and that im not paranoid and that its just my anxious and tired mind playing its bloody tricks, and that i know i just have to let them in and dont give them the repect they dont deserve like i did the last time, but its like my anxious mind even ruins that by thinking thats a bloody plot! its like ‘recovery is a plot’ ‘being happy and normal is a plot’ and it just drags me back into the fear cycle!!!! and from all this, the ‘what if’ thoughts could start-what if i am getting paranoia? what if i am developing some sort of psychosis here like schizophrenia? what if i start acting strangely?what if i start believing these nonsense thoughts im having?what if some point down the line i eventually crack and end up doing something stupid like hurting someone or myself?what if the men in white coats come to get me and i get put in a straight jacket and chucked into a padded room for the rest of my life?………and see the most upsetting thing is that i know all these bizarre thoughts and feelings are bollox and that my nerves are playing their tricks on me, nothing more nothing less! but its just like anxiety keeps getting its grips on me and theres no escape! even the what if thoughts feel like theyre a ‘plot’!haha! pain in the royal arse!!!! i suppose one positive ‘plot’ thought i have had is-ok if everything is a plot and its programmed or whatever bla bla bla bullshit bullshit bullshit! go along with the plot! go along with the plot of getting better! go along with the plot of letting these thoughts in and playing their tricks! go along with the plot of living your life alongside anxiety despite if everything does feel like its plotted or not! understand that you are not going mad or becoming paranoid and that this is the way forward!(even if it is a plot! haha :P)

    anyways everybody im done rambling on like a dickhead and im gonna get some plotted food,watch some plotted tv then go to my plotted bed and get some plotted sleep! lol merry christmas everybody and i hope everyone has a happy new year! :)

    Note- just incase anyone doesnt really understand me fully in what im saying, when i say like i feel like something i do or think has been plotted or something feels like its a plot, i dont mean it feels like i have planned it out or someone else has planned it out, it just feels like it isnt genuine. like you know when you get a sense of deja vu, its kind of similar, except i dont feel like iv done it before, its just feels like it isnt genuine or real(and i dont mean not real as in it feels unreal like you get with dp/dr), hence-a plot/plotted.and thats where all these bullshit thoughts thinking that im getting paranoid comes from, its very hard to explain. sometimes it can feel so weird and awful that i cant even explain how it feels! anyway guys thanks for taking the time to read this essay!and i look forward to getting some replies. again guys happy christmas!

    marc :)

  555. james Says:

    Thank you Helen! I’m tryin my best and know it will go away. It still scares me sometimes that I’ll just snap or something hah It’s a horrible feeling but I just gotta let to roll right off of me and move on.

    Have a great day! :)

  556. Teresa J Says:

    Just a few lines of how ‘I’ see it – your anxiety has focused on the new relationship and is trying to make it perfect before it has even started propely. Try not to want it all to be so ‘right’ – we do have a tendency to do this and it adds pressure to any situation. Helen says – have a ‘whatever’ day, so have a whatever relationship , you are as she says pre empting what could/maybe. I know i have done it so much with anxiety and we all have similar/differing trigger points. Anxiety will try and seep into whatever important area of your life you have – by adapting a non chalant attitude you defeat it. I REALLY know how difficult this can be when things are so important but the other thing I can assure you which may take the importance away is the anxiety about this relationship will die down as soon as you just move into it and go with the flow. Things will not stay the same, just like all new relationships are heightened in our response to them – your attitude towards it will calm down and therefore the anxiety will dampen too. People with anxiety normally care a lot, that normally means they are good people to be around because they are actually concerned about other people too. i am sure you will be fine – look forward with confidence, don’t expect too much but take it a bit at a time.

  557. Helen Says:

    Hi Marc,
    I experienced a lot of what you are describing and looking back now I can completely understand why I was going though it. It definately does come from DP/DR.
    For a long time, when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see me. I saw someone else, not someone that looked differently, I just couldn’t connect to the person I saw in the mirror and it scared the life out of me. I would look and think ‘that isn’t me’, there was no connection there at all and this starts off a whole spiral of thoughts that makes you so frightened there is no possible way you can rationalise or gather yourself in any way and it makes you worse and worse as you try and work it out, make some sense out of it. I would look at my hands and feel like they weren’t my hands. I felt like they were someone else’s, I felt like I was in a film looking at someone else living their life but of course, it was me. This went on for a long time, every minute of every waking hour felt like I was someone else and my god I was so scared. I eventually realised that no amount of trying to work out what was going on, no amount of ‘what ifs’ were going to stop this happening so I just let it happen. This is HARD Marc but it is the only way to go. You aren’t going mad, you aren’t going to hurt anyone.
    Marc, your mind is tired and needs a rest from the fight you are having with it. When your mind is as shattered as it is right now it can’t react quickly or normally that is why you suffer from DP/DR. The connection between your eyes and brain is slower because you are so tired, this is why if feels like a plot or a film. When you accept this and allow it to happen you give your mind the rest it needs to start to recover.
    You have anxiety Marc, accept it and accept the awful things your mind is doing to you. It WILL go but don’t add any more pressure by trying to work it out, by being terrified of it or by trying to avoid the thoughts and feelings. Let it all happen and you will see, eventually like I did, that it is inevitable that this happens, your mind is just so tired.

    All the best

  558. Clara Says:

    Hi helen
    its been quite a while since i have been feeling that i am stuck in a means i can carry on with the day by just lazing around, watching tv but doing nothing important as i dont feel like doing anything. and i dont know where to start from.
    Basically, i feel y do i have to even make the effort to speak when its an ”effort” we always believe in do what you want and what you like..i am at a phase where i am comfortable with my own company. at the same time i have the constant thoughts that makes me worry that if i am not at ease meeting up or calling up people then thats going to be an issue partly its a battle between what i ‘actually’ want to do and what i ‘should’ be doing?
    i dont understand one thing…
    i could never go into any situation before getting prepared to and that has added a lot to my anxiety habit..
    dont know how to just get there without thinking anything and being there on the spot…and to be able to go ahead and talk to people without any ”prejudices”..i am so filled up with the ‘what ifs’ if i go into any situation so rather prefer avoiding the situation..
    can someone point out one plus point in going against my instincts which is so intense and comes up with ‘ no need’ ‘ y do u have to feel uncomfortable’ and so on..thought pattern is so corrupted that whtever i do it always comes up with umpteen excuses of not doing that as i will end up in failure.
    and how i can feel better each time going against my instincts?
    at this phase i am totally disinterested in taking up anything..
    dont know how to get back to normal life where u have a meaning in your life rather than just floating through each day…i feel i am just existing rather than living my life…
    Pls give me some suggestions to move forward in life…

  559. Mike F. Says:

    Hi Teresa, thank you for your response. It is good advice and you are right. I appreciate it.

  560. Claire Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I have been dipping in and out of these posts for a while for info and help as have suffered anxiety for ten years now on and off.

    I thought i had recovered in the Summer – felt fine for about 6 months after a really stressful year – read Paul’s book about a year ago and really tried hard to put into practise all that he says and felt it paid off but since Oct time it has come back with avengeance and all the old feelings are creeping back and i cant get back into that ‘zone’ of accepting and just letting it be? Frustrating me so much as thought i had left it behind and that if i had pretty much got through it once before i could do it again if it came back.

    It doesnt matter how much i try and get on with my day or live alongside it i cant see how you can accept something that makes you feel so dreadful? Any helpful suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Have a had an awful few months.


  561. Claire Says:

    Can i just add that i feel like i am going round in circles – pick myself up a bit and then feel ok ish for a while and almost pleased with self that i’m getting back on track then get so despondent as the adrenaline / horid feelings just seem to come back as soon as little bit stressed etc and it all feels so out of my control – feel like i must be missing something vital or doing something wrong? Have really lost my way – yet a few months ago i would have been one of the ones on here saying really positive things !!

    Any thoughts?

  562. Eva Says:

    Hi Helz Bellz!

    I remember chatting to you around 2 years ago when I used to come onto the blog! Great to hear you’ve been doing so well. I guess I just want to give you some reassurance that the ringing in your ears is all just anxiety….I’ve had many similar sorts of things too…

    Even although i too have improved dramatically over the last two years, I sometimes still feel like I’m slipping back. I’ve not felt great over Christmas, but thats bcoz i have a fluy cold adn anxiety always flares up again wen we are unwell. However, inside I know that I/WE will never slip back as these silly mind games ARE ALL anxiety, and deep down we know this. my weird thoughts and feelings switch around all the time, at the moment it’s all the weird disengaged feelings about nothing seeming important etc, all DP I’m sure. Have you ever noticed that the more you think about them, the worse they get! That’s a secret key to knowing that it’s anxiety. I call myself a sensitive wee soul, it’s my way of accepting that all the irrational thoughts, iritable moods and strange feelings are all just anxiety. Remember you will never slip back into anxiety, each time you feel yourself ‘slipping back’, it will mean a better step forward will follow.

    Hope you are feeling better about things soon! You’re not on your own (gives me comfort knowing that you’re goign through similar things to me too) xxx

  563. scarlet Says:

    Hi Marc,

    “now before i go on i do have a bit of a tendency to ramble on!”

    you can say that again ha ha!!! 😉

    “basically guys i have been on an up and down spiral to be honest, i felt at one stage that i was starting to get better, but typically enough, things feel as if they have got worse, not just worse, but the worse they have ever gotton! basically in the past couple of weeks my dp/dr feels like it has been the worst it has ever been! sometimes i can feel so horrible and disconnected that its like im stuck in some kind of trance, like time stands still! its like you know when your watching a dvd and you hit ‘pause’? its like my mind is on pause and my body is just going through the motions, its absolutely terrifying! it feels like im having some sort of breakdown or something!”

    Like I said to Ross above, your minds on pause whilst your body is still going through the motions, because it’s fed up of all the analysing and is having a well earned rest. You are not having a breakdown, it’s nothing more than analysis paralysis. You will get back to ‘normal’ thinking when you stop worrying and stressing over it.

    “read a book on psychosis there a few days ago and it kinda freaked me out!!! ”

    Hmmm Marc, slaps handies, stop reading books on psychosis till you are a bit more recovered, you’ll imagine allsorts. Reading books on scary ailments whilst suffering anxiety is not recommended.. You do not have psychosis, you just worry that you have or might develop it, this is not psychosis.

    “basically whats going through this melon of mine at the moment is like my life is one big plot or program or something, and everyone is in on it! kinda like jim carey in his movie ‘the truman show’! its like everything i do,say,think,or feel is like it has been plotted out or some shit! its like every scenario(eating food,having a conversation,shopping,visiting friends or family) that happens is like it has been put in its place in this ‘world of mine’. even things that are surprising and spontaneous, like say i dropped a glass and it smashed everywhere, its like it has been plotted out or something! even being here writing on this blog, its like its been plotted out! like i dont think theres some bloody entity or something on a different universe sitting there with the controls! its just………ahhhh its so bloody weird that its hard to explain!!!!”

    Phew!!!! yes know exactly what you mean here, felt exactly the same, like I was watching my whole life being acted out whilst in my own body, very surreal, and very “NORMAL” for anxiety.

    “and from all this, the ‘what if’ thoughts could start-what if i am getting paranoia? what if i am developing some sort of psychosis here like schizophrenia? what if i start acting strangely?what if i start believing these nonsense thoughts im having?what if some point down the line i eventually crack and end up doing something stupid like hurting someone or myself?what if the men in white coats come to get me and i get put in a straight jacket and chucked into a padded room for the rest of my life?…”

    If the men in white coats come and take you, then they’ll have to take 3/4 of the population with you, this is what the doc said to me when I said something similar to him. They don’t have an island big enough to put us all on. Joking aside, thoughts are not actions, and thinking something doesn’t mean it will happen. You are creating a movie scene in your head that’s all. When you get thoughts like this, say to yourself, so what let them take me, I’ll be with Scarlet and the others 😉

  564. Helz Bellz Says:

    Hi Eva!

    i remember chatting to you too, it sounds like you have come such a long way since i last heard from you! Am sorry to hear you’re going through a rough patch though. i can sympanthise with the flu-cold, had one myself that just wont shift, you’re right, anxiety does seem to get worse when we’re feeling down. its great to hear you sounding so positive, thank you, its just the pick me up I needed! the last 6 months have been very stressful, and could feel the anxiety building up again, but didn’t pay much attention to it until Bang, ears are ringing, no appetite, crying, you get the picture. but am back on track with the acceptance like you say, its all just anxiety, it wants to be noticed. am just so used to the thought-syptoms that the physical symptoms were new and scarey.

    you are right, we never fully slip back, these bad times are a chance to get even stronger. every time we pull through it loses some of its hold over us, no matter what it tries to throw at us next. Stay strong Eva, hope you’re feeling better soon too (and it really is a comfort to know we’re not going through this alone) xxx

  565. scarlet Says:

    Hi Helz Bellz,

    Long time since we spoke. Glad to hear you pretty much recovered for the last two years. No way are you back to square one. You are right, perhaps you didn’t fully grasp acceptance, and you are letting your thoughts get the better of you again.

    Regarding the ringing in your ears, this is a common symptom of anxiety. I had it myself on and off for a while and it disappeared when I stopped stressing out over it. Being afraid of it can make it linger for a while,, like all other symptoms.

    Take care

  566. scarlet Says:

    Hi James,

    “feel like everything is starting to slowly go away. Time is really healing everything. Compared to how I was a month ago, I feel like the old me again”

    Sound like you are doing great.

    “However, I still have these random thoughts of hurting someone, I will never do that, but it’s how it use to be when i first got my anxiety. I’ll catch myself acting normal and not thinking of anything, just being normal and then I catch myself and kind of think back to what I use to think about and what I went through. Just wondering how many of you have gone through this, and do you think it’ll go away for good?”

    It’s normal when recovering from anxiety to still have random intrusive thought as your body is still producing a wee bit of excess adrenalin which is making you still a bit fearful of them. You need to brush these thoughts off as utter rubbish, which they are.. give them an ‘as if’ response, and change your thought pattern to what you are doing in the present moment. Yes thoughts like this will go away for good when you have no fear of them

  567. Claire Says:

    I can completely appreciate that we will never eliminate anxiety as its necessary (why i cant understand!) but would just like my adrenaline and nerves to respond appropriately to situations rather than just behaving randomly…! Do the people that have recovered never get bad anxiety at all any more or do they get it and just not let it bother them?

    I have such a lot to be happy for in my life – have a lovely family and husband, 18 month old daughter and another little girl on the way and this is just tarnishing everything right now. Please help!

    Also have had some CBT – can somebody please clarify if this fits into Pauls advice at all as confused about challenging thoughts (which has helped a bit in past) and just leaving them be as Paul recommends.

    Really feel at mo like i’m thoroughly confused and would like to get back on the right track. V puzzled about how you need to accept but not try hard to accept (sort of understand the principle but how do you really feel that acceptance and it not be something you say to yourself which feels a bit empty?

    Sorry for rambling – read through some posts in the meantime since posting earlier and wanted to add more .

    All thoughts greatly appreciated – Helen your words of wosdom sound wonderful!

  568. James Says:

    Thank you so much scarlet!

    Hope your doing well! talk to you soon :)

  569. scarlet Says:

    “Do the people that have recovered never get bad anxiety at all any more or do they get it and just not let it bother them?”

    Claire, yes we do get anxiety, but it’s specific rather than generalised. For eg. the other day I took my kids to the shopping mall and was in Boots with my 4 year old and was at the counter paying when he let go of my hand and ran out of the shop. I ran after him but didn’t see him when I got outside, my eldest (13 years old) didn’t see him either, and my heart started racing and I shouted his name a few times. It was a few minutes before I found him near the play area in the centre. After I found him, I was quite agitated and shouted at him to stay close by in the future, then I went back to Boots with him to pick up my purchase.

    The difference now is that anxiety is specific, and when the situation is over, your anxiety levels are reduced and your thoughts go back to normal. I did have a couple of what ifs, but I said to myself, nope not even going to think about it as it’s over, and I soon gained my composure.

    When I suffered anxiety, if something like this had occurred, my ‘what if’ thoughts would have taken a life of their own, and no doubt I would have had a panic attack and not been able to function, and would probably have had dp for the rest of the day.

    This is the difference.

  570. marc Says:

    scarlet and helen

    thanks for the replys guys, your too good! :) i know eventually down the road this crap will go, its like i know theyre anxious thoughts and not to pay them respecct but its like they still get their grip on me! the nitty little basterds! haha! its just i hate the feeling like im paranoid or something even though i know im not and its just nonsense! the feeling is in the same catagory as like say for instance i was having a conversation or something, its like someone has brainwashed me and implanted my and the persons words and reactions or something! like that kind of paranoid feeling if youse can relate?? and i know its complete rubbish!!! like even there today i was taking my vitamins this morning and my mind was like a bloody yoyo! ”why am i taking these vitamins?” ”they are to help me keep healthy and function and get back to normal” ”what is normality?” ”what if normality isnt really normal and its all one big kind of conspiracy?” ”what if so called normal people are actually brainwashed by society or something and im starting to see the real picture?” which led to…..”why am i having all these bullshit paranoid ridiculous thoughts?” ”christ could i be going paranoid?!?” which led to…..”what is normality?what is the real world?what is the real picture? do they exist? do i or anything else for that matter exist? does this anxiety-dp/dr exist?”………..and round and round the mind goes! i actually said to myself after these thoughts-”brain will u ever just shut the f@*% up and cut me some slack and just gimme a break!!” lol! u know its actually astonishing just how powerful our minds are and how in depth our thoughts can go! like its even that powerful that sometimes u cant even explain what the thought was!!! ah iv had similar thoughts like these before that had me walking around like a dp/dr zombie all day and eventually got better! just gotta have the patience! u know its so true the saying that-‘your mind is the best friend you will ever have, but can be your worst enemy if you let it”

    anyway guys thanks for the reply again and i hope youse have a very happy new year! hopefully 2011 will be the best year yet for everybody on this site and brings happiness to all! :)

  571. scarlet Says:


    I know exactly where your train of thought led, as I had similar thoughts when I suffered. You are a deep thinker and you’ll soon have this sussed. You know it’s rubbish, now you just gotta learn to believe it, which will come in time.

