New book ‘At Last a Life and Beyond’ now available

Well after 10 months of work the new book ‘At Last a Life and Beyond’ was delivered today and is now available to purchase, if anyone wishes to do so the links are below. I do hope that people like it and that it helps many people.

You can buy it below through my site as an eBook or a physical book, it is also available to overseas customers.

You can purchase the paperback or the kindle version from Amazon by clicking here

Finally the other option is eBay here


605 Responses to “New book ‘At Last a Life and Beyond’ now available”

  1. Rich Says:

    Hi Everyone, For comments preceeding the comments on this particular blog post, please click here:

    There is a wealth of great advice, testimony and guidance in the archives of this blog and I recommend all newcomers have a browse through the archives to help gather valuable knowledge and understanding.

  2. Nolan Says:

    Congrats Paul!
    Thanks again for all of your efforts and the wisdom that you imparted to so many of us!!

    God bless

  3. Bryan Says:

    Bought it today. Reading it now. Fantastic. Thanks Paul.

  4. Kirsty Says:

    Hi all! It’s my first time on here and i’m after some help :) I just keep getting sucked back in and sometimes it’s hard to spot the simple mistakes your making as your too close to the situation.
    I first had anxiety 3 months after our wedding when my husband was not living with me and boy did I fight it!!!!!!! Yes I scolded my self, blamed my self, told myself to get over it and it’s the worst I had been I was in and out of panic attacks, could not sleep at all (probs 30 mins a night) lost loads of weigh. The worst thing about it was I was kept in the loop as I believed I had caused grey hair and aged myself through this process, so feeling it was not an option as I was damaging myself!
    Now believe me I realise that these things don’t matter in the scheme of things and I certainly have more things (I could but should not have to worry about now) But I ask this only to help take away the fear of that thought. Did anyone go through years of anxiety and Panic attacks and it not age/damage them/cause grey hair? I ask this as most thoughts I can dismiss, I never went to A and E or believed I was physically ill, I dismissed these thoughts as on a gut level I knew it was anxiety as the Dr had told me thus but on a gut level I know stress is bad for us so that’s why I fought it! Is my gut wrong or do I just need to accept the damage done?
    I got well eventually using meds and cbt, it took along time as I resisted meds and was full on battling but I was well.
    I then had a setback when I took on extra work and I think the setback was destined to happen as I kept on asking after the first time why dis it happen? This time though I found at last a life and I carried on living and did not have panic attacks. I did however live smaller than before and did research and question why it had come back. I blamed it on a friend who said “I think your getting ill again’ when it was just a wobble and I went into the thought cycle what if she had not said that? what if I had exercised more, eaten better? gone on meds sooner? would I have avoided it? I did my second round of cbt and had antidepressants for two months after 3 months of the meds I conceived a child. My husband had filled me with so much confidence he said if I had postnatal or fell down it was no problem as we have overcome it twice and the second time was no where near as bad so it will never be as bad as the first time again and it never has! I had an uber relaxed prefect pregnancy and a drug free perfect water birth. I had really learnt not to sweat the small stuff! But bam my son was born with a heart condition and had open heart surgery at 10 days old!! I was a rock at the time but fell apart after. I blamed myself! Was it because i have suffered anxiety? was it this was it that? I bonded with my child so much and was busy going out and about and took the anxiety with me but the thoughts were there. I was upset that I could have done this to my perfect little boy.
    I did not have a problem with him having the condition if that was how he was meant to be but I had a problem with the idea that I may have caused it! I had antidepressants and cbt and came off the xmas but was quite large from the antidepressants. I have slimmed down and lived with the anxiety but I have not got Paul’s advice on a gut level, I understand it on an intellectual level but not at gut level. I just carry it around and hope it will go and occasionally google ect when it gets too much. I have the thoughts, Maybe I went through it the first few times so I did not fall for it this time but I did and that makes me a bad person. I feel I chose to get anxious and have these thoughts and i could have avoided it!
    This is where I am today. Any advice welcome.
    I would also like to think there will be a silver lining some day! Is anyone grateful for anxiety?

  5. lindsey Says:

    Ive ordered and paid for the ebook twice over and both times it has froze before I can save it.,, now I have no book and 24 pound short.,, how can we sirt this paul.. I have all my oaypal paymemt details :(

  6. lindsey Says:

    Ps. I am going to purchase the kindle version from amazon. But could I please be refunded for the other 2 will I have psid for and not been able to recieve properly :( I have keft my email address and will be hsppy to send my paypal recieots to you.

    thanks again

  7. karen c Says:

    Thank you Paul. A great new book. I know you don’t do this for money but I truly hope you become a millionaire, you truly deserve it. Well done Paul.

    Karen c

  8. Diane Says:

    Thanks Paul, ordered it yesterday looking forward to reading, good luck with it

  9. Alex Says:

    Hi Paul, congrats on the new book, I am very excited to check it out!

    I just have a quick question for anyone who can answer. I have been following Pauls advice and have been doing nothing to control or fight my anxiety and have seen great success so far! I am however in a setback currently, which is fine.
    However I have the worst worrying habit, and I find at times my mind will automatically just worry away which obviously makes the anxiety so much worse and I think this is what has caused my anxiety in the first place. In Paul’s book theres a small section about consciously changing these worrying thought patterns and replacing them with more positive thoughts.
    Where I get caught up though is that I am not sure whether or not just to let these thoughts worry away and do nothing about them, or consciously try to change them as Paul suggests.

    If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions that would be great, thanks!

  10. Debbie Says:

    Thanks paul love the book you have helped me. So much andvyour blog also . thanks also maria and tom.

  11. Tom Marshall Says:

    Congratulations Paul, I’m about half way through reading it now, You have done a fantastic job of really getting the message across, I strongly believe this will help people!

    No problem at all Debbie :) Its what we are all here for.

  12. Muhammad Arif Says:

    Hi paul. Congratulations on publishing your second book.
    I wanna ask that when will it will be available in pakistan. Because and ebay services and not available here. I read you blog. But waiting to read your books too. How can i get these.

  13. Sj Says:

    I have not read the first book and am wondering whether there is a huge overlap and I should purchase the second book or whether I should start with the first? Any advice. Thanks

  14. anna Says:

    EBay does not ship the book to Australia. Will try amazon.

  15. Kat Says:

    Congratulations, Paul. You have been such a wonderful inspiration and role model to anxiety sufferers, myself included, that I wish you all the best in this endeavour. You are very much appreciated.

  16. Sue Says:

    does anyone find that when they first wake up they have dull dark thoughts and then when they have eaten something they seem to lift.
    I have nothing to be anxious about so when the anxiety starts it is as though my mind is searching for something to be anxious about. Some one mentioned this further up the page that anxiety tries to find anything to latch on to to keep it going. Why is this.

  17. Sue Says:

    Why when you have had a good few days does it come back even worse. Then you start the process of going backwards and wondering what you have done to bring it back.
    I am reading Pauls book but finding it hard to put into practice at the moment.
    Some of the thoughts are so weird and frightening. Yesterday I was at a family fun day and sat in a chair feeling quite tired and all of a sudden it was like a blanket came over my head and I could have just sat there and not got up again. it worried me all the day then.
    I was never a person like that always a happy soul really until this menopause and anxiety hit me.

  18. karen Says:

    So to clarify, the constant thinking about anxiety and repetitive thoughts, intrusive thoughts ….. when you say go towards them what you mean is let yourself think them … let your brain think about anxiety all day … as long as you don’t add any fear that this is happening or I shouldn’t be thinking this, it’s fine. It fades on its own without you doing anything as long as you live life as normal?
    So when my brain says ‘what do I do about these thoughts?” Answer = nothing …… let them go round all day. I think I struggle like Carla with this one because of CBT saying I must rationalise but my biggest problem is when people say I must think positive but I know I shouldn’t be trying to change my thoughts to positive. ?

  19. pravesh Says:

    Hello all,especially Sophalina

    Just to inform you I delivered a sweet baby girl last week and everything went well despite my high level of anxiety.

    Karen and Carla I am in the same position as you… But from everybody’s post I think we REALLY have to do nothing when we have the unwanted thoughts.. not even trying to change them to positive as the positives will come on it’s own.

  20. Tom Marshall Says:


    Congratulations! Thats fantastic news :) Also, that is a perfect attitude to have towards unwanted thoughts.

  21. Nolan Says:

    Awesome news, Pravesh!!!

    You’re entire family will be in my prayers.

    Is this your first child? My wife and I have a 3 year old boy but we want to have more.

  22. Nolan Says:

    Hi Karen,

    That’s what I did. I let them be there and I started to be less impressed with them. But more importantly, I didn’t let them dictate my actions. Because at first I would usually stop what I was doing or cancel plans that I had. I would then stay home, go on line and start searching and searching for a miracle.

    Following Paul’s advice, I stopped doing that. I stopped letting it tell me that I should cancel those dinner plans, or to stop watching a certain movie because of some internal fear that it would further break me.

    I stopped trying to chase thoughts off or distracting myself from them. I let myself feel them.

    I would get a 3 to 5 second loop of a song stuck in my head that would just play over and over and over. At first I would try to distract myself into forgetting about it. But it never worked. I just scared me more that I don’t even have control over my own thoughts. But then I stopped caring. I would do what I wanted to do with that little blurb from a song playing over and over. Sure, it bothered me, but I didn’t force it out or try to distract myself from experiencing it.
    This is just one example.

  23. Maria Says:

    Congratulations Pravesh! Fantastic news!! And I concur with Tom, excellent attitude!

  24. Maria Says:

    Really good example, Nolan. I think most everyone can relate to having a song get stuck in their heads, but for the anxiety sufferer it can be even more maddening.

    Actually, there is a really good analogy in this. So let’s say you (reader) are being plagued by intrusives. Think of it like having a song stuck in your head. The particular lyrics aren’t distressing, right? You’re not freaking out that “We all live in a yellow submarine”, it’s that they play over and over in your head! And if you focus on it, it just sticks around and seems to never want to leave! If you just let them be, they eventually fade away. And like I said, it doesn’t matter what the lyrics (or your particular intrusive thought) say, they are just words that in the end have no meaning.

  25. Sue Says:

    why is it that I can be out all day and have no irrational thoughts or if I do I do not notice them and yet as soon as I come home they start up in full force again. Or is it that when you are on your own again you notice them again.
    Daft irrational thoughts that will never happen and yet they won’t just go.

  26. Paul David (Admin) Says:

    Thanks for the lovely comments and I wish I could spend more time here, but with the new book and just moving house I have had no time, hopefully I can contribute more in the future as I used to do.

  27. Tom Marshall Says:

    Sounds like you’ve been extremely busy Paul! I hope everything went smoothly with moving into your new house :)

  28. karen Says:

    Thanks everyone …. I get you. I know I must get it as I have anxiety free days and odd weeks now. Just often it tricks me into trying to work it out with a new thought. Bless you all. X x x

  29. carla Says:

    Hi Karen and Pravesh,

    Sometimes I really think we need to forgive ourselves for feeling confused and trying to make sense of the everything – it really can be extremely baffling and, when anxious, we can easily be thrown by small inconsistencies. A few which seem to keep needling me are:

    ‘Understanding underpins recovery’ vs. ‘stop trying to work it all out’

    ‘Allow all anxious thoughts’ vs. ‘ignore anxious thoughts’ vs. ‘don’t worry (i.e. have anxious thoughts) about anxious thoughts!

    “Anxiety will naturally search for danger and enter the brain into problem-solving mode’ vs. ‘don’t try and puzzle it out’ vs. ‘let it be’

    ‘You will get better when you stop fearing the symptoms of anxiety’ vs. ‘anxiety will make you scared and you should accept this’

    ‘You should avoid going into secondary thinking/learn to cut off anxious trains of thoughts’ vs. ‘allow all thoughts’

    Nolan – did you struggle with any of these contradictions at all? Paul and many others who recovered talk about reaching a stage where ‘everything made sense’ and ‘the mind stopped turning things over’ – a stage where they could confidently just put everything down to anxiety/adrenaline and just let it all happen. Paul talks about being able to feel anxiety whilst being surrounded by a feeling of peace and certainty that his symptoms were harmless and all just off-shoots of anxiety.

    I guess, unlike Paul and yourself Nolan, I’m simply still scared. Not just anxious but frightened. I’m scared that if I fear my own thoughts then I’ll be scared forever with no respite – if I’m scared of my own thoughts then I’m buggered, right?

    I’m scared of the anxiety cycle itself.

    All of which then leads me into a desperate bid to somehow stop myself being scared. Yet trying too hard to do this doesn’t seem to help, mainly because I can’t just make myself feel it when I don’t. Yet how will I ever get better if I’m completely bloody terrified?

    I guess I just can’t find the path from being cripplingly scared to just viewing it all as anxiety and letting it happen. I just can’t seem to be ‘less impressed by it.’

