Anxiety success story

Hi Everyone, I was asked by a member if he could let others know about his own story of recovery. I was only too pleased and thought I would do a new post with the story included.

Firstly I would say the hard part of recovery is keeping the faith that things will get better, too many people are impatient and think how they feel today, is the way they will feel in the future. I was tested many times through my own recovery and the odd day I would shed some tears, feel frustrated and back to square one. I would also feel the need to scoot off and find the miracle sentance or cure that would make it go away instantly. I knew though that I had to stop looking for a way to make it go away and become one with it. To take the sting out of it you have to learn to be fine with the way you feel. Don’t be anxious because you are anxious !

Also another part that is very important is having the faith in yourself. When anxious our subconcious plays many tricks. We may think about going somewhere or doing a certain task and the hovering anxiety tells us to take the safe route and hide away, don’t go. Then we get frustrated that we can’t do ordinary tings and start questioning everything. It really is about feeling the apprehension and just doing it anyway, what you are getting is a false signal caused my your current state. I could write a long list of all the times I just went straight through my insecurites, my fears and apprehensions and nothing ever happened. I knew this was the way to get my life back, to stop giving in to my anxiety, to take away it’s power and see what it really had, I wanted to stop closing doors and start opening them and this meant going against my instincts and start living again. I can’t recall how many times people have come to me and said ‘I used to do this, but I can’t anymore’ when asked why they can’t, they cannot answer. You can do anything you want, there is nothing to stop you, don’t listen to that voice that says you cannot and start to nurture that voice that says you can. To feel normality you have to live normal, to lose your fears you have to go through them, not around them, you have to have the faith that although you may not always feel great, you will be fine. Anxiety symptoms really are surface symptoms, you have not lost who you are, that person is just waiting to resurface again.

Anyway here is the story that was passed on to me, hope it helps and inspired people.

Hello everyone, I haven’t visited this website in so long. The reason? Because I am no longer anxiety ridden. In fact, I rarely think about it anymore. Now that I went back to see what’s new here, I realized and got reminded how many people are still suffering with anxiety, the SAME way I used to. I remember when my life was hell and anxiety cosumed me every moment of my day. Everything,  had to be planned “in case I panic”. I avoided many activities. I almost became house ridden, but thank God I went to go see a doctor specializing in anxiety and CBT treatment. After I saw him, I wasn’t cured, I just felt a little bit more comfortable and he boosted up my confidence that I could beat it. I remember thinking “How long will it take? Why has it been a year and I am still anxious?”. The main solution came from this website. Paul was so right when he said “just start living your life, stop consuming yourself with anxiety and constantly researching it. Just stop and do the things you used to enjoy and the freedom will come to you, layer by layer, slowly but surely if you just stop thinking about it constantly.”

I remember asking myself “How can I stop thinking about it and live my life when I feel like im on the verge of an emotional breakdown or something?”. But I SLOWLY stopped letting anxiety ruling my life. I was scared to do everything I used to do at once, so I started “progressive exposure”. I would go out where I would feel somewhat comfortable at first, then once I got more confidence I started throwing more things into my daily activities. Eventually I got confident that even though I am out and I have anxiety INITIALLY, I am still going to stay there and I will NOT run home and avoid it. I knew that this is an essential part of recovery and no magic pill will ever make me feel better, it was up to me and slowly I started enjoying my life again, I got more confident and rarely get anxious anymore, when I do, I know I am not going back to square one again. after all, anxiety is a natural and a normal human emotion. 

I know we became used to being ’scared ‘ of anxiety, thinking we MUST not feel it ever, but in reality, we will feel it on many occasions and take it as a normal part of life where we know it will not stick around forever. The real difference between “normal people” and anxiety ridden people, is that anxious people experience anxiety and take it as a some sort of catastrophic event, where as normal people experience it , and say “oh well” and move on with their activities and the feeling eventually passes, that’s the KEY. 

I hope this short story helps. just stick with this website, get courage and start living the life and it shall pass, I promise.


I just want to add something to the story sent in above;

The key point is that you probably will feel anxious when you go somewhere or do something that in the past you have avoided, but so what? Again feeling anxious has been here since the dawn of time, it is how people reacted to it that differs. Remember it is just adrenalin, it cannot harm you , it’s just a feeling, a feeling that was put there to protect you, it truly is nothing to run or hide away from.

I always found that when I did not go for the quick escape or run away from it and rode it out, then it always calmed. You cannot produce adrenalin indefinately anyway, that is a medicl fact, so it will always calm. I eventually got to the point where I did not care if I felt anxious or not, it made no difference to me, it was just became a harmless feeling and that was when the real progress started as it was no longer an issue.

I hope the above helps and inspires people.


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597 Responses to “Anxiety success story”

  1. Elaine Says:

    Very insperational thanx. I have a quiestion Paul i have had your book about 5 months now and after 24/7 anxiety i have had few respites . The problem is i am in a very bad setback ive got very anxiety and a very anxious feeling in my gut , i have lost my appatite and i have depression with it . I do my housework visit friends and take my 2 dogs out every day but i dont feel like doing anything at all i have no interest or much motivation . I am doing thins BUT IS THIS FIGHTING IT AND NOT FACING IT . I WAS GETTING SOME LOVELY NORMAL DAYS AND THEN WHAM this comes back again as bad as it was in the begining xx

  2. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Elaine
    I too have had some very good days this last few weeks but then last week bang it is back and now I am full of self doubt,tearful and a bit doubtful I will ever be rid of it even though I now know deep down Paul’s way is right.But we have no choice but to try not to fight but accept.Just wanted you to know you are not alone.Kind Regards Sally xx

  3. CR123 Says:

    hi all i really need some help right now im so scared… before bed yesterday i had a space where i was fine and really didnt care then as i went to bed my mind went into over drive…. does anyone else have like an “argument” with yourself i know that sounds weird but it was like i would say to myself its just anxiety or whatever im not bothered then straight away i hear myself say yes you are what if its not??? this is my own voice im sure but it has really scared me I cant stop thinking that this is the early stages of going mad and something else in seriously wrong with me…. i really dont want to go to a doctor cause they just dont understand… Please someone is this normal for anxiety im freaking out…. thank you carlee x

  4. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi all, had the week from hell this week, I am getting by just thinking that its adrenaline and my body is trying to protect me, its wierd even tho you can tell your mind that, you still get anxiety! Its so hard to live with it but i guess thats what we have to do. At least I feel like im not alone on here. I wish i could exchange places with the one who is now recovered!!!!!

  5. JAN TURNER Says:

    I have just realised that I have not really been accepting it just thought I was by going out and doing things, I think I was not willing to accept the feelings and thought, just rushing around in the hope that it would not happen. I managed to go into a cafe yesterday but think I was really steeling myself for what might happen not willing to let the feelings come what may. Does that make sense to anybody??
    I hope we can all find some support today. CR123 you are so not going mad if you were you wouldnt think so, its the fear of going mad. Hope that helps. Its a period of stress/pressure that started me off, and it happens over a period of time, but its the strong habit of fear that keeps it going.

  6. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Jan
    As you can see from my previous post you are noy alone Elaine and I are having a bad time too after some really good days.I threw out all the self help books I have bought over the years today keeping only Paul’s and Claire Weekes cos I know Pauls way is the right way because of the good days I have had but it is still a hard road to travel but with this site we do not feel so alone as I did years ago.Wishing you some better days to come same for all on here.Kind Regards Sally X

  7. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi Sally thanks for the reply, yes I dont feel so alone now. Have had Claire Weeks book for many many years now, and Pauls as well and I think the same as you. I think this such a hard thing to cope with and even harder toexplain to those so lucky people who dont suffer with it. Thank you for your wishes. Janx

  8. Diane Says:

    hi all, been going through a bit of a rouh patch myself, been signed of work and going back Monday, find it difficult some days and better others.I find Pauls book helps, when anxiety thoughts and feeling come in but still feel I fight other than just accept, does anyone have any suggestions????????? No Jan you are not oing made the thoughts are there and we have to try not to pay them atention, sometimes more difficult than other times!!!!!!!! Lets all focus on taking it step , it really helps thinking you are not alone, take care x

  9. JP Says:

    Just a little hint that has been helping. Change your belief from I can’t cope to – I can cope. Three magic words, no matter what you are thinking of or what you are scared of, just start to believe that you can cope and guess what.. you will. then slowly prove it to your body and mind, until it can’t do anything but believe that you can cope. can’t see why this attitude can’t work for everything.. I can cope. Easy.. sort of. good luck. x

  10. jackie Says:

    I like this quote i read recently and think of it when anxiety has me in its grip
    “When the tigers racing towards you
    Drop your gun”

  11. Sally Young Says:

    Hi All
    I say to myself I AM getting better rather than as I used to oh what if this or what if that what if I cant cope.More poitive I think X

  12. Diane Says:

    Hey JP, thank you for that I will give it a try :)

  13. CR123 Says:

    Hi all …

    has anyone else eperienced my previous post … i feel really freaked out by it all???? i cant stop thinking that im going mad now everytime i think of something i question it with a negative responce… any help please xx

  14. Fran Says:

    Hi Carlee,
    No you are not going mad. I know its hard to believe but yes it is just anxiety playing its tricks. I used to have a constant internal dialogue with myself, in my own voice about so many terrifying things, and believe me that argueing with it is the most counter productive thing to do. The way i survived this at its worst was to keep on with what i was doing and give my attention to that instead, and gradually the dialogue has got less and less. Its still hard at times and i still fall into the trap, but keep at it cos it does get easier. Doing things you enjoy really helps, even though they dont feel as enjoyable as they used to, it keeps the mind focused on something other than oneself.
    I hope this helps

  15. jackie Says:

    Cr123. Hi

    Sorry, i cant be of much help to you as at the moment what you are going through
    So am i…. Exactly the same thing,
    I am just trying to just let it be and when anxiety is high accept it all in and eventually calm down

  16. CR123 Says:

    thank you so much for your reply… i think im in a setback i have been fearing going mad for about 9 months now and every time one thing goes another thing happens… this one has really drained me as i did the whole googling for schizophenia and that really hasnt helped… im just so worried and its stuck in my head its horrible.. i feel nervous all the time and am stuck with my thinking.. when tis like this i cant do the i dont care attitude because i really do care im worried about going mad and letting everyone down…
    Jackie although i am gratefull that i am not the only one going through this its horrible that someone else in going through this too…(if that makes sence) xxx

  17. jackie Says:

    Yes perfect sence. My doctor is now getting fed up i think of telling me im not going mad and this is not how one goes mad, but when its all you can think of it certainly doesnt feel that way xx

  18. CR123 Says:

    jackie.. i dont go and see my doctor anymore as when this first started i told her how i was feeling.. that i felt like i was going to go mad… she straight away offered me ADs and to see someone when i said no she asked me what exactly i thought i was going to achieve from going and seeing her… i was like your the doctor you should be telling me lol… i dont trust them now so when i found this site it was a lifesaver.. i just get so worried bacause i have worried for so long about going mad sometimes i think ive even convinced myself of it… thats why when i would think something then i would reply to myself it scared me sooo much… doesnt matter how many times i read that because i worry and fear it it will never happen because i always think im different… lol xx

  19. elaine Says:

    Hi Folks ive decided enugh is enough, if i go mad i go mad , if i end up in hospital i do, if i dont get better i dont, and another thing if i think like i am losing control let me lose it and get it over and done with .THATS IT IVE HAD ENOUGH OF FIGHTING AND THINKING SO SOD IT . WHAT WILL BE WILL BE XXX

  20. Elaine Says:

    CR123 , DO you feel as though you are going mad or do you feel like you are going mad ? I felt like i was going mad i felt my head wasnt rite. BUT GUESS WHAT READ MY POST ABOVE I AM CHANGING MY ATTITUDE AND TO HELL WITH IT XX

  21. steveo Says:

    None of you (us) are going mad.

    Re-read the success story and other stories on here and have hope. All of these people including Paul felt the same as you do know and look at them.

    Patience and not fighting is the key.

    It is a case of learning to ‘let the monster walk beside you instead of trying to fight it’…

    There are some excellent re-assuring posts in previous blogs.

    Everyone CAN recover and people who go mad do not know it.

  22. elaine Says:

    Steveo, yes thats what i am going to do , no more worrying and being scared i am going with it and live along side of it . x

  23. Katie Says:

    Elaine, your attitude will do wonders for you. Anxiety doesn’t interfere with my life too much these days. It got to a point where I felt so nervous, so much adrenaline, so many symptoms, that I just got so fed up and thought- to hell with it! have a panic attack then! it might feel nice! nice to release some energy! I was so angry with anxiety getting in my way. you sound a bit fiesty, that’s good! a ‘don’t care’ ‘come on then, show me what you’re made of’ attitude is good! and you know the best thing? the anxiety never amounts to anything when you have this attitude. One day I felt panicky in work, I nearly left, ran to the doctor (again) I saw the look of helplessness in my husbands eyes (he works with me) I saw how he was hurting and it gave me a bit of fire in my belly. I thought- NO! anxiety, you are not winning, you are not making me leave a job that I love, you are not causing grief in my marriage, I haven’t got time for you, I’ve got 2 kids to look after. Do whatever you want, I can faint (never happens!) I can feel sick, I can panic in public, I can be sick on a bus! (none of this happens) but anxiety will not stop me living this precious life!

    You know at school as a kid, that feeling you’d get from larking about, having fun, half thinking you might get caught by a teacher, being slightly naughty. That’s how I feel when I don’t give anxiety any respect. I go against the grain. Instinctively if I am anxious/panicky I will want to curl up in bed but instead I have been in a situation where I’ve done the opposite of what I feel- like gone to a party. Not supposed to drink too much? sod it, I will then! I find myself having a good time and then I think- whoops! are you supposed to be enjoying yourself?? this is not allowed! you have anxiety!!

    But I carry on regardless. It’s sticking fingers up to the condition, gaining control. It’s quite easy when you get the hang of it and very very liberating. I don’t fear anything now, well I do, but I have fun alongside it.

  24. Katie Says:

    It’s a subject so close to my heart, not an obsession…it’s not worth the time, it really is not. It’s only important as YOU make it. It’s something I have strong opinions on. I hate to hear of anyone suffer, whatever level, it doesn’t have to be like that xx

  25. elaine Says:

    Katie i have got to the stage now were i put two fingers up to it .Let it do what it likes . xx

  26. Sally Young Says:

    Hi CR123
    I have had anxiety many years and want to reassure you that you are NOT going mad this awful condition manifests itself in many ways so try not to focus on you think you are mad.Anyway mad people do not know they are mad.Hope this helps a little Sally xxxxx

  27. CR123 Says:

    Thank you all so much for your kind replys…. ive decided that i really am going to stop fighting… i thought i had and that i was excepting and not fighting but actually i have realised i havent been at all… i decided that i am going to stop googling symtoms and give away all the self help books (apart from pauls) i have recently bought cause actually all the different advice just confused me cause i was trying to many different tecniques which was not excepting but trying to find anything to make myself feel better… my biggest problem is self doubt i think im the only person in the world that will not get better and will go mad lol… but that all stops today i have been avoiding going out with my friends afraid of how i will react or blabbing on about my anxiety and because they dont understand they just look at me like i am mad.. afraid to drink to much just incase it makes me feel worse the next day… well not anymore im 23 and im gonna go out get as drunk as i like and sod it.. if i feel bad tomorrow i do… (probably be blogging on here with a new symtom lol)… if i hadnt of found this site and the kind people on here that help i dont no what i would of done so thank you all.. xxxxx

  28. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi, those that are mad have no idea that they are, only those who worry about it are not! Its a fear that if we let go something terrible is going to happen when its really not. We dont feel safe or secure that we are alone, thats scary and feeling we cant cope, as previous post has said, try and think we can cope.

  29. elaine Says:

    I am out of setback and guess why after 11 days of hell . Isaid sod it let it do its worse i have lost interest in it and it can do what it likes to me i am not bothered anymore . xx

  30. Bret Walters Says:

    Weird…I’m kind of in a stupid funk. A lot of family problems and stuff are getting me down and feeling quite depressed, keep having thoughts of like “what if it gets worse and you hurt yourself and you cant cope anymore” which I know is just anxiety, but it still freaks me out. Anyways my mom was concerned because I seemed a bit down, shes super protective..liek I am sure a lot of us anxiety prone people’s parents are. So she picked me up some St Johns Wort and 5HTP, obviously I know not to take them together. But anyways I did a lot of research and seems to be pretty positive reviews about both. But of course I then read that they can cause serotonin syndrome etc. So now im too scared to take them lol. I mean obviously I want to feel back to normal, part of me is like AFRAID of feeling normal? Like I am scared of feeling different. This is so stupid! I think I am scared if I take it I am going to lose control and hate how it makes me feel and panic and hurt myself….any advice on this one lol? Anyone tried these?


  31. jan Says:

    Elaine…i think i know you…we have already met.


  32. jc Says:

    i to am in a setback after a few good weeks i have had areally bad week feeling really depressed and like im not coping really bad last night felt panicky and sick only had 2hours sleep feel awful this morning retching no energy ijust want to cry this is the worse ive felt since i started with anxiety last october now im frightened im having a break down i seem to have lost all resilience.the thing is while having afew good weeks my sister was taken seriously ill we nearly lost her which was a very emotinal time thankully she is on her way to recovery but at the time i coped really well but. now shes over the worst ive gone backwards i just cant cope

  33. elaine Says:

    jc you can cope its all abluff honest it is . Read my post i was like you in setback for 11 days it was hell complete hell xxxx

  34. elaine Says:

    Jan were do you know me from xxxx

  35. Mark M Says:

    I agree with how important ‘having faith’ in yourself is, as I’ve been experiencing so much progress just by believing in myself. I realized that when I think about anxiety, I always go about it with the attitude of ‘I can’t recover’ or I bring up all of the doubts and reasons why I wouldn’t be able to recover. But I had this huge epiphany a few weeks back that THAT belief is what holds me back the most, the belief that I can’t recover. In every other area of my life where I’ve had success I know as a gut feeling that I first MUST believe that I can do something before I can actually achieve it, and I think the same is with anxiety. Believing with unwavering faith that I can live a live free of excess worry of course doesn’t mean anxiety will automatically go away, but without that belief that I can recover in the first place, it’s nearly impossible for me to recover. It’s seriously just common sense, we have to believe something is possible before we can do something, and the more possible we think/believe something is, the more motivated we are to go after it.

    I’ve never been a person of faith or a religious person at all, but having this stubborn faith/belief that I can recover has been enormously helpful. Just try it for a few days, like everyday if there is some event you have to go to, then just have unwavering FAITH (faith as in not built on reasons or justifications, so that your mind can’t argue with you) that that event will go well and that you will be great. Just really go into every situation throughout the day with the attitude that it will go well and faith that it can. Even small things, like if you’re afraid to go outside, just have complete faith that you can walk outside and it can and WILL be wonderful in every way possible and you can enjoy the sunshine and birds and nature. Again, it doesn’t mean it necessarily will be that ideal, but you can bet that there’ll be a damned better chance that it will go well than if you don’t hold that belief, because to me that’s really a necessary part of achieving any good results. I can tell you that you sure as heck won’t enjoy the sunshine if you don’t even go outside with the belief that in your anxious condition you CAN enjoy the sunshine, you know? I just wanted to share that insight because it has helped me immensely and can be applied so universally to problems with anxiety. I hope it helps some others who read this blog too

  36. jan Says:

    you are a member of another forum…is that right?

  37. jan Says:


  38. elaine Says:

    Jan yes freedom from fear , its the same method as this. Are you a member Jan your name isnt familier xxx

  39. jan Says:

    elaine, i have the program but i dont go to the forum…i saw all your post all thesame,thats why i reconized you…they dont know that you are also here? so which method is best for you?

  40. elaine Says:

    yES THEY DO KNOW AND THERE IS A FEW WHO HAVE PAULS BOOK .ITS THE SAME METHOD DR C WEEKES THATS WHY I COME ON HERE . Why dont you come on the forum ? i will look for you xxx

  41. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi all, I think what someone said earlier about belief in yourself is the essence of anxiety, I always think I cant cope with this or that situation, like now am struggling with fear of being alone as partner has left, or any situation involving change i find increases anxiety. Anyone else struggling with being alone???

  42. jan Says:

    elaine, might as well stick on one method,things will be confusing…they are thesame method but yet diffrent approach.

  43. jan Says:

    elaine, and i can also read some of your success but you didnt tell which is more helpful for you paul or david..?kind of misleading

  44. elaine Says:

    i find them both the same approach , just let the sympton be there and let them live with you . NO FIGTING JUST ACCEPTING XXXX

  45. elaine Says:

    Jan i also like the help off David as well . I would not mix two methods it would not work but they are the same xxx

  46. elaine Says:

    Jan have you got a differant name on fff x

  47. Si Says:

    Hi CR123,

    I too am very similar to you in your ways. I have a tonne of self help books and googled every single thought and guess what? When I found Pauls site just by look, I decided to box up my books, stop all the therapy, don’t google anymore and concentrate on Paul’s method.

    It take time I think to understand what you have to do, Im probably not making much sense but I feel it’s all trial and error. I don’t mean Paul’s method is trial and error, I think if your like me, after a while on one of your bad days you’ll get out the old odd book, probably google a bit, even go back to your gp’s for a bit of support. I did this recently and you know what I think I have learned to trust in myself and this method. The books have gone back in the box, the googling has stopped and although I am thinking about me and anxiety a good amount through the day so what, Im hardly gonna be able to stop that straight away. So I carry on doing the things that need doing. I pish myself to do things that I feel good about once I’ve done them. I try so very hard to make conversation (this is so hard).

    I am beging to see that I have not changed all that much from how I used to be, the only difference between the old me and new me is I AM VERY AWARE OF ME!! and this is the problem. We have to ACCEPT the way we are in order to become comfortable with who we are.

    As for the going out and getting drunk…. Think back when you used to do that…. get hammered and then feel crap the next day, do you realy want to feel like that anyway. Look at this as a new begining, go out, have a few drinks, then have some water, have a laugh (you will trust me) but how much better you’ll feel the day after without the hangover.


  48. jc Says:

    thankyou elaine when you feel so crap its hard to see positives. i have managed to survive the day even though the waves of panic have been so in tense and feeling so sick but ive got on with things cooked roast dinner made acake realising ive just got to get on with it just push on through and hope things settle

  49. elaine Says:

    Jc , dont hope things settle just let them feelings be there dont hope for anything . just live with it beside you . When you accept its anxiety it will fade away . Get on with things without thinking anything xxxx

  50. Hollie Says:

    I first came across your book about a year and a half ago, my mum bought it for me when I was at my worst and I instantly felt better. I remember crying when I read it for the first time because I was so overwhelmed with relief. Im still not FULLY recovered, however it doesnt bother me much anymore and it is a million times better than it was. I feel that full recovery is somewhere in the very near future. My advice to people is to eat healthily, get some excercise and find a hobbie to keep you busy during the week after work. (It makes a huge difference.) Alcohol is a definate trigger for anxiety (although I dont my own advice!! Ha!)
    Everyone keep having faith in yourself, setbacks can feel pretty devastating at times, but remember – this is part of the whole process of recovery!
    I cant believe that a book has changed my life like this one has, and I will be forever grateful to Paul for writing it.
    `Keep calm and carry on`
    Peace, Hollie

  51. Ann Says:

    Hi all. I found Paul’s book and this site about a month ago. I’ve been reading the blog and can relate to so many of you. Lately I can especially relate to Jan Turner’s post about fear of being alone. In a couple weeks I’ll be living on my own for the first time in a long while and this change has caused a major setback in my anxiety (the scary thoughts are back with a vengeance). I go back and forth between believing I’ll be ok and being terrified. I’ll just have to find a way through – hang in there Jan, you will too!

  52. Sara Says:

    This post is directed to Sara H., Kat, Helen, or anyone else that has may be able to answer this. I’ve been struggling with these relationship worries/doubts/fears for awhile now and have another question that I’m wondering if anyone can give some guidance or advice on. It seems like lately things have gotten to the point where I can’t look back and remember our really good times together. I know we had them and I know I was happy with my husband before, but I can’t remember why or details of those times. This makes me worry that maybe I forced those good times or that I made them into something they weren’t. I also can’t seem to remember very many things that made me fall in love with my husband or be attracted to him either and that’s worrying me as well. I remember thinking when we were dating that he was wonderful and amazing and I couldn’t come up with even one reason not to marry him – but now it’s like I can’t remember those reasons that I fell in love with him. I can only remember sort of generic reasons like he’s a good guy and he treats me well, etc, but I can’t remember any other specific reasons for why I fell in love with him. This has me so concerned and worried. Is this the case with anyone else? Has anxiety made you forget a lot of the good things to the point where now you can only see a lot of bad things or you worry that you “created” the good things and that they weren’t really there? I’m so worried that about not feeling these feelings for my husband and I’m worried that I am literally not in love with him anymore… and now it’s to the point that I’m worried that maybe I never really was in love with him – I just thought I was. I’m so confused and upset. I really needed to come on here and see if this was the case for anyone else or if it’s just me and this really is my relationship falling apart. Can anyone relate? I’m sorry to be so negative again! I would really appreciate any responses anyone has!

  53. Rich Says:

    Sara I’ve been through exactly the same but with other subjects and it really is due to anxiety nothing else. Constant questioning and obsessing leaves no room to feel much else or live outside ourselves. I just try to live along side it some days Im myself others I question and obsess when something gets locked in my mind! There’s no quick fix I’ve had this for three years and I’m getting better slowly, these questions and obsessions are only fuel for the anxiety not a reflection of yourself

  54. Diane Says:

    Hi all,
    was starting to feel a bit more more positive, but today I was meant to go back to work after a month of, I was anxoius but tried to tell myself this was normal. I awoke to feeling crap and have a throat infection, I called in,
    my work are very supportive but its like I have built a fear of going in and facing everyone. I feel I rubbish and low that I didnt go, I think going will be uncomfortable but not as low and tearful as I feel now. I am really frustrating my partner who speaks so much sense but compassion is wearing thin, I need to get a grip and go towards my fears but I still find it hard as my head starts rushing with what ifs and dont feeel I have the energy to rationalise. Ok enough self pity tomorrow is another day and I will try to push and accept this is all part of the healing. Any suggestions is I would aprreciate , I just want to make the steps to et back on track

  55. elaine Says:

    Let it be and dont push it away just carry on gently through your day . Just accept it and just let time pass.

  56. steveo Says:

    Diane – just go for it. You know it will be difficult but it will get easier as you go. Wednesday will be easier than tomorrow and Thursday will be easier than Wednesday…

    You will be fine.

    Good luck

  57. Douglas Says:

    After a great August and most of Sept. I was really believing I could beat this with Paul’s method. But I’ve been sinking back for a couple of weeks now, and it feels as bad as ever. I find, when it’s this bad, it’s not even so much the anxiety bothering me, but the mental confusion, racing thoughts, hopelessness of it all. It seems enormously complicated. It really does feel like there is something basically “wrong” with my basic way of thinking, but I can’t determine what, exactly. And so I find my mind goes back again and again, ad nauseum, to trying to figure it all out. I seem to have no control over this, it feels like I#m under attack by my own mind, and am just obsessed with it all. I find myself thinking about it ALL the time, and am driving myself crazy with it all over again… can anybody relate to this?? Help!

  58. Douglas Says:

    Yesterday we buried a long time colleague, and during the service, I couldn’t quit focusing on me and think about my colleague and his family. Of course I did say all the appropriate things, and as usual no one could see my inner turmoil, but I just feel so guilty that I can’t quit worrying about myself…I don’t even know if the guilt is justified or not…just one of about a billion things bothering me about who the hell I am…

  59. Sophie Says:

    Hi Douglas, I’ve never posted on here before but follow this blog quite a bit. I just wanted to say that I completely understand what you are describing. I think the thing to remember is that all of those symtoms you described such as racing thoughts, confusion etc are all just a part of anxiety. There’s nothing wrong with your basic way of thinking, your mind is just exhausted. I know it’s confusing but I find that if I get sucked into the trap of worrying about these symptoms or any others and trying to figure them all out they just get worse but if I just stay calm about them, reassure myself that they are just another part of the anxiety condition, try to stop thinking so much about it and get out and do something then these also fade. Remember you will have setbacks, as Paul says, as even though you have had a good couple of months it’s still possible to have another setback, just don’t add to it by obsessing about it. They’ll fade if you let them. Anyway, it works for me, after being where you are I can see it all with clarity now, I do have setbacks still myself but am learning to take them as they come. Best of luck.

  60. Sophia Says:

    Hi Douglas

    I could very well relate to what u r saying…I am not able to explain what I’m going through..Its like I’m on a continuos mind chatter which I dont even realise which I can compare to popcorn bursting out with no end..Dont know why this is happening after me going through a hell lot of anxiety and getting past all those symptoms and understanding for what it is…

    what bothers me the most is—- the continuous focus on me, thoughts just pop up (self centred ones) it has become my lifeline..without which i cannot exist..initially it was much easier since i ackonwledged i had anxiety and i went ahead and faced all my fears..and finally i was able to face all those fears..

    But now i’m living in a self created world of self sabotage, worries and a lot of wrongly percieved notions which i cant help as these thoughts comes forth like oxygen..i have no control on what i’m thinking..(i am not afraid..But I dont know whats happening to me and what to believe in)

    since these thoughts comes so automatically i dont even realise why i feel so crappy almost always!!!..and i try to do my level best in all my chores, never cancel anything for how i feel……..but nevertheless i feel hopeless!!!!
    its like i cant ESCAPE from it..!!!atleast I dont know how to..!

    If u find anything helpful let me know..

  61. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sorry I have just moderated loads of new comments from new comers. I have had workmen in all week and just finished tidying up. I will be back posting and replying when I can.


  62. Douglas Says:


    Thanks so much for your kind words, you describe the condition so well and I’m touched that you chose your first post to respond to me. I have to say, practicing what you suggest has worked so many times for me as well. It’s just that, having gone through this so many times before, over the last 50 years or so, and because it’s gone on so long this time (almost 2 yrs.) that I sometimes lose hope and fear (THAT word again!) that it is not “just” anxiety and must be something much worse and chronic as well…But I do see there is no point in worrying about it. So I guess I am saying it takes as long as it takes and I keep hoping to glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel once again.

    And I think Sophie, that Sophia’s post goes for you, too. Somehow, we have to believe we’ll ALL get past this!

  63. Douglas Says:

    And Sophie,

    I can really relate to what you’re saying, as I find that I also can’t even begin to describe in words what it’s like. And that’s SO frustrating, for me as well as my wife. It’s like a complete lack of the ability to quit THINKING about IT all the time, to the exclusion of everything else, kinda like a strong and not to be ignored compulsion (which I suppose it is). When it’s bad it’s seemingly always there, in the background, even when I’m doing some fairly demanding other stuff. Kinda like a mega multi-tasking computer doing a billion things at once.

    But I do know, at the times when I feel better, none of this stuff is even on the radar screen and I find it almost beyond belief how completely silly some of my worries were. I feel it’s very much a case of two steps forward and one back, for the time being. At least I hope so. Or maybe I’m just trying to hope so? (Does the trying mean I’m still fighting?! Hmmm…)

  64. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Douglas
    Just wanted you to know that I too have been going through this for the last 40 years or more with good times and setbacks.Have had the pills and counscelling and all the rest of the rubbish offered on the NHS which do not work but this site and Pauls book have given me more understanding of my condition and shown me the way forward so stick with the don’t fight that he teaches I have achieved some really good days with this.Kind Regards Sally X

  65. SarahS Says:

    Hi Douglas, Sally and Sophie

    It’s been really interesting to read your posts. I too suffered for many years with chronic anxiety (almost all my life) but I too have found Paul’s site and book (and prior to that Claire Weeke’s books) and have since made really good progress in my recovery. I have to say though it has taken me a good few years to get this far, probably 2 or 3 so far but the progress is really fab and I’m getting there I ever would let myself and my coping skills are getting stronger and my feelings much more on an even keel. It’ been hard going sometimes and I did find it hard that not that many peoplen here seemed to have suffered for as long as I did and the progress I was making didn’t seem as fast and I hadto learn to have complete faith that what I was practising would eventually show some results, that itmay not this week or month etc but at some point it would and I’m glad because it did! So don’t think you won’t get there because of how long you have suffered because you will! My mom is 70 (2 weeks ago!) and she also suffered for years and year

  66. SarahS Says:

    oops pressed submit comment! where was I oh yes she also suffered for years and years but read a bit of Claire Weeke’s and a bit of this site for it to just click with her and she just got it! She’s been so well for years now, you just wouldn’tbelieve the difference. I think we are all different though and for me it’s more steady and taken a little more time but the direction is the same – forward! Keep going! Shrug your shoulders to this little thing that little thing and say so what, put it all under the umbrella of anxiety, that’s all it is.

    Sarah x

  67. Vamanan Says:

    Hi Sarah,

    That is a good inspirational story of yours and your moms. I had been making progress but once in a while the old habbits take me back and then I start to question the full recovery. That is when I come to this site to read such stories which give me back my hope. Thanks again.

    I realized today that I need to learn to treat thoughts as thoughts and nothing more (read this somewhere in this site). Sometimes I get a negative thought (For example: A thought which says I can’t accept) which I know I have done so many times and not true. Most cases I accept this thought that I can’t accept and move on (or sometimes do thoughts watching – watching thoughts as they come). But sometimes (like lastnight) I tried to convince my brain the thought is not true. It took me a while before i realized ok I am doing it wrong again where I stopped the struggle. Today i realized part of what I am learning is to instantly accept thoughts as just thoughts. For now, I have to remind myself not to struggle.

  68. Sally Young Says:

    Hi SarahS
    Thankyou very much for your reply much appreciated.It is interesting to know that your Mum has anxiety/nerve issues as my mother also has these and her sister and my sister so maybe there is a worry gene in some families.Wishing you the peace we all crave Sally X

  69. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi Ann, have been on my own since August when partner left, kids have already left ages ago, so apart from the shock whch cause exteme anxiety, I am strggling withbeing alone. I know retionally nothing bad will happen to me, ts lack of faith in myself to cope, trying to take one day at a time,
    Regards Jan

  70. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi all, I remeber Claire weekes saying that dont experct to live without any stress symptoms, as this is impossible, Its the catastophising and exageration thats the trouble, and frightens us. Also I do think there is some inhereted think to this as my mum was the same and her mother. My sister is calm and never been to docs about this even tho she has had really bad trauma in her life, thats why I think some peoples personality are more sensitive. You can disagree if you like!!!1

  71. DCYL Says:

    Jan / Ann,

    Do not worry. You are “not alone” in how you guys have felt about being by yourself. It’s probably buried in some of the other posts but I had that same feeling the past few months though the fear has eased up considerably in the past few weeks.

    How did I feel? I felt like I needed someone around me whether I was at work or at home. There was a fear that if no one was around, I might “do something silly”. This extended to the point where even if I was at home with my folks but they were sleeping or not in the immediate vicinity, I would start feeling anxious. This became a bit of an issue too as I was afraid of “doing stuff by myself”. It could be walking, shopping, exercise or other stuff.

    How did I get past this? I can’t answer directly. I am generally active so i did start taking walks by myself. I slowly got back into doing my normal stuff and things are better these days. One thing I will say that talking to friends helps though. So even if you are physically alone, talking to someone will help take your mind off of stuff.

    I can’t say I am 100% back to normal but it’s a lot better than it was a few months ago. Hope this helps.

  72. Diane Says:

    Hi all, I need some tips, I have been of work for a month and as I was going back I caught a viral infection which has knocked me back, I feel exhausted and my anxiety is worse I even feel a bot agrophobic, I am finding it really hard to just live next to these feelings I am defeniatley over thinking everything and feel extremley anxious when outside any help or words of wisdom, much appreciated

  73. Douglas Says:


    Al I can offer is my own experience: it comes, it goes, there are bad days and weeks, but also good ones. I enjoy the good times and just try not to worry about or anticipate the bad ones. I too overthink things WAY to much in the bad phases, but I have to believe that it’s possible to “unlearn” this. After all, even single-cell organisms are capable of learning!

    Hope this helps…

  74. Diane Says:

    Thanks Douglas, i suppose accepting and trying to live a normal life, I will take your advice much thanks

  75. Matt Says:

    I haven’t posted in a few days, just trying to get on with my life and not focusing on the DP. This week has been, well, really good for the most part. I learned to develop that “so what” attitude again and things have gotten a lot easier. It’s amazing how not caring gives yourself so much relief in the process. If things feel strange or weird, or I feel strange or weird, so what?
    It gives me so much freedom just being that way. I haven’t really been that scared of anything lately and seem to feel more at peace. I understand that it is gonna take time, but I am learning to be patient.

    Before this week, I was a complete wreck for the past month. I became severely depressed and withdrawn, and couldn’t focus on any conversation’s whatsoever because I was so stuck in my head.

    Now, it’s getting a little easier to pay attention to others and focus on what they are saying and not stay so focused on myself. It’s hard, but it really does take practice. I refuse to take AD’s that my doctor wants me to take because I am terrified of this getting worse as a result. Anyways, hope everyone is doing well.

  76. Chris Says:

    I just spent ten minutes crying not because of anxiety but because it is over. After a full year of severe anxiety/depression, it is all over. I hadn’t been to this sight in some time but I am returning now to give words of inspiration. Everyone, You can all recover 100%. There were so many times when I just thought that anxiety would rule me forever, but it is now all over. What did I do? Followed every piece of advice that Paul has given. I finally just said “forget this” I will not live my life like this anymore. It was hard at first but little by little it disappeared until I finally just stopped thinking about it as much. When I did think about I just didn’t care about it. Everyone suffering, trust me when I say your day will come when you shed tears of joy and realize that the end has finally come. This day will happen long after you stopped caring and thinking about anxiety and will happen when you look back and realize that you wasted so much time living the the way you did. Everyone suffering, please just step away from anxiety, put away your laptops, step outside and embrace life without fear. Life is all about perception, so change your fearful, depressed, and sad outlook on life into a positive one by simply allowing positivity to flood your life. Negativity and fear has been apart of you for so long that it almost feels right, but believe when I say that your happiness will return when you allowing positive things enter your life. I now understand how Paul could right a book on the topic because all I want to do is help anyone who is suffering overcome. Once you come through it you feel almost like a new person, in fact, I feel like a stronger person. So everyone, please, for your own sake and happiness, step away from the computer, forget all of the setbacks, all of the intense moments of fear and depression, all of the symptoms (they will all go away (: ), and just begin to live your life despite how you feel. No matter how you feel, don’t let anything stop you. You can overcome this and will only if you practice what Paul has taught. We are all the same and can all recover. Do not fear how you feel anymore, embrace life, and slowly a new and more positive person will arise with whole new outlook in life. Follow Pauls advice and you will recover! The rest of your life starts today

  77. Elaine Says:


  78. JAN TURNER Says:

    Thank you Chris for that, will take you advice and put the laptop down and go to the library, and will not look for any self help books, as I have Pauls book!!

  79. Sally Young Says:

    Thankyou Chris I hope I can be as brave as you had a terrible day yesterday went to buy clothes for my new granddaughter in a shop where I had bad anxiety a couple of years ago and as Claire Weekes said habit and memory triggered it,felt so bad had some wine to escape last night regretting that now as it intensifys the anxiety this morning.Oh well onwards and upwards only thing to do.Sally X

  80. Sara. H. Says:

    Hi all,

    This message is directed towards Sara but can be related to all who are stuck in obsessive and negative thinking towards one particular subject. Sara I have felt the same as you in regards to forgetting all the reasons why I fell in love with my partner and so many other obsessive thoughts in the past. I have convinced myself of their truth whilst fighting and battling against them in order to rid myself of them for many years. Through this website I have slowly realised that this is the wrong approach in tackling those thoughts which make you fearful and get stuck in your head like a broken record.

    Sara it is truly your anxiety and your constant need to check in on the thoughts all the time which fuels more and more negativity and reasons to believe that intial thought which spurned the anxious cycle you are in. When you are anxious you start looking for reasons to justify your anxiety and that is what is happening now. Take some comfort in knowing that anxiety picks on the things which in fact don’t relect your real feelings and emotions and just let those thoughts be there. Don’t try to remember all the reasons you fell in love with your husband just let thoughts that you are not in love be there and they will lose their power. As soon as you give up fighting you are showing anxiety that those thoughts can’t affect you in the way they used to and that thoughts cannot cause you or your relationship any harm. I still have anxious thoughts and feelings and I still find it difficult at times but I know that it’s giving up the fight to control anxiety which in the long run will bring you freedom from it. Have patience and don’t expect to feel instantly better overnight but slowly you will begin to see the progress and begin to understand that those negative thoughts cannot harm you in any way.
    I hope that helps Sara… I truly understand where you’re coming from and it’s so frustrating and painful but hang in there and just let the thoughts be and I promise it will get better.
    Take care
    Sara x

  81. Diane Says:

    Hi all, just wanted to say took Pauls advice and went out popped into work, did normal thing this morning, wasn’t comfortable as felt a bot spaced but as paul says we have to live our life normaly to get back to normal, step by step recovery will come ……………………..

  82. Diane Says:

    Hi all, just wanted to say took Pauls advice and went out popped into work, did normal thing this morning, wasn’t comfortable as felt a bot spaced but as paul says we have to live our life normaly to get back to normal, step by step recovery will come …………………….. many thanks to all for advice, its all part of the process

  83. jackie Says:

    Some good words of advice today, thank you. I know i need to let go and get on with it but i am finding it so difficult. I feel scared to actually let go! Im scared of what will happen. But i know it is the only way to go, to let go xx

  84. Faye Says:

    Hell Paul and others

    I’ve been struggling a bit with the symptom tinnitus (ringing in the ears ) does anybody else suffer this ? All the other symptoms I can deal with dizziness and depersonlation. I can’t sleep I feel like I will go mad it’s been like this for a year I have really conquered so many feArs but I feel like I can’t be happy or not anxious with this constant ringing my ears
    Can anyone help or Paul
    Thanks everyone

    Faye xxx

  85. steveo Says:

    Good on you Diane! :-)

  86. JAN TURNER Says:

    Jackie, try and start by lying down and breathing from your tummy not your chest which is what we do when anxious, keep saying let go, its enough to let go of the breath. Keep practising this every day and see if it helps. Nothing bad will happen if you let go, we keep a grip on ourselves by letting go.

  87. JAN TURNER Says:

    Jackie, try lying down and breathing from your tummy not from your chest which is what we do in anxiety. Say let go to yourself as you breath out. its a start, keep prectising every day and see what happens. hope this helps.

  88. Diane Says:

    Hi all after a good day yesterday I couldnt relax and sleep last last night, I had all wierd thoughts like who am I where am I, although I knew, it was freaking me out also started worrying I was going to go pschosis ( not sure if spelt properly) this freaked me out more, I keep thinking maybe I am going mad and its more than just anxiety, has anyone else had these thoughts, or similar and is it just anxiety and to much time in my wn head ? I even feel embarresed talking about it

  89. JP Says:

    Diane: the are you going crazy/psychosis stuff are some of the most common things to experience. Basically lots of excess worry/adrenaline and a lack of understanding about what is going on. I found that once you accept that it is just anxiety playing its tricks this fear/thought passed pretty quickly. Again – acceptance and getting on with the things you enjoy/need to do.

  90. Diane Says:

    Thank you so much JP will accept and get on with the things I need and want to do

  91. Faye Says:

    Hiya can someone answer my question please
    Much appreciated
    Thanks xxx

  92. jackie Says:

    Thank you jan for your words, i am slowly believing in myself a little more each day and realising that one single negative thought is what sets me off again. I have only been suffering really badly since august so must understand that all these weird strange feelings and thoughts are not really me, it can be hard to come to terms with. Only a few months ago i was me, but yes looking back see all the massive stress going on that bought me here today, and i am so thankful this blog and site is here.

    Re the ringing in ears, i have had this for years now even before anxiety and panic, sometimes it irritates me, most of the time i dont even notice it. From what im learning i think you are noticing it more because you are concentrating on it, listening out for it, sorry i cant be more help at the moment xxx

  93. jackie Says:

    I would just like to add, i really know what true acceptance is and feels like. 6 years ago i had to go into hospital 3 weeks before my daughter was born because of complications in the way in which she was lying sideways. I kicked up a fuss for about 4 days solid, demanding my doctor do something so i wouldnt have to stay in, pacing the ward, crying to every doctor and nurse who came to see me, even stamping my feet lol. I saw my notes, someone had written bored with hospitalisation on them….then, it happened, i knew that i was in the best place at the time to protect me and my unborn baby, i got into a routine of going for a walk, having a shower, started talking to other mums who had to stay in etc and yes it all came together, i was fine… I accepted it all.

    This is how i know i truely have not yet accepted anxiety, i think i have, but i havent. I understand this will take me some time… Xxx

  94. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Faye
    Your symptom of ringing in the ears is not one I have had myself but anxiety plays all sorts of tricks if you have seen your GP and he says your ears are ok then it is just another part of anxiety try not to worry about it too much as it will make it worse.Kind Regards Sally X

  95. Sara Says:

    I feel terrible for being on here again and posting again… I just have to get something off my chest that has been bothering me for awhile now. I’ve been wanting to talk about this for so long now but haven’t known who to turn to or who to talk to about it. I feel so much guilt for how I feel. I have been having all of these relationship doubts and worries for a few months now, and I realize I need to just accept them as anxiety and let them go. One thing that has really been bothering me, though, and that I can’t accept as anxiety, is the fact that I sometimes don’t find my husband attractive. This kills me to even say this, you have no idea. I have been obsessing over this for awhile now and it’s really getting me down. I just can’t dismiss this as anxiety, as how can anxiety make someone less physically attractive? I am so overly aware of this fact day in and day out and it’s taking a huge toll on our relationship. I don’t know what to do about this. I haven’t told a single soul that I feel this way because I feel so bad about it and I don’t feel like I can talk to anyone about it. I don’t want to make this post too long as I feel so stupid and so bad and so guilty and so terrible for thinking this way. I guess I’ve just gotten so desperate that I really needed to vent and maybe see if there is anyone else out there who has experienced this? This is causing me so much anguish and anxiety and I am just at the point of desperation of not knowing what to do about this. Along with the other relationship doubts, these things are really affecting my marriage. I am committed to my husband and don’t want to get a divorce, but I don’t know how to improve things – especially the physical attraction issue. Anyway, I’ll just stop here but I would really really appreciate it if anyone could please offer some advice on this issue! It is really affecting me and I don’t know where else to turn for help! Thank you!

  96. JP Says:

    Things like that might be real.. but it also might be anxiety. I have noticed anxiety has a tendency to cling to whatever thoughts will mess your life up the most. Maybe you actually lov ehim and nothing has changed, but thought ‘what if i don’t find him attractive’ and then just have stuck with that thought. One day just try and think deep and find what your true voice says, and then stick with it and start dismissing the thoughts as anxiety. Don’t let it take over your life, accept all this nonsense as anxiety.

  97. jc Says:

    i am still in a setback weekend has been really bad again i am letting it be and carrying on with my day. my anxiety is so high i cant sit still ive done everything to keep busy but when there is nothing to do i feel agitated and like pacing this is frightening me i know i should let it just be there but cant relax .what is the best way to deal with this. ifind if i sit still it just overwhelms me.sorry for having such a negative post again

  98. jc Says:

    can i just add that i think im in asetback because my sister is still seriously ill and i keep worrying about her which sets of waves of panic how do i deal with this sorry to go on

  99. JP Says:

    JC: sometimes you just have to sit them out. might take a few days, tomorrow you might make up and feel crap again, but who cares, in a couple of days it will start to pass. that agitated pacing feeling is horrible, a bit of exercise sometimes helps it. just remember: acceptance and let time pass and you will start to improve.

  100. Rich Says:

    Hello all,

    Just a quick thought to see if anyone agreed with this or had any thoughts.

    I’m someway into recovery I have a few days in a row where i am myself enjoying things and things just come naturally and my anxiety/depression feels a million miles away and when it comes along it is the complete opposite I feel trapped in my head anxious about the slightest things then after a few days of this depression sets in and I can’t imagine what being well feels like strange how it cycles and there’s no external trigger normally an anxious ‘what if’ thought then it snowballs.

    Any opinions or thoughts on this would be appreciated

  101. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Rich
    I do exactly the same as you but when I have been ok like recently I have this tendency to convince myself it has gone for good and then wham its back which makes me feel a failure like I have made myself like it and then I get depressed and start fighting which in turn makes my nervous tension really bad and takes me near to panic.But then we have to dust ourselves off and go down the acceptance road again a hard one to travel but we have no choice if we want to live our lives as best we can Sally X

  102. Rich Says:

    I do the exact same! I’m sure it’s gone for good and I know that feeling when it returns I feel a complete failure too and the exact feelings consume me ! I’ve been down the anti depressants road and had no success saw many therapists that diagnosed me with a ‘depressive illness’ and gave me no more information. I have learnt more from this site and this blog than any other therapist

  103. jc Says:

    thankyou jp i know what you are saying is right i just feel really depressed which makes it harder

  104. JP Says:

    JC; your sister being ill is genuinely concerning, you are allowed to be anxious about it and be a bit down about it as anyone would. but.. think of how most people would react, they would cope and be strong for someone they love. This is what you need to and can do, being anxious isn’t out problem, its being anxious about our anxiety that is, so continue to be anxious, but just don’t worry about it.

    Rich and Sally Young: I know what you mean so much. So many times i think, yes, that’s it its over. After a week of being almost back to normal i thought that i had done it. But then it slowly creeps back up, and instead of accepting it and carrying on, what do we do… we worry and get anxious about a little setback, and turn it into a big setback. and continue this process. I know how hard it is to not give a setback power.. but sometimes the best thing to do is just ride it out as best you can and remember that you can cope with feeling like this and it will pass.

  105. Evelyn Says:

    Hi diane.. what u have described is absolutely normal when in a high anxiety state.. I also had those thoughts and the more u give them attention the more they will feel comfortable and linger around.. so let them be.. when they start their work just allow them. With time they will get tired and leave.. their like a fuzzy child u pay them attention they cry more. U simply let them be. And they im not saying its easy but I promise they will go.. I still get them from time to time along with my d.p. but I simply ignore them and move on with my day. :) hope this helpef

  106. sinead Says:

    i feel a little stupid posting here because i realise so many people are suffering so much worse than me and for so much longer.ive only had intense anxiety for a couple of months but i think its been creeping up on me for years.

    i have searched for answers for the past few months all over the internet been to the doctors tried hypnotherapy tried online psycologists wasted couple of hundred quid in only a few months trying to find a solution for the way i feel, thinking ive been going mad, why do i feel this way the usual.ive been seeing a counsellor who rightly told me to stop searching for answers on the internet because i wouldnt find them and there is no magic cure.i held off for a couple of weeks but knowing my sessions with her were coming to an end, coupled with the fact that i had hoped the counselling would “work” and make me feel so much better (yep im constantly trying to feel better too!) i started googling ways to cope again.

    i have job interviews and exams coming up and fell upon this website completely by accident because at least this time i wasnt searching for a solution for feeling better i had just typed in ways to succeed in interviews when anxious-something i probably would have done “before”-(before i have become consumed by myself and my anxiety!) and this website came up-which i wish i had of found months ago because it it the first time every thing ive read has truly resonated with me!i had previously read about anxiety and read forums and i think they just served further to freak me out whereas your advice and information just hit the nail on the head.

    im anxious about anxiety at the minute consumed by the fact i am anxious and the constant when will i be better how can i make myself better wanting to find a solution am i getting better am i gettting worse what if i never get better what if i am stuck like this!constant going round and round in my head!and to see those exact thoughts on the website-without having deliberately been looking for them was such a shock-i couldnt believe it!and the fact that its described as being the product of a tired mind is so true-ive had so many pressures and strains for so long and had become burnt out and it took just one trigger to push me over the edge!

    and then to read the advice-and thank god it was conclusions i had started to come to by myself-there is no magic cure, there is no point fighting, feel the fear and do it anyway.its not easy it will take time.i still think im at the beginning of a very long journey and thats upsetting but i just have to be upset and get on with life anyway.i feel much better when im at home with my family as i feel safe and warm in their company and the thoughts are there milling away in the back of my head but i seem able to let them pass by.

    whereas in uni i am having the constant internal debate with myself just because its a more stressful place and im by myself and reminded of how much fun i used to have there and what a carefree individual i used to be.i want to give up uni i really do but i wont because i see the longterm-once i find it easier to deal with this and am on the road to recovery i would kick myself for giving up a future that once meant so much to me.

    its so funny because i even feel guilty being on this blog because i know i shouldnt be-because i worry this is another case of me trying to find a “solution”.(but i feel relieved in the fact that at least i recognise thats what im trying to do and there is no need to, i just need to carry on with my life regardless of the anxiety) but i know im starting to come to terms with there not being a quick fix solution because im not going to buy your book-no disrespect because it sounds wonderful but i think it will just compund the issue and make me dwell on things for even longer.i know theres no quick fix now, and i think i have enough knowledge so im going to try and go it alone and even though every part of me want to buy the book because it might “fix” me- i know i dont need it!

    i just wanted to ask a quick question and then im trying to promise myself that this is it! im going to stop with the internet and trying to find ways to cope instead just feel the pain and living life regardless.-the main problems i have are the constant-ill never be better this will never leave me and the constant when will i feel better how will i feel better this will make me feel better thoughts and the am i going mad why cant i just be happy and relax-its 24/7 at the minute or at least FEELs like its 24/7 and i know that the key to this is just relaxing and to be at one with it and not question it and try to fix it-but the problem is that my main thoughts are these questions and this will make me feel better thoughts so do i treat these in the same way i treat anxious thoughts-just let them pass and take no notice of say its important to stop this inner questioning but how?as you say you cant just stop thoughts and the main thing is not to try-so how did you stop the inner questioning, i know you say that you just stopped caring so much and let it be but i just am finding that difficult to do at the minute whenever i get the “i need to make this better how do i do it” thoughts i try and say SOD it it doesnt matter about feeling better ill just go and watch tv, but as im watching tv the thoughts are still there how are you going to make this better this isnt making you better-constant constant constant.does this ease?

    hope i make sense in all of this and sorry for the length of it!and any advice you can give me would be much appreciated!
    thank you for making me feel normal again!