    “i actually said to myself after these thoughts-”brain will u ever just shut the f@*% up and cut me some slack and just gimme a break!!””

    Try and laugh at yourself as you say this. This will change your emotion from an anxious one to one of humour even if it’s just for just a moment, as you are training your brain to react differently to thoughts like this.

    ” u know its actually astonishing just how powerful our minds are and how in depth our thoughts can go! ”

    It’s amazing and fascinating, you’ll realise this when you have recovered and can see the big picture. I am still fascinated even now at how I let my thoughts control my life for 2 years.

    I love your sense of humour btw 😀

    All the best for 2011 x

  572. Helz Bellz Says:

    Hi Scarlet,

    thank you, you are right, I don’t think I ever fully accapted some of the anxiety, and so got all caught up in it again. its good to read how now you have recovered anxiety is ‘constructive’ rather than ‘destructive’, and how it gets out of hand in the rest of us. shows that acceptance really does work too!


  573. Sam Says:

    Hi all,

    I’ve just stumbled upon this blog and I must say reading others people personal stories has shown me that I have very similar feelings as many of you do towards many different aspects of my life, however in all instances where strategies are discussed I find myself not being sure as to whether these will work for me. I’ll explain my situation.

    I have always been a somewhat worrisome person but not to the extent of having panic attacks. I would often in the past somehow, subconsciously pick something to be anxious about and it would plague me for a week or so and disappear in time (eg, fear of vomiting, fear of death, losing loved ones, etc). However, in the last 4 months or so I have been obsessed with thoughts that I do not love my boyfriend of 10 months. I’m in my first serious relationship and feel that I don’t really know what’s right, how I’m supposed to feel, etc. He is unlike anyone I’ve ever been with and feel that I feel differently towards him than any other guy, but don’t fully understand these feelings.

    I suppose my issue is that I don’t know if I have anxiety or not. I have anxious thoughts of course but all people do. Perhaps I have anxiety and all strategies discussed here would therefore be beneficial to me. However, I can’t help thinking that I don’t have anxiety and I just don’t love my boyfriend. How am I supposed to know?

    I have been through a form of mild panic attacks about it or at least crying for days and not being able to be alone as I was very depressed, frightened and anxious. I don’t know If I do love my boyfriend and just have anxiety or I don’t love him but just struggle with that so much because I so badly want to love him or want to be in a relationship for some reason or even just fear the sadness associated with having to break up with him.

    I would love some insight into this. How do you know if you have anxiety or if the negative thoughts you are having are real?
    Sorry for the length, I didn’t plan that:) Thanks so much!

  574. Suranne Says:

    Hi Helz Bellz,

    Just a comment re your ears ringing, I too suffered very badly with it, interestingly, it doesn’t always have to be anxiety, though I am sure Scarlet is right to say it is common. I was discovered to have a problem thyroid, this has gone a long way to sorting many symptoms out. (sometimes thyroid symtoms closely overlap anxiety ones) I am not sure if I am allowed to say that Thyroid UK was a very helpful charity organisation – no doubt it will be edited if needs be!

    Only sometimes, there are physical problems, and because we have anxiety, we put it down to that, but it is not always the case…….a good example was I had a really badly upset stomach over Christmas, and I thought, ‘oh here we go – I’ve over done it, and wound myself up- bloody nerves’ When it turned out, everyone else also got ill, and the oysters where to blame – not anxiety! See what I mean? 😉

  575. Ethel Says:

    Quick question for everyone out there – does anyone out there struggle with keeping their temperature regulated, I seem to feel very hot all of the time. Also, I experience an awful lot of dizziness … are these symptoms common?? – I would really appreciate someone helping me out with this. Thanks x

  576. Eva Wilson Says:

    Hi Helz Bellz

    I’m glad you got some comfort from my message, yours today was also comfort for me as I too am feeling like my anxiety is coming back! However I am feeling wiser about it this time and am trying to practice a few things that helped me before…so thought I’d share them with you.

    The big trap I always fall into is trying to make sense of all the weird, bizarre thoughts that spin in the head….e.g. I love fashion and interior design, but then I always get the nagging “what’s the point in dressing in nice clothes, why have I bothered with this before” and I have this serious lack of emotion and undescribable darkness going with it. Similarly today I went to a cafe and thoughts were running in my mind about thinking I could never cope with getting married or having children…which then made me feel very depressed, what if this is me forever etc. For ages I tried to make sense of it all, but that’s where I always go wrong. Now I’m getting back to the correct way of reacting, all I’m saying to myself now is “oh there’s those mad thoughts again, just anxiety…it’ll go away” it needs no further explanation or attention. I made sure I took care in getting ready, put on the lovely coat my boyfriend got me for Christmas and my new winter sale boots! I still felt terrible for most of the day, it’s like my stomach is inside out haha, such an uneasy feeling, but now I’m very glad i did it as I would just have sat around all day thinking even more than I already was. So I guess I’m saying, dont fall back into the wee bad habits that keep the nerves alive, much easier to continue as normal. I’m a strong believer that everyone is dealt a hand in life, and it is the way we react and respond to the hand that is the challenge. This is our hand and I’m determined that in the long run it will have some positive impact on us.

  577. Kat Says:

    Hi Eva,

    I absolutely understand what you’re talking about. I used to think the same thing about not being able to cope with marriage and children, and then one day I met my current partner, and the fuzziness of new love took all the fear away.

    Until recently, that is.

    Eight years later, I have a wonderful relationship, a beautiful little girl and a home. Somehow, in the midst of all my good fortune, anxiety came back with a resounding thud and is just living in me. As I’ve related before, I have been going in and out of feeling terrified that I’m not in love with my partner anymore, feeling exhausted by the mere thought of our life together, and becoming more and more irritable with my little girl who has remarked more than once that I seem ‘grumpy’ lately. Obviously, I am distressed beyond words!

    I know that I cannot fall out of love overnight, and I am grateful for this man who is understanding and patient with me despite knowing that I am feeling anxiety everytime I think of our relationship. I just can’t seem to harness the thoughts and see them for what everyone is telling me they are: a big bluff. I find myself on the verge of tears quite frequently, when I’m not enraged, that is. I am feeling defective because even though I have the tools to recover, I am not having much success at present and I’m worried that it will affect the people I care most deeply about. Like today, we all went shopping together, and while it should have been fun, it was a trial! I was in bad humour the whole time and found myself on the verge of a crying jag because I couldn’t tap in to the love and peace I used to be able to feel with them. I kept thinking ‘Maybe I don’t want to be with them anymore?’. Obviously, almost believing these thoughts is doing me in.

    What I am holding on to are the kind words and successes of others. Also, part of my problem is likely expecting to go back to normal too quickly. Every time I feel the doubt and dread, I seem to slip deeper into the belief that things aren’t ever going to be the way they were.

    If anyone has any further advice on how to accept these horrid thoughts and move past them, I’d be very appreciative!


  578. Eva Says:

    Hiya Kat!

    Please believe me when I say that the thoughts you’re having are all anxiety…I know this because I have similar thoguths about my boyfriend. They come in waves, a few months of being fine, then a random week of feeling how you are, stressing about it big time and then it goes away again. It sounds like your partner is very understanding, so I would sit down and explain to him how you are feeling. I do this with my boyfriend and somehow saying how the anxiety is making me feel takes away the scaryness of it. Remember, the only reason this thought is clinging on is because it’s the opposite of how you actually feel! The irritability is also something I suffer with ALOT but I once read something Paul said on here about not being irritable because I was irritable….sometimes biting your tongue for a second, realising that it’s anxiety and coming back into the conversation a few moments later helps.

    I know how these thoughts make you feel, but remember they only make you feel bad because you are giving them attention. Once you remind yourself that they are truely only anxious thoughts, they will go away again. Promise.


  579. Steveo Says:

    Scarlet and Helen, your posts are excellent.

    I wish you would offer some counselling…

    I am witrh Claire and Marc above and still in the realms of anxiety. I had a panic attack or what i thought it was many years ago but slowly and surely got back to my normal self with just anticipatory (if thats a word) anxiety… flying/busy places etc.

    However, after a few life stressors, new house, new baby etc my anxiety was through the roof and has formed a hard habit that is difficult to shake.

    Some days have good periods and some have absolutely none. The morning are particularly difficult as I feel myself for a split second until the thoughts kick in.

    I’m so want the old me back i would do anything, literally(!!!), and this is probably part of my problem that I am trying too hard.

    Any further words of wisdom would be very welcome, or do i have to just get on with my life and try and keep on dealing with it which is what i have been doing for so long.

    Oh for there to be a miracle cure!!

  580. Steveo Says:

    So… I continued reading as I know I shouldn’t and 2 very good posts both from Paul who sums it up very well. Now to put it into practice!


    Very good advice Helen and from someone who has totally got it and come through. When people come on and say what got them through, it was not unique to them, all our body’s work the same, it is their approach that was different to the one who still finds themselves stuck in a rut.

    What people sometimes mean when they say ‘I don’t get it yet, this is not working for me’ it means they have not unravelled the answer to make it all go away and it is never about that.

    Someone also mentioned ‘Paul’s method’ it is not really a method, it is how your mind and body works and responds. If you analyse the hell out of your anxiety, analyse why you think a certain way, analyse your thoughts, go round and round in your mind looking for answers of course you will sink deeper, as you will tire your mind out further, making it feel more and more clogged up, it will feel more and more dull and unresponsive, more and more fatiqued. If you keep analysing the way you think, how you feel, how you were yesterday, of course you will feel more and more detached, more and more self aware, more and more trapped in your own mind, it makes sense, it’s not a method, it’s how your mind and body works.

    One lady sent me an email and said ‘Paul everything was racing away today, the thoughts, internal fears, I felt detached and very self aware, but today I did not question, I did not try and fix it, I just went with all the craziness and felt a little peace, you are so right and I have learnt I don’t have to analyse the hell out of this anymore’. That same women is now fully recovered. It took her sometime, but she had finally understood and went through it all, not trying to jump over or walk around it, she went straight through it, felt everything at will and just went about her day, sometimes she said it was hellish, but she kept going, however she felt. It is when the feeling good or bad loses it’s importance that we really start to move forward.


    Ian you are making a classic, classic mistake. Stop searching and searching, throw away the numerous quotes, stop re-reading everyday, stop making this subject your life, stop ‘trying’ to get better 24/7, no wonder you feel lost, can’t focus or concentrate on anything else as you are letting nothing else in.

    This is very, very important to take on board. I did exactly the same in my early days. All I cared about each day is ‘How I felt’ watching, monitoring, trying to fix it, going over quotes to try and make it better. Then I learnt to stop caring and just go with it, this is when slowly, but surely, I let other things into my day, my mind finally had a rest and was allowed to think and concentrate on other things. I finally began to blend back into normal living, my mind cleared, I thought of other things, I no longer spent wasted hours trying to ‘fix’ me, I did’nt have to search for normality, normality came to me.

    Again it is not how you feel, it is your attitude to it and the desperate need to ‘find’ something to make it all go away is what is making you worse.

    Trust me on this and learn to do the opposite.

  581. James Says:

    Hey Steveo! I’m kinda in the same boat with you. I recently purchased my first house (however I’m not married and don’t have a kid) but also that week I purchased my house I had to put my dog down after thanksgiving. So everything just hit me at once and that’s when it began. I’ve always lived at home and just became so use to that life. I think it just hit me that I finally have a house and it’s time to grow up, and that scared me allot. That’s when I started to get these strange scary thoughts and couldn’t sleep/eat. Everyday seems to get better but as soon as I go out and everythiNG seems normal, it hits me again with a thought. It’s kinda like once I feel normal I start to question myself and it hits me again. It’s like I can’t just stay how I use to be, I’ll see something scary on tv, or I’ll watch a cooking show and see a cook using a knife and I’ll get all nervous again. I think my main thing I have to do is just not run from the things that scare me because then I’ll always have that fear. Just gotta take it one day at a time and hopefully these thoughts will all go away.

  582. Matt K. Says:

    Hey Helen,
    I love your posts and see that you have great advice! Thanks so much for your support! I havent posted in awhile. I have been trying to just back off the subject a little and just go with the flow. I had about 3 weeks where I felt really confident and very little anxiety. Over the past few days the anxiety levels have come up again and it still scares me when I feel it. I find myself wanting to dive back into the cycle of worry again. I am trying not to, and just accepting that I am going to have good days/weeks and more challenging days/weeks until finally the worry or fear will subside. I know that I can get better, but working with the thoughts and feelings is sometimes very challenging. Are there any suggestions you can provide for the ups and downs of this process? I know that a lot of recovery is learning to Face, Float, Accept and Let Time Pass (Claire Weekes). I really want to feel better and am willing to do whatever it takes to get there, I think sometimes I doubt that by just letting it be that it will go away? Did you feel like that and when did you come to the realization that you were on the right path? Thanks again for listening!

  583. Ethel Says:

    Hiya, I wrote a wee post above but sadly no responses as yet, no doubt everyone is still in festive mode. I am relatively new to anxiety. I have been suffering hugely for about 3 months now. I have read Paul’s book and I am trying to put it into practice but I am finding it so very difficult. I think about this all day, everyday and I am utterly exhuasted. At the moment I am having such a difficult time with all the physical symptoms. My heart pounds constantly, I sweat, my temperature fluctuates crazily, I am dizzy all of the time, my stomach is churns and I am unable to eat. I have lost lots of weight (not a good thing for me) I also have rashes all over my legs and I feel very frightened and vulnerable ALL of the time. I suppose my question is …. how does anyone just get on with their day with all of this physical and mental onslaught? It is impossible to ignore it – I am exhausted.

    I would appreciate it anyone can tell me their expereinces and how at the very early stages they found the strength and courage to do this – what your expereinces were etc. I really hope you will take the time out to reply as this is the only place that I come for advice, it is impossible to speak to my husband and I dont do the ‘googling’ thing as it tends only to scare the s**t out of me!!

    I have read a lot of encouraging posts from Scarlet, Candie, Helen and Patrick. Please somebody help me get on my way xx

  584. dee Says:

    Hi to all,

    its been a while since i have posted on here, but oftern come on just to read other posts and this in some way helps me to reasure myself that some of the symtoms i feel from time to time are common and that i am not going mad or have some dreadful illness…. but then sometimes i feel a symtom and wonder is this anxiety???
    Sometimes i feel almost lost within myself, and i wonder if people can pick up on my almost distance in the conversation if that makesd sense…. its like im there in body but my mind is always thinking about other things ie…. why do i feel like this and will it pass?. I have to keep telling myself it is only a sign of anxiety and Pauls book has been amazing just to keep refering too, but i was just wondering if anyone could give me any words of support?
    Also does anyone ever feel like every day is the same?? routine? im thinking i need to do some kind of sport or training to stimulate the brain…. xx

  585. scarlet Says:

    Quick question for everyone out there – does anyone out there struggle with keeping their temperature regulated, I seem to feel very hot all of the time. Also, I experience an awful lot of dizziness … are these symptoms common?? – I would really appreciate someone helping me out with this. Thanks x

    Hi Ethel,

    Temperature fluctuation is very normal for anxiety, it’s to do with the adrenalin rush that anxiety causes. I used to get sweaty palms and had hot flushes. Don’t know whether you are taking ADs, but I did for 4 months and this was one of the side effects I remember.

    As for being dizzy (I still am :-) ), yes this was me, fell over loads, had a type of vertigo for a while. I remember lying in bed and the room would be spinning. Also had bad eyesight as well, felt as though the ground was higher than it was. This is ALL common when suffering anxiety and goes when you recover.

  586. scarlet Says:


    “I would appreciate it anyone can tell me their expereinces and how at the very early stages they found the strength and courage to do this – what your expereinces were etc.. ”

    To be honest in the early days, I was lucky if I dragged myself out of bed, or even got dressed, washed etc…. Basically I was waiting for recovery to come to me before I carried on with living. In hindsight I realise this was a mistake and to recover you must LIVE alongside your anxiety, i.e. carry on with normal living whilst suffering. For the first year I struggled, but once I had the tools for recovery (from those who had recovered) I was well on my way, although it did take me a while to grasp the concept and stop being fearful of my thoughts, so don’t worry if you aren’t able to accept right away, it takes time.

  587. Matt K. Says:

    Could you take a look at the post that I left for Helen? It applies to you as well! I should have addressed it to both of you! Thanks.

  588. Josh Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I doubt anyone will remember me, I used to post every once in a while over the past year or so. I was hoping someone could read this and related or maybe share some advice.