    Oh, I don’t know, I just can’t seem to get it. I’m not stupid but sometimes I feel it. At least Paul had the excuse that he was given duff advice. I’ve got no such excuses, which leaves me feeling that I’m the problem and I’ll never find the way through.

    And it hurts.

    It hurts when I’m hugging my kids whilst crying silently over their shoulders and then hurriedly wiping my tears on their hoodies. It hurts when my husband asks how I’m doing with no real empathy or interest (because he’s worn out and baffled himself and just can’t face another circular conversation about anxiety).

    It actually just hurts most of the time.

  30. Nolan Says:

    Hi Carla,

    I’ll be honest: I was terrified. And that fear/terror persisted. When my mind calmed down (which it did on its own) things made more sense. But that sense of things didn’t come about because I force things to make sense…. or because I was able to mentally ‘work it all out’. It came as much as the peace in my mind and body did – independent of a force of will on my part.

    “Understanding underpins recovery”….
    Well, when I was at my lowest nothing made sense to me except the pain I was feeling. That pain, that fear, that brokenness was so much part of me that I could see no possible way of ever being delivered from it. It was with all of those terrible feelings, feelings drenched with despair that I still walked forward and went back on living my life.

    So, when people say things like “just know that the fear can’t hurt you”… I always laughed at that. The fear could hurt me and the fear tore my life apart. But still, I just accepted that to be the way things were. I told myself I was done trying to make sense of it…And I still told myself that I want my life to be bigger than anxiety again (with or without the intensity of those fears and doubts being there).

    I really can’t put into words how intense my fear, doubt, despair was. The ways all of that made itself manifest in my life (insomnia, depression, constantly alert, racing heart, constantly dizzy, new fears bubbling up to the surface only to reinforce the old fears) are seemingly innumerable.

    But with all of that I still found that safe/calm harbor.

    Stop caring. However you are at any given moment is just the way things are. Stop trying to make sense of it all. Make your life as big as it used to be and live it again.

  31. Sue Says:

    Thanks Nolan for the help you have given me so far. Do you have any helpful comments about the post I have put above.

    does anxious thoughts cause more stress. It seems a vicious circle

  32. Nolan Says:

    Hi Sue,

    The level or type of stress associated with anxious thoughts is really a product of how we react to the anxious thoughts.
    Can they be stressful? Sure.

    For what it’s worth: it seems like everyone has these concerns of the cyclical nature of whatever is troubling them when it comes to suffering with anxiety.
    The cycle seems so definite. We try and try to argue our way out of it, but, when we’re in it thick it just doesn’t matter. All of the good reasons we offer to refute it doesn’t stick.

    I’ve been there numerous times.
    Stop caring about the appearances of cyclical suffering. If they’re there in your mind, fine let them be there. But don’t take their heed. They’ll pass on their own.
    When the storm passes and your mind is calm then things will make sense again. It will just make sense as to why you are not broken.
    But that comes on its own accord. Go back to living your life, Sue. Let it all be there…. and it’s going to be there. You’ll know when it leaves and you’ll then understand why it was never anything you needed to actively figure out.

  33. Tom Marshall Says:


    That sums up how we should react to it perfectly, I had an extremely bad habit every time a fear, doubt or worry came up into my mind, I would instantly be on google or sat there thinking of ways to resolve it all and the more I tried to figure out the answer the more the worse it got and it achieved absolutely nothing. It was only when I allowed myself to calm down again did things fall into place without me forcing it all. I would also like to add that the shift in my attitude started pretty recently, before then I was still doing the complete opposite of what was advised through Paul’s book and from people on here. For people reading this right now I want to clarify that there is no special technique to it all, its more of a realisation. I’m only saying this because for a very long time I still thought that their was some hidden mastery behind it all and that I would never be able to understand it.

    Its more of a realisation, so please do not beat yourself up when you feel you are doing things wrong, it can take time for everything to sink in properly. So don’t fall into the trap when a thought comes up like ‘There must be something I’m missing here, I need to figure out what they do!’

    I wish you all the best.


  34. Rachel Says:

    Omg I feel car sick my body feels like it’s moving and I’m tingling all over never had this before

  35. Sue Says:

    Thank you Nolan for helping me to understand it better. I am trying all the time to not let things bother me and some days are better than others.

  36. Sue Says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Do not worry I have had that where all my insides are shaking my stomach feels sick and my arms are tingling all over. Believe me there is nothing to worry about and it will pass. It is part of the anxiety doing it. Nothing bad is going to happen to you. I try to move round and take no notice than just sit there with it all shaking.

  37. carla Says:

    Nolan and Tim, thank you again.

    I’m seems I’m right back in the thick of it at the moment so I guess nothing is making much sense. And the ‘so what’ attitude is eluding me.

    But, sincerely, thank you. Your replies mean a lot.

  38. Kat Says:


    I read your post about cyclical suffering, and it certainly resonates with me. I have had a fairly wonderful summer, with the odd hiccup here and there, but nothing to be troubled over, really. After such a horrid period of anxiety/low feelings/dread, which lasted for a number of months, I was feeling like a bird with my wings spread wide. Then, this past weekend, the low-feelings/depressive sensation and depersonalization showed up, quite unexpectedly, and I have been fighting off tears and anxiety all day.

    Perhaps the intensity of my reaction has to do with feeling so good for such an extended period of time? I am acutely aware that I tend to become more anxious in the fall/winter, and yes, I’ve been thinking about ways to change this, but then, boom, it showed up early, and with a particular vengeance.

    I am trying to distract myself from caring about this. After all, I had been feeling good for a while, so obviously it’s possible that anxiety will go. I think I’m not just anxious and depressed, but really, really frustrated. I can see no reason why it should be back, and why it’s so intense after such mild anxious moments over the past few months, and I am feeling myself filling with anger about it. At the end of it all, I’m supremely disappointed with myself for not knowing how to effectively use the tools to rid myself of this problem. Some days it all makes sense, and then on others, like today, I’m too upset to see the solution clearly.

    Still, I had felt good. That has to mean something, particularly after such a horrible period prior. I’m trying to hold on to that thought.

    The finish line was so close…

  39. pravesh Says:


    I know what you are going through.. as I am in the same situation as you… But Carla we can’t do anything… Your mind is trying to look for answers… Let it.

    You know why we are feeling like this because we thought we were permanently recovered.. my anxiety returned after 8 years.. please take some break from this blog… Focus on other things…

    I will try not to come here often. Hope this helps

  40. Sue Says:

    Do any of you have vivid dreams that seem to be playing out things that have happened in your life and on waking you can remember them. I have had this quite a few times recently with the anxiety and it can make me wake up anxiously thinking about it all again. Or is it a way of the brain letting go of it all. Does anxiety cause your emotions to be all over the place until in the end you do not know how you should be thinking and when. With anxiety are your emotions all over the place until you are not sure what you should be feeling when.

  41. Rachel Says:

    Why can I not let this go it seem when I say right it’s just anxiety it get ten times worse my neck and shoulders are so tense they hurt seems like they are constricted and won’t move

  42. Maria Says:

    Hi Kat,

    I’m sorry you’re having a tough time right now. I know it’s hard to think clearly when you’re in the midst of this, but try to remember the basics. You say you’ve been fighting off tears and anxiety all day. Stop that. And stop trying to figure out why it came back. Look at this as an opportunity to prove to yourself that you can overcome again.

    Remember in Paul’s book how he said he would actually go toward his anxiety instead of fighting it? If you go toward it and face it head on, really just letting it be there, it will fade away. I know it’s frustrating, but please don’t beat yourself up about it, that’s just adding fuel to the fire. Take a deep breath and just say, “ok, if you need to be here for awhile so be it.”

    I hope this helps. And we are all here for you if you need is! Hang in there, hon!

  43. Bryan (new one) Says:

    Here is a question I have and the last real stumbling block to my recovery. I am in the transition period where I have a day or two of feeling great and very low anxiety and then a day or few hours where it comes back and I get intrusive thoughts and anxious feelings (though far less urgent and intense). I allow them and never add second worry and understand that I am going to get them for a while.

    However, my biggest thing is, even when I feel great, I sort of “look for” the anxiety. I look at things and think “hmmm, everything looks normal — this is weird” or “do I actually feel normal again?”

    I would imagine this is a quite normal part of recover considering my habit for so long has been to question how I feel and scan myself for anything that feels off. I’ve done my best to just allow myself to think that since it does no good to question why you are doing it.

    Has anyone else had this as they went through the final stages of recovery and is there any advice on how to best handle it?

  44. colin Says:

    People please read Paul’s new book for insight on understanding what you are suffering . I think personally too many people on here think this is a forum !!! It’s a blog . Read and understand and you will start to feel better let it be there feel it , embrace it , it can’t harm you in any way .


  45. Sue Says:

    Hi Nolan,

    Sorry to bother you again but you seem the only person willing to answer my questions on this blog and give some advice having been there yourself.
    Why is it when you are feeling low with anxiety does all the negative things in life seem even more negative. When in this frame of mind why do they keep coming up and just makes you feel worse. I try to be upbeat but today just could not be bothered and it was going on all day and I could not think any positive thoughts.

  46. colin Says:

    Hi Sue
    I am no expert on any of these but I have recovered from anxiety . The way forward is just to accept the feelings and move on with your day . There is no need to think your way out of this . That’s what makes the cycle just feel the anxiety and move on no matter how bad it is . This isn’t easy and will feel crap but it works !!! I had all the negativity also but just stuck with acceptance .

    Good luck

  47. Anxiousness Says:

    Hi everyone
    I am recovering slowly but surely my worst symptom being relationship anxiety but after nearly a year I am having more good days and seeing the lie behind the thoughts I now I love my husband but anxiety thoughts proved tricky to cope with. Every now and then the thoughts catch me off guard but am pleased with my progress

  48. Sue Says:


    Thank you for coming back to me and giving me some advice.
    I find the strange, odd, weird and morbid thoughts that are sometimes repetitive quite hard to accept and its this part of the anxiety that I find difficult. Its so hard when the thoughts are in your mind not to take any notice especially when you are on your own and they naturally do upset me to think I am thinking this way and I do try to say they are just thoughts but they come with such force at times. It is worse when you have had a couple of days without them. What is meant by questioning them. Is it going into a scenario about the thoughts as though they are true. I am not sure!

  49. Doreen Says:

    Sue – you are at the stage where you are asking questions about every variation that your anxiety is throwing up at you. If you get a response from someone agreeing that they have felt like you, I suspect you will then post another again asking if anyone has felt ….
    At the end of the day, the symptom you are experiencing is just that, a symptom of anxiety and believe me they can come in many shapes and varieties. So you treat them all in the same way, with disinterest. Don’t feed them, dwell on them, let them dictate how you spend your day. Hard i know but the only way forward

  50. Bryan Says:

    Sue, those are the hardest part for me as well and my last sticking point. I wouldn’t expect, at the beginning, to have no reaction to them at all. I still have some moments when I get an instinctual reaction to a morbid or disturbing thought. After all, they are meant to scare you. Anxiety/fight or flight is trying to trick you in to action!

    The key is the response to the instinctual response. If you have that initial fear but let it be at that your brain will slowly learn there is no danger to those thoughts and eventually they will stop coming as intensely.

    I’ve reached the point where, for the first time, I sometimes get no physiological response to a thought that I would have ruminated for hours over in the past.

    It’s all a process.

  51. Kat Says:

    Thank you, Maria.

    You’re right in that I should view this as an opportunity rather than as defeat. I think that having had a fairly good period, even though I knew it wouldn’t last (recovery is seldom so seamless, or so I’m told), I wasn’t prepared to feel it again in such a swift manner. It really took me by surprise, and then I was scrambling, trying to find all the tools I’ve acquired to work through it, which made it so much worse.

    The fatigue and dark feelings are two of my most hated symptoms, not that any symptom is especially great, but those two are flattening. I am doing my best to accept them, to let them run their course, so I can move back toward the right track. It seemed that they simply fell away before, and the memory of that is making me impatient, unfortunately. The mind plays tricks when those two symptoms come to play. I need to believe that what I’m feeling isn’t real, I know it.

    Thank you for the support! I know words won’t cure me, but I sincerely appreciate the encouragement. It always helps.

  52. Sue Says:

    Thanks Doreen,

    Yes your right I do tend to do a lot of dwelling on the thoughts and seem to come back and too at will. I do make too much of them and get involved with them wondering what caused them. Instead of just letting them go and then they over whelm me.
    I suppose that is the problem really.
    Last night I woke up in the middle of the night with the dark feeling turned over and had a whole host of lovely thoughts run through my head and I dropped of to sleep again. Its those times I realise all this negativity is surface and that underneath I am still the person I was.

  53. Bryan Says:

    I apologize if I posted this before and it went through but my computer is kind of wonky sometimes.

    I am certainly progressing well in my recovery and have days where I feel like a better version of my past healthy self. However, my mind still floats back to check in on myself and question my anxiety on a near regular basis.

    Given all of us have had such a habit to check-in with ourselves to see how we feel or on our level of anxiety I imagine this is a completely normal part of recovery and typically one of the last things to lift.

