How to not allow your anxious thoughts to become who you are

I put the same post on here as I did on Facebook earlier this month and it was so popular that it received 3 times more hits than any other post so I decided to expand on it, also this comment below from the last post is so true and encouraged me to write a more detailed post.

“Kristina thanks a lot. You are right, I have to change my attitude to my thoughts. My problem is that I believe my thought, believing it, I accept it as a reality and thus become afraid of it. I need to not respect the strange and abnormal thoughts. That is the key.”

The post is really to express that you are not your thoughts or your thinking, you are separate from them and it is your choice if you wish to believe them or not.

A lot of people are a slave to their thinking and see it as the truth and follow it without question, if I think it then it must be true and all decisions and actions are then based on what they think.

It is like someone who has been cheated on in their last 3 relationships, they will then be much more inclined to have thoughts about the next going wrong and their new partner and the relationship may have to suffer because of this. The thought will be ‘He will probably do the same to me’. She may then question where he is, continually seek assurances and drive herself silly through her insecurities until the relationship finally breaks down. Now there was nothing wrong with this thought, it came through a belief created through past experiences, but she became identified with the thought and saw it as the truth. It is always the association to a thought that makes it seem real.
If this lady could have caught the thought and realised it was part of her past experiences and not fact then she could have put her insecurities to one side and enjoyed the relationship instead of letting a thought destroy it. Those insecurities may have still popped up, but she could have seen the truth behind the thought and why it was there and not to treat it as fact.

This is the same as when someone may go to a supermarket and have a funny turn and then their mind creates the thought ‘Hey danger, don’t go back there’ this is in no way true as what danger is there in walking around putting groceries in a basket? If the person can see past the thought and do it anyway, then they will see the truth that it was just a thought and not based on fact, just a past experience.

This is where the old saying ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ comes from as it is basically saying recognise your fear, but do it anyway as it is a false fear and by doing it you will find out for yourself. Once you do it and you survive fine (even if you do feel uncomfortable) then the thought process next time is ‘Hey I got through fine, no danger there’ again your experiences are shaping your thought process. There are many people in that supermarket with no concern whatsoever as they are all fine and safe, just as you are too, so don’t let a thought trick you into thinking otherwise.

On the other side of the coin if you came face to face with a tiger and the thought was ‘Danger, get out of here’ then the thought is real and helpful and is there to protect you as there is real danger and you need to avoid the tiger. This is what we were programmed for and the reason we need to feel some fear, the reason your mind looks for fear and tries to protect you. But there is no real danger in visiting a supermarket or visiting friends, so it is tricked by anxiety into getting it wrong and these are the times when you decide to not believe your thoughts, see the truth behind them and do it anyway.

Remember thoughts are not the problem, you can think whatever you wish, it is your reaction and your belief towards them that is.

This is true with my anxiety and how I used to see thoughts as fact. I was very bad socially when at my worst and when I came through I carried a lot of my old fears and experiences around with me and thoughts like ‘People aren’t interested in what you have to say’ or ‘I will just feel awkward all night’ or ‘I don’t fit in socially, so why bother going out?’ with this belief system I would hide away in the corner or make excuses not to talk to others or try and rush the conversation, totally believing my thoughts about who I was. My thinking was totally wrecking my life and the decisions I made and how I acted. This was not me, it was my thoughts based on past experiences that I decided to believe that were causing me all this pain and restricting my life so much. I had chosen to believe my thoughts about who I was and how I would perform and so tried to protect myself by hiding away in the corner or not going out at all. This had to change and I knew I was being a slave to my thoughts and that I needed to separate myself from them, to let them say what they wished, but to just do things anyway and not see them as fact or become involved in them.

On realisation of the above I also started to catch what I was thinking and would see the silliness behind it. An example would be a neighbour approaching and the thought then would be ‘Oh god don’t let her come over, I will have to chat and then I’ll make a fool of myself, quick indoors’ I would habitually run indoors and then think phew got away with it, right I just need to wake up one day and all this will be behind me. I never truly looked at the silliness of the thought, it was just a case of it must be the truth because I thought it. When I finally did stop and truly looked at the thought I had a realisation that my life would never change whilst I was controlled by my thinking, I realised that the thought was absurd, what danger could there possibly be talking to the woman four doors up? I also realised that in this and other occasions that my mind thought it was keeping me safe, but in reality it was doing a bloody damn awful job of it as all it was doing was restricting my life.

So the next time the neighbour approached or there was a social gathering I may have had the same thought, but dismissed it as false and did it anyway, it was actually quite amusing at times when I looked at what my thoughts came up with and the absurdity behind them. Things did not always go great feelings wise, but as usual I just went with how I felt, all thoughts and emotions are fine and after years of conditioning I did not expect things to go perfect in all the things I had previously avoided, but there was a big shift and in time through no longer associating with my thoughts and seeing them as facts my life started to open up, my restricting negative thoughts began to disappear, I did not need protecting from the woman up the street or a gathering of friends, it was absurd later to think I did. My confidence in every aspect of my life began to grow and the old confident me came back and all because I decided to no longer believe or become associated with my old and conditioned thinking. I could think, but I did not have to believe.

I am sure my mind thought it was keeping me safe at times and it was only gathering thoughts through past experiences, but these thoughts would not shape my future behaviours or experiences, from now on I would.

To no longer associate with or believe my thoughts whilst understanding why they came was such a big part of my recovery.

I hope I have explained well enough what I am trying to get across and I am not trying to simplify things as nothing happens overnight, but I hope people get something from the above.


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186 Responses to “How to not allow your anxious thoughts to become who you are”

  1. Doreen Says:

    Paul has also posted this in the Facebook page and responded to some of the posts, so you may like to read what he has said.

  2. rachh Says:

    Glad this has come up I’ve really worn myself out today with working it out and internal thoughts all for nothing. My head feels a bit like its going to explode tonight. I know it wants a rest but it seems like it has a mind of its own and won’t shut up and keeps picking up on different things.. I convinced myself I was bipolar today because i like buying new diaries (weird I know) and sometimes im moody and sometimes im happy and when I’m happy I do more stuff.. When in reality we all feel up and down in life.
    Trying to be at peace tonight.. Accept and float..

  3. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Rachh

    I’ve had pretty much same kind of day as you been in my head all day to the point where even thinking about how brains work has caused feelings of panic, I’ve also worried I’m bipolar as I like buying clothes and shoes and as soon I feel better outcomes the iPad and I start internet shopping…. I know I’m not bipolar and neither r u, just our old friend anxiety.
    I even went to Next tonight to get my daughter some tights and ended up spending a load more than I should! I had feelings of unreality while I was there which was probably quite lucky actually or I could have spent more !! Lol !!

    Oh well me and my anxiety and feelings of unreality will have to see if we can get on a bit better tomorrow…..

  4. Candie Says:

    Totally agree with this. It’s something I learnt and benefitted from too!

  5. Kelly Says:

    Just curious to know if anyone on here finds yoga helpful with their anxiety?

  6. Candie Says:

    I never tried Yoga Kelly, with any exercise I would use it to burn of stress which will help with anxiety but ultimately anxiety is as Paul says. If you talk to yourself all day In your head that some bad thoughts of feelings are tormenting you then you will feel super anxious and full of adrenalin. If you recognise that thoughts and feelings are not you and just moments that will pass and you need not worry over them, then you will be free of fear :)

    Exercise and good diet will go a long way in helping your feeling of wellbeing, but ultimately the key to recovery is a change of attitude

  7. Doreen Says:

    For those who are missing Paul posting on here there are a number on Facebook.

  8. Kat Says:

    Kelly I have done yoga and found it very helpful with my anxiety as it is all about quieting the mind, it has definitely helped me to relax in the past. I also really struggle with identifying with every thought I have. It’s truly the hardest thing for me so I really appreciate this post. I find myself going over instances in my head as well and wondering “did I allow my anxiety to rule that decision?” I am still having trouble just moving on from a decision once I do make one. I am going to try and work on what Paul says about not identifying with each thought and accepting it as truth.

  9. Wendy Says:

    hello everyone,

    i think i nearly crackd it! I felt pretty good the last days and really accept my anxiety. it was the first time where acceptance felt absolutely right and i woke up in the morning with a smile on my face and said “wow, i can feel acceptance”
    but today i felt anxiety scary thoughts came back and i felt very hot and sweaty at times, but i think it is because i spent the past two days at home and didn’t see much if the outside world, so i started focussing on myself again.
    I’ll go to town tomorrow and then visit some family members, to get back to acceptance :)

  10. Bryan Says:

    Candie, great points.

    It’s so incredible to be among like-thinking people in the recovery process after so long of only being able to find desperate posts, or forums about psych drugs essentially.

    I’ve had some better times as of late. The setback seems to have faded, but given way to this secondary cycle I seem to go through with fatigue, random panic but more stability. Funny, I’m having some rolling panic at work as I type this… but feel like I’ve been accepting very well. We’re never perfect though, and that’s something I need to allow myself.

    Anyway, great stuff and also great stuff over at the Facebook page. Hope everyone is well.

  11. Chuck Says:

    This is something I’ve struggled with for the past couple years. Actually had found a lot of peace for the first time in my life for the first half of this year getting into mindful meditation, but some stressful situations over the last few months have made it a bit of a struggle again. Starting to get myself turned around, but it’s a process that takes time. Just remember that everyone has their struggles with something. We don’t all struggle with the same things, but we all have our struggles. This one is ours, and I do my best to smile knowing that this imperfection, as much of a pain in the ass it is, still is just part of being human. Appreciating the down times as part of our imperfect existence helps make it a little easier to handle.

  12. Jenny Lee Says:

    Does anyone else struggle to relax?

    I’m on my long and winding recovery road, and finding myself at a strange pitfall. I am struggling to relax – in that I’m on edge, fidgety, restless and unable to relax, most of the time.

    This is especially bad after work in the evenings. I find myself fidgeting in my chair, feeling dizzy with head spinning, and its almost unbearable to sit still!

    I’ve found meditating, sitting still, bath, listening to music etc can help slightly, but a lot of the time I just can’t quite let go of my need to rush around everywhere, all day all night!

    I feel like I’m getting better, but I feel that being unable to relax is holding me back. Any tips? Anyone also get this?

  13. Rebecca Says:

    Jenny, I feel the same it’s like if I’m sat I feel I should be doing something. It’s very frustrating just wish I could sit and think nothing. I also feel like I havey to be busy on the go its like 24/7 caffeine high.

  14. Charles Says:

    Jenny Lee, “struggle to relax” is already a paradox, don’t struggle, let your body do its thing, if your body is fidgeting in your chair, then it needs to do that, don’t fight your body

  15. Mark R Says:


    I think I’m with you being at the right end of this setback now, not quite how I was pre-setback but in a better position.

    Have to ask though, what do you mean by rolling panic?

    I’ve had a pretty good 3 days but this evening that dark anxiety cloud descended, I sat tight and thought this is crap but will pass. Even in the midst of it I was still partly interested in other things and it passed, my acceptance has certainly taken back over.


    I think almost everyone will answer yes to your question. The fact that we feel anxious makes it difficult to relax. The only time I feel okay is the last 2 hours before bedtime in the evening when I can come to my room and just chill. As Charles said let your body find its own level.

  16. Tiara Says:

    This is an awesome post, Paul!

    A lot of the anxiety has lifted and peeled off and I am feeling more and more amazing each day! Sure, I’ll have moments, but I’ve also accepted that those will come. I had to learn, and still learning, how to live with grief, uncomfortable emotions or feelings, despair, etc., with grace. Acknowledge that they are there, and yet, go on with your day and life anyway. They are a part of life, and just like any good emotions we feel, they pass. So, I always say to myself, “This too shall pass.” Don’t get me wrong, I don’t aim for them to pass, I aim to be mindful. Just try to be in the present moment as much as I can, with uncomfortable feelings and all.

    Also, you are extremely right! The physical symptoms peel off layer by layer. I couldn’t really get a grasp of what exactly you meant by that when I first read it, but I do now. In some way, I could say that mine lifted about 50% of it in a snap. I don’t even know how it exactly happened. It’s like one day, I just woke up, and most of the symptoms were not as strong as they were.

    One thing I do want to share to everyone is, our minds and brains are two different things. Our brains are the biggest organs in our body. It does things to react to negative energy and such. Our minds, however, is us. We could retrain our minds and break the habits of constantly listening to our brains. We are so much bigger than this “anxiety” have made us believe we are! A year ago, my life started falling apart because of it, and now, I wouldn’t have regret any of it. It changed my perspective of life. It showed me how everyone are fighting their own battles in one way. I became more compassionate, sympathetic, understanding, kind, and most of all, I became all of that with myself. I’m still trying to be my own bestfriend.

    Let’s not say, “my anxiety.” It’s not ours. It doesn’t define us. I try to watch when I tell my story and end up saying, “well, my anxiety.” The moment we say “MY,” we are already telling our minds that it is who we are. But it’s not. It’s merely our bodies reacting after so much stress, but just like any other human bodies, they heal themselves, if we get out of its way and let it do what they have to do. Our bodies only have one constant function they always do, and that is to continuously heal themselves.