  107. Ann Says:

    Diane, just wanted to chime in to say I’ve been there too (and still struggle with those scary thoughts). I know it’s scary, but these thoughts really are a common symptom of anxiety. There are many examples on this blog of folks who have experienced this and recovered. Hang in there and know it’s just anxiety!

  108. DCYL Says:

    This is for JC but perhaps others will find it useful.

    I have been feeling pretty good the past week or so. I’ve been sleeping late recently and that has gotten me to feeling anxious every now and then. But I was able to get through it. The weather in my area was great this weekend and I was having a good weekend.

    Then TODAY came along. In a very unfortunate incident, my mom was accidentally bitten by a neighbor’s dog. She was very upset over this. We had call police and take her to the hospital for a check up. The good news is the wound wasn’t too bad and the doctor thinks she will be fine.

    Alas, the situation might have set me back a bit. I was overly worried about how my mom would handle this situation (she had some stuff happen a few months ago, which got me to be anxious in the first place). I started focusing on how I was feeling and thinking again.

    Fortunately, I think I got past the worse of it though I am feeling my physical symptoms a bit. Unlike previously, I called one of my close friends and just talked about my worries. I found it helps to release some of the tension.

    In the past, I didn’t realize how my worries were affecting me. As I have gone through anxiety, I realize that our body tells us when we are hurting. We just didn’t listen and that’s why we got anxiety. As Paul says, we just need to take a step back and let the body heal.

  109. elaine Says:

    Does anxiety and depression go hand in hand xx

  110. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi am going thru really high anxiety due to end of relationship, it just seems I cant think about anything else, its driving me insane, I try and think about something else but it just comes back to this, it seems like I cant stop thinking, and its all negative and frightening. Please help!!

  111. Diane Says:

    hi all, just a question, when I get really anxious, I feel as if I not really there, and all these funny moods and feeling come over me and I feel so distant, I have noticed it happens when I am really anxious, feel like I cant focus and everything feels a bit unreal, is this dp? I think it is something more mentally serious, can anyone advice me, and any tips on how to overcome this without wanting to run away from the situation I am in?

  112. Sophia Says:

    Hi Diane
    It is DP..I had gone through the same…its as if u go through a varied range of emotions quite different from whats going on the outside..dont worry about will pass eventually..i have gone past this unreal feeling

    Firstly, I was not afraid when I took a complete change of attittude.. I felt I had complete freedom to do or not to do, to speak or not to speak when we are feeling unreal…we dont have to ‘force’ feelings
    2. the intense feelings which we face arent visible or felt by people dont worry about how u come across
    3. simply be there..u dont have to ‘do’ anything ( to get connected)..remember this ..thats quite important..this relaxes you as we are always in a hurry to somehow connect ourselves with the surroundings..
    4. just carry on with whats going on at ur hurry and no self sabotage…in our case this happens..
    5.gradually u can see the difference..its our attitttude basically that needs to shift as we always watch our actions and thoughts that we fail to conect outside..
    doesnt matter for the time being..cultivate this new habit..”however u feel . just carry on with what u have to” if u cant its ok..u will get better after sometime and this gap reduces in the long run…
    hope this helps a little..:)

  113. Clara Says:

    Hi all,

    I dont have unreal feelings, but there is always a watch on myself 24/7..its so subtle that i never realised my entire life why I took everything so personal and became overemotional ..

    my problem is I have to keep doing things I browsing on fashion, reading magazines..Basically I like to spend time with seems like a tough thing to speak to people..If I meet someone unexpectedly I’ll have to tune in myself if i dont i may look so disinterested as i’m in my own world most of the time..

    initially i thought I was more artistic, more thoughtful hence i went deeper into ”my world” but i was so wrong as i was creating a world of its own far from reality…!

    I dont know if u r getting what I’m trying to say as i havent come across this so far..when i’m browsing social websites or meeting people first reaction in my mind is ”I need to talk now and i prepare myself for that which normal people dont do’ they just carry on..I feel I always watch my feelings I feel exposed and to protect myself i cultivated this habit to speak according to what should be spoken to a particular person or senario.. so that they dont come across what i think..How pathetic..! nnow tahts becoem a deep rooted thought pattern in me that its with me 24/7 and is never changign

    Unlike anxiety condition we are not sure of our feelings we can carry on however u feel..whereas here its like ”hall of mirrors” i’m very aware of myself, my each though, my each feeling so hypersensitive .. feel like I’m on the focus, needs to explain myself to others , when someone questions me feels guilty as i coulnt reply back and to make things worse a whole lot of mind chater comes forth because of this i’m unsure of everything as i m not sure whetehr to take in whats going through my mind and act according to that or simply ignore..

    this is nagging as after each sentence i get a feeling ”its not kind of me to say that” so next line i may try to rectify that feeling so its going like a viscious cycle…( its so fast that i dont realise i’m going on the wrong track)i’m not able to free myself and talk indulgently..instead i’m always on the fence watching out for where I’m going wrong or whats coming around..this self focus is taunting me..

    Pls help..hope u guys understood what I’m trying to say..’
    Is this anxiety at its last hurdle or is this something I have to deal in a different way? Pls help me as this is manipulating my interpretation and is always constaining me

  114. JP Says:

    I’m not sure about the etiquette of linking another article on this blog… but as I have been using this blog for a few months I hope you will trust that its helpful.

    basically it is just about not believing in the negative thoughts of the brain, and cultivating the positive/creative. it explains how the mind/thoughts are not facts.

    “Negative thoughts can arise in the brain, but if you don’t believe in them, they will have no power to manifest in your reality – life is always moving in the direction of your well-being. So just relax and enjoy your moment.”

  115. jc Says:

    thankyou jp iseem to have got my anxiety and normal emotions all mixed up you are right of course i will cope and stay strong for my sister.
    thankyou also dcyl the worry also made me start focusing on my self again instead of accepting i was having a normal reaction

  116. Steff Says:

    I feel I am getting better, I am beginning to face my fears now and trying to let nothing hold me back! Just one problem I’m almost 5 months pregnant at the mo and I am now anxious about giving birth, I think say if I have a panic attack and I can’t cope what will the midwives think of me? what if I completely lose it? This will be my 2nd child and I had an awful labour first time round but coped really well, is this just anxiety playing it’s games again? I want to enjoy this pregnancy not worrying about the labour already :(

  117. Sara. H. Says:

    Hi Sara,

    I agree with JP about things like this could be real but it also is more likely to be anxiety picking on the things that scare you the most. For eg: it is quite normal to look at your loved one and have the thought that they are not at their most attractive at that particular moment in time. People without anxiety are able to dismiss this thought and move on, finding their partner attractive without the intense concentration on whether they do or not- it comes naturally. People with anxiety however take these normal thoughts as a negative, a reason to feel anxious and guilty and I think this is what is happening here. You said you have been having anxiety about your relationship for a while now, in my experience an initial thought which makes you anxious can spur a whole host of other “what ifs” “maybes” and before you know it you’re convincing yourself of all manor of things which are not based in reality. I too had anxieties based around my relationship and the same worry that I didn’t find him attractive anymore, just like you and like every other anxious thought in the past the more I took the thought seriously the more I dug myself in deeper and began convincing myself of it’s truth even though deep down I knew it wasn’t real-that’s why is was so frightening for me! Anxiety is a bully and it likes to prey on the things which scare us the most. By not giving the thought any respect we are telling it that we are not frightened. When you have the thoughts think “oh you again” and move on. Try this for a while and see if there is any improvement however slight. Have a look back through previous blogs particulary Helen and Kat’s as these were really helpful to me.
    take care
    Sara x

  118. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Clara I had this for many years when suffering, in fact it was the last thing to go for me. Mine was created my me constantly watching myself, tuning in to how I felt, wondering what this new sensation was. Going over and over things, when will I get better? What was wrong with me? Until the only thing that consumed my thoughts was ME. It was then hard to try and re engage with the world around me and as you say when talking with others or going around my daily business, my mind would keep reverting back to me. I especially would do this when talking with others as I wanted to come across as o.k, normal and would be watching how I was coming across, I made it an issue.

    How I got through this was by engaging more with the world around me. I got fit and went on runs and bike rides, I had a goal, I forced myself to be more social, even when I sometimes did not want to do it. I was not TRYING to take the focus off me, I just did it naturally. I also got involved in voluntary work. At first I still kept reverting back to me, but when I was naturally busy, I would forget myself, I would be concentrating on what I was doing and not how I was feeling. Knowledge also helped as it stopped me going over and over everything, making the subject the focus of my day.

    It really had become a habit, such a habit that I avoided contact with people, I would shy away. Well this just made the problem worse, so I activally went towards conversations, if I felt odd then that was ok, if it went well, then even better. I stopped caring and making an issue out of how I came across and if I felt slow and laboured in conversation, then that’s how it would be, I would not try and act my way through.

    It is like any habit, all habits can be broken, if we create a new habit.

    As I have said before, when someone first comes out of prison they take a while to adjust to their new surroundings, to not have to wait for someone to tell them when to move or where to go. The outside world can seem fast, out of sync, crowds may freak them a little, everything seems so busy, so fast and hectic. With them old habits are ingrained, these take time to adjust to, enviroments need time to readjust to. But after a while they get used to the outside world again, it becomes more and more part of them, it becomes their new habit.


  119. Clara Says:

    Thanks Paul…

    I understood what u said..its like freedom which we get all of a sudden but u become so disillutioned to see the fast flow of life that makes it difficult to cope ..I hope I go on the right track and not misguided by false interpretations (which plays non-stop in my head) thats my only fear..

    when i go ahead and make conversations I am already in a frustrated mode (guess thats the result of my inability to retort back and my emotions are completely things hurt) i can go on chatting but mine becomes more confrontational and make people defensive..

    I take things personal , feels guilty & on the edge and make me defensive as i feel they are blaming me..this mindset has to be reformed for that i need to believe in myself…

    that will take a while i guess..just praying that i dont follow the wrong track of accepting the blame and sabotaging myself..sometimes there is no route in front of me…if i feel ”I am at fault” this becoems the backdrop for any conversations thereafter and spoils the rest of things for me…i just cannot forget it…

    will follow ur advice—
    ”It is like any habit, all habits can be broken if we create a new habit”

    hope will learn to live life as and when it comes rather than building fences one after the other and keeping oneself locked up in it..!

    Thanks Paul once again..!

  120. sal Says:

    this is in answer to Faye: Faye I also get an ear symptom. the pressure seems to alter in my ears – especially one in particular – when I am on my way somewhere to meet people and feeling stressed. Also last year I suffered vertigo i.e. dizziness which persisted for some months. This is also related to ears and pressure in the ear. I went back and forth to the doctors over this. It was scary as I didn’t want to keel over in public or fall down steps while I was out and about. It affected my sense of security. I even had it while on a business trip abroad. Eventually the vertigo subsided and then the new feeling in the ear of pressure altering started. I realise now these were all stress symptoms. I don’t believe there is anything wrong in my ears – the doctors checked me out physically and couldn’t find anything wrong. One doctor did prescribe antihistamines for the vertigo but I never took them. The feelings have subsided although I get other horrible new stress symptoms which I have mentioned in a separate comment.

  121. Jen Says:

    hi everybody,
    and thanks to chris who has really inspired me. i have had a few very bad setbacks but GRADUALLY i am learning that they DO pass. Also, my intrusive thoughts came back with a big almighty BANG lol. but i remembered something that paul had taught and that was to give up the fight. instead of battling with the thought and thinking ‘oh my god’ think of something else, i followed the thought through and let it come to me. i thought to myself, i’m ALLOWED to think this. i’m going to keep practising this. its been 5 horrific months since this started but slowly i am seein little tiny pieces of the old me resurface. im going to take chris and pauls advice and step away from the subject now. just wanted to help anybody with a few positive words :):)


  122. Carlie Says:

    Hey everyone, I’d been doing better over the past week or so… at least I think that’s how long it’s been. That’s one of the things that’s bothering me the most, that my mind is constantly a mess and everything seems like a blur to me lately. :/ Is this a big problem for anyone else? I just can’t think clearly, like my mind is blank. And it seemed like my anxiety was better. I don’t even know how to tell if it is anymore. I think maybe that even when I don’t THINK I’m feeling anxious, I actually am, just because I’m so used to feeling that way that I don’t even notice it sometimes? I don’t know.

    I just felt weird all day today. Pretty much out of it, can’t think clearly, and feeling negative again. It doesn’t help that I’m not sleeping at normal hours. My whole life just seems different now. Will it ever be the same again? I stay in the house a lot, so I know that’s not helping. I’m hoping to get a job soon, but it’s so hard to make myself get up and do things sometimes. I just feel such a disconnect from my own mind sometimes, it’s such an eerie feeling. I’m feeling discouraged I guess… I’ll have a few days where I feel better, but then I analyze those and somehow convince myself that I still feel weird and I’m not getting better. :( I feel so lost and trapped and I just want out of this bizarro land I’m living in.

    Hopefully I won’t be feeling so negative tomorrow. :(

  123. Barbara Says:


    this is so insightful what you are saying. Not only “fear of fear” becomes a powerful, magnified force, but in anxiety sufferers it is directed at the individual having the thoughts.

    In other words, this concept implies preoccupation with anxious thoughts and the thoughts are usually self-centered, often critical, filled with guilt or shame. It truly is all about “me:” “what will they say about me? Will they like me? What if they will think that I am totally stupid and inadequate?” In a way, this is like a “run-away-mind,” mind that runs in circles and lost ability for a fresh and self-accepting reflection. Not only the mind is “running in circles’ without finding a solution or a sense of peace, but by being constantly directed at itself (in a punitive way), becomes self-centered, unable to redirect attention towards the environment.

    Therefore, redirecting one’s attention towards the environment, even if the sufferer does it slowly and gradually, may be extremely healing and empowering, So, instead of concentrating on self (so painfully felt if one has social anxiety), it helps to start paying attention to others.

    For example, in case of a party or some other social gathering, one needs to turn to other participants, even if in the beginning this is only done in one’s thoughts. Curiosity is of a great help, because it propels such questions as, “I wonder what this person has to say? I wonder about the stories he/she could say about his extensive work/ research / trips abroad,” etc., etc.

    So, in other words, it has a lot to do with a CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE, from outside-in to inside-out. Stop looking inside, stop analyzing, judging yourself, instead – look around, become curious about other people, about Life. By the way, I have never seen a depressed or anxious person who at the same time would be curious about people and the world. Have you? I believe that if we could evoke a touch of curiosity in a suicidal person, that itself would change his/her mind. After all, he would be curious what exactly will happen the next day! 😉

    Also, practicing mindfulness can be very helpful for promoting a healthy redirection of the tortured mind. I think it may work better that Transcendental Meditation that implies “emptying” one’s mind; people suffering from anxiety who have a problem with “a racing mind/thoughts” do better when they can occupy their thoughts in a concrete way, but in a healthier, more controlled manner. Mindfulness redirects the thoughts gently back to the reality, to one’s body, to bodily sensations, providing grounding and calm, allowing the mind to rest… finally.

    That’s my thinking… I wonder if that resonates with anybody?

    By the way, do you guys know that most people who suffer from anxiety are very creative and imaginative (after all they imagine ALL possible calamities!)? It truly is a “run-away- mind”! However, the same quality, if used properly, allows the healing to occur. One of the wonders of a human mind/body unity.

    Blessings to all of you…

  124. KM Says:

    When you post its as almost as if I’ve written the post for you. I feel EXACTLY the same. I know i’ve had better days/parts of the day, I’ve seen improvements in my sleep and appetitite, but I’m still having trouble getting through the day, some are just plain horrible and gruelling. I haven’t missed a days work, I’m making sure I go to all my social commitments and connecting with people and the world around me. I fear being on my own and spending extended periods of time at home and always need to plan things to do during the day to break up my day and give me a change of focus. None of this seems to making one bit of difference. I’m hyper alert of myself, my thoughts are all over the place, one minute I could feel ok and feel like i’m really making progress, then ten minutes later could feel in the depths of despair again. I have started to get some confidence back socially, today I even gave a presentation at work. But there are times in the day I still feel so overwhelmed I want to crawl into a foetal position. I feel i’m going to snap/ crack up/ loose it all of the things this horrible debiltating condition has us feeling. My rational brain knows this will never happen but my sensitive nervous system and habit still go back to it many many times. Some days i’m upbeat and positive, then others I want to retreat into nothingness! I agree with you I want all this weirdness to stop and am desperate for my old life back, I feel like I’m stuck in some vortex I cant escape from, while the world goes on happily around me, and I join in only momentarily :(

  125. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Babara That’s one of the best posts of the year and YES exactly what I am trying to say and get across. Never ever forget that the people around you will hardly notice anything, they don’t look or see how you are feeling. They notice far, far less than we think, we go around trying to cover something up that is not even noticable to people. I remember saying to my mother or very close friends who knew what I was going through, ‘Sorry about last night, I felt awful’ only to be told, I did not notice anything, you may have been quiter than normal, but I noticed nothing’. It hit me then that no matter how I felt, people could not see through me, feel how I was feeling, I looked the same, was it really worth creating such an issue over it?

    Also it is our anxiety that heightens everything, we care far more, feel more guilt, think people will notice, worry how we come across etc. Remember it is just our anxious state that causes this, it is not real.

    We must meet and speak to many anxiety sufferers in our lifetime, I have yet to notice it in anyone. I have seen shy/quiet people, but I just presume this is their personality. I could not point anyone out, even now when I would think I know what to look for.

    Clara your own post is full of ‘I worry that…….’ you say you are already in furstrated mode when chatting…..You are trying to worry your way out, you are trying to constantly fight to fix it, this is where the frustration comes from, you will just not accept that this is how it will have to be for a while, until you give into it, then the same pattern will continue.

    Try to stop worrying about your path, take it as it comes, feel and think anything you want with questioning it all, without worry and without frustration, just give in to it. I had the same worrys and concerns, felt if I kept going over things I would find an answer, felt I could worry it all away, no one got as frustrated as me, I even one day tried to pound my anxiety out of my head. Looking back I had no chance of ever moving forward, I was in full fight mode. I was anxious that I was anxious, I was frustrated, I was never once going to try and live alongside my anxiety, no way, I had to get rid of this damn thing. Well I spent 10 years like this until I educated myself and did the opposite.

    Every worry and concern about what others thought or how I came across went straight over my head, I had no time to worry about this, my mind needed a break, not to be more pounded by worry and concern.

    I started to make friends with the way I felt, I stopped getting so frustrated, realised this was me for the time being, the fight with myself was over. I would have to feel bloody awful, anxious and detached, but I had to care far less about this. I had to give my body the freedom to recover, me fighting myself each day was never going to achieve this. I had bad nerves, nerves that needed a break and all I did was pound them more each day. I was worrying and stressing about the way I was feeling, which was worried and stressed, hence why the cycle never broke.

    You really are letting anxiety take you down the path of worry, don’t listen to it’s voice. The next time the same worry or concern comes up, just let it have it’s space and move on, let it go, you will eventually become a master at this. Don’t investigate it, don’t get frustrated by it, it is just anxiety bringing another ‘Yes but Clara what if……..’ ‘You can’t do it Clara, you will fail’ an anxious mind creates anxious thoughts, but always remember they are not real.

    I don’t have anxious thoughts now, as I don’t have anxiety, when I did, then yes I had them all, but they were not real. I look back and smile at the things that I used to think when anxious, it seems trivial now and was certainly due to the way I felt at the time.

    It is just the same as when we get drunk, we think in a different way, our emotions change, it’s the alcohol that does it, we wake and think totally differently. When we feel anxious we think differently and our emotions change, just see it this way, DON’T take it seriously or give it the respect it does not deserve, just smile and move on.


  126. sinead Says:

    KM-that is exactly where i was a week ago-maybe where i still am however maybe with one small difference-i desperately want my own life back too, feel like im stuck in a vortex watching everyone else be normal and thinking if this hadnt of happened imagine how easily id be getting on with life just sitting back enjoying it living it instead of somehow watching from the sidelines and feeling miserable for no reason but now thanks to stumbling across this blog i see that its important to feel like this but not i dont.the thoughts are still running through my mind it seems 90% time but before it was 100% and it will steadily reduce and reduce but i think the main change ive seen in myself is that even if they dont, i dont care its fine-its scary but its fine i can live with it.i desperately want to be better but i think the most important way for me to get there is to accept the fact that i might never but strangely at the same time knowing that being ok with never being better is making me feel better!lol does that make any sense?!

    some days are hard because some days i think im ok with being this anxious im ok with being stuck like this ill just get on with life anyway and repeat it to myself over and over cos that niggly part of my brain still wants me to be better and to feel better and if i think if i keep repeating to myself its ok to be afraid of that ill just let it sit in the back of my mind then ill get better…and then i just have to tell myself to stop-youre trying to make yourself “feel better” again, you dont have to sit and repeat things in your head its better just say to myself my biggest fear- you know you may never even get better, being ok with these fears may mean youre still stuck, feeling the fear but getting on with life anyway may make me feel worse, these recovery stories may all be lies, there might be no way out of this ever-and accept it and just get on with my uni work.its the accepting it that takes the hard work.and i still dont think ive fully accepted being ok with it-otherwise i still wouldnt be replying on this even though i said i wouldnt ;-)- and you know what im ok with the fear that i havent fully accepted it and maybe never will- thats ok-and thats why i am feeling a million times better this week!

  127. marcb Says:

    Hi all, I purchased the book a few months ago, and initially the improvement was amazing! then however an old anxious trait of mine popped up, ill explain. Nearly 20 years ago I was feeling amazing because i basically let the thoughts come and go, then, whilst sitting down watching tv a thought popped into my head, it was “right then, if im ok now mentally, i should find something wrong with me physically” my mind then done a quick search and almost instantly found something, it was my penis which has a slight curve and is slightly thinner at the base (ladies I hope you dont mind me mentioning this) I then proceeded in the following months and years to focus and worry on this “imperfection”, which proceeded in myself getting lots and lots of anxious thoughts and sure enough I became a complete mess, almost housebound. Well the exact same thing has happened again, its as if my mind is telling me that this isnt anxiety, that I cant be happy/anxiety free as im not perfect and im finding it particually difficult to accept this thought (again, probably cos im being tricked into believing it isnt anxiety). When it happened 20 years ago I was a virgin so my cause of concern was greater, but this time around im not, and the even crazier thing is ive got myself a lovely girlfriend with whom I had sex with at the weekend and it went absolutely fine…… better than fine!!. So my question is what do I do when the “physical imperfection thoughts” rear their ugly head and has anyone else had this type of anxious thought regarding a physical part of themselves they are unhappy about and obsess about? Why am I finding it so hard to “accept” this? I honestly and truly feel if I could get over this hurdle I would be close to an anxious free life, but its starting to pull into the cycle again. Many many thanks….. Marc x

  128. Barbara Says:

    Yey, Paul, you just made my day, especially since this was my very first post EVER!
    Anyway, there are a few points that I would like to make:

    1. First of all, anxiety is a HIGHLY CURABLE disorder and it doesn’t have to rule or overshadow a person’s life. Having said that, I realize that there is a lot of confusion “out there” regarding a question, “what is the reason for one’s anxiety.” Unfortunately most people, including counselors and psychologists, don’t really know enough about it “to connect the dots.”

    2. Expanding on the previous thought, most of the time there is a very specific reason (usually many of them!) for people to develop an anxiety disorder but…. very few people pay attention to it. Let me explain: how many times, you guys go to a psychiatrist, who doesn’t even try to know you better, but instead – immediately gives you a prescription? Or maybe you go to a counselor who… starts teaching you CBT techniques (I call them “crutches”), and even though they are very useful and should be utilized, they will seldom resolve the situation. Consequently, the sufferer may feel a little bit better for a while – only to succumb to another horrible bout of anxiety, more guilt, shame, and disappointment. The reason for it is the fact that the real cause of anxiety was never recovered, addressed, and resolved. Yes, there is a good and valid reason for all this anxiety.

    3. And that’s my next point: anxiety may be caused by current events in our lives, and we all can relate to that (loss of a job, illness, divorce, death of a loved one, etc.). This kind of anxiety is natural and valid; it’s simply a part of our life. Of course, it may get out of control, but most of the time – one gets a new job, starts a new, and a better relationship, and the anxiety goes away.

    However, sometimes one has no idea why the anxiety is coming back again and again. It’s because the events that predisposed this person for anxiety could have happened in one’s childhood, even infancy. It could have been a disrupted
    bonding with mother/father/caretaker (think Bowlby!), or maybe a cruel teacher in the 3rd grade, or parents divorcing, leaving, etc. I won’t even mention neglect, abuse, and sexual molestation. I recently talked to a woman who told me a story of her difficult childhood, full of neglect , abandonment and rejection, to only tell me that she… has NO CLUE whatsoever why she suffers from anxiety and panic attacks(!!!!!!). For years, her treatment consisted only of heavy antianxiety medication. So sad… In other words, anxiety is often caused by early childhood experiences, most of the time events that we don’t even remember, or dismiss as not such important. It is essential though to remember that what we understand and justify now, as adults, was experienced differently by a small child we once were (Adult: “Mom worked two or three jobs, so she was never home but she had to do that in order to take care of us” vs: Child: “Mommy is not home again, she doesn’t love me… I’m lonely… She abandoned me… Nobody cares…”). The problem is, this little child’s trauma (yes: trauma!) has been pushed into the unconscious mind. Our unconscious mind consists of layers upon layers of such disfrenchised traumas, memories, experiences. They are still there: alive and unresolved. Then a little trigger event comes (by the way, it can also be an “internal event,” like for example a doubting or self-loathing thought!) and here we go again: another anxiety attack.

    4. Therefore, most people would benefit from getting a really good psychotherapist (psychologist or counselor, not psychiatrist) and start chipping that gunk away.

    5. In my last post I mentioned the role of imagination. Actually there is more to that: it’s also the heightened, out of control suggestibility (“the run-away-mind”). Basically, people suffering from anxiety practically “hypnotize” themselves into a panic attack, sometimes phobia. It may start with just one thought, that becomes magnified, supplemented by other distorted thoughts, until it snowballs. Don’t take me wrong; imagination and suggestibility are wonderful gifts if they function properly; they help us learn, focus, heal, be more resilient, but they are disastrous when they get out of control. It’s a proven fact that people who suffer from PTSD, anxiety and phobias, are more suggestible than the rest of the population, however, they turned that wonderful gift against themselves (think: negative self-talk). Again, there is a positive side to that: since they possess this incredible natural ability, with proper guidance, they can learn how to utilize it properly and heal themselves. Imagination is the missing link in the “anxiety loop.”

    6. Last point: anxiety has an unfortunate propensity to expand and “multiply.” Somebody may start with fear of driving over bridges, then move to being afraid of driving, period, and eventually become completely homebound. Therefore, anxiety should be treated as soon as possible in order to stop it’s destructive progression. Anxiety is an extremely painful condition and nobody deserves it. Also, they don’t bring it on themselves, they just happen to be more vulnerable, more sensitive, oftentimes – more hurt. And there is no reason to just “endure it” or “accept it” – it CAN be successfully treated. The goal is not to just remove anxiety from one’s life, but to fill that life with joy, happiness and success.

    That is our true birthright….

    Blessings to all!

  129. steveo Says:

    Good posts Barbara, very interesting.

    Do you suffer with anxiety now or have you recovered? Your explanations would suggest that you’ve recovered from it.

    Great helpful posts.

  130. Barbara Says:

    Thanks, Steve. Actually neither is true. I experienced a touch of anxiety after I suffered a great personal loss, but I was aware of what was happening to me, so I was able to avoid it. However, I am a psychologist and I treated many patients suffering from anxiety. I stumbled onto this blog while doing some research and I was seduced by Paul’s comment about how self-centered anxiety really is (it would be very helpful if more people would understand it!). And this tendency is so much present in all the posts I reviewed. The pain that you guys experience just breaks my heart….

    I wish everyone the best …

  131. Barbara Says:

    Actually, Steve, I forgot one thing: when I was a young girl (which, mind you, wasn’t such a long time ago 😉 I was quite shy and I didn’t feel comfortable in social situations.

    I remember sitting in my high school classroom and getting frustrated, because all my classmates would take credit for what I wanted to say!

    Finally, I was so fed up that… I started talking, participating, and actually… having fun. Well, there are some side effects to that, though: now you can’t shut me up! :)


  132. Kat Says:

    Hi Sara,

    Sorry for taking so long to respond to your post! I’ve been busy and have been making a conscious effort not to ‘haunt the board’, lol.

    What you’re feeling is absolutely horrific, as I know full-well. For me, it is the worst symptom of my anxiety pattern, because my relationship has been the most important thing in my life for the past nine years. I understand completely how frightened you must be feeling, as well as doubtful, but as you may have read through my interactions with Helen (as kindly noted by Sara H.), things have become slightly better on my end. I went from thinking my relationship was over, to catching small glimpses of my happier times with my partner, to having a few days at a time of feeling almost ‘normal’.

    I am not recovered, yet. I still have moments of extreme doubt, and that’s usually when I breathlessly type out a post to Helen, or whomever may be able to share some insight on the matter (again, Sara H., your posts have been very helpful), hoping that I will somehow get back on track. I still feel frustrated and anxious about things, but I’ve come to understand that my impatience to feel ‘normal’ again is a huge part of my problem. Also, trust is an issue, as in, I need to trust that what I’m feeling is what Helen felt, and what others feel, and that I will recover and reclaim my relationship. I am working at it, everyday, and whenever I feel some flutter of ‘good’, I think to myself ‘I need to trust in what others are saying more’, because I have a tendency to second-guess everything. Also, I am allowing myself to have ‘good days’, because my normal pattern is to worry about them ending, instead of enjoying them when they’re actually happening. So, if I feel not so great about my partner, I tell myself that these thoughts are normal for my situation, and that it’s okay to have them because they will leave at some point. It helps me a great deal.

    As suggested to me by Helen, do things with your partner, even if you don’t want to. Go for walks, have dinner together, watch a movie, etc. Even if you only feel your connection for a moment or two, it will comfort you to realize that it’s still there, under the layers of fear and doubt. It’s hard, but it’s necessary. For a time, I didn’t even want to look at my partner, because I was trying so hard to feel for him what I used to, until I realized that forcing myself wasn’t going to help at all. It was only when I let go that I felt attraction again, and while it is hardly consistent (I seriously wonder if the good hormones are broken!), knowing that I can feel attraction toward him has been extremely comforting.

    I feel very awkward in offering advice since I’m still in the middle of trying to recover myself, and again, I still worry that I’ll never feel as I did about my partner again. However, this is where the trust comes in, and I choose to trust in Helen’s words, and everyone else who has been kind enough to offer their support and wisdom, because it has been the greatest source of strength I’ve known when it comes to dealing with anxiety. Give yourself time. You fell in love with your husband for a reason, and those reasons do not simply vanish. Trust yourself, and stop trusting anxiety.

    You have my best thoughts! You are not alone. Remember, I’m working along with you, and we have a great refuge in Paul’s board, so don’t give up!


  133. Josh Says:

    Paul & Other

    I am on my recovery path and despite setbacks I personally feel , i am improving day by day. I am able to keep a positive attitude. My question is;

    In the heaviest and worst of anxiety fellings like racing thoughts, feel very odd, feeling spatial, if we have the calmth and knowledge , is it advisable to go out and do all work? I am ready to take that plunge now…only thing keeping me a bit out is an apprehension that I should not venture out during heavy anxiety… at the same time I also feel that unless i see the peak i will not be able to recover…

    Please advice

  134. Josh Says:

    Hi Paul & Other

    I have recovered to a great extent now, but there is still some apprehension in moving out and and doing things.

    Specially during peak anxiety i prefer to stay back, my question is;

    Despite heavy anxiety, racing thoughts, feeling odd, feeling spatial, should i take a plunge with total faith and go out to work? I feel I should do it… just need some expert advice…

  135. Steveo Says:

    Barbara… that explains it.

    They are really well written posts and i’m sure a massive help to many of the people on this board!

    Keep up the excellent work :-)

  136. Nick Says:

    Hi folks,

    Just need a bit of help at the minute. Had a really good summer with living with everything, however I am in the middle of definitely my worst setback. it is the scary thoughts at the minute that just won’t diminish. Out of every symptom this one has been my downfall, and I have always found it the most difficult to accept. At the moment, out of nowhere yesterday I started worrying I had HIV. This was the very problem that got me into the anxiety cycle in the first place. I got myself tested last year and it came back all clear but now my mind has suddenly come out and told me that there’s a chance that something went wrong at the clinic and that I do actually have it. I fully recognise how ridiculous these thoughts are but i somehow just can’t accept them at the moment. From then it is the usual, what if im thinking about it when I’m eating then struggle to eat. The usual downward spiral occurs and at the moment i’m finding it hard to accept. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Hope you are all getting on well yourselves.


  137. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Josh says: Hi Paul & Other

    I have recovered to a great extent now, but there is still some apprehension in moving out and and doing things.

    Specially during peak anxiety i prefer to stay back, my question is;

    Despite heavy anxiety, racing thoughts, feeling odd, feeling spatial, should i take a plunge with total faith and go out to work? I feel I should do it… just need some expert advice…

    Josh a lot of people make the mistake of waiting until they feel good to do something, they sit and wait for the day when it all goes away so they can go about their lives as they normally did. The real progress comes when you stop waiting for that day and do it anyway. This is what I mean when I say take it with you, let it sit beside you whilst you live your life.

    I eventually did this and the more I put myself out there, the more reactions dampened and the outside world was no longer the enemy, it never was, it was me I was afraid of, the way I felt and I tried to hide away, as I did not want to feel uncomfortable, when really it was putting myself out there that was truly going to save me and give me my life back.

    So the answer is yes, go out to work and trust in yourself more, again our anxious minds always have us thinking the worst, it builds up a picture that rarely comes true. Truly nothing can happen, apart from you begin to open more doors and broaden your life. Truly trust in yourself, all we feel are surface symptoms, symptoms that can truly do us no harm.

  138. marcb Says:

    Hi, If possible could someone answer my question please. I feel I am getting worse by the day as I’m struggling so much to accept this. Many thanks marc x

  139. Steveo Says:


    i think everyone has a bit of the physical problems as i certainly did. i kept thinking my eyes were blood shot and thta i looked pale etc

    the more you worry about it, the worse it will get.

    everyone’s genitals (male and female) are very different shapes and sizes.

    i would suggest is to let the thoughts be there and just say ‘whatever’ to them. maybe i do look a bit pale today, maybe my eyes are a little bloodshot, maybe my penis is a little different to the next man…

    so what, everyone has these general thoughts but people with anxiety (myself included) obsess about them. if we give them no thought, they will pass.

    keep it up – you’ve done it before and you’ll do it again.

    your girlfriend obviously likes it 😉

  140. Barbara Says:

    Nick, if you were sexually active during that last year, just get tested again and get over it. It’s not worth to worry about it and agonize. If you were not sexually active and you still keep worrying – get help!

    Good luck!

  141. Barbara Says:

    Thank you, Steveo, for your kind words. I’m glad you found my posts helpful.

  142. marcb Says:

    Thank you steveo. What I would like to ask also is….. And this will sound weird, but I feel i can’t let these thoughts just be there as there is something “wrong” with me. So I ask, even tho the thing that bothers me is a physical thing, can i still accept and ignore these thoughts knowing they r anxiety based? Many thanks marc

  143. JP Says:

    Something that i find effective: you can’t shut off the thoughts in your head, they are automatic and symptoms of anxiety/depression. but we can choose what thoughts we want to define us, we want to pay attention to, we want to act on: make those thoughts the positive and creative ones, the one that says life is beautiful and you can cope. ignore the nonsense thoughts, its just our anxiety over having them that keeps them alive.

    now, I am off to play football, because there is nothing wrong with me and I can do whatever I want. :) x

  144. Nick Says:


    I have had the same girlfriend for the past 3 years and never been with anybody else since. This makes the thoughts I have been having even more ridiculous now doesn’t it!? I’m not going to get tested as it is utterly pointless, though giving blood soon will i guess confirm everything that i need not be worried about. To suggest “getting help” is exactly why I’m here! I know that recovery is within me and all the help I need is here. To “get help” elsewhere would prolong things for me when I just need to stick by what has been getting along so nicely until recently, it would continue the thoughts of “having a problem”, which is not the case. Thanks though, I do know what you’re trying to say!


  145. steveo Says:

    marcb – you have to learn to live alongside it as you have done previously.

    what does your girlfriend think?

    why do you think these thoughts, have you looked at pics of ‘others’ as they’re not all the same… :-)

  146. Barbara Says:

    Nick – it looks like you recognize the fact that these thoughts seem to be irrational and are not based in reality. I that case, try this technique: as soon as you recognize the disturbing thought, don’t try to push it away (it will stick!), but imagine a large “STOP!” sign and replace the negative thought with a pleasant and positive one. It may be useful to identify thoughts that you find pleasant and comforting beforehand. Then – distract yourself with some activity: call your friend, talk to your girlfriend, play with a dog, etc. If the thought returns, follow the same routine. It takes some practice, but many people find it helpful :)

  147. SarahS Says:


    Your message on this site is so important and so helpful to so many people. It makes me wonder if there’s any other way to get the message across to others. EG., is this something you could take into schools so that this sort of thing is known about from a young age and kids/parents will get to have some sort of insight into anxiety and how the body can work in certain situations and how it’s important not to be afraid of symptoms as perfectly normal, will go etc. Also, the Daily Express do articles entitled Express Yourself where all sorts of people write about their experiences with all sorts of situations. Could this be some way to get your message across to more people? Not sure how many people would read the DE though ha ha, kidding! Just think what you have done so far is so remarkable that it’s a shame to keep it to this website.

    Sarah x

  148. jackie Says:

    I agree entirely with you sarahs, so little is known and yet all you need to know is here on this site :) i truely think paul deserves a medal!!

  149. Nick Says:

    Thanks Barbara, however doesn’t this “trying” to replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts kind of go against the whole “not trying” to do anything and just accept all these thoughts and feelings for what they are? This is where I have been confused in my setbacks. Living with the physical symptoms has always been fine but the thoughts have always been the thing I find hardest to accept! In terms of distraction there’s no problems there, I work, play football and tennis, go to the gym etc, I do it all as I always have done. So I shall just carry on as I do with the tip you gave me. I know I’m close to clarity! :)

  150. marcb Says:

    Hi again steveo, Well in answer to your question “why do I get these thoughts” i imagine (and hope!) its my anxiety trying to do its level best to put me down a peg or 2! When I was really bad back in May these thoughts about my penis were non exhistant as at the time there were other things going on in my head, I managed to de sensitise those, was feeling good then…..bang! I also feel guilty about having these thoughts about my penis when I see those brave soldiers coming home minus their limbs, as I know im a lucky so and so.

  151. Matt Says:

    Carly….me and you are going through the exact same thing. For a week, I was feeling a lot better, I don’t remember how or why to be honest. This week has been up and down and I feel so lost and disconnected with my family and myself. It’s really a pain when you have a good week and then all of a sudden you’re back to the confused lost state again. My head is blank and I seem to to have the 24/7 fear again and I don’t know what the fear is about. My memory seems to be fading, I can’t remember what I did a few days ago, and short-term memory problems still exist.

    I don’t understand, a month ago it wasn’t this bad. I mean, I was more optimistic then and didn’t have these memory problems and constant fear of everything. When I talk, it feels like someone else, like I am outside myself watching and observing and I can’t do anything about it. It feels like I am losing myself completely and it scares me to death. My thinking was more clearly last week and a few days ago, but now it’s back to feeling blank again. I guess I just have to keep pressing on because if I had a good week, then I believe i’ll have another and I have to keep my confidence up no matter how lifeless and hopeless I feel.

  152. Steveo Says:

    marcb – sorry mate, I thought that was the only reason you were anxious. i didn’t understand from your posts that this is something that your anxiety has got hold of.

    it will pass if you give it time and try not to focus too much attention on it. my anxiety has had a hold of a lot of things throughout this ‘process’ and is slowly passing.

    you will do it :-)

  153. marcb Says:

    Yes steveo its grabbing alright! A couple years ago I was obsessed by these tiny little spots around my eyes, with thoughts like “how on earth am i going to get myself a.partner with these”! Going on. I suppose I’m just looking for reassurence that what I’m going thru ar the moment IS anxiety, yet the mere fact it comes automatically and almost 24/7 now tells me it is.

  154. Steveo Says:

    :-) I had that exact same thing, they are still there now for me. They are on my actual eye ball but I am not bothered by them.

    It is anxiety and that is all it is. It will get bored once you start paying it attention – a bit like a bully!

  155. steveo Says:

    *less attention (once you start paying it less attention)

  156. Clara Says:

    Hi Barbara,

    your post was so insightful..

    ”In a way, this is like a “run-away-mind,” mind that runs in circles and lost ability for a fresh and self-accepting reflection. Not only the mind is “running in circles’ without finding a solution or a sense of peace, but by being constantly directed at itself (in a punitive way), becomes self-centered, unable to redirect attention towards the environment.” —- this is so very true…

    people having anxiety never realise when this pattern creeps in during their normal thinking..actually I simply had one or 2 fearful thoughts..but since i worried about them it came often finally drowning me in them..

    now that i have realised its a little late as I have become a chronic worrior and an anxious person..but I’m believing in what Paul said—-& trying to inculcate that in me
    ”It is like any habit, all habits can be broken if we create a new habit”

    As u said try to be more outward..I had been more outward at one point of time as i could speak on and on with any person i meet..i was so happy until one day i felt like a ”need to keep talking”… fill the gaps as i have been unnecessarily focusing on should i speak to her about this? is it too much of talking? and it just went on until i really got effected when someone just raised a comment..somewhere my confidence just dimmed…I think it was a result of getting caught up in my own world..

    so i dont want to be more outward and more inward..because whatever i try to do i get more attached to it by repetetive thoughts…i’m trying to live a life where I’m not watching my flow with life…to have complete freedom from thoughts..i had always been a slave to my thoughts that i dont know what i ”actually want” in my life so right now i’m following this—- however i feel to carry on with life…instead of living my life through my imagination..” its a journey to know who I am actually…sounds philosophical but its true… :)

    I guess all my life whichever track of thinking i take, attention slowly comes back to me as to ”how” ”what” I should go about living my life which infact should be a flow which is hardly noticed by the individual…mindfulness will also help in bringing back the mind to the present situation…I so yearn for a life to be lived CAREFREE as i hardly remember those days..

    I so agree with what u’v said…about having an imagainative mind..mine is one like that…i can go on day dreaming to no end reaching the other end of the world..before i truly enjoyed it as it helped me achieve things but when i got anxiety it just spiralled back to the depth of negative thinking.

    Its good to read your insights on the subject…
    Many thanks..Clara

  157. DCYL Says:

    Like Clara, I think I am a bit of a worrier. I don’t like uncertainty and always go through a ton of “what if” situations in my head. I think I’ve had this “habit” prior to anxiety and my feelings have been a lot more magnified since I’ve gotten my anxiety.

    Has anyone found a way that has been effective to change this habit of worry? A book I read that habits are just energy and they can be changed. It just takes some mindfulness to be aware that you are “worrying” and then shift your attention elsewhere. However, this is a little easier said than done.

    Any thoughts from people on this would be appreciated.

  158. Rich Says:


    I have tons of what ifs daily I’ve had general anxiety disorder for three years now and the thoughts are the only thing that trouble me now. Acceptance seems to be the only way to deal with them, I get some shocking thoughts especially when depressed as well that horrify me but I do my best to continue with my day, my work and my hobbies it’s unbelievably difficuilt to express in words how tough I find it sometimes but I can’t go back to just sitting in front of the telly all day frozen with fear by every thought that ‘invades my mind’. Pauls right when he says we have to start living again! I hope this helps as I can relate to these thoughts and the effect they have.

  159. DCYL Says:


    Thanks. You know, the super troubling thoughts don’t come up as much for me recently (thank goodness for small favors). For me, it just seems that when stress comes up, my anxiety kicks in a bit and the worry feels a ton stronger.

    Perhaps I just sensitive and more aware of my worry than I was before and it just drives my anxiety higher. But I do feel you. It’s an up and down affair.

  160. Clara Says:

    Hi DCYL

    our mind is so used to worry that we hardly see them as ”distorted perception” we accept them as reality..our thought pattern is such that we magnify and play in our minds every scenario and picturise whats going to happen n we believe what we imagine might turn out to be true…but thats purely imagination far from REALITY…

    replacing old habits with new ones…each time u feel bad tell urself its anxiety playing its tricks on u..its not u or the people around that made u feel that way..connect urself with whats happening around or do nothing and simply watch whats happening around…slowly you will regain ur perspective…

    best is to
    1 acknowlege we have anxiety, reason for being on the edge always!..its not reality its magnified through habitual thinking.

    2 when we get overwhelmed with thoughts making us indecisive, ask urself what you actually need? just dont heed to other what ifs..and be content with ur decision..

    3 do things that makes u genuinely happy rather than attempting to make others happy..cos it may end up making others happy for us to feel good.. alongside anxiety– let it be there for as long as it wants– i will do things which i want to do in life..let it be there beside me ..learning to do things however i feel.. we start giving less importance to the way we feel giving our focus more on the work we do…

    5. always be content urself..all the weird feelings n thoughts r outer layers of anxiety…”i am not what i think i am” its just our distorted thoughts that tells us i am so n so…Trust urself..move ahead..i am what i consciously decide and do in my life..the more we train ourselves to ignore thoughts (by not adding emotions to it) the more we wil be able to live in the present moment..!

  161. Fran Says:

    Hi everyone,
    Some great posts lately. Clara i like your comment about asking yourself what you actually need, not heeding what ifs and be content with your decision. I find that if what i need is in conflict with other people i have huge anxiety about it and any decision i make feels like the wrong one.
    For example yesterday i had a really bad day and was looking forward to getting home and relaxing. However my stepson had called my husband to ask if he could stay the night and was told yes without asking me. I told my husband that it wasn’t ok for me this time (he stays very often). I knew that i just didn’t need another stress and felt like this was the last straw of the day. The fallout of saying no to someone was so much more stressfull than if i had just put up with it. I have been obsessively worrying about it all night feeling powerless, wrong, that they feel bad about me, guilty etc etc. How can i feel comfortable with saying no to others to get what i know i needed which was a peaceful evening in my own home. I am in a really bad setback at the moment and feel like it is hard enough to just get through the day with the thoughts in my head without any extra stress. Sorry for the negative post but i could really use some advice.
    Thanks Fran

  162. sinead Says:

    hey everyone
    i have been feeling much better this past week but just wondered if people who have recovered could give me a bit of information about the constant self-introspection-this is the most annoying thing for me i just am constantly analysing myself how im thinking what im doing constantly -im just letting the thoughts come and go, but this constant attention on me is tiring but i put up with it cos i dont care anymore.i just feel a bit weird because i feel like my mind can/will never shift its focus away from me-my mind also keeps going over things ive thought before -if all this hadnt happened i wouldnt pay attention to it or it wouldnt alarm me because after all im just remembering remembering is completely normal!but it makes me feel uncomfortable because instead of just walking down the street and taking in my surroundings my mind is trying to remember what i was thinking the last time i walked down the same street.this constant attention on my thoughts is soooo annoying!so my question is did you suffer from this during your recovery?im not really that anxious any more but its as if the memories are very strong and even more uncomfortable to think of than the sometimes feels like ill never think of anything else but anxiety!im ok with that, i doubt its true but it seems funny that my mind is so stuck on me.just hearing what someone else has to say about my crazy thoughts id appreciate. :) thanks

  163. Jackie Says:

    Something I just came across whilst for once not searching for anxiety!!
    whilst helping out on some homework…


    This being human is a guest house.
    Every morning a new arrival.

    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness comes
    as an unexpected visitor.

    Welcome and entertain them all!
    Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
    who violently sweep your house
    empty of its furniture,
    still, treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you out
    for some new delight.

    The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
    meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

    Be grateful for whatever comes.
    because each has been sent
    as a guide from beyond.

  164. Elaine Says:

    Hi I have realised if i dint have depression as well as anxiety i would be well on my way to recovery .I can accept the anxiety now and dont fear it at all its took 5mmonths to get to thais stage.If i didnt have very bad depression i would be fine .How do i get past the depression xxx

  165. Rich Says:


    I’m also in a stage of recovery similar to you. Constantly analysing how I feel how didi feel when I was here yday or would I like something more if this had never of happened, it’s like a constant rating system scoring how I feel and react to everything daily. It is just anxiety! when things were really bad I felt I had to ‘watch myself’ every move, motion, every journey I took etc. I think it’s all part of watching yourself! Am I enjoying today as much as yesterday? How did I feel when I last come to the pub? Oh god I feel the same as last time I was here, I’m going to be stuck like this forever!

    Before anxiety I wouldnt care how I felt or sing into a depressed mood because I wasn’t as good as yesterday! I’ve stopped it all no one else around me is doing it there getting involved in life, enjoying things rather than asking internal questions which we have learnt from habiat

  166. Rich Says:

    Sink* and habit * apologies lol


  167. Vic Says:


    I hope all is well with all everyone. I just had a question, wanted to see if anyone can relate or give insight.

    I myself am about to hit my 3 year “anniversary” of sorts to when I became an anxiety “sufferer”. However, with this anniversary upon me, I have begun to think about how far I have come and how much I still have to go.

    The thing I wanted to talk about, or ask about is that I could remember being 15 years old and doing certain things that most teenagers do, like drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana, except usually I never enjoyed these activities because this hyper awareness would kick in and I would be worried about how I felt. I still get this feeling sometimes now, except obviously it does not take as much for it to kick in. Sometimes I can be busy at work all day and be fine, but once I leave work I “zone in” and sometimes I let this zoning in bother me.

    Can anyone relate to this? And how do I handle this? Obviously its an issue I have always have before I even became a “sufferer”. Now that I am educated on the subject, I understand its anxiety. Is this just a version of fight or flight? becoming hyperaware of oneself? I think understanding fully will help me a lot more. Thank you

  168. Matt Says:


    Most of my depression is from anxiety. I don’t feel nearly as depressed as I did three weeks ago so that is a good sign. If your depression is from anxiety, then, like anxiety, it might take a little time to get back to feeling good about yourself. Personally, I have felt a lot better over the past two days with DP and anxiety, I just allowed it to be there and stopped focusing on it. In fact, it has gotten much better over two weeks, except for a few bad days. It’s hard because when I have a bad day, it’s really hard to focus on all those good days I had because I am so focused on the bad. It shows me that I just have to change my attitude towards it and, by doing that I make good progress.

    Since you have learned how to deal with your anxiety, I would be happy with that progress you’ve made. I mean, if you were anxious and depressed and the anxiety has gotten better then that should be something to be proud of. Anxiety is more of just negative thought habits and when I get out of those particular habits of thought or whatever was causing me anxiety at the time, I would focus on something entirely new. Be happy with what you’ve accomplished, because that is something to definitely be positive about.

  169. sinead Says:

    Hey Rich
    thanks for the reply. sounds like you’re in exactly the same place as me!i hate it its so frustrating and i think “when will i stop doing this questioning?!” -whoops thats another question!at the minute im preparing for job interviews and finals in uni-heaven only knows how i have a hope of getting a job or passing because i cant remember something i read 20 times these days lol but ive come to terms with that!(its extra annoying because i can remember every single THOUGHT ive had in th past few weeks in extensive detail but actually remember something useful NO!)i would love if all i could do would be to sit and worry myself silly about the interviews and exams-because thats what i would have done before but now im worrying about the interview exams PLUS the constant internal dialogue.i wonder if people who have fully recovered or paul have any advice?cos i know from what ive read and what youre saying that its important to stop this constant internal questioning -but i just dont know how to practically do it-its like all the rest of the anxious thoughts-its just an automatic voice nattering away. do i ignore that inner voice the way ive come to ignore my greatest fears (youre never going to be happy again :() and whenever i feel myself think when you were walking down this street before you were thinking this do i just let myself think it and move on with my day??past few days ive lost a bit of my sleep pattern too-which is a bit gutting but i think oh well itll probs come back and if not at least ill be awake and can TRY revising!

  170. Rich Says:

    Sinead I’ve found the less you pay attention to these thoughts or moments the less of a monster they turn into then I don’t refer back to them as much as the importance is not there! that’s not too say they are not there though!

    I do think this is an extremely difficuilt illness to get over as its so easy to cycle into things, one thought can be a catalyst to conjour up so much anxiety and negativity feeling like your back to square one!

  171. sinead Says:

    Ive been putting that into practice and im not doing it as much which is good!went for a walk with my dad there and something came up that annoyed me a bit-i hate going back to uni after a weekend at home and my dad said to just to try and enjoy myself while im there instead of constantly wishing i was back home where its marginally easier to deal with this anxiety!well thankfully i dont mind going back to uni as much any more-because i think here or there im still going to be letting this anxiety flow and i dont really mind being by myself.but what he said about enjoying myself-i dont really enjoy anything any more-i feel safer at home but not happy-literally nothing makes me happy.and part of me wonders is this just a thought-anxiety trying to fool me?

    i dont really know.i used to love reading shopping and watching movies and am still doing those things-and sometimes i feel relaxed doing them-not happy but relaxed so maybe i am enjoying them and dont even realise?its a very odd feeling.and a very odd illness.i guess thats what i miss the most.cant remember the last time i felt actually happy.thats when i know im truly on the road to recovery when my mind forgets itself and lets itself feel warmth lookng forward to that day!:)

  172. Mark M Says:

    I totally have that feeling too, Sinead, of not being able to enjoy many things, I’ve had anxiety for nearly 3 years and it’s so on and off for me. Recently, I’ve tried just going slower and not rushing myself, and something as simple as that has helped a lot, and overall I feel like I’ve made progress and have been feeling better than I ever have. Actually yeah, I feel like I’ve made huge strides in accepting my anxiety and just living my life.But every now and then, like today, I feel so incredibly frustrated with myself and depressed and anxious, and I feel like I hide it and don’t express it enough to the people in my life, but at the same time I feel like I ‘should be recovered’ by now and I hate talking about it because it doesn’t seem to do much long term good. I understand to not give recovery a time limit, and I try not to, but man sometimes it’s frustrating as all hell and I just want to be better, you know?