    Does anyone have any words of wisdom or advice on how to best allow those without adding to them? I have been allowing myself to check-in at will without trying to get too involved but I feel it still does keep me from living my life as I used to or as Paul would say as “the regular person on the street.”

  54. Maria Says:

    Hey Bryan,

    You’re so right, it is a habit. But it’s one that, like all symptoms, fades with time. You’re doing what you need to do, not getting caught up in it. How is it that it still keeps you from living your life? Do you react a certain way depending on how you feel when you check in?

  55. Bryan Says:

    I guess I worded that wrong. It doesn’t keep me from living my life. I am quite honestly living it the same as I was before my suffering in almost all ways at this point now that I have allowed anxiety to be alongside me and stopped the constant worrying. Because of that all my old interests have come back to me.

    What I meant by living my life as I used to is that when healthy I wouldn’t check-in to see my anxiety level just like any non-anxious person on the street wouldn’t. I would think about a thousand other things that were more intersting/important to me.

    In Paul’s new book he mentions two users talking about the “transitional phase” between being anxious and being normal where the old habits hang around but mean very little and are a minor annoyance… and that is the best way I can describe where I am. Just old habits that the brain wants to hold on to but will, ultimately, in time slip away like anything else does.

  56. Maria Says:

    Well that’s exactly it, Bryan. Just a habit that will soon fade. I still do it occasionally bit I don’t really realize that I do it, if that makes sense?

  57. Adam Says:

    Hey Bryan…I have a slightly different take on your question. While I have definitely become much more my pre-anxiety self since recovering, I have also become someone different now with regard to anxiety. The life experience of living through anxiety and recovering has changed me as a person. And I wouldn’t say that it has changed me only in a good way. No, there is now a component of my anxiety personality that is “part of me”…and I will probably always be this way from now on. And I am ok…at peace with that. That “part” of me that is a holdover from anxiety has to do with the checking in and still getting random thoughts. What I have learned though is that this part of me is not dangerous, evil or cant hurt me in any way shape or form. So, I have accepted it as me. If it eventually goes away in time….great! If it stays forever, that is fine too. I am functioning, have a loving family and a happy life. And basically am at peace (accepted) with who I am. Anxiety is part of me and that is ok. I mentioned this because I thought that there may be some folks out there who are reading this and still in the early phases of recovery who might turn out the same way that I did when they recover. I wanted to help them with their expectations about what to expect as recovery. Again, in the end, we all are slightly different and each of us probably has a different experience. Hope all is well with you and yours….

  58. JoJo Says:

    How did you get over your relationship anxiety? I know you saw I have posted about this before. My biggest thing is that maybe I love my husband but I am not in love. Did you ever go down that path? There is no love Test to tell us all is ok like a health test. I can’t feel it deep down that I know how I feel and that I love him. When I question it, it is like I can’t tell how I really feel deep down. Any advice would help

  59. Anxiousness Says:

    Hi Jo Jo

    It has been my worst symptom along with other intrusive thoughts. The fact it frightened me so much proved it was anxiety but it took me long time to start accepting it and allowing the horrible thoughts to be there. Old posts were of help to me Helens post to Kat back in 2009 I think and they recovered. On April this year to Louise was a great one and this was the same Kat who suffered those years ago take a look. Lots of people have had this including Nolan I believe and all have recovered with lots time and patience

  60. Maria Says:

    Hi Adam,

    That is an excellent post and so true for me as well! I too find that there is a part of me that is a bit different now, but I also accept that. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I’m not sure there will every be long stretches of time where I don’t think about it, or do a check in of some sort. It just seems to be a part of me now, maybe a sort of protection?

    Anyway, I’m really glad you mentioned this and I am wondering if anyone else out there that is well on their way to recovery experiences this too?

  61. Sue Says:

    I feel that I am my own worst enemy sometimes. I have been out all day again and although I had symptoms did not react to them in fact felt quite calm and got on with my day.
    Yet when I got home seemed to go into panic mode with awful feelings and irrational thoughts again and everything negative wizzing round my head.
    I wish I could feel in my home like I do when I am out.
    I Think sometimes it is being anxious over being anxious.
    Or when I get in its the memory sets off again of what I have been through there. It maybe as you say I go looking for it when I am on my own and make it worse. I cannot be out all the time so I have got to learn to relax and realise nothing is going to happen and thoughts are just thoughts.

  62. Bryan Says:

    Maria/Adam, different is not always worse. I think, in some ways, you are just more cognizant of your negative thoughts and scanning which is only natural.

    I think this could actually be beneficial as the normal person is always susceptible to being overcome by stress and reacting to it. Not that it will lead to an anxiety-disorder to those people but it does change behavior in the short-term.

    By noticing it and not reacting to it, you really take the strength out of even the temporary physiological changes that a normal person who feels stress gets (think the angry driver on the freeway — this is a major change that I’ve noticed since I’ve started my recovery. I used to be so uptight on the road and would get so angry. I am far more calm and relaxed when driving because I am more cognizant of my stress going up and down).

  63. Ryan C Says:

    Hi guys firstly I apologise for positing this here aswell as the previous blog topic I didn’t realise people were using this latest post to talk about there anxiety so here goes and I also apologise for how long it is!

    Hi everyone, I have been a silent reader of this blog for a long time, I aslo have posted a few times. I have a simple question. When I was 20 I started lifting weights and martial arts, I then succumbed to anxiety and depersonalisation and my own hellish journey has lasted for ten years without any answers until I finally found Paul’s book a whilst back. Since then ive taken every setback on the chin, had the worst days and symptoms like everyone. Aside from the fact I was obsessed with trying to rid myself of these symptoms everyday and trying to figure out what was wrong with me like everyone until they found their answers, the only thing I had left was my training. I always keep it up, but finally after ten years and trying my own personal remedys to fix myself I ended up making my self way worse and I had another nervous breakdown on top of my existing anxiety and sent myself into the deepest abyss I think even possible. That’s when I found Paul’s book, unfortunately it was then I realised unknowingly I had actually came so so far before I made myself so much worse. After I did so, and before I found the book I spent 5 months in total despair again, and finally I found the book and started healing :) my simple question to Nolan or paul is this: I love the gym, even through my worst days I still kept training and I competed as a natural bodybuider and came 2nd in Scotland 5 times. I even started boxing and loved that too despite my dire situations the fire in my heart never stopped me but this was my greatest tool to fight my symptoms. Of course it kept me in the loop along with my never satisfied mental state of never knowing what was wrong with me. However, after I had my second breakdown, found Paul’s book and have cam so so far, my beloved training seems out of reach. Everytime i lift weights or go for a run or shadow box or skip or anything I feel hurrendous the next day like I have crushed myself, I feel broken and defeated, I feel more anxious than ever full of adrenaline, ive even halfed the weights I can lift and I still feel dreadful. Of course, I just get along with this and my training is something I now very rarely do but whenever I do it always makes me feel so bad even putting me into setbacks for days. The strange thing is, even through those ten awful years before I had the second breakdown I never felt this way after the gym? Like I’m literally exhausted if I run even a mile! Is this just another thing to care less about? Should I go and deal with how I feel after anyway and just keep pushing on? I’m not using exercise to rid myself of how I feel but I certanly don’t want to pointlessly increase my suffering because my body is not in a strong enough state to handle the gym. Paul mentions in his new book about techniques etc not being correct as they already add to a body and mind which is tired from effort, I agree, is my training an unnecessary effort that I need to give my body a break from until I recover? To throw a spanner into the works when I do eventually overcome the feelings I experience from my training each time, I come out stronger and further ahead. I just am a bit disheartened that it takes so much out of me when I used to always be able to do it. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  64. JoJo Says:

    You said the thoughts scare you and that’s how you know it is anxiety? Can you elaborate on “scared”? They bother me and I don’t understand them and I try and analyze them and I worry about having them but don’t know if it scares me or do you think it does and that’s why I am even in this forum?

  65. ken Says:

    Can somebody help me. Im in a bad spot. I started having anxiety after relationship issues which im still together with her. But a while ago she said something like she felt like it was her fault. I told her it wasnt but for some reason im upset at her. Can anyone give me advice because i do not know.

  66. Anxiousness Says:

    Hi Jo Jo
    The thought s that I didn’t live my husband scared me as I could nt understand why I would even think that made me panic not have a panic attack but I knew it was anxiety or I would nt be sat googling this symptom. It took me long time to accept the thoughts as my natural instinct was to argue with them which was totally wrong thing to do. It does get better but takes time. I suggest you read the posts I was telling you about yesterday from Kat and Helen and dawn back in sept 2012 everyone who had this recovered. From time to time I still get odd thought but it passes. Also take look at sheryl Paul’s site the name escapes me but she a therapist who also went through this

  67. ROBIN SHROFF Says:

    I am crying while reading this book . so much insight feeling enlighten. thanx paul . u r really a messenger of god

  68. sam Says:

    hi guys…i hope everyone is doing well here…i had a question in mind….i am almost completely recovered from anxiety and can do things that i used to do and live life according to my wishes…now last week i had a really bad cold so i went to the doctor and he prescribed some meds and asked me if i ever had any allergies to medicines before…i said i never had allergies…the medicines were anti allergics… because of his word of caution i did some net research and found that such medicines should be carefully prescribed in patients with history of suicidal thoughts, mental illnesses etc and i kind of had the thought that is it neccesary to tell the doc i once suffered from anxiety if he didn’t enquire about it?? even though i know that anxiety is not a mental illness…infact its not even an illness..but still it would be great if someone can clear up my doubts

  69. Rachel Says:

    So been back to the Drs cos of this dizziness and feeling so so sick with it which never have done before and he said it is definitely not anxiety it is something to do with my inner ears after all this time they have decided it’s not anxiety

  70. Rich Says:

    Sue I can relate to a lot in your latest post. I think the process you’re going through is all standard and par for the course. Yes you are your worst enemy – but you are also your own best friend – it depends how you look at it, and how you look at it is key to ‘recovery’.

    At the start there is bewilderment and and self-torment and for a time you make things worse in your continued applied effort to try and make things better, but then there is knowing what to do, and then there is teaching yourself how to do it – which is the hardest part but also the most rewarding. I think everyone on here (apart from those in Stage 4) fall into one of these 3 stages.

    Being anxious about being anxious is one of my biggest ‘problems’ – I used to say to myself ‘if I didn’t worry about worrying, I wouldn’t worry and I’d be ok!’ This is the wrong way of looking at it. I’d spend time alone in the house or time with space to ‘think’ to think negatively, worry, then feel anxious – and then I was in the loop again – not a good use of my time – and all my own doing too!

    The trick is not to avoid situations like this by busying yourself, but to learn how to be in those situations and think those thoughts without feeding them the fear they crave. Even if fear builds (we’ve not re-trained ourselves not to just yet), feed them something else instead – they will not expect this. Feed them an alternate idea. Even if you don’t believe it yourself. Learn to be in a moment of hell and rise above it all. Challenge the feelings and thoughts and overcome them. It’s easy – because all you have to do it not react. That’s all there is to it.

  71. JoJo Says:

    Hi Anxiousness:
    Thank you for your help. When in 2009, what month?

  72. Anxiousness Says:

    Hi Jo Jo
    Think it was oct might have been oct 2010 but dawns was sept 2012 and a lady called Helen helped her no end. They will probably describe everything you going through now

  73. Maria Says:

    Hi Sam,

    Your best bet would probably be to just tell your doctor and see what he says. Better safe than sorry.

  74. Debbie Says:

    Hi today is a setback been doing ok . Today i feel scared to be by myself and my mind just seems weird . It wants to make me panic and think iam insane. But iam. Letting it do what it wants to. Feeling scared and dark gloomy feeling.

  75. Sue Says:

    Hi Rich,

    Thanks for explaining it to me. It is the thinking negatively that bugs me really.
    I can get up in a morning and feel quite OK and then it is like having a double brain is how I explain it. With me saying yes its a good day and I am going to be happy and a little voice saying what have you to be happy about and the doom and gloom. Sometimes it can be a battle to listen to the right voice. If that sounds daft then that is how it is. I get up and go out and do not fear it but it is annoying sometimes. Some days there is only one voice and that can then be negative even though I Feel OK. Its a odd thing and I have thought well whats the point of bothering about it because I cannot understand it. Just let it be and hopefully it will all go one day.

  76. karen Says:

    Sue you are battling with yourself. You are believing your thoughts when they are just thoughts not reality. When you say ‘I am not listening to the right thoughts.’ That tells me you are labelling negative thoughts as bad? They are not. You can listen to the negative thoughts but can choose not to react to them or believe them. When the anxiety lifts so will the negative thoughts .. you don’t need to change them or judge them. Also another thing this long journey has taught me, is that if I am low that feeling paints everything in my life …. if I am anxious it will latch onto many things. The fact seems to be that there really is no problem with everything in my life it’s just the way we feel changes our perception of it. When I feel good I know that most things in my life are right. Basically I don’t believe the negative thoughts about work / husband etc when I am not in a good place. Hope that makes sense. Lots of the things that concern you are covered thoroughly in Paul new book.