    I learned how to sit through my attacks, my fears, my negative self-talk. I’ve been down and about. I went through hell. And I just kept going. :)

  17. Tiara Says:

    Also, if anyone is wondering why healing feels so uncomfortable if not worse than before, it’s because nerves healing take the longest time to heal, and also the most painful one. Our nerves reversing themselves isn’t a smooth ride. It’s bumpy, and if not, more painful than the regular attacks. LOL.

    Hence, our setbacks! If you could see and tell yourself that this is your body’s way of healing, and relax as much as possible through them, you will feel the difference. I do! I thought I wasn’t going anywhere, but all of a sudden, everything got so much better. I mean everything attached to the “anxiety.”

  18. emmae Says:

    Tiara, thanks for sharing that. I found it really helpful. I have noticed that as I have let go of struggling and fighting, and jamming loads in to my day to not feel, I have been confronted with some extremely difficult feelings of grief, unhappiness, fear, sadness, loss etc etc and it has, at times felt really overwhelming. However, I have let myself feel these emotions, acknowledging their place and tried to get on with things as best I can. I have shed more tears than I thought possible, years of holding on and fighting is being released. I am slowly healing. I am letting my mind wander, think what it wants and finding that I naturally come back in to the present moment. No forcing. My biggest motivation is that I want a life, I want my life, so when I feel like hiding or shutting myself away, I tell myself that facing my fears and feeling my emotions is another step forward in me having freedom. I am still a long way from where I was but small steps leads to greater change. I am going to the cinema tonight. I haven’t done that for ages and I am really looking forward to it. Take care everyone. This blog has been so helpful to me. It gives me the hope I need to keep moving on. xxx

  19. rachh Says:

    Does anyone else feel emotionally dead. I want to feel feelings but i just feel like i cant feel anything-not even anxiety either.

  20. Rebecca Says:

    Rach I do I don’t feel at all here on this earth so I find it really hard to feel emotions. This makes it so hard when I have 3 little ones, but they do keep me going. I’m jst going to try and feel everything and not let it scare me. Easy said than done but I can keep trying. Practise makes perfect so they say.

  21. Kyara Says:

    I am with you there Rachh. I am currently in a big set back. I have been in such despair that I find myself searching for that one up lifting post/article/book. Usually that would get me back into that ‘good mood’. I find I’m not ok unless I ‘feel happy’. During the happy times I find it easier to sit through the panic and intrusive thoughts. This time I will float through. I won’t search for that article to lift me up because that isn’t truly accepting my emotions and feelings and I will allow myself to cry tears of frustration. I will allow my body to heal. My promise to myself.

  22. angela Says:

    hi im in a big set back at the moment Im under a lot of pressure at home and ive noticed over the last few months that I am getting more and more irritable all the time has anyone got any suggestion on book or advice thanks

  23. rachh Says:

    Thanks guys i think i need to take a step back from anxiety as a subject because im getting myself a bit confused.

  24. Rebecca Says:

    Me to, it’s like I’m trying to understand when I’m checking back on how I’m feeling do I stop myself are do I allow myself to do this. I’m just confusing myself. Dose any one have any advice many thanks Rebecca. X

  25. Mark R Says:


    Some advice from an old post regarding setback, which helped me:

    Helen Says:
    November 30th, 2010 at 10:17 pm
    Please stick with it. Do not give in to what is happening to you. Don’t be fooled into thinking you aren’t getting better. Every day that you get up and go to work and do the everyday things that you have to means that you are recovering, it just doesn’t feel like it because of the thoughts you are having and how your body feels.
    Remember, this is a setback. Setbacks are shocking as you have had a time when you have felt better and when setbacks happen it plunges you straight back into some of the worst times you have had but it is a SETBACK. Don’t forget what you know. Don’t analyse, don’t fight and let whatever thoughts come to you to be there.
    The obsessive thinking passes but you have to let it happen. You know when you are obsessing so accept, be obsessive about whatever the subject is at the time but don’t act on it, don’t wonder why it is happening. You will stop obsessing about one thing and then something else will be the subject but it eventually just goes. If you accept your thoughts, anxiety becomes bored because it isn’t getting the same reaction from you. Anxiety is powered by your reaction to it. When you give anxiety your full attention it is like a very bright light but as you accept and stop trying to work it all out the light slowly fades to nothing but this takes time, you can’t just switch the light off!
    Be patient, accept this THIS IS ANXIETY and know that you will get through it.
    This time 2 years ago, I would never in a million years have thought that I could understand anxiety, would never have thought that I would be happy again and if I am honest this time 2 years ago there were times when I didn’t want to carry on at all but I knew I was still me at some level, somewhere deep inside so I kept on and I am so glad I did.
    Accept that this is anxiety and know that with strength and patience you will get through this.

    All the best

  26. Kyara Says:

    Thank you so much! I couldn’t have needed that more today. (Crying tears of happiness.) Patience at this point.

  27. Kyara Says:

    The hard part is letting it be there, stop fighting and questioning it. As you stated it is a habit that we have formed and some of us have been dealing with it for a large amount of time so it is harder to break that habit. I have days where I’m great and I can say that to myself all day and then an old habited way of thinking snuck in and made me take two steps back. Then I’m left bewildered wondering how I got through this so well for so many days and then bam everything I had learned seemed to have been forgotten in that moment of panic. It’s a work in progress for some of us and for others it’s much easier.

  28. Lucy Says:

    Tiara your post is just how we all should be! I am a way off at the moment but thankyou for sharing that :)

  29. Kyara Says:


    I couldn’t imagine 24 years of this. Did you ever find yourself depressed? I feel like I am at the lowest I could possibly be. I am not seeing the light at the end of this tunnel which scares me, but I am still moving. I get up get ready for work get the kids ready and go. Work is where it hits me as I am not always busy. I just don’t know if I’m on the right path to recovery. I don’t fear the panic attacks I fear the sadness that has come upon me. Feeling like I don’t want to move or speak I just want to lay there. This doesn’t sit well with me. I’ve cried driving home 2 days in a row from all the frustration the thoughts and feelings have brought up through the day. I’m at a point where I don’t know if it’s best to stay medicine free or if I truly need professional help. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  30. tiara Says:


    I’ve been through the same place as you. Sometimes, I find myself getting so scared of feeling sadness or despair. It is almost as bad as the physical symptoms. I learned to be kind to myself. It wasn’t easy to sit through them at all or go on with your day as if they are not there. I cried a lot, too. I cried all the time everyday. I asked myself, “why do I have to go through this?” I think what did it for me is that I was tired of feeling that way. I was tired of feeling sorry for myself and not getting anywhere. I was tired of not living my life. Then, I started telling myself, if I were to die and to look back on how i lived my life, I would regret wasting it being imprisoned by my brain. It is all different for us because we all go through different seasons. Just know that other people have gone through t and made it out. You could, too.

    I always keep t in mind that I don’t aim for short term relief. I want to be able to learn what I have to learn that way when I am put through hard times, I don’t crumble like I did.

    It will get better. Just try to relax with the best of your ability while your body does what it has to do.

  31. tiara Says:


    No problem! I am willing to help out anyone who are in the same boat as I was. It is very tough and I understand. I don’t have it all figured out but I handle my bad days so much more better now than before. All in time :)

    Be easy on your body, it is trying to heal itself.

  32. Doreen Says:

    tiara – I think your lovely response to Emmae could also be helpful to Kyara. I hope she reads it.

    Kyara – would it do any harm to talk to your doctor? Some people do this ‘medicine free’ as you put it and others have found a short spell of anti-depressants and/or therapy has given them the lift they need to do the rest for themselves. Sometimes talking to someone who is there just for you, can help.

  33. Kyara Says:

    Thanks guys. I am not easy on myself during a set back. I fall victim to my thoughts and emotions. I haven’t had a good nights sleep all week and I realize my mind is really really tired. I’m a working mom of 3 and I don’t focus my attention on myself so I’m in a stage where idk which way to go. I’m always trying to figure out the next step when clearly right now isn’t the best time to do that.

  34. Rebecca Says:

    24 years, I’m only 5 months in and I find it incredible hard. Have you now fully recoverd. X

  35. emmae Says:

    Thank you Tiara, it is definitely improving…very slowly but I’m ok with that. Like you said, I have become fed up of being ruled by my mind and can now see more clearly that these are just patterns that have developed over time. It feels like for the first time in years I am allowing myself to experience these feelings. When I said about crying lots, I’m not sure if you misinterpreted me. I am not crying out of self pity anymore. It is more that the tears just come, almost like a release as part of all these emotions, and I am also just allowing that to happen. Like many us all, I have some extremely deeply engrained anxiety related thoughts and behaviours that I am slowly unravelling. I went to the cinema last night and had a really good time. I felt relaxed and I watched the film, letting it all be there as and when it wanted. It is things like this that make me feel like I am getting my life back. xxx

  36. Rebecca Says:

    Great news hopefully I can say the say one day x

  37. Charles Says:

    One thing that helped me is to realize that your feelings and emotions are not your enemies. You don’t really need to “face” it or “let it out” or “fight it”. Your feelings and emotions are there to help you achieve what you truly want to do.

    I think many of us have experienced moments that we are so into what we are doing we forget about anxiety but as soon as we realize it’s gone it’s back again. Put into simple terms, if you monitoring your anxiety level, you will feel anxious to some degree because your body’s turn into alert mode, it is trying to help you to monitor; if you struggle to think about all your coping strategies when you feel anxious or panicky, you will feel anxious because your body’s turned up a gear to help you remember all the coping tricks.

    Through out our day we all experience different emotions and feelings, next time you feel anxious/sad/depressed and you start your routine of figuring things out or reminding yourself what to do or despair, maybe take a step back and think “am I trying to fight or escape this thing?” If the answer is yes, then stop doing that, because all you are doing is adding “fight or flight” feelings to the mix.

  38. Jess h Says:

    Hi all lovely reading all ur posts! Iv suffered with these anxious thoughts now for over 3 years they truly have been the worse part of my anxiety I still find it so hard to just accept! Especially as it’s one thing that goes then it’s another it’s like my body and mind says here have another to try and solve! I guess that’s it’s not solving them!! I did have one of my horrible ones the other day and actually laughed at it now that was amazing looking back at that and being able to laugh and dismiss it!!

    So my new thing is health anxiety I recently felt my heart pounding in my chest constantly this caused me to worry and since then iv had a few episodes where iv felt like my throat is closing and I can’t breathe my heart doesn’t race just like my throat and chest is tightening has anyone else had this!!? It’s pretty scary and something iv not experienced whilst having anxiety!!

    I guess sometimes I get so frustrated with this thing that I haven’t quiet for to grips with it yet in my full understanding I mean for 3 years iv read stuff and understood it but find it so hard to take in!!

    Any advice would be great! As I write this I’m finding my throat is closing just In one side!! :(

    Jess xx

  39. Doreen Says:

    Tight throats, one sided or both sides are a very common anxiety symptom, Jess.

  40. Jess h Says:

    Thanks Doreen that helps just this pounding heart and chest pain coming and going is bothering me so much!! I feel I’m annoying my family going on and I’m so sick of it!! Worrying it’s something bad xx :(

  41. Rebecca Says:

    Jess, I get physical symptons to. Mine is tighting around chest, stiff neck, and al my muscles are sore, also head aces. X

  42. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    Not posted for a while, generally having a better time over the last week with some good days. On those days the subject of anxiety bores me and I want to just get on with life. Had a real tough time over the last 2 days but yesterday I played golf and had friends cook for me on my birthday……both turned out better than expected.

    Not quite at the same level as pre setback on the better days but I’m happy that those days are prominent and the worst seems to be over and after two months of real challenging times I’m getting somewhere.


    I don’t apply coping strategies intentionally but my mind does question ‘has it passed yet?’ ‘Is it still there’, all part of inward thinking for me so I just let it.

    Hope everyone else is doing well.

  43. Jess h Says:

    Thanks for replying Rebecca!! This is the first time iv actually had any physical symptoms so it’s a bit worrying been there a week now of pounding heart!! :(

    May mention it to the docs just so so troublesome and annoying I just want it to go!! I’m constantly checking in to see if I can feel it then boom it’s back I wake up thinking it sit here thinking it and go to bed thinking it!! This bothers me more than any thought as it’s so strong xxx thanks again xx

  44. Rebecca Says:

    I to had thumping heart, I always used to put my hand over my heart constantly checking if it was starting again. It doesn’t bother me any more and it doesn’t scare me. I don’t notice it, all because of change of attitude towards it. I no it’s scary but honest it’s just another one to put under the umbrella. Xx

  45. Jess h Says:

    Thanks Rebecca and Elaine means a lot u replying!! It’s just so reassuring to know someone else knows where I’m cling from!! Hope everyone is okay? Today is a day to try and change my attitude and enjoy the day!! :) xxx

  46. Jess h Says:

    Coming from sorry stupid predictive text xx

  47. Doreen Says:

    Jess, pounding hearts are also very common in anxiety. Orchestra players sometimes take a beta blocker (something which slows down heart rate) before performing as they are so anxious. Not suggesting that you take them but just to show you that folks who are normally ok have raised heart beat levels too.

    If you worry about it, that will raise your anxiety further. And I know it is hard to relax when the old ticker is pounding away but putting it into context may help

  48. Jess h Says:

    Doreen thank u for this!! Just very scary I don’t feel panicked or anything just this constant pounding away!! :( it’s just very annoying and something iv never experienced before so it’s worried me! And being there for a week is very frustrating but I guess that’s why it’s staying as I’m thinking about it always!! Need to redirect my thoughts but easier said than done!