  173. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Mark
    I am having a bad day today too and am with you in everything you just said.And I totally agree about talking about it to others I went through a phase where I thought it would be ok to talk about it but actually it made me focus on it more and feel worse.Sally X

  174. Rich Says:

    Mark M

    Your post just summed up my situation perfectly not connecting with things and enjoying the things I used to is difficuilt I have also improved leaps and bounds and there’s still a feeling of ‘im not better, I’m not the old me’

    I feel where your coming from man

  175. Gary w Says:


    I’m really struggling with what I think to be derealisation and depersonalisation. This occurred after a 2 year period of worrying and over thinking everything. I’m 18 and it had totally ruined my life (college, sport, socially, girlfriend). I really don’t know what to do or how to get out of this awful situation.

  176. Matt Says:

    Hey guys, my DP has been getting better over the last few days and I have gotten rid of some of my fears associated with having anxiety with particular things. But as soon as I am feeling a lot better, I started to have thoughts about hurting others and have all this gibberish running through my mind that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Like I have thoughts that make no sense whatsoever about anything and everything. It’s like the DP is trying to hold on for dear life because I am getting my confidence back.

    It’s strange, as soon as I let go and moved past certain pointless fears I had, these weird thoughts and fears cropped up out of nowhere. I know I am not going to hurt anyone, but these silly irrational thoughts about anything and everything is really strange. It’s frustrating because as soon as I make progress in one area, some new scary thought arises. I guess it’s because my mind is just so tired that it’s not the thoughts that are the problem, but the actual anxiety/DP that is. It’s hard sometimes because it’s almost like I try to convince myself that I am going to hurt someone or go nuts. Anyways, I know I am not the only one that has gone through this, but has anyone else had this happen to them as well? Thanks.

  177. DCYL Says:

    Clara – Thanks. I fully agree with your post (especially #2 and #3). In fact, to that effect, I took a leave of absence from a “side job” that I have done for years. The side job was nice (money was cool, get some exercise at the same time) but the expense was some personal time get sacrificed. I decided that I wanted to get some of my personal time back was more important than money.

    Fran – I certainly understand what you are feeling. I didn’t have the exact same situation. However, when I wanted some peace, someone at home starts nagging me and that gets my anxiety kicking. Most people who have recovered usually talk about outside activities but these family things do cause their share of stress which really can get frustrating. The recent situation I posted about earlier also did not help things.

    To end on a positive note (for everyone): I am quite a bit better than I was a few months ago. Yes, it is indeed frustrating when you’ve made progress and then you go back a little bit. Do try to keep your head up. I know it’s hard but we can do it. :)

  178. Fran Says:

    That seems to be the nature of anxiety, it jumps from one thing to another and it seems as soon as one thing improves another thing will take its place. I had a phase where the thoughts of hurting someone else were so bad and terrifying that i thought i would never be rid of them. I used all the advice from this site and had some great support from someone who i could be totally honest with, who didnt judge me which was a huge help. I let the thought be there but did my best to recognise that it is just anxiety and give it as little attention as possible. Gradually that particular obsessive thought went and it hasnt come back thank god.

    Thanks for the reply,
    I know that home life is a huge stress for me, particularly my relationship with my husband. I worry constantly that i dont love him and i would be better off without him etc etc. Yes we do have reccurring issues that have been there for years, but he has been suppoting me as best he can through all my stuff and he hasnt left me. I feel so guilty that i have these thoughts.
    It really is anxiety playing tricks i know, but its so tiring when it goes from one fear to another all the time.

    Just a question. Does anyone have a fear of getting better and being happy. Its like i am scared when things dont feel so scary as they did, like im so used to feeling like this that feeling not like it is somehow more scary. Not sure im making sense, but i thought id ask.
    Thanks Fran

  179. Jackie Says:

    Hi Gary, have you had a look round the whole of the site? Here is a link to the depersonalisation page :)

  180. Sinead Says:

    Hey.well I had a crap day at uni-the worst-did everything wrong wanted to give up,hated every minute of it,hate my life full stop,cried all the way home and just let myself feel rubbish.and lo and behold I feel a little bit better because of it 😉 my anxieties trying to tell me no-it’s cos it’s night and you always feel better at night -well maybe it is maybe it isn’t the walk home prob blew off some excess adrenaline and blew a few cobwebs away.but I’m gonna go to my brothers for dinner because I want to despite anxiety telling me you can run but you cant hide your gonna feel crap at his house too-well so what if I do-im hungry,I want to see my brother and watch some tv even if I don’t enjoy it!so I will!happy Halloween everyone-on a side note saw a black cat at my front today was a truly awful day but I’ve just had a strange thought-I think I’d have felt worse if I’d had a day like today when I was ‘normal’ it’s like my anxieties helping me cope with truly being rubbish at something?weird!

  181. Sinead Says:

    Fran I did have a fear of being happy because I was happy before and look how easy that was snatched away.I think I’m refusing to let myself be happy at the minute because the fall back down is so hard-but the more I let this anxiety in and stop fighting it,the stronger I’m feeling(i
    Still at the bottom of a huge mountain though!)and I know when I feel happy again It will be because I’ve truly learnt to live alongside this monster and that will mean being ok with the thought that I might fall so far again and for that very reason I never will!x

  182. Teresa Says:

    Matt, yes it can be very tiresome when you think you have shifted a ‘fixation’ with anxiety and then another one pops along – i expect that relates to the fact that although you may have reduced the fear of a symptom we have not reduced the anxiety or thinking pattern in general and therefore it picks up on the next thing. It all feels very easy when you lose the fear. One thing I did notice is that you mention that although you notice the DP is reduced and fading this is replaced with thoughts – if it is any help to you when i was getting better i noticed that although i was losing ‘fear’ and syptoms which i had had for a very long time – it was as if my head was throwing up junk/fear type thoughts – almost as if it was shouting boo, I’m still here – but because i was stronger they were not frightening me – so it may well be a sign you are improving/recoveriing.
    Fran – the same story with you, I noticed when I was improving physically that I would have an empty feeling for the lack of anxiety, almost as if something was missing and a sort of ‘oh gosh’ can i really cope with being me again – I did, and you slip into it (recovery) without realising it. And when you do life just carries on as normal – like it never happened but better.

    If anyone who has been here a while has experienced coming out of it and then finding themselves with full focus on how they are feeling again – i would appreciate some back up /reassurance – I expect the real answer is i should not be looking for reassurance at this stage but I have gone from putting everything to do with anxiety away thinking that’s it – (something I never believed could happen) and now i feel trapped by an urge to run from the symptoms its giving me. What frustrates me is – i know all the answers, I also have watched this pain go when I am distracted but it is so determined and I feel I have lost the ability to ‘leave it go’. I should know by all the postings etc that I have to drop it – but what I KNEW a few months ago seems to be forgotten. I could explain it all to someone else and know that it is correct advice and it would make sense, this makes it even harder to understand why I don’t follow it. Thanks.

  183. Matt Says:

    Teresa…Thank you so much for that post. My DP feels like it is fading, and like you said, I started to have these junk thoughts, as you put it, that have no meaning or basis at all. It’s like the DP is holding on for dear life and sometimes I can just laugh at this nonsense flowing through my head and other times, it feels like I can’t shake them. Also, this may sound weird, but when I had severe DP I couldn’t feel anything or had no clue what was going on with my body. Now, I can feel the adrenalin like I used to before DP and it kinda makes me happy in a weird way. It’s like, “oh I remember you, I know what you’re about” and it hasn’t bothered me that bad.

    I believe a lot of it is that my head was so distracted in severe DP states that now my mind is coming back online, producing the weird distorted, strange thoughts. Before, I had trouble thinking clearly at all, now I can think clearer, but have this excess junk flowing through my head. Hope that made some sense. It doesn’t feel as difficult now dealing with the DP and anxiety, just the excess gunk that is called my mind.

  184. Teresa Says:

    It’s like your mind is having a clear out Matt – stick with it, looks like you’re en route. I think you are right about the fact when you are so caught up in it you cannot even think – but now you are starting to notice things , and i know what you mean about the happy in a weird way – it means you are feeling things but your attitude has changed towards them – that’s good.

  185. Matt Says:

    Yeah, that’s what it feels like. If feels like my mind is having one last go with this nonsense, because some days I was at about 90% with this feeling good, my emotions are coming back little by little. It went from feeling like I had a 200 pound gorilla on my back to a monkey jumping up and down saying, “notice me! fear me! you are supposed to be scared and confused, remember?” And even though I feel lost and weird sometimes, some days I don’t and I wasn’t looking for recovery, just to feel better. I believe developing the attitude of “so what” and just looking for progress instead of recovery gave me a break and didn’t add unwanted pressure to myself. I’m not saying that I am out of it completely yet, but am gradually feeling better and better. DP put so much nonsense and ridiculous thoughts into my head that I can see that it was just excess adrenalin and 24/7 worry. Heck, at one point I started to believe that I was possessed by something else and couldn’t stop the worrying and obsessing because I didn’t know how to turn it off.

    The key for me, so far, is truly accepting that I have this and understanding it, along with not caring. I put my body and mind through such hell that it’s no wonder my head was foggy and I couldn’t think at times. with the whole mind clearing out thing, it’s been weird because every single fear and worry started to just race around my mind, and even new and stranger thoughts came. At first, I couldn’t understand where all this was coming from. But, now I know that this is straight up anxiety and once I realized that, the thoughts have mostly diminished and i’ve been able to get on with it.

  186. Josh Says:

    Dear All

    Few points which I have learned over a period in time…hope it helps others…

    1)Once you have the knowledge that the symptoms are anxiety related…then anxiety is bound to go out of our life… the time taken is different for different people…

    2) We subconsciously see Anxiety as something to recover from…at this very moment… just leave alongside…

    3) Every setback is good….even if it gets us into thinking if we have really recovered? the fact is we have recovered…

    4) Despite heavy anxiety…our rational mind is very stable and helps us to function normally…use more of this and try to overcome the irrational thoughts… we let the anxiety related mind overpower our rational mind…

    5) No matter how strong are anxiety levels… we can do most difficult of tasks… if we wish for…

  187. Teresa Says:

    Thats some good advice Josh – after feeling recovery for a few months earlier this year (after being affected for a very long time) I find setback quite difficult to cope with – but it wouldn’t be setback if it were easy. I find your 5 points good advice and succinct.
    My problem at the moment is that I do KNOW that my symptoms are anxiety they are very impressive and demand attention, as is the will of anxiety – it is strong muscular pain. however I also realise that it is all the ‘slow’ realisations that really are the building blocks of recovery – and that sometimes even in full recovery we may consider ourselves anxious – I think at that stage its time to realise we need to make some changes of a gradual nature to the way we think.
    I am walking beside my setback at the moment – although I do feel very much in ‘it’s’ power rather than the other way around – I can watch the pain fizzle out when really engaged in something and back when not. so onwards we must go. And yes the most difficult tasks are easy with anxiety, lol. Thanks

  188. Josh Says:

    Thanks Teresa


  189. Joe Says:

    Hello everyone, this is may sound like a wierd question but can anxiety cause IBS?


  190. Clara Says:

    Hi Fran

    When we are in the midst of anxiety our thinking pattern is so distrupted and we are so used to that we hardly realise that our thinking is distorted…

    so firsty accept that all the thoughts that flow through our minds are mostly ‘EXAGERRATED’ and ‘SELF CENTRED’..we focus on ”us” in any scenario…
    how others think of me?, how can I speak for myself? , am i taking the right decision or not? so much of confusion going haywire through our minds…

    this stage usually comes once we get past anxiety symptoms and we start getting in touch with the outside world….As Paul takes a while to get connected once again..! so never get disheartened by any day..there is yet another day to go out and have a life the way we want.

    when u need to speak out ur opinion u should..! u dont have to feel guilty for that..Tell urself ”I’m speaking what I should,there is nothing wrong about it..!!! Its anxiety stopping me ( all the bad feelings like guilt, naiveness goes under the umbrella of anxiety) when u r feeling bad at such moments tell urself its ok however I feel , just move on..
    so ur mindset changes from ”how can I say no? wont they think bad about me? and the like”

    in certain cases its better to evaluate rationally the situation if in doubt…like in ur case u can tell ur husband it would be better if ur son could get back home by the time u think is fine..or u can ask him to give u a call ..when ur husband feels that ur intension is good and is caring he will listen to u..and if they dont u dont have to feel bad u have said what is required, u have done the right thing as a protective mother…FULL STOP..! move on…

    As anxiety sufferers its difficult for us to ”move on” from the way we let the feelings be there…meanwhile carry on with what u have to do..eventually it will pass..
    we need to practise a lot with positive talk and rationally see things rather than adding emotions to thoughts which makes it look 10 times bigger..

    hope it helps a little..

  191. sinead Says:

    hey-was going to pose this as a question but then realised-youre looking for answers again!lol i find it tough with depression at the minute because i find im letting the thoughts come and go, but they’re always negative and make me feel miserable.and i know i should think positively-but at the minute if i try to think positively that becomes a coping mantra and an annoying voice-youre ok youll feel better soon over and over and i guess at the minute i just have to learn to live with my anxiety and the positive thinking will come naturally when i learn to accept this anxiety a bit still going out there doing things letting the thoughts come and go but i just feel weird and unhappy all the time and very disconnected.but i know this is all to do with the anxiety.just wish i could have one wee happy moment!oh well

  192. Teresa Says:

    Sinead – you will come out of this and have many happy moments, lots of them. It can be so convincing – and sometimes it seems so difficult trying to understand the way through. It will come – the less you try the better – although i know that this is difficult. Your mind is tired – so try to give it a rest by not fighting with it. It will improve – and do you know what, you don’t need to do anything!
    Josh – Thank you, you are OF COURSE A RIGHT. Sometimes it’s a litle difficult listening to yourself – I seem to know all the answers, have even experienced them – but at the moment the anxiety is trying to make me believe differently, so hearing it from someone else, helps .

  193. Diane Says:

    hi all, I have been of work for about 5 weeks and am in a step up to get back into work, I have been going in daily for and hour and that will step up by an hour each week, just one thing when I am at work I am really anxious, shaky and although engaing with people I am aware that am am restless, and wonder if this is coming across to my co workers, anyone got any tips on how to deal with is anxiety so I dont feel like running out the door! :)

  194. elaine Says:

    Can anyone tell me if paul as done a blog on depression i cant find one . thanx x

  195. Josh Says:

    Diane, I feel exactly the same thing in office.That’s the place I am most uncomfortable. I guess it’s the disicipline which put the added pressure and hence the anxiety. Just be there..that’s what i do for most of times…it will go over a period in time…

  196. DCYL Says:

    All – I have a question. While at work a couple of weeks ago, I suddenly felt a little lightheaded and off balance. I wasn’t sure what the cause but it scared me a bit. I may have developed some anxiety over this as I seem to very sensitive to any feelings of being lightheaded or off balance whether I am working, exercising or playing sports.

    However, I saw that Paul put down lightheadedness as a symptom of anxiety. I was curious if anyone else has felt like this? I thought perhaps I had some form of vertigo but it’s not like I am feeling 100% dizzy where I can’t walk. Just certain times, I feel a little off.

    Thoughts appreciated!

  197. Carlie Says:

    Matt, I’m so glad to hear that you’re doing better lately! I was too, I think… but something happened a few days ago that upset me a little and it set me back again. I’m just caught up in such a cycle and I always find myself going back to my old habits. I even started googling depersonalization again a few nights ago, but I finally stopped myself. I think I already know everything I need to know, and even just reading about depersonalization elsewhere puts my anxiety level through the roof.

    I kind of feel like some of what I have isn’t even depersonalization (because I don’t really have a lack of emotion a lot of the time) but really just an obsession with it and other existential thoughts. Last December I started having a lot of anxiety regarding my religious beliefs and every little mention of something having to do with religion would trigger the anxiety again. That finally let up in May. And now it’s been replaced by this! I’ve been diagnosed with OCD, which I know is just an anxiety disorder, so anxiety is really the whole problem here. It’s so episodic for me, like I went about 2 years without a single obsession, but for the last year it’s been bad again. It’s like I’m just really vulnerable for some reason and EVERYTHING triggers the feelings. Even just coming across certain words that I’ve linked to depersonalization makes me feel so anxious. I also feel depressed a lot during the fall/winter months (I’ve been struggling with that for the last 8 years), so that’s not helping. :(

    I still can’t shake the thought/feeling that I’m a different person now and everything around me is different. Like someone else is living in my body, and I’ll never be me again. I don’t even know who “me” is anymore. Sometimes I even forget what I’ve been worrying about, but then it hits me again. It’s like it’s telling me “You need to worry about this!” It makes it seem so much more important than it really is. I know I need to fill my days with something… I can’t just keep doing nothing all day. I’m trying to fill out some job applications, but it’s so hard to do because everything feels so overwhelming.

  198. Sara Says:

    This post is for Kat, Sara H., or Helen (or anyone else that can relate to the relationship anxiety). First of all, thank you for your responses and advice – I really do appreciate it! It’s so comforting to know that others have gone thru and experienced the same things and it’s so nice to receive advice and encouragement from you! I was wondering if any of you can answer or relate to the questions I have regarding the anxiety about my husband and our relationship. One question I have is if the anxiety you experience(d) was whether or not you were in love with and attracted to your husband. For me, I will now sometimes realize that I do love my husband – but my mind questions if that is just a friend-type of love or if I am in love with him in a romantic way and if I am attracted to him. It’s like when I realize that I do love him and care about him I get these doubts about whether it’s a romantic love, though. I have friends that I love and care about but that doesn’t mean I should be married to them. Does that make sense? I was just wondering if that is/was the same for any of you or if you just doubted the love all together or what. I guess I’m still just trying to figure this all out and figure out if this is anxiety or if it’s just that I’m not in love with or attracted to my husband – or if I just love and care about him in a non-romantic way. Also, I will sometimes get a thought or a feeling about why he’s a good husband or why I do or should love him, but then I get a bunch of following thoughts like, “Yeah, but what about…. (fill in the blank)?” It’s like my mind will not let me realize anything positive without realizing all of the negative (and I don’t know if the negative is a real problem or if it is anxiety blowing things out of proportion). Also, did it take awhile to start seeing glimpses of those old feelings or did you have glimpses the entire time throughout? I have gone a couple of months without really feeling or noticing those old feelings (at least I don’t think I have), and this makes me wonder if it’s because it’s not anxiety based and it’s real. Should I have glimpses throughout or is it normal with anxiety to not notice these for longer periods of time? Well, I think that’s all for now. Again, I thank you for your help and I’m sorry again to be posting and to be questioning and needing help again. I really look forward to the day that I am past this and I can come on here and give others the help and advice instead of always needing it. I hope you are all doing well!

  199. Teresa Says:

    Carlie – I believe that what you describe is anxiety – i am sure we have all suffered the intensity of anxiety to the point it makes us feel obsessive – however i don’t believe it is ocd, once the anxiety subsides it goes.
    Anxiety does go round and round looking for your greatest fear, the fact that you accept that it is anxiety is a big step, it’s not easy, i know but try and follow josh’s advice higher up this blog. He does say to settle for improvement and not recovery – that does seem to be the continous message from all the people who have recovered – you see, although we want to be away from this thing by trying to be ‘normal’ we are making it worse – if we can accept for the time being that things are getting better then we will give it a helping hand. I did come to a point where I looked back and could not understand why i was so easily ‘triggered’ by thoughts, words, etc and when you are at that point you realise that there is nothing to fear. The reason we come back to the blog is that sometimes we need someone else’s ‘perception’ because temporarily we have lost our own. as you get stronger – you will too. So lets take it Josh’s advice and realise the reversal process has started. Hope that helps.

  200. Jennifer Says:

    I have been away from this website for 2 weeks now and managed to have some peace whilst on holiday with my family. As antidepressants helped me last time (1 or 2 years ago) I made a difficult decision to go back onto them to help me have a step up to recover with the help of this website as before. However I am now having a side effect of nausea and sickness which is really hard because you need to eat to keep up the strength to recover/go out etc. Anyway I wondered if anyone could relate to feeling fine and well and then how physical illness/sickness can then trigger an anxiety setback?? I did mentioned here a few weeks ago that I had my wisdom teeth out and how the antibiotics made me feel unwell. Its so frustrating, I so want to be able to just be unwell, without all this strong anxiety that seems to come from nowhere! I think im ok with coughs and colds, its just anything more serious. Thing is I know I can and will be ‘me’ and normal one day soon but im just so fed up and sick of it at the moment and this website is the only place I can turn. Thank god its here.

  201. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    elaine Says:

    November 2nd, 2011 at 1:07 pm e

    Can anyone tell me if paul as done a blog on depression i cant find one . thanx x

    Elaine there is no blog post, but a small page on my site about this, I really could do with going into more detail on the page as it is a bit short, something to put on my list.

    Here it is below;

  202. Helen Says:

    Hi Sara,
    I can put a tick against all the things you have mentioned in your post above as I experienced them all. You just have to trust in yourself and let all the questions come at you without trying to answer them. Believe me, I was in the lowest place at one point and never ever thought I would feel like I once did about my partner but something just made me stick with it, your guiding light I suppose.
    Snatches of relief would come to me and when that happens you know that you have to stick with it, there is nothing to answer, nothing to fight. Anxiety will throw every possible negative at you imaginable and the way to get over it is to do nothing, don’t try and answer any of those ‘questions’, don’t try and think your way out of it. Just carry on as normal even when normal is the last thing you feel. By doing this you give yourself the opportunity to feel your real feelings and ultimately moments of relief that will feed your desire to recover in the right way.

    All the best

  203. Ezra Says:

    Hi All,

    I haven’t posted on here for a while because generally I feel sooooo much better.
    DP has totally gone, weird scary thoughts pretty much gone or if they do pop up they can be dismissed in a heartbeat.
    I am, however still suffering with recurrent guilty thoughts about things I have done in the past weeks/months/years ?
    These cause me a great amount of stress and anxiety and its only when I confess they go.
    Now (apart from Sunday!) I have STOPPED confessing as I am aware this is not helping matters.
    My mind will just ‘lock’ onto an action and I cannot get it out of my head, it will spin round and round and I will magnify the problem, dissect what actually happened and what impact this could of had on myself/my family.
    I just hate feeling so guilty, it drags me down especially when I know I am a good, kind person.
    Is this anxiety related and should I just continue with Pauls advice or do I need to look at another form of therapy for Pure O I wonder ??
    I do try and post positive things and I’m sorry to sound so negative but was just wondering if any words of advice could be given or even if this is a symptom that others suffer from ?? Aaaarrrgghh !! Right !! Moan over I have a day to be getting on with !!

    Thanks for letting me get it off my chest :-)

  204. Ezra Says:

    Ooops meant to add…..

    As these fears and thoughts are ‘actual’ things I have done, I do find them harder to dismiss than I did for example fears that I knew deep down were irrational.

    Thanks Guys and hope you all have a good day :-)

  205. Jennifer Says:

    The anxiety/panic feel so high today that I just feel so ill and helpless. When I have a break from it I know I can see clearly but I feel like I can’t remember the last time I had a break. Not being able to eat as I posted above is also making me feel weak and horrible. I wish I could fall asleep and wake up from this nightmare. I recovered in 2009/10 and I have to do it again, I love my life normally and feel so embarrassed and upset that I feel this way again. It is so overwhelming. It is very hard not to feel self pity which Paul advises not to do.

  206. Diane Says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    it is difficult, I like can also find if I am unwell physically this can be a trigger for anxiety, and setbacks are hard, as you feel you have turned a corner then wham, you feel you are stepping backwords. You
    have recovered before and will again, remember you are stronger than you think. Maybe ask your doctor for some of those drinlks to help build you up as you have nausea, and be kind and not hard on yourself, step by step with anxiety we will all get through it look at Paul, take care x

  207. ch Says:

    Hey people
    Ive been reading this website and blog space for a while now and it makes me really sad seeing people panicing and analysing theyr symptoms. Guys the way i see anxiety and how i feel ,which includes me having d.p, is that its ts as simple as not doing anything …apart from being YoU and getting on with life..thats all ur brain needs to be doing and theres no mental effort doing this! .Whatever ur anxiety wants to do to u let it…nothing is gunna happen to you. Just let it happen in the background. However u feel just let urself feel it n that includes depression etc ..n by me saying just let yourself feel like how u do is not me saying watch how u feel or ‘listening in’ to the symptoms. its just ‘being’ but without any dwelling of questioning..! Some people think by ‘not doing’ its stopping yourself from feelin this way but its reli jus letting gooooo n by letting go it really is just doing nothing! I swear this method workssss u just gota stop trying so hard …just be!xxxx ch

  208. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Diane

    Thank u very much for your response, it does help especially as I am at my lowest point. I just had a build up drink actually and was then sick again. The thought of feeling just a bit better keeps me going. take care x x

  209. Steveo Says:

    Hi Ezra

    I’m not able to offer any advice with reagrds to your thoughts, but it is good to see you have coe such a long way.

    I remember a while back and you were posting LOADS!!

    You have done really well :-)

    Well done!

  210. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi all, just a quick tip! I have not been eating much and went round to see a friend, felt spaced out as it i was slipping away. She is a nurse and quicky made me drink sugar in milk, the effect was immediate, was something called a hypo or really low blood sugar, it can also cause anxiety so its a vicious circle. Make sure you get eat or if you cant get some lucozade or horlicks. Hope everyone has a peaceful nite.I f we all realise we are all connected we can sent each other peaceful vibes! nite nite.

  211. Sydney Carton Says:

    Thanks JAN – I am sure that the common ‘connection’ means much to all on here – hope you slept well.

  212. Carlie Says:

    Teresa – Thank you for your post! I could really relate with the part about trying too hard to feel normal again, which only makes me feel worse. Certain words and thoughts have been triggering for me in the past, but it was a different obsession. Now when I look back at that, it all seems silly! Hopefully I’ll feel the same way about this soon.

    Matt – I read your reply to my post and it was one of the best I’ve seen on here (mostly because you seem to have/have had the same thoughts as me), but I’m not seeing it now for some reason! :( Not sure if it was deleted or what, but I wish I had saved it because it was really helpful.

    Jennifer – I know exactly how you feel. I started an antidepressant almost 2 months ago and I only took it once… that’s how bad the side effects were. I can’t even really describe how it felt, but it was WAY beyond feeling just “jittery”, like the doctor said could happen. I woke up in the middle of the night and my hands felt weak. I felt like there was an electric current running through my body. And when I got up and walked downstairs, my legs were shaking. Besides that, it was almost like I had flu-like symptoms. It was so awful, and I never want to feel that way again. But to answer your question, it definitely did set me back because I started worrying about those new physical sensations, but once those wore off, I felt a lot better.

  213. Diane Says:

    Hi all, was wondering if anyone has any tips on dealing with sort of DP in the morning . Sometimes when I wake up I feel this and I automatically go into the anxiety cycle with lots of anxiety driven thoughts and pateerns racing in my head, thanks for help

  214. jackie Says:

    Hi diane, i know how hard it is and exactly how you are feeling, but when you get up just get up feeling like this and carry on with what you would usually do even though you feel terrible and with all the racing thoughts and feelings of unreality. I realise now after many many months that this is actually the only way to do it. Try not to question it all and try not to think to negatively about it. Try to say to yourself ahhh here it is again but i know this feeling wont last and i’ll feel better later. Xxxx

  215. helen Says:

    Hi everyone, i was just wondering what your feelings of unreality feel like to you …My home and surroundings feel real but my husband and friends do not’s so hard to explain, also when i look in the mirror i feel strange also…I have bladder cancer and i am in remission now but all of this came after a panic attack after a vacation when i came home i get so scared that i’ll never feel normal again

  216. SarahS Says:

    Really good advice Jackie. You are right it is the only way to do it. Go through it and not round it as Paul says. Feel every feeling and let the thoughts be there, let them race around, but try not to get too involved. This can be a little tricky though sometimes Diane and it often feels like it’s not working as there is often no immediate huge relief but there is some relief even if only a teeny bit and really this sort of allowing and practising adds up to show you the benefits in the future. Keep going and stay patient, you will get there. x

  217. SarahS Says:

    Ezra – well done for coming so far. It’s anxiety I would defo say, it latches onto something, feelings, thoughts, behavious and your are overcoming lots at the mo, there’s still some anxiety lingering though and for you you are trying to get rid of it by confessing to things you have done in the past. Try not to get rid and just let it be. Feel the guilt and then tell yourself we are all in the same boat, all guilty of lots of stuff but then laugh at it and let it be, no matter how strong the feelings to confess. The confessions only help temporarily until the next thought about something else you have done so it shows it doesn’t work long term and that it is anxiety. It’s okay to have not been perfect, allow that and those thoughts. x

  218. Ezra Says:


    Thanks Steveo for the words of encouragement. I have come so far and shouldn’t punish myself so much. Sounds like you have improved a ton too so all good.

    Thanks SarahS for the advice, your right it is anxiety linked. You dont often see much to do with the whole guilt thing, its cropped up a few times in old blogs gone by and I found something when googling yesterday (I know I’m sorry!!!) but it did actually help as it is just anxiety manifesting itself into guilty, anxious thoughts. I guess I cant turn the clock back and I look at things other people have done FAR FAR worse than me and they dont give it a second thought.
    Another proof that anxiety magnifies feelings and will react very easily and quickly to real or perceived guilt and that the guilt I feel, whilst I do regret some stuff is totally irrational and over the top.

    I WILL NOT CONFESS ANOTHER THING …….easier said than done but everyday I am just waking with a new thought and beating myself up for confessing yesterdays ‘sin’!! I guess it ‘feels’ easier than sweating, shaking and general high adrenaline feelings.

    I feel so stupid for writing all this down !! Its almost like I am ‘afraid’ of these thoughts, scared they will reappear but again,I know that’s wrong and infact keeping the thoughts alive. We all need to move towards our fears to lose the grip they have on us.

    Anyhoo, such a lovely supportive online community as always, so thank you :-)

  219. Diane Says:

    Hi Jackie, thanks for your words of wisdom and help

  220. Carly Says:

    Arrrgghhh need big time help people……!!!

    Matt – really really glad you are doing so much better, you’re posts are a great comfort and I think about you a lot, it’s interesting to hear you say you now feel the adrenaline again….did you get to a point where you no longer felt it?? Can you elaborate? I feel like I have no recognition of any normal body functions at all (see below) and it’s freaking me out!!

    I am having the worst time ever at the moment, all I feel like is that I dont care about anything at all even my kids, I feel so ill all the time (flu type symptoms) with completely no energy. I cant tell whether I am actually ill or whether it’s anxiety! i never feel anxious anymore, just really ill. I’ve lost so much weight since this all started, I’m talking almost 6 stone (I was only 12 stone when pregnant!) I hate it so much, I’m eating all the time even though my body no longer tells me when it’s hungry, thirsty, tired, ill with infection etc. Everything irritates me almost to the point that I could do someone some serious damage. I dont enjoy a single thing even stuff that I know is so important to me. It’s like my old self is half a centimetre tall inside and is screaming out to be let out but it’s even becoming an effort to talk. I feel like I’m possessed! Some days I look like Ray Liotta’s carachter in Hannibal when he’s having his brains eaten! Another thing, does DP make you feel like you cant ‘see’, if you know what I mean??
    Life is nightmarish and I’m struggling to hold on to the fact that this is just anxiety…..
    much love everyone xxxx

  221. Carly Says:

    Also, as my brain no longer seems to remember a single damn thing, so I cant remember if I’ve asked this before…. does anyone experience DP as feeling as though they are ‘not here’? I feel so far removed from my body, sometimes I feel like just a pair of eyes…arrggghhhh HELP!!!

  222. Carlie Says:

    Carly – At one point I felt a lot like what you described, but it’s gotten a lot better. I definitely felt like I couldn’t actually “feel” my body for awhile there. I mean, I could, but I often couldn’t recognize if I felt tired because my MIND was so tired. I also went through a phase where I was just EXHAUSTED. I still have that some (I have fibromyalgia), but that’s also better than it was. I lost some weight too, which is a little worrying because I’m already underweight. But I stopped focusing on it so much because that was only making my anxiety worse. I also totally get what you mean when you say you feel like you “can’t see”. That’s also WAY better than it was. But I can pretty much relate with almost everything you said, although my physical symptoms have improved a LOT. I’m not having the blurry vision anymore, hardly any headaches, and my heart doesn’t really race. For me it’s mainly just the intrusive/obsessive thoughts that are fueling the weird feelings. Just remember that other people here can relate. Don’t give up!

  223. sinead Says:

    i have a job interview on friday for jobs in my area.terrified isnt even the word because if i dont get it ill be forced to move at least a plane ride away from my family and every ounce of my body says theres not a chance of me coping by myself.and then with “this” i freeze and my mind goes blank under pressure so the interviews going to be a barrel of laughs…
    but-despite this-
    i went to the cinema this week a walk with my sister watched a dvd and although i wasnt on cloud 9-and as much as i try to analyse and analyse how i felt so that in the end i often convince myself ive been miserable-i enjoyed it-like yesterday i really enjoyed-walk and a dvd and just being with people!i probably enjoyed myself because i was avoiding doing work for this interview but this is more like how i want to feel-still worrying about the future and my job and the fact im unhappy so often and going back to uni by myself for another week of torture-but worrying about it and chilling out at the same time.i also woke up this morning and forgot about all of “this” it was fleeting but it was bliss and shows that like yesterday if i just give my mind a break then i can feel better.i also feel motivated for the first time this week.when i feel good like this i become terrified of the lows though because they inevitably come.but its about having the right attitude whenever they do i guess-and this attitude of not trying to fix is very very hard to get used to!

  224. Vanessa Says:

    Hi Everyone,
    i am quite new to the blog, I have read a lot of peoples comments which are always so helpful but never really posted, but I thought I could offer some of my experience with anxiety. I have suffered for almost 7months with high anxiety and thick DP after a stressful hospital operation last October, starting a new job when I probably wasn’t physically ready and leaving uni, moving home all in all a lot of things. It has thrown me as all these things I thought would have been perfectly manageable as I have never really been a stressful person but they seem to have taken their toll. Anyway, in the last 2 months I was having some great moments of normality, the DP was subsiding, the blurred vision was gone, I had some emotions back, I was feeling alive again and my mind felt rested! However, in the last couple of weeks I seem to have taken a massive step back. I have yet another new job managing a very busy restaurant, so my hours are long, tiring and the job can be hectic. The physical aspects of DP are at an all time high and I find it hard to do my job when I feel like I also ‘can’t see’ or feel so physically week I just need to sit down. I also find it very hurtful not having a sense of recognition of my surroundings that i have gown up very happily in, if that makes sense. I know times will get better as I felt some incredibly moments of normality not even that long ago, but can anyone offer some advice. Do I listen to my body and take some time out or continue with the way I am going? Also does anyone know of any good ways to relieve the ‘stress’ you can often feel in the head after a days work? the physical head pain can be overwhelming sometimes and impede me trying to get on with my life!! Also I often find the most intrusive though of mind to be, you need to get some professional help and see a therapist. I did CBT which was helpful, although has not cured me but at the same time I found therapy quite traumatic. But often I find talking to family difficult as they are very supportive but can’t really relate to what I feel and I wonder if professional help may push me along the path to recovery in faster or in a more manageable way. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Also to offer reassurance to those above I lost a lot of weight whilst I have suffered, but once I stopped viewing eating and lack of appetite as an anxiety in itself but as a normal routine everyday thing that was essential to maintain my strength, especially as sleep was limited, I found my appetite returned and eating has become a tool to aid recovery. Again as always, however hard it is, paul is correct that we must change our attitude to all of this, Once we are able to acknowledge the world is not actually blurry, our headaches are not going to kill us etc it becomes a lot easier! I wish you all well and one day we shall all appreciate life far more than anyone that has never seen dark days so see this journey as a positive thing in making your life ultimately richer!!
    Vanessa x

  225. james Says:

    Hello Everyone, I haven’t been on here in awhile. It’s been a year since I had my anxiety attack and I have to say it’s been better lately. However, I still have my moments where I have a fear of hurting someone. I’m probably the nicest guy ever hah but I don’t know why I get these thoughts it’s like I can’t control them they just pop up. I tell myself this is just the side affects of anxiety and just to ignore them. It’s like I can’t watch scary movies or listen to news where someone does something because then I get scared. Anyone have this problem? I keep feeling I’m going crazy and this constant thinking will hurt me in the long run.

    Thanks! :)

  226. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi all on here, James I read somewhere that its the really nice people who get scary thoughts as it goes against what they are really like. dont worry you are not going to do anything bad!!! We are all extremely sensitive people and thats why/ I know people who are more laid back and am convinced its partly inate. No two people handle stress the same, and stress is the bottom line, its mainly the stress we put on ourselves to be the ideal person, and when we feel we cannot achieve this we suffer. How many people on here feel they are not good enough? Just a though you can disagree with me if you like. Its about accepting ourselves as we are in the end, not just symptoms but as a person. Not easy I know!!! Well that very deep for a Sunday!!! love Jan.

  227. james Says:

    Thanks Jan! Yea I know I’m a good person, it kind of just hits me at times and then when it does I get upset and try to just ignore it. I beat myself up sometimes over this and get discouraged but I mean from the day it happened when I first got my panic attack to right now I’m so much better. I just gotta accept what happened and totally move on.

  228. Teresa Says:

    That is a really good point, I think it probably something we all do suffer with and as you said, apart from learning to accept anxiety we probably need to accept who we are too.

  229. Stacey Says:

    Hi I’ve had anxiety now for 5 years using this website and cbt I’ m slowly getting better,is a very slow process and at times I get frustrated, have been reading everyone’s posts and find them so helpful and feel myself going through the same things especially with anxious thoughts which I know many have commented on, just wanted to ask had anyone had good/bad experiences about telling loved ones about your disorder ? Told my mum once but she just shrugged it off, as if I was making a big deal over nothing,been thinking about telling best friend any advice? And does anyone find there job really hard? I get so anxious and others comment and tell me to stop stressing,or why do u look so stressed? Find it really hard and upsetting, I also makes lot of stupid mistakes and at times my colleagues question this!!

  230. Stacey Says:

    Oh and just read your post Vanessa counciling did help me I learnt alot of techniques to question thoughts and was good having someone to talk to,did get frustrating at times as my therapist didn’t always understand me or my anxious thoughts it depends what your looking for and only you can decide,I know how lonely it can be with no one understanding what you are going through, but I find this site comforting, oh and just wanted to say at work the other day my friend was telling me about how he was having panic attacks before work, I was very surprised as he always seemed relaxed but reminded me everyone has anxiety of some level it’s not just us suffering, they just accept and wait until it goes , hope it helped

  231. Jackie Says:

    I agree with you Jan absolutely, in my case the amount of stress that brought me to where I am today with anxiety was the huge amount of stress I placed upon myself, which was totally unessassary! Everything was down to me (or so I thought) to make sure everyone else was happy and ticking along fine and then totally neglecting myself. Thinking everything had to be done perfectly or what was the point, thinking I was at the bottom of the chain when it came to importance.

    Where you say … “its mainly the stress we put on ourselves to be the ideal person, and when we feel we cannot achieve this we suffer. How many people on here feel they are not good enough?”… is totally totally true in my case, absolutely!!

    Thank you for your post :) it has made me think a lot (which isn’t too hard lol) .. but in a good way xx

  232. ch Says:

    Hey people
    Ive been reading this website and blog space for a while now and it makes me really sad seeing people panicing and analysing theyr symptoms. Guys the way i see anxiety and how i feel ,which includes me having d.p, is that its ts as simple as not doing anything …apart from being YoU and getting on with life..thats all ur brain needs to be doing and theres no mental effort doing this! .Whatever ur anxiety wants to do to u let it…nothing is gunna happen to you. Just let it happen in the background. However u feel just let urself feel it n that includes depression etc ..n by me saying just let yourself feel like how u do is not me saying watch how u feel or ‘listening in’ to the symptoms. its just ‘being’ but without any dwelling of questioning..! Some people think by ‘not doing’ its stopping yourself from feelin this way but its reli jus letting gooooo n by letting go it really is just doing nothing! I swear pauls methods work jus stop trying to do anything n just be! Xxx

  233. Douglas Says:

    Hi all and a quick question. Barbara writes “Therefore, most people would benefit from getting a really good psychotherapist (psychologist or counselor, not psychiatrist) and start chipping that gunk away.”
    I did have an early trauma seeing my mother flip out and hallucinate when I was 2. Have been through at least 4 major depressions, been through all sorts of therapy with professionals, tried so many medications, etc. But here I am, still questioning everything, including my sanity, just can’t let it go (I feel I have NO control over where my head wants to go, and it ALWAYS goes back to IT, whenever I’m not totally absorbed in something else…) I recently started seeing a new shrink I think is good, but she thinks there is no point in going further into causes, reasons, etc. and is treating me with meds.
    So how does one go about chipping the gunk away?

  234. Sinead Says:

    Ch,I see what you’re saying and I totally agree but I think it’s easier said than done.I think it takes a while and can’t happen overnight if it was just as easy as letting go this blog wouldnt exist.letting go takes time to get used to if I make sense,if the brains has been trained to worry and question and analyse then it takes a bit of time to relax it again.I struggle because when I feel crap like really down-It’s very hard just letting go and feeling like that because natural instinct is to want to feel better.I know this is counterproductive because I then question why don’t I feel better come on Sinead pull yourself out of this hole cheer up wise to get used to feeling crap will take time because ultimately-no one wants to feel like crap!and when I feel bad if I was just to let myself feel bad and not try and fight it that would mean staying in bed all day every u mean let yourself feel depressed and live life anyway?So I see what u mean but it does take practice and is a process.I find it very difficult to not question and analyse my every thought-that’s my main issue.and it’s just the practice of when my mind starts to question-just trying to ignore and get on with the task in hand

  235. ch Says:

    Hey sinead, i mean as in let everything happen to u..jus kno the depression is part of anxiety n it will pass. It takes time to understand the method paul is sayin..personally i havent found it hard once its clicked… I have found altho i feel like crap alot jus being n not payin it to much attention i feel so much more calmer and its becoming less and less n tbh i reli jus dnt care abou anxiety i concentrate on other things. Its a process to do this… It does get easier. At first i had to consciously focus on outside life. For abit .. I remember the turning point . Its not about trying not to do anything its just not doing anything..let go of the tension ..its jus thought paralysis u thinkin its reli hard to focus on what ur doin right now.. U can do it alongisde the anxiety.. I hope i make sense

  236. ch Says:

    N let ur thoughts b there let them flow in flow out its okay they arent guna harm you y pay them atten tion ..the more u let them b there the less u react to them..the more u keep trying to get rid the more u cnt..u cnt fight the mind wit the mind u just hav to just be n let them go when they wana go..if ur body stil wnts to react to them for abit then let it, all of it, just let it b n carry on wit ur day x

  237. Teresa Says:

    Hi Ch and Sinead – having watched them all go once and not reac to them I can see where CH is coming from, however what was as clear as a bell when I was ‘out of my fear of them’ has now become difficult to follow again. So I fully understand what you are saying too sinead.
    The only thing i can say to you sinead – is no matter how hard you find it, it will lift, we are not thinking straight and perhaps the best advice CH has given us is – you cannot fight the mind with the mind, believe me I really understand how difficult this is but even if you ‘can’t do it’ for now believe that eventually you will stop fighting.

  238. Sinead Says:

    Thanks for the support.and I know your words are true too.and the thing is – I have started to put it into practice and it is getting easier.I’m generally nowhere near as anxious and the good days are great and coming more frequently-sometimes I lose sight of how much progress I’ve made-driving home tonight I looked out and remembered at my worst counting trees on the way home because the scary racing thoughts were terrifying me-and I smiled-I didn’t become terrified oh my god what if I get like that again,I just smiled.and that-is major progress!think I’ll take a break from here for a while because i know i can go it alone get prepared for this job interview :-)

  239. Lisa Says:

    Hello everyone!
    I just wanted to share my good news. Its been a while since I posted and the last time was back in Aug when I was going through a setback. I can say that I consider myself recovered. My anxiety is low and I am enjoying things and feel pretty much back to my normal self. The dp and obsessive thoughts have pretty much gone. Even though some of it still lingers I still see myself as recovered because I have adopted the right attitude.I just let everything be, and have found this peace within myself. I really grasped the message of just letting go and keeping the faith that things would get better. I have been living alongside my feelings for months and was able to find inner peace. I remember a setback I had back in Aug where I felt horrible again and although it was bad I just said ok its temporary so ill just ride this out and I will go back to feeling good and sure enough after a week I felt better than ever. I experienced several setbacks but I can say that everytime you go through one with the right attitude towards it and don’t give it any respect it gets easier and you feel stronger. Its a very gradual progress but things really improved quickly for me as soon as I lost the fear of it. It took time to get to that point but really its all about trusting yourself and knowing that you have to love yourself and accept the good and bad and just get on the best you can without trying to work any of it out.
    I know for the me the obsessive thoughts were the worst but after a point I just would laugh at them because I knew that I had put them there , I was the driving force behind them with my worrying and fear of everything that was happening. The thoughts stopped coming and when they did I just said ok that’s funny and then I got to the point where they would come and I wouldn’t even acknowledge them anymore until eventually they ceased. There are still moments where I get a crazy thought and i just let it be and it vanishes.
    I think the hardest part of my recovery was believing that I would be ok and that things wouldn’t get worse. My biggest fear was that things would get better and then go back to being the same or worse. This never happened you have to really trust in yourself. There was a point where I was feeling so odd and just spaced out and I told myself this is just going to be me for a while and no biggie I can do this and even when I was feeling strange I wouldn’t let it stop me from going out and enjoying life , the more positive you can be the better in the long run.Of course I was lucky to have found this site right in the beginning when I first experienced anxiety and its bag of tricks.
    Keep the faith and try to find something positive to occupy your mind with, trust in yourself know that you are you in every way trust that you will find the courage to believe and then once you reach that place I promise you peace will follow.

  240. Jennifer Says:

    Great post Lisa, just what I needed. At work and cracking on with the day the best I can. Like Paul says, just letting the symptoms rage around you and let them be there. I just can’t wait to get my appetite back, as I have drowned on about in previous posts, the lack of apptite is making it a bit harder to have the energy and patience to get through the day. I know my appetite will come back at somepoint. Its just frustrating because some mornings I am sick because my belly is telling me off for not eating enough and then when I force myself to eat or drink or don’t sleep enough, I am then sick. I know this is a symptom of anxiety/not eating enough, but does anyone else experience a bit of vomiting. Thank you to everyone for sharing your experiences, It really does help. I can’t wait for my nerves to return to a more normal place and having faith that it will happen will pull me through I hope.

  241. jackie Says:

    Hi jennifer

    I was the same, i couldn’t even look at food at one point. I lost 2 and a half stone in 3 months. Even though i felt like this i started to eat small amounts regularly throughout the day and slowly but surely my apetite has come back. At the worst point when i just couldn’t face eating and felt so sick i would just start with an apple and a banana and have a bottle of that flavoured vitamin water. Xx

    Also thank you lisa for a wonderful post, just what i needed to read xx

  242. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Great post Lisa and your right it is that faith that you will be o.k and things will get better, as every instinct is telling you not to be o.k with it and that you must try and ‘do’ something about it, instinct is also to hide away, when the true progress is to put yourself out there.

    The next post will be called 2 roads and it will tell people they have 2 choices, one road that may look more daunting at first but will lead to a beautiful place or a road that looks safe and o.k but leads nowhere.


  243. Jennifer Says:

    Thanks Jackie, Its is great to remember that feeling of feeling better, even though I know need to be ok with all the feeling bad. Losing weight is just another thing to worry yourself about so its very frustrating and this is what the cycle is like. If my eating would improve and I stopped being sick some morning then the other symptoms would alieviate and then I could move nearer towards recovery, but I just feel stuck in this place of constant panic, muscle pain and nausea. I don’t like bringing the mood down and being negative as its not ‘me’ usually, just very frustrating. I just want to old me back again.

  244. Lucy Says:

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post and I guess it’s out of desperation that I write this. I am an anxiety sufferer and compared to a lot of people on here I would say I only have moderate anxiety. Since finding Paul’s website and buying his book, a lot of the fear of anxiety has been taken away and I have been able to understand a lot more about why I feel like I do. My anxiety was caused by a long period of being under pressure and feeling very stressed and it started with pains in my left ribcage, almost like a muscle cramp, loss of appetite and a general feeling of unhappiness which meant i would end up crying for no apparant reason! I’m glad to say the physical symptoms have pretty much gone now but one symptom remains and i can safely say it is the worst of the lot! Like Sara and also Kat, whose posts I have just been reading, I also suffer from relationship doubts and scary thoughts which are just awful. I know I love my boyfriend to bits but I can’t seem to stop these random thoughts that I’m not attracted to him, that I don’t love him, that we’ll never last.. I am SO glad to hear that I am not alone in this. I think I have struggled for so long in accepting that these are part of anxiety because I have never really come across anyone else mentioning these symptoms. I have reached a point where I know they are caused by anxiety, but it’s like I can’t quite accept that or believe it. I don’t feel anything towards my boyfriend and it is so upsetting, but i’m sure feeling upset doesn’t help at all! Just wanted to let people know that they are not alone and hopefully we can get past this! if anyone has any success stories regarding overcoming their relationship anxiety, i’d love to hear them! Lucy x

  245. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Douglas
    From previous posts I think you and I are long standing anxiety sufferers and I will agree with you totally in saying about the chipping away the gunk as was posted by Barbara.I too have had councelling etc till it came out of my ears and gave up on that ”miracle cure” years ago.Yes I did have a volatile childhood and I was an anxious child but as Claire Weekes said although the original cause may be interesting she has never known it to help the sufferer as they are concerned with the way they are NOW not in something that happened many many years ago.Gave up on Doctors and pills years ago too Claire Weekes and Pauls method is the only thing I get a bit of peace from and one day I hope that all my days will be this way if I keep practising acceptance.Kind Regards Sally

  246. JAN TURNER Says:

    Hi Sally I am a long term sufferer as well. Am going thru the mill due to personal problems at the moment, anxiety is high but depression today was horrendous!!! Have had Clare Weekes books many years and have Pauls as well. Have had councelling as well which gives me support. It is acceptance in the end. At least we are not alone with it.

  247. sophia Says:

    Hi all

    I have a great concern since past few weeks..i am a person who had been anxious all through my life…i hit the saturation point since 3 years
    i had gone past DP and anxiety symptoms..I felt spaced out and all other respective symptoms..i had all those symptoms before but it really never bothered me to live my normal life as I could absorb all of them under the pretext of anxiety and would move on . it never got in my relationship with others

    But recently when i had gone past all the symptoms, for the past few weeks I am so irritable, frustrated, overly emotional often ending up with arguments and fights.. but actuallyI couldnt trace out the reason..!
    its so frustrating becauseI am always grumpy..
    I always feel i’m at the recieving end
    so tuned in to my emotions and emotions are ten fold
    cannot see things rational and often ending up in confrontations
    and the list goes on..i’m finding it very difficult to go on as the mind chatter is so simultaneous with what i’m saying i have said things which i never meant and wasnt able to say which i should have said..! i dont realise what i’m saying because i’m just saying what I’m ”FEELING” and i’m so tuned in to it..

    its like my thoughts and emotions are running at such a great speed with totally wrong perceptions that i just cant overule them and i’m becoming super conscious of myself and overly following others actions( had a bad experience with people living with me)
    its all about day today life and its issues and feel so ”real”…it feels so normal to have them that i cannot disbelieve them i think it was better to have anxiety symptoms which feels unreal…


    its like i cannot live without worries…i often keep in touch with how i’m feeling without me realising it(hall of mirrors) ..its like i forgot all what i’v learnt…i’m not able to get the right perspective…i can just feel one thing and which is so REAL…i’m in an irritated mode always n everyone is expecting me to be nice and i’m not able to be nice and i try to do as much as i can do stil ending up as grumpy annoying depressed individual for no reason..!

    Pls help me… :(

  248. Sara Says:

    This message is for Helen, Sara H., Kat again (or anyone else that can help). I promise this isn’t a negative post – I just have a couple of questions again to help me understand and head in the right direction. I am trying to not get too down about this relationship anxiety I’m having and trying to handle it the right way. The questions I have are as follows: First, is it helpful to sort of force myself to do those things with my husband like hold hands, cuddle, hug or kiss, etc, even if I don’t feel like I want to or even if I feel a sort of dread about it? I obviously have been avoiding these things and withdrawing more and more because of the way I feel. I’m wondering if forcing myself will eventually lead to it becoming easier and eventually it will be more natural and even pleasant?
    Secondly, is it helpful to accept those negative and doubting thoughts to be there and not fight against them, even if you aren’t fully confident in doing so? I am trying to not fight against them and leave them alone, but I admit that I’m not always fully confident when I do this. I will tell myself to leave them alone and ignore them even though there is still a part of me that feels like they might be true. It is still helpful, though, even if I’m not fully confident? Will this eventually become easier and more of a habit and then I’ll start to see things more clearly and then I’ll eventually lose all doubt?
    Just a couple questions I had that I thought you might be able to give some clarity to since you’ve been there. Thanks for the help as always – I am really going to try to lose the negativity and do this the right way – just want to make sure I am doing it the right way before I continue on. :)

  249. Sara Says:

    Sorry – one more thing. Did you experience agitation/irritation with your spouse because of the anxiety? I notice that I am quick to get annoyed or angered sometimes with my husband and he notices, too. I feel bad about this and know it’s making things worse. I’m wondering if you have any tips or advice on how to deal with this? I feel like sometimes it’s so easy and I don’t even realize how quickly I can get irritated with him. I want to try to address this, but I’m not sure how. Will this just eventually go away?
    Thanks again.