    Carla I have realised something that may help you. When my anxiety kicks in and I start trying to work out what I should do … I watched myself do this and understood it is actually just another obsession. So I have started noticing I am doing this ….. ‘oh look there I go obsessing about what to do again’ or ‘oh look I have gone into fix it mode.’ I then resist the urge to Google and just get on with life. Seems to be working so far.

    Rich …. The worrying …. I have been taking your advice and chalking up points and actually am not concious worrying too much. However my question is do you find that worries can be subconscious too? If I am anticipating my sleep goes and I feel anxious despite not concious lying there worrying. Does that make sense. I have also realised I have developed a really bad habit of not committing to things until the day before … basically because I couldn’t tolerate the anticipatory worry. I was worried about the worrying and resisting it. I know I need to move past this.

  77. Tom Marshall Says:

    Hi Karen,

    Yes worrying can be subconscious, which can become quite confusing because we are told to stop worrying, But not in a sense that we try to if you understand me, by all means we can break the habit of consciously involving ourself in worrying but the ones that just pop into our head we cannot help. Were programmed to worry its part of our make up. ‘What if a tiger came out and attacked me?’ the brain is trying to keep you alive, only problem is there isn’t any tigers around so it wants to latch on to something and usually that could end up been something you have worried about in the past. So its fine if the worry pops into your head out of nowhere you can’t control that, but! You treat it the same way you would with any other thought, allow it to pop up but try not to get involved with it. Your brain will soon realise the information it is trying to give you is false and the thought will fade away.

    I hope that made sense!

    Tom :)

  78. pravesh Says:

    Hi Nolan…

    Thanks for thinking of us in your prayers. God bless u also. I have another daughter who is 6. I have such a sweet family.

    Well I just wanted an advise from all of you. I am practicing letting go as all of you advised. But my mind is constantly trying to convince me that I should do something to get over my anxiety. It’s so real that sometimes I believe it and start fighting…

    I am really confused, as if i have lost my way completely. What should I do when I have this. Should I remind myself that recovery is doing nothing and that my body will heal itself? I really need your help friends. Best xxx

  79. karen Says:

    Pravesh try what I mentioned above … greeting the ‘fix it mode’ and move on.
    Thanks Tom that does make sense.

  80. Rich Says:

    Hi Karen, Yes I’ve been guilty of not wanting to plan things – I still am, because of the anticipatory anxiety. I would sooner do things seemingly in the spare of the moment purely to not give myself time to get worked up about it – obviously this is wrong.

    Most things loom in the future – like Christmas, Holidays, appointments and generally ‘life’ – and time is all relative. It’s all about not responding to the negative and for me, thinking positively.

    I ‘think’ that my response is automatic to a degree, and I am in the process of training myself to change that automated response to one of positivity and excitement rather than negativity and fear. However, I believe that anxiety mode and worrying always starts with a conscious thought – so it not automatic – and it is this that allows us to change our thinking and re-program our minds to picking up the positives and not the negatives, thus changing the seemingly ‘automatic’ response.

    For example ‘morning anxiety’ – when you’re tired or half asleep, ‘vulnerable’ to crazy thoughts that in the normal day would be dismissed as ludicrous, but in that half-awake state you have a thought (sometimes automatic or our of habit, but nevertheless a thought), that brings on anxiety mode. I read somewhere about people waking up and for 1 split second, everything was ok, but then anxiety mode hit as the person had a thought and went into panic mode. This to me confirms that the panic is brought on by our thoughts and not by a hard-wired neural setting we inherit or are stuck with – it’s a response to a thought – a response to protect us from it. We have to show our minds these thoughts mean nothing to us in order for our brains to realise (of their own accord) to not bother putting us into ‘protection mode’ and to just leave us to enjoy our day without it.

    In the meantime, we have to practice enjoying our day with it – to show ourselves we’re not bothered by them. As we continue to show ourselves this, they wither and wane and this becomes our natural ‘automatic’ response.

  81. Rich Says:

    Pravesh, instinctively we want to heal ourselves and ‘fix the problem’ but in this situation, trying to do so makes it worse. Imagine having a headache and trying to fix it with a hammer, or a broken leg you try to fix by walking, or a scab you try to fix by picking it off – you need to leave it alone – completely. This is when it heals.

    What not to do? Google for some miracle cure, read about all available medication or therapy, argue with your inner thoughts, question whether there is something else wrong or some other medical condition causing this – there isn’t. All of this is not only time wasted but time that will take away more time in the future and put ‘recovery’ further away into the future for you.

    What to do? Read a good book. Watch a good film. Give your mind space and freedom to do whatever it wants without question or fear – good or bad – just let it. Go for a nice walk and spend time with your family. Dismiss all thoughts and questions you have while doing this. Enjoy life.

    Then sometime in the future you’ll notice you haven’t felt like this for some time – and the road ahead will be clearer.

  82. pravesh Says:

    Rich thanks for your response… What you mean is that I shouldn’t even remind myself. That is 100% do nothing

  83. Rich Says:

    Hi Pavesh, It’s natural to worry about what to do and what not to do – as we don’t want to delay our recovery or make it worse etc – but try not to get caught up in worrying about this or that – there is no set process to this and if you try to approach this perfectly you’ll only torment yourself as you’ll just remain in conflict with yourself.

    The key is to ‘float’ above it all as Claire Weekes says and adopt a ‘so what’ attitude.

  84. Bryan Says:

    I’m going to leave a bit of unsolicitied wisdom in the hopes that it helps someone on here. I know a lot of talk on here is about individual symptoms — of which I have basically ran the gamut of having and really don’t mean all that much individually since they are all under the umbrella of anxiety — but the biggest “ah-ha” moment I ever had was not as I was reading Paul’s book but afterwards as your mind clears a bit through understanding of why and things come to you.

    It is so simple yet so complex and I feel very central to what Paul tries to get across. It is simply put, that anxiety (excess adrenalin) doesn’t make you suffer but rather it’s the trying to not feel it and trying to change it that does.

    The biggest stumbling block I had was trying to force normal — by that I mean looking at trees in the distance and questioning if this is how they always looked to me or asking myself if I feel normal and so on. I finally came to the realization that normal is exactly what you are experiencing and feeling at any given time. If your body is wracked with anxiety normal is having anxious thoughts, having DP/DR, not seeing everything in crystal clear HD, etc. It simply your body doing what its supposed to do given the circumstances. It’s no big mystery that when you have adrenalin flowing through your body this is the reaction you get.

    It really, truly is only normal to feel and think everything you do given the temporary state of your body/mind. And if its normal there is really nothing to fix, nothing to change, nothing to question. I don’t remember where I read it or if it even had to do with anxiety but this quote really resonates with me: “Sometimes the answer is leaving the question unanswered.”

    I know this won’t help those still hung up on certain symptoms or certain thoughts but I do hope it at least gives someone hope that no matter how bad you believe you can be and how obsessed you feel you are it is totally normal given your situation. Trust me, I had them all and with such strong intensity I never believed having an understanding as I do now would ever come. But it does. Trust in yourself and the message.

  85. Bryan Says:

    New Bryan –

    Would you consider adding an initial to your name to avoid confusion?
    Been posting here for a long time and I think people are confused.
    Ironic that we’d both be “Y” Bryans.

    Again, I did not post the long advice post above. Just don’t want to be mistaken for giving someone else’s advice. (Which has already happened.)

  86. Bryan Says:


    Interesting take on the morning situation. I’ve indeed heard many people say the same thing, or sometimes I believe we can wake up in those states, likely having been produced late in the sleep cycle or that half-awake state. (Claire Weekes talked about this.) So I think it may be possible that our automatic approach to these things may be so internalized that they can indeed happen before we fully awaken. Still… being possibly set in place by our thinking habits. Does that make sense? What has your approach been in regards to changing your pattern in these morning situations?

    (Original Bryan)

  87. Ryan C Says:

    Hey guys I wrote a post on the last topic but nobody responded. I’m accepting everything, completely, have been doing so for a long time but I love my weights and my boxing and it’s something I kept up through the entire ten years of my anxiety and depersonalization, however it was my tool used to fight off my symptoms as I still had no clue what was wrong with me and it was all I had left to hold into to keep me going, however throughout my recovery I do feel absolutely exhausted and much much more anxious sometimes even sending me into a setback each time I do my weights or train, even at half the pace I used to or half the weight, I’m no longer using these as a tool to fight but each time I do decide to go back and train I just feel flattened for some times days. Is this too much on my exhausted body / nerves? Can exercise tire out an already tired out body? I don’t want to keep myself in the loo by adding more stress to my stress as exercise is a stress it has to be. Thanks, Ryan.

  88. Bryan 2 Says:

    Haha, sorry original Bryan. Not sure why two are allowed with same name but will try to remember to not do that again.

  89. Rich Says:

    Hi Bryan, I think all anxiety other than reflex actions is triggered by a thought at some point – even a tiny spark that starts the resulting fire.

    That being said, sometimes if I’ve dreampt of someone or some thing, my mood and thoughts for often most of the day are affected – which is not a conscious thing I’ve done myself.

    When I was down in the depths of perceived hell, I used to think the evenings were the best – I was home, safe, fed, relaxed. I hated the mornings with the weight of the forthcoming day upon me and having to ‘get through it’. I found it hard to get out of bed, instead lying there, ruminating, wanting to be ‘safe’ in the soft warm bed – protected from the world outside my window.

    Of course the way I beat this negative thought process was to do the opposite of what my mind was suggesting I do. I was scared to go to the local shop or to drive to work. I’d made them into a monster. I beat it by getting out of bed when I woke instead of lying around feeding the worry – what a waste of time it was! I made an effort with all things I had let slip – clothes, appearance, food choices, chores. Instead of looking for worry or signs of worry I got on with stuff as usual – by looking out the window, looking at nature and the world around me. I looked for the positivity in the world and it came back to me. I had faith in myself to look after myself as needed. I was thankful for its concern. I thought in a positive way instead of a negative one – replacing thoughts in my head with reasoned and logical alternatives. If I still felt awful (and I still did for a while), then so be it – you can’t speed the process up – just remain ready and willing. I completely stopped caring about

    I could either shrink into nothing and feel awful, or go out and live life and feel awful. The benefit of the latter would be that I’d achieve something while feeling awful! The thing is, as I went out and got on with things, the ‘hell’ didn’t seem so bad (because it isn’t) – and sometimes I’d forget I was supposed to be feeling awful! I was reminding myself of how insignificant it really is and how it isn’t all-consuming and life-destroying. It’s not limiting at all if you don’t wish it to be.

    Now, I’m not pefect, and often I slip, and I still automatically go into worry mode when stressful things come by – but this happens less and less, and I deal with them a lot better now as I know what and why, and most importantly how.

  90. Rich Says:

    Ryan C, Sounds like adrenaline to me – which although I am a lazy-ass, I am full of due to anxiety. I get muscle tension, tired legs, restless legs, then when I’m in a panic attach I get hot flushes and generally uncomfortable -it’s all just adrenaline triggered by anxiety. I feel I’ve hardly any energy most of the time. I’m not bothered by this because I know what it is, why it is, and it’s not dangerous to me so I just let it do its thing when it needs to. It then gets less and less in occurance as it gets no response. It’s getting better by me doing nothing about it.

    I’d just do what you can and don’t be hard on yourself if you’re having to compromise sometimes – your physical strength will come back as your mental strength does and the anxious energy is used more usefully as physical energy.

  91. Ryan C Says:

    Hi Rich this was a great great reply thank you so much. These are my exact symptoms. I’m no stranger to feeling this way, it does come and go without training, but after I trained the other night I awoke in the morning with my heart beating steadily faster, and as you say, I was wracked with adrenaline. I felt totally overwhelmed, I got on with my day, I went to the cinema with a friend and my god I could barely stay still without feeling the constant temptation to get up and leave, but as always I stayed there, not with fear or gripping my seat, just with total acceptance. My mind was wracked with more anxious thoughts than it has been in ages and I was spaced out far more than normal, I get the crazy hot flushes too and the weather was warm and I felt so hot and irritable it was awful. I just came to the conclusion for whatever reasons of the powers of anxiety may be, I was now in a setback, one that my mum quickly reminded me I had not had for quite some time so I guess it was almost kind of overdue. It has lasted since Monday and I am just rolling with it. I won’t beat myself up, I guess I was more just bewildered again as to why my training makes me feel this bad, and your right it’s adrenaline, however, like I said, am I needlessly adding more suffering or ad remains to my body? If I’m not causing myself anymore anxiety then I’m fine with it, I will keep training, but I guess when you feel so bad each time you go, you kind of do think, is this holding me back? But Rich I also am absolutely shattered most days, always fatigued, always low energy and drive, but when it comes to the gym I always tell my self 2 things: I won’t feel like training, until I’m training, so don’t judge it before you go, and also Michael Jordan’s saying ‘Just do it’ I found that phrase cuts out somucj hesitation, because then when I respond with, ‘but what if’ I say again, ‘Just do it’. :)

  92. Rich Says:

    Ryan, I often found the hardest part of a gym routine was turning up! My favourite machine was the vending machine :) This is not true – but you’ve gotta laugh.