    Thanks again xx

  49. Rebecca Says:

    Jess just be ok with it pounding don’t try and fight. X that’s me now I’m just feeling o.k with everything mentally and physical. If I fight I feel worse but if I’m o.k with the feelings been here my days are more stable. Don’t get me wrong I have thick dp anxious and racing mind, my stomach and chest are so tight, but it’s fine I’m finally allowing myself to allow everything do what it needs to do I past been scared anymore. X

  50. Doreen Says:

    Kyara – I think it also depends on what people might mean by ‘recovery’. For some people it is complete absence of the anxiety symptoms they had been struggling with for a long or not so long time. But I suggest that for many if not most, it means getting on with daily life despite some anxiety hovering around the edges and for that anxiety not to matter any more. And they gradually find that for chunks of time they have not noticed the anxiety and life is ordinary again.

  51. Jess h Says:

    When u say I don’t need to redirect my thoughts what do u mean? I think this is what I find difficult to just “let it be” how do I do that? As with this pounding heart I’m so focused on it that I go talk to my family or go on the net to distract myself is this wrong? I think I am struggling to understand still how to let it be? It’s so confusing so even if I feel a pounding heart do I just carry on doing normal stuff and just let it pound is that what u mean?
    I work shifts and am often alone so find it difficult to just let it be ! Thanks ladies

    Jess xx

  52. LizB Says:

    Hi all

    I’ve been doing much better lately and been sleeping well after a spell of not sleeping (Mike Stvens hope your better too!)

    However I have a rash thats come back. I was diagnosed with Pityriasis rosea about a year and half ago which was the start of my breakdown and I suppose it coming back has set of bad memories for me and made my anxiety spike a bit. I’m questioning why it’s come back which I know is wrong. The rash is awful when it comes out and the last one lasted 2 months, I’m worrying about it going on my face! Has anyone else had bad rashes? There is nothing I can take to get rid of it so I know worrying about it is pointless, you just have to let it run it’s course. But I am obsessing about it. Trying to work on my acceptance!

    Mark R hope you are doing okay too. x

  53. Doreen Says:

    Jess says “It’s so confusing so even if I feel a pounding heart do I just carry on doing normal stuff and just let it pound is that what u mean?”

    Yes, that is exactly what we mean. If you had a cold, you might have a bad headache but you would carry on doing normal stuff, knowing that the headache was nothing more serious than a symptom of your cold.

    And maybe there is nothing wrong with a bit of distraction, like talking to folks who you feel comfortable with or going on the net (as long as you are not trawling around looking for more answers)

  54. emma e Says:

    Hi Liz, glad that you are sleeping better. Welldone for your patience. I am still on a very steep learning curve myself but what I am learning is that anxiety manifests itself in so many different ways, including rashes. My friend has exactly the same as you have and it comes and goes for her too. She doesn’t describe feeling particularly anxious when it flares up but it is usually during periods of increased stress, for example her relationship broke down recently and it flared up. Around your mind obsessing, I think you just need to let it obsess. This feels so against our instinct as we want it to stop obsessing and want to do anything to get rid of it but this is fighting it. I have followed your posts over the last year or so and you have come so far. So, just keep doing what has got you to this point. It’s all work in progress. Take care x

  55. Jess h Says:

    Thanks Doreen for that!! I’m really gonna give that a go! It’s just gets a bit much and a pounding heart scares me a lot!! My sis even has a tattoo of let it be on her ribs from her experience with anxiety so it’s nice to know others use that let it be phrase!! I guess I’m just impaitient and want my pounding heart to go now !! I’ll just try and let it be I get another worry that It won’t go but I guess that’s just another anxious thought!!

    Thanks though ladies talking to u and my sis has really helped!!

    Let it be ???? xxx

  56. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Liz

    I wouldn’t give yourself a hard time over questioning why the rash has come back, it perfectly natural to do that, you know it doesn’t matter why it has Come back, but it will naturally cause some memories to come back. I don’t have rashes myself but I know people who do. I know there is nothing you can take to get rid of the rash but I think there are creams etc to help wih the symptoms, make sure your GP is treating it properly !!

    I’ve had a similar issue in that for me it’s a year since my anxiety started and this has also brought back bad memories for me. I am trying to accept that this is natural but I’m not doing a great job of it to be honest ! Having quite a rubbish time with mainly the psychological symptoms of feelings of unreality and intrusive thoughts.

    I have just bought claire weeks CDs, do people recommend these ?

  57. Mark R Says:


    I agree with you on that one with recovery. I’ve had full recovery before with a complete absence of symptoms for years at a time, the best times of my life. Over the last four years though I’ve not seen that, but did have a period of around 6/7 months where the anxiety was so low I didn’t notice it. I think either state is achievable but when you are getting on with your life and the anxiety doesn’t matter you tend not to be bothered about full recovery.


    I’m doing better thanks but still affected by setback. It’s been a solid 2 months now with some good days. I struggle with tension and DP mainly……the mornings are the worst and I find it hard to motivate myself when the symptoms are the highest. I kind of muddle through the day suffering but accepting the symptoms and by the evening I find I’m more interested in other things than anxiety when I’m more relaxed.
    Others know I’ve had a hard time recently but have noticed over the last few weeks I’ve become more myself which is a good sign.

  58. lorryt Says:


    i so needed to read this today , my marriage broke down and i ended it last year , and have just started seeing a new man, but my thoughts are so caught up in ‘i am so scared of it going wrong’.. the going wrong bit could take over if i dont let the thoughts go…after all they are just thoughts and part of my past and not real to me. Some times it is just hard to break the cycle of whats happening in your head. Its an emotional time in my life without me adding stupid unreal stuff to it all.. thankyou for this post today…always a life saver here..sometimes my anxiety gets so much the better of me. my recovery is ongoing and although i have come a long way in the past few years i still fall into the though trap from time to time xx

  59. Kyara Says:

    Doreen- I see what you’re saying. I did mean complete absence of anxiety disorder. I know we will all experience anxiety for the rest of our lives as it is natural, but we will not always have an anxiety disorder. We won’t always be so sensitive to our emotions, feelings and thoughts.

    I read Claire Weekes book after I read Paul’s book and it was very helpful. It definitely backed up what Paul says but since she was a Dr. who treated patients with nervous illness she was able to give a little more detail I feel. The last chapter in her book is titled ‘Fear of Recurring Nervous Illness” She states that to be free from all possibility of it in the future, you have but to unmask fear, expose it, analyze it, understand it and recognize what an all-important part it played in your last illness. Understand that without fear your adrenalin-releasing nerves lack the stimulus to excite your organs to produce the sensations of breakdown. You remain calm, and no one has ever had a breakdown while calm. You can produce your own tranquility, your own invulnerability, if you do not shy from the thought of future breakdown, but face it squarely and see what can be done now to prevent it later.

    Once I can say I have recovered I want to be able to say I will not face this again because I went about recovery and total acceptance the best possible way the first time. I allowed myself to feel ANY way anxiety caused me to feel, sensations and emotions, and I allowed what ever thoughts in without believing or getting caught up in them. I didn’t fight I just allowed it all. I allowed my body to de-sensitize to all aspects of anxiety and no longer fear. I think that is the ultimate recovery for myself. I know others could see it differently as the fear may have affected them differently than it affected me.

    Mark R,

    Have you read Claire Weekes’ book?

  60. LizB Says:

    Hi Emmae and Charlotte

    Thanks so much for your words on encouragement and understanding, feel a lot more confident now in my ability to get through this! Thank you. It has bought back mememories but thats okay.
    Charlotte I had the same feelings when a year had passed and it bought back memories of being in such an awful place. Then the what if thinking starts ‘what if it get that bad again etc etc. But I know I am in such a better place now, just gonna have to put up with looking unsightly for a bit! I feel I have accepted it being on my body again, but I am still don’t want it to spread to my face! You just have to put these things in perespective I suppose.

    Mark R glad to hear you are doing better! Although I know how it is, some days are better than others aren’t they. Somedays you think your on a straight road again and then the next something else springs up, a symptom, a thought, memories, external stressors that send you back a step. But I am damned if I am going to let it stop me believing that I will get better. I plod on however I am feeling and it sounds like your doing the same! Lets keep going.

    Thanks to you all for your advice. Peace to us all x

  61. Mark R Says:


    Yeah I’m struggling a bit today, have been the last few days. Last night I met my friend for a drink and a meal then watched a dvd, the most relaxed I’ve felt in a while. When I feel like that I can’t be bothered to look at anxiety but then the day comes and it starts shouting at me ‘Here I am, deal with me!!’. I know the ‘what if it gets bad again’ thoughts but they are just thoughts!!


    You’ve been quite quiet recently…….hope you’re doing well ?


  62. Bryan Says:


    Just curious if you were still taking medication? (Sorry if this is a double post)

    I take a very small dose of beta blocker for heart rate and I have mild Mitral Valve Prolapse. No big deal but can contribute some extra symptoms here and there.

    But, I’m not mistaken in believing the majority here are psych med free right?

  63. Bryan Says:

    Hey Mark,

    I just posted a question for Doreen and it disappeared do I don’t know if my posts are going through.

    I’m ok thanks for asking! Today is pretty bad though and breaks a long stretch of more tolerable days. So it is what it is. But my last setback seemed to have passed and gave way to about a month of ok/decent days which believe me I’m not complaining about.

    My job now is to just let today’s flare up happen and go about my business.
    Had a little extra stress so that’s probably contributing. It’s all still morning related. I’ll do better for a period of time and then wake up in a state of chemical panic, like I don’t transition out of sleep correctly.

    For me again, it’s almost all random and not situational unlike many here.
    But we all have our “thing”… the chaotic randomness and waking panic is mine. (Though I know most people are a little worse in the AM)

  64. Matt Says:

    Hey guys….I was recovered for over a year then this DP came back all of a sudden, feeling out of it, detached, etc. anyone going through this similar problem cause it sucks right now. I’m working, going to school, and it’s not stressful, but it’s like my mind keeps questioning am I better? will this go away? constantly….it’s just very annoying, I know I can recover, have before, but just feeling a little down.

  65. Mark R Says:


    I’m the same in the mornings…….as tense as a violin string, DP, head full of thoughts. It tends to die down in the evening and I’m a lot more myself.

    One of my biggest hurdles is that my mind wants to get as good as it was pre-setback, kind of looking at that period in a rose tinted view. It goes round and round all day ‘If only you could feel as good as Jul/Aug’. I know though that that period wasn’t perfect, it was better than now. I need to go forward, not backwards.

    I’ve turned everything round so practically I’m doing the same as before but just feeling truly awful whilst doing it. I know it will be worth it in the end.


    Are you the guy who qualified as a nurse?

  66. Bryan Says:


    Yeah… I relate. My mornings are always high symptom, but there is a certain kind of morning that happens from time to time that sparks things off. It is what it is and I can’t seem to affect it much because it happens as I transition out of sleep I presume. It’s literally like a light switch. I can have 20 bad mornings in a row that don’t have this affect, but then one does… and it’s off to the races. So, like we’ve said… I know it’s harmless, just uncomfortable. So, we wait it out and go about our business.

    I hear you on wanting to be what you were. I relate to that. But, Paul puts it well that we really never can… we can only be better. So, for me this past month was a very good exercise in accepting “the new normal” until I do reach a higher baseline.
    Not fighting with how we feel… how difficult, but how crucial it is.

  67. Matt Says:

    yeah..I am a nurse. But waking up in the mornings I have this fear and sense of doom that is overwhelming. I guess it’s just a setback but I sure as heck don’t wanna go through what I went through for 5 years again. Guess I just need some support, cause over the past year, felt great could go and do what I pleased and felt like me again…over the past 2 months, i’ve had setback after setback..and it’s getting worse. anxiety and panic are one thing, DP is a whole new level of anxiety that is just scary. I could deal with panic attacks and the occasional anxiety…but this? It’s horrible.

  68. Bryan Says:


    You’re in good company with the morning issues, doom/foreboding. Believe me, while I might paint mine as unique the way the switch gets flipped in sleep… everyone relates to what you’re going through.

    I seem to remember your posts and you doing well, no? If you did it once, you can do it again. Of course you’re not going to go through it for 5 years. I’ve been studying this stuff for a long time and I’ve never heard of anyone going backwards that far. Have I heard of setbacks? Of course.

    Stick around, get back to the basics and re-educate yourself to the concepts that helped you get back to normal life. I’ve been in and out of this (mostly in) for 3 years working on acceptance, and even now… I’m re-committing to the concept and seeing improved results. (Today aside)

    I would give anything for an anxiety-free year, so don’t see this as a failure. See it as your example that you can get to normal life using acceptance and stress reduction. Maybe take a peek around at your life and see if things have changed, or if stressors have increased. And start putting together a plan to re-commit to the concepts Paul teaches, as well as any stress reduction you can manage.

    There is a lot of writing here about setbacks. Paul has one blog here and one at his other site. It’s a well covered topic, for good reason. They suck! But, you will overcome it liike we all will.