  250. Diane Says:

    Hi all, I feel I am getting better, have been going to work on phased return, then this morning I woke up and went back to old ways and phoned in sick, I then spend the rest of the day worrying and beating myself up. one of my main problems is like ocd and i go through rituals and thought patterns to make sure that eveyone is ok, this can go on and on and is exhausting, does anyone else have this and if so any tips on how to overcome this, I really do appreciate all the tips in the past

  251. Vee Says:

    Hi Diane

    I have got onto this blog purely because someone very dear to me is an anxiety and Dissasociation sufferer and I wanted to see what she’s going through. I have just been emailing her to tell her, apart from a lot of things I hope will help, that I am OCD also, as she says she is. I would say mine is a mild form, not knowing what you go through of course, but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I truly believe it is a form of anxiety but it doesn’t control my life in any way. I just do what I have to do and find it quite comical actually. If I tried to stop, it would no doubt stress me worrying about the consequences – so just live with it and laugh at yourself, if you can! What’s there to actually worry about, if you do have to double-check everything or whatever rituals you go through mentally, surely it is a very small part of your life, after all? I hope this helps a bit. You take care.

  252. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Jan
    Thankyou for the post and I do hope the depression improves soon.I love the sun and the beach with it and find that I have a tendency to be more depressed about the anxiety in the winter,but not a lot I can do about that this is after all England not Barbados.I Just try to concentrate on how lucky I am to have a lovely husband of 40 years who totally understands and is sympathetic to my condition and 3 wonderful sons and 3 gorgeous gran kids,but I still hate the way I feel some days.Wishing you well Sally X

  253. Lucy Says:

    Hi Sara

    I experience the irritation and annoyance towards my partner too. There are things he does that I used to laugh at that I now find so annoying! I keep asking him to stop doing this or that and calling him immature etc. but then feel bad as i know he hasn’t changed, it’s just the anxiety talking. Have no idea what we can do to stop it happening, but I totally sympathise with you and coupled with the total lack of feelings I have, it is so upsetting :-( hopefully someone can post some tips!! it helps to know that at least I’m not the only one who gets it though. Relationship anxiety is 100% the worst symptom I have experienced! Lucy x

  254. Victor Says:

    Hello Everyone,

    Just a quick question. This past couple of weeks have been tough, I think its because as I previously mentioned this month marks 3 years since my anxiety really kicked in. I feel subconsciously it is effecting me. I find myself “zoning in” and getting hyperaware more often these past couple of weeks. My mind can be running smoothly, but as soon as i “zone in” or “check in” I become anxious. This is not happening all the time, but more often than usual.

    When zoning in is it normal to feel anxious or is this just me over thinking it? I guess my other question is “zoning in” is it just habit or a symptom of anxiety? Paul or anyone who has deep understanding in this it would be much appreciated if someone gave me feedback. This has been my biggest anxiety issue in these past 3 years, when I was doing really good at one point one for about 8 months what set me back was zoning in one day, getting anxious, and letting is set me back. I feel once I fully understand this and how to handle it I can get back to where I was at one point in the recovery process and who knows even fully recover one day!

  255. Kat Says:

    Hi Sara,

    Though I’m definitely not back to ‘normal’ when it comes to my relationship, I will try to lend you some advice.

    You asked: “Is it helpful to sort of force myself to do those things with my husband like hold hands, cuddle, hug or kiss, etc, even if I don’t feel like I want to or even if I feel a sort of dread about it?”

    My answer is: absolutely. When my anxiety about my partner started, I would literally shake when he tried to hold me. Paradoxically, he was also the person I would go to for comfort. I would cringe at the very idea of sexual contact, and had a hard time even looking at him without feeling like I was going to collapse into tears. It was such a confusing time, and I basically assumed that our relationship might have reached its end. That thought scared me more than anything, and the anxiety intensified and intensified until I really started to think that he and my daughter might be happier if I left, because how could I put such a wonderful person and our daughter through the experience of an emotionally fragile partner/mother. The hugs began to feel more reassuring with time, though, and there were times when hand-holding felt natural as well. I would make a point of kissing him when I left for work, and hugging him tight when I returned. I didn’t always feel loving feelings, but with time, I stopped dreading it. Occasionally, now, the dread returns, but it is far less intense than it used to be.

    You asked: “Is it helpful to accept those negative and doubting thoughts to be there and not fight against them, even if you aren’t fully confident in doing so?”

    This has been my biggest hurdle, accepting the thoughts as ‘anxious nonsense’ and not constantly wondering if I’m different than Helen, who managed to recover from the problem. What if this isn’t anxiety and I have a different situation than Helen did? Those kinds of questions popped up constantly, until I began to realize that I was experiencing the same symptoms she did, and, furthermore, had begun to feel signs of recovery much like described. The more I accept that this is anxiety and not just the effects of an unsuccessful relationship, the less I feel all the negative emotions, and the less of an impact they have on me. I admit that I am cringing as I type this, because I worry (still!) that I will fall backward again, but the key difference now is that when I feel good about things, I let myself acknowledge it, something I never did before.

    You asked: Did you experience agitation/irritation with your spouse because of the anxiety?

    Oh my, yes. Sometimes, the irritation would actually feel ‘heavy’ to me, slowly morphing into depression, to the point that I could barely stand to be in the same room as he and our daughter. Their voices would grate on my nerves, particularly if they were happy and bantering back and forth, and I’d have to go to a different room where I would feel angry, sad and indifferent all at once. This was a horrible symptom which has lessened considerably with time. That said, it is normal to get annoyed with one’s partner every now and then, but the level of irritation you allude to was really one of the most difficult issues for me, mostly because the guilt of it weighed on me and caused me to feel very depressed. What I started doing was reminding myself, mentally, that because of how exhausted I was emotionally, it was perfectly understandable why I felt the way I did. I slowly began to let myself feel the irritation, while allowing myself to ‘glimpse’ the situation from a normal angle. Again, eventually, I started to feel more appreciative of my family.

    Sara, this has been the hardest struggle of my 11 years of anxiety, probably because my family is the most important thing in my life. When my anxiety presented itself to me in 2000, I was in a different relationship, and my partner at the time was not understanding. Our relationship fell apart when I stopped feeling attraction toward him, but also, trust. I became so obsessed with my feelings and how I couldn’t get out of my head that I stopped caring about him, and he became so frustrated with me that he began to behave defiantly. At one point, when I realized that we were headed toward a break, I started to scramble, trying to find my old feelings, but the more I scrambled, the further away the feelings fell. We broke up after 13 years together, and I am still haunted by that, because of the guilt I feel about how I handled it. That said, I am realizing that it wasn’t my fault alone, because I needed an understanding and patient partner, and he wasn’t able, or willing, to be such a support.

    My current partner has been wonderful. He listens, does not pressure me, and seems to tune in to my state of mind without me saying anything. I believe that this is a huge reason for me making progress, and further to this, I believe that what I sometimes feel when I am feeling dread, fear and panic about him is really anxiety, because there is no way he doesn’t merit love. When I do feel love and attraction toward him, I take the opportunity to express it now. Sometimes it’s hard, but I do it because, as Helen told me before, it strengthens things. Try to move toward the fear. Honestly, you will be surprised at the results.

    Sorry for the length of the post! I just wanted to share as much as I could with you because I understand how alone and frightened you feel. Most of us have experienced panic and anxiety symptoms in the general way, but to have it attach itself to our significant relationships is extremely disturbing, largely because there is not as much discussion about it. Thank goodness for this board, and people like Paul and Helen, is all I can say.

    Be patient. It will get better. Remember, I’m going through it, too, so you’re not alone.


  256. marcb Says:

    Hi, could someone please tell me the name of the Claire weekes book that gets mentioned a lot on here, thank you, marc

  257. Douglas Says:

    Hi Sally and Jan, and thanks for the kind words. Lately, I’m finding it much harder to cope with the depression than the anxiety, as I know one can produce only so much adrenaline, and it always passes. But the black moods, the hopelessness, guilt, confusion, and despair, how do you guys cope with that?!

  258. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Douglas
    I suppose in answer to your question is I am sorry I don’t really cope some days but just get through on automatic pilot and hope the next day will be better.The worse for me is after feeling comparitively free from anxiety for a short time thinking on its return that I have yet again failed myself and completely despair for days of ever being free from it.Maybe as your depression is so bad you need some help.My gp offered me Pregabalin {think thats how you spell it} it has just been licensed to treat GAD you might like to look it up on the net.But because of some very nasty expeiriences with meds in the past I declined.I really hope your depression lifts soon.Best Wishes SallyX

  259. Sally Young Says:

    Hi Marc
    The book you need is Self Help for Your Nerves then there is Hope and Help for Your Nerves and a few others by Claire Weekes.You can get them on Amazon,you can buy audio from Thorsons audio and I believe there is a site called Pacific recordings for her stuff.When you read the 1st book Self Help for your Nerves you will be amazed as she describes us all to a tee the woman certainly knew what she was talking about and reading it was the first time I realised at last what was wrong with me.This was a long time before wonderful Paul came along.Sally X

  260. marcb Says:

    Nice one! Thank you Sally x

  261. sinead Says:

    job interview tomorrow- first real “test” since this anxiety “thing” happened.and im not scared!feeling anxious like i would have before but not unbearably so.feeling good :) mightnt be feeling so good tomorrow…but so be it…i wish i hadnt wasted so much time worrying about “this” worrying about the thoughts waiting to this passed cos then i might be more prepared but c’est la vie.the scary thoughts are still coming but im still getting some preparation and work done nevertheless.thank you to ch and teresa for your words of wisdom-helped me focus when i needed to most

  262. ch Says:

    No probs sinead. Good luck for ur interview :)

  263. Jackie Says:

    Good luck today for your interview Sinead :) xx

  264. Sara. H. Says:

    Wow, great post Kat. It’s so lovely to hear how far you’ve come. Sara and Lucy-I completley back up Kat’s views on the questions you asked. For me too the irratation towards my partner was one of the most difficult aspects of my anxiety as Kat expressed I knew he hadn’t changed and I knew my reactions to him were completley irrational and over the top. The feelings of guilt and sadness that would then follow were completley overwhelming at times. However, I worked at letting the thoughts be there and trusting it was anxiety, even at times when I couldn’t completley believe it, I trusted the experiences of those on this blog who had been through the same. The same as Kat I took opportunities to be physically close to him and when glimpses of love came through I made sure that I made the most of those feelings. Slowly and over time my old feelings have come back and I can say that our relationship is going from strength to strength. I didn’t talk to him all the time about my feelings, maybe only a couple of times but I also think that explaining the nature of anxiety really helped. I forwarded him Paul’s advice to partners and family and I really think that helped him to understand too, having that support and acceptance is part of recovery. It’s a hard and difficult road but you must also recognise the positive when it’s there, how far you have come and realise that it is a journey with many bumps, twists and turns along the way. I think it’s amazing how many people have gone through/are going through this-so trust that it is a symptom of your anxiety and it’s not forever.
    Hope everyone has a lovely weekend

  265. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sara it is a great idea for partners/family members to have some info on why people feel the way they do, the more they understand, the more compassion they tend to give. Having that support is so important as I found out.

    I have told the story before, but it always sticks in my mind when a lady told me she was put under pressure by her husband to do this, go here, go there, pull herself together and that it was all in her head, until one day she shouted at him and said ‘Do you think for one minute I want to feel like this, do you think I bloody enjoy it?” I think through the internet that things are improving although many still suffer in silence and that’s a real shame.

    Also I will be back and be more active on the blog soon. I am just in the middle of a project at the minute. It includes me writing a lot of new information and it is very time consuming. More will be revealed when it is done.

    T.J please email me when it’s done, I have your email and will reply, I will just have to finish this first, which should be done at the end of the week.


  266. Vamanan Says:

    I would like to ask this to Paul, Lisa or anyone who could give me some understanding.

    One thing Anxiety or My Mind does to me and I fall for it quite often is leave confusion about some subject. Specially this confusion is about something I believe at the moment. For example I believe on Acceptance and how not fighting is helping me, my mind will throw some confusing thoughts and I get the urge to think it through or clarify. In other words I have hard times in seeing them as anxiety trick while being caught up in it.

    It is like anxiety knows what I believe or happy about at the moment and tries to ruin it. Or it might be a subconscious negative thinking pattern I have developed.

    I was feeling the process of recovery couple of weeks ago, but not somehow feels like in a confused state and not sure what I am even confused about.

    Also is Paul’s method of not fighting is same principle as of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

    Thanks for all the support everyone.


  267. Jennifer Says:

    After the last post at the beginning of the week, I am now pleased to say that I am eating and the being sick in the mornings seemed to have stopped now for the last few days. never thought that bit would pass, so i guess I have to take a message from that in that all the symptoms will eventually pass. I am feeling better, even though Im still doubting it…typical. It has been tough to sit it out at work and let the electric current feeling just ‘be’. But I have not let anxiety stop me doing anything as usual.

    “I wondered if anyone else can relate to having to go through feeling a lot worse, before being able to feel a lot better during a setback or period of anxiety? if that makes sense. ”

    I really related to Sally’s post on 23 Oct that said:
    I have this tendency to convince myself it has gone for good and then wham its back which makes me feel a failure like I have made myself like it and then I get depressed and start fighting which in turn makes my nervous tension really bad and takes me near to panic.But then we have to dust ourselves off and go down the acceptance road again a hard one to travel but we have no choice if we want to live our lives as best we can.

    Once again Paul, your website, others words on here and having a strong wish to continue with my life have helped me to feel a bit better. Its just a big knock to my confidence and the constant doubtful thoughts and empty feelings are difficult.

  268. SarahS Says:

    Hi Douglas

    My advice as someone who has suffered for a long time but also as someone who has made great strides in improving (yay!) would be to let all of what you describe go. You are explaining basically how you are trying to get better. Don’t try. Let all those feelings and thoughts, guilt, confusion, depression happen, don’t try and change them, or make them better, let them take you back to IT. By doing this you will, eventually, see that it all will start to lift. I found that my habits were pretty strong due to the length of time that my anxiety had been going on and that I had to practice at allowing for a long time before I really got any results whatsoever. As soon as I had a sign, however, I knew that this could be changed, my brain could be re-tuned and I could re-learn new habits. My recovery has been over about 3 years or so now and I’m doing really well, sometimes it’s still hard and when you feel as if you are in a bit of a setback it always feels like you will never get out of it but you will. That’s just part of the symptoms of being in a setback. Allow, feel it all, go through it, carry on with your day as best you can, don’t force the feelings to come, do things you don’t feel like doing, be as patient as you can and you WILL see the results.


  269. Douglas Says:

    Thanks Sarah and Sally for the good input. Yesterday was a real dread-sod- it-want-to-stay-in-bed day, as I had a dress rehearsal in the morning, a solo performance in the afternoon, and a symphony concert at night. And all the dread and worry was for nothing (once again!) as everything went really well…not without a bit of the brick in the stomach, mind you, but otherwise, musically, just fine. SO: onwards and upwards, and today was so much better, perhaps because of these small successes…

    And I have discovered that several of my colleagues are going through much the same, though you would never notice it in their manner or performance. I have referred the English-speaking ones here, and am trying to do some translations for the non-English speakers. And a short aside to any musicians here: extreme self-criticism seems to be one of our occupational hazards; without a healthy faculty for critical self-evaluation we would be forever consigned to the minor leagues. But sometimes it can be a fine balancing act to keep this healthy and in check. And I’m sure this is true of other professions as well…

  270. Steveo Says:

    @ Jennifer and Sarah S and Douglas

    Excellent work to all 3 of you. It is great to see how we are all making strides to recovery.

    If we just take a couple of minutes to think back when it all started, we can all see how far each of us have come.

    Some have suffered longer so have come further but we will all end up in the same place… 100% RECOVERED :-)

  271. Sally Young Says:

    Hello Douglas
    Good to hear you sound more positive you are starting to accept again and not fight I am pleased for you Sally XX

  272. ch Says:

    Hey Vam…thats anxiety jus playing tricks still. Its hard wen ur cauught up in it yes bu instead of waiting for it to happen n listening into it just know that okay it may happen during the day bu itl comen go so wen its passed u can say that was jus anxiety again it doesntmatter n carry on with ur day. Itl get easier to have tht attitude but just treat any oddness like that as anxiety nutin will happen to u its jus weird thorts n feelins dnt dwell on it xx

  273. Shell Says:

    Hiya, I need advice on how to change habits and trigger thoughts. I love my boyfriend so much, but 2 years ago i had DP for the 1st time, and because i didnt know what it was i questioned and doubted everything including my feelings for him, and it has stuck ever since, my grandad has recently died and so my anxiety and all the thoughts i have each day came full whack and it all seems so magnified and real. How can i decipher whats real and whats not, feelings wise?? Its driving me mad, and im scared i might lose my boyfriend by confusing the anxious feelings with reality.

  274. Teresa Says:

    your post has given me so much hope – thank you. I have had anxiety a long time and my recovery was slow – then for a short while this summer i felt as if I had cracked it, I then found very soon i had developed an obsession regarding a minor health issue and this grew, I then managed to reduce the health issue almost completely and i have gone back into a setback which seems to have undervalued my faith in recovery, believing i have been ‘ill’ for too long to reverse things – now my logical side of my brain tells me this is not so and i suppose that’s what keeps me going but the other side is producing such strong symptoms i sometimes feel I’m not going to get there. It seems even worse after feeling better for a bit. So reading that you had it for a long time, and your recovery has been slow makes me feel less of a failure – I just keep thinking that i must be weak as I get rid of one thing only to focus on another, always trying to rid myself of one symptom or another – things are opening slightly as I think i am realising that the exageration of normal health issues or aches and pains are not isolated from the way I think. The only problem with this is that i try to then eliminate the symptoms by altering my thinking by trying to accept – I can see my problem, and if i was replying to anyone else on here I would say. stop trying, lol. It is great to see so many people improving which only goes to show that we will get better. Good positive post Steveo – yes we will.
    Thank you Paul.
    Thanks for all your help Paul

  275. Diane Says:

    Glad to hear you are feeling better Jennifer

  276. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    There is a lot of positive posts on here recently and it’s great to see not only people recovering, but also being there for each other and giving great advice, it really is good to see the blog create so many great, positive stories. A lot of these come from people who were desperate and could not see a way out many months ago, it just shows you need patience and it will come.

    Trust me when I say this, however you feel now, things do improve if you stick with it, it tends to just creep up on you. I had so many up and down periods, doubts, insecurities all the way to my own recovery. Days when I felt like giving in, days when I felt I had cracked it, days with little emotions, days when I felt happy and at one with life. Days when I felt clogged up, distant, days when I could see clearly and smell and touch life again. It’s a confusing ride at times, but the main thing is and is repeated on here is don’t waste time trying to work it all out or try to unravel it all, just let it ride the way it wants to whilst carrying on with your life.


  277. Sally Says:

    Hi Teresa
    Just wanted to tell you that you are not alone in the thoughts that tell us we have been this way too long to recover as I too get days like that and have had anxiety many many years.But as Paul says just carry on with life we both know from the respite we have had that acceptance certainly dampens down the fire within and gives some peace.It is better to keep accepting going back to constant fighting is not an option it only fuels the adrenalin and the bad feelings.So keep the faith and we will all get there as others have before.Sally X

  278. Teresa Says:

    Sally – thanks for picking up on my post, I can’t agree with you more. When ‘acceptance dampens the fire’ all of a sudden you seem to be able to see the whole picture and understand it all. I think that is why the blog is so helpful – anxiety is so clever at twisting your vision that sometimes you really need people who truly understand what you are going through to speak to you and help you believe what you already ‘know’. It really helps to know someone who has had it a while too and is walking the same path to recovery. Yes we will get there too! Paul’s post tells us what a roller coaster it is but as he says, we must let it ride the way it wants. Thanks again Sally.

  279. John J Says:

    Hello everyone,

    I have been going quite well recently and I thought I was on to a good recovery. I was getting on with work, enjoying life, doing more round the house, eating healthy, reading, going out and I had stopped researching symptoms.

    Then on Wednesday, I was flicking through a newspaper at work (I don’t often follow the news) and I came across a tragic story of a mother who had ended her childrens and her own life. The story disturbed me and has stuck with me, as from all outward appearances she was fine.

    Since reading this, it has brought back all my fears and I feel so ‘spaced out’ and fearful. I just feel like I have gone back even worse than before. I feel really detached and scared that I might ‘flip’.

    It sounds so silly, but obsessive thoughts have returned especially when I think of my family. It has really shook me.

    I thought I was getting control back, and now its like I have never even been on the road to recovery.

    Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Is it normal to read something in a newspaper and get so worried? Does this mean that I am more likely to get depressed or go crazy? I’m worried that because I’ve got these fears that there is something deep within me just waiting to go ‘pop’.

    The worst thing about it this time is the feeling of hopelessness and detachment.

    Its left me wondering if i’ll ever lose this feeling.

    I want to enjoy life again, and not be afraid of reading a newspaper!

  280. Douglas Says:

    John J,

    I too have been thru EXACTLY the same sort of thing, and I suspect many of us here have as well. The thing to remember is, it’s just your little imp of the mind (and all of us humans seem to have one) digging his little spade in about the things that scare you the most:loss of control, ‘flipping out’, etc. etc. These worries are in no way connected to reality. Just let ’em be there, they’re just the entirely too common worries of an anxious brain, and mean less than nothing. Believe me, cuz I been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt!

  281. Matt Says:

    John…..the fact that you are so scared means it isn’t going to happen. It’s just your anxiety, that’s all it is. I have went throught the same things and got serious anxiety and fear from reading newspapers or seeing murder’s happen. Because you have certain fears and worries, that sound a lot like mine, certain triggers can bring them back. My huge fears are of losing my mind and hurting someone. You have to just accept it as anxiety playing it’s tricks on you and let it go. If you dwell on it and ruminate about it, then it will just get worse. But i’m sure you already knew that. I’m learning to take an outside perspective with anxiety, because when I am caught up in it, it is really hard to see the truth. I have to settle down and acknowledge what is going on, then it lose’s it’s impact on me.

  282. DCYL Says:


    Do not worry. Lots of us have gone through something similar. I went through it deeply a few months ago and have gotten better about it recently. However, a friend of mine mentioned some topics you noted and that set off some anxiety though I was able to get past it.

    I still get the odd “thought” here and there at times and a lot of what Paul has mentioned is making a lot of sense as you go through things over time. One is accepting the thoughts and not analyzing. The other is not “focusing on how you feel”. I went through that phase because you keep focusing on when you’re feeling good and then when you feel “bad”, you start to wonder why.

    Lastly, I have found that just the MEMORY of some of our experiences can be a trigger. The memories tend to trigger worries of “oh crap, am I going through this again?” But if you keep your cool, you will realize it’s just a memory and has nothing to do with the present.

  283. Matt Says:

    Carly….sorry I didn’t respond to your post last week. I hope you are doing better. I am doing a little better. My DP isn’t as bad but I am suffering from bad depression. I had to accept that I will have good days, and bad days with this thing. DP is very draining and can make me feel like I am ill. Some days I am so exhausted I can barely function. I can also relate with not feeling like you care about your kids, I’ve gone through that a lot and felt tremendous guilt because of it. I then started to play with them and try to connect with them no matter how horrible I felt. After awhile, it got easier. But when you are so consumed with yourself 24/7, you aren’t going to care about much of anything outside yourself, at all. When I forced myself to connect with my surroundings, no matter how lousy I felt, it got a little easier.

    Paul talked about in his book that you have to allow the obsessions and worries to be there, because we have created a habit of worrying and obsessing and it isn’t going to just stop. The key is to not add anymore to it and get on with it. It’s easier said then done, but it does work. I am trying to practice acceptance and allow the weird thoughts and feelings to be there.

    I had to understand that as long as I constantly obsessed and worried then I was only making matters worse. I would ask what this symptom is and is it still there and all these other questions that were just feeding it. It goes nowhere and just prolongs the suffering. Learn to accept that you have DP right now and that it will get better. The more I replace negative thought habits with positive thoughts, the more hopeful and better I feel. So try to replace a negative thought with a positive one. Anyways hope everyone is doing well.

  284. SarahS Says:

    Thanks all for your replies to mine above. Sally yes my recoery has been quite slow but then to be honest I wouldn’t expect it to be any other way as I’ve had anxiety for so long and fiim set habits and behaviours which needed wor. Also, this is a positive thing anyway because it means new formed habits are being worked on over this “slow” process and will stand firm in the not too distant future as my new habits and behaviours. It’s not been easy but then Paul has never said it would be so I no longer feel sorry for myself as I did in the past, I for most of it get on with it and let it all come and be there, that’s the best way. Sometimes it gets on my nerves and I feel frustrated but that’s part of the recovery process too. When you feel hopeless again, this too is normal, that’s part of being human to have these instincts and to want to go with them and fix it all. The key, however, is to know that when you have bad days it always feels like it will go on forever and you will never recover but you know that this isn’t true so you can feel like that knowing it’s false. Also to go against your instincts to fight and let it be, keep praticising this allowing. Don’t try and handle it all perfectly, you will get fed up of course! But the direction you are going in is the right one so you might as well make it as easy for yourself as possible and allow. You’re doing well, just like me and we are on the right route and getting good results. Well done all! xxx

  285. SarahS Says:

    Ooops sorry Teresa my post was in reply to you above (and others also of course who have been chatting) xxx

  286. E Says:

    Please could someone advise me?
    have had anxiety symptoms for years, but since finding this site 2 years ago, have follliowed the advice given.For the past couple of months i have had physical symptoms of anxiety ie stomach churning in mornings, trembling etc. Am just carrying on with my day, and usual activities. However what is really starting to bother me is the continual tension and dizziness. Also have very tired and aching eyes.Is this part of DP, not really sure?

    My doctor has basically given up on whats causing what, so would just like a little reassurance that this annoying feeling will pass eventually, by following the advice on here.

    Wishing everyone well, keep up the good work. Best wishes E.

  287. Rich Says:

    Had a good couple of weeks then boom it comes over me again, so strange because you never get use to the feeling, I’ve have extremely good days and extremely bad ones (anxiety/mood wise I’m not bipolar) full recovery just seems unrealistic does anyone else agree? I’m not being pessimistic, more realistic I think lol

  288. Sara Says:

    Thank you Kat, Helen, and Sara H. as always. The hardest things for me right now is the loss of attraction toward my husband, which has led to depression and pretty severe insomnia for me. I just don’t know if and how that attraction can come back. I have spent so many days and nights in tears over the past few months and the sleeping – it’s horrible! I can’t even count how many nights I’ve been wide awake over this. I don’t know how I even function with the small amount of sleep I get. I sometimes wonder and worry how much longer I can go on like this. I’ve debated so many different things – counseling, medication, etc. I just don’t know that anything can really help and then that leads to even more depression and insomnia. I now also worry all the time what others are thinking – about me and about my husband. I feel so heavy and so drained and sometimes so hopeless. I am sorry for being so negative, I just really, really struggle with this and wonder how much longer I can keep going this way. This is definitely the worst I’ve ever been – ever. I’m trying to keep going forward, but I feel like I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth. Anyway, I better stop now – I feel bad for being so negative. I do appreciate all the help and advice – I just wish I could understand it better and handle it better. I’m not sure where I’m going wrong. Thanks everyone for everything – really!

  289. Michelle M Says:


    I totally agree. I have just had 6 really good weeks (was signed off work sick). Went back to work yesterday and guess what…back googling and feeling generally awful. The most annoying thing is that whilst i felt better and thought i was recovering i couldnt even remember how bad i felt and it seemed like a million years ago i felt so bad…but its back!

    My main cause of my anxiety is the fear of hurting my daughter/family. I know i never will, my GP has confirmed that i never will and my CBT therapist has confirmed that i am not the type of person that ever will, but why does it feel so real? I feel so sad all the time that i have had these awful thoughts and they make me feel so guilty. I then question again my sanity. I feel as though I am never going to get over these horrendous thoughts. I have tried to accept them as just thoughts but they make me feel so sick and anxious when they come. Any ideas from anyone who is going through the same or have got over intrusive thoughts. Thanks.

  290. Rich Says:

    Michelle I’m exactly the same thoughts of what if I hurt myself or someone close to me Ive seen five therapists and three doctors all said the same thing to me too id never act out on them, yet the fear is so REAL.

    John J mentioned in an earlier post ant a mother who killed her kids then herself in the paper and it sent him off, I too saw that article I was having a good day then it just swamped me, what if I did that ? I must be a terrible sick person to think this and then I’m obsessing watching myself every knife I see sends me to high alert all because of one trigger.

    A terrible cycle to be in.

  291. Michelle M Says:


    I didnt see that article thankfully but I would have had the same response I know!

    My therapist said that people who harm their children certainly dont feel bad about having the thoughts – they just do it.

    I also have the fear that i will just flip. Again, i know that this will not happen as I have worried about this for the past 3 years and nothing has happened. Oh god this is awful but I know that it wont be around forever (or so I hope).


  292. Rich Says:

    Three years with me too, and it’s the what ifs that make it never ending !!

  293. Michelle M Says:

    I end up wishing my daughters life away just so I know that she will always be safe (which of course I know she will). I then get into worries about my grandchildren, by the way, my daughters only 3!!!

    Why do we do this to ourselves. It really is laughable 😉

  294. Teresa Says:

    Thanks SarahS – It really all is to do with our attitude towards ourselves and I have found your posts so helpful. It’s not as if i don’t know the route – and i also know there is nothing you should do apart from keep knowing ‘tomorrow could be your best day yet’ – you speak with a calm and accepting voice. I am accepting at the moment, at present it’s a very up down affair but like you said, long term habits take a while to turn around but as long as we know the way to improve our lives we are well on the road to recovery. As Josh said last week, it only takes the signs of relief from this method for a day/week, however long, to know that we have the answer and that the reversal process has started. I feel confident that I am learning a lot through this setback, so even if it has been difficult it is breaking down attitudes, learning new responses – and even when I think i am beaten – it always proves I am not!
    E – it is anxiety, believe me – i have had them all. Although I have had a setback recently, I can tell you those symptoms will go. I know how hard it is to let go, Your doctor has seen you, you know it is anxiety – you need us to tell you it is, it is! Leave it go – carry on and it will all go away in time. take care.

  295. ch Says:

    Apparantly it takes 21 days for a habit to really click in!! Guys everyone should just be accepting everything the feelins the thoughts ups n downs.. All of it. I feel extremely anxious etc bu it dnt matterrrrrr im much more happier focusing on the outside world with all my anxiety still going on . The fact people still seem to be ‘watching their progress’ is again another reason that it may feel like its neva guna go. How can u forget something if it is still being dwelled on n checked up on. x x x. I hope i dont sound blunt x x

  296. Kat Says:

    Hi Sara,

    Everything you’ve described in how you’re feeling is what I’ve experienced over the last year. The insomnia was a problem for a while, especially since when I did sleep, I had the most horrific dreams! Then, probably due to the exhaustion I’d brought on myself, both emotionally and physically, I started to sleep more than usual, often napping for hours in the afternoon when I could. It moved in stages, the insomnia morphing into too much sleep, and eventually, things returned to normal, but it took time. That’s the key! Let it take the time it needs. If you’re tired, sleep. If you’re awake, try not to worry about it (believe me, I know how hard that is). You’ve worked yourself up to this by the obsession you’ve built around your relationship. Trust me, I know!

    The best advice I can give will be second-hand, as it came from Helen: if you don’t feel attracted toward your partner and are feeling fearful instead, so what? So what if you’re not in the mood for sex? So what if it scares you to look at him? Obviously, this was not how you felt about him when you married him, and the fact that this is all scaring you so much shows that it is anxiety-based and reality-based.

    If you can talk to your partner, do so. I always felt some of the heaviness you’re referring to lift after I talked to my partner. He was so accepting of what I was saying, never took it personally which helped me to take the time I needed to get my thoughts back on track.

    I still have trouble with the ‘romantic’ thoughts. What amazed me was how even watching something sexual on television would repulse me, or romantically-themed plotlines, even. It was like that part of my life was over. However, it wasn’t. There have been moments when the ‘old me’ comes back, and when I feel that, I allow it and acknowledge it. It’s taken me almost a year to get there, but I did. Does this mean I’m recovered? No, but I have improved so much that I know the problem has never been my partner. The anxiety has attached itself to so many things over the past eleven years: driving, being away from home, eating in restaurants, disturbing news stories filling me with unrelenting dread and disturbing thoughts, my health, etc. My relationship was the one thing I felt safe in, and then, wham!

    I drive now, though not on fast-paced roads which I’m embarrassed to admit. I go out now, though I seldom shop on my own outside of my ‘safety zone’. I desperately want to travel, especially to Paris where I’ve never been and where my partner lived for many years, but the fear is keeping me grounded. I eat in restaurants, though, and I have taken the train by myself to see friends. These are huge signs of improvement, in my opinion, though I recognize I’m a work in progress. The point is that no matter how low you feel, you can always improve, and with patience, knowledge and understanding, there is every reason to assume you will be better than ever one day.

    Allow yourself to feel as you do, Sara. Beating yourself up over it is part of the reason you feel so awful. This isn’t your relationship! When I was freshly panicked over my own relationship, I really needed to hear that. This is just anxiety telling lies and it’s doing it so well that you’re believing it. Like I said, I still have horrible days, but they’re not constant like they were a year ago. Clearly, that means something.

    Take care,


  297. Shell Says:

    Kat that info even helps me so much as i wrote a similar problem up a few posts. I need to keep letting it go, even though it’s so hard and bogs my head down, i need to stop with the what if’s, buts and maybes and just live in the moment as each passes. I will try to take your experience on board and see anxiety for what it is. Thankyou. and Sara, I hope that post has helped you too x

  298. Stacey Says:

    Hi been reading through your posts on scary thoughts,and I have been through the same thing,at the start of my anxiety I had extreme thoughts about hurting children it was at that time I was going to work at a summer camp and while there working with kids all around me the obessive thoughts came on very strong I was terrified all the time and couldn’t understand why I was such a bad person I felt so guilty all the time. When I got back I started learning about anxiety and found an anxiety book that mentioned obessive thoughts like these, it said the more you try not to think about them the more they will come which is very true so I stopped fighting and just let them be in the background .i hardly have them now and when I do I accept as anxiety and they pass within is very hard but the bigger the deal you make out of something the bigger it will become

  299. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    C.H can you please try and not use text talk please in your posts, I had to delete the last part of your post as it was unreadable to people not familiar with it, also google can penalise a site that is full of spelling errors/txt talk.

    Thanks a lot

  300. Michelle M Says:

    Hi stacey

    Thanks for your post – it really does mean alot.

    Michelle (at work so cant write too much) x

  301. Sally Says:

    Hi E
    I suffer from terrible nervous tension but don’t get dp its just part and parcel of my anxiety some days its worse than others.A relaxation cd once a day helps sometimes.Sally X

  302. Lucy Says:

    Hi Sara,

    Have just read your post and I thought I’d post a message to let you know that you aren’t alone. I also am suffering in the same way as you – I do not feel any attraction towards my boyfriend anymore and I hate it. I have reached a point where I can tell myself it is anxiety and I can push any scary thoughts out of my mind but my feelings towards him have not returned. I spend every weekend with him and often find myself irritable and just not enjoying the things that I used to as much. I feel as though I am half way there but just can’t seem to get my old feelings back. It’s awful to not be able to sleep because of the worrying and fear and at first this was exactly what happened to me. Once you accept that it is just anxiety and nothing more, these symptoms will disappear and you should be able to function a bit more normally. Something that helps me sometimes is to remember that if you didn’t love your partner anymore and you didn’t care, then these thoughts and feelings wouldn’t cause the total fear and panic that you feel when you get them. Unfortuntely I can’t say how or when the attraction comes back.. I wish I knew as it is just horrible to not feel anything towards someone you know you love! It’s really helpful to know that I am not alone in this though and I hope it helps you too to know that there are others going through the same thing. Maybe we could exchange email addresses via Paul so we are able to chat some more? Am finding it a great help that I am not alone in this. Lucy x

  303. ch Says:

    Didnt realise. Sorry paul.

  304. Sophie Says:

    I really just wanted to put a quick post on here to send encouragement to all of you in recovery. I come on here occassionally out of interest really, maybe it’s that five percent of me that is not recovered yet! and read your posts. I have suffered with what all of you describe and after reading Paul’s book I feel that I have almost 100 perecent recovered. Paul advices in his book just really clicked with me and I think simply the relief that I felt in learning that there was a logical explaination to what was happening to me really did lift a lot of the anxiety. The key things for me to remember through recovery and setbacks is to just get on with it, live alongside it, lose the fear and let go. It really does work and it takes work to break old habits. Stop obsessing and choose to move on. I am obviously not a trained psychologist but I don’t even think my psychologist got it! I think she found it hard to beleive that it could be so simple, but it really is.

    Also a massive thanks to you Paul for caring for all of us who have suffered with this, you really are reaching out to people all over the world (Australia here!). I honestly don’t know where I’d be if I had not stumbled over your website.

    Believe in recovery being achievable for you and it will be. I wish you all the best.

  305. Sara Says:

    Thanks Kat and Lucy. As you both know, this relationship anxiety is so difficult – much more difficult for me than any other aspect of anxiety I’ve experienced. I suppose that’s why it’s so hard to accept as anxiety and not as real-life truth that my relationship is essentially over. I completely understand what you mean, Kat, when you say you struggle with the “romantic” thoughts/feelings. I’m the same way – it’s like that part of my relationship with my husband is over and gone. It’s not even fear that I feel – it’s like a total repulsion. My husband has even commented that I seem disgusted when he tries to get close to me or kiss me or anything. I just don’t have that attraction – it’s been replaced with repulsion and dread. Sometimes I feel very sad and depressed when I notice other couples who seem to be so in love or when I see or hear something romantic. It’s so hard to believe that I’ll ever have that again with my husband – it just feels like it’s gone forever.

    I am in the same spot as you, Lucy – I’ve just started to try and not fight the thoughts and feelings and try to just dismiss them as anxiety, but the attraction and old feelings just haven’t returned. Right now it seems like they’ll never come back, but I’m trying to keep hope that they will return at some time. The hope I have right now is so small but I’m trying to hold on to even that small amount as much as I can. I, too, just don’t enjoy the same things with my partner like I used to. Sometimes it even makes me wonder if I ever enjoyed those things with him – it’s like the anxiety is making me see any past good times together as “made up” or “imagined” – not sure if that makes sense. The anxiety is also making everything negative stand out to me ten-fold – like giant warning signs and confirmations that yep – our relationship is over and we shouldn’t be together. Unfortunately my poor husband is getting the brunt of a lot of this and that does just add guilt to the anxiety. I’m trying to not let that get me down too much but it’s hard sometimes.

    I truly appreciate the help and advice I’ve been given – it is good to hear that it’s not my relationship, Kat, it’s just hard to believe sometimes as you know. :) But it’s so nice to hear that and to get advice from someone who has been in the same position – I really appreciate yours and everyone else’s (Helen, Sara H., Lucy, etc.) responses! I know I probably come across as pretty negative a lot of times and I hate to be that way – it’s just a big struggle for me right now. I do appreciate you all, though! It sounds like you’ve made a lot of progress, Kat – that’s great! I hope things continue to improve for you and for everyone else!

    I’m sure I’ll be on here again sometime ;), but I will try hard to take on the advice I’ve been given and try to stay as positive as I can. Thank you all so much! Oh – and yes, Lucy – I would love to exchange email addresses. It would be nice to chat more with someone who can relate. If Kat or Sara H. or anyone else wants to exchange emails, let me know. (If not, I won’t be offended – just thought I’d put the offer out there in case you were interested :) )

    Paul – would you be able to exchange emails for me and Lucy, please? Thanks!

  306. Ian Says:

    Hi there. Popped back for a bit. I still feel pretty awful but have had some respite on occassion over the last couple of months (and of course some horrendous times). Like so many I know just how hard I have been/am fighting, but it seems so very hard not to – such a obvious and common theme I doubt it really needs saying at all. Finding quite a lot positive here, and of course it’s all perception – I can come here and feel overwhelmingly negative (and again no offence). I shall try and take the postive with me (like the recent tweets from Paul around this) I am still hanging onto old advice, old feelings of feeling OK. Don’t want to self analyse here, again, just saying hello really. I have got 10 gallons of apple juice on it’s way to being cider (hopefully) after a marathon pressing with a friends press over the weekend. Wonder if that will be good for me?!

    Best wishes to you all.


  307. Sara.H. Says:

    Hi Sara, Lucy and Kat.

    I find it so comforting that we are all experiencing/have experienced the same difficulties in regard to relationship anxiety. Although I wrote a very positive post above I have had a bit of tricky weekend myself and have had quite a sleepless night too with thoughts going round and round. For me it is the irritation and the way I hang on to situations in my relationship which is so difficult and causes me so much anxiety. When I feel particularly anxious I too look around at other people’s relationships and compare mine, I also worry that people might be judging myself and my partner’s relationship. It is so frustrating as I feel I have come so far but can’t quite get ovet the last hurdle. I suppose again, it’s patience, time and letting the thoughts and anxiety just be there.
    I am now in work and feeling a bit more with it and together having something to concentrate on really helps but I have been experiencing anxiety around what if he leaves me type of thoughts recently. I don’t know if this is a self esteem issue but I just feel with my behaviour over the past few years I might end up pushing him away?? I am telling myself that this is anxiety driven and also to look at how far I’ve come. A few years ago obsessive thoughts were pretty much constant but now I can go for weeks at a time without excessive worrying. I think it still throws me when I have a blip though as I believe I have come so far. Pretty much what I am doing in this post is reassuring myself I think!! I do have to remember how far I have come and after years of suffering also to remember that it won’t disapear over night.
    Sorry for the rambling message! Sara, yes it would be good to swap emails if Paul can arrange that. Also sorry for the negative post, think I am having a few bad days but I will also remember that they always pass and it’s all part of the process :) Take care all

  308. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Sara yes no problem, please don’t put your email on here for obvious reasons.

    As long as the other person is o.k with it, just let me know exactly who you would wish to stay in touch with and I will pass you on their email, they are all stored when you register.


  309. peter Says:

    This is really directed at anyone who has recovered or is close to recovery.

    I have suffered from anxiety for a long time. Three years ago I suppose I had a breakdown. My wife was pregnant at the time. After finding a very good therapist and having a course of CBT, I started to get better. I have to say I think it was the support from the therapist rather than the CBT which I feel didn’t do a lot for me.

    I then discovered Pauls book which really helped me to kick on and after having a beautiful daughter I gradually got better and better.

    I had been having horrendous horrid thoughts which plagued me terribly until I took up Pauls advice and gradually they drifted away. This Summer was brilliant. I had been taking a small dose of Escitalopram and decided to come off it. About 4/5 weeks ago my wife had a very bad miscarriage and nearly died. Since then I have been struggling badly although at the time I was very strong and tried to be there for her. I am now going down bank. The disturbing thoughts have returned although they are more bizarre than horrific. I have tried to just carry on but unfortunately I am in full frustration mode. I hate this thing, why me again, I’m going to be really ill, my mind is trying to destroy me. I am very emotional about everything and instead of an understandable reaction to a trauma, the anxiety is fast becoming an obsession and problem again.

    My wife says I’m not fighting, but I’m certainly not accepting either. All the old memories and doubts have come flooding back and its given me a right kicking. I have tried revisting the advice that worked before but it isn’t having the same effect. Can anyone advise. Do I just carry on and hope the confidence returns???

  310. Steveo Says:


    Sorry to hear you news. I can not offer any advice myself but you have done it before and I’m sure you will do it again.

    You probably felt even more frustrated the first time than you do now.

    You can and will do it. Look after your wife and yourself.


  311. Teresa Says:

    Peter – I am sorry to hear of your problem. you will see that when you needed to be strong you were, which only shows you that what is happening now is ‘what you ‘think’ is happening’ – it is thoughts and your fear of them. I know it is very frustrating to find yourself feeling these feelings again – it’s hard, but as hard as it is – you came out of it before and you will do again, but quicker. you probably are fighting – sometimes it’s impossible not to and with the best will in the world anyone who has not suffered this will not really understand it so your wife is trying to be supposrtive. I know how hard this is believe me – I am fighting/accepting/fighting at the moment – carry on, it will lift – the best advice I can give you is what I do not feel at the moment but know somewhere inside – accept – even if it is to accept that you are fighting, accept everything, say to hell with it – whatever I think or feel, and you will come through this again, you will see a glimmer and that will grow. You will get better. Take care.

  312. Sara Says:


    Please feel free to exchange emails with myself and Lucy and myself and Sara H.


  313. peter Says:

    Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate it.

  314. James Says:

    Does anyone find that when the DR/DP gets really intense, you get a heavy, numb feeing in your head behind your eyes?

    I find it very unpleasant. It could be depression related too.

  315. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Not a problem C.H it is just unreadable to many as there are some not familiar with it, the last thing I want to do is act like some blog policeman, so thanks again.

    Sara I have passed on the email addys to you, I am glad that people wish to keep in touch with each other.


  316. MLK Says:

    Hi Everyone!
    Havent been on here in some time, but I thought I would come on here and offer some words of encouragement before I get into my question. I can say for a fact, that Paul’s book and advice on this blog have brought me out of one of the most confusing and scary times of my life. Feeling so lost, alone and stuck in your own thoughts can be so hard, and everything that people come on here for asking for advice, is something that I have gone through as well. Now, this isnt to say that I am 100%, but i am close! I havent had a panic attack in months, my depersonalization is mostly gone and I am no longer stuck at home feeling that going places will trigger my anxiety. Everyone can pull through this! Paul’s advice is so simple, but can be hard to apply to yourself, but once you learn to trust in yourself and to let go of being fearful of your feelings, then you can move on!

    Now with all that being said, I could use some advice. I do struggle with obsessive thoughts that scare me. Something that happened almost 10 years ago is bothering me because I am convincing myself that I did something wrong. Then I go into a whole scenario of what ifs…and the cycle continues. I am getting married this summer and we are looking into buying a house as well, and I think with all of these BIG life changes, these thoughts are stronger than ever. Can anyone offer a bit of advice!? Thanks! Hope everyone has a great day!

  317. Teresa Says:

    Hi all
    I am looking for some advice/reassurance off the some of the members who suffer pain/physical symptoms. I have come so far over the last year or so and suddenly i find myself completly consumed by physical symptoms again. I have tried to go back and change my attitude, involve myself – accept. There are times when I feel this is working but I find myself overwhelmed by these symptoms over the last couple of days and seems that this cycle/setback is lasting for weeks, i just don’t know how I can’t leave go. I feel really bad about coming back on here when i really should know better but i am finding it so difficult I could do with a bit of help.

  318. Sinead Says:

    just popping in to say not only did i survive my job interview but got offered a place :) so although i am still depressed/anxious i feel this is proof that me and anxiety can live side by side, theres nothing i “cant” do because of it, and im just going to carry on the way i have been and not let it get in my way any not underestimating it, i know ill have bad days and good days and days ill feel like i cant cope all over again but thats ok-getting the job is a huge achievment for me, im proud for the first time in forever and i know that i can achieve things even when im at my lowest ebb.thanks for the support.this website reminds me to chill and let my brain rest and to stop trying to fight to become “me” again, because the days i stop “trying” the real me is alive and kicking once again.and when the adrenaline was pumping the day of the interview-it was the first day in months and months i stopped thinking about my anxiety :) and that little respite was bliss

  319. DCYL Says:

    Hey All,

    Hope everyone is well. I was doing decently until this past weekend when I had a few anxious thoughts / feelings pop up unexpectedly. I think it threw me for a loop a bit and I’ve been trying to settle myself down. I was on the blog reading a few things for reassurance and seeing how others were doing. In thinking about Paul’s advice to “live alongside the anxiety”, I had a thought that was interesting and I wanted to share to see what others thought.

    I am a big participant in sports and have played recreationally and in competitive leagues for a long time. I remember to some of my early years of playing in the competitive leagues. I was young, inexperienced, and hadn’t developed the confidence needed to compete with other people who had played for years. I was quite nervous and anxious before most of my competitions and that got to me sometimes. One of the toughest early experiences I had was when my team made it to the championship game. It was my first time playing in such an important game. I was wound up that I ended up playing quite poorly.

    Fast forward to the more recent times. I’ve got a ton of years under my belt and know what I can and can’t do. Not to say I still don’t nervous or anxious before games, but I’ve learn to not let it affect my play. In fact, I try to use the anxious energy to boost my play. I realize not everyone is into sports but replace sports with job interviews or dates and I think you understand what I mean. We all get nervous, anxious and uptight over many things.

    But the key to not letting my nervous and anxious energy affect me was really MENTAL. In my younger days, I remember wondering why I was so nervous. I kept trying to calm myself but the harder I tried, the worst it got. These days, even if I feel nervous, I just keep going about my business and do fine.

    In many ways, my sports experience sounds like the anxiety we are trying to work through. The anxiety we have now is a little tougher because it feels a little more magnified and there are other symptoms (random thoughts, physical things, fear etc). Plus, the anxiety can come at fairly odd times when you’re not prepared.

    However, if I think of Paul’s advice in terms of how I approach sports, it is making more much sense. After all, if you’re out playing sports and feeling anxious, you can’t exactly “run away”. You still have to go through and do it.

    Hopefully this made some sense and people will find it useful.

  320. Patrick Says:

    Hi Paul,
    What is the difference between fatalism and acceptance?
    Where does acceptance differ from fatalism?


  321. sophia Says:


    my issue has shifted its focus from anxiety related thoughts to random thoughts that pop in and grows in to a big reality i can feel the effects of really effects my mood, my interaction with others..I simply feel extremely sad, excited, agitated scared because of them..I am not able to point out and stay aside from these thoughts as i dont even recognise that m thinking these weird thoughts…

    it comes so randomly and naturally that i cannot tell myself they are odd thoughts…. its so vivid and clear which seems like ”REAL” thoughts which anyone can have…but I cant differentiate why i ”feel” certain extreme emotions and how its alters my perspective totally..feels like i dont have a grip on my life..i dont know what to decide for myself…what should i go for and the list is endless..m totally clueless

    can anyone relate to that? what do u say Paul? how do i deal with it? as i have started leading a normal life with no DP or thoughts on anxiety..i’m just moving on with life (i feel) but i cannot draw a line between normal thoughts and weird all comes in one stretch..i found a lil difference when i was aware i am an an anxiety victim..the moment i forget that fact and live like anyone else the problems start…and something will creep into my cannot stay peaceful and sane..! :(

    Paul or anyone who recovered pls add ur thoughts on this

  322. Jennifer Says:

    I am eating more and have not let how I fell stop me doing my normal routine, but as selfish as this sounds, does anyone else feel like their anxiety must be worse than anyone else’s?? I mean surely being so anxious that your sometimes sick, thats not great is it.

    I feel I am being so strong and just living alongside it, but I am still feeling nausea and wretching most morning (alhtough less than before) and feel like I am never without anxiety, ever, I just kid myself thats its not there sometimes. God knows how im making it through work, by the skin of my teeth I think. It is hard to concentrate with the symptoms raging around you.

    I do recognise that I am reasuring myself a lot by coming on here and at times becoming obessessed with recovering but I can’t blame myself when I feel bad. I have taken a few days away from coming on here. But it does help to hear from and get support from others. Just feel so sad beacuse I do love my life and so want to be able to just relax again.

  323. Diane Says:

    Vee, thanks for you help with the OCD, I am doin dome cognitve work now and mindfulness therefore hope this helps,
    take care Diane

  324. Matt Says:

    Sophia….I am exactly in your situation. The DP has seem to faded for the most part, but now I am left with very odd, strange thoughts that I know are stupid and silly. I wonder sometimes am I thinking these? or is it just anxiety popping them into my head? What has worked for me is to pay no mind to them and don’t be scared of them. When I can do that, they seem to go away and I have more normal thoughts. But if I focus on the weird thoughts, then they will just keep coming and I will then become afraid of them. It’s a cycle that can be broken, as I am trying to do right now. Right now I am just accepting that I have them right now and that they will go away eventually by just not being scared of them and obsessing about them. Again, some days there aren’t many at all and if there are I can dismiss them pretty easily, and some days are rough. Just accept and don’t be scared of them, they need fear to fuel them, without it they go away.

  325. Eli Says:

    Hi all, I guess i have had anxiety episodes here and there throughout my life and never really noticed it was anxiety until the one episode that started in August/July. I have read most of Claire Weekes’ book and Paul’s book as well since then but seem to be confused regarding a problem i am sure most of us have- indecision. At one point do you know whether you are doing something or going somewhere because you want to actually do it or because you want to prove to your anxiety you are not afraid?

    What i mean by this is sometimes our minds play tricks on us by telling us “I bet you won’t go to this place because you will get anxious” but realistically I don’t have the issue of going to places and I know going there will not make me feel worse. Hope that makes sense. Additionally, does anyone actually get a reverse feeling where going out actually makes you feel better sometimes and coming home makes you feel worse?

    Thanks for any replies.

  326. Vic Says:

    Hello everyone,

    Just a quick question, I have had this issue for sometime and it has really held me back from recovery, although I have to say I have come very far I still find myself anticipating anxiety. For example, During the Summer I took a trip to Atlanta. I have never had a fear of airplanes, and still dont. But i found myself anticipating the flight because I was worried I would feel anxious and worry…can anyone relate? I know I am giving it way too much power.