    Just remember you only have so much energy you can burn. Sounds to me like you’re using a fair amount of it thinking and experiencing anxiety and all its lovely symptoms. You’re not going to have much left for what you want to use that energy for – but this is just how it is right now.

    To ‘roll with it’ is the best approach, and the only way to deal with it. What else can you do that doesn’t use up even more energy. As your balanced thinking returns your anxiety will descrease giving your energy to do more productive things with.

    This is true for mental energy too – trying to rationalise or think things through an already tired mind – but we still try! No wonder we end up worse than we started! The trick – don’t. It’s like trying to run on a broken leg.

    Same can be said for physical energy too. Just eat well, and don’t make yourself worse for pushing yourself too hard – be kind to yourself – it’s what you need right now.

  93. Anxiousness Says:

    Have had a bad morning with suddenly going back over thoughts I had year ago and almost bringing them
    Back and ruminating over them not causing panic but the adrenalin pang as I call it. Tried not to dwell too much and this afternoon I peeked up and no thoughts at all this eve wondering why thoughts would come back from so long ago

  94. Jessica Says:

    I’m sure many of you have heard the “hole in the sidewalk” analogy, but I think it’s such a great example of how we are creatures of habit, that I thought I would share it anyways:

    I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I fall in.
    I am lost. I am helpless.
    It isn’t my fault.
    It takes forever to find a way out.

    I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I pretend that I don’t see it.
    I fall in again.
    I can’t believe I am in this same place.
    But, it isn’t my fault.
    It still takes a long time to get out.

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it is there.
    I still fall in … it’s a habit … but, my eyes are open.
    I know where I am.
    It is my fault.
    I get out immediately.

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.

    I walk down another street.

    To me it speaks to the stages that Rich referenced in a post a few days back. It also speaks to how, even when we see what we are doing wrong, even when we acknowledge that we are the ones doing this to ourselves, and we are the only ones who can change this, we still fall victim to old habits. Truly it’s a process. It’s not enough to just have the knowledge, we have to implement it too. That’s probably where I was struggling the most. I felt like I knew everything I was doing wrong, yet every single time I experienced anxiety I fell right back into it.

    I’m changing. Slowly, but in a positive direction. On my most recent trip I had the beginnings of intense anxiety and panic and thought “Oh no, here we go.” But then something in me told me to just accept it. There is nothing I can do anyways. I didn’t immediately feel better–that’s not the point. But I was damn proud of myself for allowing myself to feel that way and not over react. I’ve started to just give it the “so what” attitude that is referenced so often on here. One of the greatest breakthroughs I had was that you don’t feel better when you accept, well at least not in the moment, but your efforts will pay dividends in the future. I know I am feeling better and more confident about my continued journey.

    I know how hard it can be when you are in the deepest throes of it–I mean I think we all do, right? Just trust in the process. Always shoot for long term freedom, not immediate comfort! :)

  95. Bryan Says:


    I’d agree with Rich. Your attitude is great and you’re going to get back to 100% in time. But it’s ok to curtail your workout routine a bit while the body desensitizes. Not out of fear but just simple logic. The same reason a good night’s sleep is recommended. I used to lift heavy and train hard but now I’m working my way up by mixing lighter lifting, stretching and a lot of walking. (15-20k steps per day). If I push too hard I can ramp up things as well. So I’m just choosing a more measured, patient approach than I used to have.

  96. Ryan C Says:

    Thanks Rich and thanks Bryan also. Yeah I guess I was just confused but I guess it also obvious as logically if your mind is tired then deep thinking is going to tire it more, and i guess if your body is tired then hard training is going to make it even more tired. I just didn’t want to be adding more anxiety because if anxiety is our body’s way of telling us it’s being overworked then I guess an overworked body is not going to want to be pushed hard. Strangely enough whenever I do overdo things and it gives me these bad times afterward I spoke off, I always come out of them better than ever! Which I have done now also again. I felt setback since Monday and then after a great sleep lastnight I awoke and I’m further ahead than I have ever been :) clearer mind, less thoughts, more attached to my surroundings and more energy. It’s almost like these training sessions give me an anxiety leap jump in progress if I am willing to go back to the really bad days afterward until they end, It strengthens me somehow.

  97. Shandi Says:

    Hi everyone~

    I’m just wondering, for those who have recovered, how did you stop associating yourself with anxiety? Like, there are days where I feel great, like today, but my mind just keeps butting in like “Hey, remember, you have anxiety.” and I reply with “Oh, you’re right.” and I suddenly start feeling it again. How do you stop seeing yourself as ‘a person with an anxiety disorder’? I know I’m not fully healed yet, but it seems like the longer I have anxiety, the more it becomes a part of me. It only started in January this year and compared to how long some of you guys have been suffering (and Paul’s whopping 10 years) it’s not that long, so why can’t I disassociate myself with it?

    Also, I’m almost 22 and still unsure what I want to do with my life, so thinking about my future brings on waves of anxiety and panic attacks. Paul talks a lot about accepting symptoms and intrusive thoughts, but I’m not sure of how to handle real problems like my lack of direction and drive in life. Do I just accept my symptoms when I think about these things too?

  98. DCYL Says:

    Hi All,

    I haven’t been on in some time but will never forget this site or Paul’s original book. It’s been a little over 4 years since I accidentally stumbled upon this site. I had suffered an anxiety attack due to many things going on. The symptoms lasted for a while and I suffered quite a bit. I saw someone who didn’t really help. It wasn’t until I saw this blog and the book that I slowly got “control” of things. You’ll find my comments in the older blog posts from years past.

    It took me a couple of years to really shake free of the “symptoms” and I’ve probably “relapsed” a few times. The memory of the past experiences are strong and when the feelings come back, the worry you’ll fall into the trap does as well.

    However, as Paul (and others) have said over time, you have to live your life. Paul and this blog helped as did my friends and activities.

    This blog is helpful but remember to get local support from friends. You can and will get better. It just takes a little time and patience.


  99. Steve b Says:

    Hi guys. I was on the road to recovery and have fallen into a great big setback. Had a trigger then whamo. Anyone here get terrible mood swings. From minute to minute almost. You have a positive thought. Feel settled. Then a negative. Feel unsettled. And on and on. Any advice what to do?

  100. Anxiousness Says:

    Hi Steve
    I’m no expert as I suffer from intrusive thoughts which still shake me but I think recovery is full of ups and downs and this is just another blip. You just have to carry on with your day as best you can. I am having emdr next week just to try and see if it helps with one on most annoying thoughts

  101. Steve b Says:

    Thanks anxiousness. I have had EMDR. It’s fantastic. You won’t be disappointed.

  102. Anxiousness Says:

    This is good to hear I read about it on a much older blog and the lady said she doesn’t react to any thought processed by emdr which appeals to me I know this won’t eliminate anxiety but one thought really distresses me. Did you have many sessions for it to work

  103. Steve b Says:

    Worked great in the first session. Had two more sessions after. The only “problem” is that thoughts etc morph so you get rid of some and others come however if you have one particular thought or vision that is constantly stuck and really bothersome perhaps related to childhood or something it will make it go away or became way less intrusive. It saved my bacon early on in this journey.

  104. Anxiousness Says:

    Thank you this is encouraging I am getting new weird thoughts all the time some go straight away others stick and pester me for days then change again. Have you read Paul’s book I think it even better than first one

  105. Steve b Says:

    Not yet no. I will order it. I was basically recovered for the last 2 months and have had a huge setback. Actually, if Bryan is around who seems to own setbacks haha. Bryan. You have often said that you can write the book one day and then have terrible setbacks. Is that even after a month or two of feeling just about normal? It seems a long time for a setback to suddenly hit. Feel a bit lost again.

  106. JoJo Says:

    I read the posts Anxiousness and I do feel a little better about my relationship worries. What spikes my anxiety is all of the posts people say they feel numb to their partner or question if they love them anymore. With me as an example I woke up this morning and looked at my partner in bed and everything just “feels” negative and wrong about him. I don’t know if I’m being overly sensitivie or this is how I really feel. It will feel like you just don’t like them as a person and feels like you don’t love them anymore. It scares me because no one else with relationship anxiety talks about how They feel negative towards their partner, only that they question if they love them or not. It’s like I analyze how he looks physically and any negative part of his personality is all I can think about or see. This is so hard to not believe that I don’t really feel this way and that its just bad thoughts. Please help anyone who can as this has really got me down today.

  107. Anxiousness Says:

    Hi Jo Jo I think dawn went though the similar thoughts as did Kat if it scares you it anxiety 200 per cent if you go on blog before this one you can see in April Kats reply to Louise on relationship anxiety it is a tricky one but more common than you think

  108. Melissa Says:

    Hey everyone,

    I’ve been having pretty bad mood swings lately. Getting annoyed with a lot of things. Is this only anxiety or can it be a sign of something more serious like bipolar?


  109. Tom Marshall Says:


    the very words ‘Could this be something more serious’ proves that it is anxiety :)
    Irritation and anger is common in people with, what makes it even worse is during in those mood swings our minds add extra stress with the words ‘Look see your Bi polar is playing up, Its something else! I knew it’ The thing is, having anxiety can lead us to suppress emotion only because we feel we should’t be having it. Our instincts say ‘NOPE! NOT THIS ONE I DON’T LIKE IT LETS GET RID OF IT!’ and after a while offing this it eventually pops up and next thing you know your screaming extreme profanity at the car in front cause he’s moving to slow or your snapping at someone over something silly and then because most of us have been conditioned since birth that been angry is completely unacceptable and is a bad thing, we never get the chance to express/allow it. This is why we end up saying to ourselves ‘There is something wrong with you’ No there is nothing wrong with you, its called been a human being. My mind has convinced me that i’ve had every single mental disorder going, its because when you start googling these things 9 times out of 10 you will find a few traits in the disorder which you feel you have this is where the mind starts to distort our perception, ‘I GOT ANGRY I MUST BE BIPOLAR!’ the truth is you could probably find a trait in every mental disorder that would relate to your personality, this does NOT mean you have it. You have got to remember we are all humans end the end of the day so we are all the same In many ways, only people with serious mental disorders tend to be more extreme than the average person and majority of them would not have the conscious ability to self reflect like you are doing right now. So if your sat there for most of your day been anxious about having mental disorder X Y & Z I’m going to say its probably just your anxiety playing its usual tricks on you.

    My advice to you for been angry. Don’t be afraid to let it all out, If you can find a place where yo can scream, cry, shout and just go absolute mental then go do it. It will feel a little strange at first because its not classed as ‘Normal’ in this day and age, but seriously try it out and just go with it, give everything a good shake, SHAKE YOUR BODY! jump around, have a full blown tantrum if you want! Believe me your body will thank you for it.

    I know that people may find my advice a little contradicting right here because we are told not to ‘Do’ anything about it, I’m not suggesting this as a quick fix to get rid of everything nor am I saying this is what you HAVE to do to release anger. I’m actually encouraging you to accept the anger as normal as this could take away your big fear of been angry which could help you with accepting and allowing the anger in the moments when you can’t bust out into full blown catharsis.

    In the end it really comes down to you allowing those angry feelings and thoughts to run through you without resistance.

    Be free.


  110. Melissa Says:


    That is exactly true.

    I keep trying to remember how I behaved before my anxiety got worse. And I analyze all my behaviours and thoughts. I ask my fiancé if I was like this before or if this is new.

    takes up so much damn time!

  111. Tom Marshall Says:

    Yes I’m guilty of doing the exact same thing, trying to analyse how I have acted all the way back to my child hood to see if I may of been showing signs of certain disorders. Try not to entertain the thoughts when they come up, your mind will still want to analyse out of habit but you will slowly start to break through this when you realise its just your mind trying to find an answer to a question that is completely irrational.

  112. JoJo Says:

    Any insight to my post above?

  113. Anxiousness Says:

    How can a thought trouble me all day and now it’s gone and yet I been ruminating over it and getting adrenalin spikes and now like I say gone

  114. Tom Marshall Says:

    I know no one really speaks about the negative thoughts but it is also a side effect of it all, we find ourselves picking out the worst in our partners and it causes us great distress because we know deep down its irrational. You’ve read Sheryl Paul’s work before. Its just a negative projection. goes a little something like this ‘Negative thought about partner – Wait why am i thinking that? I shouldn’t be thinking like this! Does this mean I don’t love him?’ No not at all, just because we have these thoughts doesn’t mean we don’t love them, We recognise in the moment that we do not like this thought which is why it causes us so much distress. In OCD terms its called ‘The doubting disease’ normal people probably have these thoughts but don’t really get phased by them, which is why they soon pass. In your case JoJo you’ve completely latched on to these doubts, negative thoughts and started taking them as truth which has lead to you to obsess over them completely. I know this because I’ve done the exact same thing myself. You wouldn’t come on here every day asking the same questions and obsessing over it if you really didn’t want to be with him, you wouldn’t be constantly looking for an answer as to why you are having these thoughts and doubts. Your mind is trying to find a reason as to what theses doubts could be ‘His face? The way he looked this morning? Well i don’t like the way he does this or that’ I really don’t mean to be blunt here but you need to start listening to the advice people put on here and just allow it all no matter how wrong or horrible it is. I know how hard this can be, but you will never find the answer by questioning it all and trying to figure it all out, It doesn’t matter what the thought is it doesn’t matter how strong the feeling is. The more you try to resist it the harder and stronger it will become. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again the amount of effort and time you are putting into trying to prove to yourself that you love this man truly shows how much you must care about him regardless of what your mind is saying.