  69. Bryan Says:

    Matt, here’s an old post I saved from Scarlett regarding setback that I really liked…

    Scarlet Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 6:08 pm
    Hi Leslie/Lynda,

    “I find that each morning when I wake up, I’m trying to figure out how I feel. Then my mind starts going….I get really freaked out because I can’t figure out how I feel. And this really gets to me. It’s like I’m not sure how I feel……does anyone else ever experience this??”

    It’s a habit which needs to be reversed by not dwelling on, or analysing how you feel when you wake up. Tell yourself it doesn’t matter how you feel, you are gonna cope with the day just fine and leave it at that… and in time it will stick.

    ” I feel like I’m getting better with getting on with my day and trying not to worry about how I feel. For whatever reason, morning is by far the worst time for me. I also have thoughts/feelings that I find hard to put into words. I start to think about this whole anxiety thing and wonder how I got here.”

    You can’t think yourself out of anxiety, you just get yourself deeper in the quagmire. To find out what got you there in the first place you need a clear quiet mind without racing thoughts, so for the time being you need to stop analysing and adopt a ‘can’t be bothered to find out/whatever’ attitude to thoughts of this nature, and try and forget what got you here. All will become clear as you recover and have moments of clarity, this is the time when you will know.

    “Then I get this overwhelming feeling/thought that this happened to me, but it’s something I can’t figure out. I feel like I have something to figure out or think about with this whole thing. It’s just so annoying. I’m probably not making any sense!”

    You are making perfect sense, the problem is we don’t recover when we are trying to figure things out. What did Einstein say “You can’t solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it” You will never find the answer to your question whilst thinking with an anxious mind, so you need to cut off thoughts of an analysing nature when they enter for now until your mind is quieter and able to reflect without getting anxious.

    “Also, what does everyone consider a setback?? I would just like to know because half the time I feel like I don’t even know how I’m coping with this whole thing. Sometimes I feel like I get it……sometimes I feel completely lost and confused about the whole thing and trying to figure out how I feel.”

    For me a setback was a step backwards, a time when my obsessive thoughts became more frequent after a period of relative calm, but to be honest now that I am recovered I realise they weren’t setbacks, but learning opportunities which are a necessary part of recovery. When you have times when you feel lost and confused, let it be, accept that it’s normal, and carry on with your day, don’t feel the need to analyse why you feel this way, as there’s absolutely no way you will think your way out of it. It passes when you are able to carry on as normal without analysing the whys and wherefores of how you feel.

  70. Mark R Says:


    Yeah with you on that, if September was the month that rocked the boat then October was the month that steadied it so to speak. I still feel awful, I still have high DP but it is loads better than the preceding month.

    Generally my acceptance level has been good, although there are times where I feel like I’m fighting and have to have a word with myself. On days where it completely takes me over I end up crying, not sure if that is helping or not.

    You’re right though we can never go back, just forward to a better place than before. Hard to see at the moment but I’m sure it will be.

  71. DCYL Says:


    Is this the same Matt that was having issues with family / school / etc and then finally recovered? If so, I’m surprised to see you back on here saying you are struggling. I guess that is the “unknown” part of “recovery”. Paul’s written about recovery but I don’t think he talks about when you “fall back” too much except that you can recover (since we’ve done it before).

  72. Matt Says:

    DCYL..yes the same matt. I really appreciate all the posts, and you guys are right…I just need to get back to what I was doing, which was paul’s methods, to get better again.

  73. Mark R Says:


    I remember you giving really good advice to me when I was really in the mire around 12 months ago.

    You’ve already identified it as a setback and it is just that, don’t let it fool you into thinking you’re going to be suffering for 5 years. I found that anything can trigger a setback. Claire Weekes says just a memory can trigger your old suffering and bring back all the symptoms in very acute form.

    You know the way though so its just getting back on that path.

  74. Matt Says:

    Thanks Mark…I did read claire weeks book as well. It’s weird, it’s like once you’ve found freedom it’s strange to hit that wall again. It’s like I forgot what it was like with anxiety and then it came back all of a sudden that I was questioning what was wrong with me. I’ve been away from the anxiety for so long that when it came back it felt new again…if that makes any sense.

  75. Mark R Says:

    I hear you pal. I wouldn’t say I was away from anxiety but it was hovering in the background and certainly wasn’t that much of a problem for a while for most of this year.

    Started feeling really anxious again at the start of September and slammed head first into a setback. It sucks big time especially when you’ve had some freedom. A lot of people were in your position in the last few months…….me, Charlotte, Bryan, Lucy, Angela and LizB.

    You know what got you where you were before and it will again. For m its just carrying on regardless of how I feel. Try not to fuel it too much by wondering how long it will last, thats the mistake I made.

  76. Matt Says:

    Mark…completely agree. I guess the freedom from it made it so much more painful this go around. Literally, it’s like I forgot what anxiety felt like before and now it’s baffling because it came back with such a force that it put me in this downward spiral. before it was just accepting and moving on, now it’s trying to get to the acceptance part.

  77. Gongchan Says:

    I just found myself in an EXTREMELY frustrating setback. I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse from here. It’s like my anxiety from the beginning of this year came back to me again. What the heck? Why does this happen, seriously?

    My mind has not shut up all day and I cried in the restroom because I couldn’t focus on my class and do my assignments quickly like before. I feel like I’m stuck in a box. My thoughts are so powerful and so real I wonder if I should believe them and accept them as truth, like what if this is a real, serious problem. When I believe deep down that probably nothing will even happen, and I wont die if I make this decision. But even deep down there is still a lot of doubt. I’m so scared about going back to the way I was in January, I don’t want to go back there. I don’t want to feel DP again.

  78. Bryan Says:


    The new again thing totally makes sense. Mine can do that even week to week. Each flare up seems so unique even without a long period of freedom. But when you do have a good stretch it feels so much more acute when it returns.
    But it’s the same thing.

    Matt I think I have a couple of your posts archived. (I save posts that help me understand the process better.) So, you’ve got all the tools you need. Now go get better so you can mentor us slow pokes again. 😉

  79. Jess h Says:

    Hi all woke up today and really focused again on my heart beat it’s pounding away and I can constantly feel it I’m getting so frustrated and annoyed as thankfully my heart will beat constantly so how will I ever let this be if it’s constantly beating!! I’m going out of my mind with how annoying it is and how I am so focused all the time!! Been trying to just let it be but still thinking god this is gonna be like this forever as my heart will always beat!!

    If anyone had this symptom please let me know this can go! I know Doreen and Elaine have been so helpful just feeling and given great advice just struggling to act on it , very frustrated this morning!! I can’t seem to think of anything I’m home love you xxxxelse

    Thank u xx

  80. rachh Says:

    Jess i had something similar.. When i was walking.. When my foot would hit the floor i would notice the wobble and the jolt in my eyesight. In my job i primarily walk around and i would be so irritated and anxious that thos would never go and i would notice it forever.
    I also had it about smiling too i would notice everytime i smiled everytime i caught myself doing it it would seem fake because i was focusing inwardly.

    These have all gone now.. You need to let yourself be annoyed by them be ok with noticing it and finding it irritating. Once you have sent that message to your anxious brain it will think hmm no need to anxious about this anymore because jess is ok about it.. I know how hard it can be but this is what acceptance os. Hope it makes sense the heart pounding is very normal your nervous system is on overdrive and is picking up on anything to get you to focus in and have a reaction to it. Thats why you are so sensitive to your heart pounding.
    I promise it will go.

  81. Rebecca Says:

    Jess I no how frustrating it is I had it constant for 3 months. Sometimes I felt like I couldn’t handle it anymore and beleved I was the one that wouldn’t be able to get past it and didn’t believe it would go. Just give into to it that’s what I did. Don’t try and work it out just be fine with it. I know it’s hard. I know of the frustration, I understand you because I’ve been through it. It will get better remember just carry it through your day don’t be scared. Xx

  82. Jess h Says:

    Girls thank u so much that has really reassured me that it will go and to really try and let it be!! Thank u!! ???? xx

    Hope everyone else is ok today sat in hairdressers having a pamper day!

    Jess xx

  83. Charlotte Says:

    Just wondered if anyone has dealt with extreme self awareness , especially of thoughts ? I know it’s really common with anxiety and I should just accept it, but I can’t seem to move away from it.

    I feel like I am constantly watching myself and my thoughts and I suspect this is driving my feelings of unreality. I then get myself upset by thinking I am going to be like this forever.

    I can get horrible obsessive thought like I’m trapped in my own head and don’t want to be me etc

    Any advice on acceptance gratefully received !

  84. emmae Says:

    Hi Charlotte, I have non stop internal thinking, mostly obsessive and a high level of self awareness too. I think I am right in saying that you can’t do anything about this, this is just how it is for us right now…not forever though. I have found that allowing all of this is the only way that has brought me some peace within it, if that makes sense. I just let myself think, let myself have obsessive thoughts and have a high level of self awareness. I used to try desperately hard to focus on other things, which just made me feel even more frustrated and trapped. I used to think that I was doing all of this but, in fact, these are symptoms of anxiety and ones which are unpleasant but that we have to learn to live alongside them for now. I had some lovely moments last night where my focus was naturally external, I did nothing to make it like that and my thinking was slower and calmer. These moments are proof that I can get better and I did nothing to have those moments apart from accepting myself throughout the day yesterday. I had some really vile moments during the day yesterday but I sat though them and let them be as horrible as they were, and I think I had some rewards for that last night. I really am no expert and am learning every day to stay with this stuff so the only thing I can suggest is let yourself be self aware and in time it will reduce. Take care xxx

  85. Lucy Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Took a little step back lately as didn’t really feel like posting until I had something useful to add to the mix. I have been doing okay, just really getting on with my days and had some more or less anxiety free times (although my brain likes to remind me “hey, you weren’t anxious!” just as much as when it reminds me I AM anxious.) I felt I had to take myself away a bit to truly put advice into practice. Lately I’ve been giving the panic attacks the “so what” attitude and although I’m still having them they haven’t all been as intense, I am also learning to stick two fingers up to that wave of dread that hits me quite a lot. Just thought I’d have a little catch up with other people’s posts today I guess.

    Matt, when I was really in the thick of it I actually screen shotted a post from you as it really helped me so much, I’d just like to remind you what you said… “the fact is that you have to give yourself, and mind, time to heal itself back to the way it was…the questioning of is it this? or that? It’s all b.s
    Think about it…if you had a guy with no anxiety problems whatsoever and a guy was running after you with a knife in an alley, what would you feel? Anxiety, panic, terror, etc. With anxiety, there is nothing to be afraid of, yet the feelings persist for no known reason. You have to learn to understand, accept and have an I don’t care attitude towards it otherwise it won’t go away. It is totally curable and the self-pity mode is gonna get you nowhere. It takes a little courage and strength to get out if it, I know, but it can be done by anyone. No one on here is different than anyone else because of certain symptoms…it ALL falls under anxiety.”
    You also stated it is not a life long condition and the fact it is a condition not a disease proves it is curable, infact it is the MOST curable condition out of all people who struggle with some kind of mental condition.

    So firstly I would like to thank you for that, as it was a tremendous help to me at the time, and secondly I’d like to remind you that you already know what to do. If it takes a little time to get that attitude back, so be it. Let it all be there, don’t fight and remember you have come out of this before, so you will do again. It’s tough when you’ve had good times and then have to face this again, but so what? You can, it’s not pleasant but you CAN.

    There are also a few other posts I relate to but this is very long already! Jess I have a racing/pounding heart, I haven’t actually been to a doctor but the fact I’ve had anxiety since January makes me doubt now that it is actually anything life threatening! I never have a heart attack, it never stops beating, it never pounds so hard that it explodes out of my chest. It just FEELS as though that will happen. It is difficult to pay it no mind at times, because your heart is such an essential part of your body, but the more you obsess and worry, the more it’ll keep reminding you. Just go about stuff normally whether you are noticing it or not, and eventually you won’t.

    Hope everyone else is doing well :) x

  86. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Emma

    Thank you for your lovely reply I’ve just had a good cry but I’m in work so it’s really hard as I’m not one of those people who can just shed a few tears And look ok, I go all blotchy and get red swollen eyes ! Lol at least I cAn laugh sort of !

    I just don’t know how to let it be I get overrun with fear I am stuck like this forever etc and almost feel like I want to shake my head to get rid of the thoughts and self awareness etc. I don’t really suffer a lot from physical symptom, or if I do for some reason I can accept them and they don’t bother me, it’s the psychological ones that frankly I am rubbish at accepting!

    I have a ju jitsu Halloween event to go to with my 5 year old tonite so with my red swollen eyes I will fit right in – lol

  87. Kyara Says:

    I just wanted to let everyone know what I have done to help me during this setback and maybe be able to help someone else.