    I seem to be having tough time dealing with my anxiety. I’ve been feeling dizzy all day every day for a while now. I have a hard time sitting still, I always have to be moving (shaking my leg, foot, ect) My eyelids twitch, I chain smoke (I know, I know, smoking and anxiety do not go together well)
    I have to pace If I don’t have anything to do. I think what has been bothering me the most is mind chatter. Intrusive thoughts and obsessive thoughts aside, I just cannot shut my mind off, It has to talk and go all the time and it wont stop. Sometimes I feel as though I have thoughts that just make no sense. But what seems to get me the most is when I wake up the mind chatter is already there and most of the time it makes no sense and I have this strange feeling almost like I’m not there no identity no sense of self just mind chatter. Has anybody had this before? It’s very frightning waking up to thoughts like “Leaves shake the tree when Jon is scared.Why?I don’t know.” The more I wake up and get out of bed things get back to normal but I still feel incredibly dizzy. Has anybody had this before or can you relate?
    Thanks alot guys. Its very releaving to find a place like this when times are tough like this

  589. scarlet Says:

    Hi Matt,

    “I know that I can get better, but working with the thoughts and feelings is sometimes very challenging.”
    Are there any suggestions you can provide for the ups and downs of this process? I know that a lot of recovery is learning to Face, Float, Accept and Let Time Pass (Claire Weekes). I really want to feel better and am willing to do whatever it takes to get there, I think sometimes I doubt that by just letting it be that it will go away? Did you feel like that and when did you come to the realization that you were on the right path? Thanks again for listening!”

    Yes I doubted all the way until the end Matt. I promise you, just letting it be is the way to go to recover fully. Sounds so easy, but in practice it’s hard, as you get the urge to analyse every thought instead of brushing it off and bringing yourself into the present moment. I remember when I was around 70% recovered, something that used to help me when I would get thoughts that I knew where gonna make me miserable, i would say to myself, “I don’t have the time right now to analyse this thought, come back later when I’m less busy”. This really worked for me at the time, pushed me a bit further to the end. The idea is to take the initial edge off the thought, to stop it provoking an anxious response, by sort of neutralising it.

    “I think sometimes I doubt that by just letting it be that it will go away. Did you feel like that and when did you come to the realization that you were on the right path?”

    With anxiety, it’s only in hindsight that we can see clearly. For me, when I got to around 95% I realised I was on the right path, but as I said before, I doubted until I was fully recovered, even with the last percent I still thought I would never fully recover, even though it never bothered me so much. Now I have no doubts at all that it was the right path.

  590. Helz Bellz Says:

    Hi Suranne,

    thank you for the information on Thyroids, that charity has a lot of interesting information. its odd how so many of the symptoms overlap with anxiety. its amazing how the body is all interconnected and how problems in one place will often cause symptoms elsewhere.

    Hi Eva,

    i can totally sympathise with your current thoughts, i get similar ones when reading or painting ‘why am i doing this? what is the point of this, it doesnt get you anywhere etc etc’ they are so annoying and take all the enjoyment out of everything. well done you on putting on your new clothes and going out anyway, that’ll show that anxiety that its not important!

  591. Steveo Says:

    Great post Scarlet!!

    So, so, so pleasing to read such positive stories. As I said in my earlier post to Helen, I wish those who have recovered lived around the corner and could offer counselling over tea…

    Well done you for offering the support to others. It really is amazing the help that you give and it means a lot to those that are in the recovery process.

  592. Matt K Says:

    Hey Scarlet,

    Thanks for the quick reply. That makes sense about the doubting and the hindsight. Always just a little unsure. I think that I have made quite a bit of progress, but I fall into the trap of feeling very good and then when i have a bad day thinking I am back to square one. I know Paul mentions that a lot in his book. That it is common.

    I see counselor and am working with CBT. Is that ok? Did you try that? Its about working with your thoughts and changing your behaviours.

    Did it take you awhile to recover? I still work full time and have 2 kids that I support and have been dealing with anxiety off and on for 20 years. I want to feel free to travel and to not “white knuckle” through life. I seems as though a lot of the recovery is with attitude and having faith and confidence in yourself to move forward. Does that sound right?

  593. Joe Says:

    Hi Matt,

    I know you were asking Scarlet, but I just wanted to say that one of the biggest problems for me when I was recovering was worrying that I didn’t have enough self confidence to overcome anxiety. I kind of just waited around, greatly restricting my life, waiting for the feeling of confidence to return to me so that I could go out and live a ‘normal’ life again. At some point I realized that this would never happen, and that confidence comes IN TIME as you go out and do the things you’re afraid of and keep doing them, regardless of how you feel. I made it a rule for myself that I was going to lead a normal lifestyle, however awful I might feel, and however unconfident I might feel in doing them. I’d wake up, maybe have some breakfast, go out for coffee, go to work, go out with friends (wherever we were going), etc. At first, I was tense and nervous as can be, next to zero confidence. The thing is, I had given myself permission to fail–that is, permission to feel/be shaky and make a fool of myself (my great fears back then), to space out during conversations, to feel and perhaps BE a bit weird. As you adopt this attitude and stick with it, it gets easier and easier and confidence will come to you. You don’t need to psyche yourself up or do any mental gymnastics to make yourself FEEL confident; consciously trying to make yourself feel confident is actually counter productive. Just continue living your life, letting the thoughts and feelings be there, whatever you may be doing. To let them be there, without delving into them and analyzing them, while you continue about your day really is the key.

  594. Matt K Says:

    Thanks so much for the reply. I totally understand how you felt. I feel like I have had this for so long that the belief or confidence in getting better is very low. When i just go about my life, I fear making a fool out of myself as well, so I tend to act like I am happy and relaxed. I like your advice of just letting the thoughts and feelings be there no matter what. I cant control the thoughts, but I can choose whether I react to them or not! Did you have fear of trying new things that you wanted to do? I think what you were saying s that if you wanted to try something you would give yourself permission to fail, but at least to give it a shot?

  595. marc Says:


    thanks for d reply! your a wee christmas angel! :) haha! just a couple more question for ya and i swear im takin a break! :P…… i suppose d main thing that bothers me d most is that everything, and i mean EVERYTHING always reverts back to the ceaseless questioning of its existence. like for example above i said i felt like everything is a plot and it feels like everything is put in its place in this ‘world of mine’, and from that a bunch of thoughts could start spiralling thinking that im becoming paranoid and whatnot, even though all this goes on it always ALWAYS comes back to-‘am i really feeling like this?’ ‘what are these thoughts that are coming into my head?’ ‘what are these feelings im feeling?’ ‘do they exist?’ ‘do these questions i seem to be asking myself exist?’ ‘do i exist?’ ‘does ALL THIS exist?’ ‘is it real?’…….and from this, this horrible dreadful feeling just comes over me like a wave, like nothing does exist, nothing is real, nothing has no meaning or purpose, everything is just completely pointless……but its not like a depressed feeling, its like a feeling of fear and panic that all of this is just….nothing! its like today for example, i was in d kitchen cleaning around and my mum was annoying me over something and i snapped at her a little, and from that, in a mili second all these feelings and thoughts came to me( thats what really baffles me is that all these thoughts along with this feeling come in a mili second! like my brain is stuck on automatic to feel this way!) ‘did i really feel anger?’ ‘how can i feel this emotion if iv somewhat forgotten it?’ ‘is this emotion real?’ ‘does it exist?’ ‘do i exist?’ bla bla bla!!!!!!!!!!!!and this is 24 hours a day! sometimes d only relief i have is when im asleep! and ironically enough, sometimes even when im sleep it invades my sleep! its like there is just no escape to this hell! and d thing that is most bothersome that keeps to keep me in this cycle is that these existence questions even take hold of positives, like i know that im supposed to not care how im feeling and go about what im doing, that im not to pay these questions any respect and let them play their tricks, but even d whole existence thing grabs it hold on that-‘what is not caring?’ ‘what is a whatever attitude?’ ‘what is recovery?’ ‘do these people like scarlet and paul exist?’ ‘what is all this?’ etc etc etc!!!!!!!! plus d thing is that i feel like i am so emotionally flat that i feel like i dont know how to not care! i cant even feel my negative feelings like anger or sadness! even if i cry sure d tears are there but inside of me there is nothing! they are tears of emptiness not sadness! its like d only emotions i can feel are fear and panic! i feel like a bloody rock with eyes! its like im a new born baby that has just arrived to d world except im not in amazement of all this like babies are, its like im in constant bewilderment and fear!!! and yet again it all comes back down to its existence! like even when u reply to this post scarlet, my mind is not going to give me a break and just question what u have wrote and its point!….and one of my biggest fears(well i suppose my biggest) is that i fear i wont recover from this, like my mind has gone too deep for my own good, like i have pondered too much about stuff that i should have just left alone and now im stuck like this for d rest of my days, like i have developed too much bad memory and feelings about this that it would be somewhat of a miracle if i did recover!!!!!…..basically scarlet im wondering did u experience crap like this at d height of your dp/dr? like everything had to have a huge series of existence questions at d end of it followed with that horrible fearful feeling of emptiness/meaningless?
    bloody hell i could go for a masters in philosophy and get it with d amount of shit that has gone through this fat head of mine! lol!

    well scarlet need some wise words from a wise gal like yourself! :) and i swear to myself that if i do recover from this dreaded hell one day, im going to do everything i can to help people needlessly suffering! id say thats probably why we go through this shit, like a learning mechanism we go through in order to help others in suffering when we have recovered! anyway that enough of my dribble for one day!lol! and thanks for d compliment of my sense of humour! haha! i suppose thats one of d things that has remained even going through this which i can be thankful for!

    ps, hope ya have a fun new years! :)

  596. Joe Says:

    Hey Matt,

    Yes, I had plenty of fear of trying new things, or old things for that matter. There was a point when I couldn’t even go to the pub with my friends without experiencing severe anxiety. The first thing I’d do when I’d go anywhere was to check where the bathroom and the exist were, “just in case” my anxiety would overwhelm me. In those days I was putting way too much pressure on myself to feel good, when I shouldn’t have been putting any pressure on myself at all. Eventually my attitude changed from a “Oh goodness, I hope I don’t feel too anxious in ‘this’ situation’,” to “Ah, whatver, however I feel, I feel,” for I came to realize that THE ONLY REASON I FEEL THIS WAY IS MY UNDERLYING SENSITIZATION WHICH I MYSELF WAS KEEPING ALIVE WITH CONSTANT ANALYSIS AND WORRY, AND WHICH WOULD LEAVE IN TIME AS I LEARNED TO LEAVE MYSELF ALONE. And so I let my mind chatter away, as much as it wanted in each and every situation, whether at home reading a book or out with friends, or whatever. I stopped rolling the question, “Why do I feel so awful?” around in my mind all day long, for now I had the answer. “What-if” thoughts (worst case scenario thoughts) were treated in the same manner. I didn’t try to stop them from coming; they still came for a while, but I stopped taking them seriously. Let them scream all they want; just don’t answer them, don’t analyze them to see if there’s “anything to them.” Most often there isn’t. Even if you think there might be, just tell yourself you’ll cross that bridge when and if you get there, and leave it at that. Just don’t let anxiety dictate what you will and will not do. If I were you, I’d make up my mind that HOWEVER YOU FEEL, you’re going to do lead the life you want to live. If that means living alongside the anxiety for the time being (and it does), so be it. Forget about trying to get better, and just live your life without the constant analysis. If you begin to do that, you’re well on your way.

    Yes, I’d say at least give it a shot. Do whatever it is that you want to do, and don’t let anxiety-based “what if” scenarios run your life anymore. Easier said then done, I know, but it gets easier and easier, and then easier as you practice. I promise.

  597. scarlet Says:

    Hi Marc,

    “…..basically scarlet im wondering did u experience crap like this at d height of your dp/dr? like everything had to have a huge series of existence questions at d end of it followed with that horrible fearful feeling of emptiness/meaningless?
    bloody hell i could go for a masters in philosophy and get it with d amount of shit that has gone through this fat head of mine! lol!”

    Yes I did, I had loads of thoughts like this, is life real?, what if we are just going through the motions?, are people real? is the earth real?, could I fall off? (LOL), even scared myself silly with the last one, didn’t want to go outside, what a load of cods-wallop that was. If you fear something force yourself to do it is my philosophy (except bungee jumping…. won’t do that one 😉 ). So if I fear that I might fall off the earth (which I did), I forced myself to go out every day, and face this fear head on, even if I felt dizzy. After doing this around 10 times, my brain accepted that it was rubbish, and moved on to the next fear which I then tackled until I became stronger and most other fears disappeared as well.

    “like my mind has gone too deep for my own good, like i have pondered too much about stuff that i should have just left alone and now im stuck like this for d rest of my days, like i have developed too much bad memory and feelings about this that it would be somewhat of a miracle if i did recover!!!!!”

    Nope it’s all fully reversible even if you suffered for 20 years. You’ve got yourself into a bad thinking habit here that’s all. You need to break the cycle by taking the anxious edge off the thought, by this I mean you have to stop it in it’s track and alter your train of thought, and you do this by either laughing at your thought, ignoring it and carrying on, or dismissing it as rubbish, therefore changing your emotion to it. This really works with time and retraining your brain to react differently to the thoughts, even if it is for a split second at first, with practice your brain will be trained to react differently to thoughts and the fear will disappear. Doesn’t matter whether you have thoughts about the world being unreal, or thoughts about harming someone, these are all ‘irrational’ thoughts and should be dealt with the same way..

    Have you got plans for this evening?. Me I’m on my own with my kids, so we will be watching the fireworks from the window..


    Glad to be of help, when I write to specific people on here, am really writing to everyone, hope my experience helps….



    Loved your last post, spot on :-)

  598. scarlet Says:

    Just to add to my above spiel,

    Changing your emotion to a thought is not contradictory to the principles of acceptance. The thoughts still come for a while, but you are changing your reaction to them that’s all, sort of accepting they are there but not paying them any heed and not giving them an anxious response, so basically letting them be there and not being bothered by them… in turn fear of your thoughts is eliminated and they will become less and less.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Wishing everyone a happy New Year

  599. Ethel Says:

    Scarlet, Thank you for your response, I cannot tell you how important it is to hear others experiences, especially in their ‘early’ days as I am finding it hard to get going so to speak. Thanks for taking the time to reply. Anyone else out there who can offer me some support and guidance would be truly appreciated. This is such a struggle for me as I am wracked with self doubt.


  600. Ethel Says:

    Another quick question – can people tell me about the physical symptoms they experienced and how they cope/coped with them whilst just getting on with their day?

  601. Ethel Says:

    Another quick question – can people tell me more about the physical symtpoms they experienced and how they cope/coped with them whilst just getting on with their day?


  602. Ethel Says:

    Sorry … me again. I should have asked also, along with letting me know how you all coped at the start of things, it would be comforting to know how long people suffered prior to the recovery process and then how long it took to be ‘recovered’. I know that each is different and for some it can be a long time – I am okay with this, infact I like to look on it that if I imagine that it might take me 2 years to recover and it comes earlier then … bonus! Sorry for SO many questions but I am feeling very alone with this.

  603. Helen Says:

    Hi Ethel,
    The question you have asked about coping with the physical symptoms is being answered by you. You are coping with them now and will continue to do so. What you need to make sure is that you don’t allow anxiety to stop you from doing anything. If you need to go to the shops for example but feel too tired, shaky or worried to do so then you must make sure that you go. It is the fear of the physical symptoms that makes them more prominent and you focus on it so the symptoms often feel more intense than they really are.
    Anxiety does make you feel so alone Ethel but remember that you aren’t. Keep going and take each day as it comes, keep doing the things that you need to do each day and when the thoughts and physical symptoms come at you then let them but don’t let the fear cripple you (as it did with me for a long time). I waited for a long time for anxiety to pass before getting on with my life when in reality it is the other way around, getting on with life is the ONLY way to overcome anxiety.
    Ethel, it is very frightening to try and live with the thoughts and feelings that anxiety brings but I promise you that by doing this, by allowing them to be there and not fighting and trying to work it all out, it will pass.

    All the best

  604. Joe Says:

    Hi Ethel,

    For me, in the early days I wasn’t so much bothered by the symptoms of anxiety as I was afraid of what they might DO to me. For example, I was always dizzy with a lot of dp. Now, if I had been convinced that this sensation was utterly harmless, I could have handled it a lot easier…but I wasn’t so convinced. I constantly worried, “Oh no, I feel so dizzy. What if I pass out while walking or while doing my job at work. How embarassing!” As long as I was in this mindset, I was constantly monitoring how I felt, waiting to see if the dizziness would get so bad that I would just topple over (I often convinced myself that I was just about there, but it never happened). Eventually I got so sick of this stupid fear that I just said, “Well, if I pass out, I pass out. Embarassing, sure, but I’ll deal with it if and when I come to that point, and accept the embarassing feelings as well,” and left the matter at that. The “what if” thoughts stuck around for a while (several months) but I just kept on with that new attitude, never passed out, and lost my fear of it. I had many other fears as well, and they espeacially plagued me at work. At one point I had half-convinced myself that I was going insane because of persistent nagging thoughts about how other people were “secretly” monitoring me, or how the world was an illusion. I also wanted to hide all of the knives in my parents house, for fear I would sleep walk in the middle of the night and go on a killing spree, lol. These were all anxiety-based thoughts, and they all left as I began to see them for what they were and not pay them any attention or respect. In the early days espeacially, don’t be too bothered by the self-doubt that is there. (I had tons of it). When self-doubting thoughts come around (as they will), don’t delve into them and analyze them, but don’t try to push them away either. Just carry on with your life with them there, and don’t let them determine how you are going to act, what activities you will participate in, etc. Be willing to let whatever it is that you fear happen. Hope some of this helps. :)

  605. Joe Says:

    Oh, one more thing. The real important point to remember is this: YOU DO NOT RECOVER BY MAKING A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO RECOVER. You recover by living your life, doing all the every day normal things that people do, while patienly living alongside your anxiety, letting it be there at all times, however bad it might be, taking no trouble to “think your way out of your condition,” to push the symptoms away or drown them out.