    You will get through this JoJo, you just have to let your body and mind have a little tantrum about it all first.

    All the best.


  115. Rich Says:

    Melissa and Anxiousness – You’re asking questions you shoudn’t need to ask.

    PS ‘Anxiousness’ is such a negative label to give yourself – don’t let something like anxiety define who you are.

  116. Pete Says:

    Has anyone had any problems with hyper awareness? Before it was the physical symptoms of anxiety that got me but after I stopped caring how I thought I should feel and how I should not and to force myself to keep doing whatever I was doing that got better then it was scarey intrusive thoughts I but lately after some neck pain that went away I keep worrying about a weird sensation where the pain use to be. It is Not painful and I’m not even sure if I am really feeling something there or if my mind is just being hyper aware of that spot. On the plus side the intrusive thoughts stopped, but now it just feels like I just swapped worries with something else.

  117. Darryl Says:

    Hey all. I have read both books and while the concept is great , I have had a huge amount of trouble putting into practice. You see, I suffer 24/7 with very severe symptoms. Has been going on for 2 years. I have constant vision problems, dizziness, headaches, depersonalization and more. I never get a break or feel better. So this idea of just living and allowing myself to feel is difficult as I suffer all the time. I have a hard time accepting anxiety can cause these symptoms all the time like this so that’s part of the problem. I try so hard to just live alongside it but am unable as the strong symptoms always get the better of me and and when I do manage to go a week or so with acceptance I still so no results. Many of the things in the book also make me question whether what I have is anxiety.

    Is there anyone out there that suffers severe symptoms all day? I have been in a constant state of discomfort for a very long time. Any tips from anyone on how to implement this concept when these symptoms NEVER go away? And how to accept this? It’s not like I can say “it will pass”. It doesn’t. Like everyone I want myife back. I’d be happy to even just have a lesser struggle at the point.

  118. Rich Says:

    Hi Darryl, Your post, like so many others has been posted so many times before, and you are no different in respect to where you are when compared to any of the many others who have come here before you – including me. You like me and many others are guilty of making the same mistakes common to someone wanting to overcome this, but you’re making the wrong choices in trying to do so.

    Indicators such as ‘having a hard time accepting’ and ‘I try so hard’ and wanting a ‘lesser struggle’ and ‘want my life back’ – for anyone who can accept their situation these are telltale flags of what you’re doing wrong – can you see why this attidude is wrong?

    I recommend you read the many posts and comments on this blog and you’ll see the same bewilderment and the same lost souls – trying to fight their way out of the trap, but you’ll also see the same advice – over and over.

    In summary:

    ‘having a hard time accepting’ – stop trying to accept. It’s not a choice you make and the symptoms then leave – it’s a state of mind over the symptoms while you have them.

    ‘I try so hard’ – stop trying and see what happens. Just stop trying to figure it out and cure yourself. You can’t and you won’t anyway – so stop wasting your time and energy.

    ‘lesser struggle’ – why have a struggle at all? I choose not to.

    ‘want my life back’ – change your attitude. Make the most of the life you have now. Symptoms will fade and life will return. Nothing you can do can speed this process up.

    Stop putting pressure on yourself. Do the best you can in the situation you’re in.

    Recovery is a result of a passive attitude and a decision to carry on regardless. It’s not a destination but a state of mind.

  119. Kat Says:

    Hi JoJo,

    I’ve read a few of your posts about relationship anxiety and noticed that you had been referred to a few of my previous posts about the same subject. I am sorry I’m just getting around to responding now, but I wanted to give you some comfort now, if I may.

    First, let me say that I absolutely understand how awful it feels. My personal journey with relationship anxiety happened in a flash, as in one moment I was totally happy, and then instantly, I had horrible feelings about my relationship with the man I loved. Or, did I love him anymore? Was the proverbial bloom off the rose?

    Of course, as an anxiety-sufferer, I made that mole hill into Mount Everest.

    I came to this blog and received a lot of support from others who had gone through it. I was terrified, because I not only had a relationship with this man, but also a child together. What if I left him and dismantled our family? He was not only my partner, but my best friend. What if I let him go and ended up alone in life? Of course, the more worries I had, the stronger my anxiety. I could barely function, and what made everything worse was that my partner was the person I typically went to for support. How could I tell him that he was the cause of my worry?

    If I really thought about it, prior to the massive anxiety/panic attack which lead to these unrelenting thoughts, I had had an evening where he and I were sitting together, and I thought about how deeply I loved him. Then, I thought about how awful it would be to ever lose him. A couple weeks later, my anxiety awakened and tried to “protect” me, I think, by telling me I didn’t really love him. At least, that’s how I see it, now. It was as though my own body was trying to protect me from worrying about losing him by convincing me that I didn’t really want him to begin with. From what I understand, anxiety is a natural response to perceived danger, so in essence, it was acting up because it was an innate response to the catastrophizing my mind was doing.

    How did I get through it? Well, Helen helped me a lot, as did Paul, and a few others who had either experienced it or known someone who had. I won’t tell you it went instantly, because I am a very well-practiced anxiety sufferer and have done it enough to become professional-level. Letting go of my thinking traps was incredibly difficult, but with time and patience I came through that period.

    Here’s what I did:

    * I talked to my partner about it. He was very understanding, said that no couple is in the “honeymoon” phase forever, and that I was probably having an exaggerated response to the natural ebb and flow of a relationship. Just because you aren’t tripping into bed every spare second or reading sonnets to one another doesn’t mean anything is wrong. In fact, just because he does something that irritates you doesn’t mean anything is wrong, either. We’re all human, and we all have impatient moments. You can love your partner even if he forgets to pick his dirty laundry up off the floor or if the way he chews drives you crazy. You probably do things that he doesn’t find adorable, as well, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t in a happy, thriving relationship.

    * Touch him when you can. That means, even when looking at him scares the bejesus out of you, go in for the hug, anyway. That always calmed me, despite the fact that being near him actually set off my anxiety. Contradictory, I know, but also true.

    *Spend time together. We used to make a point of sitting down together every night to watch a show we were interested in. This involved no relationship analysis at all; it was quiet time alone. We sometimes held hands, sometimes shared popcorn, etc. The point is that it was time spent together in which there was no dissection of the relationship, which can be very off-putting.

    *We didn’t force anything. If we didn’t feel like doing something together, such as sharing intimate moments, we didn’t. Eventually, it got to the point that if I suddenly felt that “spark”, I would just tell him, because the communication was open enough for it. If he had pressured me about it, it would never have happened.

    *It was important to savour the glimpses. As in, if I felt surges of love for him, I knew they were real and I needed to remember them when I wasn’t feeling good. If you don’t really love someone, you don’t have those glimpses. If you are terrified that you don’t love them anymore, then that fear is actually a signal that you DO love them, and that you are really afraid of losing them. Your anxiety symptoms fill you with an adrenaline that warps your thinking, but the love is usually sound.

    I had been in a relationship previous to this one when my journey with anxiety started. He was not understanding about it, though I think he tried to be, but eventually the relationship came apart at the seams. It got to the point that I could not stand to be around him anymore, but you know what? I was never frightened by it. Hindsight has shown me that I was very slowly detaching from that partner, without really worrying about it, and though I miss him for a variety or reasons today, I would never want to be back in that relationship. In all honesty, he’s probably just as happy without me, too. I just think that I was so worried about losing my current partner the same way that I made the anxiety come alive whenever I thought about it, but the truth is that I created that response. It had no foundation in reality. Can you see what I mean?

    Over time, things began to re-settle. I slowly began to feel comfortable with him again, which was enough for a while, and then I slowly began to feel the love come back. Sometimes the love came marching in army boots! Gradually, I came to realize that I felt secure in my relationship again, but that’s because I slowly began to stop obsessing over it. And, let me tell you, I am very good at obsessing. I still do it, just not about my relationship, at the moment.

    Hold his hand. Talk to him. Don’t try to get the “old feelings back” because that is more frustrating than anything else. You just become more anxious and panicky when you can’t summon those feelings instantly, so don’t try to force anything. Let it happen naturally, because it will. Also, do not research relationship anxiety on the internet. I did that and it was really upsetting. All you get are people who equally obsessed nurturing each others’ panic with horror stories. You’re in the right place, on this blog. It should be enough.

    I hope that this helps somewhat. I usually come to this blog seeking reassurance when I need it, because ultimately it provides the comfort you need to get back into practicing your way out of anxiety. There is no quick fix, but if you try to look at the situation objectively, I think you will find that your worry about losing your partner or not loving him is there because you are actually afraid of these things happening. If you didn’t love him, you wouldn’t be having anxiety about it. It’s that simple.

    Take care,


  120. Bryan Says:

    Hey Steve B…

    Ha. Yep, just had over a month of pretty good and now things flaring up again. It’s been choppy and I think for me part of it has to be the fact that I just moved, am selling my house, got engaged and a lot of other life changes and stressors. Mostly good but stress is stress. I think I’ll need time to settle out and can’t be surprised by bumpy times.

    I think exploring lifestyle is worthwhile for those of us with stubborn conditions or regular setbacks. We can push too hard and keep the body sensitized, is ,t belief. Other than that… for me things ARE improving overall so I just have to exercise patience. I’ll get there at my speed. I can only be me, as they say.

    Hang in there. Ride it out and you’ll feel better than you did going into it soon.

  121. Darryl Says:

    Thanks Rich. I know I am not perfect at just passively accepting. But since day one I have forced myself into every situation to just live. I have not avoided things. I have truly made an effort to just accept and not react. I stopped researching and running around trying to figure it out. But because I feel so symptomatic all day with no reprieve it’s proved quite difficult to accept where I am. If the symptoms would come and go I could easily be able to know that it is anxiety And will pass in time. But despite me doing my best to just live Alongside it, I have gotten worse over the last 2 years. I recognize all the mistakes I made in the first year though in terms of fretting and worrying, but the last year I have truly tried to passively accept. But it’s akin to asking someone to accept being punched in the face repeatedly for 2 years and asking that person to accept it.

    I’m just not getting it. Or maybe I do, and despite my best efforts it’s not working. I will read through this blog for sure. Thanks.

  122. Louise Says:

    Hi Kat
    Your reply helped me back in April this year. Everything you said was true and the thoughts ebbed sometimes they come back to bite me but like you say the glimpses and rushes are coming back even though it has taken a long time

  123. Steve b Says:

    Ha. Cheers Bryan. I thought I had cracked it then wham. How do you tell yourself, your brain, that it’s just a setback and you are not about to have another breakdown? Really hard when the negative thoughts start again and the free flowing ones have once again disappeared down the proverbial toilet.

  124. Kat Says:

    Hi Louise,

    I’m so glad you are slowly coming out of it. For me, anxiety has worn so many different clothes, but that period of relationship anxiety was the worst outfit yet! I hated it so much because my partner was, and continues to be, the one happy constant in my life. Thinking of losing what we have made me absolutely sick with worry!

    It’s hard to believe it will ever go when you’re in the thick of it, but then others come forward and tell you their story, and suddenly, realizing you’re not alone is such a wonderful shot of calm. Even if it’s not permanent, it’s there. I think it’s really important for people to focus on what people who have gone through it have to say. This blog is invaluable for giving the recovered and the nearly-recovered a platform to share their experiences. I’m not one of the recovered as of now, but I’m working on it, and I come here mainly to read the posts by those who have gained control of their lives. I find that kind of reassurance necessary for me. I hope that I was able to provide a bit of reassurance to you, too. I think of Helen’s support when I was really struggling, and wish I could hug her for taking the time to explain what was going on. She was right about it all, and I’ll always be grateful to her for that.

    Take care,


  125. Ryan Says:

    Hey guys, been doing pretty great as of late, but could use a bit of advise on one thing slipping me up. ..negative thinking. I do pretty great lately accepting anxiety and anxious thinking, but I get in these terrible negative thought patterns were I feel blah and am easily annoyed and unimpressed by everything. .I hate feeling like this as I’m normally a positive person. .kinda confused if I just allow this to be or to try and think more positive things as CBT teaches. My biggest fear is depression, so I know this is went these thought patterns bother me so much add I see myself slipping into a crippling massive depression. .I know, so silly, but still my biggest fear. .