    I had a REALLY rough week last week. I was upset and depressed most days and really focused inward on myself and my thoughts. I was believing almost anything that came into my mind and that upset me even more. Friday I’m pretty sure if someone would have touched me I would have cried. I started keeping notes on my phone of what I thought acceptance was to refer back to them when things felt overwhelming. This is my form of proof that at one point I felt good and I believed I could come out of this even if today I didn’t see it. I also have a note started for what fears have come into play for me. This helped me diminish some of their importance. I realize how important our mindset effects the anxiety. We have to accept we will take two steps forward and one step back because we have formed a habit to the way we respond to thoughts we think are ‘bad’, to the way we respond to sensations in our body, a habit to the way we respond to memories that come into our mind, a habit to the way we respond to stress. What ever may be your trigger(s) it is a habit to the way we respond. Please correct me if I am wrong, but this is what I have found to be true for myself. I have been practicing not to respond with FEAR. It is all normal and it is all anxiety so I do not need to be afraid. I find when I sit and try to think about my extreme DP I will get upset. I think to myself ‘Why am I upset about this? I know for a FACT this is caused by anxiety and there is NOTHING I can do but accept for it to go away so why fight it? Why be scared of it? Yes I want to feel the way I did before and I know the way there so why am I holding myself back by adding worry?’ Just go about your day and let it be there. As thick as it may seem you’re still functioning and living you’re life you’re just a little uncomfortable. We’re uncomfortable when we have a headache too or when we have the flu but we don’t want so desperately to be well. We let time pass. Why is this so hard to apply to anxiety as well?

  88. Kyara Says:

    A couple of my notes for acceptance:

    This too shall pass.
    Kindness to ones self
    Do not believe your thoughts!
    Someone else’s story is not your own.
    This is a mind bluff. You’re believing thoughts and emotions. Let them pass.
    Let the feelings and thoughts be there. As soon as you start trying to figure it out or justify them you’re adding the fight or flight symptoms into the mix.

    We cannot think or worry our way out.

  89. Charlotte Says:

    Hi kyara

    Thanks for your post. I very much relate to it and especially to the believing every thought my mind threw at me, think that is why I just go so upset with myself.

    Unfortunately I still react with fear, and I know it is this plus my non acceptance of the psychical symptoms that is keeping me in my anxiety cycle at the moment.

  90. Lucy Says:

    Charlotte you aren’t rubbish at accepting… Just takes time for the balance to come! I know you too experience ok/good days, and for today to be a not so good day is completely fine. I know I go wrong sometimes by reacting with fear too, and I know it is a hard one to break, but you just need to remember there really is nothing to be scared of. None of the horrible/obsessive thoughts are true and obsessing more just prolongs the thought, that’s why they stick around because we let them have power when they deserve none! Don’t feed them, just accept you thought it and move forward with your day.

  91. Kyara Says:


    I found it took me to feel so extremely miserable to really get to this state of mind. There is reality and then there are the thoughts we have in our head. The thoughts in our head upset us and reality is where we want to be so we have to do something different. Fighting, questioning and worrying hasn’t gotten us there. It’s hard to change things without a doubt. It’s hard to sit back and feel so bad but remember it ALWAYS passes. I’m still focused very inward on myself and I realllllly dislike it but I’m trying my hardest not to put too much thought into it. I’m going on with my day working, carrying conversations with people even when I feel like I don’t want to talk because I’m so consumed in myself. I feel bad no doubt but it feels better than being in such despair. Anxiety is still what I think ALOT about but I have come to accept that in time it will pass even though I don’t see it happening soon. Nothing will last forever.

  92. Charlotte Says:

    Thanks both????

  93. Matt Says:

    Bryan…you’re a breath of fresh air..I went back and reread my old posts. And decided to take my own advice, lol. Today has been good, though I quit my job today not because of anxiety but because it was terrible. So on the job hunt again.

    Just like me and you brother, we’ll get to the other side, you’ve been there, i’ve been there and anyone on here can get there. It’s just taking the advice and applying it.

  94. Matt Says:

    Charlotte…when I recovered, and am slowly getting back there again, selfawareness and the feeling of doom were the last to go for me. Distraction helps, but what got me through the selfawareness period is focusing on my actual life, my kids, work, school, etc. Until it slowly faded away.

    For me, the self-awareness was my brain being on alert mode all day for the most part. So I had to give it a break by involving myself in something else. It’s hard, I know, but is very possible if you just focus on life while the selfawareness is there with you. Eventually, you’ll find yourself forgetting about it, like I did, and like it didn’t even exist. Hard to imagine now, but it will happen.

  95. Gongchan Says:

    I don’t know why my post got stuck at the top but whatever.

    I just found myself in an EXTREMELY frustrating setback. I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse from here. It’s like my anxiety from the beginning of this year came back to me again. What the heck? Why does this happen, seriously?

    My mind has not shut up all day and I cried in the restroom because I couldn’t focus on my class and do my assignments quickly like before. I feel like I’m stuck in a box. My thoughts are so powerful and so real I wonder if I should believe them and accept them as truth, like what if this is a real, serious problem. When I believe deep down that probably nothing will even happen, and I wont die if I make this decision. But even deep down there is still a lot of doubt. I’m so scared about going back to the way I was in January, I don’t want to go back there. I don’t want to feel DP again.

  96. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Matt

    Thanks for your post. I am carrying on as best I can, I have two young children and I work so it all keeps me busy ! My concentration at work is awful though. I have always disliked the self awareness but I do know what it’s like when it’s gone as before this setback I had some great anxiety free times.

    Sorry to hear about your job. R u a nurse ? Hope u will find something u want

  97. Rebecca Says:

    That’s something that gets me to its the doom feeling. I can’t even wright in words what it feels like but it’s horrendous. And the dp is so thick it makes me so sad because I have 3 young kids and even though I’m present it feels like I’m missing out on them. That’s the thing that really hurts that anxiety is taking these moments away from me. Just glad to have found this site xx

  98. Charlotte Says:


    My mind hasn’t shut up all day either !!sorry to hear you are also having a bad day.

    Rebecca. I’m with you on the sadness with the kids. I have two young ones. Have you had anxiety for some time ? My started a year ago and I know it’s bringing back painful memories for me.

  99. Rebecca Says:


    My first time of experience anxitey was when I was 8 years old, I broke my arm and that was my first time of dp. Anytime any one would knock my arm it would just come over me. I can rember my mum taking me to doctors and they just told her to get me Mary poppings video lol I suppose they didn’t really know much then. My next eposiode was when I was 16 and stupidly smoked some weed that took me about a year to get over that one. Now I’m back here again. I’m 29 and had botox 5 1/2 months ago and had a reaction to it little did I no that anxiety been 1. I just hope this will be my last eposiode because now I’ve been given the wright info what to do. Xx

  100. Matt Says:

    charlotte…yeah i’m a nurse, but where I was working wasn’t exactly the field I wanted to work in. I know it sucks right now, the thing is focus on life…the things that make life worth living for, I also have 2 kids and when I was at my worst day by day I got better by focusing on them and what I normally enjoyed.

    Trust me…it’s just a phase, and the more you focus outwards the more the selfawareness dissipates. I know, it was my worst symptom, I remember driving, talking to people, etc. all just watching myself as if I was on the outside looking in. You’ll get through this, I know you will.

  101. Matt Says:

    Gongchan…I have been where you are, trust me on this. I was in nursing school, went to the bathroom crying, etc. cause everything seemed to much to handle. But ya know what? I got through it, and you can too. The key for me was allowing all these weird feelings, detachment, etc. to happen. Eventually I just didn’t care anymore about how I felt I just went on with my life and it all went away, that’s the solution man. You have to get to a point of acceptance and allowing it to be there with no fear, otherwise you fall deeper into a hole. good luck!

  102. JOE PRO Says:

    This has been a very encouraging blog and I must congratulate you all for sticking together! I just want to say Happy Halloween to everyone and take the little ones trick or treating. God bless and please don’t worry about recovery it will happen for all of you 100% that’s the truth.

  103. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Rebecca

    that’s quite a story, did u have Botox for cosmetic or medical reasons ? If cosmetic I think you were really brave ! Did the anxiety come on after the injection as you started worrying what may happen ? If so then it’s totally understandAble I would be exactly the same. I remember reading of someone famous who had Botox and then had such a panic attack she had to go to hospital !!

    Matt, thanks so much. My self awareness is exactly as u describe. Sometimes it’s like a running commenTary on what I’m doing it really gets to me. Anyway as Claire weekes says tomorrow is another day to practice utter acceptance!

  104. Rebecca Says:


    I first started with just flu symptoms aching muscles,and respritory problems. I wasn’t anxious about it I was fine before all the symptons. All the worries of what was happening kicked up a level I didn’t know exists. It was cosmetic, and it’s deafintley learnt me a lesson. X

  105. Matt Says:

    charlotte…yup, that was one of the major problems for me. It isn’t just about acceptance though, it’s about developing the right attitude towards it. For awhile, I thought I was literally losing my mind until I found this website. What helped me a lot is going back into the archives….around 2007-08 and reading the posts there, alot of people recovered and I found a lot of guidance through those blogs. Good Luck!

  106. Charlotte Says:

    Thanks Matt, will take a look at those archives.

  107. Mark R Says:


    You’ve already identified it as a setback, which in its very nature is temporary. They suck, big time but they do pass.

    You’re not going back to how you were, although it feels like you’re back at square one, its just a feeling not a fact.

  108. Gongchan Says:

    I feel a little alarmed right now. Not anxious, but just shocked and surprised. Because of anxiety I have all the curse words running through my head every single day, like hundreds of times. And as a religious person, this has been upsetting but i’m rolling with it for years.

    What happened today was I was texting a friend, letting the thoughts go, as usual, and I typed an ‘F’… AN F! I think that happened like two times today!!! Like I was just about to type the swear word in my head to my friend! Cuz I was thinking about and just about to type what I was thinking! And totally on accident!

    But I caught myself. But what worries me is, if I keep letting the word play in my head over and over, will this happen again? Would I ever catch myself again? What if I’m not doing this whole thing right? I think I am though.

    This is shocking and a bit frightening because this has never happened to me before. What if I went all the way? It’s starting to effect my thinking I think.
    Oh no…….

  109. rachh Says:

    Gongchan you are being bluffed by an overactive nervous system, most of us are. It has latched onto this because your mind wants to convince you that you would put the f word, when you know you wouldnt that is why you are getting upset by it. This is the ocd part of anxiety. People who are religious get affected by this whereas me who isnt highly religious gets the thought im a peadophile or i dont love my boyfriend. I would scroll through facebook and think that there was something significant in me innocently looking through my friends kids pictures or all of a sudden a vision of my ex boyfriend would pop into my mind and i would think does this mean something do i want to be with him.
    The answer to these things which plagued my mind is no no no. The reason you are questioning it is because the anxiety is fooling you into believing there is something in it. You have a choice in what you do anxiety will just latch on to the worst possible scenario until you have gone round and round in circles.
    Its easy for me to say this at the moment because im having a good stretch but it will get better as paul says these thoughts are not you:)

  110. Matt Says:

    Does anyone have weird dreams? like ones that make no sense at all? and when you wake up you are drenched in sweat? that’s what’s been going on with me lately, it’s the first few hours when i’m awake that really bother me. And when I wake up, the thoughts are so strange and just plain weird they make absolutely no sense. I know some of you guys on here have been through this but it is extremely disturbing.

  111. Charlotte Says:

    Hi Matt

    I had a phase of that, it’s just anxiety playing its tricks. My dreams were so vivid at one point and my mind so tired I used to get confused with what was reAl and what was a dream.

    Don’t worry about it it will pass once your anxiety comes down, and your mind relaxes

  112. Scott Says:

    Hey guys

    I have had anxiety on and off for a few tears. I recently hit a significant bump after doing really well for months. Long story short it started a few years ago with panic but i was able to get through that with a “bring it on attitude” as my fear was it was heart related but once inaccepted it was not my heart i got through it. My anxiety then sort of switched to worrying about being obsessive and a fear not of the thoughts i was getting but more “why is my brain doing this” if that makes sense. I struggle with “testing” my thoughts and the hyperawareness/ locked in my head feeling is my biggest issue. I am a dad and husband and it really breaks my heart to not be in the moment when trying to read a story to my son or draw with my daughter when i get like this. Now i have had this before and come through so logically i know it can be done but i think after doing well for a bit it has hit hard and i am trying to force “it” away. Part of my problem is i struggle with anxiety being something that happens to us as i do not get why it comes back. Anyway i hope everyone keeps working hard. Any advice i am all ears. Thanks for listening. Scott

  113. emma e Says:

    Scott, I really empathise. I find it upsetting when I’m with my son & husband & my thinking is all internal & I feel so detached. But, you have got through this & will do again. Keep reading to your son & drawing with your daughter, even if you don’t feel it in the way you would like to. You will again. Take care x

  114. Charlotte Says:


    If you look at my post on oct 30th at 1:42pm you will see I had written nearly the exact same thing thing as you have just posted !! I was asking if anyone had suffered with increased self awareness and that the feelings of being trapped in my own head cause me to panic !

    There are some greAt replies to my post from Matt Lucy kyat ta, Emma, take a look as they will help you.

  115. Mark R Says:


    I find whilst still in recovery it doesn’t take much for a bad day to come, only the slightest knock but a setback comes every 3/4 months or so and usually triggered by a memory or illness.

    Treat this as a bump in the road, you’e not gone backwards, you are still making progress to recovery despite feeling crap again. Don’t waste any time trying to work out why, just keep pushing on !


  116. Sandra M Says:

    You are so right about what you said. My setback was triggered in September when I had Vertigo. My anxiety came back full on, with balance problems, dizziness and all these weird thoughts that are there everyday.

    Feel like giving in sometimes. I don’t even enjoy playing with my own kids, it sucks.