  606. si Says:

    Joe or Helen

    I feel I have more anxiety than depression or do I?

    I can’t begin to start to tell you how anxious and low I feel about normal every day things. I get this real deep miserable feeling about the most stupid of things.

    So the question I am asking is do I just continue to ignore, perhaps laugh at the things that make me feel low?

    Like I said, they are silly things that I just can’t understand why I get the low PANG!!

  607. marc Says:


    thanks for d reply! i know what im experiencing is very common and it can be reversed, its just d way i feel it feels like its impossible or something! and its so annoying d way nearly everyday something new comes along! like even today i was feeling like i just dont know anymore! like i dont even know who or what i am! like i dont even know what dp/dr or anxiety is which is just leaving me perplexed! ah sure it will all come to an end down d line hopefullly! hopefully 2011 will be d start of everything lookin up!

    ah i wont be up to anythin 2nite! far too broke to do anythin! fingers crossed i get a job soon! hope u and ur kids have a good one 2nite scarlet! :)


  608. Kat Says:

    Hey everyone,

    I have to admit, I feel really embarrassed that I am visiting this board so much, particularly on New Year’s Eve, but I guess it makes sense given that the holiday season is stressful for everyone, not just those of us with anxiety issues.

    These past few days have been in and out of hell for me. Being off work for the holidays, which is usually a blessing, has been horrid in many ways. As I have developed anxiety around my relationship with my partner, the symptoms continue to intensify rather than weaken, and all this after so much helpful advice from those of you who have moved past it. I keep thinking that maybe what I’m feeling isn’t anxiety, maybe the aversion and desperation is more than a bluff, only to grow physically tired later and wonder why I allowed those thoughts to have power. It’s been a real cycle, and because of this, I haven’t enjoyed my holidays much, if at all. This morning, when the hubby asked what I wanted for dinner tonight, since it’s a special night, I replied with a monotone ‘I don’t care, whatever.’ At some point, he is going to grow tired of me and my problems, I’m sure of it, because who could possibly withstand someone who is constantly fixated on themselves? Also, where did this fear about my relationship come from? I was happy with him for so long and then, literally overnight, things went haywire.

    I don’t expect to feel ‘normal’ overnight, but I really need to find a way to stop obsessing about my relationship and move past this very confusing and upsetting state of being. I have been overwrought the past couple of days, blaming myself, hating myself, and while I know all of this has been counterproductive, I don’t know how to move away from all of the anxious thinking. When you have a loving, patient and good man in your life, it doesn’t make sense to feel fear whenever you think of your life together. For a long time, he was all I needed, and now it’s like someone pulled the net from beneath me. I know I love him, but the fear is trying to convince me otherwise and that terrifies me.

    Venting over. I just really needed to let some of it out. Thanks for reading.

  609. Joe Says:

    Howdy Si,

    I wouldn’t bother worrying about whether it’s anxiety or depression. I had the same thing, and went around in circles trying to separate the two. In either case, the answer is the same: let yourself feel that way, without doing mental gymnastics trying to make yourself feel better :) You can allow yourself to feel that way a lot easier if you recognize these feelings as exaggerated emotional responses to normal situations, due to your currently sensitized state, and NOTHING MORE. Keeping that in mind, just keep carrying on with your day. Do the dishes, eat your breakfast, go to work, go out on the town, etc. Be patient and wait for your mind-body to sort things out for you. You don’t need to push it along :)

  610. si Says:


    Thank God for that!!

    I am doing everything that I usually do, the main problem is that I am obviously not happy with who I am. I suppose it’s all part and parcel. I am not a panicy as I used to be and I can say over the last few weeks I have had moments where I do seem to GET IT, times when I have not looked on here or read the book and just carried on carrying on and yes It does help, but I suppose my problem is that I am a little too impatient and need to give this alot more time than I think. Again thanks for your reply and a happy new year to you (although my mind is saying I hate new year) lol :)


    Look Im not the person who can answer what your feeling, but I know what your feeling and if you read what you have written you have answered your own question.

    “I know I love him, but the fear is trying to convince me otherwise and that terrifies me.”

    So remove the fear by just smiling to yourself when you feel like you do… go on tell me you feel like it all the time.. I know I know!! and I understand your frustration.

    WE have to pay it no attention,, I truly feel that your getting deeper into this because you are panicing about it rather than letting it be. Hard I know as I am the same, but onwards… I have the most loving wife and I am not going to let this thing ruin me .


  611. Ethel Says:

    Helen, Joe. Thank you, I appreciate all your advice – it is a blessing in all this chaos. Helen and Joe, how long did you suffer anxiety and how long was your recovery period?

  612. Helen Says:

    Hi Kat,
    You are clearly trying to work it all out, make sense of what has happened and is happening. You cannot make sense of anxiety when it occurs like this.
    Ask yourself some very basic questions, ‘do I love him?’, ‘do I want us to be apart?’, ‘do I want to be on my own?’. The answers are there inside you that is why you are still with him. I have said this before but you are always guided by who you are deep down by what you truly believe but you don’t see it at the moment because the voice of anxiety so loud. If it was simply that you no longer wanted to be with him you would know, you wouldn’t be in this turmoil, anxiety is doing this to you, nothing else.
    When your anxiety is based around your partner you push them away because the pain of the thoughts and feelings is too much so the idea of having a special meal tonight was never going to feel good to you.
    I pushed my partner away for a long time because to be honest I think I forgot that I was in a relationship. My anxiety was about my relationship but it made me very selfish at times and pushed us to the limit. I was self-obsessed, it was all about how I felt, what was happening to me and for a long time I disregarded what it was doing to him.
    I knew that I loved him and didn’t want us to split so I forced myself to do things that I knew he wanted to do (and what i wanted to do without anxiety) so that I could give back some of the things that anxiety robbed me/us of. I wrote in a post that I was literally scared to look at him for a long time as I was so frightened of how I would (or wouldn’t) feel but I had to get past this fear. I would sit across the dining room table from him, as we had done thousands of times before anxiety struck me, and the fear made me tremble. I held a conversation with him with the worst thoughts in my head but I kept doing it and it started to pass until it went altogether.
    I always knew, deep down even when my anxiety was at it’s worst, that I loved him although I didn’t see this at the time.
    Trust in yourself Kat, love him, yourself and your life in your own time. You have anxiety, stop trying to work it all out in your head, it is a fear that will only go if you look it square in the eye.
    I hope this has made some sense, it is hard to explain via posts sometimes.

    All the best

  613. james Says:

    Hello Everyone and Happy New years!

    The only question I have for everyone is how do you deal with the tale end of anxiety. I feel like I’m almost their but the only thing holding me back is if I see something violent on tv or something along those lines that bring back the early days of my anxiety. Or like I see or hear about someone going to jail and I think “that could be me” and then I get all nervous and scared. I also still get that burning feeling in my chest or maybe it’s just my adrenaline i feel still sometimes and was just wondering if someone can help.

    I just hope everyone still battling with their anxiety feels better and starts off the new year on a positive note. :)

  614. Mike H. Says:

    Anyone have any insight about this?

    For the past year and a half after a breakdown, life looks DULL and FLAT, and weird/lifeless. Words also sound dull and seem to have no meaning at times. I mean it has been a year of this. And I am getting on with life, going to work, seeing friends and family. I have quite a few hobbies, but I can’t stop obsessing about, “Why does life looke lifeless, why do I have no feelings?” I am not depressed, except every once in a while when I am out driving and have an attack of everything looking weird and lifeless, like I’m stoned….

    This will go away when the tired mind is gone right? Does anyone know what kind of things help the mind to refresh/recharge?

    Any reassurance is appreciated. Thanks everyone!

  615. Josh Says:

    hello, just wondering if anyone read my post yesterday?

  616. Mike H. Says:

    hey Josh, I read your post. Sounds like your biggest issue is dizziness…which is really common with smoking. Man, I wouldn’t be too surprised about this. I quit smoking about a year ago, because I didn’t like how it made me edgey. I remember being dizzy when I smoked cigarettes a lot, but the dizzinness wasn’t terrible. Anxiety makes you do stuff like shake your legs all the time and want to be constantly moving. I used to do that all the time. I have anxiety, but somehow I don’t do that anymore. Google smoking and dizzinness. Good luck!

  617. Ethel Says:

    I wondered if it would be possible if people could take some time out to let me know of their experiences, how long they have/had anxiety, what their symptoms were/are and how on earth they got back onto the road to recovery – how hard was it etc. and how did they manage to stay motivated. Right now I feel weird, I am allowing the physical sensations to go on whilst attempting not to add fuel to their fire but I just feel downright strange as if I am a terrified animal trapped in the headlights (i am not explaining this well) The smallest of things scare me now – and I mean anything!! Doing household chores, eating, cooking, conversing (even with my family) the only time I feel a little ‘safe’ is when I am in bed late in the evening. This is terrible and I dont have anyone to talk too!! It would truly be appreciated if people could let me know of their experiences – this anxiety has me believing that I have it worse than anyone else out there (surely this is not the case!) PLEASE help me out.

  618. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Mike H you are describing depersonalisation, something I went through, click on the link on the right hand side of my blog under depresonalisation and also the link on my main site under the same topic

  619. Ian Says:

    I’ve suffered anxiety a long time, and something that has been bugging me recently is the awareness of the fact that I have suffered depersonalisation pretty much as long as I can remember – on and off. I recall feeling this at school, which was nearly 25 years ago and most definately severe during university. I find myself trying to persuade myself that I could never be without this (though I have – at times- lived without it there of course). I know everyone has their own aspects of anxiety trying to drag them back onto themselves, this is just one of mine.

  620. marc Says:

    hey guys, and paul

    just wondering if anyone can relate… is it common with dp/dr that sometimes u can feel so messed up and weird that u just feel like u dont know anyone or anything anymore? like even dp itself! its like u cant comprehend what it is!
    and paul if your reading just wondering could u help me out here. just had a quick look over your book again and the dp chapter and just wondering about a couple of things, the way you say dp is a self mechanism that is protecting our bodies from all the worry/stress etc… well in the past year i have put up with alot, my mum went through a breakdown and she is a completely different person from it, my sister had got pregnant and has always had a bad temper and bossy attitude so she is constantly at my mum which makes it worse and alot of my friends have moved away and i lost my job, now with all this after happening i never thought myself as a worrier, like i wasnt asking myself alot of what if questions when all this had happened, so what im wondering here is, could it have been possible by having all this going on could it have gone to my sub concious to worry and developing anxiety/dp??? plus u say dp left u when u realised that it was no longer needed, like during the time u realised that was there no problems in your life? like family problems,financial problems etc??? and it started to diminish? or did u have problems like that going on and got through dp anyway? i can understand in a way that dp could be protecting me from the hurt of not having my proper mother anymore, my sisters attitude, barely seeing friends anymore,being unemployed and having very little to do all day. so what im wondering is with all this going on could it still be possible for me to come through dp??? cause as u can see above im just at the stage where i feel like i dont know anything anymore! like i am just a walking ‘shell’ as u put it feeling constantly strange and off, questioning everythings existence which leaves me even worse! sometimes it can be so bad that i cant even find the words to explain what it is im feeling!

  621. Mike H Says:


    I sympathize with your troubles. I have lost about 4 part time jobs due to anxiety. Though I am doing better now, and am looking for work again, I can help you understand what he is saying, as I often read the book before bed. The hurt and worry is there in your life, that is true, and I think it is going to be hard for DP to lift during this time, but don’t be upset about that..because EVENTUALLY IT WILL. I’m going through a hard time and I have nothing to do A LOT of the time as well and end up brooding. Sometimes I will go out and drive and DP so bad, where the whole world looks lifeless/pointless/dull (as I mentuioned). You have to keep doing things that keep your mind occupied. Please do this. YOu have to find somethings that take your interest. It was especially hard for me to do this, as I have lost a band that I was leading, a girlfriend, jobs, and a lot of self confidence. But I am going to get back into life no matter what. I have to. In the back of my mind I know life is meaningless and that all we do is ultimately meaningless, but When we lose ourselves in hobbies or interacting with people we find what we are looking for. I Guess this is how God keeps us from becoming narcissists. lol.

    Thomas Jefferson said that to keep busy is the only cure for depression.
    What we have is like depression because we feel nothing, and the world looks dead, and we feel dead, but our minds must find new things to focus on, otherwise we will not recover. I am reading shakespeare, and some Ian Rankin novels (scottish crime author). I went out tonight with a bunch of friends to get pizza…and I felt DP about half the time. But I just said screw it. Whenever I felt depersonalized and stranged I just remind myself of childhood…when everything was fine. I just remember that everything was OKAY and everything will be OKAy again.

    I too question my existence almost all day, but I read, I socialize, I go out…and the worries lift. You can do it too, you’re going to be alright. I hope this helps.

  622. Claire Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks Scarlet for your reply to my post a few days ago. Its good to know that once you have ‘recovered’ anxiety comes and goes to more appropriate situations and at more acceptable levels!

    I’m just struggling so much with acceptance at the mo – would be so so grateful for anyones help as am driving myself and family mad! Had such a good summer – felt like anxiety had finally gone and was a million miles away – and genuinely thought i would not suffer again – such a relief.

    Yet since i have felt anxious again for the last 3 months i carried on living by Paul’s advice (exactly as i did before) and i feel that this time it is not going away. I have tried up until the last week to not keep getting reassurance from family members, have told myself to let it be and if its there so what, have carried on doing everything i normally do regardless of how i felt, … the list goes on and i have probably done the worst thing twice this week which is crying to my parents and husband and getting myself in a right state that i have done all these things and it hasnt gone away. .

    Then on comes the frustration and the realisation that they do not have any answers for me and i feel no better.

    I know what the answer will probably be – that i am rushing recovery and getting frustrated but its so hard not to – its like i can clearly see the words on a page in Pauls book but cant internalise them. They may as well be in swahili at the moment. I felt so sure i had recovered – perhaps not 100% but at least 90%!

    I know this is what i did before but when i succeeded before it felt like i was ina real ‘zone’ of accepting and i cant get that back this time. I understand it is best not to fight it but when i thought i had recovered i def did have a real sense of i’m not gonna let this thing get me and it was like a real challenge (in a good way) of something to aim for etc which helped.

    I am a real worrier and just wish i could stop worrying – i have done a bit of CBT and am trying not to chase the worries but they still come so easily. In the past i have found it helpful to challenge some of the bigger ones but is this wrong? Should i just be saying oh well whatever….

    I dont ever seem to get any irrational thoughts (which i am v grateful for) -but still find it hard not to let a worry control me.

    My biggest question is “If accepting is the way out of this – why must we not TRY HARD to accept it?” And what can you do if you just feel you are telling yourself to accept it and you dont really FEEL like you are accpeting it?

    I really thought i was accepting it as the fear has been taken right out of it with Pauls book as years ago when i first got it i thought i was going mad and questionned there was something really wrong. Then once i read his book it all made sense. So if it makes sense why cant i seem to recover fully? And why in such a bad place right now?

    ANy thoughts would be gratefully appreciated as feel in quite a bad way at mo and v disillusioned. Thanks X

  623. Claire Says:

    I really do think that general worrying in contributing to my anxiety levels – which i know is only natural and inevitable.

    i think what happens with me is i am such a worrier – for instance am preg now and already consumed with worry about birth, havent been feeling well in this preg and then thoughts of how will i cope with 2 children etc. i accept these prob sound like normal worries but because i worry to an extreme – they seem to be there all the time – but how can i laugh them off or dismiss them as they are real worries which are not irrational thoughts? And if this is then causing adrnaline that is my prob – i just cant stand the physical feelings which accompany it – worst is the feeling like i want to get up and just flee the room as so fidgety and buzzed up. Any thoughts??

    I just want to reach a stage in my life where i dont generally worry as much and then the adrenaline goes down . I think i had pretty much recovered and then lots of life worries took over and lo and behold the stress i put my body under for a few months lead to anxiety which seems to be a viscious cycle with me. Anybody out there who feels like this? Any tips on dealing with general worries / calming yourself , reacting not so strongly to worry so as not to get this adrenaline build up?

  624. KH Says:

    Hi Claire,

    I am no expert in anxiety but I can share my experience with you on how did I manage my recovery. I experienced anxiety a few months back because I was having health problems. From there, I started worrying about my health, and what would I do if I am diagnosed with a major sickness. Big mistake, as this has caused me to enter deeper into the cycle of anxiety. This brought on to even more obsessive thoughts, which seems to persist even if I do not attempt to think them.

    When my anxiety was in a very severe stage few months back, the obsessive thoughts were very persistent. The very first change I made was to change my thoughts from negative to a positive one. My worries are mainly about my health, like what would I do if I have a major sickness. So I told myself, enough is enough, so what if I have a major sickness? At least I must live my life to the fullest and continue to stay strong. During this stage, it was very difficult for me as I have to constantly remind myself about it whenever the negative thoughts would come. But this marked as the beginning of my recovery.