  126. Louise Says:

    Hi Kat.
    Yes relationship anxiety has been my worst symptom simply awful thoughts about someone I love more than anything. It has taken nearly year as it took me a long time to accept the thoughts.
    Intrusive thoughts also prove troublesome and sometimes catch me off guard. I read all your posts with Helen and noticed it took you s long time which initially filled me with panic but in other hand I didn’t get impatient with it just frustrated.
    Big hugs you you Kat and wish you a speedy recovery over this bump in the road

  127. Kat Says:

    Yes, Louise, frustration is my greatest nemesis. It makes me more anxious, because it boils down to “fighting”, which is the opposite of what you’re supposed to do. I can’t say I’m great with accepting, yet, but I’m working on it. I let anxiety be the biggest part of my life for 15 years, so undoing all the patterns I’ve established is tough. That said, where I am now, and where I was years ago, are two totally different places.

    Intrusive thoughts are my big hurdle, too. I can deal with heart palpitations and feeling dizzy, but the “what if” thoughts tend to pull me back down. I did this last week, after months of doing very well, and of course the alarmist in me thought, “Here it comes, it will never go away. I’m doomed to have this forever!”, which is my go-to thought when I feel that depressive, panicky feeling come over me. But, you know what? The past two days I’ve felt basically fine. So, no, it isn’t here to stay. It just takes time to get past these periods. I tend to take longer than some because my mind won’t take any breaks from the pattern it’s established, and I ruminate. It is possible to restructure your thoughts, though, so that’s what I’m trying to do.

    Wishing you all the best, too!


  128. Louise Says:

    Yes I agree we are creatures of habit and like you I can handle palpitations and the physical symptoms itv the nasty what ifs . If there was an award for what ifs I would have medal lol. Some stick around for few hours some make me sweat and panic especially at work but like you today a good day. Reading positive story’s here helps you realise it is possible to live alongside these thoughts I just not there yet s

  129. Pamela Says:

    Hi louise how u doing I lost your email if u want to drop me a msge.x

  130. Louise Says:

    Hi Pamela
    Yeah not bad not bad at all plodding along lol. How’s you getting on with the new business

  131. Tom Marshall Says:

    Kat that post was absolutely amazing

  132. Maria Says:

    I don’t know what you do for a living, but you should consider being a writer. You write just beautifully! Your post on relationship anxiety is the best I’ve read in a long time. I’m sure it will help loads of people. :)

  133. Paul David Says:

    I will do a post soon on what people talk about. I and others had all this and no longer do, but it’s a process, I understood this process, so it made it far easier for me. Some don’t even understand the process, they just fall out of fighting with themselves and then see results.

    You cannot battle or think your way better, your just using the same mind that creates all this to fix it with, your trying to fix the problem with the problem ! This is why so many people stay stuck. Anyway I will soon do a post on it and hope people understand, as it is the absolute key to recovery.

  134. Ves Says:

    Darryl said: ” I’m just not getting it. Or maybe I do, and despite my best efforts it’s not working.”

    Hi Darryl,
    When we are playing chess game with anxiety I am afraid all of us think:
    “We have a thousand serious moves.”

    The moment, after every fantastic move anxiety makes, we trip over joy and burst into laughter and say “I Surrender” we start to experience existence.

  135. Peter Says:

    Hey Darryl,

    I have symptoms all day long as well. After years of struggling I have come to the conclusion that the ONLY way out of anxiety is to stop struggling. We don’t have to do anything about how we feel. It’s really the easiest thing possible. I’m sure you’re tired of trying to figure it all out, tired of fighting how you feel. Think how great it would be to simply let go and let yourself feel awful. But this isn’t giving up as in living with anxiety forever; what happens is you will recover from your anxious state as a byproduct of giving up the fight.

    Trust me…I searched for years for a solution to my anxiety, I refused to feel this way. It’s a dead end, you won’t find any answers, the only solution is to let go and give in.

  136. Peter Says:

    I realized it’s in the phrase…”I struggle with anxiety” Oh, really, well maybe then you should stop struggling. 😀

  137. Paul David Says:

    Nothing works, your right, that is the answer

    Trying to get rid of anxiety is like trying to chase away a fly in a locked room, you just end up going around in circles. People who carry on doing this are the people who can’t see the reason this does now work, they hear it, but they don’t see it. So it just becomes another technique to get rid of anxiety. They continue to think this must be the answer, that they must eliminate it. Trust me you will be fighting until your last breath if you continue with this route.

    The people who do get this concept are the people that truly see it, when I saw it, I was like, OMG what have I being doing to myself, I was fighting an enemy that never existed. Look how much effort I was expanding daily on this, look how much of my attention it got. Its presence does not matter, it is not even important, in fact to turn the feeling back to peace I need to feel it. I have been doing this wrong the whole time. It was not someone else’s words, I truly saw this.

  138. Rich Says:

    ^ And that’s all you need to know.

  139. carla Says:


    I appreciate that you can’t reply to every post but, if you do get a chance, I’d really appreciate your input on some aspects of your advice that I’m really struggling with.

    1) How do you stop taking your thoughts seriously without some kind of struggle? When highly anxious my thoughts come very strongly and it very much feels like my natural response to be frightened and take them seriously – particularly when they’re thoughts about things that are actually happening. Eg. what if can never engage with people on a normal level again? What if I can’t stop thinking about anxiety? etc. etc.

    I understand and realise that these thoughts are catastrophic interpretations of my symptoms but I am suffering badly and thoughts of these kind terrify me. Taking them with a ‘pinch of salt’ feels like an endless battle in itself. And then I start worrying about struggling etc.. and find myself going round in circles..

    2) What is the difference between carving out a sensible path for oneself and trying too hard to work it all out. I’m struggling to reconcile various approaches including letting it all be; challenging catastrophic thoughts; observing thoughts; using tools to manage stress; NOT adding second fear; ‘allowing ALL thoughts to be there, including the second fear etc..’.

    3) How do you deal with the fear of ‘the loop’ itself? I think this is probably my biggest fear. Each time I feel frightened by an anxious thought I think ‘oh no, I’m taking my thoughts seriously – what if I never lose my fear of them and get stuck in the dreaded loop? If my mind goes into fix-it mode I think ‘no, stop, stop, this is going to keep me in the loop.’ When I exercise I worry that I’m trying to rid myself of my feelings which will keep me stuck. Even if I have a cup of chamomile tea I find myself thinking ‘uh-oh, avoiding again huh?

    I guess I’m just not experiencing that feeling of peace and understanding you describe in your own recovery – that place where everything made sense and you felt that you could leave it all alone and let it be.

    And because I can’t get to that place I worry that I’ll never get better, because you’re very clear in your book that this is the only way forwards. I guess my anxiety is having a field day twisting your advice into something else to worry about. I even lay awake for hours last night feeling scared to indulge in anything that might relax me in case this was ‘avoiding’ my feelings.

    Best regards and many thanks for all you have done to support and guide others through difficult times. I hope book sales are going well!


  140. Darryl Says:

    Thanks guys. I appreciate the responses. After 2 years of reading and therapy, I imagine I have all the info I need. I suppose the hardest part for me is understanding what this “acceptance” truly looks like. This all started for me at age 40 out of nowhere despite having a fulfilled and happy life (So I thought). I found Paul’s first book early on and it was like a revelation to me. I felt it was the way out, but it was short lived. Had I truly bought it early on when my symptoms were less constant and severe, I probably wouldn’t be in the mess I am. But instead, I spent over a year questioning everything and desperately seeking immediately relief. But because of Paul’s first book I never hid away. I have always forced myself out despite feeling so poorly. And I continue to do so, but yet I remained stuck, and got worse as time passed. And probably because although I tolerate the symptoms, I still always feared them, and probably still do on some level.

    I understand what’s required here to recover. I try my best to just accept. I go about my day, and try to live alongside the symptoms. But yet no result. And I understand i shouldnt be looking for results, but how can one not want results when one is suffering 24/7 and in a state of constant distress.

    So ya see, I probably don’t know what this acceptance really looks or feels like or how to get my brain to accept a constant level of suffering. And therein lies the problem.

  141. JoJo Says:

    Hi Rich,
    I know you do the moderation. I posted quite a lengthy post and it is not showing up. Do you see it or do i need to re-posit it?

  142. carla Says:


    Just to say I think I’ve got my head around things by myself (hooray!) so no need to reply to my earlier post.

    I think one of the problems with anxiety is that it can project danger and fear onto pretty much anything. I think I was basically misinterpreting your message and taking it to it’s logical extreme.

    I’m feeling a little calmer today and common sense seems to have made a reappearance lol.


  143. Danielle B Says:

    So, hello everyone. Danielle here. I’m 30 years old and looking for someone I can talk with that has recovered from (anxiety, irrational/scary thoughts and D.P.) I’ve read Paul’s first book and I’m having a hard time putting it into play. Seems like there are other people that are having this problem too. Would be nice to have someone to relate to. While my doctor stares at me and says, “I’ve never dealt with anyone who has D.P.” and right now its about “quality of life” because there’s no getting better from this? I don’t know, I’m lost and extremely scared.

  144. Peter Says:


    You don’t even have to try to accept. You just shrug your shoulders and if you wake up in the morning anxious and DPed, you just get on with life with the feelings there. Eventually the feelings won’t matter, and that’s when they lift. This process can take a few months, but who cares? Once you are resolved to live with your symptoms and stop trying to work it all out (check out the chapter on the Anxiety Backpack in Paul’s new book if you have it) you will be recovering all the time. Keep in mind that Googling for answers, sitting there and trying to figure it all out, or at times even coming here looking for some magic words are the opposite of acceptance.

    It’s like being stuck in quicksand. For two years you’ve been struggling, trying to escape the quicksand, but all you need to do is resign yourself to being in this quicksand FOR THE TIME BEING and eventually you will be free…Once you just drop the load and stop trying to figure it out or get out of the state you are in, every symptom that arises is actually helping you to recover.

  145. JoJo Says:

    Thank you for your advice. You have beeen a big help and I know your advice is correct. If I keep coming on here I am obviously struggling with anxiety and I need to listen and start practicing your advice.

    You really are a ray of hope for me. This has been going on for me since 2009 which I know is nothing compared to others like yourself. I am going to share some of my story below. I hope no one judges as this very intimate when speaking about your significant other.

    I was with my now husband for a year and a half before we got engaged. I was happy and knew we would get married one day. Around two months after our engagement I started to worry and be scared of getting married and moving out of my parents home. I lived with my parents at the time who are very coddling Italian parents. The fear of leaving my safe little nest over took me. The what if thoughts began: what if I feel like this because I’m not supposed to marry him, what if I don’t really love him, etc. I began to not sleep or eat and I lost 25 pounds. I got so bad that I went to the Dr and was put on medicine. At the time it saved my life and enabled me to function again. Slowly my loving feelings returned and we got married in 2011. Over the next year I weined off my medication. My first year of marriage was a bit of an adjustment but otherwise happy and good. I stopped the medication in 2012 and within two months the anxiety returned. I couldn’t sleep or eat and omg the monster was back. I figured this has to be because I made the wrong decision in my marriage and the medicine had covered up my real feelings. The what if thoughts returned: what if the medicine made you get married, what if you really don’t love him etc. I jumped right back on medicine and decided to stay on a low dose for over a year. I see now my mind was trying to protect me from leaving my home and feeling vulnerable. My Husband took me away from my safety and therefore my mind sees him as the threat. Even though I understand this why does the anxiety not leave me?

    I decided I wanted to try and have a baby which was postponed by me getting back on medication. Once I was on a low enough dose I got pregnant and had a beautiful baby girl in 2014. I was off medication for 9 months and it was a struggle but I DID IT!! I had panic attacks and couldn’t go places but I’m alive. After the baby was born I was filled with so much anxiety and fear. The intrusive scary thoughts came so strong. I was worried I would hurt myself or the baby. Yet again I got so scared I got back on medicine thinking it is the cure all. I see now that it is not. When the baby was born I could not feel any love or emotion for her and that broke my heart. The medicine calmed me down a bit and enabled me to be a good mom and feel the love for me daughter. It is wierd that I can feel it for her now but still question it for him.

    I am now trying to wein off my medication in the hopes of being able to have another baby next year. I feel like how can I even have another baby when I still have this anxiety and that scares me. I also have learned you can’t wait to get better before you get on with living your life.

    In response to your advise and help: I try and spend time with my husband and be affectionate even when I am doubting him. For the first time I told him the thoughts go towards him. This hurt him at first but he understood. This subject has been hard on our relationship because he does not understand it and thinks it’s all in my head and that I have the control. He has stood by my side through all this so in that way I don’t have the support.
    I have tried to make myself feel the love for him right on the spot but after your comment I need to stop trying to make myself feel it and just let it come. When he tries to hold or cuddle with me the fear creeps in and I feel so much resistance. Shouldn’t you not feel this way for someone you love?