  117. Sally Says:

    Hi Guys
    Anyone on here recovered? can you tell me did you get a really good day not a twinge of anxiety only to get up the next day and be back at square one,I feel like I am doing it to myself but I just want to hang on to the calm day how can I.Thanks any advice gratefully received

  118. Scott Says:

    Thanks Mark, Emma, Charlotte for your responses

    I appreciate the replies. I have to face my fear that this is aspect of anxiety (being on guard, internally focused on my thoughts) is no different than when I faced panic and a bout of sleep issues. I found it easier for some reason to deal with panic (wasn’t easy don’t get me wrong) to associate it as normal part of being stressed and sleep came back once I trusted it would by calming myself down. Again not easy but I did it. This “up in head”and being on guard/high alert watching my thoughts has given me fits even though I have overcome it a few times already. It is my fear that this aspect of anxiety is different than others and I cling to myself. I have not taken ownership that i am doing the testing and listening in or that it is a habit, a bad one, but just a bad mental habit. I am like a dog chasing my tail and by testing for the blue elephant I find it every time but associate that as a defect. Like most of us I have honed in on thoughts and confidence low. I love my wife who has been by my side with this and my kids are my everything and i dont want to miss out. I am being impatient too and that is a bad recipe. Time to face it head on and let the awareness and silly thoughts come and go. If Helen, Candie, Matt and others can do it, we can too. Will try not to catastrophize and separate panic/sleep from this type of anxiety which holds me back. Thanks again for the replies

  119. rachh Says:

    Sally i feel like you at the moment ive had a really good week or so and then bam today feel really awful intrusive thoughts the lot. Going to a halloween party tonight and i just feel like im not in the moment im a spectator of everything.
    Trying to not be bothered by it all though letting each symptom go. Very hard when your body is on high alert and the feeling of dread is with you.

  120. Marc bo Says:

    Hi all, Its been about a year since I was on here, sadly my mother passed away recently and ive been thrown into turmoil. My anxiety has come back as powerful as ever, partically the incredibly strong obsessive thoughts about physical imperfections. Seems weird me saying this (as I know what to do but once again am finding it SOOOO tuff) but has anyone got any advice for me. Many many thanks Marc

  121. Matt Says:

    Thanks guys for your support!

  122. Matt Says:

    When I recover again I’m gonna make it a point to come here and try to give helpful advice. No offense, but the ton of people that did recover aren’t on here anymore, they are living their lives. But seeing as there is a few that are on here giving support that have recovered I feel it’s my duty to do the same. I feel a lot better and want to help. Paul devoted his life to help others like us, I will devote my time to help others as well.

  123. Marcus Says:

    Hello everyone,
    I’ve been coming on the blog and read Paul’s book a couple of weeks ago. I ‘ve had anxiety for most of my life but a couple of months ago I started having panic attacks.

    I started Paul’s method to just be and let the thoughts pass which after a couple of days provided some relief(Yay !)

    The past couple of days I’ve been having recurring violent thoughts about harming people around me. Which obviously led me to compulsively check the internet for symptoms… I was convinced I was becoming a sociopath/schizophrenic. Got to point where i would analyze a thought where I was thinking : ”Is this how a sociopath would think? Maybe i want to do these things?” Then I started fearing thoughts you see in movies where someones mind is saying ”Do it!” so it would pop in my head and i would instantly have my stomach churn and avoid all knifes etc. I even fear my own anger now so let’s say I’m having a silly argument with someone i instantly get scared that i will snap and get violent. Has anyone else had these fears?

  124. Doreen Says:

    Marcus – Pauls blog below this one should help as it is very much about scary thoughts.

  125. Wendy Says:

    Hello everyone,

    It seems as if I am well on my road to recovery.
    I finally reached a completely new attitude and acceptance works more and more.
    Some days are still struggle, anxious thoughts come up and i get dp, but i don’t care anymore and know that it is just a matter of time until I feel completely back to normal again :)
    What helps me a lot is saying ” whatever ” or ” let it be ” whenever a scary thought comes up. After saying that to my mind I just go on with whatever I was doing.
    Don’t make the mistake to watch your thoughts after saying this again and again. You do not need to analyse them!
    Just cut them off and move on without watching yourself all day and analysing.
    Anxiety can never harm you. My anxiety has been so high at times.
    I really thought I would lose my mind, but I always came out on the other side and I know now, that even if anxiety hits me again at times, it will always get better :)

  126. Nell Says:

    Hi everyone, I think everyone gets anxious sometimes – but for us , we let it overrule us. I find that as I get older I ruminate more= worrying more. i dont know why or how I acquired this bad habit but it looks like it’s here to stay. Sometimes i scare myself silly when i wake up in the morning,and my first thought would be ‘oh shit i have to do xxx and yyyy today.I am so stressed.’ Sometimes i can stop myselfand sometimes i just carry on with these thoughts. Lately work has been v stressful, multiple projects all coming in at the same time and not to mention, i have to cover someone for 3 months when she goes onmaternity leave. i am not at all happy abt the covering and so i worked myself up into depressive thinking.

    before long i realised that i cant concentrate, became v irritable etc. all signs of anxiety. my work performance suffered and i was given a talking to by the HR. it then set me off again making me feel even lower and the whole cycle repeats itself. it finally hit me that i am letting my old enemy anxiety mess me up again!

    I AM SO DUMB. after my recovery from anxiety 3 years ago i told myself i would never ever fall prey again, yet here i am doing that. it just shows how easy negativity can creep in. my thoughts these past few months are

    * how am i to cope with my own boss’ work on top of the coverage
    * i am bound to make even more mistakes
    * i would def be SO stressed that i would make more mistakes
    * what if i get anxiety again etc etc

    All negative thoughts. i finally realised my old enemy is back and i went back to all those notes that Paul and the others have helped me 3 yrs back, and realised that i am again in the negativity mode, and how to get out of it. just let the thoughts play in my mind and dont react.

    i am tell you it’snot easy. but i am doing it.

    I just want to say, it’s easy to be tricked – when work is stressful,you get anxious,when you get anxious, the adrenalin flows, then you dont realise that it’s the fight and flee mode, and you get more worried.then you start thinking ………….

    we can get through this. sometimes when i come back on here for some comfort ‘talk’, i feel comfort thati am not all alone in this. that others have the same problems. and this gives me strength

  127. peter Says:

    Hi to all. I am having a really difficult time with my agoraphobia. I know that in order to get my life back, i have to keep doing the things i did and to continue to live my life. But its been a long time since i had a normal life. I have agoraphobia for 6 years and i think i forgot how to be normal again. This is my main problem that depresses me. I am so scared to have another panic attack. Dont know where to find courage.

  128. rachh Says:

    Im struggling again these last few days.. Another bump in the road i guess.. :(

  129. Bryan Says:


    Have you listenened to Claire Weekes audio on agoraphobia?
    It’s very enlightening. YouTube “peace from nervous suffering” or iTunes “freedom from nervous suffering.

  130. Kyara Says:


    You’re not alone. I had a decent week last week and then found it ‘hard’ to just let myself be yesterday and the beginning of this morning. Maybe referring back to Paul’s book and Claire’s book will help with my mindset. I’m not understanding how one day I am completely ok with not believing the thoughts and then the next I’m falling back into the habit. I’m letting the physical symptoms be, but the emotional side is what’s tugging at me at the moment. Just keep positive and remind yourself that this will pass. You have to let it. Don’t fight it just keep moving through out your day.

  131. Rebecca Says:

    This may sound weird but dose any one feel like when there heads not racing and not feeling anxious that you feel funny like you don’t no what to do with yourself. Just feeling normal makes me anxious hopefully it’s not just me that’s felt like this. It’s so weird how many symptons that come with anxiety. X

  132. Charlotte Says:

    Rachh and Kyara

    Hang in there both you are both doing so well, managing your anxiety and you both still come on here and give lovely advice to people, it just the ups and down of our old friend anxiety. The psychological symptoms hit me hardest aswell, physical I can cope with but the thoughts are horrid but at the end of the day they are nothing.

    Rebecca. I have and still do feel like you, at present my anxiety has dropped but I find myself thinking I feel odd because I don’t feel anxious…. We can’t win can we ! Lol!

  133. Mark R Says:


    It used to baffle me that one day I was great the next felt awful and found it incredibly frustrating.

    I don’t think though this is solely down to us and just think it is the nature of the beast to be honest. As Bryan pointed out as the body tries to reset itself its a rocky road, which is why we get good days and bad days. I wouldn’t berate yourself too much for the change in attitude, if you accept that some days are going to be bad and carry on as you are then you are doing well.


    It’s a real sod when it rears its ugly head again, especially after doing so well. It sounds like you’ve had a lot of peace too.

    From your post it appears you know the way so keep on, whatever got you recovered before will do again.

  134. Rebecca Says:

    I no it’s a bloody nightmare lol xx

  135. Charlotte Says:

    Mark R – hope u ok, saw your post on fb re your pa so hope u better now. Have to say great minds think alike as you and me have posted at the near exact same times lately !!!

  136. Lucy Says:

    Rebecca, I think it’s quite normal to notice when you’re not anxious as well as when you are, it probably comes down to the whole “watching ourselves” thing. Once it’s ingrained in you and you start on that road to recovery, which we all are even if we’re not there yet, the good days feel almost like you have forgotten something! But eventually this passes too, and you don’t even think about what you’re thinking about, notice what you’re noticing etc. The fact you’re having good days is a good sign too, just keep on with the same attitude what ever it throws at you :)

  137. Rebecca Says:

    Thanks Lucy, deafintley think its the watching my self. I’m just going with it rather than against. It just makes the day some what easier. Thanks again xx

  138. Mark R Says:


    Turns out it was a visual migraine, not anxiety. Chatted with a few people and they get them, scared the crap out of me though as I thought I’d gone blind!

  139. Doreen Says:

    Rebecca- what you have described is so common and so annoying, but as others have said, you are still watching yourself. Plus the fact that is probably does feel like an empty space, which has been filled with anxiety and as anxiety has become the ‘norm’, it feels like something is missing. I and am sure others have looked round for something to be anxious about in order to fill that space and feel we are on familiar ground. That trait too has to be accepted along with everything else.

  140. Charlotte Says:

    Hi mark, glad it sorted I didn’t think anxiety would cause that but I’m sure visual disturbance to that degree is associated with migraine.

    Doreen, you are so right re scanning for segueing to be anxious about, I do it and it is really annoying, I have my list of topics that usually I can get a good old worry from and I will scan them to check if I should be worrying about something. I think half the battle is own when we recognise what we are doing, I used to think it was a normal way to be, but now I realise whilst it is normal, worrying is useless. Buts it’s a very hard habit to break.

  141. Kelly Says:

    Hi, I’m struggling to see that my thoughts when I’m feeling anxious are not real. My main anxious thought is similar to a lady that posts on here, Helen. I have this sickening thought about whether I love my husband. We have a one year old son and I’ve suffered a bit of post natal depression, nothing too major but it’s still makes life a little difficult from time to time. I don’t want anything to change in my life though, I do love him but this anxiety is hard to deal with.

    Is it the anxiety talking when I question whether it’s feelings of guilt and maybe I really don’t love him?? Just feeling a bit confused right now.

    Any advice is welcomed.

  142. emmae Says:

    Charlotte, I have exactly the same as you … scanning to see if there is something I “should” be concerned about! Nightmare isn’t it. Of course there normally is and my mind attaches to it and off it goes! However the key now is not getting involved too much and naming it as worrying thoughts. Like you said, half the battle is won by us now knowing what is happening. I am continuing to let my mind and body do what it wants and go with the flow rather than against. It just feels a tad easier this way. I must say that I often doubt myself though and this is something I also need to let go of and I think it is standing in my way to full acceptance. I know Elaine you said to me one day to just ‘believe it’ and when I am doubting I remember that and move on with things. xx

  143. Bryan Says:

    Question to all here in general, most here are working on recovery without the use of drugs, correct?

  144. Bryan Says:

    Of I should specify… psych drugs…?

  145. Kyara Says:

    I am Bryan. I used Zoloft for 11 months and realized it didn’t help with my anxiety so I stopped. I tried starting again after falling into a setback but I couldn’t handle the side effects. It definitely agitated my anxiety so I said natural is the way to go. I’ve questioned the natural way but I talk it up to being my anxious thoughts talking.

  146. Lucy Says:

    Elaine I love the fact you are straight to the point, definitely with you that it’s not a mental illness as such although it can certainly feel that way at times! And Bryan that’s exactly why I don’t take anything for it. Think there has been this debate on here before, if there was a pill that took it all away I’d be so up for it! But from what I’ve read/heard, that’s not what they do. I can’t say exactly because I’ve never tried any of them and I’m reluctant to, but for some people they really help. Everyone’s road to recovery varies but I feel this is the only true way for me.

  147. Kyara Says:

    Anyone who is interested in reading I’ve found this book has helped me understand a little more how our brain works and what’s going on too. The User’s Guide To The Human Mind, written by Shaun T. Smith.

  148. Candie Says:

    Gochan it’s completely normal to have words, songs etc stuck in your head. I had them in mine and often nearly wrote them down. It’s just a tired mind and even those without anxiety do this!

  149. Doreen Says:

    Some people find drugs to be helpful in giving them a lift and more confidence in then being able to put Paul’s advice to good use. Nobody is suggesting that a drug be used to ‘take it all away’ but to moderate intense feelings which for some people are over whelming.