    As the thoughts became less frequent, I begun to pay them less attention. It just happens naturally. I begin accepting more tasks in my job to keep myself busy. I spend more time outside exploring new places instead of staying at home. Whenever a setback hits me, I will use my positive thoughts to drive the setback away. And slowly I begin to recover to where I am now and am still going on the journey to full recovery.

    I believe that you are worrying too much about real life problems which you have. I can suggest that you try changing your way of thinking into a more positive ones. Let’s put it this way, if you spend so much time worrying about the future, why not use your capability now to do something to change that future into a better one? I know it’s not easy but I think you must give it a try. Go and do things in your life instead of staying indoor and worrying about your future. Keep this up and I believe that you will someday fully recover when you have learned to accept them. I remember that Paul wrote, true recovery do not come when the thoughts are not there anymore, it comes when you no longer pay them any attention.

  625. KH Says:

    Hi Claire,

    Sorry, I hit the submit button too soon. Hope the post above will be able to help you to go through these difficult times. Trust yourself that someday you will be able to go on full recovery and enjoy your life.

  626. Claire Says:

    Thanks KH very helpful advice – am trying to think positively but sometimes just feel like positive thoughts are meaningless and a bit empty and are just designed to keep us naive and hopeful. Sorry just really finding this hard right now. Did you do any CBt on your thoughts ? i can really relate to what you went through about health worries – had a dreadful time after my frist daughter was born with health and not having a great time in this preg either ans the worries are endless!! I can get a small thing and convince myself its something dreadful and incurable.

    can i ask you and anyone else out there how did you FEEL the acceptance? And also when you say its ok to feel like this etc etc and if i have it for the rest of my life so be it its ok etc etc did you genuinely feel this way or were you just acting this for a while before it felt real?

  627. Claire Says:

    Sorry – on a roll here – thoughts and questions keep coming ! When you feel good for a few months like me but then you get a set back where you question everything what do you do because this week i have resorted to gruelling analysing with family about it and this hasnt worked but i feel a fool keep telling myself to accept it and that it will go away and it but not really feeling it? Sorry feel quite negative right now. paul do you have any thought on this as really thought i was on right path?

  628. Claire Says:

    and…. also readng back through some old posts and there seems to be a message of when you feel lots better or recovered dont feel you have to hang on to the good feelings accpet that they will come back – when do you ever reach the stage when you feel like they wont come back? Isnt it a bit pessimistic thinking oh i feel really good right now but this is bound to come back?? As i think this maybe part of my struggle – as i felt so much better over the Summer months i am now so disheartend that it is back. I cant even think of it as a little set back as i feel i had so much time of feeling so good that it doesnt feel like a set back in a process it feels like begninning all over again. i hope this makes sense and somebody out thete doesnt mind taking time to read and reply.

  629. KM Says:

    Hi Claire,
    I’ve been in similar situation as you with a set back recently caused by pregnancy hormones, dont underestimate the force of these hormones coupled with worry, it doesn’t surprise me your feeling this bad as i was too a few weeks back. I’m better now, I still obsess about it most of the day and am still having very high anxiety, but i’m eating again and sleeping well and i’m accepting that recovery is a slow process that you can’t monitor as it will never happen. I’ve had severe bouts of anxiety over the past ten years usually after stressful life circumstances and i cant remember recovering as i only remember getting back to my normal life, which means shifting my focus from it. This is the hardest thing to do as we sit around and hope so much to feel better, then when we do, we question why and how we got better, then it returns and we get all down again. I truelly feel for you as i know your hormones would be stiring it all up as my worst times come once a month, usually am off my head for a week, this is part of my worry as i dread that time of the month coming, but i’m learning to just try and accept it as part of life that i can’t avoid, and as Paul say’s ‘Go right through it’. I struggle with being the two people, no one knows how i’m feeling and i’m acting normal on the outside, as i feel if i tell everyone around me thats just giving it the attention it doesn’t need! Stay strong, try get a focus on something that really engages your mind, I’m trying to learn a movie making software program at the moment, which is a passion of mine and requires me to concentrate. I hope these tips make it a little easier, take care xxx K

  630. Kat Says:

    Thank you for your reponse, Helen. As always, I appreciate you sharing your experiences with everyone because very few people in my life understand this problem and they certainly don’t want to talk about it. This makes me feel even more defective and ‘crazy’, because I feel like everyone considers me ‘troubled’, and that only makes me feel worse!

    I am generally open to discussing panic/anxiety disorder because I believe that the only way through it is through understanding. That said, I have been dealing with it for over ten years now and this recent setback has really knocked the wind out of me. I just never thought I’d have uncomfortable feelings (i.e-doubts, fear, sadness) about my partner. It never occurred to me that I could feel this way about someone I care so deeply for, and I certainly had no idea that this is what ended my last long-term relationship. I really thought I’d just fallen out of love and that he was to blame for it! Even now, with all of your kind words of support, I’m still quivering inside with fear that these awful feelings will never go away and that it will cause my current relationship to fail. I can’t bear to think about that.

    My current partner is everything I’ve ever wanted in a mate: good-looking, smart, trustworthy, supportive and funny. There is no reasonable explanation for my feelings and, as you pointed out, I seem to be trying to find reasons for it all. The trouble is that I have a habit of trying to find reasons for my anxiety overall and this particular symptom is by far the worst of the bunch! It threatens everything and everyone in my life so obviously I’m struggling with it. I haven’t enjoyed the holidays (I was a total humbug!) and my daughter remarked more than once that I seemed like I had ‘woken up on the wrong side of the bed’. That hurt, as you can imagine. The trouble is that I think of our life together and I feel ‘trapped’, like I’m exhausted just thinking about it, like I need to run to catch my breath. What makes this stranger is that a few weeks before all this started, I had an evening where I was feeling sad that maybe one day my man would die, that no amount of time would ever be enough to spend with him and that I couldn’t bear to be left behind. Then, a few weeks later, after one lacklustre romantic interlude, all the panic came rushing at me and hasn’t left me since. I tried to pass it off as one bad night, but then it seemed to get stronger and stronger, and then, well, I came here for advice.

    No anxiety symptom is pleasant, and I feel like I’ve had most of them over the past decade, but I had been doing so much better over the last five or so years, actually thinking I was progressing and I guess it never occurred to me that I’d fall down again.

    I have to say again that everyone here who is recovered and good enough to help others are truly wonderful human beings. For those of us who are still lost in the fog, with few people in our ‘real’ lives to support and understand us, this blog is essential.

    For me, as I’m sure with everyone who comes here looking for help, the hope and determination really only comes from the successes of others. Thank you!

  631. KH Says:

    Hi Claire,

    I have recovered so much more compared to how I was previously. My recovery journey is not smooth though, I had a very terrible setback last month, where it made me question all over again. So I do know how difficult can setbacks be and the impact they have on us. Honestly, I do not know when is a setback going to hit me again, but the current me would not care about it as long as I am living my life to the fullest now as opposed to my old me, who would stay in the room and wonder when is this all going to end.

    I believe the most fundamental thing about true recovery is to not question when will it all end. As I continue to recover, I would always tell myself to not be impressed by the feeling I am in right now although I have made great improvements. If anxiety wants to come back to my life, so be it. I will not pay it anymore attention and would move on with my life. But this is especially difficult when you are in the depth of anxiety, which is why I practiced positive thoughts first before beginning to practice acceptance.

    Just to share with you, I am a very optimistic person with a very happy outlook in life. So when I first experienced anxiety, I was very very scared! The “what if” questions flooded into my mind and I was very depressed. But today the way I look at anxiety is entirely different, I look at it as a challenge in life which I will be able to overcome, just like any other tests in life. This will eventually make me stronger. I believe that pregnancy is something difficult to go through as well, but if you can go through it, then why not anxiety? But remember, in order to recover from anxiety, you have to live your life. Shift your focus on other important things in life, such as spending time with your loved ones and taking the time to learn new things instead of using your time on anxiety-related thoughts.

    P.S. I did not practice CBT although I have read about it. My positive thoughts are practiced entirely in my own method, coupled with Paul’s advice.

  632. Clara Says:

    hi KH

    can u just let me know how you would change your focus when a negative thought comes up..most of the time we sunconsciuosly follow each and every it crappy ones ..i feel all my enegry is being drained by negative thoughts aplenty and doesnt have a single positive thought which i can dwell on.even if i try to find automatically goes to the negative one..i feel i am done with this..i need a serious push.else i feel i am just passng each day just because i have to.and its pathetic when u have everything right at your footstep..but cannot see it and doesnt have the interest to go forward…whetever i do i will end up with the crappy feeling this is what i’m getting..
    pls help…would like to know what you do when a negative thoght comes to your mind..what are the statements that u affirm in your mind..another thing is am able to practise this as i had tried this before..for few days..then it becomes an effort and i go back to old habits…
    Pls help..

  633. Clara Says:

    Dear KH

    my main issue is that i feel i have totally lost the person i was…as i feel my mind is always particular emotions as such..moreover like an autopilot..yeah they are all anxiety symptoms..!! so i dont feel like meeting my friends or talking to them..if i have to i will as an effort to be courteous..i used to be the one who was very creative and was always occupied with something or the other someone who was always up for its like i am living my day..suppose i want to go out and meet my friend..immediately it comes as isnt going to be nice..u will be just talking to the person with your mind somewhere else…..and i hardly get any sort of connection or enjoyment out of it..
    can u just let me convert this into some positive affirmations as my main issue is with communicating with people…

  634. Matt K. Says:

    Paul, Joe, Scarlet, and Helen,

    Thank you all for the support that you have given me. I feel like I am doing well and moving forward. I am trying some new things and trying to adopt the new attitude of just going with the flow. Somedays are better than others, but I guess thats how life is! I do notice when I am sitting at work and I am bored, I get very anxious and then go smoke many times. I guess I could ask for more work, but I am struggling with what to do. The job pays very well and I know how to do all of it, its just so slow right now that it is almost painful to sit through the day. Any thoughts or suggestions on how to deal with the physical aspects of anxiety when you are bored/burnout? Work always seems to be the hardest for me. Sometimes at home I want to find something to do to work some of the anxiety out, but the majority of the time its the worst at work. Thanks again for the help.

    Also Paul, Have you ever thought of putting up a section on your website that shares the stories of the recovered individuals that used your program? I think that would be a great addition and offer a lot of insight on recovery. Just a thought! Thanks.

  635. James Says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I just have a question for everyone. There are moments where if I go out or around the house I feel normal again but for some reason once I realize I haven’t had any negative thoughts or such it comes back again. It’s like I’ll be fine for a few hours then it hits me again. Any advice to how I can reduce this problem and how I can think straight again.

    Thank you!

  636. James Says:

    I’m sorry but one last thing.

    Does anyone else sometimes get this little voice (I’m sure it’s just my mind running a mile a minutes) but it’s like telling you go do that or think this way. It feels like I’m going crazy or I might end up doing something that I don’t want to do. Anyone else feel this way?

    Thanks again!

  637. Joe Says:

    Hi James,

    This is a perfectly normal part of anxiety, and absolutely nothing to worry about. Trust me, you are not going crazy and you won’t do anything crazy. The thoughts and feelings can’t MAKE you do anything. When I was really bad with anxiety, I had a constant fear that I might sleep walk in the middle of the night and go on a killing spree; I had a fear that I was going insane because of the nagging thought that people at my work were suspiciously monitoring me; once after watching a movie about a serial killer i found myself going around in circles wondering (actually, worrying) whether I had it in me to do such horrible things. All such thoughts, however bizzare, however irrational, tend to “stick” when you have anxiety. The feelings they bring with them are so intense that we are conned into thinking that there just might be something to them (why else would we feel this way, right?). Fortunately, you may put your mind at ease. There is nothing to such thoughts at all, save for this: You have anxiety. This will magnify everything, however trivial. Understand and believe this, and then let your mind chatter away. Treat the chatter as you would loud, annoying background music when your out at the pub or something: it might make it difficult to carry on a conversation, but it’s nothing to get worked up about. It will all pass in time if you let it.

  638. Joe Says:

    Hey Matt,

    Whether bored or not, just keep on with your day and don’t worry about being bored/burned-out or whatever. It’s kinda just a “blah” feeling that it perfectly normal during recovery. If I remember something Scarlet said correctly, this feeling was with her right up till the end. Don’t pay it any mind or get worked up over it. Keep moving forward and you’ll reach a point where you forget to monitor yourself and these “blah” feelings won’t be such an issue.

  639. James Says:

    Thanks Joe! it means allot and I think for me it’s just trying to except I have this and just try and move on from it. This is still very new for me so everytime a disturbing thought pops up I can’t seem to just put on a happy face and act like it doesn’t bother me. It just blows my mind how I remember back before anxiety hit me how great everything was and as soon as I got it at the end of November it just completely changed my life. I hope sometime soon I can go on throughout the day just thinking clear and normal. And even though I love this site and everyone, I hope one day I’m not constantly on here posting becasue that’ll be the true sign everything has past. I hope though one day I’ll be normal and I can come on this site and help other’s out that need help :)

  640. Matt K Says:

    Thanks Joe. That makes sense. Did you feel you had to push yourself through the day sometimes? Almost like walking on a ledge and your afraid that one slight miss step and you would fall off into “Crazyland”?

  641. Joe Says:


    I had lots of hard days where it felt really hard to move forward. I don’t like the word “push” so much cause that makes it sound like you’re struggling and striving to turn your feelings around and perhaps push the ‘scary’, uncomfortable ones away. It’s a matter of going with how you feel, not trying to do anything about it. Might it be that the reason you’re having trouble doing this is because you are still afraid that these anxious thoughts and sensations might DO something to you–that they are somehow threatening or dangerous? If so that’s understandable, as it takes a while to gain a deep-rooted confidence that that is not the case. Just keep moving on with the understanding that, however you feel, you are not in any real danger from anxiety, physically or mentally. The thoughts/sensations are false signals. That being said, I did go through a period where I felt at any moment I could “lose it.” As I understood more and more about anxiety, however, and as I adopted and maintained a “whatever” attitude to it, this fear vanished. It will with you too. Hang in there.

  642. Matt K. Says:

    Yes I do sometimes fear what may happen if I dont try to keep control of the anxiety. I have been learned enough to know that really nothing can happen other than me putting myself into the cycle again. I worry about not being able to function in life and then losing everything I have worked for. I feel as though I am a pretty social person, but I do sometimes worry about myself sweating on my forehead while I am in conversations with people. I am also going to be doing some traveling with my family to Disney World in a few months. I’m excited, but a little hesitant about “what may” happen. Maybe these are all normal feelings as I go through recovery. Sounds like I just need to let whatever comes come and just try not to react to it. Thank you for your advice. It all helps in this journey!

  643. James Says:

    Hey Joe,

    Now when you and other people say the fear and thoughts will vanish, do you me that your completely thinking clear and don’t have the thoughts everyone once in awhile? I think I’m struggling with trying to find out if I’m cured or not. I have moments where I’m fine, but it hits me when I realized I’m fine and then it hits me again.

  644. KH Says:

    Hi Clara,

    I will share with you how did I manage to practice some positive thoughts and then learn on acceptance. I started suffering anxiety around four months back, and after a month, I began experiencing dp, which naturally made me very scared. After I have googled and read about Paul’s site, I made a decision to cure myself off my anxiety.

    I began my telling myself, I am not going to question anything anymore. But of course, it is not as easy. Even when I try not to think about it, the thought will return by itself. One of the things which I change about my view on anxiety is that instead of monitoring how I am today, I check on if I made any progress as compared to yesterday. If I am feeling better, I would always tell myself, I am better than yesterday, so keep it up and do not pay attention to any of those thoughts. I also took the courage to do things and meet up with people. I do experience intense fear and continuously monitoring myself when I am with my friends, but I told myself, this is alright, I won’t give you any attention, live my life and let recovery happen naturally.

    After feeling good for a while, a setback hit me very hard. I began questioning everything all over again. I remember scarier thoughts which were previously not there even started appearing. But I asked myself, do I want to go back to how I was? A definite no was the answer, and I continue to move on with my life. True enough, I was able to overcome my setback to where I am now, although I won’t say it’s a smooth journey.

    So to sum it all up, my practice of positive thoughts did not happen overnight. Perseverance played a very important role and I believed Paul’s advice that recovery will happen naturally. Please do not sit at home and continue worrying, as it will only keep you in the cycle. Tell yourself that you must take matter into your own hands and make the recovery happen by living your life. If you are feeling very awful, find someone to talk to or come in to read the posts for comfort and re-assurance. Believe in Paul’s advice that someday you will be able to fully recover. Just don’t rush for it, let it happen naturally.

  645. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Matt K says:

    Also Paul, Have you ever thought of putting up a section on your website that shares the stories of the recovered individuals that used your program? I think that would be a great addition and offer a lot of insight on recovery. Just a thought! Thanks.

    Sorry Matt just seen this, I have been away from the computer all over christmas. I am placing 2 new pages on my main site, 1 was for social anxiety and the other was open and I think it is a great idea. I updated the book before christmas, just added a few pages and in that was a selection of success stories. I may pull 3/4 of these and add them to the main site, I think it’s a great idea.

    Not sure I like the word ‘program’ though. I try and teach common sense recovery, one that helps people understand and really makes sense. Programs reminds me of these miracle 12 week programs other present, maybe just me, but it’s a word I tend to avoid.