  327. Nez Says:

    Hi everyone, this is my first time commenting on this blog. I just wanted to say thank you to Paul David for making his journey through anxiety available for everyone to read. 3 years ago when i first got anxiety and panic attacks, i thought i was losing my mind. Until i stumbled upon Paul David’s website and book. Before this website and book, i could not understand what was causing me to have palpitations, scary intrusive thoughts, dizziness, and much more. I used to be very active in sports, dances, and just a overall outgoing person. I thought this life was gone forever. I couldn’t watch tv, cook ( just holding a knife used to scare me), or read the newspaper, without having scary thoughts. However, after applying Pauls advice about accepting and not fighting the thoughts and sensations of Anxiety, the layers of my happy true self started to slowly but surely come back. I go out and watch movies, tv, hiking and cooking again for my love ones and not afraid of holding knives anymore. Although I definitely had many “setback” days, someone once told me that in life we sometimes take 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, but you are still 1 step ahead to a positive achievement and goal. Eating healthy meals, taking supplements, and exercising helped me to calm my nerves and release a lot of adrenaline, which left me with not much adrenaline to release itself into scary thoughts. Even though, i still have some anxiety here and there, thanks to the advice from Paul and many other peoples positive advice and stories from this website, I dont let anxiety get in the way of my daily life anymore. I live in California and i recently accomplished one of my dreams, which was to fly and travel across the world to Europe for two weeks. Although I had many scary thoughts, i just accepted them for what they were just thoughts, and i had the time of my life with my friends and family. 2 and 1/2 years ago when i was afraid to even leave my own home due to anxiety and scary thoughts, i never thought i was gonna be able to travel across the world. Because of Pauls Book and seeking Holistic/integrative guidance, i was able to do a speech in front of 500 people and was featured in Beyond Medicine Magazine to help raise money for people who were just like me and felt lost and trapped in our stressed over worked minds and looking for answers. I can gladly say thanks to Paul, and because of him I’m about 98% recovered, but i feel even stronger than before i got anxiety…Learning how to laugh at many of anxiety’s silly thoughts, understanding what anxiety is, PATIENCE, and ACCEPTING ANXIETY as just TEMPORARY FALSE SENSATIONS, will Guide you to the road of recovery. Thanks again Paul David for guiding me back to life.

  328. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    That’s a great story Nez and I am glad the site/book had such an influence, but you must also take credit as sometimes it does test your patience and courage, the flight a case in point.

    Sinaed the following statement is so very true

    “to stop trying to fight to become “me” again, because the days i stop “trying” the real me is alive and kicking once again”

    Hi Paul,
    What is the difference between fatalism and acceptance?
    Where does acceptance differ from fatalism?


    Patrick I am not familiar with the word ‘Fatalism’ so I can’t really answer that question, but the below may help

    Patrick if you try to accept something, then this can become a battle within itself. It is just about giving up, lettting go of the battle, dropping all the coping behaviours. I basically just dropped the need to be in control, supress and fix. The opposite of what I did through my years of suffering.


  329. Ezra Says:

    Morning all (midnight here but the nocturnal fridge activities of a pregnant lady mean’s I’m eating!!)

    Great story Nez, inspirational, well done!

    MLK, just wanted to offer some support and to let you know that I think I’m in a similar place to you recovery wise. I am on the ‘last legs’ of my anxiety (started in Feb 10) however a remaining part for me is guilty thoughts and these play on my mind and make me believe that more happened on a particular occasion and I will recreate the scenarios in my head, blow them out of proportion, and feel crappy about them until I ‘confess’ and another one comes along and the same happens etc etc etc.

    Guilt is a very similar emotion to anxiety and intrinsictly linked, you cant change the past, it makes you feel anxious and your imagination is let loose!! Claire Weekes covers guilt about past actions in her book ‘Self help for your nerves’ which I find comforting as there is little mention of it anywhere else.
    In a nutshell, you are used to a habit of ‘over reacting’ negatively when a random thought pops up, we all are, hence why we have this in the first place. Its another bad habit picked up to rake through your memory bank and anything which is frightening, scary,guilty etc etc pops up, we make it worse than it is and we worry about it.

    It is purely our knackered old mind trying to hang on to whatever it has, and we will keep that ‘stuck’ thought there as we fret, dissect, worry and obsess about it. This random thought about a past action is exactly that a random thought, however as you have linked a negative emotion to it, its going to stick about ‘for now’ Accept that 1) its there 2) it pointless obsessing 3) let time pass and eventually it will ‘dislodge’
    A big problem we as anxiety sufferers have is that we don’t like unanswered questions; ie, did I do something wrong that night 10 years ago ……….well, your logical brain is sure you didn’t but your anxiety is trying to pull you back in by casting some fear and doubt into the situation

    So, my words of advice to you (and myself) is acknowledge, accept and give it space. You can NEVER answer a question in your mind so a good way is to accept the risk, ie, Maybe I did something wrong that night…..Answer; Ill take the risk that I did…..all this is doing is taking away some of the fear and the need to unravel.

    Sorry to ramble, its something I have been suffering with for a while so just thought it may help.

    Anyway, off to ‘fridge raid !! ……………………….:-)

  330. Vic Says:


    Great post and definitely gives us hope. Although I have never suffered as bad as you did, at this point currently I could not imagine flying to europe, that long of a plane trip would have me worried my anxiety is going to act up.

    You talk about holistic health…any particular books you read or any suggestions? I have always had sensitive nerves as a kid, and truly believe with a healthier diet they could improve. I know they can improve without the healthier diet, but I feel the process would be that much easier.

  331. Jackie Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks Nez, I really enjoyed reading your post and it gives me great hope,

    Hi Eli, when you said about does anyone actually get a reverse feeling where going out actually makes you feel better sometimes and coming home makes you feel worse?

    Well yes :) exactly how I am at the moment. I get all the worries about going out but pass through them and when I am actually out I feel fine. Then find that I don’t then actually want to go home. When I get home I can actually feel worse than if I had never gone out in the first place lol

    Isn’t anxiety strange :) but then I realise that this is all part of anxiety and when I get home realise this and still get on with it feeling all weird again, knowing that it will pass and the more I go and get on with it the less the weirdness will come back. It is very easy to say and the practising is the hard part, but I know I will get there in the end.

    I found it so difficult to understand Paul when he says make friends with your anxiety and really couldn’t see how you could be friends with feeling soooo bad, but slowly I am coming to realise. Yes anxiety is making me feel bad, but only because it is trying to protect me from things I have made myself fear. I see that now, slowly putting myself back in situations that I have feared my anxiety levels will rise but it is only because my body thinks there is something to be afraid of here and it is letting me know this, even though there isn’t nothing to fear, so if I pass through with the knowledge that this is why my body is doing this to me, it will soon see that no, actually there is nothing to be afraid of here and will calm.

    So yes, anxiety is my friend, thank you for protecting me when you think I am in danger and you can come along with me, home or out, and then soon you will see that I do not need you in my life so much and I won’t need you at all in my everyday situations.

    Hope that made sense, just started and couldn’t stop :) xxxx

  332. jennifer Says:

    Great posts of Nez and Ezra. really well written.

    I am frustrated that I feel the need to come on here every so often and post desperate posts about how bad im feeling. and yes, I do feel ‘bad’…but I am practicing the ‘SO WHAT’ attitude. I suppose guilt about posting is just another thing to beat myself up about. This anxiety business really can feel like a big old mess of confusion can’t it.

    VIC, yes its good old anxiety about anxiety. Its hard but the anxiety leads to nothing in the end and like Paul says it is a pointless to worry about anxiety. Easier said than done, I know. Wish I could take my own advice :)

  333. Patrick Says:

    Hi Paul,
    Fatalism is the same as what you call “putting up with” in your book so I guess my question can be phrased as:
    What is the difference between putting up with and acceptance?
    Where does acceptance differ from putting up with?


  334. Matt Says:

    Hey Patrick,

    I thought I would try to answer your question because I too struggled with this concept for a long time. For me, putting up with it meant I was still fighting anxiety in some way. For instance, I would get frustrated by it and angry with myself because of how I was feeling and felt that I shouldn’t be this way. I understood what was causing the anxiety, while trying to move on with my life. The actual frustration and anger was feeding my anxiety, and it feeds on negativity. I finally learned to accept it by letting go and that truly came from within. What I mean by that is that I knew I would feel depressed, negative, all those things but to actually allow them to be there and surrender to it.

    I believe surrender and acceptance go hand in hand. If I am just putting up with it, then I am not truly surrendering and letting go. I finally learned to accept, not just with my mind, but within that I had to give up the fight. For me, that’s where the little victories come from.

    I used to be bad into drugs 12 years ago, and learned the concept of acceptance with my addiction. I learned that I had to accept that for that time being I would crave drugs and feel miserable, I surrendered, let go of the battle that couldn’t be won. Anxiety is the same thing, you have to let go of the battle that can’t be won because you can’t win when you’re fighting yourself, it just isn’t going to work. I learned that I have two decisions with anxiety. I can make the decision to engage with it, or I can make the decision to do nothing about it. And that’s the thing, when you do nothing, you are still making a decision.

    This week has been really good for me, I feel almost myself again and it is very weird to experience. I felt so odd and disconnected for so long that now, being normal is something that is taking time to getting used to. I have the odd days where something doesn’t quite feel right, but that’s ok, it won’t be there forever.

  335. Carlie Says:

    Hey everyone! I have to say that over the past week, I’ve been doing much better. But I think my main problem is that I’ll have a few good days in a row, and I suddenly convince myself that I’m over it. Like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m a part of the world around me again. It’s almost like a few good days can seem MUCH longer than they really are because I’m not struggling as much. Then when I have a little bit of a setback, I get so frustrated because I thought I was finally over it… but then I realize that I’ve only been doing better for a few days at a time, and it can’t possibly be gone that soon, since I’ve been dealing with this for nearly 5 months now (I can’t believe it’s been that long). I just thought I would mention that, because I feel like some people here might be able to relate.

    I have a lot of moments where I feel just… lost or confused. I’m having a bad night, and it was triggered by something so simple. I went to see a movie, and after it was over, I walked out of the theater feeling a little out of it. Which I think is VERY normal if you’ve been sitting in front of a big screen for 2 hours. But that combined with how tired I was (I only got about 4 hours of sleep last night), AND the DP obsession, triggered a small setback I think. And I’m just telling myself that it only feels so bad because I’m getting better overall. Just thought I would keep everyone updated. I hope you’re all doing well. :)

  336. Vee Says:

    Hi Diane

    Thanks for replying back. It’s good to see you are taking positive steps. I KNOW you will get there! All the very best to you – and to everyone else on this Blog.

  337. angela Says:

    i am making massive improvements there is just 2 things? i had a massive panic attack just over a year ago (didnt no it was one at the time) i thought i was going mad!! i remember my husband was out and i was on my own feeling strange.. when he got back i lost it and had a massive panic attack as i no that is what it is now!!! i will explain a bit.. i lost my mom very suddenly a couple of years back and my youngest brother gained custody of his children… it was a very bad time and i was under imense stress.. anyway at the exact tiem i had the panic attack i had a thought!!! it was to hurt my youngest son i dint no at the time it was justa thought and i lived in fear of this thought for over 6 months.. instantly after the thoguht happened i went to a.e to try and get myself sectioned.. thought i was going mad and was very frightened.. i recovered over time. and then a few months ago i had a relapse.. i found pauls book which is amazing.. i had a few weeks of my life were i have never felt so good almost undescribable happiness?? then it came back but this time the thoughts of harming my son was accompanied with the fear of using a knife!! and the fear of hopelessness the thoughts are subsiding and im left with occasional thoughts of harming my son (which thats all they are) and thoguhts of hopelsessness, whats the point, your lifes crap, you wnat to die etc.. i no there not real cus i dont actually feel depressed? i just wondered if anyone else feels like this.. i made the mistake of googling again.. im back on it now and the only advice for me is pauls.. im currently coming off medication as my doc wont diagnose me but all of a sudden the bipolar which no way on this earth i had has now turned into anxiety…my dp is quite bad still!! want myself back….
    if only i had found this book and site before all this i would have never gone to the docs in such a weak state.. as i dont beleive in medication at all!!! not for anxiety.. anyone had anything similar thankyou you paul i am slowly recovering from the hole i was in

  338. Eli Says:

    Thanks for the reply Jackie. In a way if there is some positives to draw on, having this anxiety now and not in the future can be an advantage because you at least know how to handle it as you mature.

    To be honest i find a lot of my days in a situation where i am not introverted enough to have DP neither the clarity, focus and joy to have a good day or to be normal but at times i will feel more of either as many here before.

  339. Eli Says:

    To add to my previous post, this might sound like a very dumb question but one that i wonder a lot and do not want to spend time on Google looking up: what exactly is Bipolar or having bipolar? To my understanding it is having extreme mood swings but that is the extend of my knowledge. Whenever i go from having bad days to good days this is something i fear however i know it is faulty thinking.

  340. SarahS Says:

    Brilliant post Matt! And glad you are getting there. sarah x

  341. Patrick Says:

    Thanks Matt that helped a lot.

    My problem is that I dont know when I’m actually doing something or when its just the anxiety and I should let it be.

    When im actually doing something I should stop doing it and I dont know when that is. The other problem is when its just the anxiety I should let it be, but this is when I “put up with.”
    I know its supposed to be an attitude but I don’t feel like I have control over what attitude to have. I end up telling myself “have this attitude”. I can have an attitude of acceptance when I’m in a good mood because then it feels I’m on another level but when I’m in a low mood its like everything is just words.
    I think the problem starts with that I don’t allow myself to be in a low mood and I dont know how to stop doing that.

  342. Matt Says:


    You are doing the exact same things I was doing that I shouldn’t have been doing. And that is over-analyzing it to death. I would ask myself how do you accept? how do you have an attitude? I was wearing myself out further to the point to where I was totally lost and confused with everything. That sort of thinking is a form of habit that you created for yourself, all you have to do to change it is allow the questioning be there in the background and don’t question the question’s, which I’m sure you’re doing.

    Anxiety isn’t something you figure yourself out of, as I am learning myself. It’s allowing your body and mind to rest. Look at it this way, I am an obsessive nail-biter, I do it so much that I don’t even know I am doing it most of the time. It’s the same thing with the questioning, it happens even when I don’t realize it, so I had to realize what I was doing and also realize that I do have some control over how I deal with this. The control that I have is how I react, I can’t stop the questioning or silly thoughts sometimes, but I don’t have to keep going over it in my mind. It is extremely difficult sometimes, but you can change this habit over time if you just learn to react differently.

    The low mood’s come and go for me too. It’s one of the most difficult things to deal with for me. I am learning, by understanding, that my low moods are because of my current condition and that it won’t be like this forever. I spent so long letting anxiety affect me and rule my life that it is gonna take time to get my mood back to normal. But, I look back on days when it’s been good and be happy about that because there were days when I was depressed everyday and felt completely hopeless. So, in the beginning, recovering starts with small victories that turn into bigger ones, you just have to keep the understanding of what you are going through with you and just move on through it.

  343. Matt Says:

    Hey Carlie,

    I wanted to say that it makes me really happy that you are doing better. I think it’s kinda ironic that we got DP at the same time, mine started 5 months ago too, and seem to be recovering similarly as well as suffering the same symptoms. It’s so nice to be able to focus on people’s conversations again and not have that constant self-awareness of everything. DP is easier to deal with now because it isn’t constant. When I feel it coming on, I know how to deal with it now, just accept it for what it is and allow myself to feel it and don’t dwell on it. It’s kinda strange because it seems to be more in my subconscious now then in the forefront of my mind. Like, it’s way back there in the back of my head and it’s silent for the most part, but I can notice it. The voice went from a deafening noise to more of a whisper, huh, guess that means i’m getting better.

    It’s funny, cause the other day I was watching a football game and that DP voice came into my head, saying i’m worthless, no good. I then said out loud that you can stay as long as you want but I don’t care about you anymore. Right when I said that my mom overheard me and asked why I didn’t want here there. LOL!! It feels so good to feel like myself again after this horror of an existence for the past five months. I can go anywhere and do anything, and though feelings may be there, who cares? They feel almost dead and I can’t thank Paul and this website enough for the spot on advice and lifesaving techniques. Anyways, sorry to double-dip guys.

  344. Michael Says:

    Dear Paul and all who is living with anxiety,

    This is my story.

    I first experienced anxiety when I was 17. It was a highly stressful time in my life and without proper stress relief, I found myself noticing ‘black spots’ in my vision. ‘It’s just a headache’ I thought, a lie down will fix it. And it did, in the short term. One early evening however, I found myself driving at 110 kms per hour down a country round when BANG! PANIC! I’m going crazy! Oh no! What’s happening?

    Luckily I managed to pull over, fall out the car and call my parents. I was calmed down, reassured and told that I had just experienced my first ever panic attack. At least this ‘thing’ has a name I thought. I continued my journey (It was either that or be stranded in the middle of the country all night). And, I arrived home safely.

    It would be a further three years until my next episode (although during those three years, the fear was still at the back of my mind that it would happen again).

    Three years later…

    It came again. Oh no! This time I fell into the cycle very quickly. Thinking nothing was real, feeling distant from the world and fearing that life would never be the same.

    I went to the Doctor who rushed me out the room with a prescription. I have an issue with being dependant on drugs to live a ‘normal’ life but If this would make it go away, so be it. I’ll deal with the other issues later.

    I duly collected the medicine and started to take it. It did two things,

    Firstly it numbed my body and mind and secondly, created an ever bigger distance between me and the world. I was numb and I hated it. I thought I would rather feel something than nothing at all. I went back to the Doctor and asked ‘can I control this by myself’? He replied yes, you can. With no instruction on how to, I still felt reassured, ‘well if a doctor says I can, I CAN!

    Off I went back into the world and got on with my life. I was Panic free for the most part. I’m not sure how I got over it, I just kept on living.

    That was ten years ago.

    But then, here we go again. I slipped back into the cycle.
    Nearly every day for the last three weeks I was sat at my desk at work, staring at the clock and filled with anxiety as the time ticked closer to lunch time. I knew soon that I would have to leave the office taking this daze, distance and panic into the real world.
    HELP!! Just get me back to me quickly! PLEASE! Oh wait, don’t think that! Why are you thinking that? The mind would race! And so, the anxiety grew and grew and grew.

    Lunch time would roll around and I would find myself in the lift staring into the mirror thinking ‘who is that’? ‘I hope the lift doesn’t stop and let anyone in’. ‘Oh, and wait, what if I get trapped in here forever’! My phone won’t work, what will I do? HELP! The fight continued.

    The lift doors would open and I would find myself in the park, sitting on a bench and staring at the world wondering if and how I would ever come back.

    Anxiety can feel like such a lonely place.

    My partner would call for our lunch time chat. I would casually say ‘I’m ok, just having a few anxiety issues today’. If I don’t make a big deal, it isn’t, right?

    Hiding behind this facade, the mind was screaming out for HELP! And worse still, the heart feels a broken spirit and then the mind comes back with thoughts of your dreams and future being robbed of you.

    Back at my desk. ‘I feel ok now’ (trying to trick myself!), I didn’t. I still felt like I was hanging on by a thread. I spent all day at work ‘googling’ everything I could to ‘cure myself. ‘Arrh, this might be the one! Or that’?
    No, nothing helped. And reading several forums of people struggling with anxiety and searching for answers seemed to push me down the slide further.

    Then one evening in despair I stumbled across Paul’s website. The information gave me such relief and soon I was using many of Paul’s suggestions to heal my body.

    I am happy to report that I am doing much better. I’m back in my car, going to the gym, shopping, calling family and friends and, essentially, living my life alongside anxiety.

    It all makes so much more sense and I know deep in my heart that anxiety will leave, once I allow myself the time to recover, without the fight.

    I now realise that I had the answer 10 years ago, I kept on living and anxiety faded into the background each day, until it was gone.

    It seems like I got lost again. But now I have the tools to move on.

    Thank you Paul, and to everyone else, as long as we still have the breath in our lungs we have the power to move on from this time in our lives.

  345. angela Says:

    hi i posted a few posts up i just wondered if anyone else has any similar experiences as me and how is your recovery.. mine is slow.. i get good days then some really dark days can anyone else relate? im finding it very difficult at times to “run with the bad thought” xxxx

  346. Rich Says:

    After months of getting better the past week has to be the darkest lowest most anxious so far, for the life of me I can’t give a reason. Last nite was my anniversary with my partner we had to come home earlier cause I could not cope!

    I had made such progress, had really good days now every news article containing certain trigger words sets me off on a downward spiral, thoughts from years ago plague me again like their new! I had such a good life before this but this is not going to be a negative post, no matter how bad it gets I believe there will always be better days. I hope everyone else believes that life is too important and precious. One thing worse than this suffering is giving up hope which we should never lose!

    Hope everyone is as well as possible

  347. Steff Says:

    Seem to be having a bad week, frightened of everything again! I’m panicking incase I panic which is just awful! I’m pushing myself to do things that I feel uncomfortable with and instead of praising myself I come home and beat myself up, I find I am so hard on myself. I’m scared of the smallest things, going into a hairdressers incase I have a panic attack (when I feel like this I need to pee which makes the situation so much worse). I mentioned on here before that I am 5 months pregnant and I’m so frightened of having a panic attack in labour and just completely losing it, and what will the midwives think of me! I’m doing all the things Paul advises in his book, but I wish I could just stop being frightened of being frightened!!

  348. Sophie Says:

    I just want to say a big thanks to you Paul for all of your advice on the website and in your book. I can really relate to Nez’s story above and also recovered from debilitating anxiety by using your methods as well as a good diet and healthy lifestyle. Scary thoughts no more! So thanks Paul, you really are reaching out to people all over the world (Australia here) and it’s very much appreciated. Best of luck to all of you on the blog too. Recovery really is possible for everyone.

  349. JP Says:

    Hi all. I haven’t posted on here in over a month, because I haven’t been on here, because I have been busy doing things and living, which feels great to say. CBT and the advice here have been the main reasons behind this, and I have noticed such big improvements, especially in my confidence returning.

    I am still struggling with a few things and wanted to ask if anyone can relate/help. I spend a lot of time thinking about death/the meaning of life/the end of the world and abstract things like this, and it makes me a little anxious or depressed sometimes, but my mind seems to want to resolve the issue and wont just move on from it. I don’t really know what to do, its becoming a real pain and a newspaper article/comment can really trigger something.

    Any advice?

    Hope all is well/improving with everyone.

  350. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    That’s a great post Matt and very true, accepting is actually a word I don’t use often as I understand it can turn into a battle to do so, ‘I am accepting this damn thing and it is still there’ well their not really as they are using it as a tool to rid themselves of it.

    When I felt detached, anxious, odd, full of dread etc, then I had to feel it all at will and with no resistance, I had to ‘fall into a hole’ and not try to escape it, that really is the key. Trying to escape from the way you feel is like being stuck in quicksand, the more you struggle, the deeper you sink. Nothing, but nothing had me falling deeper into the condition than me fighting to escape it.

    Matt really sums it all up in that one post

    Steff allow yourself to be frightened, to feel any fear and stop trying not to feel it or worry you will. I know it is hard, but it is the only way forward, move towards it and see what it has got, this is the way to unravel it and stop being scared of being scared. All it is , is adrenalin, it can do you no harm, it is harmless, but you wont find out unless you allow yourself to feel it.

    Sophie that’s great, every success story is a great inspiration for everyone else. Now go out and enjoy that wonderful world, let nothing hold you back :-)

  351. Steff Says:

    Thanks for the advice Paul! I am doing something on wednesday that I have avoided for months now! Going to face it head on!! After reading everyone’s stories I have faith that I will recover too :)

  352. CR123 Says:

    Hi all… Just need a little help if possible… I finally went to the doctor and he confirmed I was not mad or schizophrenic.. (which I had been told plenty of times before on here lol) my problem is that although I accept this as much as I can it’s like anxiety is trying it’s hardest to make me doubt it… When I was at my worst I became hyper aware of everything especially sound and obviously with my amazing imagination would exaggerate sounds when I heard them and always questioned them… I’m still struggling with this and sometimes it really scares me I pick up on alot of sounds… Has anyone else been through this and could give me any advice/reassurance that can get me over this little hurdle… Thank you c x x

  353. Matt Says:

    CR123…I went through that as well. What got me through it was knowing that whatever I am anxious about and fear, it will keep happening. Because you’re scared of being schizophrenic and you have scared yourself into believing it, you exaggerate things in your mind that aren’t true. Mine wasn’t a fear of schizophrenia, it was a fear of developing multiple personalities. I struggled with it for two months straight, scared I was going to have it or get lost in the woods naked because I lost my identity and that sort of thing. It sounds silly to me now just even talking about it, but during the time I was totally scared of it and almost convinced that I had it.

    What got me through it was confronting it head on. Part of the anxiety leads to obsessions, and when I obsessed I would spend the majority of my day ruminating and trying to convince myself that I didn’t have this or that disorder. What finally worked was to stop the ruminating and allow the obsessions. It’s hard, but it’s the ruminating and fear that allows it to keep going. Even if I reassured you, you would probably still seek for reassurance by ruminating and trying to convince yourself that you aren’t crazy. It’s a vicious cycle that can be broken, but it starts with getting rid of the ruminating. If you exaggerate sounds, just learn to understand why you did this to begin with. Everytime you focus on a sound or whatever it is that is causing you anxiety, remind yourself that you created this nonsensical fear that has no basis and anxiety is feeding off of it. It’s a habit that can be broken, and like me, once it is you will laugh about it when looking back because of how silly it really is. I look back on my silly obsessions and can’t believe I wasted so much time on them when there was nothing to fear. Anyways, good luck.

  354. Carlie Says:

    Matt – Your posts really help me a lot! We seem to have a lot in common with this anxiety stuff. The past few days have definitely not been as good as the week before it… and I’m back into constantly thinking about the DP again. Even when I’m doing other things, it’s kinda there in the back of my mind. Last night it was hard to fall asleep because everything just felt so weird and scary to me. And my memory is still terrible. Well, it’s more like I lose my train of thought easily. I can forget what I was about to do or say in 5 seconds and then I drive myself crazy trying to remember what it was! It’s like my mind is just a mess. This has definitely been the one constant. I’m trying not to worry about it because Paul has explained why it’s happening, but it’s difficult. I keep telling myself that I don’t even feel that anxious anymore, but I know I do… it’s just in a different way. I’m still easily triggered by certain thoughts/words/images, so I know I’m still right in the middle of it. I guess it just doesn’t make sense to me because I feel like I’m not as anxious now, so shouldn’t it be gone? I just wish I could think clearly. And I still feel so disconnected from myself a lot of the time. That’s the worst part. It’s like the whole concept of myself seems weird to me? I sorta feel like a different person. I know you said you’d felt like this too, but it’s just such an eerie feeling and it doesn’t make sense when I try to explain it to people who have no idea what I’m going through. But I’m the same way… I can focus on conversations again without feeling completely spaced out, which is great. I’ve made so much progress, I should be happy. But I’m so hard on myself.

    I’m gonna try to get some sleep though. I’ve found that when I only get a few hours of sleep, I definitely feel a whole lot worse!

  355. angela Says:

    i have recently been coming of quitiapine and have just started anti depressants.. as i am not doing to well at the moment.. justas i think im getting there bam!! im waking up early mornings with a sense of whats the point… i cant go on etc its crippling and feels real but as the day goes on i seem to get better and better.. im not happy in taking meds as i dont beleive they work for anxiety!!! but im that bad at the moment that anything will do like im clutchingat straws.. im desperate to get better and have read the book 3 times so far.. im just really worried about these crappy depressve thoughts they are so horrible when they come i dont no what to do? can anyone help or have similar symptoms!!! need a bit of clarity :(

  356. Steff Says:

    It’s so hard isnt it! My mind hasn’t stopped chattering all day! Just need to accept that’s it’s just a set back, but it’s so hard when you feel so goddam awful :(
    If this anxiety would clear off I would be so happy, I have so many good things in my life a beautiful little girl and a baby on the way! I just wish all these scary thoughts would stop ruining it all for me :(

  357. angela Says:

    same here steff i just want my life back ive been through so much in my life and come so far.. i just want to live my life without this but cant stand the depression.. think its partly down to withdrawal from meds aswell :)

  358. Steff Says:

    See I don’t really feel depressed, I feel a bit sorry for myself at times as Im sick of feeling like this but more than anything I just want to feel normal again! I have had those moments and I felt like I was in a convertible car with the wind blowing through my hair, that feeling is amazing! It’s just my mind has got a thought chattering away and it wont seem to let go of it! Oh well im gonna get my boots on and go and collect my daughter from school, that always makes me happy!

  359. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Everyone

    Carlie – I can so relate to your post, that is exactly how I feel at the moment. And the worst thing is, I went through this cycle before around 2 years ago, so I should know that this condition can leave you completely. I felt normal levels of anxiety for ages.

    I have taken a break from this website for 3 days because I recognised that I was relying on it too much. I have come back on here today because I started to feel surges of crapness and it made me feel better as usual. I know that one of the keys to recovering it letting go of your coping tools, but this site is mine. Can anyone else relate?

  360. CR123 Says:

    Hi matt.. Thank you for your reply… It’s so hard to just let it be there my mind is in auto with the questioning and I have rushes of fear as soon as I hear a sound that I can’t place or exaggerate..(if that makes sense) I just seem to zone in and the mind chatter doesn’t help much… But thank you for your advice.. I will try to stop all this questioning thank you c x

  361. Matt Says:

    Carlie….I know what you mean. I still have a fuzzy mind where I have trouble thinking clearly, but it has gotten better. I still have bad days here and there. But look at it this way, you had a good week last week. If I remember correctly a few months ago you had no good days, neither did I. So you have been making improvements and you have to look at the positive. DP is there in the back of my head most of the time too, it’s like a dull existence in my subconscious right now, which is good because it doesn’t bother me at all. I expect it to be there for awhile because I know I can’t recover in a day from this thing. But, when I go out and do things and keep myself busy, I hardly notice it at all. It feels more like a nuisance now then some major problem that I have to fix right away. Also, my memory has gotten better because I stopped messing with it, like questioning if I did this and testing my memory of what I did yesterday and all that stuff. I just left it alone and it kinda worked itself out without my need to investigate.

    I also went through the whole everything seems scary to me thing for awhile. What helped me was realizing that that is what DP is. When your emotions shut down and your body protects you, it looks for danger. Sometimes my bedroom would be scary or my family or whatever, but it was just DP looking for danger because it’s in shutdown mode. There is no mugger, or foreseen danger, so your mind get’s confused and says, “It must be the environment that is something to be feared”. So that’s where the fear comes from. I went through fear everyday for no reason and couldn’t understand why I was so afraid and until I did more research and understood that was what was happening. You have to coax your mind from the invisible fear that doesn’t exist. That’s all it is, DP protecting you so closely that everything can be scary because it shouldn’t still be in shutdown mode for this long. I was so bad that I was afraid of leaving the house at times because I had fear all the time, of nothing. Again, your body is protecting you from dangers that don’t exist and the more you show your body and mind that there isn’t anything to be scared of, it will go away.

  362. jackie Says:

    I would just like to say thanks to matt as well for your recent posts :)

  363. alex Says:


    I was wondering if you could help me out with a technical aspect of recovery.

    I have been pursuing Paul’s teaching of acceptance and have managed to reduce the amount of fighting, which used to be constant!
    I feel a little worse but I am convinced this is normal in the beginning since i have let go of my coping strategies and forceful behaviors. I feel worse but it bothers me less! :)

    Now here is where I am confused.

    I am combining Paul’s teachings with Will Beswick’s, one of remaining with your calm, natural imperfect thoughts.

    I manage to force myself to remain calm and unaffected by all emotions and surroundings, like an automatic pilot.

    I don’t know whether this is me fighting or not….

  364. sophia Says:

    Hi Paul or anyone who could relate,

    I have a doubt regarding recovery..

    I can go out and do whatever i want inhibitions..but the problem exists where I see the world in my way..where i am concerned only about my behaviour..I am an autopilot when I am around people where i can go on talking and i respond immediately to every thought i dont even see if its right or not..i cannot relax or keep quiet..i cannot wait to see whats the other person thinking…i am on a non-stop flow wherein thought flows one after another and i follow them as anyone will…

    the flaw is if i feel wonderful..i get easily overexcited and am not grounded to reality..again i am in my own world where there is no negative reactions or situations.. i am in the habit of thinking over a thought and in 10 seconds even without my knowlege i would have thought 20 thoughts and make it 10 fold bigger be it something negative or positive even without my knowlege…i doubt whether i have OCT? how do i know whether i have it or not?

    i am always in my imaginary world where i am always in conversation with myself and i simply react to thoughts instead of people around however they r..

    how do i differenciate normal thinking with this sort of behaviour becomes hyper and my decisions r purely based on emotions..i often get defensive, hyper reactive to situations…

    how do i rationalise them? or how do i get on with life when i feel something is wrong with someone or situation? should i react or should i leave it as an anxious thought? how do i know if its real or not?
    i am doubting my instincts as im getting all sorts of instincts all at once and i dont know whether to react or not…

    Pls help me with a simple and stable way of dealing such dilemnas

  365. Jennifer Says:

    Sophia, I can relate to how you feel. As I also go out about about everywhere but have racing and/or obsessive thoughts. It is just more adrenaline and you sometimes get what I have seen named on hear as flooding where you just have lots of random thoughts, songs in your mind all the time. ALL of which DO pass.

    Anxiety is all about DOUBTING YOUR INSTINCTS and it manifests itself in different ways for different people. It tricks you into thinking you needs to figure this out and work out some brilliant solution but the key is to DO NOTHING I know how you feel, coz I sometimes feel like I should do the same – work it all out, but just keep coming back to this website and method and you will see this phase through. Just ‘let it be’ like every other symptom.

    Hope this helps

    p.s i am going to try and take my own advice

  366. sophia Says:

    thanks Jennifer…

    will try to just ”let it pass” only issue is me being not aware that this is ”adrenaline pumped up thoughts” i wish if it was easy to distinguish as irrational…it is so coined with emotions that i live with be honest it was far more easier to deal with anxiety thoughts….

    will keep that in mind…” its ok to feel ”anyways” just carry on as if nothing went through my mind..its when i react to certain thoughts i bring them to reality i guess with that i can stay rooted to reality..would like to hear if anyone else suffering from the same and how they differentiate from normal feelings…..

  367. Steff Says:

    Okay so I have booked a hair appointment on Friday, last time I went to the hairdressers I felt terrible – thinking what if I pass out, oh I feel hot, my lips are going numb so found the whole thing an awful experience and have avoided it ever since! So this week my plan was to face everything and recover and I’m now terrified! Lots of what ifs, what if I want to pass out, what if I can’t do it! What will they think of me :( I’m hoping I can stick to this appointment, will feel even worse if I don’t go :(

  368. Julie Says:

    Hi steff I have a hair app too but not until nxt mnth and am going through all the “what ifs” too!!!! I find it really really hard to live my life along side anxiety and “just go with it” I know that’s what’s probably going to get us through but when the physical feelings are there 24/7 it’s pretty damn hard. Pauls book is fab and also Claire weekes basically saying the same things. Try to go to your hair app who knows you may be fine and come out soooo proud of yourself and also looking a million dollars!!!!! GOOD LUCK :))

  369. Diane Says:

    Hi Steff, I know how thst feels, but go with it and get your hair done , you will feel so proud of yourself, remember what Paul says its adreniline, it cant harm you and nothing bad will happen, thats what I say to myself, I know its not easy but you can do it, the what ifs are so hard but try a positive spin what if all will go well! what if are tiring and come and go , I hope you get you hair done, think of how you will fell overcoming this once you have done it :) good luck x

  370. KM Says:

    Hi Steff,
    I’ve had issues going to the hairdressers, anxiety attaches itself to what we love the most! I used to love getting my hair done and always looked forward to that ‘time out and pampering session’, anxiety strips all this from you and makes you dread the whole process, because we feel like we are trapped and are going to make fools of yourself, or even for me its, the resentment of having to go through the process feeling terrible! I always go, i make myself, I have several distractions techniques, reading magazines, chatting to hair dresser, playing on my iphone! I know this is a form of avoidance but if your confronting something that your genuinely scared off have some back up, at least your still going and confronting and you’ll probably find you wont need to use these! Take the power back, it may take a long time to enjoy getting your hair done again, but still get it done!! The end result is the same :) Hope this helps xxx Kat

  371. Steff Says:

    Thanks for the advice guys! I haven’t told anyone I am having it done not even my husband I want to do it by myself and then see there faces when they see what u have done! I feel awful this morning, had dreams about getting my hair cut and Its put me on a “why me” most people don’t feel like this just about giving there haircut, instead I feel like I am on trial! Let’s get through today and see what tomorrow brings. A hard to stay positive Steff x

  372. Jackie Says:

    Hi Steff

    Just wanted to say too that I started this week with the face everything and recover thing :) I have just started going for drives and going to local shops again after nearly 4 months.

    I’ve found that my anxiety levels have gone up again even just thinking about doing normal stuff but know this will happen, but I either have to do it or I don’t, the choice at the end of the day is mine, do I want to get on with my life or sit here thinking about getting on with my life.

    My main “thing” is getting back to taking my daughter to school, which I still haven’t done and I have exactly the same “what ifs” as you have described. xxx

    Also thanks KM for your post, very helpful, “Take the power back” Yes it is hard, but something we must do. xxx

  373. Steveo Says:

    @Steff – go for it Steff and good luck.

    It will no doubt be difficult, but each time you go it will get easier.

    Can you have a simple cut etc tomorrow so you won’t be in there too long?

  374. Steff Says:

    Thanks guys! Steveo for some reason I want to go and have a complete restyle maybe I’m pushing myself to see what I’m capable of doing! New haircut new me maybe! Sounds ridiculous but if I can do this tomorrow I will be over the first hurdle, I have been putting this off for so long (my poor hair) :) il let you know how it goes! Thanks guys your positive words help me more than you will ever know x

  375. sinead Says:

    hey all.
    just wanted to reply to angela- you seem to be having a tough time with the depression at the minute-if you look back to a few weeks ago on this-that was me-some posts from Ch and Teresa helped me through-i know exactly how you feel whats the point getting up i feel awful ill always feel awful nothing helps nothing makes me feel better i cant enjoy anything i want the old me back theres no reason for me to feel like this i dont want to feel like this im desperate to get better- i had ALL of this.and then the posts from Ch and teresa just got through to me-i just had to let it be.
    i may never get better-so what
    i am stuck like this forever- ok
    im so depressed-oh well
    and i just came to terms with the fact the old me was gone forever replaced by a new me i hated…and i ran with that for a couple of days…and then i forgot-i forgot i was meant to be feeling that the old me had disappeared and was acting like my old self again-i still am very anxious, every day is a whirlwind of incessant inner chatter but before 90% of my head was anxiety 10% was me and now i whole heartedly think its 70% 30%.its verrrrrry slow.but its achievable :) i did a job interview and got a job in the midst of the worst of it-you just have to remember the depression the thoughts thats not you-the real you is still in there somewhere and you just need to give her the time to find her way out-not fight her way out. i dont like giving advice because A) this isvery early days for me B) i seem to get a setback everytime im feeling better but something very small inside me has changed and i think its that i now know no matter how bad it gets ive came a long way so if its to go backwards its fine-itll only be temporarily.
    where i am at the minute-
    every so often through the day i get a panicky thought -oh no all youre panicky thoughts are going to flood back in and you thought you were ok but in an instant i can make you feel terrible again.
    and about 10 minutes of a timeof clear thought and then whoops you just remembered-you have anxiety you need to think about this again.
    but they’re ok they’re not too bad im just letting them come and go as uncomfortable as they are-hate the REMEMBER you have anxiety one-you forgot for a split second thought because thats the thing- its very uncomfortable to remember- i actually hate going on here at the minute because it reminds me of my worst times when i relied on it but i think paul mentioned something somewhere about a time when he hated to hear/read about anxiety but now obviously that has passed.and it will for me too.
    remembering about how bad you were is the most difficult thing i think about anxiety because anxiety immediately triggers inside you what if i go back there!but as long as the thought at the back of your mind is thats how bad i WAS-past tense- im in a new place now-thats how you stay positive and on the road to recovery.
    right i need to get some work done :)

  376. Patrick Says:

    Thanks Matt, that cleared up a lot for me.

  377. Matt Says:

    Hey Paul, I had a question for you when you got through your DP and recovered. I wanted to know, when you recovered did you know yourself better then you did before you developed it? Like, now that I am recovering and moving on with life I realized that I wasted two years in school pursuing a career that I don’t want to do because I was just doing it for the money. I finally realized what it is I really want to do with my life and I didn’t have a clue before DP/anxiety. So, in a way it’s kind of like a godsend that I even had to go through this journey because it is teaching me things about myself that I really didn’t even know before. I mean, I’m not fully recovered yet, but I believe it’s on the horizon, and if it isn’t, well, that’s ok too because I’ve been able to finally accept it. I mean going through the hell that I went through, and starting to come out has really showed me that life should not be taken for granted and it feels more like a gift today then a burden that I was putting up with day-in and day-out.

    So, was it like that for you? Experiencing kind of an awakening? Anyways, hope everyone is doing good.

  378. DCYL Says:

    Matt – I don’t have the answer but I was semi-wondering about what you described plus how others “improved” themselves as they recovered. I mentioned this is some previous posts but there was something I had been doing (2nd job) for a long time. Since getting this anxiety, I realized I had gotten into a bit of a rut. The anxiety made me realize that I didn’t really love this 2nd job, it was just money. I decided to pare down a little bit and take some personal time back to myself.

  379. DCYL Says:

    I wanted to post this as a side note as it is Thanksgiving out here in the States. I wanted to wish anyone on the board that is from the States a Happy Thanksgiving. Also, I wanted to post a note of thanks / gratitude to Paul for starting this website and blog. Plus, thanks to everyone here for their assistance (directly and indirectly).

    It has definitely helped me as I work toward recovery and I hope others feel the same way.

  380. sophia Says:

    did anyone feel that once u have started feeling fine and slowly get on with life u forget that u had anxiety and start to see small problems as real ones and in a few moments time this slowly creeps into ur mind making it a real big issue..

    Previously when u were feeling bad u r so aware that u will ‘obviously’ feel that way that u dont react to thoughts and feelings but once u start living life so many thoughts comes by which seems so real and you start thinking over them slowly introspecting urself and ending up clogging ur mind not knowing what you want, how to respond? so in tune with how u feel at each moment…

    I am at this point..cannot switch off to how i feel…!!

    anyone who have gone through the same after feeling they have gone past the symptoms and started living life and then reaching a point where u r so in tune with the way u feel and yet u think u dont have anxiety, its just u r aware of all ur own thoughts and feelings which is ”me” hence feeling giuilty, doubtful, resentful and lots more…

    how do i convince myself that its pure anxiety at its fullest and its not me thinking ”those” thoughts… !!!

    i think at this point someone else’s perspective will be much helpful in ‘convincing’ me as i’m feeling awful myself..!

  381. DCYL Says:

    Sophia – I think I understand what you are feeling because I have a little bit of the same issue. For example, Thanksgiving just came and went in the States. My family has never observed it in a traditional way (get together with other family members, cook turkey, etc). My folks and I usually stay at home or do something basic and eat out. For some reason, I started “obsessing” over this non traditional thing. But I noticed this occurred WHEN my mind was a little fatigued (not from worrying about anxiety per se, but after a long work day or something). This is just one example I’ve had. Overall, I believe any worry or problem you feel will get overblown a bit and feel larger than life. That I believe is the hallmark of anxiety.

    I’ll defer to others for more answers or thoughts but this is still something that happens to me quite a bit.

  382. Ezra Says:

    Hi Sophia,

    I’m feeling EXACTLY the same as you hun, felt really really good for a few weeks/months, little snippets of anxiety but nothing that couldnt be brushed off.

    However the guilt has returned with a vengance. I think about things that I have said or done in the past and I beat myself up, thinking how bad a person I am, how cross I will make those closest to me etc etc.

    Things, that others with a clear mind could brush off I am obsessing and ruminating over them for hours endlessly. They aren’t stopping me living but are there in the background. Things that really upset me too, I feel like I am being bullied by my own BRAIN !!

    I have started to discuss these things with people which I shouldn’t because they probably a) sound so silly and irrational and b) will I want others knowing when I’m feeling better ??

    I have started reading Will Beswicks book and am getting another perspective on the COPAST technique which I am trying to keep to (just primary thinking and no secondary)

    I was feeling so strong and so positive and dare I say it so happy, and feel that I have really let myself down being like this.
    So, I am nearly 2 years into this anxiety business and am well aware of what I need to do. Let the thoughts be there, welcome them, it’s totally OK to have the thoughts (even if they are irrational) and eventually they will go.

    What I am struggling the most with is that with the whole guilt thing, as I ACTUALLY did do these actions (albeit no need to beat myself up about them as much as I do) they are ‘real’ so I find them harder to just ‘brush off’

    However I am aware that the guilt is way excessive to what it should be. I am aware that anxiety magnifies emotions, I know this so why cant I just ignore them ………because they upset me, they create an emotional response ! hence my mind has locked to them.

    I will continue with the internal battle reminding myself to down tools and give up the fight……..

    Anyhoo I hope my experience has helped a bit Sophia.

    Take Care

  383. Faye Says:

    Hiya this one for Paul or anyone suffered the symptom ringing ears

    I kno youve mentioned it a few times but I can’t get past it I have panicked about this for about a year I hear all the time and get incredibly anxious cause I have no escape from this symptom and will I have it forever u have googled which makes me depressed . I just feel hopeless and scared feel sick all the time can t sleep or relax cause of the ringing and the what ifs to go with it .
    Please can some one help me or make me feel better sorry this is not a positive post but feel hopeless think it’s another setback
    Would appreciate some replys
    Also wish everyone sucsess in there recoverys xxx

  384. Steff Says:

    Didnt make the hairdressers, we found out Thursday evening my father in law has prostate cancer, so everything all a bit up I the air at the moment!
    I’m having a new panic now :( walked my daughter to school yesterday I’m pregnant and it’s all up hill bear in mind and I couldn’t breathe, now I feel anxious that I cant breathe and I’m gonna have a full blown panic attack! I’m trying to act as though it isn’t there and keeping myself busy but this is probably the worst feeling yet! My god I need a break :(

  385. jackie Says:

    Hi Steff,

    If there is one bit of advice i can give you, and I truely know how hard it is, but don’t act as though it isn’t there. Feel it all and let yourself feel it knowing that none of those awful feelings can do you any harm at all. Keep busy or take a rest if you can but try and do it allowing yourself to feel as bad as you do. Easier said than done I know, but even if you can do it for just a short time, so you can see that those horrible feelings can pass. Xxxx

  386. Sally Says:

    Hi Steff
    So sorry about your father in law,just wanted to say that my husband has had bowel cancer this year and has just undergone a second operation to remove the illiostomy bag I might add though he has the all clear just needs to recover.But the point being when he was told my anxiety went off the scale,but any non anxious persons anxiety would have been bad getting the news we recieved .Try not to control it as in fighting you will only make more adrenalin and this will intensify the anxiety.Try a relaxation cd to help you control the breathlessness Anxietyuk do a really good one i have it just basic relaxation and breathing none of that transendental stuff.Hope this helps in some way,thinking of you SallyX

  387. Samuel Says:

    Samuel Says:
    November 23rd, 2011 at 9:39 am
    Hello everyone,
    This is my first post on the forum and hope not to be covering old ground but have had a look and can’t find any specific posts on the subject that causes my anxiety.
    Paul’s book has been a big help so far but even on my good days I still think almost constantly about my own death, how it will happen, what happens to us afterwards etc.
    It’s as if there is no escape from the inevitable happening and it frightens me terribly to the point that’s affecting my life alot.
    I’ve lived 30 odd years without having this specific worry although I’ve always been worried about my health on and off for years, I’m hoping that this is all anxiety based fear and will start to go as I learn to accept this condition?
    My bad days just lead me to think that no matter what people say I associate everything with the fact that I will die so what’s the point in becoming successful or whatever I achieve seems somehow pointless?
    I was a truly happy go lucky person before this condition and just feel very frightened that this is all that I can think about at the moment.
    There seem to be some wonderful people on this blog do I hope someone can help steer my thoughts along the right path, Samuel

  388. Michelle Michael Says:


    Hi, sorry youre not doing too well at the moment. I too suffered with those thoughts, every day for months. They have nearly gone completely. My GP confirmed that I was neither schizophrenic or mad. My CBT therapist also confirmed that I was completely normal, just a worrier. I decided that I couldnt let it ruin and take over my life. The last doctor I saw just looked at me when i asked her if she thought that I would become psychotic and harm my children in a way that said “dont be ridiculous”. This was really all I needed for that part of my stupid thinking!

    I still have the harming thoughts but I know that they are not real, even though they feel so real. I let them be there for however long they need to be there and then they disappear. I also notice that if i dont push them out then they go quicker. Just let your worries and thoughts be there carlee, they will go.

    I am probably 90% recovered, 50% helped by just going to see my GP and getting that confirmation. Just trying to get rid of that last 10% seems to be the hardest. I just feel terribly guilty for having these thoughts about my beautiful children but there is a reason for this. Because i love them so much and want to do the best for them, to protect them and keep them safe that i am putting so much pressure on myself to do that.

    You are not schizophrenic or mad, just anxious.

    Let us know how you are doing. It really does get better and sometimes now I cant even remember how bad it was.

    All the best and my thoughts are with you,


  389. Sally Says:

    Hi Samuel
    All I can say to you is that the worry of death has always been a big part of my anxiety.I know on a good day how stupid

    this is because no matter how much we worry we cannot change the inevitable.All I can say to you is try not to focus on that thought too much and accept it as part of the anxiety condition,hard I know but from my expierience the more I focus on it the worse the anxiety gets.Just wanted you to know death thoughts are not unique to you many of us have them.Sally X

  390. Samuel Says:

    Sally, thanks for the support, I do still manage to do most of the things I did before, I have lots of hobbies and still do them but have this thought of my death in my mind the whole time. Every little injury or illness reminds me that someday something will get me no-matter what and quite often it spirals into terrible fear and confusion. Life seemed so easy before this condition and I’m accepting this is how I am now and hope so very much that it passes someday and I become the person I once was, Thanyou Sally as every support helps so much x

  391. sophia Says:

    thanks a lot Ezra

    its giving me a perspective will beswicks ”mind works” which is very similar to PAul’s method…

    1 its actually not doing anything–just being neutral–not fighting , not complaining, just being in a state of doing nothing then planning for the day..calling up friends, cooking, going for a walk or whatever without changing them just because you dont have the mood to…

    simply disregard the way u feel or the mood to do something because we are different and we cannot determine what we should do based on our moods or thoughts it may sound ironical though

    stick on to this — dont force ur feelings to come at the same pace of what u r doing..because we are anxious our thoughts to match up the activity will take time so dont deny doing anything just because u dont feel like…i got into avoidance behaviour when i started living my life i confused myself with these mood thoughts as actual ones…i am yet to recover and these r nothing but anxious thoughts..i hope i can remember this basic fact always and not get carried away by the ability to ”feel” for everything..!

    when we have a basic routine of going to gym, cooking, calling up friends do them regularly so that we do not become dependent on our feelings..we gain strength as individuals with a will to do things ”no matter how we feel” if its getting better well and good if its not let it take its time but nothing will stop me from doing what i want..i wont lose my perspective by giving heed to how i feel as i am not connecting me with ”how i feel”

    As of now, I as a person is very different from the way i feel and thoughts i have..i cannot judge myself from the thoughts i have…they simply follow a predictable exaggerated form of habit …”I” am what I am deep inside..infact yet to find out who i am inside as a person..

    all these years i was simply being covered up by these habitual thoughts that tells me who i am..i satisfied myself with these limited self beliefs and played it safe…in fact i am yet to explore who i am and i guess i will stay focused on what i want in my life and giving that the first priority and exploring my potentiials by breaking up the barriers which i have built based on these wrong thoughts..

    here onwards, i am not my thoughts, its just a recorded cd which plays day in and day out let it run its course..i am what i deliberately decide for myself…no regrets later…each decision is taken with my consent not based on what i feel or what i’m thinking…i have to take decisions with my rational mind changing the habit of just following the thoughts that flows in

    i will try to go on the dotted line ..things which i would prefer doing but have kept aside due to self limited beliefs this is where i shall start my journey….

    this is actually a reminder for myself and hope it helps others to regain their perspective in life….

  392. angela Says:

    thankyou sinead,
    i am feeling a bit better today taking each day as it comes, i refuse to be beaten by this thing that is trying to control my mind..
    before i had anxiety or should i say before i knew what it was, i was living my life taking care of everyone elses needs and not my own. then mom died suddenly and slowly without me knowing i started to go down hill hence a breakdown hence my anxiety… i no what i have to do now i had a really bad couple of weeks and my medication was messed about!! i take quitiapine and now sertraline which i am annoyed at myself as it was just a major setback!! i have only taken the sertraline for 2 weeks so i am taking myself of them as i no its me who needs to sort this out in my head not with tablets.. the quitiapine is a bit more complicated as i have been on it for a year but i dont mine that as it does help me sleep..
    i have thoughts of hopelessness and whats the point also random silly thoughts pop in and out at the moment i am ok with it all letting them float in and out.. hopefully it will stay with me this time and i will get over this part of my life which has crushed me as a person..
    on the up side if there is one lol i feel like i am being reborn if that makes sense? not religous i dont mean that but i have never had an identity of my own through stuff that happened to me when i was a child etc but anxiety has made me realise that my life is percious and how much i cherish my family.. and that i have a life of my own and im going to start my journey!! am i making sense and can anyone else relate to these feeling of dread and hopelessness that i get.. also about the new life i feel is round the corner :)

  393. Sally Says:

    Hi Angela
    I can definately relate to feelings of dread and hopelessness the are my middle name so you are not alone in those and I think lots on here have them,Sally X

  394. CR123 Says:

    Hi Michelle m … I’m so glad to hear you are doing better… I also feel like I have made a huge improvement since my last post… I took matts advice and so far have been doing pretty well.. Sometimes I will get a little scared when I hear a strange noise and exaggerate it but now I don’t try and convince myself or question it I just let it be.. And hopefully after sooo long I am finally understanding the “whole let it be” I still feel a little weird and when I have had a stressful day I do feel spaced out and get some very irrational thoughts but for once I’m ok (ish) about it… I finally have a little faith that actually things are getting better…
    Thank you for thinking of me… And I will keep you updated lol ..
    .. And thank you everyone for all your help…

    Take care Carlee xxxx

  395. sinead Says:

    just wanted a little rant-my anxiety makes me really forgetful and i constantly lose things (well thats my excuse…) and now ive lost my glasses which is mking it impossible to study.and when i get really stressed and anxious and annoyed i pull my eyebrow hairs out (gross i know) so basically ive lost my glasses and now half an eyebrow obviously i had a little cry and an angry phonecall with my parents and im feeling very sorry for myself and annoyed at myself and cant for the life of me figure out what ive done with my glasses….BUT i feel ok, im letting myself feel all these things and you know what its nice to be annoyed and frustrated about something else for a change and not be 100% focused on my just to find the bloody glasses….:)

  396. Vamanan Says:

    Hello Faye,

    I can relate to your worries as I am also troubled by ringing ears. I can pretty much guarantee you that it is caused by anxiety. Even during a day, I can hear them when I am stressed or little anxious. Other times when I am feeling normal or good, I wonder where did that go. Also I have checked some tinnitus sources and all confirmed the stress/anxiety being the cause. Even though they are annoying and I wish they are not there, I do not get bothered by them much as I know it is a symptom and will go away once the body and mind gets enough break from stress/anxiety.