    I personally know a number of people who are using prescribed drugs and have found them beneficial. However, the most important thing is that they are a crutch rather than a cure and individuals still need to do work for themselves and are supported in becoming drug free.

    I wouldn’t wish people who read this site to feel ostracised and a failure because they are using medical help.

  150. Lucy Says:

    I agree with you Doreen, no one should feel bad for using medication. I know people who have been on them for years, but to me coming off them just seems to add another obstacle I don’t want. I have never ruled them out, and I know I won’t have failed if in the future I decide I really can’t cope and need extra help. I think it’s just important for the individual to know their options first and as you say, to realise that they will still have to steer themselves in the right direction.

    I started off okay today, turned up half an hour early by mistake to an appointment, usually waiting gives me time to work myself but I was fine which was a little victory. Had a pretty rubbish afternoon though with dp/light headedness. This is definitely one step forward to steps back!

  151. Wendy Says:

    Elaine and Candie,

    thank you both for sharing your experiences and for giving advice!
    I feel very trapped at the moment and struggle with thoughts like:
    “maybe all you think is true and you will be like this forever.”
    I struggle a lot with thoughts about my own existence. Sometimes it feels so weird being a human being. I kinda get a shock if I realise who I am and that I live on this tiny planned. It is so weird. Last week I accepted these thoughts very well and felt so much better, but here I go again..
    Did you also suffer from those thoughts? Will they be completely gone if I am recovered??

  152. Lucy Says:

    Wendy I have lots of existence thoughts too, and understand what you mean about it being “weird.” I can be out sometimes and look around at all the people and think, “is this what we all do?” Or if the inward thinking is strong I focus on how weird it is being “me.” I think they’re all normal anxiety thoughts, even to people who don’t have anxiety, they probably experience curiosity about the world. Just put them under the umbrella with the rest of it, along with this is how you’ll be forever. I don’t know if they will be completely gone once we reach recovery of it we just react differently, I haven’t experienced that yet. I know I questioned things pre-anxiety though and it never bothered me so maybe that’s how it will be after?! I saw your post about acceptance last week so you’re definitely on the right track :) just remember not every day is the same, some will still be bad, but accept regardless.

  153. Kyara Says:

    Oh Wendy can I relate! I would give myself anxiety thinking about my existence. Maybe it has to do with the DP? I’m not sure what it is but I’ve come to a point where I don’t allow myself to feed into my negative anxious thoughts. If anxiety never came along I don’t think thoughts like that would effect me or maybe I wouldn’t of had them at all. I don’t think you’re going to remain this way. Just accept them right now and accept they make you anxious. The mind will continue to throw thoughts out of the ordinary at you because of your excess adrenaline accepting and not giving I to them is what will stop them. Acceptance can almost feel worse than anxiety it’s self. You’re going against everything your mind is programmed to do for protection but the thing is your mind can’t see there isn’t any danger. It’s all a habit. You’re just breaking that habit and have to be prepared to be a little uncomfortable for the time being.

  154. Charlotte Says:


    I totally relate to weird existence thoughts as I also struggle with them, especially like Lucy says when the inward thinking is strong, for me it leads to my feelings of unreality and thoughts like its weird being me, and I don’t want to be me.

    With regards to will these thoughts go when fully recovered, I think the point is it shouldn’t matter if the thoughts come or go, they are just thoughts, and once we can all just accept our thoughts are just that, then we can move on and have the freedom of mind we all want, because we will know that ANY thought could come into our heads and it won’t matter, cause they are just thoughts.


  155. Bryan Says:


    I don’t think anyone implied anyone was a “failure” for using “medical help.”
    I simply asked, because I feel like it’s a fair question to ask. One of the reasons I’m assuming many of us are here is because medications did not work for us or we do not want to get into the loop of medications/struggles/medications. I know for me, medications only made things worse.

    I simply asked because when someone is here giving advice who has healed, I think it’s fair to know HOW they healed. If they healed using medications, it’s just another part of what worked for them.

    However, my instinct in reading here is that the majority want to know how to do this naturally. I just had a moment of wondering… am I the only person here not using medications, and are most of these people who “recovered” actually taking drugs.

    It wasn’t a judgment, it was simply a question for the sake of clarity. I hope you can recognize that distinction.

  156. Pez Says:

    Just to completely change the subjec, I have a question and wondered if anyone could help.. I would say I’m 75% acceptance of anixety, and instead of having bad or good days, is more bad or good moments, which is a huge turnaround compared to how I was 6 months ago,but my main reason why I struggle with some acceptance is I constantly go through stages day in and day out of shortness of breath and even though I know I’m breathing [its impossible not too] it feels like it’s not going in, also more recently I constantly twitch or flinch, mainly my head, and convinced myself I’m going to have a fit.. Does anyone else get this? Now I appreciate I’m constantly checking into myself and I’m fully aware of this, and I’m much better at ignoring it than I used to… But you can’t help being aware of it.. Anyone had similar?

  157. rachh Says:

    Thanku for words of encouragement. I can relate to pretty much everyones posts on here. Ithink the thoughts we have are normal deep thinking but because we are sensitised they seem scary where as if we were feeling our normal selves the thoughts wouldnt be significant but rather inquisitive thoughts.
    Ive had the existential ones.. Was stood on top of some hills walking the dog, got to the top and looked around and just had thoughts like is this it, is our purpose in life just to be busy little dots on a planet.. Funny to look at now but at the time vile!
    I also have these bizarre empty feeling moments and they scare me. Which sets my anxiety off again. I think it is part of self awareness and being a spectator of ourselves. Once i feel like im living life and not watching myself im ok.
    Bryan i took ADs for a day.. The side effects are what started my scary thoughts off because they sent me in such a sensitised state i actually thought i was out of control. My face felt like it was going to fall off lol. They then gave me some benzos which were a god send and gave me some lovely relief but came off them steadily and now just my anxious self.. Which is bearable at the minute..

  158. rachh Says:

    Pez its all anxiety i get slight twitching.. Its a physical symptom of sensitised nerves.. Shortness of breath too i spoke to someone who told me to breath by filling my belly.. As in put my hand on my belly and watch it move opposed trying to breathe into my chest. I have this rarely but it is defo a symptom of anxiety.

  159. Doreen Says:

    Bryan – it wasn’t your post but that have been statements in the past about medication which may have put some people off from using the blog.

  160. Bryan Says:


    I do understand. It’s a tricky situation. Though, I have to say to an extent… it’s nice to have this one refuge on the entire internet where people are generally working this out naturally. No one should be made to feel bad for using meds, or coming off, etc. But, almost every forum online is all about… “what drug worked for you… this drug worked for me… I’m trying this drug next week… etc.”
    It’s bee a life-saver for many of us to find a place where the focus is organic healing.

    But, given.. I’m biased because I was more or less put into this condition because of a medicine reaction. (Though that was likely a last straw.) Then more meds prolonged and worsened the condition.

    But, I understand the desire to take meds. I still take a small amount of beta blocker for racing heart and prolapse mitral valve, though it has very little effect on the kind of anxiety I have.

    Anyway, agree… no no one should be ostracized. Thanks for your responses.

  161. Rebecca Says:


    I get twitches in my head to, I also get trapped nerves all over. I don’t let it scare me. I don’t give it much attention, just something eles to put under the umbrella. Hope every one had a good bonfire night xx

  162. Pez Says:

    Thanks for this… It’s strange because it’s a different symptom of course & I’ve had them all I think… But this one is weird, the last few days it’s been constant like someone is shaking my head, and it’s so weird, feels like I’m about to go into a fit… Just want to know if anyone else has suffered from this.

  163. Doreen Says:

    Bryan – I agree that this site should not become one where people compare one medication with another and am sure that if such posts were submitted they would not appear on the blog. (which is why I didn’t answer your question about drug usage earlier on)
    But some people may be achieving steps towards recovery (whatever recovery means to them) with the support of medication and/or therapy and I hope they would feel there was a place for them on this blog in terms of reading helpful stuff about the non medical route and maybe submitting thoughts about what progress they have made from using Paul’s methods. But I certainly don’t think there is a wealth of people on this blog whom you term recovered who have done it solely with medication. I think they are on the blog in order to benefit from the very sensible and long term solutions that Paul is advocating.

  164. Mark R Says:


    I am on a low dose of Venlafaxine and have been for a long time now. I think meds are fine but not the whole answer, if they were people would not be posting on here.

    What I do find is that I have had friends who have used them to great effect but then they try and force them on me. This really angers me to be honest, as I have pointed out numerous times that they are not the answer.


    I do agree with what you say, there have been a few posts on here lately with the advice of ‘Don’t come on here, don’t take meds, don’t go to a therapist’ without any consideration to subjectivity of other peoples progress. In my view, whatever helps an individual helps them, be it meds, a therapist or chatting on here. As long as they are not searching for a magic pill or a phrase to take it all way then that’s okay, we are all following the same advice to get better.

  165. Bryan Says:


    So, out of curiosity did your stretch of feeling better coincide with taking the drug?

    What about people like Helen, Candie? Are their stories ones that include using drugs to recover?

    I’m just curious because I found this blog later and I want to know what’s really happening. Reason being if drugs are part of what suppressed symptoms for people, it’s fair that other people know that if they are offering advice no?

    If someone is advising someone else to use acceptance for their headaches while they themselves use Tylenol… well the Tylenol needs to be just as prominent in the discussion. (For example)

    Someone who offers advice here just recently casually mentioned that they were on a psych drug which really surpsied me. Which is totally fine! But if they are offer advice to people NOT on drugs, I think it’s fair to note this fact.

    In other words if someone “recovered” taking pills, and is here advising on recovery, it seems a disservice to those they are advising NOT to mention this crucial and important detail. Paul was really transparent about his non-use of drugs in recovery and shouldn’t he be our role model as far a that transparency goes?

  166. Rebecca Says:

    I went to doctors and she told me to take Valium. I told her I don’t want to because speaking for myself I would have had to face it one day. I feel I’ve only improved by accepting anxiety. Even though I’m finding it super hard but just coming on here and getting support is amazing. And for the people who come on here who have recoverd you are a true inspiration so thank you. X

  167. Scott Says:

    Hey guys

    What helped me with the physical symptoms of panic was coming to grips that it could not “hurt me”, my heart was in fact ok, and all of the physical symptons like pins and needles, tingling, highnfear were all due to high stress and fear about them. It was not easy but please believe me it can be done. It may sound simplistic but what helpes me was an attitude of “bring it on” and also if i recall correctly was a slow realization and acceptance that i probably would have been long gone if there was something wrog with my ticker. It was not easy but sort of faded over course of time. Now i then got sensitive to sleep shortly thereafter and “worried” alot about sleep after struggling there and again, i needed to accept i was not sleeping due to my worry about “not sleeping” and this lasted for a bit too. I even worried about not sleeping after i did in fact have a good night sleep! That was the worst. I would wake up and see the clock and be like “yes i slept life is back”- absurd right! As day went on a stupid little thought would pop “will you sleep tonight though”- are you kidding me!!! This was a cycle i had to break which i did somehow, accepting, not rabbit chasing. It took some time and confidence grew. Now i have had good stretches and lots of evidence with silly thoughts that have bothered me. I have a fear not so much about the content of my stupid thoughts but why my brain latches on and why incant switch out of “alertness/ anxiety radar mode”…i feel like my mind is stuck. I do know 100 percent i have felt this way before and came out of it and did in fact for like 14 mnths. I am in a setback and am now “on high alert” and it is an awful feeling to lose your present moment as many of us know. I am trying to force acceptance i think and battling severe guilt as my wife can sense when i am off and i have kids that i love with all my heart and am scared i will not be as good a dad as i can be and it breaks my heart so my patience is low and mynspirit and confidence are low too. But i hold on to hope that i have come out before i just dont recall how i wrnt from hard focus to soft focus to letting the foolishness just fade. All of you can get out, i have a few times but i never lost fear of silly thoughts totally. I have never had another panic attack and that started my struggle a few yrs back. It can be done. The physical stuff just happens to make sense to me only because i associate normal stress responses with physical sensations. The thought stuff is where i need to work. Hope everyone can keep mustering up some confidence. Thanks for listening

  168. Candie Says:

    Hi Wendy I had them exact thoughts too and many more. My mind would scan for allsorts to worry about. It’s natural to think existential stuff anyway, me and my other half often do- when I was anxious I would push them away as I was so sensitive they terrified me. Let them in and live in the moment :)

    Bryan I tried medication it did nothing for me. Acceptance. Good diet. Exercise. Good supplements for general wellbeing. Water. They all really helped me.

    I never used to understand how those who recovered never suffered again, until I recovered and realised if I’m not scared of any of it then it can’t dominate my day. In the beginning one negative thought or a racing heart would set me off with sleepless nights and high anxiety. Now the thought I’d just a fleeting thought, the racing heart will pass. Can you see my attitude changed? The change gave my body a rest and recovery took care of itself :)

  169. RickT Says:

    Hi everyone. I have been practising acceptance and have been managing my reaction to anxious thoughts and panic symptoms quite well for a few weeks. On Friday I started to feel a bit tense and had a busy day, hadn’t slept well etc. during the weekend this crept higher and I had a panic attack on Sunday morning. Since then I have struggled to allow things to float and I’m pretty stuck in high anxiety mode with symptoms going off like fireworks and my thoughts racing.