    Great idea though Matt and there will be a new page coming soon with these stories on and one on social anxiety. Going back to these success stories, they are going to be the next post on the blog. I place half of them here and half on the main site. My computer is being repaired and holding things up, it should though be here sometime next week and the new post will then go up, sorry to everyone for the delay.


  646. Clara Says:

    Thanks KH
    I will take on board what u said..i have noticed that my thought pattern is either anxiety related or when it is normal it has ways of perceiving things in a self centred way…which things will effect me? what i should do in a situation? and a lot more which is given undue importance..but it just comes when it becomes overloaded i get so worried..i just tell myself..take a deep breath..nothing to worry..its just anxiety somehow make my mind calm bringing it to the present moment..i am practising it KH..hope i’ll be able to do it with PERSERVERENCE..
    Thanks a lot…and positive affirmations really works…its just that we need to do it as an effort initially..gradually i believe it will come automaticaly…

  647. dee Says:

    hi did anyone read my post?? :)

  648. Robbie Says:

    Hi Matt K.,

    I noticed in your post that you and your family are planning on going to Disney World. My family and I just got back from a trip we took last week and had a BLAST! I was nervous with how I would “feel” but once we got there, those thoughts left and I don’t think I ever monitored how I felt. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll have a great trip as it’s such a great place to visit.

    Someone asked (can’t remember who) on their post to share past experiences with getting over anxiety. I’ve seen it several times on here, but the key it to JUST LIVE YOUR LIFE. When I went through a major episode a couple of years ago, my proudest moment was that I did not miss any work or family functions due to anxiety. I felt like crap a lot and there were times when I just set at my desk just trying to get through the day. But, eventually I had more good days than not and all of a sudden (I can’t remember when) I felt “normal” (whatever that means lol). The biggest thing is to educate yourself. I spent way too much time trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Once I did, recovery seemed a lot more progressive. Just the fact that you found this site means that you’ve got step one out of the way. Now you can give you mind a rest. The next two steps are acceptance and patience (time). You have control over acceptance, but you’ll have to work on changing your thought pattern, which gets a lot easier once you know what’s going on. Time takes care of itself, but you have to be patient as everyone has a different time table when it comes to recovery. I really don’t want to get into any details as to how long it took me to recover as it is different for everyone and I don’t want to place any undue expectations out there – and to tell you the truth, I can’t remember – it just happened!!

    Hope this helps someone. Happy New Year!

  649. Patrick Says:

    Hi Scarlet,
    You mentioned in one of your older comments that you could recommend a herbal remedy to someone which would help with their sleep. Could you please recommend it to me?

  650. marc Says:

    mike H

    thanks for d reply mate! really appreciatee it. happy new year! :)

  651. marc Says:

    hey everyone,

    just wanted to comment on pauls new bit on the website on social anxiety and tell u all about my story with social anxiety……basically my first experience with anxiety was when i was 17 after a friends sudden death and coping my a breakdown my mother was going through. my symptoms from what i can remember where disturbing thoughts,panic attacks,depersonalization/derealization. the first 5 or 6 months were complete hell! i was so young and naive and had no clue what was going on with me,my idea of anxiety was just someone who got a panic attack (which i thought was just thinking you were having a heart attack) i even went to a councellor 4 or 5 times at 100 quid a go and i dont even think the word ‘anxiety’ was even mentioned!!! some professional ey! but anyway getting back to the social anxiety aspect of things, as i said the first 6 months were the hardest because i was bombarded with disturbing thoughts everyday, everytime i was talking to someone a disturbing thought/image of a violent or sexual nature would pop into my head, hell even if i was petting my dog this would happen! and what was hugely upsetting was because i didnt know what was wrong with me, i thought i was some demented psychopath and that one day i was going to ‘lose control’ and do what was coming into my head! so i avoided all situations of contact! i was constantly coming home ‘sick’ from school and just went to bed! the only thing i did do was go to the gym because i know i wouldnt have to talk to anyone there and all the focus was on me when i was working out. but eventually down the line i could see the way i was behaving was upsetting my family and friends,constantly avoiding them all the time and it was depressing me that i was loosing them and that there was nothing i could do about it(which is what i thought). so one day i said to myself ”which is worse?staying in your room roting away like a loner? or facing up to these thoughs and put yourself back out there despite how bad they are”. and well obviously the first choice was the worst, so i started putting myself out there again-back to school and no ‘sick’ calls home unless i was genuinly sick!hanging out with friends everyday,got myself a job,and hung out with my family. and well it was really tough at first but gradually my fear of them diminished, so then they eventually went! and well after about another 6 months i had 90% recovered! i say 90% because until 6 moths ago i had little or no knowledge on anxiety until i found pauls site! and well my ‘bad anxiety’ crept up again 9 months ago which im going to tell you about now.
    basically a year ago my mother was at the start of another breakdown,and to add to that my sister got pregnant which was a huge shock, and after a month or so the minor symptoms of anxiety were creeping up-heart palpitations,skipped heartbeats,irritable and mild i have never considered myself a concious worrier, but seeing what is going on around me obviously takes its toll sub conciously or whatever. and eventually down the line things were getting worse and worse, my mums breakdown was getting worse which was a huge effect on me and my sister, my sister was extremely aggresive and moody(combo of being pregnant and my mum), and all my friends were away for the summer. and then d anxiety started getting much worse with all this happening. my symptoms now were-bad twitching,dp/dr,mild panic,constant fatigue,headaches and a few others…and well a few months had passed and things got even more worse for wear, i had lost my job when i was at the peak of my career within a day,all my friends had moved away, and the twitching was so bad it was nearly 24/7 and the dp/dr was alot worse also. and well what contributed to my social anxiety the most was the twitching, i would shake so bad that it looked like i was having a seizure, i would avoid all situations-going out with friends,going to the gym,shopping,family gatherings,public transport,even the corner shops! BUT, what i did was similar to when i used to get the disturbing thoughts when i was younger, i decided that it would be worse hiding than facing and well now im forcing myself into situations and well what dya know,the twitches are fading! i still have to challenge myself by going into deep water by going out to a nightclub with my friends which i havent done in over 3 months, and im going to force myself to have conversations with people i dont know regardless of the twitching! and in time they will go! even tonight i was at the cinema with a few friends and since the moment they picked me up from my house till they dropped me off, i was worried that i would start twitching, but didnt give a crap! i usually would have a habit of walking into the theatre behind them so i would get the seat closet to the exits incase i started twitching! and well tonight i sat smack bang in the middle surrounded by people and didnt give a crap if the twitches started or not,i was staying put!!!and ironically enough the twitches never came!lol!
    so even though i may feel like im not making progress at the moment because of my dp/dr i know i am! and i am suffering pretty bad with dp/dr at the moment and well i know its just like the disturbing thoughts or the twitches-i have just created alot of bad habits(thought patterns etc) and its my behaviour-getting out all the time,keeping busy,hanging out with friends,exercising thats going to eventually break this and going to get me back to my old self! this is the way forward! forget your magic pills,forget your remedies,forget all the shoddy therapies out there!forget all the people that just want to make a quick dollar from your suffering! on that note actually be careful of all these methods that guarantee to have you recovered in a matter of weeks like the linden method etc…sure these people that created them have suffered themselves,but all they are doing is selling the info that you need to recover when its all here for free on pauls website/blog and in his book which he goes more depth into which is at a small price! plus its impossible to recover in a few weeks! it takes a good amount of time to desensitise your nerves and refressh your tired mind! its been 6 months since i found pauls site and im on the rocky road to recovery! the only reason im going through a bad patch is because of my family situation but i know when things pick up at home so will the anxiety!

    but anyway enough of my rambling! 😛 the point here is anyone suffering with social anxiety like i have, you have got to force yourself if situations that make u anxious! itll be tough at first but I PROMISE! i promise u all that it will get better and you will start to see shades of the old you coming back little by little! all the best guys! :)

  652. marc Says:

    forgot a nice quote as well guys that i heard before regarding to people with SAD

    ”the people that care dont matter.the people that dont care matter.”

  653. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Nice Quote Marc, I suffered with mild social anxiety, more caring what people thought of me and how I was coming across, this in turn had me running away or avoiding conversations which is obviously counter productive long term. I then learnt to no longer care what people thought or how I came across, stay in conversations and actively go towards people when my instinct told me to avoid them and over time things improved massively.

    It is not only your determination to go towards situations marc and no longer care, it is also your full belief that this is the right thing to do long term, that’s really key. Nothing is ever achieved overnight and it may not always go as we want, but long term it’s all adding up and helping you to reverse back to the old you.

  654. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    I have decided to put a new post up tomorrow, the success stories will have to wait as my computer is going to be another week. The screen smashed on it and I have had real trouble locating another, it is now ordererd, but it will be another week or so and it’s too long to wait. So I will write a different one tomorrow and save the stories until the post after.

    And a nice post above Robbie, someone emailed me last week demanding I tell them how long it took me to recover and I said the same thing, I don’t want you to have time limits, we are all different and it was never wake up and it was gone, it just crept up on me over time. I suppose the day I really recovered is when I stopped fearing and caring anymore, the symptoms were still there at times, but just a nusience in the background, they had lost their hold over me. At one time they had my full attention and respect and tok over my day 24/7, but no more. More on that in the post tomorrow.


  655. AR Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Happy New Year to you and all on this site, I am reading your book these days, its wonderfull. I am recovering and had good time over christmas and new year but some time stuck on small little things and can not move forward. I will give you an example, few day ago during the night I awake to drink some water and went to the toilet, you know the little rope for switch on the light just touches on the top of the covered jug of water. I can not stop thinking about it, my mind is just tired thinking that there might be germs and this and that, even though I know that jug was covered and all but my mind is going after those thoughts persistently. I am feeling anxiety again after many days of peace….. any comments to cope with these feelings.

  656. Ethel Says:

    As to the above – that was probably me!! but on the subject of recovery and how long it took those who have recovered …. I know for me, it is not about setting myelf deadlines because I know everyone’s circumstances are different, I suppose for me it is about gaining more knowledge and hope with regard to this condition. It seems to be a frustrating ‘secret’ that those who have recovered keep to themselves. I know that some might be six months, or maybe a year or two (perhaps more!) but for me it is about unfolding the secrecy behind it, gaining some honest transparency and relieving the mystery behind WHY others will not be honest. I dont think that other will decide .. “Well, it took Joe Bloggs 2 years so that will be the same for me etc … etc” for US who are still suffering, it is about HOPE and for some it is about relieving some of the pressure that they put on themselves.

    Last question – a couple of people have said to me that they do not believe that a 100% recovery is possible for those who have suffered anxiety – they believed that is is a kin to being an alcoholic – once suffered … always suffer. They even told me that those who say that they have recovered 100% are LIARS!!! (these are NOT MY thoughts!) I would like to think that complete recovery IS possible … no, not possible …. but guaranteed.

    For those who have indeed ‘recovered’ – is it 100% or is it just that you ‘manage’ your symtpoms/anxiety better??

  657. Ethel Says:

    Sorry – with regard to the post above – I felt it fair to mention that the people who did make these comments have suffered anxiety themselves!!

  658. Robbie Says:

    I completely understand what you are saying regarding recovery time. I just didn’t want to give anyone any “false hope.” It took me about 5-6 months to recover. However, after about 2 years of being anxiety free, I had a setback a couple of months ago, so to say I was fully recovered was probably incorrect. It has taken me about 4-6 weeks to recover from my recent setback (I would say I’m about 98% recovered). I think the reason I had a setback was because I didn’t fully develop skills during my first bout with anxiety. I was on medication and that helped a little, but when I had a setback, it threw me for a loop because I hadn’t developed any coping skills. Now I feel like I have the skills to be able to handle anxiety if it ever comes back around.

    Also, I’ve heard the same thing you have about having anxiety your whole life and 100% recovery is impossible (my father has actually told me that). I find that hard to believe! Like you said, recovery is guaranteed. During the 2 years that I was anxiety free, I truly believe I was 100% recovered. With that said, everyone experiences some sort of anxiety. It’s an emotion that makes us normal. It’s how you respond and handle anxiety that separates anxiety sufferers from others. So, in my opinion, to be 100% recovered is to be able to effectively deal with situations that make you anxious in a constructive manner. I’m kind of rambling a little bit, I hope that makes sense.

  659. scarlet Says:


    No there’s no secrecy behind the amount of time some of us took to recover, for me it was around 2 years in total….

    As for those who tell you that those that are recovered 100% are liars, well this is utter rubbish. I am 100% recovered. Am back to how I was before I had anxiety, only more informed. I don’t ‘manage’ any anxiety these days at all…

  660. Ethel Says:

    Robbie and Scarlet … Now thats what I’m talkin’ about – transparency!!! and a smattering of hope to all of us that are still suffering … THANKYOU. I dont think that any of us suffering from anxiety are naive enough to believe that a time limit for one person means the same for all – but HOPE is sometimes the ONLY (and I do mean the ONLY) thing that we can cling to to help us soldier on everyday. To be honest, the ‘secret time limit’ thing was scaring the s**t out of me – as an anxious person still very much in the throes of the ‘early days’ and intense suffering, this was one thing that frustrated me more than anything – I started to believe what others were telling me and the reason that everyone was so secretive about their recovery period was infact that NO ONE had ever truly recovered. Anxious people by their very nature do not handle VAGUE very well – but they thrive on HOPE. A huge thankyou to you both, you have given me some renewed and well needed vigour to get through today – and each day is a step closer xx

  661. scarlet Says:


    I honestly believe that if I had found this site earlier, I would have been recovered much quicker. I walked around the first year in a daze not really knowing what was wrong with me.

    But I can assure you that full recovery is indeed possible, I don’t live my life consumed by anxiety any more, I am no longer afraid of being anxious, and I know that my thoughts will never frighten me any more EVER. I think the people you have been talking to haven’t seen this blog, everything you need to recovery fully is contained in it’s pages, there are no secrets…. 😉

  662. KH Says:

    Hi Ethel,

    I fully agree with you on not putting a deadline for recovery from anxiety. I have suffered anxiety for 1 month before I found Paul’s website and beginning to go on a journey of recovery. It is almost 3 months since then, and I have not fully recovered yet, but I do manage my symptoms so much more better. If it was the old me, I would have questioned if I am doing all this wrong and why am I recovering so slowly while entering the cycle of anxiety again.

    But today I take a totally different approach in managing my anxiety. I give it as much time as possible to develop the coping skills I need for anxiety. So I don’t mind taking more time to live alongside anxiety as the most important thing is to be able to better manage it the next time it happens to me again.

    As for the 100% recovery, I personally feel that it is very subjective. A person who is still fearing that anxiety might come back would definitely say that 100% recovery is impossible, as they are stuck in the cycle of waiting when will anxiety strike them again. Personally for me, I do not give any attention to anxiety anymore, and if it wants to come, then it’s fine. But what I do want is to learn how to better manage it, so that the next time it come, it will take a much shorter time to recover. To me, 100% recovery comes when you no longer care about anxiety in your life, and even if a setback happens, you are still able to move on with other more important things in your life.

    Just my two cents. :)

  663. KH Says:

    Hi Marc,

    I can relate very much to your situation. Before my anxiety started, I was undergoing treatment for my spine as I am diagnosed with scoliosis. My anxiety started first when I experienced muscle twitching. Naturally, it freaked me out as I did not know what is happening to me. I went for a medical diagnosis to ensure that everything is alright, did MRI scan and EEG to make sure I am in good condition. Everything came out fine but I am still not convinced ! And this is when obsessive thoughts came in and I begin to experience mild dp. This is when I know enough is enough, when I started seeking help and with very much luck I found Paul’s website. So don’t worry, I am very much certain my twitching is amplified by anxiety, as I do experience much lesser twitching now. Now I do not care if my twitching is there or not, the most important thing is to put my focus on other important things in my life.

  664. Ethel Says:


    Thank you, I read a lot of your posts (I am very selective about the post I read as my mind is very like an sponge for negativity at the moment!) This is early days for me – I have had INTENSE anxiety since the end of September and whilst obvioulsy I do get anxious thoughts, things like “Oh God, I have to go OUT, I’ll never cope” or “Oh, no I have to try and hold a conversation, s**t, I’m never gonna be able to do this” and then the physical symtpoms beat the crap out of me – it really is the physical side of things that I am finding the hardest to bear. I am shaky, my heart beats fast and hard, I get easily breathless and very dizzy almost all of the time and I just seem weak and helpless and overwhlemed with anxious doomful negativity!!

    I have been around here (and with Pauls book) for about 2 months – and whilst I get it all in principle – that actually putting it into practice and truly believing it seems significantly harder. My head just seems so full (if you know what I mean!) but I am hopefully learning, albeit, rather slowly … I would have considered myself a very strong person before – but not now.