  397. Nick Says:

    Hi all,

    Been in the same setback for about a month and a half now. The past couple of weeks have been on the up until recent news events have got me in a pit thinking about depression. Up until even saturday I didn’t even think about the word as I have always managed to be quite upbeat about my recovery but now i seem to have convinced myself that I have got or will get seriously depressed. It is more being scared of having negative thoughts than actually having any negative thoughts. I know how much i love life, obviously more before anxiety than now but i have always managed to carry on with things no matter how I felt, so now I am struggling with a new fear! Any advice on this subject would be appreciated. If I was to get depressing thoughts do I just dismiss them as normal scary thoughts as an offshoot of anxiety?


  398. Faye Says:

    Hello vam
    Thanks so much for your reply . I was doing ok with them then I read that article and whoosh a flood of what ifs fear and dread like that’s I want it to stop now I’m trapped with this noise what of it gets louder just have to keep accepting I just feel like there is no escape and it’s ruining my life I am also checking to see of there there and googling which is not helping sorry for the rant
    Thanks so much fOr your reply vam
    Hope everyone is ok xxx

  399. Vamanan Says:

    Hello Faye,

    First of all stop googling. It is the worst thing to do while you are suffering from anxiety. Understand the main problem here. It is not the symptom such as ringing ears is the problem. It is how we have (wrongly) trained our mind to make it out of proportion and worry so much is the problem. Let’s say you did not have ringing ears while still have anxiety. Your mind will still find something else to worry of. If you realize this you will see the real problem is not ringing ears.

    My ears are ringing as I am typing this but I am not even 1% bothered by it. I hope you understand it is not a problem you need to worry so much.

  400. BT Says:

    Hello! I just found this website and want to say thank you! You have said so many things that have been in my mind (from therapy etc…) but are helpful to hear from people who “know how it feels”. We just celebrated Thanksgiving in the U.S. and it kicked my anxiety up for some reason. Immediately, I thought, I need to get more medication. But, my mind started thinking…”I am sick of ruminating in my own self. I just need to be and have a break. Whatever will be will be, and my fighting seems to give ‘it’ more power.”

    Your words are a good reminder. Feelings do alert us to if something is off, or maybe we need to be gentle with ourselves or others…but they are passing and not facts or permanent. I have struggled with anxiety for most of my childhood, adolescence and now into adulthood. I am sick of worrying someone will “find out” and think I am crazy. Sometimes I might get a little dramatic, but I think this struggle has grown more empathy within in me (towards myself and others) and is teaching me to be of service to other people (instead of getting tangled in unreality).

    Thanks again for all your sharing!

  401. Michelle Z Says:

    Hi Nick – Many of us who suffer with anxiety also suffer with depression. And if you do get depression or depressing thoughts, you would just dismiss them as normal scary thoughts. That’s all they are. I’ve struggled a lot with scary thoughts and depression through this whole process and I’m here to tell you that recovery is possible for all of us no matter if you suffer with anxiety alone or from a combination of anxiety and depression. It took many months, but then for several months, the depression lifted, the scary thoughts were gone and I just had some normal anxiety. I’m in a bit of a setback for the last week or so (because of a major stressful event that continues in my life), but deep down inside I know that it is temporary. Just a little stress overload. So I came back on the blog to receive some positive thoughts and reminders on what I’m supposed to do and I know I’m on my way out of this. I truly believe at some point I will recover completely and you know what? Even if it comes back at some point, I know what it is and I know the way out. So it’s okay. You’ll get to that point, too. Hang in there.

  402. Nick Says:

    Hi Michelle, that’s just the kind of response I needed! I’ve been recovering for a good year and a half now, and after a good summer of barely having any problems, I got stuck in a rather big setback and pretty much “forgot” how to just let it be as I had gone so long without feeling any symptoms apart from a bit of DP for the whole of summer. So when I got a few strange feelings after this time I started trying to dig my way out again, which we all know is the last thing we should do! I guess my fear is thinking in a depressed way when I really know I am not a depressed person! I have seen anxiety all along as something to live with for as long as I have to but little niggles (mostly scary thoughts) always try and do a decent amount of holding me back. Im now glad I know that dealing with thoughts like this is done exactly the same way as im used to. Keep up the good work!


  403. Matt Says:

    I suffered from depression that was based on the anxiety and scary, intrusive thoughts that I had. I still have low moods sometimes, but it wasn’t as bad as it used to be. The main thing with the fear is that if you’ve made good progress, reflect on that alot and be proud that you have come as far as you have. Recovery from anxiety is a process that takes awhile, so give yourself a break and understand that it is your mind trying to play tricks on you again. Before I suffered from anxiety, I was an upbeat happy person who enjoyed life and rarely worried about myself in a negative way. I had normal anxieties like everyone else in the world, but It wasn’t until I developed anxiety problems that fears that i’ve never even had before were popping up in my mind and scared me to death. A tired mind will do that to you. You become vulnerable because you’re worn out and tired from the adrenalin rushes and constant worrying.

    I worried about getting depressed and actually did get it. But I understood why it happened and it wasn’t the worst thing in the world because I knew when I got back to normal it wouldn’t be there. Today I can take my negative thoughts with a pinch of salt because I know the reason why they are there, and as long as I don’t obsess about them and worry, they go away pretty quickly and I forget about them. But, again, mostly what I struggle with today are low moods, but I’ll take that any day of the week then that vicious cycle of horror I put myself through for so long. Anyways, hope everyone is doing good!

  404. Mike Says:

    Faye, don’t get yourself in such a state over the ringing ears. I too had the exact same, got myself to the point where in a quiet room I was actively listening for the ringing to start. And of course it always did….

    One day I decided to myself that I didnt care about it any more. It was just a noise after all, I hear noises all day and they don’t harm me.

    You know what happened? Well the ringing didn’t go, at least nt right away, but I didnt bother me any more. Then one day I noticed it had gone, I’d actually forgotten about it and hadn’t noticed!

    Today, I still get it now again, generally when I am stressed, haven’t had enough sleep or sick. But it doesn’t bother me, and it passes.

    This probably sums up quite nicely Paul’s whole philosophy, accept it so it’s no longer a problem, and in time it will go.

  405. marcb Says:

    Hi all, I’m interested if anyone else suffers from obsessive thoughts regarding a part of their body. Among these thoughts are “how can I be anxiety free if I have this imperfection”? Or “i deserve to have anxiety cos I have this imperfection” . I have been starting to worry that this isn’t anxiety, I keep telling myself that the mere fact its obsessive tells me its anxiety, but i feel I need reassuring all the time. Is there anyone out there who can reassure me that this “focus” on a physical part of me is anxiety?. Many many thanks and all the best to everyone in their recovery… x .Marc

  406. Nick Says:

    Thanks Mark,

    I’m just really having trouble de-sensitising myself to depression! I know that’s what i need to do but it is the fear that depression is labelled as an illness and i dont want to be labelled as “ill”, and consequently the butterflies I am getting from these thoughts are constant! Did you end up desensitising yourself? Should I actually be trying to desensitise myself? i just can’t see any other way of having these fearful thoughts shooting round as “letting them be there” just doesn’t work. Like i said, i hadn’t even thought about it until seeing things in the news on sunday morning, that’s the frustrating thing! A footballer has come out and described his depression battle and he said his latest bout starts with anxiety then irrational thoughts and then it just goes into a downward spiral of insomnia and then sleeping for hours and hours. That is my worry, “what if” (i know it’s a what if), i go into that spiral?

    Hope anybody can give some advice.


  407. Nick Says:

    Sorry that was addressed to Matt!

  408. colmc Says:

    hi guys havent been on the site in about 3years ,had a set back at the weekend from a hangover,hangovers seem to trigger my panic and leave me in a constant anxious state ,feel like an idiot for letting this back into my life,Even do i have spent the lion share of the last 3 years free from anxiety and had set backs before at this moment im struggling to stay positive cant sleep,cant eat,can hardly keep my eyes open.Some great positive posts there that remind me it will pass and just to ignore the feelings.

  409. Ian Says:

    Feeling really bad right now. Such a big mental battle trying to understand what to do (after so long).Everything seems contradictory (in my mind), and depressingly this situation feels so familiar. Feel like I’m not moving forward at all etc. etc. My mind just constantly, constantly returns to thinking about anxiety, advice. It doesn’t make sense at all and any attempt to allow anything else in just ends up with fighting, forcing. Any attempt to really understand something just makes my head hurt more. A lot of crying. Sorry, I feel that I’m slipping backwards, and it just seems that there is so much truth here, but I just can’t grasp it at any one moment. Sorry about this, so many posts like this, I hate to add another one, unnecessary really. Trying to ‘feel and think anything’ but all my mind wants to think about is anxiety and what to do about it.

  410. Jennifer Says:

    Ian, I can relate. Your mind has become overwhelmed I think and at the moment, like a pot boiling over you cannot take it or rationalise any more information. I did the exact same thing, obsessively think about or read all the material on anxiety as you are so upset and sick of it. This is when you need to accept that your mind is knackered now and on a merry go round and try to watch a film and or go for a walk, sit with someone you trust. Your mind will ‘naturally’ and gradually float onto other things before you know it I promice. I have had some awful moments or days like that and then you will surprise yourself that a clearer mind will happen soon.

    I think because it just feel so shit, we are just trying too hard to figure our way out of it and the racing thoughts which is caused by good old adrenaline just makes you confused and panicy

    It really does suck to feel this way, as much I am practicing acceptance.
    It is tiring.

  411. Jennifer Says:

    To clarify, beacause im not sure that post was very clear, let your mind wonder what to ‘do’ about anxiety but know in the back of your tired mind that you don’t ‘need’ to do anything. Its SOO hard to believe that your mind and nerves can start to return to normal and that layers of you will come back, but they ALWAYS do. The anxiety surges really make you feel like you should be doing something, they are still tricking me most days. Sometimes I just cry as some sort of reaction/relief from the feelings, but I know I am learning to respond or react to this less and less. Again, I am going to try to take my own advice as im finding it tough too. Hence why im on this blog alot today instead of doing work…..grrr

  412. Ian Says:


    thanks for the response, appreciated. Several months ago I really went with trying to drop it all and just live. Had some moments of respite, but over the weeks it ended up with mantras and fighting, going over and over the phrases I had, yet again. Recently thought that this was just more bother to me and got involved with the ‘latest thing’ on the blog (and again please believe me this is a comment on me and my mind NOT on the good advice here) and ‘feel the bad’ etc . Either way really I just end up going over and over things in my head, on bits of paper, on screen, in bed, all the time. Wondering at any one time which approach to take. You are right I can’t cram anything more in, I know it but I keep trying to do it!

    Crazily I keep on doing things, going out, going to work or whatever, but it is hardly ‘living as normal’, this incessant thinking (and more recently physical symptoms) is so tiresome, there seems no space for anything else. Anyway, good advice, I know so, off out tonight to see some bands and, again crazily, I’m looking forward to it, yet in a few moments may be back on the merry go round of trying to think my way out of it. Let’s just see what happens….

  413. Ian Says:

    yes, lets both get back to work….

  414. colmc Says:

    quick question people.

    do any of you have a drink or do you cut back on caffene etc. I drink about ten cups a day,like i siad in my last post most of my set back are all ways after drinking, is it me ?

  415. Ella Says:


    I have just finished the book.

    I am very much housebound at the moment, my symptoms are with me all day most days. I feel very ill all the time.

    I have a baby and I just want to be well for her and be able to give her the life she deserves.

    I’m in the middle of doing a CBT course. I have read most books on anxiety and this is the first book that I have read that I can really take on board, its so easy to understand on how to go about fighting anxiety.

    I have recently stopped trying to fight every thought and symptom, I’ve been trying to accept it all as anxiety and just ride with it, my question is it it normal to feel much worse at the begining of recovery/changing your thought patterens ? As I feel like I am accepting it all as anxiety and everything is now hitting me like a ton of bricks at once, I’ve spent the last few hours curled up letting all these symptoms and thoughts in and just come at me. I feel like my body is shutting down, I’ve been suffering like this for over 20 yrs now, and have only just been diagnosed with health anxiety and deppression after having my baby. Seams people only want to help me now because I’ve had a baby, where was any help the years before that ?

  416. Matt Says:

    Nick, your fears are based on just your worries alone. I went through the whole watching the news and afraid I would become some psychotic killer that would kill people and all this utter nonsense that had no basis. It’s the what if’s that kept me in that dreadful cycle. The what if’s, in my case, never amounted to anything at all other then needless worry and introspection. Like paul says, if you had a healthy mind that wasn’t tired, then those thoughts would just come and go and there would be no need to investigate. But becaues you are worried about a particular thing that probably won’t happen, you constantly pound your mind with meaningless questions that go nowhere. That’s what I did, and when I fully realized what I was doing and understood that it was just anxiety playing tricks on my mind, the thoughts began to subside slowly. The fact of the matter is that everyone gets depressed at some point about something, it’s just a fact. I got depressed when my wife left me this year and now we are going through a divorce. Of course I am going to be depressed, who wouldn’t? On top of the fact that I still suffer with anxiety and it can be difficult sometimes. But it is what it is, there’s no use in fighting it and staying in self-pity mode and pounding my mind with things that aren’t true and that aren’t going to happen.

    So my point is, when you have these thoughts, realize that it is a fear based on a worry, and now your anxiety is keeping you in the cycle of it. If you lose the fear, based on understanding what you’re going through, and understand that these thoughts will come and go for a little bit, then you will eventually lose these fears and worries. Again, when your mind is tired it becomes vulnerable to all kinds of strange thoughts and feelings, but the way to recover is to let it all happen and don’t add worry to it. Stop fighting yourself and move on with whatever thoughts you have at the moment, and they will pass.

  417. Nick Says:

    Matt I can’t thank you enough for this passage. I’ve admittedly put a lot of pressure on my mind this past couple of days for absolutely no reason. I know I would never have worried about these things before anxiety, so why trick myself into thinking its worth fearing now? I’ve suddenly realised that for the past month and a half I haven’t been accepting anxiety as I used to before my setback. Like I said I “forgot”, and in a setback, we need to reinforce what we have learnt, so now it has clicked that I should have gone with it all along. Oh well, forwards we go!

    The reality is that people out there are going through very bad times in their lives yet carry on as best they can! I can’t complain about anything apart from anxiety (though I know I shouldn’t but you know…). I know it’s none of my business but I’m sure you will come through your divorce just fine, and wish you all the best.

    Colmc… I’ve always been a 1 cup a day kind of guy! I don’t ever need it really! It’s just a habit I’ve always had! If you’ve always drank 10 cups then maybe cut down a little, see how you feel after? It certainly can’t make you feel any worse! I’m sure I remember reading caffeine and alcohol can sometimes stimulate anxiety so go with trial and error! I remember some hangovers I had before anxiety I felt a good type of anxious that you could just let go as you should. Hope that helps. :)

  418. Lisa Says:

    Hello all
    I have been doing well for months now and consider myself recovered even if not fully. I recently took on a temp seasonal position and today was my second shift. I was fine for most of the day but after some time I started to feel a bit off again and a bit dizzy which got me feeling a bit panicky.
    Where I am working there it is really bright, and I keep thinking that the lighting is bothering me a bit, it did in the beginning of my anxiety as well and my eyes were really sensitive to it.
    I know I shouldn’t let it get to me but I guess I had a moment or 2 of weakness today where I felt a little wave of panic.

  419. marcb Says:

    Hi all, Could someone possibly answer my question, its really knocking me backwards, when the thought comes up about this part of my body i CANNOT seem to accept it. If someone could answer it would be so very much appreciated. Many many thanks marc x

  420. Jennifer Says:

    Lisa, sounds like your doing really well, congratulations. Sounds like just a bit of it hanging around. Im sure you will be well pratised at just letting it be and moving forward

    Ian, I too continue going to work, going out etc etc, thats the good part of being a ‘fighter’ I guess :)

    I have been doing better, as I have previously mentioned in other posts, however im having difficulty seeing that I am if that makes sense, because its so up and down.

    I know that It is not helpful maybe to seek reassurance for this but just wondered if anyone else is experiencing or has experienced an over active mind in terms of having more alert sight and hearing. I have seen it on here as a symptom but just wanted some support. Also questioning every thought they get stuck in your mind, vivid dreams and random thoughts all the time?? so tiring and its hard not to feel depleted. Would love to hear others thoughts.

  421. Faye Says:

    Mike and vam
    Thanks so much for your reply They make a lot of sense it’s just that the noise changes all the time sometime it’s so loud and sometimes it’s gone . It’s a comfort that you have been through the same .
    I will try just not react to. The thought and the ringing
    Thanks do much for your reply ! Xxxxxx

  422. elaine Says:


  423. Jess h Says:

    Hi all,
    I have not posted on here for a while as have been anxiety free and living life so I have been reading all ur posts and can defiantly relate to what u are all saying!! So the reason I am back on here is recently I have been having really crippling tummy pains just under my breast bone so I went to a and e and bupa a and e stated it could be gastritis so they put me on tablets. Well long story cut short the specialist at bupa said that what I appear to be doing is taking in excess air causing the pain and this is from anxiety!, I have been extra anxious recently as I believed I had MS as iv a pale optic nerve but this is not the case! I was doing so well and from all this panic over illness I feelci am back to square one!,,,,,

    I am constantly worrying I am going to get these tummy pains, as it goes into my back as well, does any one else experience severe pains in tummy back etc from anxiety and stress, I feel all my knowledge before has gone and I am in a major setback of anxiety constantly questioning whether it is anxiety or another illness they have not found, I can’t eat I feel sick all the time and so irritable!! I have been trying to let it be and take tips from Paulson book I am just worrying so much that I have lost my appetite and love for life!!! I am constantly waiting for this tummy and back pain to come on I am scared to drink alcohol ( it came on so bad the other night after drinking) even though the rods have said it’s to do with anxiety I can’t help but feel lost!!!

    Please any help would be so much appreciated I am in such a set back all over again!!!

    Love Jess x x x x

  424. Diane Says:

    Hi all,
    I am doing better, getting to work etc but sometimes when I am there I get anxious, if it noisy in the office or silent it feel like I am a bit blocked in my head does that make sense? I become a bit anxious and restless any tips. I also am a bit hyper aware in my hearing and sometimes my vision is a bit funny sseing spots or colours, or if I am lliking at something sometime the outline of colour stays for a bit, does anyone else have this alsost like if you see a camera flash and it remains for a few seconds, is this anxiety ? hope you can help cheers Dianex

  425. SarahS Says:

    Matt you’re advice ls spot on, really helpful to people at the moment. Just wanted to let you know that. I think you are I are at a similar level at the moment ie doing really well and getting there. Brill! Sarah

  426. Michelle Z Says:

    To Marc B – Yes, the obsessing about a particular part of your body is just that…an obsession. It’s only anxiety. I could tell you so many different things/thoughts that I have obsessed about. Stuff that doesn’t even make sense. But to a tired mind, the thoughts just stick. Please take Paul’s advice and just get on with your life. Focus on what’s going on in your life outside of your head. As we begin to outer focus and just live life, we slowly begin to not think about our scary thoughts. Don’t give this obsession or any other any attention. Just let it be there and do your best to pay it no mind. It’s nothing to be afraid of. As you begin to not add fear and the secondary anxiety, your mind and body will begin to relax and the things that currently frighten you, will frighten you no longer. In fact, the day will come when you will even laugh at them.

    Take care, Marc! Get out there and enjoy this day. You can and will overcome this.

  427. marcb Says:

    Hi Michelle, Thank u so much for that reply, I am working, socialising, have a great new girlfriend…… But these thoughts won’t leave me alone, I think its cos its something that bothered me many many years ago, and its come back to rear its ugly head again. A final question if you don’t mind Michelle, and this will sound ridiculous i know but here goes….. Can i be anxiety free even tho THERE IS something on my body that is…. How shall I put it…. Faulty? Thank you again Michelle x

  428. BabyKangaroo1980 Says:

    I can not believe I found you all! [I literally have tears in my eyes right now, I am trying not to burst into a full blown sob, but…] I thought for so long that no one understood me-not really, you know? Like I was on this Hell Island of 1!!! Don’t get me wrong, I have faith, I am a religious person and I really do believe in God and that he is here going through this with me. I read the Bible all the time to cope with this- this aweful sickness inside my head [especially Psalms has comforted me so much. I have also come to terms that this is an illness that won’t “just go away”. In the past I have been through things-traumatizing emotional and physical things, also trying to hide from the pain with drug use and alcohol- those things hurt my body and mind and can’t just be magically undone. [Not now in this present “system of things”.] But I have done sooo much to change my life and I began using my anxiety as a sort of “compass”. It might sound crazy but I know-at least in PART- some of the intense anxiety comes from guilt, a hurting conscience over pass mistakes and terrible choices [does anyone here fight with that, too??? It make the anxiety sooo much more intense!] But I made and continue making changes to better who I am, to be a good person. My worst fear in the past was feeling worthless over all the wronge choices I’ve made. But through intense Bible study I am learning that God is forgiving and loving and wants to help me. So alot of my self-criticism has become another mental issue I fight with all the time. Praying and reading the Bible reassures me that God doesn’t look at the bad inside us but he sees what good we are capabile of, like a loving parent.

    So I have made so many changes and things seem to be going well, but then something happens- to others it wouldn’t be a big deal- but to me-! I feel that lump in my throat like a child getting ready to be spanked! Like being pulled over by a cop on the road! Its so weird-this inexplainable sudden fear out of the blue washes over me and…I cant make it go away. I start to breath funny, like I’m not able to breath deep enough, I’m sweating but I’m cold and I feel light headed. My chest tightens [theres a moment that I wonder “Am I having a heart attack?!” I suddenly feel closed in and its not afraid of going out but of being trapped THERE IN MY OWN HOUSE and wanting to escape! I dont want to be home alone. I need to be where people are…

    Even typing that, deeeep breath. I keep hearing people say they want to hide from the world when this happens, but I’m the opposite- being alone scares me! Its even sent me into a panic! I dread the day time when the kids are at school and the husband is at work, like I cant handle it. Maybe …I dunno, I was alone so much growing up. My mother OVER protected me and kept me away from people alot.

    Anyways…finding this place…its like finding a safe place. I dont even know if I’ve ever said all those things to anyone. But I understand so much of the blog and replies, its…uncanny.

    Thank you for opening up here. Its true. Over and over I read how much easier it is when you know you’re not alone, others understand. I want to come back here often. I think you can help me

  429. Jesse Says:

    This is a great blog and a great post! Thank you for sharing with us!!!!!!!!!

    I’m very glad I found this site and posts like this. I have been trying to share my personal story of overcoming SEVERE anxiety and panic disorder and my journey from having to drop out of high school because of it to now working to become a doctor. GED2MD…lol…

    I understand how hard the journey is and how hard it can be to share (I didn’t tell people for a long time when I came to my college) and it’s SUCH A RELIEF to share!!!!

    I hope everything is great and you are enjoying life!!!

  430. Jamie Says:

    Hi folks,

    I’m having a couple of bad days right now. I have been having thoughts along the lines of one of my biggest and worst fears. In addition to that, my brain has been asking me how I know that it’s anxiety and that I won’t do it. I know this is part of the game our minds are playing, but has anyone else ever wondered about what makes and anxious thought and reaction? All of this questioning and having the scary thoughts anyway make me exhausted!

    Again, I’m just needing to vent my feelings! I really appreciate all support that everyone here provides to others!


  431. DCYL Says:

    Elaine – Funny you mentioned about Paul. For some strange reason, I had the same “thought” that maybe Paul’s site had “run it’s course”. I think mine was more grounded in facts versus anxiety though. Paul’s stated in older posts (if you read them) that he doesn’t want to write just for the sake of writing. He did state that it’s a little harder and harder to get new material.

    Now while that does sound “bad”, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. Even without Paul, there’s a still a fair amount of people here posting. I don’t think the website / blog are going away anytime soon. I’m sure Paul has his reasons for being away and he’ll post some stuff again soon. In the mean time, the rest of us will do the best we can to support each other.

  432. Lucy Says:

    Hi Jess,

    I have also experienced the pains, mine were on my left hand side almost underneath my ribs I think! In fact that was the first symptom of anxiety I noticed and I would get the pains when I took a deep breath – very sharp, stabbing pain – not pleasant at all so I sympathise with you! I didn’t worry too much about them but I did get checked out at the doctors who confirmed there was nothing wrong with me. I did some internet research and discovered that these pains are a symptom of anxiety (and nothing else!) and can be caused by the muscles tensing up due to the stress we are under. Almost like a tension headache but not in your head! Thankfully I no longer get them, although I am still suffering with horrible anxious thoughts regarding my relationship. Hope that helps to reassure you a bit – a good trick that worked for me was to stretch, as this relieves the tension in the muscles- maybe give that a go. Try not to worry and think these pains are more serious than they are – if your doctor has confirmed they are a product of anxiety then accept this and just let them pass. And keep eating – you will only feel worse if you don’t (and I say that from experience!) Good luck! xxx

  433. Jess h Says:

    Hi Lucy,

    Thanks so much for taking time out to reply. Your words have made me feel better. The pains are so bad my doc said its to do with the expanding of the tummy as when we are anxious we take in more air!!! i do beleive him but am finding it hard not to worry that they are going to rear there ugly head agin…… they cripple me and cause so much panic. basically iv been told they mimic a heart attack so they are painful!!!! thanks though i will take ur advice on board!!!
    Did you also not eat then??? i feel so nervous in my tummy i am just not hungry and have lost weight over this, this is a big issue for me as i love food and for me not to hungry is horrible?? does this go as i just cant face putting anything past my lips, do you know if this is normal??

    re ur thoughts, wow i had them all everything from suicide, hurting the people i love, saying horrible stuff in my head!!! it was awful, i felt so guilty by these, but i learnt to let them go, whatever thoughts u have are just an off shot of anxiety automatic negative thoughts we call them. Just say to yourself, come on bring them on i am not going to react to these dreadful thoughts and thats all they are!!! i promise in time these thoughts will fade.

    When i suffered with anxiety a while back, i cant even remember how i felt when i was recovered. It’s this setback though that has pulled me back down.

    Thanks Lucy
    Love Jess xxx

  434. Jess h Says:

    also does anyone else keep questioning how to just let it be and give ur mind a rest. I am trying to do this but am finding it difficult to just accept the symptoms are there, i find it difficult to concentrate on anything else other than how i am feeling.
    Has anyone got any tips on how to combat this and just let the symptoms be, i say little things in my head, like ” its just your sensitive nerves causing you to feel like this and that is why you feel nerves in you belly, its only anxiety etc…. ” but wham straight away i am back to thinking the same things like will this ever go, i just want one day free of this nervous tummy. This is the main thing bothering me i know it wnt harm me i just feel like i am not coping with trying to let myself recover as much as when i first suffered.

    Any tips?
    Also Lucy what stage are you at with anxiety?

    Jess xx

  435. Steff Says:

    This anxiety is throwing every physical symptom at me! I’ve gone from panicking that I’m going to pee myself to can’t being able to breathe and now (I’m 6 months pregnant) I felt light headed at work yesterday so now I am anxious about that! Just went for a walk to clear my head popped into a shop and in the queue felt like I was going to pass out! Now lots of what ifs are running around my head, what if I pass out at work, what if I pass out when I collect my daughter from school! My god this is really pushing me to the limits I’m exhausted :(

  436. Jess h Says:


    iv read ur post and just want to say you are not going to pass out. Anxiety plays crazy tricks on us all from time to time. By you worrying you will pass out your feeding anxiety wants it needs and craves!!! just try this……….. say to yourself if i feel panicky i fel panicky, whats the worst thats going to happn, yes you may feel faint and light headed but i can garentee u will not pass out. Iv’e read in pauls book before avoid your fear and it will grow move towards them and they will subside, the condition wants you to hide away dont let this happen!!!

    what you are feeling is just an ofshot of anxiety where your nerves are sensitised causing you to feel these emotions giving you excess adrenaline, that is all nothing more.

    please dont panic, if you feel faint go towards your feelings, let anxiety do its worst, its not going to harm you.

    Kind regards
    Jess xx

  437. Steff Says:

    I know you are right jess, it’s just so tiring! I feel a bit better now and even just had a little laugh about it! Sometimes I think that is exactly what this anxiety wants me to do, not step out of my front door, but when I feel like that I take myself for a little walk, which does make me feel better! I will go back to being the once confident girl I used to be, may take time but I will get there! positive mental attitude :)
    One other hurdle I am having a problem with is I wake up each morning anxiety free, but I still continue to check in on myself to see if the anxiety is still there, which brings it on. I feel I am bringing it on myself! Do I just take this with a pinch of salt? X

  438. Sally Says:

    Hi Colm
    When you say drinking if you mean alcohol think you are right it does seem to intensify the anxiety the morning after.I always used to try and muddle through the day and then have a drink in the evening to have some time off from the anxiety this went on for years.I now have a peptic ulcer through anti inflammatory drugs given to me by my gp,so i don’t usually drink now as it is not good for the ulcer,not drinking because of the ulcer led me to discover that my anxiety levels were less by not consuming alcohol.This not drinking does not mean I am anxiety free had a couple of real shit days this week but on we go living with it as best we can and one day like Paul it may go.Sally xxxx

  439. Sally Says:

    PS.I drink caffiene free tea now ColmX

  440. Lucy Says:

    Hi Jess,

    I’m not really sure what stage I am.. certainly not recovered but I guess I’m well on my way. All the physical symptoms I had (aside from the odd headache) have passed now and I am feeling much better in myself. I went through a stage of being really tearful and quite depressed so I am glad that has passed. Like I said, it’s just the horrible thoughts that I am left with and I am finding them the hardest to deal with, probably because they seem to be there before I have even thought them if that makes sense! I also feel that because they are in my head I must be thinking them therefore they must be real.. I know that isn’t true and I know it’s a product of anxiety but it is so diffcult to accept sometimes!

    With regards to not eating, this was something else I struggled with for a while when I was at my worst. Anxiety affects people in different ways and thankfully the not eating wasn’t a major symptom of mine but as someone who loves their food, I knew things must be bad if I couldn’t eat! All I can say is eat what you can.. you need the energy to keep your mind and body strong as anxiety can you leave you physically and mentally exhausted. Even if it’s just a bowl of soup or an apple it’s something and you can gradually build it up until you are back to normal again.

    So am I right in thinking this is your second time round with the anxiety? What other symptoms do you suffer with and how did you manage to recover the first time? xxx

  441. John J Says:

    Hello all,

    I haven’t posted in a while, but I have been reading the posts. I see a lot of new people on here and lots of people who have returned after ‘recovery’.
    It concerns me that it seems there is an ‘epidemic’ of anxiety.

    Is it just the stressful times in which we are living, or have people always had this level of stress and anxiety.

    I too have found myself deep in setback, and I am being hit really hard with feelings of unreality. It feels as if I’m trapped inside myself and I am so desperate to get out.

    I have been an anxious person all my life, but it is only in the last 8 months that it has really taken over my life. I just can’t get away from it and I think it will lever end. I just can’t see how I can ever be ‘normal’ again.

    Not that I ever was a stress free person, but if I could go back to being that stressed out worrier that i was 8 months ago, i’d swap any of the worst days for this!

    I know that the feelings will come and go, and I know that I will feel better some days than others, but I just want to know that this will leave me one day and I can be at peace. I am 30 years old, and I feel that my life has been taken over and I’ve had my 30 good years, and i’ll never be at peace again.

    What with the setback, and reading and seeing all the terrible things in the news (especially the famous football player), I think its just a low point at the moment and hopefully things will pick up.

    Apologies for the depressing post, I don’t mean to bum any one out, I just want some thoughts on this lasting forever. I know loads of people say they have been cured, and I am hoping that one day it will fall into place for me.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on ‘Time healing everything’? Is this something that will get better with time? Do you ever get used to it?

  442. Matt Says:

    John….You sound like me brother. I am also 30, had 30 pretty good years with a few ups and downs, but was pretty happy most of my life. I’ve been suffering from anxiety for the past three years but it wasn’t anything bad enough to stop me living my life, that is, until I developed Depersonalization five months ago. It stopped me from doing everything I enjoyed, was housebound most of the time and had fear with me 24/7 because I was so scared that I would never be back to the person that I used to be and fell into a deep depression because of it. Well, I can tell you that it does get better. I am not going to lie to you and say that it has been a cakewalk recovering from this hell, but you can and will recover. First, give up the negative thoughts and don’t go on any other forums except this one. DP is a form of habit, of negative thought habits that don’t allow us to heal and become our ownselves again. I woke up every day constantly monitoring myself, couldn’t think clearly, was praying to god to get rid of this. I have two kids and couldn’t feel anything for them, no love, joy, peace, nothing. All I felt was fear and dread, every single day.

    Now it’s a lot better then it was. I’m not fully recovered, but i’m getting there….slowly. I have good days and bad days with it. The way out, that i’ve found, is to truly have an attitude of not caring and accept this condition, because that is what it is, a condition. DP isn’t something you figure your way out of, it’s something that you have to learn to forget about completely. I know that sounds crazy, how can you forget about this!? But from every recovery story i’ve read, they just forget about it because they are living their life. Again, some days I hardly think about it at all, and other days it feels stuck like glue on my mind. But I had to allow myself to feel this way and it has gotten easier.

    So, don’t question it, and find something to occupy your mind with. For me, it’s videogames, socializing, school work, going out and doing anything to be away from the house. Keep yourself occupied, don’t fall into the trap of obsessing about it all day like I did and making yourself worse. I know it will pass for me and I believe it will for you too, but waiting for that day to happen isn’t going to come, you have to focus on other things. Good Luck!

  443. Jess h Says:

    Hi Lucy yes I suppose it is my second bout of it so basically it came back on as they found a pale optic nerve in my eye and I was Covinced I had MS this has brought on my worry causing me to be anxious again so anyway I got the results back and they were clear!! ? and today i don’t actually feel ghat anxious no nervous tummy or anything!!

    So these thoughts when I read ur post I thought wow that was exactly me the thoughts were the last to go I also thought the same hang on I am not even thinking them and they would appear so they must be real trust me there not ur brain has just got into a habit and where ur worrying that they are there they will continue to spring up it’s the power of our subconscious mind ! Please don’t worry about those thoughts I no it’s easier said than done but u will be okay they will go I promise ! It took me a while to get over my anxiety but eventually it slowly disappeared I no longer cared about the thoughts I just thought at least I feel better than I did before these thoughts are nothing to how iv felt so bring them on! Are u having any times that u have no thoughts as if u do focus on that!!

    Love jess x x

  444. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    John J, The footballer last week is an open case, no one knows what was behind it, some say a story was just about to be let out by the media, it is still speculation. But the world seems to be waking up to mental health issues and straight after his death the F.A came out and offered existing pro’s help and many signed up. Also many famous people came out and said they had suffered some sort of mental health problem in the past and there was nothing to be ashamed of and it was about time people took it seriously. Mental health covers a very broad band of people, including mild depression, anxiety etc, it just seems a strong label and the reason people seem afraid of using it.

    One thing I will say is that anyone who suffers with anxiety, just suffers from surface symptoms. Without the anxiety/adrenalin we would feel exactly how we felt before, think freely, our personality would be the same, again it is all surface symptoms we feel. I just saw myself as passing through an anxious stage of my life and I came through, like a ship passing through a storm.

    I suffered as bad as anyone, I had it all. It was a change in attitude to the way I felt, a deep understanding of why I felt the way I did helped me so much, as it took so much fear out of the equation. Before this I would go over and over things daily, worry what was wrong, why I felt the way I did, be totally thrown by every symptom I felt. I had no time for anything else, just getting better and I fought and fought each day to achieve this, no wonder I got worse and not better. If this approach was making me worse, then I needed to do the opposite and the only way to leave my mind and body alone was to make friends with the way I felt, to allow myself to feel this way. I did not have to like it, but the fight was over, all my tools were laid on the floor and the war with myself had ended.

    If you are still at war with yourself each day, then it is time to reavaluate your approach. It is not about coping, it is about it not holding you back, as anxious and as odd as a situation makes you feel, go toward it anyway, don’t be at war with yourself each day, waiting for that miracle day when you wake and it has all gone, don’t wait for this day to live your life, live it now and take how you feel with you.

    Again we see posts of people clinging on to awful thoughts, seeing them as real, desperate for them to go away. Whilst we run from them, fear them and try to stop them coming, they will cling. You have to accept them as part of normal thinking and not be thrown by them, shake them by the hand, smile at them. They are not real in anyway, you are anxious, therefore your thoughts are anxious/strange.


  445. Diane Says:

    hi all, feeling frusrtated and dissappointed with myself, have been doing much better, getting to work, shopping living with anxiety etc
    but today at work had to leave as had a reaaly upset stomache and got all anxious as well, I took the flight action and now angry with myself, and toughts like everyone thinks this a nd that about me, and that I am going to lose my job are going around in my head, i know this doesnt help but seems to be what I do beat myself up, sorry for coming on and moaning, on a positive I do believe recovery is possible, by following Pauls book and trying a bit CBT and mindfulness I am so much better than I was, so keep going everyone we can beat this :)

  446. BabyKangaroo1980 Says:

    I have been there believe me, but what Paul just said is so true. Fighting with these fears and going over them again and again won’t help. :( I’m so sorry that anyone would have to go through this. I know- believe me- its not fun! When I described it to my doctor before i told her its like I’m on a roller coaster, and I’m NOT having fun, and I don’t know when its going to end. It doesn’t help when my heart is racing and I think I’ll wear our my heart and cause myself to have a heart attack. But what happens each and every time?—PAUL~ YOU ARE RIGHT~ Nothing happens! Its all in my head. Nothing ever terrible results from these attacks! I think some how I understood Paul’s method before I ever even came to this website, and YES it easier said than done, but we have to keep working at it, thats the point. We are training our minds to deal with these feelings & the learn to cope with the fear and even stop being afraid!

    Sally & Colm,
    On the subject of drinking. I know from personal experience and doctors visits and research that if you have anxiety disorder- DRINKING WILL NOT NOT NOT HELP YOU. Please be advised that especially OVERDRINKING will worsen your anxiety. Also anxiety + alcohol [b/c the alcohol gives you that little while of respite] can lead to an addiction to it or becoming and alcoholic. And then a vicious circle begins b/c anxiety and alcoholis FEED off each other. It is a slippery slop and not worth chancing. Instead follow Paul’s advice and don’t use anything as a “crutch” so to speak b/c it always back fires. When I would drink to relieve the anxiety it would make everything soooo much worse the next days. In fact I had days I woke up such a wreck I was freaking out completely and had to be rushed to the hospital b/c I thought I might swallow my tongue!!!

    Lucy & Jess,
    Oh my gosh! Eating when you are having severe anxiety is like trying to force feed a child spinach- WORSE! But Lucy is right, YOU HAVE TO EAT TO KEEP YOUR STRENGTH UP SO YOU CAN DEAL WITH ALL THESE FEELINGS. So I picked up a little trick I will share with you. Ensure Protein packed shakes! They give them to older ones alot of times b/c they have a hard time eating too and it helps keep their strength up. I had to practically live off those for a few weeks about 10 months ago when I went through the worst spell. But I can tell you hands down that you mind and body will be able to cope and recover much easier if you keep your strength up. Like Lucy said soup and crackers are another good thing, easy to get down. Try juices and just nibbling when you can on this you used to LOVE- a milkshake?

    I have picked up alot of helpful things along the way with this problem. I agree with so much I’ve read Paul say and as soon as I get the money I’m going to buy his book. But here are a few basic things I know personally have changed my life:

    *When I’m anxious I go for a walk [if I can’t leave the house I get on the tread mill] and listen to soothing music on my head phones
    *Exercise is crucial- finding things I enjoy is great- but the point is to get that blood going and that heart pumping [on the plus side you’re making your heart stronger too!]
    *Green veggies like fresh spinach for salad [instead of lettuce] pack important nutrients that help regulate our moods naturally should be eaten daily!
    *B-Complex Liquid vitamins [easy to take, cheap to buy at walmart] absorb better + faster and also naturally help regulate mood and energy.
    *Take vitamin D3 for goodness sake! Especially if you are the type to stay in doors- seriously, they now know that the sun makes people happier-why? b/c of the vitamin D! I take at least 2000IU’s a day. Do some research [] and see for yourself
    *Omega 3 is soooo important! I take a supplement with correct doses of omega 3, 6 & 9 [but you always want to do your research first on these things.]

    Thats mostly how I cope with this disorder. But of course there is lots of praying and reading the scriptures [especially before bed to fill my mind with soothing thoughts.] When I have trouble wineding down I take a little melatonin and calcium.

    I hope these things can help any of you hear that might read them.
    Dont give up.

  447. CR123 Says:

    Hi diane, I just read your post from the other day and just wanted to let you know that I have and still do sometimes get all of what you mentioned… I posted a week or so back about being hyper aware of sound and got some great advice… It’s very annoying and frustrating but I just try my best to ignore and not question… I also get the light thing which is also very annoying but nothing to worry about… And don’t be so hard on yourself everyone has up and down days… And even people without anxiety would go home sick if they had an upset stomach… Don’t let these thoughts bother you… It’s just anxiety trying to make you feel bad and worry you even more… C xx

  448. Jess h Says:

    Thanks for the advice babykangaroo I have eaten so much better today and have actually felt hungry have had a good positive day !! This has come round much quicker than expected!!

    A song for a bit of uplift- Jesse j who you are!!! Take a listen on you tube the words are perfect x x

  449. jackie Says:

    “The more I try the less is working”

    “It’s OK not to be OK”

    Love it! Thanks for posting about that song Jess :) xx

  450. Jess h Says:

    Your welcome jackie!! It’s amazing x x

  451. Jamie Says:

    So question for those that are on their way to recovery. Do you find that the thoughts, while still awful and unpleasant and hard to deal with, don’t stick as bad? My intrusive thoughts seem to jump around more quickly than they used to. I like to think that maybe I’m getting to the light at the end of the tunnel, but I just don’t know.

  452. DCYL Says:

    Hope everyone is well! FYI – I saw that Time magazine has a large article on anxiety this week. I’m not sure if this is for the US edition only but if anyone can get a hold of it, I would be curious to hear what people think about it.

    I didn’t see anything about the article on the website so you may have to find the physical magazine.

  453. sophia Says:


    just wondering if anyone has the same symptoms…of being overly aware of how we r feeling…there is always a thought barrier in doing things…hyper awareness of one’s own inability to do something its not an inability but a random thought which is so forceful and doesnt go away so it stays…
    i tried doing things irrespective of how i feel…but the problem is i somehow do it but i am overwhelmed with thoughts that i wont make it i am somehow managing…

    i can never indulge in anything…so i withdraw from everything…so i dislike it..i may take another alternate decision which i am comfortable…so i think i have taken the right decision..infact im simply acting upon my thoughts and restricting my life…

    how do i distinguish between what i really want and what i dislike( disliking simply because of certain compelling self aware thoughts which dictates my decision and way i see life and my temparament )

    when i am in a conversation i become aware of what i am thinking hence i get on with my thinking and not getting involved with the other person and if m having a -ve random thought about the other person it sticks on me and i think thats true and thereafter everything seems to be justifying the first thought

    how do i have a clear mind where i can see things clearly? i am seriously having trouble understanding whats goign around mainly because i’m hyper aware of myself which is not going away….

    i guess it comes under racing thoughts which i am unable to take a break from..!
    anyone else going through the same? any suggestions?

  454. Diane Says:


  455. Sally Says:

    Thankyou for the advice
    Sally X

  456. marcb Says:

    Hi all, I was feeling really well in the summer, then my qanxiety got me onto worrying/obsessing about a part of my body that isn’t perfect. Between that time I found myself a fantastic new girlfriend, she really is the ideal girl for me, pretty, fun, caring, and a little bit stupid! In the last few weeks I can feel myself slipping backwards, and its all because of the worrying/obsessing about this imperfect part of my body. I have spoke to my girlfriend about this imperfection and she says she is really happy with it (i imagine u can guess what it is now), she even text me last night whilst out on her works Xmas do to say she loves me, but this constant worrying is bringing back all my old symptoms. So my questions are…..1) should I tell her that I have anxiety? (im worried it will freak her out and she’ll dump me. And 2) when the thought about this imperfection pops up do I simply allow it?, because at the moment I feel this ISN’T anxiety and I HAVE to follow the thought, im also getting the thought that the reason i have anxiety is because of the imperfection and if i got it corrected my anxiety would disappear. Any replies would be so gratefully appreciated, I’m really struggling and concerned with how I’m slipping back. Many many thanks… Marc x

  457. 2scoops Says:

    Thanks Paul for sharing your experiences and for this website. I just keep reading your book everyday! I am 35 and I have struggled with anxiety every since I can remember. It affects my stomach and I vomit, this affects me mostly in the morning. Relationships are very hard for me. I usually just avoid them as I just keep thinking all that can go wrong. I read your book and I know you say to let those scary/obsessive thoughts come and not fight them. How did you handle this, I mean get the courage to do so?

    I have been facing my fears, even went on a couple of dates, which is ONE of my biggest. I also even went to a crowded college basketball game. I was asked to go to a Christmas party by a girl and I feel like I am having a setback. I appreciate any comments. Look forward to getting on with my life.

  458. Carlie Says:

    Hey everybody, I haven’t posted here in over 2 weeks. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long! It was Thanksgiving here in the US the week before last, and I had a good time with my family, even though I didn’t feel so great. I went out into the madness and went shopping for awhile that night, and I was really discouraged at first because I felt so strange. I tried to shake it off and eventually I felt a little better. Matt, I did read your last post to me and I can definitely relate to the part about constantly “testing” your memory… that’s what I do constantly. That’s probably my biggest obsession, and has been for awhile. It’s like it takes me a minute to remember even what I did yesterday. The last few months have just been a lot of nothingness, really… I guess because I’ve been stuck inside my own head so much. Sometimes everything just seems like a blur and I just want to break out of it. :( I feel like I haven’t even really been living ever since this started. Sometimes it’s hard to explain in words what it’s like. My mind is such a mess that most of the time I don’t even know where to start.

    And again, the scariest part is that I feel like a different person? And I’m constantly asking myself “Well who am I anyway?” I guess I need reassurance that I’m NOT a different person and that I’ve just been stressed and obsessing over this whole DP thing for so long, and once I learn how to move on without questioning it AT ALL it will finally go away. Sometimes I still think about all those people who say they’ve had DP for years and years and it really freaks me out. :( Don’t worry, I haven’t been on any of those message boards since probably August, but it’s still on my mind. I also think about how I was occasionally taking anti-anxiety medication (haven’t had to take it for 2 months, so that’s good news), and I worry that it did something to my brain. That probably makes no sense because I only took it several times a month at the most (plus I was already having anxiety problems obviously), but anxiety brings out my irrational thoughts and worries. :/

    I have been making some good changes though. I started exercising more… I get on the treadmill almost every night now, and I’ve been lifting some small weights because I’m underweight. It really helps me fall asleep easier too, which is good. And I’m using this B12 spray since my B12 levels are low. Also, I think I might have a job soon… so hopefully things will fall into place.

    Sometimes I just think about how far I’ve fallen and how I can’t even believe this has happened to me. I guess I have days that are okay sometimes, but my memory seems so bad that nothing really stands out to me anymore. Sorry for being so negative! Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

  459. KM Says:

    Hi Carlie,
    I have exactly the same as you describe, all the “who am I”, “what am I”, it feels weird to be myself, introspection type thoughts. Some days i can laugh at them other days/times they torment me. I often find myself repeating my name and address just to ‘prove’ to myself I haven’t disintegrated and morphed into something else or someone else. Its comes with a very eery scaring feeling like you i’d struggle to articulate. Family members seem weird, doing regular things, I question their relevance, why bother etc. I had the best day on saturday, none of this ridiculas stuff, was able to get on with my day, had family over for dinner had a great time, then wham yesterday it all came back and i’ve been trying to understand how i can feel so close to being normal then back to what feels like square one! The self checking/monitoring is horrendous, so debilitating to not be able to concentrate on somthing other than yourself. I surpose this is the same as your checking your memory, which is something that I dont do, but its still introspection, just focusing on other things. Oh well I have to embrace that I’ve had many good days lately and accept and move through the bad without the world feeling like its caving in on me again. Keep your chin up Carlie, your doing well and getting out and about, thats what I do, make sure I’m out with people and at least trying to focus on other things :)

  460. lorryt Says:

    hi all

    i havent been on here for along time, as have been really well an things have been very positive in my life for a long time, not saying that i havent had my fair share of pressure and life stuff thrown at me, but i have been coping till now. About 3 weeks ago, i went out for anight out and tehn again last week and then again this week. on all occasion i have had amassive hangover and have recovered fine, but this time i ithink with a combination of pressures tiredness , being full of cold and having a bit of a low time i am struggling totally. I am back to the stage of worrying that its sometfing really bad wrong with me, and cant dismiss disturbing thoughts. I seem to have have lost the plot for a bit. need soem advice to get back on track . i am working full time and kids etc keep me goign but i am sooo tired with it all xx

  461. Jess h Says:

    Hi Marc I think u should absolutely tell your girlfriend that u have anxiety, by boyfriend knows and is so supportive!!!!
    Re the questioning of your imperfection u are just experiencing negative thoughts in a different way, but remember they are just automatic negative thoughts, did u ever have these when your mind wasn’t tired?? I imagine not so u no they will and can go!!! It’s just u are questioning why u feel this way that’s why the thoughts pop up, it’s our subconscious mind telling us it!!! In regards to having a change for this imperfection, this is not not going to clear ur negative thoughts, you just need to let it be!! I promise u will feel better in time, let the thoughts enter they are just u for now not forever x x

    Love Jess x

  462. marcb Says:

    Thank you Jess, so in answer to my question “what do i do when the thought of this imperfection popsup” you are telling me to let it be…..(can not believe I’m asking this question, I know i should let it be, why do i always look for reassurence?). I just had a little cry Jess when I saw your reply, that’s the first time I’ve cried in about 6 months, and now im thinking “if I’m crying then I’m DEFINITELY going backwards. I want to tell her this week jess but I feel I cant as its her birthday on Thursday. Many many thanks Jess x

  463. marcb Says:

    One more thing Jess, I’ve read in Pauls book he says “let all negative and destructive thoughts float away” and these thoughts about my imperfection are negative and destructive aren’t they!!?? X

  464. lorryt Says:


    its not a case of slipping back, dont ever feel that way, its a case of making progress but your memory holds things in and it will pop up from time to time. this is true of all of us, but i guess us anxiety sufferers feel it more than most as we cant dismiss it and feel we have to follow it up, but we dont..> believe me i have been there long enough. I have over analyzed every situation and been down the darkest roads. It doesnt have to be that way. You are getting better everyday, it can be along road, and for others short but you will get there. xxx

  465. 2scoops Says:

    So I woke up this morning and had to vomit. How do you deal with that? Also, my anxiety affects my stomach. I haven’t eaten much and am losing weight. I have these thoughts that I will not gain my appetite. How do you float past these things?

  466. Lucy Says:

    Hi jess

    It’s great that your appetite seems to have come back.. when I suffered thankfully it wasn’t for very long either. Are you coping better now with the thoughts about your stomach pains? I’ve had a bad day today.. I have been haing lots of relationship doubts and anxious thoughts and for some reason i can’t shake them today. I know in my head that they are caused by anxiety but I just can’t seem to accept it. Then I start thinking they must be true and what if I’m never happy again. I can dismiss the thought pretty quickly as I know it’s just anxiety but I’m not accepting them and I don’t know how. Whatever i do, they still upset me. Any tips on accepting these thoughts & not letting them upset me anymore? How did you do it? If anyone else is going through the same thing too any help would be great! I guess it doesn’t have to be relationship thoughts, any anxious thoughts! By the way jess thanks for the jessie j song – love it, inspirational words for us all! Lucy x

  467. Matt Says:

    Hey carlie, we had thanksgiving here in the states as well and it went pretty well. I have good days and bad days still with DP, it’s like I don’t question it as much as I used too, but it’s this constant self-awareness of it in my mind that I just can’t shake sometimes. Sometimes I still question if I have it anymore or not, things don’t seem to look unreal that much anymore, it’s just that I constantly question if it’s still there like checking in I guess is what you would call it. Oh well, I’ll just soldier on and hopefully it will get better. Oh, and I still struggle with thinking clearly as well, but again, I wore out my mind for almost six straight months with this, so I understand why it’s so tired.

    KM….Even though the environment doesn’t seem so unreal, people do look strange and I still feel weird sometimes. I don’t know how I do it, but sometimes I can just focus on their conversations instead of the weirdness, and it goes away for awhile. I also have those days where things feel normal and alive again, and then the days where it feels like i’m back to square one also. But, i’m learning to live with this instead of fear it like I used to, so it’s getting easier. Anyways, hope everyone is doing well.