    What’s frightening me is that when I’m speaking to people I trust I’m taking things they say the wrong way and being paranoid. I haven’t felt this before. Irritated yes, and that seemed to pass but not suspicious and paranoid. Does anyone else relate to this and does anyone think i should be speaking to my doctor? Worried I’ve developed a different disorder or something.

    Very worried

    Thanks in advance to anyone who has time to reply

  170. Bryan Says:

    You’re an inspiration, Candie. That’s fantastic. Thanks so much for continuing to check in here and offer advice.

  171. Wendy Says:


    thank you for your reply!! How does it feel being recovered? You say you still think existential thoughts, but do they really not scare you anymore?
    I can’t imagine losing complete fear of these thoughts, that make me feel so horrible at times some day…

  172. MikeStevens Says:

    Just wanted to give you all an update.
    I haven’t been here for awhile. I’ve been doing pretty good.

    Sleep anxiety is my issue. Initially I struggled to sleep because of anxiety from work and life stress. Those issues have been resolved but the sleep issue lingered.

    I don’t say this lightly: I was at the brink of completely losing it.

    I’m not entirely there yet. But I’m doing much, much, much better. I’m even getting excited about other things in life again (like putting up my Christmas tree)….. I’m actually crying alittle as I type that.

    Thanks Paul, Joe Pro, Elaine….. so many others. Please don’t take offense if I left a name out.

    One thing I’d like to leave you with is this:

    I think there are two different types of anxiety/obsession.

    One comes without warning. This is the one you need to just let it ride out. You need to accept it and let time pass. You need to remind yourself that you didn’t bring this bout on and it’s not your job to make it end as soon as possible. It’s only your job to be as accepting as possible and at peace with it. It will pass on its own.

    The other is from your own obsessing over the matter. This one you have some control over. For me it was sleep. If you constantly keep reading about anxiety and your symptom you’re just not accepting of it. Healthy people don’t do that. A person who sleeps fine doesn’t spend their waking hours thinking about sleep. Same with any other ways that anxiety manifests itself.

    When it comes on by itself, just let it be there. Don’t fight it, don’t run from it.

    When you’re bringing it on willfully? Stop. Move on with your life.

    One you can’t be blamed for but the other you can be blamed for.

    God bless.

  173. Mark R Says:


    Ive been on AD’s since 2002, in which time I’ve had recoveries for years at a time and further bouts of anxiety. I’m not trying to discourage anyone here but if I had the choice I wouldn’t choose them again. The reason being that I find the complications of side effects hard to contend with both going on them and withdrawing.

    I agree with Candie and the all round holistic approach is the better path for me. I think that Paul and Claire Weeke’s methods are natures way of recovering, but that’s just me. I don’t even take anything for a cold or bugs, just let my body do the recovering for me. That saying I’m far more patient suffering from a cold, flu, sickness bug than anxiety!!

    I don’t think I’ve come across anyone on this site that’s recovered using just meds but plenty who use them for assistance. I also think as well where you are based makes a difference. My impression is that the US has more anti anxiety medications than the UK. We (the UK) tend to treat anxiety with AD’s on the whole with valium used in the short term.

  174. DCYL Says:

    Hey All,

    Been away for a couple of weeks but dropped back in to read stuff. Something that happened over the weekend got me to thinking about something and I wanted to share a bit.

    My mom is suffering from some memory type issues (possibly Dementia). So my dad and I are basically with her around the clock. There’s a lot of challenges with that alone. My dad gets the worst of it during the work week as my mom is with him at HIS JOB. The weekends become my responsibility. Fortunately, my mom isn’t to the point where she doesn’t remember us or anything. She just has bad short term memory and can act up at times. But overall, the situation is currently manageable

    However, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. I’ve tried to balance mom and my activities and sometimes I don’t realize I am overtaxing myself a bit. I had my mom with me for some stuff Friday night, all day Saturday / Sunday and some stuff Monday night.

    I also didn’t sleep much and at points on Sunday / Monday, my mom was wandering and I was working up a sweat like back to my old anxiety days. In fact, I think some of us fall back because some of these conditions (sleepless, sweating, etc) remind us of anxiety and we begin to obsess.

    Definitely not easy but I understand how / why we can fall back. We just have to reset ourselves and we’ll be better again in time. :)

  175. elaine Says:

    Mikestevens , well done you got it its clicked well done . xx

  176. Bryan Says:

    Mike, that’s awesmoe

    Great to hear. I’m thrilled to hear you have made the first steps back towards recovery. Just try to keep your mind flexible that there will still be good and bad days. That is sometimes very hard to do, from personal experience.

    But, I’m glad to hear this is working for you. Keep working the process… and plesae keep us updated.

  177. Pez Says:

    Hi guys,

    I used to get really awful thoughts constantly & don’t get me wrong I still do occasionally, however these don’t frighten me anymore, so I just want to share what helped me… If you put thinking into context, let’s say you’ve just had a break up, and you were constantly thinking about them, obsessed by what they may be doing, looking to find information, etc, firstly you would never get over them, and secondly by checking to find something, you wil always find something you don’t like… Sounds silly, but it’s the same for sleepless nights, that day or before your about to go to bed, you would have already set yourself up at some point thinking ‘oh I’m not going to sleep tonight’ so why wouldn’t it be there if your expecting it to happen.. I know people say allow the thoughts to be there and I completely agree to a certain extend, however force yourself to think or something else, anything! Something that makes you smile or used to… I can assure you as soon as your mind is set on something else you will fall asleep.. Everytime your distracted and not obsessing about how you feel, you don’t feel anxiety, you don’t panic and the only time you do is when you realise your not panicking… It’s laughable really.. I’ve seen first hand my best friend completely recover, and it is about acceptance, but you can’t accept something until you remove the fear, all this is, is your sub concious mind that holds on to things, as soon as it gets the message there is nothing to be worried about, your constant anxiety will disappear I promise!

    Sorry this message is jumbled, I have so much more I can say, but hope some helps

  178. RickT Says:

    Pez,I totally agree with you post. I posted last night re my fear of mental illness and this becomes my obsessive thought which sends me into setbacks. This can be triggered by something I see, watch on tv or something somebody says and I bring it back to checking on myself for “the sign” all is not right with my mental health. The really difficult part is that once I am out of the setback I don’t believe any of the thoughts I had are even remotely likely or hold any truth, I then believe they now hold no fear anymore but weeks later, pop, and I’m off again. I suspect my setbacks are getting shorter though. Could anybody shed some light on this and any tips on how to stop it happening?


  179. Pez Says:

    Hi rick, you will have set backs, I do, mine are mainly physical symptoms, & I only ask for reassurance… Set backs are always going to happen, but the only reason they do is because you give them attention.. It comes back on and your like ‘oh here we go again’ you were feeling great & now you feel anxious and awful again, so you go back to feeling negative & become self obsessed with how you feel again… It’s a fact, that when your distracted and busy you don’t feel anxiety or panic! All anxiety and panic stems from on reality is self obsessed, people get DP because all there actually thinking about is themselves so how can you feel involved in the world or the conversation going on right in front of you… When it’s all put into context is so obvious what’s happened.. I’ll take a deep breath and think oh that didn’t feel right and for the next 3 hours I’ll watch my breathing, or my pounding heart checking to see how it feels.. When your concious of something you feel it.. Hence why if you see someone yawns it makes you automatically yawn.

    It generally is a learned behaviour of watching yourself and checking into see how you feel, if someone mentions the word ‘insane’ we cling on to it, where as so would someone with out anxiety because you are taking in the word, but then they dismiss it after 30 seconds… Any word we fear will cling on to our anxiety because we let it..

    I hope I’m making sense to some of you, as it’s made me improve leaps and bounds..

  180. Pez Says:

    On another note Rick… You only fear the bad words because you understand what they mean… You wouldn’t fear the word ‘flowers’ and then become scared of flowers because that’s not a danger.. When anxiety is high, we would only fear what we know and have learned in our lives as a danger.. Laugh it off.. All it is, is the fear of going ‘crazy’ and the only reason people have thought this up is because anxiety has been associated with ‘mental health’ when i don’t believe it is, but we take that phrase we’ve heard and fear it because of what we know is associated with it.

  181. Scott Says:

    What is the best way to deal with a silly, irrational thought? I think i am stuck on fact that i know that i am not going crazy, dont have another mental issue though i totally get those fears and understand completely how a sufferer can test their thoughts for any sign of that fear. My issue is i get silly thoughts that get stuck in my head, causes a fear pang in my gut and i wrestle with it, try to prove i am not afraid of it. This gets me all knotted up and i lose my present moment because i am hyperaware of my thinking and monitoring my self if that makes any sense. I am probably worried that while i am not crazy that i have a defect of some sort and my life will suffer and i wont be able to be a good dad or husband and that makes me very scared and breaks my heart when i think of my wife and kids. So i struggle to prove i am ok and know full wrll the silly thought is something that would scare/ bother no one else. Any advice out there? I hope everyone can feel better. Scott

  182. Candie Says:

    Hi Wendy the best way to get over the thoughts is to think them more. Don’t think them more to get rid of them, think them more with a genuine acceptance of whatever the fear thought is. I would think really odd stuff like what if life’s a dream, what if I’m in a coma, about my soul trapped in my body. Really deep odd stuff. It’s normal to ponder the meaning off life and all its questions. I’d even think what if life was an illusion, etc etc. in the end I had to tell myself what will be will be. I can’t prove now my life isn’t one big dream, even if your all real etc- I also can’t be bothered to worry about it as my beliefs are fixed in reality and that’s all that counts! When your adrenals are on one you get a massive fear reaction to normal thinking. When you get this reaction don’t follow the fear and assume you have to figure the thought out to escape the anxiety. This rests your nervous system, after a while you can think the thoughts and your nervous system stops over reacting and there is nothing scary about any of it.

    You say you can’t imagine yourself free of being scared. I never thought I’d be free of any of this. But thinking like that makes ‘this’ a problem to be fixed. It’s only when you stop wanting to be fixed it leaves you alone as you stop thrashing your nervous system telling it your in danger.

  183. rachh Says:

    Can i ask what to do with negative thoughts. Should we treat them as though they are lies and positive things as truth?

  184. Dominic Says:

    Hi guys.
    Just a post to let you know my story. It started off about 14 months ago. I was under a lot of stress with work, money etc. I had a panic attack one night at the thought of not sleeping. Well guess what? I never slept. For weeks. I was in bits. High anxiety, major depression. I gave up the sleeping tablets and got back into a sleeping pattern but the anxiety remained in the background. The silly thoughts were there all day. I then had a major setback after feel on ok for a few weeks. My world felt like it had ended again. Back to the doctors. I refused any type of meds but I still had my nose in any books, websites, you tube video I could find. All to get me better. This went on for a couple more the time Christmas came I was in pieces. I normally loved Xmas but I couldn’t even listen to the songs on the radio. I saw a therapist in the new year which helped a bit.
    I came across Paul’s site and things changed for me. I gave up the search.i just thought” well this is how it is so let’s just get on with it”. I decided to just get on with life. My journey has had its ups and downs and only the other night I had the silly ” I won’t sleep nights” but I just lay there and thought so what. I was shattered the next day but I thought “so what”.
    I have had great days totally anxiety free and bad days with deep thoughts, sleepless nights, depression, no motivation but I now just get on with things. I now run my own business which I started 6 months ago and coupled with a young toddler I now don’t have time to worry about these things anymore.
    I’m not recovered. I still get the thoughts, symptoms but I’ve slowly developed a so what attitude.
    One thing that has helped me is knowing that I’ll never be scared of the symptoms again because I’ve been through them and they can’t hurt me. The worst Ill feel is a bit tired.
    Hope this has helped.

  185. Katie Says:

    Hi Paul and everyone,

    There are some great posts and information on this site which has helped me alot, however, I’m struggling to find any information for people who have struggled with anxiety/panic attacks from a young age. While alot of the recovery strategies apply to everyone and have helped me on my road to recovery, I’m struggling a little as nearly all my memories are of suffering with anxiety, it’s what I’ve known most of my life and anything else feels quite foreign really…does anybody have any stories or advice?? Thanks :)

  186. Damo Says:

    Hi everyone :-)

    first of all what a great post and blog. Seriously the advice and support on here is un matched, its realllly helping :-). Iv been struggling with what i think is really bad social anxiety. I get really anxious around people. People i know and should really get on with are the worst. Iv started having panic attacks around my girlfriends parents, like literally freaking out, pounding heart etc. I panic infront of work colleagues, managers etc, its sooooooo imbarrassing. Not just that, i torture myself worrying about facing these people, i feel like i put people on edge and as soon as that thought gets in my head, i cant get it out and start avoiding people and making the situation worse, its really getting me down. now for the positives woop woop. Im really taking on board all the advice here and startingggg to relax abit, iv refused tablets after being on anti DP’s for agesss (did nt do anythinggggggg) but iv found inderal helps with the physical symptoms, i suppose im posting this just to see if anyone has ever had the same and come out the other end, does it sound like social anxiety to you guys. Im trying so hard not to fight, to put a brave face on and crack on and i know ill get there, and everyone else here will do aswell, Paul is absolutely right with his was of doing things :-) good luck everyone

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