    The first time I experienced anxiety was for a brief period about 22 years ago. I didnt know what it was intially until someone told me about panic attacks – I do not remember it being as intense as this (but perhaps it was and I have just forgotten!!) I know that at the time it took me about 9 months to get over it but it left me with residual issues, small ones, nothing that hindered my day to day living, just minor issues that I coped with but I always had an awareness of panic attacks and how I could easily, so very easily have triggered one off. The strange thing is that throughout the last 22 years, I have dealt with SO, SO many stressfull issues, my Mother died after a gruesome and painful illness, I got preganant and my Father threw me out. I had a difficult and strained relationship with the baby’s father (too many issues there to list!) I lived alone as a single parent, I then moved to a different country, had another child, struggled through my now husband’s unemployment and major financial issues and there were just SO many other highly stressful incidents that occured along lifes merry little highway … but in all of this … I coped FINE – no panic or major anxiety at all. and then this year, everthing went to crap, a couple more issues occurred … my son meeting with his biological father, my daughter having to be told about the existence of this man, my mother in law died suddenly and huge pressures at work (I work in Mental Health, believe it or not!!) A couple of days feeling REALLY dizzy, the Dr’s thought perhaps I had a stroke (NOT!) and then panic in the EXTREME – and I have not been able to shake it off since, it has me firmly in it’s clutches 24/7 and I feel deflated and useless.

    I firmly believe that if I got though it 22 years ago (although I have no idea HOW I got through it) then I WILL get through this again … in time.

    Any advice from anyone out there will be much appreciated – I dont know why I have written all this – you must all be bored to tears with my gripes but maybe in all of it there is a little HOPE x

  665. natalie Says:

    well happy new year guys hope you had a lovely xmas and new year !!! have been away from this blog for a little while and would like to say had a good christmas with my family with few hiccups, got quite lazy just eating chilling and watchiing good old fashions movies :) started back to work yesterday and boys due back at school tomorrow so been a little hectic these last few days. Can see lots of positive messages on here and even those of us still suffering are being positive in our outlook which is a credit to all the support on this website. i today have had a “low day” but coming on here has given me that extra bit of ump that i needed. esp as it is social stuff i am struggling with how apt that is what has been listed. mine is not that i stop goinng places more i i worry about what people think of me, or that i am upsetting them ?? when i done nothing wrong.. knows its angst based and will take time but frustrating that i worry over these silly things.. who cares if cancelling to met up due to other commitments might upset someone .. out of my control nothing i can do about it if they upset they will get over it.. after all this you would think i would put myself first .. paul to stop worrying about stuff and caring about what people think/say i think is the hardest thing of all it sounds so easy .. but you have to trust that either way worry or not the outcome will be the outcome the worry changes nothing at the end of the day.. any advise on how to help stop worrying would really help me at the moment as this is where i struggle x for anyone new on this site it really really helps and trust in pauls scarlets and other people that they are correct in what they say.. they have been there and done it and why not believe you will be 100% better ?? it is only the same as believiing you won’t only the flip side… you have no skills to know the future .. at the end of the day your reality is your thoughts.. let them be positive ones !!!! xx

  666. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Ethal says: Last question – a couple of people have said to me that they do not believe that a 100% recovery is possible for those who have suffered anxiety – they believed that is is a kin to being an alcoholic – once suffered … always suffer. They even told me that those who say that they have recovered 100% are LIARS!!! (these are NOT MY thoughts!) I would like to think that complete recovery IS possible … no, not possible …. but guaranteed.

    For those who have indeed ‘recovered’ – is it 100% or is it just that you ‘manage’ your symtpoms/anxiety better??

    Utter, utter rubbish that people that people who say they have recovered are liars. Not sure who these people are you talk about, sometimes it can be people who are bitter or angry that they have not come through and then doubt the belief that others have. Have they gone out an interviewed everyone who has suffered and recovered? Not a chance.

    I used to work voluntery many years ago in my local hospital when I recovered, that is how things started to take off. Most of these people had never had an explanation before, nothing but pills and many of the people I helped went on to full recovery.

    So many have stated on this site thay have fully recovered, I get many emails each month from people who have now fully recovered, I am 100% recovered, not managing it at all. I have heard about doctors telling people to just manage it, pills are the answer to keep it at bay etc, Well I went the total opposite of keeping it at bay and managing it, I welcomed it, stopped caring if it was there or not. A lady from the medical field emailed me 3 weeks ago and bought my book as she suffered and yes her field was helping people with anxiety/stress issues and she said how the book had not only educated her but would help so much in helping others in the future.

    One thing I knew would happen would be that I would recover, I never accepted this would be me forever and the reason I stopped at nothing to educate myself.

  667. scarlet Says:


    Like KH says, I think for those still with anxiety, it’s hard for them to ever see a time when they are fully recovered, hence they can’t see anyone else recover fully from it either. I remember speaking to my BIL when I was at the height of my anxiety, he suffered around 20 years ago really badly, although I didn’t know until I was suffering as well, and he told me his story. I was really taken aback when he told me he had fully recovered, I couldn’t for the life of me comprehend how someone could go through what I was going through at that time and get through it, I guess I had some sort of mental block. Perhaps this is the same for those people you mention.
    Obviously now that I am recovered, I can see it is possible and highly likely if you follow the principles on this blog.

    “The first time I experienced anxiety was for a brief period about 22 years ago. I didnt know what it was intially until someone told me about panic attacks – I do not remember it being as intense as this (but perhaps it was and I have just forgotten!!) I know that at the time it took me about 9 months to get over it but it left me with residual issues, small ones, nothing that hindered my day to day living, just minor issues that I coped with but I always had an awareness of panic attacks and how I could easily, so very easily have triggered one off”

    Perhaps your recovery was quicker 22 years ago because you didn’t try and think your way out of it as much, and this time you have more time on your hands to dwell on thoughts and physical symptoms. Sometimes people can ‘recover’ and not have a full understanding, they distract themselves and pay anxiety no heed until it goes, and then they are able to live normally. They are basically following the principles here, but without full understanding. But in these cases there is a possibility of a relapse, due to the fact that they recovered for a while, but never understood fully what anxiety is, so the fear of anxiety still remained buried, perhaps to be triggered by something else later on. My own mother was one of these, sadly not around for me to help her today.

  668. James Says:

    Hello All,

    I just want to say that don’t listen to those people who tell you there’s no such thing as recovery. I honestly feel like I’m almost there, my main problem is I still have those disturbing thoughts from time to time, but I think it’s just me thinking back to when it was bad or me being in certain places that bring back those memories. I really no longer have those days were I felt jittery, nervous, constantly thinking, couldn’t sleep. Time is the best healer and you will get there, and I believe I will fully get there soon. :)

  669. Ethel Says:

    Thank you all for your replies and I HOPE that I will recover sometime in the near future. As I say … HOPE is my only fuel at the moment and hearing stories (and those time limits) of recovery truly is food for the soul … so thank you xXx

    I am taking steps … some practical (and scary ones) I am leaving my life here behind (my job, which I am no longer able to do, my house, my dog and all my worldly possesions) and I am moving back to Scotland next week, taking one child and leaving my eldest and my husband behind. The eldest is doing his A Levels and I dont want his education interrupted (he is fine with this) and my husband refuses point blank to move to Scotland (an on going issue … not a new one!) The reason I am returning is primarily for family support and to give myself some new focus, although the future is now a very scary prospect indeed … I am trying to do what I feel is best for ME at the moment because without getting myself back to ME (even a different me is fine) … the future looks exceedingly bleak for my children. I am trying to do this a day at a time and just hope against hope that the future will unravel itself in my favour.

    Thank you all … and if you have a little time in your day, keep posting the positive stories … there is one Scots lady out here who really needs you.

    P.S Please do not think that I am all just TAKE, TAKE, TAKE …. because this is not who I am (really it’s not!) it is just that I cant really help anyone else out there just yet … I am not in a place to be able to do that right now … but I PROMISE that if I EVER get a few steps ahead, I will be here giving HOPE to others. (((xx)))

  670. KM Says:

    Hi Ethel,
    Hang in there! I work in mental health as well and am in the throws of a set back too! I know what you mean about the 24/7, i’m struggling at the moment as well although my symptoms are more psychological than physical! I had a breakdown similar (although worse) ten years ago when my daughter was born, it took me a long time to recover from that, but only because i had no support, had no idea how too recover, and it took me a few years to find the right counsellor who put me on the right track! Whether i fully recovered or not i’m not so convinced I do remember not ever having anxiety consume me and i was living my life without it being a problem! My current set back has lasted about two months, and i’m seeing improvements, in sleep and appetitie, but only small improvements, I’m choosing to stay at work and this for me is imperitive as without my job, i’m a single parent my life would fall apart completly! So everyday i get up with the same dread in the pit of my stomach, haven’t felt hungry for two months, and have really struggled getting though everyday! I have to mention thought there has been days where I’ve been anxiety free, which has shocked me and given me hope! The other day i went to the hardware store with my boyfriend and had a terrible panic attack, it filled me full of fear of another one, but i was determined not to allow anxiety to come between me and my partner! So the next day i ensured that we went straight back to that dam hardware store, fill with fear and i couldn’t believe it, I had the best time, we bought paint, shopped for carpet, light fittings, door knobs etc and I felt 100% normal!! It was bizarre, the only thing was my thoughts were more on my renovations that my fear! I woke up the next day feeling dreadful again and have had a few shocking days since, but that experience has given me hope that i’ll have more like it! I hope this post helps you, keep in touch xxx

  671. james Says:

    Hey Marc! I can totally relate to you with the distubring thoughts. When I first got anxiety around the end of November it was really strong, but it feels like it wants to go away but for some reason it’s in the back of my head and won’t go away. I still get nervous if I open up to go grab a fork or spoon and I see a knife i get nervous or if I’m working on my house and need to use a hammer I get scared. I really hope these thoughts will fade away because I feel like I’m almost there, it’s just frustrating at times.

  672. marc Says:

    to paul and people recovered/suffering with dp/dr

    paul thanks for the reply to the post, i see what you mean. i guess in a way i am a bit more determined rather than believing that going into these situations is the best thing for me, ill implement this attitude in future! :)

    just have a few questions on dp/dr here……..
    in regards to dp guys im just wondering can anyone relate to what im experiencing. basically what im experiencing now at the moment is a more inward introspection of myself and my minds normal functions, rather than an outward introspection that i normally hear of with people and dp, like if someone was holding a phone in their hand and wondering if the phone was real or not, i mean i do get that and feel distant from my surroundings etc but its more of an inward thing with my dp, ill try to explain even though its really hard to! 😛 the main thing that i have at the moment with dp is that im freaked out by the general process of thoughts and images, like they arent real themselves, for instance when i get a thought into my head or if an image comes into my head, its like it feels completely alien to me! like i dont understand what it is and its bloody terrifying! and because its humanly natural to have thoughts and images in our heads all day i hope you guys understand the kind of turmoil im going through! its like its in the same context of saying that breathing(we breath 24/7) freaks you out and seems completely alien to you! and my mind can get so bloody tired at times from this! even there today i was doing a spot of ironing and all this rubbish was going through my head and i could just feel myself getting more knackered by the minute! any suggestions on how to deal with this guys would be much appreciated. i know that im supposed to try and accept this but it can be extremely hard because this is just so weird and terrifying!
    also guys another thing that can happen to me now and again which i think is linked to dp is that out of nowhere at times my mind can just go blank for a brief moment, when it happens its like my mind and my soul has just left my body and it feels like i dont know who i am,where i am and whats going on! like i do do know where i am and that, if you were to ask me a question or something i would be able to answer you. but it just feels like the ‘inner me’ has just vanished! its not like the typical feeling unreal and weird with dp which can be somewhat bearable, this sensation however is just by far the most horrific,terrifying,weirdest,unpleasant sensation i have ever felt before! it genuinly feels like im loosing my marbles!!!
    another thing id like to touch on is the emotional factor with dp both negative and positive, first with the negative. basically guys what i experience in the emotional factor is if im in a certain situation lets say an argument for example, and if im shouting and debating with the person, its like the anger and frustration are clearly there on the outside, but on the inside theres nothing, i just feel empty. and after the argument my mind can spiral wondering did the argument actually happen and i could start questioning the reality of the emotion that was neccesary for the argument! did any of you guys experience this??? on a positive note, at times i could get glimmers of emotion, for example i was watching a sad film the other day and i felt sorry for one of the characters in the film, although the emotion didnt seem real or whatever, it still came to me. could this be a sign that things are improving??? to be honest it was a bit weird because it felt like i had forgot what this emotion had felt like!
    another thing that i get with dp guys is that at times when something happens,lets say for instance my mum slipped and fell, afterwards the image of her slipping could stay in my mind,and i can start wondering if it actually happened? is this down to the unreality feelings??? plus then the whole ‘process of thoughts and images’ thing can come about and start freaking out!vicious cycle! and this can happen quite alot and even with the simplest of things like speaking for example, after i have spoke a sentence i could start wondering did i actually say what i just said and reply the sentence in my head and it just seems so unreal it completely freaks me out!
    and lastly guys another thing that i get is that conversations can seem so weird and sureal to me and can leave me bewildered! like i could be having a simple conversation with someone about the weather and it can feel like they are talking jiberish to me or something! like i cant understand and grasp what they are saying! anbody else experience this?

    anyway, what a bunch of weird ole crap ey!!! haha! looking forward to getting some replies and advice guys! thanks very much!

    marc :)

  673. marc Says:


    ethel: what scarlet describes about some people that get anxiety(and have no notion of it) but distract themselves so much all the time that it eventually fades and you recover, but that theres a chance of a relapse, is spot on accurate!!! this was me 5 years ago after my first experience with anxiety, i was really bad for about 6 months but started doing so much that i completely distracted myself from anxiety and eventually recovered. but throughout the space of those 5 years i always had phases of anxiety that could last a couple of days,weeks or months, all down to the fact that i had very little knowledge on anxiety itself. so this time around now that i have all this knowledge and understanding, i know when i do recover down the line eventually that i dont think anxiety will ever phase me again because i will have gone through it all and that i have gained too much knowledge to know not to respect how im feeling!

    james: trust me when i tell you this mate, when i had these disturbing thoughts, i mean they werent just disturbing, they were demented! my mind would search for the most sick,horrible,disgusting action that i could do to someone and they shook me up very bad! i thought that i was sick for having these thoughts and that i was gonna have to be chucked into the funny farm! the day that i stopped paying respect to these thoughts was the day i found pauls website and realised that in fact they are hugely common with anxiety and that in fact im not messed up! i actually cried with relief that this was ok and that i wasnt screwed up in the head! the thoughts still came now and again afterwards but i didnt give a crap cause i knew they were very common with anxiety and that i shouldnt pay them respect! i actually started to laugh at them because of how stupid and insignificant they were! and eventually they drifted! and this is what you need to do,understand that they are completely normal and fine with anxiety,pay them no respect, even laugh at them because of how stupid and ridiculous they are!… one thing that i found helped(its probably just me) was watching alot of comedies and constantly getting up to mischief with my pals! 😀

    scarlet: HI!!!!!!! :)

  674. marc Says:

    also guys just wanted to post a bit of a warning for people who struggle bad with dp like myself. theres this site out there called created by some idiot called jeff abugal! hes goes on like he is somewhat of an expert on the subject, and even though his site is very descriptive on the subject,but tells alot of spook stories about people that have suffered with it for 20+ years or whatever which is just putting more fear into people! he has one section ‘finding relief’ at the end of the overview,here he basically says that its hopeless and dp is never going away and he tries to push SSRI’s(anti-depressant meds) onto people saying that people have found some relief with them… if this dick was a so called ‘expert’ he would know that there is thousands,even millions of people that have recovered from it! i think he should buy pauls book and come onto this blog and see some of the stories! 😉 i actually found this guy on facebook and was going to absolutely slaughter him with a mail! plus he tries to sell you his books plus a movie called numb with mathew perry in it which in some context is relevant to dp but mostly woefully inaccurate!

    paul sort this jeff abugal muppet out! 😉

  675. scarlet Says:

    Hi Marc,

    Can see that you are suffering bad dp at the moment, just like I did.

    “like if someone was holding a phone in their hand and wondering if the phone was real or not ”

    I never had this, I think perhaps what it is though, it’s not the actual phone you don’t recognise as real or not, but you are holding the phone with inappropriate feelings, i.e fear, numbness, depression. So when you analyse your feelings with regards to the phone you feel one step removed from it, as if you don’t relate to it like you did when you had the regular emotions (oooo did I make myself understood here LOL). Same experience when looking in the mirror, you see a shell of yourself, one without all the appropriate feelings. This is what my experience of dp was, and yes I had it all day, everyday, perhaps with a bit of respite late at night.

    “the main thing that i have at the moment with dp is that im freaked out by the general process of thoughts and images, like they arent real themselves, for instance when i get a thought into my head or if an image comes into my head, its like it feels completely alien to me! like i dont understand what it is and its bloody terrifying! and because its humanly natural to have thoughts and images in our heads all day i hope you guys understand the kind of turmoil im going through! its like its in the same context of saying that breathing”

    Sounds as if you are in an analysing loop. As hard as it is you need to break the cycle with thoughts like this, pondering on the meaning of life, why we breath, the processes. When thoughts like this come into your head, say “nope am not going there” and bring yourself to the present moment (i.e what you are currently doing, besides the deep thinking). You should do this hundred times if you have to. Thinking thoughts like this just pull you further in.

    “basically guys what i experience in the emotional factor is if im in a certain situation lets say an argument for example, and if im shouting and debating with the person, its like the anger and frustration are clearly there on the outside, but on the inside theres nothing, i just feel empty. and after the argument my mind can spiral wondering did the argument actually happen and i could start questioning the reality of the emotion that was neccesary for the argument! did any of you guys experience this???”

    This is normal. If you are feeling numb and empty when having an argument you will have a hard time trying to remember it, as we associate memories with feelings (anger/sadness). It’s the same with trying to remember childhood memories when you are feeling detached, we can’t either. The way to go, like I said above is to not go down the analysing route and let it be, so what if you don’t remember it, you were feeling numb at the time and it’s perfectly normal, when your regular emotions come back you will remember fine.