  468. Nick Says:

    Hi guys,

    Been ages since I last posted but i’m feeling awful and need some help. My anx started a year and a half ago after a huge panic attack brought after smoking weed (which incidentally I don’t do anymore and hadn’t for years prior, was just a few random tokes). I had also been in a bit of a rut prior to it but never ever even thought about mental issues or about anything existential.

    Anyway I started freaking out the whole time as you do and in the early days the anxiety was absolutely brutal, couldn’t even look in the mirror, had DP and crazy thoughts the whole time and was absolutely riddled with fear.

    Later however it mutated into feelings or pure hopelessness. Anyway I found the blog and tried to follow the advice while making some changes, new exercise regime, meditation, eating better. This seemed to help and for a good few monthes anxiety was definitely reduced, DP left and it was no longer on my mind all day, every day.

    However, what has never left is these depressive feelings I have. I feel completely hopeless and lost and no longer know my place on the planet. Often think how will I ever be free of this, and whats the point in living? This is what scraes me the most and forms all of my worry, it is pretty much my only symptom. Funny thing is Its not like I make plans to kill myself or anything, have no desire to. But I feel completely trapped like I can’t handle the future and get scared when i read about suicide and think i may one day be like the person in question.

    I also find the world seems like it has a false shiny veneer over it, hiding a grey soulless existence behind it. I also feel a deep loss of innocence and feel like there is nothing for me to look forward to.

    Funny thing is though I go about my daily business as normal, sleep fine & have an appetite etc etc. I do only work part time from home though and still live with my parent at age 28, which I know may be one of the root causes that started this spiral of doom.

    Now I know what everyone is gonna say, I have to ignore the thoughts etc etc and live along side them. Thing is though I have been trying to do that, but it simply feels like even when they are not so obtrusive they are lingering in the wings to come back, never actually gone. I’m also having just the most brutal set back at the moment. It’s like a darker than normal cloud descends over me and all rationality I ever had is out the window completely, and i just feel completely futile and full of doom and deep dread. It even taints my past memories making me believe everything has always been bad, which I know they weren’t.

    Any way Paul or Will (remember he used to give some great advice in the past) or any one that can offer me any advice I would be most grateful as I feel like there is no future for me right now and its been a year and half already.


  469. Nick Says:

    I also wanted to say that, i’ve read pauls book and fully understand where it coming from and the theory behind it, it all makes perfect sense. But the knowledge just doesnt seem to be enough.

  470. Nick Says:

    What i mean but that is that i’m not confused about where the thoughts have come from as it is all explained in pauls book and on the site, I just feel like they hold some kind of inherent truth and hence can not ignore them. Also they come with such force that they literally incapacitate any reasoning have. Despite the fact that 2 years ago none of this stuff was even an issue or a concern or even knowledge to me.

    Sorry for the over posts.

  471. Matt Says:

    Nick, listen, these thoughts are useless and pointless…trust me on this. I had the same thoughts as you, and even worse. My days were filled with me believing that any minute I was going crazy, all day long. I had to understand that it was all, and I mean all, anxiety. You give it too much respect, that’s why those silly thoughts stick around. You have to learn to redirect them, meaning that when those obtrusive thoughts come and they come strong, believe me I know, you have to let them and tell yourself why they were there in the first place. You probably were doing good for awhile, then you had a weird thought, like me, that everything is pointless and worthless and because those thoughts scared you, they stick around.

    I am 30, and live with my parents as well. My wife and I moved in with them so we could finish school, she left me and I am still living with them a year later then I had planned. There is a future for you, but because you are starting to give these silly thoughts respect and you obsess over them, then you ruminate over them. What happens next? Well, anxiety takes over and then says, because you are scared then these pointless, ridiculous thoughts will keep coming with force. The fact that they scare you is reason enough to know that you aren’t going to commit suicide. I had the same thoughts as you did, I felt as though I was a child with no direction and no place in this world and that my own kids deserved better then me because I wasn’t competent enough to be a father or even contribute to this world. All utter nonsense!!

    This is part of DP thinking, at least, it was for me. The things I wanted to achieve before anxiety/DP set in were on the backburner. The more I obsessed and feared these thoughts and feelings, the more I fell away from normality, until I went from one extreme to the next. I began to believe that I was a worthless individual who would never accomplish his dreams. I mean, the things I hated about normal people, drinking at bars, dramas, etc. Seemed liked a fantasy to me because I didn’t believe I could ever be a normal person again. I know what it feels like, and it sucks sometimes, but they will go away if you give your mind a break.

  472. JAN TURNER Says:

    Please can somebody help me with not sleeping, I know that Paul says if you dont sleep then you dont sleep, but I still think I need to sleep otherwise I wont cope and that makes it worse, I think i am still fighting it, anyone struggling with this, and any advice greatly appreciated.
    Thanks Janx

  473. Sara. H. Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I have had anxiety for 10 long (!) years now and discovered this website about 18months ago. I am currently going through a massive setback which has just come out the blue and can really do with some advice! I feel like all the progress I made has in some way been lost and I have in the last week or so had a revisit to the darkest days of lying awake, just analysing, worrying and having some of the most negative thoughts. Just writing this I know it’s anxiety (although i do doubt it alot of the time, still believing there must be some truth in the thoughts) I know the theory and have been putting it into practice for ages, seeing real glimmers of hope and periods of almost “normalness” but I am just so frustrated that I am back again ruminating and stressing. I know this is classic setback stuff but I could do with some ressuarance that this is all it is and there is nothing to fear. It’s so frustrating as I just want to be happy (or at least content) and live my life normally without having this horrible thing hanging over me. Just having the thoughts of will I always have this thing and feeling down about the emotional pain it causes.
    Paul-I haven’t got Lucy’s email address yet, could you forward it on? I could really do with it at the mo, and would be great to have someone to bounce off!
    Any advice or reaasurance would be really, really appreciated.
    Thanks x

  474. Sara. H. Says:

    Jan-I am having trouble sleeping too and was one of the major symptoms of anxiety before for me. It is so frustrating but I think it is probably about following Paul’s advice about letting it be at the moment. Even if you think you need to fix it, we anxiety sufferers know that this doesn’t work so we need to trust in the voices of others who been through it and come out the other side. However hard it is!
    Take care x

  475. marcb Says:

    Jess …… Just to say I told my girlfriend this morning about my anxiety and she was absolutely fantastic. I was in tears as I told her but she barely batted an eyelid, told me she loved me for who I am and ahe also couldn’t believe I was so obsessed/worried about my imperfection! I now have someone I can talk to whenever I wish will be a great benefit for me. Thanks Jess, and thanks Lorry too …. x

  476. marcb Says:

    Hi all, I have a question for anyone who has recovered or are well on their way to recovery. Was there a stage when your anxiety came back with a vegence, as in you are going along well and then your anxiety almost realises this and comes back with even more force than before as if to say “I’m still around you know”. Many thanks ….Marc. x

  477. JAN TURNER Says:

    Sara, thanks for your reply, have figured out that my mind is trying so hard to control my life by fighting and not letting go so it can feel safe and try and protect me, its a lifetime habit. Its only by letting go really that we can control things, will take your advice about the sleep thing, its gotten way out of proportion. I think also we tend to catastrophise things way out of proportion to their importance. In the end nothing really matters that much.
    Wishing us all on here Peace of Mind!!

  478. Sara. H. Says:

    Hi Jan,

    No problem about the reply. That sounds about right about the lifelong habit!! I try to remind myself that I had about 8 years of severe anxiety before I found this website and after so long I can’t expect my mind to forget the habit. Its been 18 months since I first came on here-and there are no rules as to how long it will take…if nothing it’s teaching me to be more patient! I have just had a very productive day at work and have to say that my anxiety has lessened as I have involved myself in the day. But…12 hours ago I was catastrophising everything and blowing any slight worry or stress out of proportion so it was feeding on itself. I find it so frustrating that I don’t ever seem to learn this fully, that it will pass if I get on with my day and don’t give it any importance. I am hoping that eventually this will sink in for good. I have had so many positive days and negative ones too during my recovery that when a setback hits me that isn’t just the ups and downs of having anxiety it really knocks me for six and I find myself scrabbling around in my head, believing there is some truth in every negative thought I have!
    @ marcb-yes absolutley, I think that has been happening to me over the past few weeks and as I keep saying it has been really frustrating! Like I said a really positive day at work has put things into perspective for now, but I really wish I could let the negative thoughts and obsessive thinking just be when I have them for a prolonged period of time. I believe that this is another test of anxiety and I am sure I’ll come out the other side’s testing though!
    Also just wanted to say how much this website/blog has benefited me. Before I discovered it I truly thought I was the only one who had these difficulties. Doctors, anti depressants and to some extent counselling have not helped me as much as being able to pop on here and see myself in many of the posts. It’s just a shame I didn’t find it earlier!

  479. Lucy Says:

    Hi Sara H

    Just to say that I have your email address! I replied to other Sara’s email a few weeks back and you were copied in! Not sure that you got it though?! Will email you again but maybe in the meantime Paul could just check that you have my correct email address and I have yours? I’m also struggling quite a bit at the mo so the extra support would be brilliant :) and other Sara, if you are reading the posts still i replied to your email but im now wondering whether you received it?! Lucy x

  480. Sara. H. Says:

    Hi Lucy,

    I haven’t received anything and I’ve made sure the email I gave to Paul was correct. Hopefully will be in touch soon! Definatley would be good to get some more support!

    Take care
    Sara x

  481. JAN TURNER Says:

    I think that when we say setback ,its just a reaction to any stress in life that anyone would react to, because we have sensitised nerves the reaction is much greater, and the anxiety kicks in. We should not feel like failures, we are trying to fight something thats to be expected in the circumstances, we still have to feel some stress in life, try and think its just stress and it will pass, easier said than done I know.

  482. PAH Says:

    Hello folks,

    I’ve only ever posted a couple of times when I’ve felt really dreadful. Been working through anxiety for just over a year and my main issue has been obsessive horrible thoughts which all focus on the things that would scare/upset/repulse me most (loved ones etc). I’ve never stopped working and doing the thing I enjoy even though I’ve perhaps not felt like doing them, or worried about the physical symptons.

    I really understand and agree with the concept of not worrying about obsessive thoughts in favour of just getting on with life. and have been applying this ove the last 12 months. I’m at the stage were the thoughts come in and for the majority I can dismiss/live with them far easier than before.

    My main issue at the moment seems to be that whenever I’m not concentrating on a task such work or watching tv, there is a running commentry of encouragement (don’t worry about it, let them go etc) constantly going through my mind. This may well be preferable to some of my previous obsessions but it is hugely frustrating as it is just making me really aware that despite my progress, a year on, I still don’t feel right .

    Should I just allow the commentary to go on and not worry about it as with other obsessive thoughts? I think I know the answer but after a crappy nights sleep I gues I’m just after some encouragement!

  483. Jess h Says:

    Hi mattb, sorry iv taken a while to reply, iv been working shifts and havnt been on there!!! Glad u found the strength and courage to tell ur girlfriend it makes an amazing amount of difference once u know u have someone u can talk to and will listen!! in regards to your irrational thoughts an questioning them that is all they are thoughts they are not going to harm u at all, it’s your subconscious mind just bringing them into the fore front, when they come just let them be there don’t fight these thoughts just say, let it be in your head and they will slowly fade!!!! U will get back to being u, and Marc, having a cry dies not mean your heading backwards at all, I love a cry it let’s out all the built up tension!! Smile!!! Love Jess x x

    Hi Lucy, sorry to hear ur having a bad day!!! Please be reassured u will have these u will have heard Paul talking about good and bad days and set backs we just need to take these with a pinch of salt!! I promise whether it be relationship worries worries about hurting people u love they all fall under the anxiety bracket don’t try and separate the thoughts and question them, just let them all fall under one title of anxiety!, do u also have people u can turn to?? My sister was mine and helped me a great deal throughout my anxious thoughts, I can’t really remember the process of how my thoughts left me, I know that every time they came I just thought aw well let it be, it’s just cause I am anxious, I love my boyfriend family and would never hurt myself ever so it’s just my sensitive nerves!!! I promise try to pay them no attention and they will pass!!! Ul get to a stage where u won’t even remember how these silly thoughts made u feel!!
    In regards to my tummy, it’s been better iv had a few pains but instead of them lasting all day they last half hour or less as I don’t panic!!! Lol I do still worry that I’ll get them but this will go I am sure!!!

    Any other questions Lucy or march just ask although we don’t know each other we all know what the other is experiencing!!!

    Another good uplifting song is bob Marley, three little birds!!! One of my FAVS!!!!

    Love Jess x x x

  484. Hayley Says:

    Hi all,

    This is my fist post, I bought Paul’s Book a week ago and it made sense to me right away. Although I know deep down that I’ve just been stressed out about anxious feelings I have to keep reminding myself, I hope it will sink in eventually. I have only been suffering from this for about 2 months after I went through a stressful period which would have been fine but I got sick and had to take antibiotics and had a horrible reaction to them – problem was I have no idea what was wrong with me and why I felt so awfuk and panicked that I had some horrible disorder that I’d never recover from. I’ve been anxious about it ever since. I know what caused my symptoms originally but accepting that was not working and this has gone on for as long as it has because I’ve pretty much been feeling sorry for myself and wishing it would all just go away, fighting the constant thoughts that I will never recover. I think about it all the time, I have a few minutes of disctraction and then always come back to thinking about ‘it’. I have decided to do as Paul says and let the thoughts come, I am not my thoughts, I am me. I still feel sorry for myself and just want to go back in time but I can’t do that! I just wanted to know or get some advice about people that feel that they know for sure they will recover – did you have some kind of epiphany moment or did you just keep reminding yourself even though you didn’t believe it at first. For me I never stopped living my life even when I felt my worst so I was taking Paul’s advice without realising it at the time but I feel like I’m stuck with this doubt that I will ever go back to normal. I always feel worse in the morning – no symptoms now other than loss of appetite, but it’s the thought ‘it’s still there, I’ll never get better’. I feel like I want to cry sometimes but I don’t know if this is giving in to these thoughts or I should just give myself a break and have a good cry. I know that my symptoms and time suffered is nothing compared to many people on here but I’m confused about letting the thoughts come when they still scare me. I also feel that as I don’t really have physical symptoms that I can’t face them and let them pass as they are not there – that sounds silly but it’s the thought of never having my mind fully back or being at peace just mooching around shopping, or relaxing in the bath again that scares me. Thanks for any comments of advice.

  485. sophia Says:

    hi everyone,

    I have recently noticed that i think about a lot of things on a racing speed and take a lot of decisions based on that…
    adrenaline just pumps up…mood goes up so fast like how it goes down as well..but all my decision depends on these random thoughts about how i feel at a particular time….

    how do i analyse whether the decisions taken by me is the right one? because i feel i am on an emotional rollercoaster and i have only emotional reasoning for everything….

    i have noticed this only recently about this flaw of mine as each and everything in my life has an emotional tone which i feel is trapping me into anxiety and self aware thoughts…

    few moments of clarity will sudddenly result in palpitation as a random thought has so much of emotional relevance telling me that it is so right if i am telling myself its a wrong belief then i cannot accept in my conscious mind….

    this was pretty easy to snap out of every random -ve thought during those anxious days
    now i ‘feel’ ”normal” though i am tormented by random thoughts about things involving my daily life which feel so true and where i am the centre of every thought…
    how do i rectify these distorted thought pattern or atleast convince myself its distorted?

    any suggestions?

  486. Carlie Says:

    KM, that’s exactly what it feels like. Especially the part about how it feels weird to be yourself! Thank you for your comment. It’s always nice to know that someone else has the same thoughts as me (of course there are others here who can relate too). I’m just trying to be optimistic and not give these feelings so much power. Like Paul said in his book, they’re just feelings. And feelings always change. They make me think that I have to do something about the anxiety, like it’s this big problem… but I just have to tell myself that it’s not. It’s just making me think that.

    Matt, your post was helpful as always! I’m trying not to focus on my “memory problems” so much. I think a big part of it is the fact that I really haven’t been doing much, so naturally everything is kinda going to seem like a blur. I do think I’ll have a job soon, things are falling into place… so hopefully I’ll be working a lot and out socializing with other people.

    To sum this post up, I’m still easily “triggered” right now, I guess you could say. Those intrusive thoughts can easily make me upset, but I’m trying to tell myself that they’re not important and don’t deserve any of my attention.

  487. Angela Says:

    Hi everyone!

    Does anyone else find it hard to trust their instincts and feelings since they have suffered from anxiety? I started suffering about three years ago and generally anxiety doesn’t really interfere with my life anymore at all. Apart from that I generally lack confidence and as I said, I feel like through suffering from anxiety I don’t really trust my feelings and my gut instincts at all. This leads to me over thinking my daily life, and sometimes I worry that I am making the wrong choices. I am completely aware that this is part of life, but for me it seems really painful somehow when I sit and contemplate and worry that I am making bad choices. Anyone who has fully recovered, will this stop, or is this just part of being human?

    Thank you for reading and good luck to anyone who is inside the storm, trust me, it will get so much better for you, just accept accept accept and go towards your feelings. Unmask them, they cannot harm you, no matter how threatening they feel.


  488. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Jan says: Please can somebody help me with not sleeping, I know that Paul says if you dont sleep then you dont sleep, but I still think I need to sleep otherwise I wont cope and that makes it worse, I think i am still fighting it, anyone struggling with this, and any advice greatly appreciated

    I think you have got confused with what I said Jan. I did not say it is o.k to have no sleep. I said don’t make an issue out of it, just go to bed and don’t think about getting sleep, putting pressure on yourself to do so, this has the reverse effect.

    You stated somewhere else you worried about not getting sleep. This is your problem, it is like having a job interview early the next day and having no alarm clock, so you worry about not waking and end up waking every half an hour and having a really poor sleep.

    I went through the same thing and just ended up with the attitude of if I get plenty of sleep then fine, if not, then that is fine also, it is no longer an issue. I then slept far better and in time slept like a baby. Our mind is active enough, don’t give it another thing to think and worry about.

  489. Angela Says:

    Hi Paul,

    seeing as you are definitely recovered, is there any chance you could answer the post I left today? It’s generally about how to start trusting your feelings again I guess. I don’t really trust that I am right about stuff and overanalyse everything all the time and that makes me feel horrible and sometimes when I overdo it I will start to feel really anxious again. I can handle the anxiety, it’s just that I would like to be able to trust myself again and not have so much self doubt in general.

    Thanks !


  490. Angela Says:

    continuing….the thing is, when you start to realise that a lot of stuff you think when you’re feeling anxious is not true, you start to wonder which thoughts to trust and which not. I suppose when you sit down and think about things logically with a clear head than you can trust, but when you’re sad/anxious then you can’t trust? what about when you think one thing and people disagree? this completely throws me sometimes, I just feel weak, before I started suffering I was much more sure of myself. I was much more likely to speak my mind, now if someone disagrees with what I do or say, I worry endlessly that I could be wrong. I kind of always end up doing what I thought was right, but I feel there is a constant internal battle. A feeling that others somehow know better than me what is right and what isn’t and that I make terrible mistakes. I suppose I have made a lot of mistakes, and now I don’t trust myself anymore to make the right choices. This is a dangerous game however because it makes me vulnerable to outside influences.

    Sorry for rambling on, can anyone AT ALL relate to this ? ):

  491. Suzanne Says:

    Can someone shed light on this for me. I cannot feel the emotion of love with my partner while going through this season of anxierty. It has left me feeling very insecure and down. Looking forward to your responce.

  492. JAN TURNER Says:

    Paul, thanks for the advice, much appreciated. Jan.

  493. steve m Says:

    hi,hope everyone is doing ok.i havent been on this special website for 3 months,the reason is that after 4years of anxiety which have at times been unbearable and at best been filled with days of migraines and a host of other phyisical sensations,they have ALL COMPLETLEY GONE.i had to change jobs working longer hours with a new focus and this seemed to break the spell for me.i dont mean everyone should change there career its just that it took a new job for me to stop being frightened by myself.i know i have beat it cos i am not bothered one jot if it comes back,i have lost interest in it.this site has been a great help and although i have been pleased to read success stories i have also been a bit jealous thinking after 4yrs i was never going to quite get there.i now get what paul means when he talks about it no longer mattering whether you are anxious or not.when he said he could wake up tomorrow anxious again and although he wouldnt like it,it would not bother him too much i thought yeah right,but he IS right.if i can feel great again and confident i will carry on feeling good you all can.all the best to i said i have hardly posted on here just read the posts and comments really so i would like to thank all the people on here who post the advice and encouragement………………….steve

  494. Elaine Says:

    I am a bit disapointed we avnt been having psts for november and december and octobers was late . WHATS HAPPENING WE RNT GOING TO LOSE THIS FORUM ARE WE . Sine i joined things are not the same xx

  495. sophia Says:

    Hi Angela

    i have a similar problem where i go through emotional rollercoaster with a lot of emotions attached to each thought making me the centre of each thought…finally i get a wrong picture of the situation outside…

    it may not be wrong but since we give a lot of importance to our ”feelings” we take decisions based on how we feel?

    when we are tormented by thoughts we associate ourselves with the thoughts and thats how we relate to the situations and people..
    normal people also do the same…since our nerves are sensitised our emotions are 10 fold…

    so the best thing to do is…

    1. detach urself emotionally from the thought…no self-doubt..just do what should be done…delete the secondary thought…(can i do it? what will others think? these are anxious thoughts)

    2. whenever u r feeling emotionally overwhelmed…take a break…
    u dont have to continue thinking.. actually we are weaving a story of our own imagination…

    3.make a list of to do list…get the things done…gradually the mood wil ease feels clearer…
    think what you want for urself…
    be sure of who u r…tell urself i am a good hearted person with the ability to do things…its simply anxiety stopping me..
    so what i cant do…i will DO IT today.. content with ur decision…
    once decided be sure of it….
    standing for what u believe builds up ur confidence giving no room for self-doubt…self-doubt is the outcome of anxiety..

    life will soon turn out to be what u want if u persist on doing what u were avoiding…soon the time will come where u dont have any barriers to overcome…. :)

  496. Michelle M Says:

    I dont know what to do. Just as I thought i was getting so much better I have had one of the worst possible things that could happen to me and my family. My dad has just been diagnosed with lung cancer and secondary bone cancer. I havent been able to stop crying for more than an hour. My anxiety problems and intrusive thoughts started after my sister in law died of cancer on christmas eve and now im so worried if I am going to be worse than I am/was. What else could now happen to me? I am so worried that this is going to tip me over the edge mentally? What can I do?

    Any ideas or advice would really be appreciated. Thanks

  497. Samuel Says:

    Hello again everyone, just wanted to add a positive post as I see lots of you struggling with this problem we share,
    My anxiety started years ago but came and went with me having no idea what was happening to me- lots of the symptoms I see on here in varying intensity.
    Paul’s book and this blog has helped me understand what’s going on and given me the awareness to start coming out the other side of the condition we all know only too well.
    My anxiety clings on to me in the form of constant thoughts about my end and I do struggle to accept our time is short and one day I won’t be around- I’m interested if others have conquered this fear of our mortality in the same way as the other symptoms? I do have faith in what Paul teaches but struggle with the constant worry of what will cause the end for me….. Any advice would be a great help but I just want to say to everyone you can recover and will if you let your tight grip on it go….

  498. elaine Says:

    its so normal you are feeling this even people who dont suffer with anxiety would feel like you do they just dont show it . You wont be tipped over the edge you are stronger than you think . YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS XXX

  499. Steveo Says:

    @Elaine – Paul doesn’t necessarily do monthly posts. He does not get paid for doing what he does, he hosts this site and moderate’s it, along with amazing input because he wants to help people out.

    There are many other people who are recovered or recovering who contribute on here without the necessity for it to be only Paul. His posts are amazing and I would like to read an amazing great positive post from him everyday, but that’s not going to happen.

    Paul also has his own life to lead.

    Paul will have another idea in mind – as he has said before, he doesn’t want to post for the sake of it.

  500. JP Says:

    Samuel: The mortality thing is definitely something I thought a lot about, its hard to comprehend. A few things were helpful for me: firstly, its not unusual to be anxious about death as everyone is, its the thing we all share. Secondly, you can’t change the fact it will happen which leaves you with two choices: worry and fret about it, or recognize your own mortality and use it as an incentive to live as best you can. Finally, it helped me to think about what would happen if no one died – and it led me to the conclusion that nothing would happen, people wouldn’t be motivated or love or do anything, the world would be overpopulated and existence wouldn’t work – an important part of life is death, this doesn’t mean we should let it rule our life or be afraid of it.

    I started suffering with anxiety about 6 months ago. I went through about 2 horrible months and this site was so important in helping me through it. With CBT I think I am almost over it. Obviously there are still moments of struggle, but there has been big periods where I have been OK and most days are more or less OK. So there is some positive hope for all of you.

    Something I did want to ask (there is always something..): headaches seem to be part of my anxiety, and while they are never that bad I am always frightened of them and worry that they might last forever or be a sign of something worse or lead me to be more anxious. Its a cycle I am struggling to break a bit.. any advice or can people relate?

  501. JP Says:

    I also wanted to reply to Nick, who posted on the 5th of December. Existential thoughts like that were/are a major problem for me – i know what you mean, you can’t ignore them because they seem to hold some kind of inherent truth about the reality of the world. I started to read a lot about philosophy, which makes you realise how many people have had thoughts about meaning/our place in the world etc. They DID NOT get depressed by it or anxious about it in the way we do, because for us it is also intrusive thoughts/anxious tricks etc. You should be able to think about these things when you want, and then turn it off, this means that it is intrusive thoughts playing tricks on you, so treat it like you do other intrusive thoughts. Also, maybe read some of these quotes:

  502. jackie Says:

    I think paul posted that he was working on a new post which was very time consuming and given the time of year also :)

    Hope everyones going along ok, i can see the light at the end of the tunnel on occasions and have had a good couple of weeks. This week i have taken a step back but know that there will be two steps forward coming soon. Xxx

  503. Matt Says:

    michelle…..I am so sorry about what you are going through. I am going through a divorce, not the same thing I know, but when it first happened I thought I was going over the edge as well. I had a breakdown, which was really just panic attacks that kept reoccurring for about a week until I took paul’s advice at that time and got better. people with anxiety problems always suffer twice as much with life on life’s terms situations. You have to take the advice of what was working with anxiety in the beginning and allow yourself to feel the feelings you’re going through, because it is only natural that you would feel these feelings anyways. By the way, i’ve never heard of anyone with anxiety that has completely lost it mentally. I know that may not be of much help now, but it doesn’t happen. I know it’s tough right now, but what you are feeling right now is completely normal. Hang in there it will be ok.

    On a side note, My Dp seems to be fading more and more, and I can think a little more clearly then I used to. The problem I keep experiencing is that 24/7 self-awareness that paul talk’s about in his book. It’s like I am tuned in to my thoughts and actions all the time and it’s very hard to shake at times. I guess I just have to keep on not caring and it will pass eventually, but it is so frustrating. I am just feeling better with the progress I’ve made so far and will continue to soldier on.

  504. natalie Says:

    just wanted to say hi !! not been on here for a while and just by chance thought i would just look in.. mainly to see if you had written a new post paul as i fiind them very very inspiring. I have been doing ok .. in fact completely forgetting that i ever struggled with anxiety. Its still there a little in the back ground namely if i have had a really busy or stressful day.. but usually i don’t even notice until i go to bed and then my head feels fuzzy and i have that ringing in my ears, and in the mornings when i wake i feel the buzzing in my ears and my thougths race a little.. but you know what its ok, i don’t even think how do i feel today has it gone away .. like i used to i just say time to get up and get on with my day :) !! i don’t know if it will go totally but i have accepted this is how i am for now, i look back at this time last year and i have come on so far.. whose to say how i will be next year. So guys hang in there .. there is hope… you WILL get better. Just don’t put to much pressure on yourself, realise that it takes time.. but always remember your body was designed to fi its self.. it is constantly renewing and healing, but it takes time !!!! matt reading your post made me thhink of my brother, his wife left him and he moved in with my parents and three years later has only just moved out with his new girlfriend to his new place, but it ws a hard road for him, but you know what he probably had same feelings and sensations as me.. but he never got as anxious as i did .. simply because he accepted it all as normal after what he had been through and never questioned or berated himself about it.. that is the key… its part of life EVERYONE goes through bad times and emotions its part of life.. i realise this now … and rather than be ashamed this has happened to you .. see it as a life experience, and when out the other side .. like i am now… you will be so proud that you weathered the storm and lived to tell the tale :) x i have some way to go but am living a normal life i see my friends i go out i enjoy my life again, but this time i have learnt not to expect to much from myself from life from those around me, life is just about living one day at a time and feeling all that it has to offer. keep the hope and trust in your body x

  505. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Elaine says: I am a bit disapointed we have not been having posts for november and december and octobers was late . WHATS HAPPENING WE ARENT GOING TO LOSE THIS FORUM ARE WE . Since i joined things are not the same xx

    Elaine as others say I don’t post every month, just when I feel the time is right. I have posted over 100 so far and if I post 1 every week then I will just be repeating myself. With over 500 replies to this post, then things are certainly the same, if not better as you now have others posting and helping, people who have improved and give up their own time to help.

    The whole idea is to write a new post now and again and then let others advise/support and get to know each other. I come on most days to moderate the place and this is now solely done by me. I delete around 20 posts a day, most of it spam, but the odd post for different reasons, this I think is the reason it is so friendly and helpful as I really try and moderate it for the benefit of all. It is not a forum, it is a blog, but I want it to be a place for people to find some support and know they are not alone.

    I am very busy at the moment and my replies and posts have been down recently, but this is because I am working very hard on something anxiety related, it will all be revealed soon. But it is taking up so much of my time and as others say I have to have a life outside this site. I do also run my main site which receives many emails/enquiries each day, it also needs updating. I also post quite a lot on twitter and try and keep a social life going. There is more to it than people think.

    Are you going to lose this place?

    Not a hope in hell, I will never let it go whilst people post here. I was a very lonely person in my early years of suffering, with no one to talk. no one who could help or understand, no one who could support and advise me. I don’t want anyone else to go through that, so I know how much this place means to people, esp those who just arrive.

    Yes I post/moderate/run the blog, but it is all the people here who make it what it is, I have met some wonderful people on here and it never ceases to amaze me how friendly and helpful some are, whilst going through their own issues.


  506. John J Says:

    Hello everyone,

    I always seem to come on here posting the same thing.

    I manage to get to a good point, where I am accepting and letting the anxiety be, and then I read something in the news or see it on Tv and it really shakes me up.

    I had just gotten over the reports of the famous UK football player, and I was accepting my thoughts again, then this week within days of eachother there have been reports of Fathers doing the unthinkable to their families.

    These reports have been within days of eachother and they have really got to me because one of my greatest fears is harming my family or myself, and reading these stories in the news or hearing them on the radio makes me ask questions of myself. “I am capable of that?” “What made them do that?” “Will I end up doing something like that because I have had these thoughts?”

    It is so frightening because whenever I read stories like this it really makes me scared and worried that my thoughts are somehow telling me that I will end up like that. That is the last thing I want. I want to carry on accepting the thoughts, but when the news if full of this, it is so hard to get the right distance.

    Should I stop reading all news and listening to the radio? Should I avoid all conversations about things like this at work?

    And again, asking for reassurance, does having had the horrid thoughts of harm floating round your head mean that you are really thinking these things? Does it mean that I am more likely to ‘flip’ because my mind is weak?

    Sorry to go on, I just want to hear from someone else who has had these type of thoughts or from people who get scared by the news reports and have the same disturbing thoughts.

  507. jackie Says:

    Hi John J

    These thoughts you have are sticking around because of the importance you are placing on them. Remember, thoughts are just that, thoughts. They are for information only, they are not fact at all.

    All your “what if’s” are frightening you. When you have these thoughts you are going round and round in the same circle. You see the news, you feel scared, so your body reacts to that thinking well there must be some danger here, so you start thinking “what if I” then that places more stress and worry on your body, thoughts continue etc.

    You won’t end up doing something you have read or seen on TV. It is just the thought of it scares you so much. Don’t stop watching the news or talking about it, as this will tell your body and mind that there is really something to be scared of and keep you trapped in the circle.

    When you are in the grip of these anxious thoughts try and think and feel the truth which is of course no you would never do those things. Of course you wouldn’t, you wouldn’t be so frightened of it otherwise. When you have these thoughts try and carry on with what you are doing without placing loads of worry on the thought. What I did, was think, Oh there you are again, that thought again and then I just carried on with what I was doing or if I wasn’t doing anything, just played a game on my phone.

    I have horrible thoughts still but notice that they don’t come with such force anymore, they can sit in the back of my mind most of the day sometimes, but you have to let them. They will go eventually, you have to trust that.

    I always remember saying to my Doctor, what you have written about are you more likely to “flip” cos you have those thoughts. He smiled at me and said, “You’re brain can’t mash like that” :)

    Hope this helps a bit and makes some sense xx

  508. Angela Says:

    Hi John,

    don’t worry about these thoughts. It’s pretty horrible to talk or think about these issues and I also get affected by that. You think to yourself, what made these people do this? It’s pretty scary. The difference ,I think, between someone who hasn’t got anxiety and someone who does, is that when the non anxiety person thinks about these kinds of tragic events, they will be nothing but a fleeting thought. They will get an emotional reaction to it, yes, BUT it will not be as strong as yours or mine is. Then because of the huge emotional reaction, you start to think about it more and more, and thoughts then multiply. Thoughts just get bigger and bigger and more and more powerful, that’s what they do in your head. They stick and the more you don’t like them and the more they scare you and the more you want them gone- the longer they’ll stay! they become really powerful as you know. BUT remember, this only happens because you are in a sensitised frame of mind. I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t avoid conversations, don’t avoid reading the news. Just know that this is one of your fears and your reaction to it is powerful but that won’t mean that you’ll ever hurt yourself or your family. You need to get to a place where you can have a million of these thoughts running through your head, and not care. You will just know one day that they are meaningless, they will then lose their power over you and then they’ll go away! the next time you have those thoughts, just see them as what they are, just thoughts that you’re momentarily having about something that scares you a lot. Say you had a phobia for example, you didn’t like snakes, every time you think about a snake you get the chills. You feel anxious, your skin crawls etc. Now, how do people get over phobias? EXPOSURE. They have to become de-sensitised to what it is they fear, what you fear is the thoughts of hurting someone you love and you take this thought as truth. But it is not truth, you need to desensitise yourself to this thought or this cluster of thoughts, rather than worrying about it.

    To Sophia,

    Thank you for replying to my post! Your kind words definitely helped me a lot! I just need to stop worrying and be a bit more confident in my choices and understand that in time I will become more confident and then what people say or do won’t affect me as much. I hope that you are feeling good!


  509. Angela Says:

    hey again John!

    I just wanted to add:

    How about you and I and everyone else on this blog just cut out all the WHAT IF’s ??? wouldn’t that be nice !???


  510. Angela Says:

    sorry for spamming, can anyone tell me how to get Paul on twitter? I am new to it and would really like to follow him!

  511. jackie Says:

    Hi Angela, If you go to the main site and click on the “About Me” page, right at the bottom is the link you can click which takes you to Pauls Twitter : )

  512. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Yes as Jackie says it is on the bottom of each page on the main site and at the bottom of every post on here, or just copy and paste the below Angela :-)!/anxietynomoreuk

  513. Nick Says:

    Just wanted to say thanks to Matt for the early response. I realize I have to work on how I handle these thoughts better especially in bad patches, its nice to know though someone feels very similar and is still at home with their parents too. I think its really the hopelessness and feelings of futility and not being able to cope that get me the most and not being able to see light at the end of the tunnel. I realise though I must take a leap of faith almost and trust that things will be fine if I stick to the plan.

    @ John J – It was actually so weird reading your post as I had the exact same reaction to the Gary speed story. Sent my anx stratospheric particularly worrying I would do the same etc to myself. Was a brutal few of days. You can see my post earlier , when I was in the thick of it.

    I also had similar thoughts after Amy Winehouse died and also during the riots I became increasingly agitated and hugely worried. I see the pattern now though and I can see the negative thought/fear cycle in action. I am training myself to simply observe thoughts now and almost take a step back. Every time they pop up now I almost single them out and say to myself ‘oh theres a negative/scary thought I just had, thats because of my anxiety i’m not going to give it any respect as it’s just a product of my anxiety and holds no truth even though it feels like it might’.

    Im not sure if i’m allowed to post links but will give it a a go as I read a really great article on another anxiety site which reflects most of the the sentiments of this site and also gives a bit of historical context. Really interesting and reassuring too..

  514. Vamanan Says:


    I personally find the article enlightening. Thanks for sharing it.

    To those who are feeling despair, I want to tell you that I had been there just few months ago. Even though I am not recovered yet, I enjoy things I used to enjoy now. Hang in there and just live one day at a time.



  515. Matt Says:

    Nick…Yeah, it sucks still living with my parents at 30, but I’ve learned to be ok with it for the time being. I realize that it won’t always be this way and I had a lot of the same feelings as you do. I felt like a failure because at this age I should have my own house and everything in order, which I did at one point years ago, and instead I allowed anxiety to keep me from living my life to the fullest. I had to understand that this is temporary and one day I will have my own place again and everything will be back to normal. It’s just making it from point A to point B right now. I had that same outlook like everything seems gray and pointless, but that is just part of the anxiety condition that most people have. And, after reading other posts, it is something that goes away through time.
    You have to understand, like I did, that things aren’t hopeless and life will be back to normal eventually. The hopelessness, for me, came from my current state, you make a habit of negative thinking and then it becomes you and all you feel is worthless and hopeless because you stay in an endless thought loop of observing and analyzing your feelings which bring about a false sense of who you are. What really, really helped me is realizing that I wasn’t like that a few years ago before I had problems with anxiety, I didn’t feel hopeless and defeated, so why would I feel that way now? Well, it’s because of anxiety that makes us feel that way. I had to learn to train my mind to think about positive things in my life, and though it’s difficult, it works after awhile because anxiety is all about negative thoughts. Thoughts are just thoughts, be ok with the negative ones and see them for what they really are, anxiety that comes from adrenalin. I truly believe that I will be back to normal one day, regardless of whatever ridiculous thoughts I have or feelings I have, because i’ve learned that it was a habit I created myself. Just like someone that is overweight that exercises and becomes healthy, I had to get better by accepting what I am going through and retrain my negative thought habits.

  516. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Nick links are o.k as long as it goes with the general theme of what I believe in as people can be sent on all sorts of tangents and then gte confused. Also links to anyone selling stuff are totally not allowed, mostly these are placed in by someone connected to the site anyway and are taken straight out before they even reach the blog. The last one is someone owning a site and what they do is place theirs or other people’s articles around a site full of adverts or affiliated products. They are not interested if you like the article or not, just if you click on the adverts or affiliated products around the site. I have and will never have any adverts or affiliated products on my site.

    I will leave that article up as it has some good points, but it also put there so people go to his site which is linked at the bottom and top of the article and is all leading up to hypnotherpy being the answer as he wants people to come to him and pay £55 an hour and this is what I have a problem with, who seriously needs to charge that to make a living with no overheads? So I will leave it up for a couple of days for anyone that wants to read it, then take it down.


  517. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Just a quick message. I will be writing a new post on January 2nd, sorry it has been a while, but all will be revealed on what I have been working on as soon as it is done.

    The post will hopefully be very helpful and it is something I have been thinking about for a while, it is entitled two roads and it gives you the chance to take the road that looks safe and non threatening, but leads nowhere, or one that does not look so inviting, but gives you so many rewards. It is also going to be in the next update of the book, I feel it is that important. So hopefully it will help.

    Also I used to have a friendship page on my main site that worked o.k, but had a lot of problems with people not updating email addresses and then wanted to be put on and taken off, it really was a pain to run and came down. I have just created a twitter page for this very thing, I am sure it will work far better this way as people can opt in and out of their own accord and all details will be kept bang up to date. It is not for advice or any sort of dating site, just for people who may feel a little isolated or lonely, maybe they have children and don’t have as many people around to talk with as they once did and just want a friendship. There is no set sterotype, it can be for anyone just looking for a pen pal or friendship for whatever reason.

    Not sure if this would interest people, I am going to ask around and see what feedback I get before posting the address to join.

    Thanks Paul

  518. Hayley Says:

    Hello All,
    This blog has been a real help and boost to me though I’m going to go cold turkey for a while as I don’t want to become reliant on it. I feel like t I’ve lost a lot of the fear surrounding getting on with everyday life as I forced myself to go out and get on with things regardless. I never really had bad symptoms, just nausea and dread mostly but I’ve only been like this for about 2/3 months. I feel like crying alot but then try to remind myself that I have nothing to cry about as I will recover from this. I’m finding this hard to accept though.

    I think I’m finding it hard as I can still remember how easy things were and life and thinking day to day were not such a chore at times. I cannot shift this continual thinking about what has happened to me and it seems impossible to wake up and not have it playing on my mind all day. I guess it will fade but I want to be sure of that. I lost my trust in myself and feel like that’s what I’m most upset about.

    I let the thoughts be there but I’m not really sure what I’m even thinking about, it’s not scary thoughts, it’s just ‘yep it’s still there’ but without the dialogue if that makes sense! I must still be scared of anxiety.

    I know I put too much pressue on myself to be happy as I have a pretty good life and feel like I shouldn’t be making a big deal out of this as I’ve not felt this way for very long so feel guilty. It was one seemingly stupid event which has changed me. I find myself remembering events from a few months ago when everything was fine and I was happy and it makes me cry, like I’m mourning myself.

    I know I’m better than I was at the beginning but I can’t shake the memory of this so I feel like I’m stuck, how can I be ok with something that affected me so badly? Does anyone have any advice about being stuck?

    I feel happy sometimes but lately since reading Paul’s book and realising this is not going to disappear over night I don’t have the relief moments I used to when I was denying it all. I’m not sure if that makes sense. I guess I just think this isn’t happening to me. I have never been an anxious person and considered myself to be incredibly confident and strong, and the funny thing is that I feel my best when I’m teaching, out with friends, performing, etc, but then when I’m alone I remember…it’s like a cloud following me. I feel a tiny bit anxious before big events but I’m sure I would ahve before but never taken any notice.

    I try not to analyse but my persistent ‘scary’ thoughts are analysis (what if I never recover is the main one) so do I just let them be or say no, don’t analyse which would be stopping them!? Can anyone relate to this?

  519. Hayley Says:

    Sorry just an add, but does anyone else dread going home rather than going out? I live with my boyfriend but we moved to a new flat just after this all started and hw works late so isn’t there when I get home for hours. I think I felt so alone during the few days I thought I was loosing it that I fear being alone with my own thoughts and the memory, I worry I’ll make myself worse, etc. It’s always ok when I get home and I make dinner, watch TV, do some DIY, phone someone, but will this dread ever go away?!

  520. Andreas Says:

    Hi guys! And Paul :-)

    Bought your book about 1.5 year ago and it truly helped immensly. But now im stuck again :( Seems i have forgotten what acceptance is… I keep telling myself this is the way i feel and im going to do absolutely nothing to try to get rid of this feeling” and “everything is ok exaktly the way it is until my brain recoveres.
    But when I try to do absolutely nothing to evade my anxiety and thoughts my brain is totally confused and doesnt seem to know what to focus on, feels like im on open sea in a terrible storm and no foothold. A truly horrifying feeling of no foothold in my mind. Often get this feeling when i wake up and dont have anxiety and my brain doesnt know what to focus on, its totally lost and this is SO horrible. Seems like my brain NEEDS the anxiety to have something to hold on to, focus on, and have a foothold. Don’t know if this makes any sense. Read in your book and on your site that you should drop sayings. I do keep telling myself that “everything is ok just the way it is” and “i will not try to escape anxiety” are these sayings i need to drop? Feels like if i try not to tell myself those things im trying “NOT TO THINK” which really doesn’t work. Feel so lost :(

    Thanks for an awesome book and helpful posts here!


  521. Andreas Says:

    Forgot to add that previously to trying to accept with “everything is ok exactly the way it is until my brain recoveres” and “i will not try to escape anxiety” i tried some approaches that i think werent so good.. Like, forcing concentration to get out of “being trapped in my mind”, focusing intensly on my enviroment and conversations i was in, ignoring the anxiety and pretending/acting everything is fine. A
    All those attempts worked fine for a day or so until i violently crashed and my brain felt like scrambled eggs and was very sensitive to sounds, light and extremely trapped in my mind and attached to my thoughts, to the degree that I had to focus on my breathing and feeling of my soles when i walked otherwise it felt like i was going to be swallowed by my own mind and never find my way out again. A completely horrifying feeling.
    When i look back i think those methods were kinda “antiaccepting” and I have a feeling my mind now is totally confused and expects me to keep avoiding the anxiety and doesnt want to think of or feel the anxiety and thoughts. Feels like its painful to even think, so trapped in my mind when i perform everyday tasks like eating my movements are jerky cuz i get sucked into my mind constantly and it interrupts my motion or something :(
    Read Pauls book a few times and from time to time i reread some specific sections but I am so lost and confused at the moment. Feels like I am trying to accept my situation but my brain wants none of it, when im in confused state my brain is lost and doesnt quite know where to land. I have forgotten how to just BE. Probably cuz of all the methods I have tried to get rid of the anxiety.
    Hope somebody can come with some input… :)

  522. Steveo Says:

    Sounds exciting Paul!!

    Looking forward to reading the new post and seeing the developments.

  523. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Thanks Steveo and sorry for the few typos in my last post, I must always check before submitting, all sorted now.

  524. Angela Says:

    Hi Andreas,

    I’m sorry you’re having such a tough time at the moment. Just try to accept the way you feel, even if you’re scared of how you feel. Nothing bad will happen to you and you will not in fact be swallowed up by your own mind and never find your way out again. It is in the places we fear that peace lies. Just let go of controlling it and it will disappear, the more scared you are of the feelings the more powerful they will become. Remember as well that just because it feels terrifying, it really doesn’t mean that it is threatening in ANY way. It just feels that way. Just leave it alone, it’s not important. It’s just a feeling.

    I hope this helps a bit. Just know that you’re not alone in this and that this too shall pass.


  525. Matt Says:

    Hey Andreas,

    I went through the same thing in the depths of my anxiety. You did the same thing I did, which was “do” instead of don’t do. With anxiety, I subconsciously put importance on how I was feeling and thinking which gave the anxiety all the fuel it needed to keep me feeling confused and lost. The fact is that you aren’t lost, your mind is just so, so, very tired that even the simplest tasks seem monumental. Of course they would be on a tired mind, when my mind was healthy I was always focused on things outside of myself, looking forward to events, that sort of thing. Anxiety is cunning and baffling, it can sneak up on you and weld itself on your personality before you even know what happens, and then the baffling part comes from how can I feel or think this way when I used to be normal and we then wear ourselves out with the introspection and constant focus on us.

    I got so bad that I believed that I was going to drive myself crazy with silly thoughts and then anxiety feeded on that for months to the point where I believed I was going to be locked away in a mental hospital and that would be that. Anxiety can put irrational, horrible, things in our minds and because it is our own minds we question it and can almost convince ourselves that it might be true. I also had the being sensitive to sights, sounds, and anything else you can think of. I couldn’t even watch t.v. because I was afraid I was going to have nasty thoughts that would consume me, and that was from watching anything from the news to spongebob squarepants.

    What worked for me, was to coax this fear out of my mind manually. Meaning, well, If i’m confused then it’s because I place to much importance on my own analyzing and sitting in my own head, so I need to get busy doing something else. If I was sensitive to whatever, I had to tell myself it was because “I” created this bad habit of thinking and being too aware. I had to follow my symptoms with the truth, and at first, it didn’t seem like it was working too well, but the more you redirect yourself in understanding why you are going through what you are, it becomes a positive habit that, well, gets kinda boring after awhile once you focus on other things. The beauty comes when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and living becomes living again, instead of barely surviving based on a condition that makes us feel like that. Read paul’s book again, and keep the understanding of what you are going through with you, a tired mind, nothing more, nothing less. A sensitive, tired mind can blow anything out of proportion and is extremely vulnerable. It will get better, I promise.

  526. KM Says:

    I read a great quote today I thought i’d share, “Peace comes when we forget fear”! I really like it after having a few rough days :)

  527. Sally Says:

    Very nice KM a good thought X

  528. dave Says:

    I am slowing recovering, DP is decreasing, anxiety is less etc

    My question was what does it mean when we say it comes off in layers?

    Also do the symtoms decrease slowly as well? (ie) tightness of head/scalp are still there but less.

    Any shared thoughts would be great.


  529. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    The excellent film made by someone who posted here, has now won an award, going on to a grand final and is now on you tube.

    Thanks to John for making such a great film

  530. Eli Says:

    Hi everyone, I guess i just started my real road to recovery even though I have read Claire Weekes’s book 6 months ago (when this started) and still do along with Paul’s book. This is a question to those who are recovered or very close to doing so:

    By reading Paul’s book and hope and help for your nerves it mentions that you should expect setbacks because they are part of the process and that your nerves are still sensitized or that a memory can trigger an anxious response. My question has two parts:

    A) how can you not think of anxiety when you are expecting a setback?
    B) over time does your reaction to the setbacks improve or do the setbacks themselves become less impact full or both?

    Thanks for the replies.

  531. Steff Says:

    Have been doing so well, had a setback yesterday and feel complete rubbish! Went shopping by public transport which I have been avoiding for months didn’t feel any fear at all! Shopped for 6 hours perfectly fine, actually enjoying myself! Then I felt faint, had to sit on the shop floor and the shop assistant bought me a glass of water! I have woken up this morning feeling sick and panicking that Im going to faint – feel so rubbish :(

  532. marcb Says:

    Hi all, I’ve been feeling ok of late, just been getting on with my day and living my life as best I can. The last couple of nights tho I have been waking up feeling awful as i am dreaming about my anxiety, in the dreams my anxiety is a hundred times worse and there is never any hope o can get better, is this common? Does anyone else have or have had this? I’d be grateful for any replies, thank you…. marc x. .:……………………….steff, read the top line of your post, u was doing well!…… And u had a setback, setbacks r normal, u WILL get them, next time u get a setback see it as normal! Marc x

  533. Sally Says:

    Hi Steff
    Just put it down to a bad day and move on don’t dwell and analyse it all,as Claire Weekes says its the worry that tenses that makes the adrenelin which make the horrible feelings.This is something I am learning myself after many years of fighting.Wishing you calm Sally X

  534. Michelle M Says:

    Thanks for your kind reply Matt. Thinking of you also. Having a tough time at the moment and the thoughts are there every minute of every day at the moment which is hard. Still, I will get through this. All the best everyone.


  535. Robbie Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I haven’t been on here in quite some time. I’ve felt really well over the past 7-8 months with not a lick of anxiety symptoms, then all of a sudden two days ago I felt that tingling of adrenaline down my arms coupled with the flushed face and sweaty forehead I have when I become anxious. I’m really not sure what caused it, but I didn’t sleep well that night, which made yesterday garbage. The only thing I know that brought it on was for some reason, I thought back to how I felt with anxiety and the thought stuck into my head “what if I become anxiety ridden again.” That thought scared me to the core. So I came to this site and that’s when I read this blog. One thing that hit home was regarding the fact that sometimes we stay in the clutches of anxiety because we are scared of anxiety. That’s where I think I’m at. Any suggestions on how to get past this would be very helpful.

    Now, I would also like to reply to Eli’s post:
    1. It is hard to not ever think of anxiety when you know you are going to have setbacks. That’s the spot in which I find myself stuck, so maybe we can get through this together. I really think the key to this one is the main message from Paul – just accept it. I need to accept that I “have” anxiety and realize that a setback will happen. However, if I go looking for them or expecting them, then I’m just making it worse because I am wasting needless energy worrying about something that may or may not come. During my initial bought with anxiety 3 years ago, I recoved and then didn’t have a setback for over 2 years. If I would have spent all that time worrying about it, think about how unproductive that would have been! I’m kind of rambling here, but I think the key is to accept that you have anxiety, take a bad day or moment for what it is – just a bad day or moment – but don’t let it ruin your day or keep you from doing what you need or want to do.

    2. My experience with setbacks is that they are not as severe nor long lasting as the initial bought. They may seem that way as you felt good for a while and when an anxiety symptom returns it seems worse than it really is. What helps most with a setback is that you know what it is and don’t have to waste all your time and energy trying to figure out what’s bothering you. You can just recognize it for what it is and then move on.

    Hope that helps, but again, if anyone can help me through the spot I’m in now, it would be most appreciated.


  536. DCYL Says:


    Your question brings up something I’ve been thinking about. About two or three weeks ago, I had exercised at my office gym and at the last moment decided to stop by a local school to watch a sports event. Along the way, I said hi to a few folks I knew at the school.

    Afterward, I headed home and realized that my anxiety subsided. I was thinking clearly and felt about as relaxed as I had been in a long while. Remembering Paul’s words, I didn’t jump for joy. I enjoyed it as much as I could and in the weeks since, things have been ok, though I’ve had some ups / downs.

    In remembering more Paul’s words, sometimes, it’s not the anxiety itself that leads to setbacks, but the memories, which lead to worries. Let me relate this to an injury I had over a decade ago.

    I severely sprained (or maybe did something else) my ankle and couldn’t walk straight for over a year and a half. I remember being frustrated that the doctor couldn’t tell me what was wrong and things weren’t getting better. In time, things did get better (long story how) and my ankle healed.

    I slowly returned to playing sports. While I was physically pretty good, mentally, I was still “checking in on my ankle”. Every little ache or pain, I started wondering if my ankle would hold up while playing sports. I think this held me back as I was afraid to get hurt again so I didn’t always go 100% while playing sports.

    Yet, four or five years ago, I had still been playing sports fine without any problems and during the spring/summer, things sudden “clicked”. I realized my ankle wasn’t bothering me and I was just focused on playing and not on my ankle.