    “on a positive note, at times i could get glimmers of emotion, for example i was watching a sad film the other day and i felt sorry for one of the characters in the film, although the emotion didnt seem real or whatever, it still came to me. could this be a sign that things are improving???”

    yep, glimpses are fine, that is the real you.

    “and lastly guys another thing that i get is that conversations can seem so weird and sureal to me and can leave me bewildered! like i could be having a simple conversation with someone about the weather and it can feel like they are talking jiberish to me or something! like i cant understand and grasp what they are saying! anbody else experience this?”

    yes this is normal as well. Your mind is so caught up in your own thoughts that you are basically just going through the motions of listening, they could be talking Chinese and it wouldn’t matter. It will all come back in time, no worries… for the moment just nod and smile, and carry on having the conversations, as this is the way to be brought back to the present moment, no matter how briefly and it all helps in the retraining of your brain back to regular thinking. “Every little second of regular thinking matters…. it brings you one step closer”.

  676. scarlet Says:

    “my mind can get so bloody tired at times from this! even there today i was doing a spot of ironing and all this rubbish was going through my head and i could just feel myself getting more knackered by the minute! any suggestions on how to deal with this guys would be much appreciated. i know that im supposed to try and accept this but it can be extremely hard because this is just so weird and terrifying!”

    Marc, if there were times like this, I would turn on the radio to 80s songs (long before your time ha ha!) and sing at the top of my voice. I never iron without the radio on LOL This could help you break the cycle for a while.

  677. Clara Says:

    Hi natalie….

    I too am at the very same stage as yours..and i agree its so damn annoying..because all you think is how you appear before people and whether you might upset them..listening only to the emotonal mind and because of taht i felt i am so self conscious 24/7 not being able to see who i am isnt that i have totally illogical thoughts but things dont come as ‘normal’ as it should be…even bfore speaking to someone has to think about what to and keeping a watch always on me when i speak that i dont hurt anyone… that way we are just ‘living’ for others according to their likes not able to express ourselves ..taking the blame on us for every little thing…

    i understood there is a distorted thought pattern which is ruling my life..Natalie…whenevr i felt uncomfortable or some unnecessary thoughts were running parallel to listening to other people i started observing myself..i understood i am not taking in the information as it should be..i put the focus on what they are saying and whatever i am ‘feeling’ is anxiety related….i just took the content of what they were saying without giving any prejudiced touch to it…basically thinking with a logical mind rather than with an overemotional turmoiled mind..! r u a very emotional person? as i sort of feel all sort of stories keep running in my head being me as a struggler with emotional issues with people..then i thought as u said thoughts are our reality…what if these stories are all anxiety related or habitual and there is no reality in it..i soon started giving it no importance and starting afresh each time with a clean mindset.
    but to adapt this thought pattern i have to make an effort as i tend to fall into old practises..and each time i speak with a rational mind i feel happy as i am not having any unwanted emotional baggage..

  678. KH Says:

    Hi Marc,

    I totally agree with you how we can recover once we find our thoughts insignificant and useless. I used to suffer disturbing thoughts about my health, but now I would only laugh at them. The moment I know that they cannot affect me if I don’t pay them any attention, the thoughts begin to lift. Now although they will still come back, it would not last for long as I do not care about them.

    To those out there who suffer from anxiety, just stay positive and don’t give any attention to those anxiety-related thoughts and sooner or later you will be able to recover.

  679. Robbie Says:

    After three weeks or so of not even thinking about anxiety, I had a rough day yesterday. I was really tired as I didn’t sleep well the night before and I had to travel out of town for a meeting for work. I’m not sure if that contributed to it or not, but I felt real edgy for most of the day and then those freaking disturbing thoughts started to roll about in my head! I wonder if I’m associating being tired with anxiety since I seem to have the same symptoms regardless. To be honest, it probably doesn’t really matter, I just need to accept how I feel and get on with my day as usual, but it’s really hard to do when you’re tired. I woke up this morning and feel fine, but have that nagging thought in the back of my head that I won’t feel good again.

    Can anyone else relate to this?

  680. Sam Says:

    Sorry to be a pain, but did anyone read my post from a little while ago? I would love any responses you guys might have.

  681. Dunya Says:

    I have pretty bad dp, i only recently started reading about it and the more i read, although i felt better temporarily, it seemed to make me worse because i am constantly aware now of what is wrong with me and cannot get along with normal life. I quit my job, and now have very empty days, I finished Pauls book a couple of days ago, and have started eating better and excercising. i went to see a therapist who has given be xanax and zoloft. i am hesitant to take them but also at the point where i just want to feel better. yesterday i did what the book says, and went against all my instincts and met a friend for coffee. although it felt very surreal and horrible at first, i found myself mid conversation feeling completely fine. i was so happy and felt ‘fixed’. i woke up today however feeling so awful, i made an appointment at a charity shelter because i thought i should do some volunteer work since i no longer have a job, it was stressful and i felt detached the whole time and cried all the way home. i tend to feel better in the evenings but every morning is the same. do you think taking a pill in the morning may help? ive been told to take them 3 times a day but right now i just have it before i sleep.

  682. Rosemary Says:

    Dunya you may find it better to post on the most recent blog “changing your attitude to anxiety” it is up to the minute and someone there recently asked a question about xanax..

  683. LisaP Says:

    Thanks soo much for your post!! What you said in regards to dp and analyzing the feeling with the phone, has been insightful into why I have the topic of obsessing that I do…concerning “how do I know things are real”…is reality just a creation of the mind.. and so forth. When I first experienced anxity some years ago, I really focused on the sensations I was having the dp. I didn’t have anyone to explain it to me so I became anxious about it. I remember when I was a child, A had a cold and I had the sensation of feeling week and spacey which scared me and I became anxious about the feelings. If only I had someone explain that this was normal maybe I could have save myself the hell!! Well at least with this topic lol I feel like I need reprogramming!!! lol!!!

  684. Lyndsey Says:

    I have been mostly “anxiety free” for about 2 weeks now. I’ve had one bad panic attack as opposed to having about 10 every day and constantly worrying. I worried about being worried and I constantly questioned my sanity. I got extremely nervous around people & I had to constantly take xanax to take the edge off. I work as a server at a restaurant, so it was pretty rough. Everytime I would get extra stressed out, was sick, smoked a cigarette, or had drank the night before my panic attacks would be beyond terrible. I couldn’t function and I’d lay in bed and try to sleep it off. I’ve had this constant anxiety and panic for about 2 years now. And after struggling everyday I finally told myself it needed to come to an end and I was gonna fix this myself with no medication. I began with praying to God, like I did/do everyday and I told myself that everything was all in my head and that every time an attack came on I was gonna beat it. Everytime I felt anxiety I got myself to think about better things and everytime I panicked I would talk myself out of it and each time it’d be shorter and shorter and I would congratulate myself. I just had to keep in my mind that it wasn’t real and that whenever I felt like that I needed to beat it & I’ve been doing just that. There are still times when I start to want to worry and I just continue to tell myself “calm down. don’t let it control you.. it’s in your head” and then I think of something else. It has become less and less as the days go on. I drank for the first time last night in the past 2 weeks and I actually feel normal still… I worried a tiny bit this morning & then again I talked myself out of it. All this time it’s all been in my head & it’s such a relief to beat it. Wish you guys the best of luck.

  685. JB Says:

    Hi guys, was having a few medical problems that turned into panic attacks and anxiety. Then i start worring about being a burden on my family. Had cat scans and blood test, all was good. Today had an MRI to check my back. I decided to get back to working out, and my problem areas started to flare uo, mid back and throat tighten feeling. Is this normal, will working out bring those feelings back?

  686. Matt Says:

    Hi All,

    I found all these posts inspiring – so thank you.

    I’ve been suffering severe/cronic anxiety/stress for the last 2 months now. I know that doesn’t sound like long, compared to most experiences here, but symptoms have been quick and strong: chest palpatations; heart racing; sweats; headaches; muscle ache; mood swings (always tearful); stomach ache’ and constant worrying – and they’ve been 24/7.

    The cause of my contsant anxiety is probably due to a build up of stress over the last 12 months – baby girl born last year; my wife suffered some PND, stress ful job, and our litlle girl was in and out of hospital up until 1 years old.

    I recently ended up coming down with a chest infection and was signed off work for a week, which kinda stressed me out more, but helped me rest. I’m now back at work and although I physically feel a little better (less palps; muscle ache; sweats; heart racing etc) I still have days of cronic anxiety, headaches, worrying (mainly about not getting better; inability to cope; that I must be going mad etc) which usually ends up in tears. The latter feels like its caused by a build up of adrenelin but scares and worries me so much. I end up thinking I’ve got depression. more worry etc.

    I’m desperate to fix it and am taking supplements (vit B;Mag); doing exercise; hypno etc – really throwing myself in to resolve this. I fear that this is not going away and I’m developing a real problem as I’m dwelling on how I feel all the time and my thoughts are pretty negative.

    Thankfully, I’m off on holiday next week – so I’m praying my symptoms will reduce once I’m rested and off work again – here’s hoping it’s just stress. I know I need to be patient and realise they won’t go overnight, but it really is the scariest thing I’ve ever been through. If they don’t go, I will visit my GP.

    My heart (and respect) goes out to anyone who has suffered with anxiety for a long time. Any advice would be welcome.
    Bets of luck everyone.

  687. Emma Says:

    I cant even begin to tell my story it is still sooooo raw at present….. one thing I wanted to ask is how do you continue this when you have children im finding it hard.

    Also, how do you know you have recovered is it you just dont think about it no more im not sure what normal is anymore….

    Also, im tryinng to ask myself do I have to change my whole thought process and be constantly be positive because if i dont i will fall back into it?

    What do you do when you do have a rational worry such as your kids being ill or there is in my case a relationship breakdown how to you deal with this stress and recover is it possible?

    I am also wondering

  688. Jenny Says:

    I’ve suffered all my life with anxiety / depression , I don’t have panic attacks any more as I learnt to deal with them and not be afraid , but what I have now is far worse as my anxiety makes me feel physically ill , so trying to live with it is awful as I feel so ill sometimes I cannot do anything I enjoy , I still try but never feel well . Clean bill of health from doctors , but so depressed that I can’t do the things I enjoy , I never hear much of this side of anxiety but it is debilitating , I Am an artist and extrovert with 5 lovely children , have had an awful 15 yrs but seem to be worse now that I am out of the nightmare I was in , trying to get your book

  689. damola Says:

    I read most of this comments and I realised I have experienced most of the symptoms that accompany anxiety, I had this attach last year oct, I battled thru it till may this year, I can tell you right now that I experience the worst of anxiety but now thanks to God and the information of paul which make me feel great.. I had a believe before that there is no getting out of this fear and worrysome cycle but its like a magic that am done with the cycles, when u have the hope of getting better everyday u will notice a graduall changes in you.hey all about it is just fear. The most horrifying one is when u think u are crazy, u dream of bein crazy, u get scared wen u see a crazy person thinking somany tots that maybe they were made like that through anxiety. The answer is no. With time u will feel ok gradually and the happy mood will set itself in naturally. Another bad thing about it is the question about if u gonna keep up with ur daily activities. But never mind it will go I am a living testimony of this. We get the most trauma when we get attacked by it, but the later ups and down is as a result of recovery.. Right now am good and I can reason well but before I can’t even read let alone to type. I had to struggle to finish up with my final year exam at the university cos I can read but I still manage to get a good grade. This made me to know that its all trick cos I should have mad me fail wholefully. You must bear the pains and the sufferness cos no one you talk to can help cos the won’t understand. All the do is yell and mock you. So continue what u are doing the loads will get lighter and fader soon. Thanks

  690. Charelle Says:

    Just like you said it Paul.. My recovery is exactly the feels like its gone and then the next moment it feels like it back… Thank a lot. #big hug#… I’m on the way of recovering.. It feels great

  691. Alison Says:

    Hey everyone

    Just hoping to gain some insight/help with a wall I’ve seem to hit with my

    I first encountered the anxiety cycle after
    smoking marijuana when I was 16, I experienced my first panic attack and the next month or so was filled with horrible anxiety, questioning, panicking and depersonalization. After stumbling across Paul’s Website I was able to slowly make changes to get back to my normal life, and eventually it worked out for me! The feelings of anxiety were completely gone after about
    4-6 months, and as Paul says I just knew I had resurfaced.

    Now, 4 years later, I did a really dumb thing and decided to try smoking again. I felt panic but thankfully did not have a full blown attack as I knew what anxiety was… Unfortunately I woke up the next day very on edge, I immediately began to think about how I felt and if I felt “normal” and throughout the day I began to become overly self aware… Now I seem to be caught up in the anxiety cycle all over again. =(

    on one hand I feel like I’m in a way better position than last time. I don’t have the feelings of DP and I am already sure that I will recover and get back to normal. On top of this I have been making sure to continue going to work and going out with friends etc., which is a good start considering it’s only been a few days.

    I have been getting good at not paying attention to intrusive thoughts and anxious feelings. But one thing that’s really getting to me is the mind chattering. I’ve had quite a few moments that lead to hour chunks of time where I am aware of my anxiety but still calm, as I remind myself that I know what is causing my feelings. My problem that I need help with is that in my moments of calm I am still constantly thinking about my anxiety and what I’m doing about it. It’s like I’m obsessing over not obsessing over it.

    Paul says to let your mind chatter away, does this mean it’s okay that my mind is going over coping methods repeatedly? I’m so frustrated because half the time I feel like it’s okay for my mind to go off like that because I know it’s just anxiety, but then half the time I feel like I’m doing something wrong as I’m going over and over all the things I need to do (like staying calm, doing all my regular activities etc.) which is the opposite of giving up the fight… Any advice?

  692. Jacqueline Says:

    This is the most wonderful, helpful article I have ever read. Thank you so much for writing it.
    I’m going through the most difficult time in my life right now. My anxiety is at an all time high, and I’ve hit rock bottom. But your article has given me hope, and thats a wonderful gift.

  693. koala Says:

    What a great post. I’m now recovering from about 10 years of anxiety caused by traumatic events and stress. I just had the best period of my life lately, lasted a week. then step back…I was searching running circles ‘why it came back, what have I done?’and so on. Your story about ups and downs is exactly what I had to see. now I know it is just part of the rocess and I’m not getting back to squer one and I really must heave done some good progress because I had a good week. not hour, not day as it was but whole week! I will get there :) kisses from the Netherlands!

  694. Sumit Talreja Says:

    I have been reading your book since last 20 days and I can only say you saved my life. Thank you. God Bless you

  695. kelsie Says:

    Hi all. I’m not sure if anybody still comments back on this site. But I’m seeking reassurance. I’ve been suffering with anxiety for almost 4 months now. Pauls site has helped me a lot. But lately I’ve been fearing I have schizophrenia. I have none of the symptoms. But I fear that I will start hearing or seeing things I shouldn’t. This fear is deep. I’m anxious again & my appetite has decreased. I’m having eye floaters as well which doesn’t help with anything. I’m truly scared that I’m losing my mind. I over analyze how I see and hear (meaning I’m always checking my surrounding to make sure I’m not seeing all fuzzy, checking my hearing bc I hear myself talk, I notice how I talk, its scaring me deeply). In the beginning I looked at my child and the people around me and felt like I didn’t know who they were. Now I’m passed that. But I can’t stop thinking that I’m going to start seeing stuff or hearing voices and stuff like that. I’ve been waiting and check for the past 4 days to see if it would happen. And still nothing. I don’t understand why I’m so scared. Please help ?

  696. Wiliam Says:

    I haven’t seen anyone post on here in awhile but I’m hoping for a response… Anyways about 6 months I had a panic attack after taking a pre workout supplement but after that day they didn’t stop for a couple weeks. After a couple weeks of pure hell the panic attacks went away but I was left with severe anxiety and every symptoms imaginable. So 6 months have gone by and there is no doubt I have gotten a lot better most of my symptoms are gone except mild tinnitus and feeling depressed sometimes. But I feel I have stopped progressing… I’m happy that the worst is over and I’m not miserable but I really miss the old “normal me” that doesn’t think about anxiety at all and I still cant do the things I like to do like smoke weed lol if I do ill have a panic attack. But basically what I’m saying is I have progressed to the point to where I feel like I recovered as much as I could and it stopped?! is there anyone that has felt they made significant progress to the point where they couldn’t even tell if there getting better anymore? I feel so close but yet so far

  697. Uriel Says:

    Excellent post,
    William I feel you, two months ago after a day of smoking a lot of weed I started having panic/anxiety feelings with annoying thoughts. Been two months since and it has twisted plenty, the worse is behind me but I still have problems sleeping at nights sometimes including waking up a lot and sometimes having difficulty returning to bed. I have not touched weed in the last month and lot of my symptoms passed, I also started again to have fun with my girlfriend and friends, planning vacations and a big move. Hope the process continues for you and for me, i understand that thinking about recovery is counter-productive and that i just having to keep pushing, not letting it bring me down and just continue with my life as normal as possible and perhaps one day it will be an old memory. I’m very optimistic most of the time but is has it bad days (hours mostly).
    I found this post very helpful and I want to thank the writer, hopefully one day I will be able to say i’m over this and help other people who had to get know anxiety.
    Thx a lot

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