    I think my experience with my ankle is similar to the anxiety we’ve all had. The experiences have been difficult and we have memories of these experiences. So even though Robbie had healed (for the most part), just the memory of these experiences can cause WORRY. Worry leads to “what if’s” and us checking in ourselves (just like I checked on my ankle) and then suddenly we’re back on the anxiety train.

    I don’t have a straight answer on how to handle this besides what Robbie and/or Paul would say: “Accept it”.

    The other thing I think is helpful to note for those of us getting better is that we’re not going to feel GREAT every day. However, when we’ve had anxiety and then you had a bad day or sleepless night (been there / done that), sometimes, we start overanalyzing things too. It’s a habit I’ve had lately that I am trying to overcome.

    I would be curious if Paul or others have further thoughts.

  537. Robbie Says:

    Thanks DCYL for your response. It makes total sense! The memories are what’s causing me to overanalyze everything, just like someone who goes through a tramatic experience.

    You’re right about the fact that were not going to have a GREAT day every day. Even “normal” people have there ups and downs. The difference is that we tend to overanalyze it while everyone else just plays it up to a bad day and moves on.

  538. Jennifer Says:

    Had a much better 1 or 2 weeks and managed to not come on here and start living a bit more then bam woke up sweating and anxious and then it means I can’t really eat hardly again and then I start to feel bad and the cycle goes round again. I was getting better physically (apart from headaches ad ringing ears) then it seems I am so disappointed that I feel so bad again that it just sprials again. I am really struggling with concentration and chatting and THAT IS THE WORST for me. As socialising really helps me feel more like me. Everyone’s post are soo encouraging but it so hard not to feel sorry for yourself. This conditions makes it so damn hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel, everything is filled with feeling anxious constantly, it just seems to be one symptom after another. I do have some peaceful moments, but not enough to carry me through. I hate eing negative on this blog as everyone is bein so brave and inspiring to me. I just can’t imagine recovery right now and feel so alone
    x x

  539. Andreas Says:

    Hi again guys!
    BIG thanx to Matt and Angela for taking time to answer my cry for help! :)
    I had major issues with recalling HOW to accept the feelings. You are so right, one needs to surrender, let ones guard down and just let the anxiety (anxiety is ones feelings is it not? even though its kinda malfunctioning) have its way until it goes away. Don’t know why but I have had a very hard time finding acceptance and HOW to allow myself to feel.
    I thought i was accepting all time but i think all i did was thinking acceptance, with “it’s ok just the way it is” and so on, but i did not DARE to feel it somehow… Yet again i was so owned by the anxiety and had pushed it so far away that i found it hard to allow myself to feel.
    Kinda scary, it’s like my brain fooled me to think i was accepting just so it would not actually deal with the pain.
    Anyways, i feel like I am on the right path again! :)
    Also I have come to terms with that my therapist may not be so read up on anxiety and probably has given me some doubtful advice…

    I told her that i was trapped in my mind and could not focus outward at all and asked her if she had some exercise or technique to get rid of this horrible feeling of being trapped in my own head and thoughts… She told me to focus intensly on my surroundings and people i interact with and conversations. It worked just fine until the evening when i totally crashed and had a horrible night with depersonalization, my brain was toast, was like a zombie that whole evening and the next day. Felt like i had no access to my thoughts. BUT she insisted that this would work and also told me to stop ruminating and that i need to break this vicious anxiety cycle because the longer i was in it the more it gets a grip on you… Needless to say i crashed again and again. Now it feels like my brain is afraid of thinking at all. It kinda interrupts itself middle in thoughts and monitors my thinking.

    Am I wrong or did she really mess me up?

    Telling me focus intensly on my surroundings and people to escape the trapped in my mind thing = Focus on anything but your anxiety and thoughts?
    Isn’t that running away from your feelings and thoughts`?

    AND stop ruminating.. = Stop thinking bad thoughts? Man…

    AND break this cycle? = Putting even more pressure on my desperate mind to rid me of anxiety… Oh my

    Ok.. had to whine a bit because if she gave me false advice and she’s the cause, even in the slightest way, to how I have been feeling the last weeks.. jises..
    Ok, thanx again guys :)

  540. sophia Says:

    has anyone experienced this?

    i am not experiencing any anxiety symptoms but constant mind chatter which refrains me from analysing whats going around…

    how to stay grounded without deviating into the mind chatter and get upset about what it has to say..?

    i am unable to see for myself whats going around because i am overwhelmed by internal dialogues…

    it makes me think and feel one way and that depends solely on what the mind chatter has to say and it seems i cant escape that..if it says ”I’m guilty” no matter what.. it finds umpteen number of reasons to make me feel so and i just cant escape those feelings…

    if it isnt guilty then it may be how odd i am..and i dont seem to get my thoughts straight or stop them coming or concentrate on something else…

    its there in the backdrop 24 hrs…
    does anyone feel the same?

  541. Andreas Says:

    Hi sophia.
    I had that once for a while but all my thoughts were about anxiety and it seemed so automatized i was overwhelmed. At that time all i thought was about was how to rid me of anxiety and my thoughts. And it was extreme anxiety, was in hospital for 2 weeks. Not long after that i got Pauls book from his site and finding out that this was not at all a sign of me going crazy i questioned it less and eventually convinced my brain that it was just habit as it says in the book The less i question it, try to get rid of it, worry about it and not BELIEVE and see thoughts as fact (was almost as if my brain made a movie in my head where the thoughts actually did happen and would happen). With time i think i got some distance to my thoughts and could smile at them and how ridiculous they often were.

    Thats what i am trying to find again.. Some distance to my thoughts. (Fell into the anxiety trap again…have PTSD) Not sure if you have the same problem i had but I think why you are so bothered by those thoughts is that you mind, like mine, is tired at the moment and very attached to your thoughts. You are so attached to your thought flow that it is painful and tiring for the mind? It’s an effort and even feels painful to take in info from the surrounding when ones mind is so “in the thoughts”. That is what it’s like for me. I am no expert nor a doctor so you know. :)

    But your problem seems simular to mine but not with the same content in thoughts :). I thought the same thoughts thousand and thousand times and it became a horrible habit that looped in my brain.
    Hope you can find a way to accept your thoughts and not put to much weight in what they try to convince you to believe.
    I don’t think you should try to “escape the thougs” but convince yourself that they are only a habit your brain picked up on and the less you believe in them and let them put you down the less strength they will have and will slow down.
    I fell in the anxiety trap again after being anxiety free for 5 months, questioning my thoughts and ran from my anxiety when i should have embraced them and not be afraid of them.
    Reread pauls book again and got some good advice here so i think i am on the right path again :)

    (Again i am no therapist only trying to help out a bit cuz i recognize the thought flooding thing and it does suck.)

  542. Carlie Says:

    Hey everybody,

    I’m having probably my worst setback so far. This month hasn’t been the greatest for me anyway, but I’m not sure why. I haven’t been getting out much, and then last Saturday I went shopping for awhile, and this made me feel worse… I guess because I’m not used to doing it. Since then, I’ve gotten worse. I know part of it is hormone related. I started feeling really down and anxious, and last Saturday night as I was trying to fall asleep, I guess I thought of the whole DP thing again… like the feeling that I’m not me anymore and feeling disconnected from myself, and I felt this wave of panic wash over me and I almost jumped out of my skin. Of course I’ve been thinking about this for months, but it hadn’t freaked me out quite this much in awhile. Then last night I went out for a few hours again, and felt pretty awful and out of it, but I kept going. I couldn’t sleep last night. I felt so scared and depressed and I just wanted to give up. I finally went to sleep, but didn’t sleep much because I had to be up early for something. Then I went back to sleep, but I tossed and turned a lot. My mom was downstairs with the vacuum cleaner and the noise was just so much more grating than it usually is. It’s like I’m suddenly sensitive to loud noises like I was at the beginning of all of this. And now I feel physically sick. Very shaky, weak, nauseous, and everything feels more unreal than it has in a long time. I’m now panicking that I’m going to be back to square one, feeling anxious constantly and not being able to eat, losing weight, etc. I’m trying to tell myself that that’s what got me into this mess, but I don’t know how to get my mind on something else! Sorry to be so negative, but this setback really caught me off guard. :( I need to go read Paul’s book!

  543. Matt Says:

    Carlie…..It’s good to hear from you again. Listen, I know what that feels like, I went through the ups and downs, and continue to do so. Last night, I went out with some friends, and for a whole two hours didn’t think about myself or DP at all. I wasn’t even that anxious, the reason is because I started to create positive habits of living and thinking. It’s ok if you feel back to square one, I felt like that too at times, but ya know what? I got better and moved on despite the nonsense in my head and my feelings. I was in the exact same predicament you were in, for five months I hardly ever left the house and stayed closed in my house as well as my mind, I never gave it a break because I wasn’t keeping myself occupied.

    Also, when you have some good days or weeks, and then it all comes back, like paul says, you have to expect that to happen and it will feel worse then when you were in the midst of the worst of the worst because you are getting better. It’s not going to be a smooth ride, but it’s a ride we have to take nonetheless in order to be free of this. I understand that now and you need to understand that no matter how bad you feel at the moment, you will get out of this and become the person you always were. In fact, that person is still there, it’s just buried under all that gunk that’s in our minds that we created and from the obsessing.

    You have to give the DP the middle finger because it is like the bully that will taunt you and try to make you scared of it, if you don’t give in to it’s taunts then the bully has nothing to do but back off. If you’re anxious, detached, lost, whatever….allow it and get on with it and remind yourself that this is nothing more then a minor setback and push forward. Carlie, I truly have faith in you and that you will make it and you know that I was just like how you feel and sometimes still feel like crap at times, but have faith in yourself. It will be ok, I promise.

  544. ross Says:

    hey everyone,

    not been on this for ages! just been gettin on wi my life!

    just needing some advice basically.

    I dont let anxiety rule my life but still feel bad DP a lot . i also have thoughts all time that im depressed? and i always think maybe its my job, maybe i need 2 move away , maybe money worries.

    I feel im getting better..slowly but definatly better than 2 years ago! i just have DP a lot so annoying feels like i dont have a mind hard 2 explain :(

    i Should maybe still look on this blog but felt i needed 2 just go 4 it so to speak. does any1 else keep it a secret from their family? i really dont like tellin people cos its a hard thing 2 understand plus i dont wanna be lablled as mental haha. No word of a lie the last 2 years have been the hardest ever! i still cant believe how i feel! never knew u cud feel like this! but its just a feelin so il be ok :)

    Also does anyone think about dying a lot? i do :( dont want 2 obviously but life seems scary all you hear on news is people dyin and papers too. its horrible! life is so short , i sometimes feel this is the root of my anxiety and ill never get over it because this thought keeps entering my head about dying etc .

    I guess i still have a bit 2 go til recovery comes too me

    any thoughts or feedback would be great!

    thanks for listening

  545. Diane Says:

    Hi Matt,

    really liked your explaination that anxiety can seem worse when you have it after starting to feel good/normal again. I have been doing ok for a few weeks then, felt a bit under the weather then started to think…oh no am I getting chronic anxiety back just as I am getting back on track. I know this is the worst thing today as it feeds into the anxiety cycle again, so going to have just let it be and carry on with recovery, although sometimes this is easier said than done :) I noticed how quick I get into self watching, what ifs, I suppose it is just being aware of this and trying to let it not enter the cycle, recovery is up and down just got to keep that i ind and not enter the cycle, take care everyone , and thanks for the posts this site really helps you feel not so alone as other people are going through things and offers great support and advice

  546. sophia Says:

    Thanks Andreas…

    it gave me a better perspective…for me.. as u said its a flow of thoughts in one direction…if it has a particular content may be ”I am scrutanised by people around” in a short period all my thoughts goes in favour of the first thought and i’m flooded by wonder i think it is the reality as i go through all the mood variation depending on my thoughts…

    it is ridiculous but i feel helpless at times to detach from them..
    now slowly i’m applying Paul’s advices each time i get attached to these thoughts…
    DETACH from these thought flow..I am what i am deep down n not these thoughts which are created by habits..i am yet to explore the new me..

    thanks once again will pop in some time when i get stuck..! :) i dont know whether i have PTSD..but i went through a lot of emotional ordeal..!

  547. angela Says:

    merry christmas to everyone :)

  548. angela Says:

    hi, ive posted a few times a bit further up, i read them back and i no im doing better) im in a setback at the moment i would call it a “mini” one if that makes sense, i no its anxiety now basically… im putting this down to me being tired and its christmas coming up. im getting all my silly thoughts coming back. not big like before but they are there… what i wanted to no is does anyone else get so irritable and angry? everything else seems to be ok. im not sure why im being like this as i feel im getting better.. the depersonalisation is still there but i am aware that this can be difficult to get rid and take longer.. im just angry because im angry if that makes sense i am on quitiapine for originally being bi-polar but im not convinced if i have.. as a lot of anxiety can me likened to it.. ive had my dose lowered but has made no difference. i am on the same level of irritability as i was a few months ago.. they help me sleep at the moment, so i dont mind while im recovering.. i just wondered if anyone else is similar to me with the irritability and anger. pleas let me no that im not the only one lol

  549. Andreas Says:

    Hi again angela
    OH yeah. I have periods of such incredible irritibility if someone crosses my way or in some way delayes my way from place A to B i just feel like slapping them silly” :)
    It’s like you are boiling inside in a speeded way and don’t even know why. I sometimes snap at my girlfriend but always apologize later.

  550. Hayley Says:

    I really feel it’s the memory of it that’s holding me back. I feel shocked sometimes when I think about how I am now – which is silly as I’m pretty much exactly as I was before as I’ve just been getting on with my life. I think I’m coming out the other side but I think about what I went through (and still am I guess) pretty much all of the day. I get distracted and even enjoy myself at times but I’m starting to get dejected as I know I’ll always come back to ‘it’ being there, even though I have no symptoms physically really, I just feel depressed about it and like sometimes there’s little point to anything if I’m going to spend everyday for the rest of my life thinking about this. I just can’t seem to convince myself that I will move on from this when I think about it everyday! I worry I’ve broken myself with all this worry and can’t change my negative habitual thinking when it’s so strong. I go out, have a good time, I don’t even really think about being nervous before going out, it’s just the memory that is really getting me down. I cannot imagine not thinking about it when it’s so strong for me now. If I’m getting on with my life just fine why do I not feel ok about this now, I jsut can’t seem to accept that I’m ok and this os over. Does anyone have any similar thoughts or experiences!?

  551. marcb Says:

    Hi all, I know I have mentioned this before, and had some great replies, but im feeling very down at the moment and I’m probably just looking for reassurence,….. But can someone PLEASE tell me …….. I have obsessive thoughts about a part of my body that isn’t perfect….1) is this anxiety? And 2) do I just accept/let this thought drift away?. I ask this cos at the moment I keep following this thought. Thank you all… Marc.

  552. dave Says:

    Hello All,

    I am new to the Blog and left a comment earlier but it got lost in the rest. My ordeal started in September 2011 at the gym, boom panic attack. I had felt them coming on slowly for about 2 months previous, but I chalked it up to what I thought was an inner ear infection. Long story short ended up in the hospital 2 days in a row. Doctor tried put me on meds, I hate them. Got off after day 2. Found Paul’s site and got his book. That was a great help, along with Claire Weekes books. Only way to go.

    Had very thick DP, which is decreasing. After I starting accepting. Stomach problem has gone away for the most part after accepting them. Which was so hard. But it works.

    I have a few questions I was hoping some of you could help with.

    1) I tried working out again (once), I got through a light workout and felt very dizzy afterwards, can anyone share why this would be? and should I keep going to the gym or wait until the tightness on top and around my head is cleared up?

    2) I have read that the tightness on top of the head/band is one of the hardest symtoms to fade? Does anyone have information on why and how long this may take?

    3) Does DP fade, overtime or does it just disappear one day?

    4) And what do we mean by it comes off in “layers”?

    Thanks you all in advance of your reply’s. Please keep the faith, the recovery program laid out by people like Paul and Claire Weekes works, I am recovering but not yet recovered. But without them I don’t were I would be today.


  553. natalie Says:

    hi dave

    sounds like you are already starting to accept which is half the battle and you were lucky to find this site and claire weeks books quite early on to help give you the explaination you obviously needed. Your questions are the usual ones i think we all have asked and i will answer them the best i can.
    yes do still going to the gym if thats what you did before, but maybe take it a little easy on yourself, like if you had flu you wouldn’t rush back to a really heavy session at the gym, but build up at a slower pace as you grew stronger. The gym is briliiant as it is a way to work off some adrenalin, keep healthy and get you focused on something more positive.
    as for the head band, everyone is different i suppose this is not a symptom i experienced but i had ringing in my ears, still get it now and again but i don’t even really notice or try to work out how long till it goes, it will leave when it is ready, doesn’t really cause me any harm and people suffer with losing a limb and things like that all the time, so am sure i can cope with a little ringing in the ears / head band, do you see what i am trying to explain.. its worse if you focus on it just try to let it go !! Same with dp the less you tune in to it and try to get on with things around you .. one day it will just go and you probably won’t even realise.
    I think with the layers .. it basically means, your confidence in yourself buiilds and as it does the person you was before (ie confident,more carefree, less self involved) cames away..but it is not over nite it does take time but the more you just let it go and don’t put pressure on yourself the quicker it will come off
    Hope this has helped you xx you doing so well anyway

  554. Matt Says:

    Hey dave, The DP does fade if you focus on things around you, but you need to do it constantly. Don’t allow yourself to have too much time on your hands to think about it and ruminate, just get on with normal living and it will go away. The whole layers thing, is that when I first got DP back in June and got worse by focusing on it, I sort of lost who I was and couldn’t enjoy anything and stopped living my life because of this feeling and the unreality. Once I got back to normal living and focus on things around me more, The real me started to come back, slowly, but it is coming back. I could laugh and conversate without focusing on myself, I can go out with friends and be myself with them without feeling odd and unreal, though it did feel that way in the beginning, it is subsiding.

    DP is something that takes time to fade, because, as paul states, it is a defensive mechanism that your body uses to protect you. So, once you stop obsessing and live normally, it goes away in time. For me, my emotions are coming back slowly and my thinking is getting a little more clearer. So, I believe it’s a gradual process of reintegrating into yourself over time. And from almost every success story i’ve read, the people have just forgotten about it and realized weeks or months later that it wasn’t there anymore.

    The good thing is that you have only been going through this a few months, so it probably won’t take that long for it to go away for you. But, anyways, hope that helped.

  555. Carlie Says:

    Matt, your posts always help me so much… thank you. Luckily, those few hours where the physical symptoms started to come back didn’t last too long. However, now I am very VERY depressed. Probably more than I’ve ever been in my life. I had a really bad episode this past February where I was so depressed that it affected me physically and I was sore all over. That’s not happening (so far) this time, but I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so low. I think I’m just exhausted emotionally. I go back and forth between depression and anxiety, and sometimes both at the same time. All day I was either on the verge of tears or crying, and my whole family came over earlier and I had to act like I was okay. It was really hard, because I guess the DP was really bad too. Like, I was there, but I didn’t feel like I was at all. Like there was an invisible wall separating me from everything going on around me. :/ And I just want to break out of it. I felt terrible that it was almost impossible for me to start conversations with everyone and not just sit there and seem rude, but I tried. Luckily my 2 year old cousin cheered me up a little, but how could he not? :) Anyway, today just seemed so unreal. It was the first time that I can say that I TRULY had no desire to live anymore, and that thought really scared me. Usually if I feel depressed or I’m in a bad mood, I can snap out of it pretty quickly, but it didn’t happen today. Over the past hour I’ve started to feel a little better, and I’m gonna try to get some sleep soon. I feel a little guilty because lately I’ve been working out every day, but I’ve felt so depressed the past two days that it’s been hard to find any motivation. And I snap at some of my family members really easily and then feel terrible about it, even though I know they forgive me and I’m probably just making it seem worse than it really is. I just hate how it feels like I’ve completely lost myself and who I am. I know that it’s just a feeling and it’s all the DP stuff, but it’s just so scary and feels like I’ve lost something that I can’t get back.

    Hayley, I can TOTALLY relate to your post. Right now I’m kinda having a setback, but those times where I felt close to coming out of it, I felt like the memory of it was the only thing holding me back.

  556. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Eveyone

    This blog is so good for support when your feeling alone which I think most of us do through these feelings

    Letting it be really does work

    Just wanted to know/see if anyone can relate to their racing thoughts being about totally random stuff and rather than just being scary thoughts, they are just about anything and everything, they get stuck. I guess it is habit.

    Its like your testing your thoughts, which I have heard of from Candie
    who used to write on here alot. It’s like I feel im checking to see if I understand everything I am hearing and seeing and not imagining things.

    I think it is where I don’t trust my thoughts so much now and where I am so wrapped up in my own thoughts and watching how I feel its then difficult to engage as much as you used to and maybe I then try to hard.

    Can anyone relate?
    Thanks for everyone’s posts, its good to share

  557. marcb Says:

    Hi all, If possible could someone please answer my post. I feel lost and its dragging me down like I never thought it could. Thank you all. Marc

  558. Jeff Says:

    First time here. All I can say is thank you. I found the site yesterday afternoon and knew immediately, IMMEDIATELY, that I had finally discovered something I could use. This is my seventh week with panic and I have thrown hundreds of dollars at supplements, therapy, and benzos. None of that has shown me a road to real recovery.

    My first attack was the most horrific four-day experience of my life. I missed a whole week of work and went to the hospital for the first time in years. I thought I would lose everything and live out the rest of my life in an institution. I was absolutely convinced that this would happen. The doctors did nothing for me. They gave me an SSRI… this was the second most horrific experience of my life. Very similar to a bad acid trip. I stopped the SSRI and just began this battle. There is no other way to characterize the last seven weeks: it has been a battle. I run long distances, I do yoga regularly, I quit coffee, I quit smoking: NONE OF IT HAS HELPED ME.

    The last 24 hours have been a revelation to me. I have stopped battling and started noticing. It comes in at the edges of my perception and I acknowledge its presence. I sense it, and I know what it is now. The amount of control this thing has had over me has been unreal. My mornings have been hell. This morning I just let it come. I felt it and just let it come. I didn’t look at it, I just let it sit there and do what it needed to do. I can’t even explain it, it just went away. I could have cried I was so happy. I accept that I will relapse. I accept that I will continue to struggle. But most importantly, I accept ME and I am ready to forgive myself for being broken. Broken or not, I am still me. I now believe that I can move forward and begin to heal.

    The love and care I have read on this site has touched me very deeply. I wish that everyone who experiences this could find this place. I have looked every day for the last seven weeks. I have no words to express what you have given me… IN ONE DAY you have given me hope where there was none. My Christmas present to myself was Paul’s book. I ordered it immediately. I honestly cannot believe how lucky I am to have found you all here. I hope that each of you have a beautiful holiday season and that you find some peace in the coming year. The solstice is a time of rebirth, here’s to 2012. Cheers.

  559. Matt Says:

    carlie…I think everyone has been through that with DP, have thoughts of not living anymore, the depression, etc. Remember that they are just thoughts, and the real you will come back, but you have to allow recovery to come to you. You can’t force it to happen, it just doesn’t work that way. You have to take whatever your going through and allow it to live beside you, like paul says. Anxiety and DP are bluff conditions. They make you believe things that are so untrue, and because YOU are the one thinking and feeling this way then it must be true, it’s not. You create a habit of negative thinking that takes over you and you have to start thinking positively and think about things outside yourself, the more you do that, the easier it gets. If you continue monitoring yourself day-in and day-out then you will stay in this vicious cycle. Your condition totally becomes you and there isn’t any room for anything else in your life because of it.

    What’s helped me tremendously is socializing. Getting out there and connecting with people around me, even if I don’t feel like or don’t want to. It does work, but it takes an effort to do it. I still have days where I don’t feel really there and have ups and downs, but i’m ok with it. I know, deep down, that I will recover be the person I used to be. It will just take time.

    Jennifer…I occasionally get the random racing non-scary thoughts. I used to get it a lot a few months ago, to the point to where I was scared of my own mind. I got through this by understanding that my brain is tired and whenever I get racing, random thoughts they don’t last longer then a minute and it doesn’t happen as much as it used to. I would also test my thoughts to see how far I could go with it and made myself worse that way, again, another bad habit that had to be broken. These are habits that can be broken, but for now just allow the racing mind and random thoughts and don’t analyze them, it’s hard, but in time they go away completely.

  560. Jennifer Says:

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful response, it means a lot. Its nice to know that someone else also tested their thoughts. I have faith that this will subsude its just hard to tolerate. Your posts sound like you are on the right path and doing well. I hope to be there soon too.

    Hyperawareness of oneself affects everyone in different ways and yours is manifesting itself on something that you are anxious about. You may have, or have had these thoughts when you weren’t anxious but they probably didn’t dominate you. Its just where the anxiety pot has overboiled and it naturally fixates on something that makes you uncomfortable beacuse it is reacting to your fear. Let the thoughts just be in the background and rattle around in your head, they will subside at somepoint……im practicing the thoughts ‘just be’ too.

  561. Jamie Says:

    I’ve had a crazy and stressful couple of weeks, so I know why I’m struggling right now. I just wondered if anyone else could shed some light on something for me. I feel like I’m getting better because I still have scary thoughts, but they just don’t stick like they were before. Previously, when I would have a scary thought, it would stick for days and sometimes weeks. Now the thoughts seem to be a one or two day problem and then they either leave or replace with another thought. So I guess that is my question, do the people who have recovered have experience with feeling like their brains were on scan for strange and often scary thoughts? I’m feeling more like I’m getting it, but some of these thoughts are still creepy to me!

  562. ginger797 Says:

    hi..i too have anxiety issues only started this year due to stress but i was wondering when people on here say “scary” thorghts what do you mean??? i had a feeling of ‘dp’ well i think it was? when i was in the middle of the anxiety in october but i also felt like i didnt seem to care about my kids or any one that i was close to…i would look at them and think things like”do i feel anything for them anymore??? would i even care if i was to just leave them….it was really hard for me because they are my whole world but i also felt like i used to love going away on trips but even that i had no feelings for it was like it was just a word i felt nothing….has anyone else felt this way??????

  563. josh Says:

    Paul & Matt,

    Just wondering… even though we know it’s all anxiety working on us… even though we know people suffer from same symptoms… even though we know nothing will happen…why do we tend to run away from something that causes anxiety… all the knowledge just seems to fade away that very moment and anxiety takes over… what do we do to bring in patience during such circumstances?

  564. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Excellent post Matt and so true, it shows things have really slotted into place for you and you now have the perfect outlook and attitude to recover.

    Josh says: Paul & Matt,

    Just wondering… even though we know it’s all anxiety working on us… even though we know people suffer from same symptoms… even though we know nothing will happen…why do we tend to run away from something that causes anxiety… all the knowledge just seems to fade away that very moment and anxiety takes over… what do we do to bring in patience during such circumstances?

    We tend to run away Josh as our instincts kick in. Our instinct is to avoid pain and discomfort and this is what kicks in. I remember when I had certain fear episodes and one was public transport. I once went somewhere where you had to get a quick bus to the attraction and it was unavoidable. Now in years gone by I would have stepped straight on, nothing to fear, but my sub concious kicked in and said ‘Danger here Paul’ yet my sensible side said ‘No there is not, o.k I felt bad once on public transport, but that was just where I once felt overwhelmed after a long period of stress, it had nothing to do with the transport, there is no danger here and if I feel a little fear, then it will just be some memory hanging around’ .I had decided at this point that I was no longer going to avoid places and situations, my life was just becoming narrower and I wanted to start opening doors again. So on I went on and when the doors shut my adrenalin levels were high and I started to feel overwhelmed, my fight or flight kicked in, my instinct was to walk off the bus, but I was sick of the easy way out and stood firm, within a very short space of time the fear left me, my body levelled out and I felt fine.

    What happened was my body gave me a choice to leave or to stay. By staying I told it there was no danger here and I was fine, so it calmed. For once instead of listening to my instinct, I had stayed, as what single danger was there traveling on a bus? None, but I had to tell me body that and stay put, whatever was going on. The sense of pride I felt was immense as for once I had not taken the easy way out and gone against all instincts. This made it far easier in the future to stay and go towards my fears and insecurites and I opened up my life again.

    My next post will be all about this so I will leave it there, but it is your instinct that tells you to run/hide/pull away, it is going against those instincts that will help you. We are just created and programmed to avoid feeling uncomfortable. People who go to a 3D cinema that simulates a roller coaster may still scream or duck their heads when the film starts, they know it is false, but their instincts kick in before they can reason with it.

    My next post is called ‘Two roads’ and will explain far more and is about the choices we can take, one easy road with comfort, but leads no where, another that looks far more troublsome, but leads to a beautiful place.

    I will post it on the 2nd January


  565. Jeff Says:

    48 hours since I began allowing the panic to “just happen.” I have some questions. This whole technique is vaguely analogous to being in a tower: as everything falls apart around me, I remain safe in my tower. It’s working for me, but I’m noticing some drawbacks. I am having a hard time dealing with people. It’s as if I want to be alone to focus on this. I’ve been terribly short with people just to keep them at bay. Another thing I’m wondering is how do you maintain this repose when you have things to do? Public speaking, for instance, seems as if it would be impossible to pull off while just “letting it happen.” Any thoughts?

  566. Jamie Says:


    I have been through this exact same thing! You will be fine! This is a fairly common theme amongst us anxiety sufferers! So often our loved ones are who we question and doubt our feelings for. They are so close to our hearts that it’s easy for our mind to torment us with that. If you look at the obsessive thoughts page, you will see that there are so many people in the world that have had these exact same thoughts! It’s so hard to do, but just say to your mind “fine, I don’t love them.” This takes the power of the thought away and more than likely your brain will just drop it! It takes some practice to get to that point, but you can definitely do it!

  567. Diane Says:

    Hi all,

    been doing much better work etc, and trying to just let it be there, but today I am feeling anxious and a wee bit overwhelmed, as got to fly tomorrow to see my aprents at christmas, head so self aware and thoughts of what if this and what if that, I am trying to just let them be and get on but I am sure you all know how difficult it can be, anyways will try just to be in the moment and not add fear into the mix, hope you all have a good Christmas and a healthy ,happy anxiety free!2012

  568. michelle m Says:

    Hi all. i was doing so well recently until the news of my lovely dads terminal cancer. Now all i am concerned about other than my dad dying is the fear of developing reactive depressive psychosis. i feel so anxious and don’t know what to do and how to cope. i am back to analysing everthing that i see or hear. how do i know that i am not getting mentally ill please help someone. thanks. Michelle x

  569. Matt Says:

    Hey guys, hope everyone is doing ok. I am actually feeling back to normal and it feels great. I wanted to post some positive mumbo jumbo that may sound a little cheesy at first, but here it goes. When I was a counselor, I had a patient three years ago and he was a popular surgeon in the area that I lived in. He had a beautiful wife, two kids, a huge house on the mountain and a vacation home on the beach. He came in severely depressed. Now, I felt kind of inferior because I was some lowly counselor struggling to make ends meet. When I went to speak with him he told me everything that was going on with him. So I asked him, “How can you be so depressed when you have everything?” His response changed my life at the time and forced me to start living out my dream, as a writer. What he told me was, “I have nothing else to strive for, I’ve accomplished everything in my life and I have nothing else to accomplish.” What he meant was that, to him, life was a destination, not a journey. So I began writing a fictional book i’ve always dreamed of writing and got really far in to it, it was nice because I never really finished anything in my life. Then I had panic attacks and stopped writing and fell into a huge hole. Now, I am fulfilling that dream again and it feels good to be back to writing.

    Long story short is that people like us create our own jail cells that we live in, life becomes stagnant and a struggle because we live in that cage in our own minds and lives. Hell, I remember doing volunteer work at a prison, and thinking back on my bad days with anxiety and I remember how I could relate with those prisoners because I felt like I had lost my freedom. The thing is, the key to get out of that self-made prison, is in our back pocket. All we have to do is reach back there and unlock it. That may sound too simple, but what does anything really mean if we don’t have ourselves? If we don’t have our freedom to live within ourselves and to live our lives? Money, materialistic things, etc. mean nothing if we can’t be who we really are. And I realized on this “journey” through anxiety that this is my only life to live. Am I going to spend it worrying about false things? false thoughts and feelings that come from wearing my own self out? No, not anymore.

    So whatever you are struggling with, and whatever cell your in in the moment, you can get out, I promise you that. Live your life, don’t worry about the “what ifs”, they are just tricks of the mind. I went back to doing what i’ve always wanted to do and I could care less about anxiety, I could care less about DP, I could care less about any of that. Because life has meaning, even when it feels meaningless, you have to find the meaning in your life. Go out and live it with all the feelings, weird thoughts, whatever. Life’s too short to worry about “false” beliefs we embedded into ourselves. And that’s all they are, false. I believe everyone on here can make it through this, and if you can find that belief in yourself, you will too. Sorry for the long post, guess I felt a little over-inspired today.

  570. michelle m Says:

    Matt that’s a great post. its made me feel a whole lot better. Im going to ignore my post before yours as its a load of old rubbish. i feel stupid now reading it again. everything you said is so true. Thanks.


  571. DCYL Says:

    (I do want to comment on Matt’s post but perhaps after some positive thoughts of my own as well…..)

    A couple of items that struck me this week that I think may be helpful:

    I’ve been sleeping a little late recently and getting up a little earlier than I want to. So in the morning, I am somewhat “blah” at work for a while. Of course, when you have a little anxiety, it doesn’t help so you focus on that tired feeling. At some point this week, I realized that I was “living in my head too much” and remember Paul (and someone else I know) saying I needed to connect to something or someone. I found an old article from Paul that was useful about people feeling like they are living in their head too much.

    Also, a couple of days ago, when I was feeling tired and blah, I was focused on the computer at work and not socializing much. One of my friends called me about something and we talked for a few minutes. After the talk, I snapped out of my blah mood and felt a lot better. I guess the point was….CONNECT to people and other things.

    Even though, I learned something from above, I had a “setback” last night. I was out for dinner last night and it was a little chilly out. I got home and felt some sniffles and sneezed a bit. I took a shower and relaxed a bit and at some point, I started feeling “warm” and started sweating. That brought back some unpleasant memories of my early months of anxiety. I think that might have gotten me to start focusing on the feelings and I thought I was going to have another panic / anxiety attack. Fortunately, though I was sweating a bit my mind was relatively calm so I rested a bit and went to sleep.

    I woke up sweating a bit today but managed to get through the day. I left work early to do some photography and got a little exercise afterward.

    The lesson I learned from the events last night was that my sweating may (or may not) have had anything to do with my anxiety and it’s not a setback per se. I may be well a little sick and my body is just naturally “warming up”. Yet, if I keep focusing on the feeling, it will be unpleasant. My decision to do some photography and exercise helped me take the focus off and give my mind / body some rest to get well from whatever it is.

    My point is that “setbacks” may just be a perception of a feeling that REMINDS us of anxiety. I see a lot of people talking about certain situations that bring about stress or other things and they are back into the cycle. It’s probably because the “feelings” that are brought about stir up unpleasant memories and like Robbie, we start worrying about the anxiety again.

    I’m doing “ok” right now but sharing this is a little bit of “talk therapy” for me. Hope this helps others.

  572. ginger797 Says:

    i was wondering if anyone has some advice….when i first had a panic attack and anxiety for a few months after wards i was always rushing to get house work or a million thing done at once thats when i would feel the anxiety so i helped myself out of anxiety by doing what paul has suggested by not thinking too much and it has worked some what what happens now is i feel if i sit and dont get motivated i “think weird things like ” what has i got in life ” and im some what worried that if i start to get rushed and do house work or just rushed in every day life i will start to feel the feelings of anxiety again and will it take my mind away with dp like it did a few months back when i was in deep panic anxiety dp??? i mean i dont want to feel like i dont even know or care about my kids again and be back at squar one if i was to start to resume being busy??? if that makes any sense??i just dont want to feel like i have no feelings for any thing again…

  573. Ian Says:

    Matt – super post, thanks.

  574. Sally Says:

    I would just like to wish all my fellow sufferers a Merry Christmas and as peaceful one as we can all possibly manage Kind regards Sally X

  575. Diane Says:

    hi all.need some support, have just arrived at my parents in Amsterdam for christmas. I hadbeen doing really well but had a panic attack coming of the mind id racing with what if i lose my mind when i am over here, and never get home,iam so angry as i am buying into these anxious thoughts , which is keeping me in a state of i want to have a good time with my mum and stepdad but so much inner stuff going on in my head, any tips even felt a bit DP, i know not being at home my best friend isnt helping in a way she keeps me rational, any advice much appreciated.

  576. Diane Says:

    Hi DCYL,

    I know exactly what you mean,it just takes a physical symptom and wham anxiety thoughts are back.I am feeling anxious at the moment as am out of my comfort zone, visiting parents and feel overly aware and thinking inward. going to try to do what you did and just relax, nothing bad will happen, its only thoughts, and try and engage outwards. thanks for your helpful tips

  577. Matt Says:

    Hey guys, I just wanted to post a couple of tips of what has been helping me with anxiety/dp. First of all, DYCL was right, connect with other people and other things. That made the biggest impact in my recovery thus far. I mean, I spent six months staying caged in my own house hardly ever leaving, so I made some small goals, that were at first, very hard to do.

    The first goal I made was to go out and have a conversation with someone new, every day. Didn’t matter if it was the cashier at the store or whatever. And that didn’t include my own family.

    My second goal was to stay out of the house and find something new to do. I started playing basketball again, connecting with my friends, etc. Again, at first it was very hard but after awhile it got easier. I then took a big step. I used to be heavily involved in 12 step meetings when I used drugs 12 years ago, so I decided to go to a meeting, even though I don’t use drugs anymore, and was just going to share. There were like 40 people there and I didn’t know any of them. I shared for ten minutes and this then became one of my biggest turning points for me. I really realized after talking how pointless this condition really is. So I went out and did more stuff and more stuff until I was hardly home at all anymore. I began to forget about myself more and more because I had things to look forward to.

    Now, i’m not saying everyone struggles with the same issues I did or that you need to go to a 12 step meeting, lol. But for me, just doing anything different other then being at home all day worried about me made a big difference. In fact, it brought clarity to what I was actually going through, which brought about natural changes in myself.

    Diane, when I was in the midst of anxiety any kind of change was scary and set me off. Look at this as a turning point for you, rather then some big monster that is going to consume you. You probably are scared because you’re out of your comfort zone, but try to understand why you have these thoughts and fears and live alongside them. Look at some of your thoughts logically, are you going to lose your mind and not find your way home? no, that isn’t going to happen. But because the thoughts and what if’s come with such force we investigate and ruminate over them. None of what your thinking or your brain is throwing at you will actually happen, trust me, I went through the same useless thoughts as you did. Force yourself to connect with your family and conversate and you might be surprised that you will forget about it for awhile.

  578. ian Says:

    Indeed Sally, Merry Christmas all. We are all so much stronger than we all think most of the time. Peace to you all (…eventually!).

    Stay positive.


  579. 2scoops Says:

    Thanks for the advice Matt! Wow, what these scary thoughts can do! I have been contemplating starting a relationship and I just don’t think I can do it in the state that I am in. I don’t know why getting in a relationship makes me feel this way, and then I start feeling guilty, rejected, low self esteem, etc. Having trouble accepting these things.

  580. Diane Says:

    hi all,
    had a really good christmas day,but today I have let the anxiety take control again, been tearful and not wanting to go outside and then i feelguilty because i feel I am letting down my mum,I keepconcentrating on how I feel at the moment I have a stiff sort of numb check, I keep telling myself its anxiety but you know how the what ifs can be like, hoping its just a down day and tomorrow will be better:) hope youre all having a good christmas x

  581. Dina Says:

    Hi everyone,


    I see that I am not the only one suffering from anxiety and panic attacks.
    I have been struggling with it since 2009. in 2010 it wasn’t bad, I thought I got rid of it. In November this year, I had my third child and three weeks later, it came back again. I feel scared and have panic attacks all the time for no reason. I don’t know if it just came back or because I had a baby? Please can someone give me some advise?

  582. Matt K Says:

    Hey Paul or anyone with experience with this,

    I havent been on the site in quite a while and feel that I am doing much better. I still have some social issues that I am trying to work on. Every once and awhile I will sweat on my forehead if I am really spun up and it embarrasses me. How do I go about getting over that fear of sweating in places that its not appropriate (Church, work, etc…..) and did you ever experience something similiar?

  583. John J Says:

    Thanks for the replies.

    I’m giving acceptance a new fresh attempt. I think I would get to a point where I felt ok, having accepted the feelings and they went away. Then just give up and when the anxiety came again I would crumble.

    The problem I have is that I start accepting, allowing it to flow, and I still get short bursts of panic coming through, or I cling onto a thought that I was supposed to be accepting. When i realise that I am doing this, I remind myself to accept again.

    am I doing this right, because surely if I was accepting it properly, the panic or thoughts would not be able to get through. I manage to pull it back on track but then I worry that it was able to creep in. Is this normal when you start accepting? Do you still get little bursts of anxiety trying to get in?

    The other thought I had today, I was watching a film when suddenly the intrusive thoughts popped into my head. I suddenly felt that i would jump up and grab my wife. I knew this was just another intrusive thought as I have has so many of these in the past. I knew that if I feared it, it would start the sycle, so i started to accept that it was there and not to react to it.
    This was so hard, because I could not fully let go. I knew what i had to do, and i was doing it, but every now and then I would let it get to me.

    It felt as if I was suddenly thrust into the cockpit of a plane with no training. There was no rehearsal or safe zone. I just had to do it, but that added to my fear. The thought, “What if accepting is not for me? What if I accept and actually carry this out?” I could see exactly where i was going wrong and I was making more of a situation out of it.

    I accepted that the thoughts would be there and they should not scare me. But I don’t think it was full acceptance. I was on about 50 – 60 per cent accepting.

    Any one else found this?

  584. Jeff Says:

    This is directed at Hayley. I have not been here in weeks because I have felt slightly better. After reading your posts I think I am experiencing something similar to the things you are experiencing. I have not curtailed my daily activities due to anxiety. I also feel better going out than staying home. Distractions stop my brain from riding the circuit it has created that leads to panic. I really feel as if my first attack burned a new neural response system into my brain, one which now responds to stimuli with heightened sensitivities and goes “limbic” staightaway. I hope the burn can heal, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that it may not. It has caused me to call in sick 5 times over the last two months, though, which is significant. I haven’t called in to work in a while now, but my performance has suffered. My thoughts are sometimes so fractured I feel as if I’m dreaming (dp?). I, too, feel as if this has “broken” me and that I will never be the same. It is a great feeling of uncertainty. My doctor prescribed an SSRI and that made everything worse. I was relieved to stop the pill: whatever is happening to me, I want to FEEL it, not just be numb to it. I have questioned everything in my life and I am suspect of my decision-making capacity in this state. Yet I continue to decide. I am just getting on with it. In a VERY WOBBLY manner, but I am just getting on with it. I have found benzodiazepenes to be helpful in alleviating the worst moments. I think you have to accept that this event has changed you, and that there is a chance you may always be different from who you “were.” In truth, though, the solidity you remember and took for granted was an illusion: life is never constant. I know that now, and I am trying to learn how to live with this. I am reading Paul’s book and it is helping. I HIGHLY recommend anything by Pema Chodron, especially “When Things Fall Apart.” What Paul is suggesting shares many sensibilities with buddhist doctrine. The things that help me are: exercise, conversation, rest, and routine. Here in the states there are so many who suffer from this that it’s easy to find people to talk to about it. We’re all complete narcissists anyway. I relate to what you are saying in your posts because I feel that I have been blessed to not be debilitated too terribly by this, but I AM different now. I have to accept it, cause that person I was isn’t coming back anytime soon. Maybe I’m better now. I do feel as though I have more empathy. This has softened me somehow, and that may not be a bad thing. Time will tell. Hang in there, all of you, and BREATHE.

  585. conqueranxietyj Says:

    Jeff I disagree with these 2 statements of yours

    1. “I think you have to accept that this event has changed you, and that there is a chance you may always be different from who you “were.”

    2. “I have to accept it, cause that person I was isn’t coming back anytime soon.”

    Isn’t Paul a living example for all of us ? He continiously tells us that anxiety has only scratched the surface of ours, inside we are still old person and we can be the same person again.

  586. Jeff Says:

    Fair enough, conqueranxietyj. I can agree that it seems inconsistent with what Paul is telling us, but, for me, it’s how I’ve come to terms with what is happening to me. I apologize to everyone if the above post seems bad advice, but it has been helpful for me to think of it in these terms. Rather than fighting to retrieve something from the past, I’m looking toward the future. My life before my first bout with anxiety was very disengaged with my day to day feelings: I had terrible habits and coping mechanisms that just buried everything in some deep hole. When my pain became too great, I could run no more, my body would not allow it. It was as if my psyche had been encased in glass and it just broke. All the hurt came pouring through. It hasn’t stopped since. My experience with anxiety has actually tuned me in to how I feel, and allowed me to begin to process the emotions that brought me here. My point is: I don’t know that I would want to be the person I was prior to my struggles with anxiety. That person would just be setting himself up for failure through more denial. So, in actuality, and maybe this only applies to my experience, I AM engaging Paul’s advice by accepting that I’ve changed. I am living with anxiety now and it has fundamentally changed me. I hope I that the person I was will come back, but there no guarantees, and I have to be comfortable with me RIGHT HERE. Right now. I have to give myself a chance to heal, and, for me, that means adopting a compassionate attitude towards who I am at this present moment. And I sincerely pray that you are right, conqueranxietyj, I hope I come back to the old me. I only hope that when and if that guy returns he has learned something from all this.

    Does all that makes sense? I REALLY didn’t mean to offer poor advice as I honestly only wish you all the best cause all of this sucks… plain and simple: dealing with this sucks. But I am dealing with it in my own way, and I will be more thoughtful in the future if I post and take into consideration that this is a very personal thing for all of us. We are each experiencing it in different ways.

    And to Hayley: PLEASE don’t take my advice in the wrong way as it was perhaps written in haste. Conqueranxietyj makes a good point. However, you should know that my reply to you came from a place of compassion and love. Your experience parallels mine closely. I hope you are feeling better and are catching glimpses of the old you. I would wish for nothing more.

  587. conqueranxietyj Says:

    Jeff i just meant that lets not lose hope and we all will be our true self very soon. Time will be a big healer.

  588. ross Says:

    feel horrible!!! does any1 else feel so bewilderded and lost?

    i just dont feel myself at all! its so scary . i just cant see a way out this hell hole im in! stupid thoughts all the time like ‘wat am i?’ ‘what is a mind?’ ‘whats a personality?’ all these stupid thoughts. i feel my personality has gone! i feel like a complete idiot just now . i feel guilty and ashamed! and i dont know why!

  589. Shirley Dalley Says:

    I am an anxiety survivor! I was here in 2006 probably for a 12 month period. I have had a read of some of the posts and there are so many of you out there who are new to the blogs etc. I am glad to see that it is still being supported in such a successful way (if that’s not too bizarre) as this site was my life saver and it’s been so nice to read some of the success stories. It is very rare that I come on here now – because I don’t need to any more – because I don’t suffer anything like I did anymore. The support I was given whilst on here was invaluable, it’s surprising how much power there is in the written word. To read my symptoms on here for the first time when I discovered (quite by accident) this site, was the greatest relief of pent up pressure ever. Tears flowed more and more as I read on and on – it was like a Dam being burst. Suddenly here were a load of sane people who just happened to have been touched by the anxiety wand. Nodding head as I moved down the pages avidly reading on and on. The computer was always opened at this site to see the latest posters – a little self help community was born – it was there, open all hours, you could keep returning and reassuring – no need to make an appointment, when I had no idea where to start. But in the end all the answers were here. The Doctor gives you 5 mins of his time, having studied so many diseases – he can’t possibly specialise on one. here all the symptoms are explained and analysed and you can get instant answers. I hope that this will be read as the last poster on here was March 4th.

  590. Melissa Says:

    Hi, don’t know if anyone is still on here but could use some help! Have been going through what a lot of you seem to have been battling. I’ve had bad anxiety for the last 3 weeks straight and it’s caused me to doubt and question my relationship to no end. I tried breaking up with him twice but knew in my heart it was wrong. So finally I explained to him what was going on and he was extremely supportive and continues to stand by me every step of the way. I’m now at a point where I can shake it off with little problem, save for some really bad nights. (This website has been the biggest source of help/relief)
    I went to the doctors today and she confirmed that what I’m battling is a substance induced anxiety that will go away in time. (I’m COMPLETELY substance free since my first attack three weeks ago, and will be remaining that way)
    My only real anxiety anymore stems from my boyfriend. When I’m in my “lows” I have trouble connecting with my feelings for him, but when I’m in the “highs” I can sometimes feel almost back to normal. But we’ve only been together for 6 months and so I find I’m constantly questioning things, questioning if he is what I really want and if I want it for the rest of my life. There are absolutely no problems in the relationship outside of this. I know it’s completely worth fighting for. I feel stress because I know he hopes to marry me someday but that is the absolute worst of it. It’s really upsetting me, I question if I’m falling out of love but I don’t want that at all. I WANT to want to spend my life with him. And sometimes I do. But I’m always just questioning and doubting it all and I hate it. I can be feeling great until I talk to him and then I feel an anxiety attack coming on and I don’t know how to handle that.
    Do you think this is due to anxiety?
    How should I handle being with him if I get anxious/doubtful simply talking to him?
    Sorry for the long post, thank you so much if you took the time to read/respond!

  591. Frankie Says:

    Hey guys I just wanted to let you guys know my personal story which is pretty interesting actually. I never had any anxiety whatsoever before the 5th grade until I did something and my step dad yelled at me for it which I took to heart and then triggered my anxiety. It was the worst year of my life. I wasn’t able to leave my room without being scared of literally everything and I hated going to school. I still remember how hard it was to get through it. Even in 5th grade I was able to get over it without any medication and little counseling. I don’t really remember thinking about getting over it, I just eventually forgot about it and it went way completely. It was dormant and I was living a happy, normal, and worry free life. Well last week I did something that triggered it again (the trigger is almost the same trigger that set of my anxiety 7 years earlier in 5th grade) and I found myself in the same cycle that I was in while I was in 5th grade. I immediately panicked and thought about the dark times from 5th grade. Up until yesterday I was going through the same cycle everyday, being worried all day about irrational fears that I know aren’t real. I have read many articles and tips that I wanted to share that really help me. First and foremost, don’t try and fight the anxiety head on, it will just get worst. Don’t try and think your way out of it, you’ll just find yourself worrying about your irrational fears again. Secondly, talk to someone about what your experiencing and what you’re going through, it will truly make you feel better. Like you just lifted a ton of weight off your chest. Just know that everything is gonna be truly ok. For me I already feel better after a week (which is a whole lot faster then back in 5th grade because I didn’t know anything) because I have educated myself and have taught myself to except anxiety as something normal (because it is normal like you have read above). After you have excepted it you will have less and less worries. Right now I don’t really worry about things like I was last week. It’s a weird feeling because I feel better but I know it’s still there lingering. I have to trust myself that that feeling will go away with time because it will. You have to have faith that everything will go away, and I know it’s hard but just trust yourself when you say everything will be ok. Everyone is different and everyone heals differently. Don’t be frustrated when you learn about someone getting over their anxiety before you. Time heals all, remember that! I have personally gone through this once before (and much worse) so I know I can get through it again, especially being older and more knowledgable about what I’m going through. Just don’t lose faith and even if you just take baby steps and feel a little bit better every week or even every month, that’s still progress! Don’t be discouraged by how little your improving.Also, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, life the life you once lived. Just know that everything will be ok and you will get your life back!

  592. Shayla Says:

    I have anxiety constantly because of my weight. And always think i’m gonna have a heart attack any minute. Sometime’s i can’t even eat because of it. And am losing weight in an unhealthy way. But food scare’s me now. And i get pain under my left breast nearly every time i eat. Which scare’s me to death. I want this to stop. But it won’t. I’m so sick of living this way. I wouldn’t wish anxiety and panic attacks on my worst enemy. It’s a horrible way to live. I can’t have fun for even a day because my anxiety is so bad. It’s ruined the last 5 year’s of my life. And continues to do so.

  593. Tony Says:

    Are you people truly talking about clinical anxiety? I supposely diagnosised with severe depression probably with strong anxiety compoemts. took ssris and some clonazepam for years and now maoi and am in a real mess. strained marriage and all. I really feel hopeless. i cant go to doctors who yelled at me. I m intelligent – does this apply to me, can anyone relate or have been here? i m very afraid

  594. J Says:

    Is there a mark m on here I would like to talk to him as I’ve read his posts but from a good two years ago and it very much relates to my symptoms and would like to talk to him if he’s still on here?

  595. nicg Says:

    i too suffer with anxiety, people think just because you go out to the shops and go places we are not suffering but we are when i go out i feel panicky and feel like everyone is staring and judging me and i go all tense and cant relax untilll i get back in doors.

  596. Edgar Says:

    Hi everyone, i had recenly had a panic attack a month ago, it was during the night, which then developed into intense anxiety. The anxiety i still feel it but its very mild, but now i have a very bad case of insomnia. I havent been able to sleep well for the past month, i only get a max of 4 maybe even 5 hours of sleep. I feel like the insomnia is never going to go away since its been a month and some days now. Has anyone had insomnia like that? i just want to know that someone was able to overcome it so i can have some reassurance to my self.

  597. Kath S Says:

    I have been on pregabalin for almost two years, for a while now @2x100mg per day. It worked well at ‘knocking out’ my anxiety but i have just returned to work after bipolar episode and I am finding it really hard to cope even though it has been a good recovery. It is a technical, responsible and demanding job and I am just not managing it. I am not suffering anxiety as such but I am not ‘performing’ at all well and falling short – I have no ‘oomph’. What I am wondering is, is the pregab knocking out the anxiety so much I don’t have any adrenaline/fight flight to cope with the increased demands? Its a stressful situation but i just feel as tho there’s just ‘no juice in the engine’. Has anyone experienced anything similar with pregabalin?

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