    What is holding me back is this: it has been 5 years and the constant worry it’s about my husband has not left. Doesn’t this mean it is true my mind tells me.
    People post on Facebook about their marriage and love: they say they are my best friend and love of my life etc. I compare to what others say love is and then find myself saying well I don’t feel like that so I must have it wrong. Did that ever happen to you?

    I do have the positive glimpses of love for him and I think this has kept me here with him. I just want it to stop, I just want to be happy and not doubt my love and be off medication. I want the cycle to end. I find it hard to stop thinking or reading or talking about anxiety. It sadly has become my hobby. At night when I try and do something else it’s so hard because this feels like my normal now. I get scared the longer I’m in this the harder it will be to feel normal again towards my husband . The last time I didn’t have these doubts was 2012 and the longer time goes on, I can’t remember what normal is anymore. When I was normal and happy with my life and husband now feels like a distant memory. I have constantly seeked reassurance from my family who has struggled with anxiety. It is hard when others keep telling you nothing is wrong in your relationship and you keep trying to prove to them there is something wrong. I have tried to prove my case for 5 years now and no one has boughten it. Why won’t it sink in for me yet? Why can’t I see the trick that all the outsiders see? How can I believe this isn’t about my husband and just see it is anxiety? Sometimes I ask myself why can’t you just be ok with your life and any and husband and I don’t know why I can’t. Something prevents me from just being at peace. Do I not want to be at peace with my husband? I keep thinking if I’m with the wrong person I have to figure this out now or I can’t be happy which I also saw you thought too Kat.

    Ok this was a lot for me to write and very hard but it feels good getting it out. Any advise on where I am going wrong would help
    Thank you, JoJo

  146. Louise Says:

    Jo Jo
    Hi Hun I know how awful this feels. Maybe it has been going on this long as you not accepting and looking for reasons as to why you have the thoughts. I have hard trouble accepting but like Kat says stop looking for the reasons. And hold on to the glimpses. I know I love my husband more than anything which Is why these thoughts bother you so much if you didn’t love him you would nt be wanting thoughts to go

  147. Rachel Says:

    Today I AM going to blitz my house do my ironing and everything else I need to do this will not beat me today even if I pass out my head feels like it will fall off or pop or even be sick I WILL DO THIS

  148. Julie Says:

    I have just started the book, looking forward to reading the rest.

    I have a question for anyone that maybe can relate. You all know I had severe anxiety early last year which manifested mainly as agoraphobia and intrusive thoughts. Well things have got a lot better until the last 4 months or so when fatigue hit me, I felt weak and fatigued every day. This summer was such a challenge looking after my kids. I saw my GP and he said it was probably my thyroid and iron and did some blood tests. It came back that my thyroid is borderline underactive (TSH 5.33) and he can’t treat it until it goes over the lab range here which is 5.50. I also have low ferritin (iron stores) at 15 but my HB is normal at 14.4. My B12 is running a little low but just within range. He said I need to take iron tablets, I have been on Spatone for years as I struggle with low ferritin.

    I have found since I have felt this fatigued my anxiety has crept up especially when going out. I feel intense brain fog daily due to the fatigue and I feel very anxious at times. Since my children went back to school last week I have felt terrible most days. The fatigue has been making my anxiety really flare up and I have noticed that even my health anxiety is returning. I am jumpy at every bodily sensation and fears of what if I collapse or end up in hospital, I couldn’t cope as I have agoraphobia and panic attacks…… urgh, it’s just all hit in full force. I thought at first at least I had an answer as to why I felt so tired but now anxiety has really hit and I can’t seem to relax.

    Can anyone relate to this or fatigue and higher anxiety? I am so upset because I was doing so well but since this fatigue hit I haven’t felt well. I know anxiety can be a symptom of my low iron and thyroid so I worry am I stuck with this anxiety and there is nothing I can do as it will happen anyway? I have to stay like this, my GP isn’t helping as he says he can’t do anything until we get my next blood tests in a few months :-( I am finding appointments cause intense panic again, I feel anxious when out around people and am back to thinking I am not normal, I am weird, I am a danger and my intrusives have returned. I feel pretty crap but each day I am just doing the best I can. I can’t workout anymore which is really upsetting me and I have gained a few pounds. I still do yoga daily and meditation which is nice.

    Right off to read the rest of Pauls book 😉


  149. Paul David Says:

    These were the crucial steps of my recovery

    I saw that I had a lot of negative energy accumulated in my body and mind, so for now I would feel pretty rotten. I had never once accepted this and spent all my life trying to rid myself of this. I spent all my days trying to control my minds fears, thoughts, confusion, all brought on by this negative energy I had created over the years and sustained through fear, worry and deep thinking.

    I started to see that I was not my mind (well known in buddist circles) that if I was the one trying to fix and control it, then it could not be me. It was a conditioned machine responding to what I fed it. Well I fed it fear, worry, concern and that’s why it was so full of negative energy. When I left all this crap to happen then each time without question it always sorted itself out and a lot of this negative energy was released. It was the same if I felt anxious (which is just excess energy in the body), I just had to sit with it, give it as much space as it needed and allow this energy to leave me. The crucial part that I missed for years was that on certain days the mind and body would have less negative energy and I would feel pretty OK and think it was something I must have done or that it was all now behind me. When I felt rotten again I would think, that’s it, this is me forever, nothing works, so I was back in fix and think mode, creating more of what I was trying to get rid of.

    That is a very short version of what I saw, but I realised that I had to totally allow these states to come and go and realise that this was the only way to recover and release all this energy. There was nothing to ever get rid of, my mind and body was trying to do this and I never let it, I just created more with all my fear and concern of this release.

    When I totally allowed and was not concerned with how i felt then I would usually feel periods of real bliss afterwards, as I had for once allowed a lot of this crap to be released/turned back into peace, but as night followed day I would crash again, but now I understood that I would and I would no longer try and chase it away. I had to go through many of these processes, but I was no longer concerned about them, how i felt could never harm me, it never did and I always came out of it. In fact I used to want to feel crap to get rid of more as i loved the bliss afterwards and wanted it gone.

    My true acceptance did not come from trying to accept as this can turn into a technique, I just saw enough to understand I needed to go through this and I lost my fear of this process and all the crap the mind could come up with. Without fear it just happened automatically. All my fighting and suppression techniques just left me and I just allowed myself fully to feel like crap if need be.

    This is why much of the sell-help field never works because they go along with this, ‘Let’s work to get rid of it, let’s learn to suppress this’ this is the totally wrong approach, it does not work like that. All this does is create small pockets of relief, it does absolutely nothing to fix the problem.

    Whenever you read what I say I am always trying to point you to see something, to tell you what not to do, as there truly is nothing to do but allow it all to happen. This is why there is no magic sentence/technique on the internet to make it go away, as there is nothing that can achieve this, you have to go through it and feel it. It is fear that keeps you stuck, fear this is you forever (it’s not) fear that you will lose it (you won’t) fear keeps you stuck because it keeps you trying to fix and suppress. I did not like how I felt at times, but I certainly no longer feared it.


  150. Rachel Says:

    Paul how did you know that it was anxiety and there was nothing more to it like a really illness xx. Love your work you are truly a great man xx

  151. Louise Says:

    Sorry have silly question I find I tearful a lot and I do cry is this not accepting I sometimes feel it is a release for me but then get frustrated

  152. pravesh Says:

    Hi Paul

    I am trying to buy your new book.. but PayPal is restricting me. Do you think it is because I live in Mauritius thats why?

    Well I wanted to clarify something with you. I got your point that recovery is doing nothing… But my mind keeps telling me that I should do something.. I am letting it should loud.. but sometimes I fall in it’s trap. Can you guide me here?

    Another question when we say ‘so what’ to ourselves or however I feel I feel… Is this not a ‘do’…

    I need your guidance here to move forward…..please

  153. Nicole Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Just wanted to say a massive thank you.

    I read your first book and had been making lots of progress to the point where I was able to live my life as I wanted but the symptoms were still there and it wasn’t enough.

    However something has just clicked with your second book, calling anxiety nervous energy has almost turned a switch in my brain, I can see so clearly now that ALL my symptoms are a result of this nervous energy that needs an outlet, they are nothing to fear and that it is me feeding it. For example before I go out to do certain things adrenalin kicks in and I feel rough, now I fully understand that it is a habit and that my body is reacting normally to my thoughts and it will pass if I let it.

    It is fantastic to let go of ALL coping mechanisms, meditation (that never did anything for me and I never really enjoyed), practicing breathing exercises (a chore) and alcohol to calm my nerves.

    I know now the symptoms will go but I have been anxious for a few years so the habits are ingrained and it will take time. But I feel happier and more at peace with the symptoms than I ever have.

    Thank you.

  154. Julie Says:

    Nicole – That is lovely. So glad things are getting easier for you :-)


  155. Bryan 2 Says:

    Paul’s post this morning outlines the biggest/last struggle I have.

    Just on Monday I was at Sam’s Club with my wife and I had as large an energy release as I’ve ever had (one that would have devolved in to a pure panic attack if I didn’t have the understanding I do now). I didn’t try to run, escape, sit down or anything else. I just continued on with the energy in me and it dissipated. Later that day and the next I felt as calm and free of energy as I had in weeks.

    Fast forward to this morning and I certainly have a more anxious, uncomfortable feeling and this is where I ALWAYS get impatient and fall back into the worry/checking in. Paul’s post is exactly what I need to remember to do at times like this but sometimes fail at. I really do feel this attitude is the last thing that is eluding me but my habits are so ingrained that I also realize it will take some time.

  156. Rich Says:

    JoJo, Just a quickie to let you know there’s nothing in the moderation queue at the moment. I see a post from you above this one publishes after your intial post to me – I hope this is the one you refer to and all is present and correct.

  157. Rich Says:

    Hi Rachel, I didn’t know that what I had was not something worse – I did sometimes wonder, and worry, but because I was in an anxious state, and could not trust my own thoughts, I knew that this was all it was – I could identify my mind as being untrustworthy at the time and this was fine for it to think untrue thoughts as I knew to ignore them.

    Stop believing your anxious mind. Trust your true self. Don’t be afraid to test this notion – it’s how to overcome it.

    Earlier on you said you were going to do house work even if you pass out or your head falls off or pops or you’re sick.

    I am willing to bet my house that you didn’t pass out, your head remains on your shoulders, it didn’t go ‘pop’ and you weren’t sick. Am I right? What does this teach you?

  158. Marie Says:

    Hi everyone, like all of you I deal with the negative thoughts. My scary ones have seemed to die down for now but now it’s “will I ever got better” and I doubt everything. One other thing I experience is my life seems different. Everything seems weird and I question my sanity at times. My house has become my hot zone and I think it’s because I relate my home to panic. I want nothing more then my life to feel like mine again. This really bothers me. Am I the only one to feel like this? Sorry to ask because I’m sure I’m not but it’s quite scary!! I haven’t posted before and I have just been reading and taking in what everyone has to say and it does help! Thanks

  159. Maria Says:

    Hello all,

    As someone who gained soooooo much so quickly from Paul’s book, I just want to share something with you all. As I read the post here day in and day out, I see so much of the same complaints. And so much of the same advice. I wish there was a way to help you all flip the switch, a magic sentence that would turn the lightbulb on for you all. I guess in a sense there is, but it’s hard to believe that it’s as easy as just doing nothing. But you know what? It IS that easy.

    I spent years in the same cycle as all of you. I know EXACTLY how you feel. All of us here can relate to something somebody is saying. Whittled down to as simple as I can make it, here is the “trick” to all of this:

    Stop worrying.
    Stop questioning.
    Stop ruminating.
    Just let it be, let it be a part of you.

    By worrying, questioning, and ruminating, you keep it alive, you feed the fear and hence it sticks around. It is human nature to do all of those things, so you have to go against that instinct (which is there to protect you) and just allow it all to be there. Yep, it’s scary at first, but I promise you, by feeling the fear instead of running from it, all of a sudden it will dawn on you that there really is nothing to be afraid of! Nothing will happen! Just trust yourself and feel it. You’re not going to go nuts, you’re not going to lose it, you’re going to be just fine! Really, in all of the thousands of posts on here not once have I read, “and I actually DID lose my mind!” Or “I actually DID act on my intrusives!” Not once.

    Stop trying to figure it all out or fix it.

    Just let it be. (New Nike-esque slogan for anxiety sufferers 😉 )

  160. Rachel Says:

    Rich lol you are so right nothing happened even though I new it wouldn’t but saying that I did feel horrendous and still do my head has gone to an all new level but even now when I think what does my head feel like I really can’t describe it it feels very tight and my brain is spinning around and tingling and I need it to stop this is a constant at the moment and I’m also sick of looking at stuff and they seem to move like now I’m walking past a car and it seems like it’s moving why why why even a wall looks like it’s moving and that’s impossible plus my body feels like it sways even now xx

  161. Ryan Says:

    HI Marie,
    I’m sure all of us have felt they way you are at some point or another. .I am really struggling with negative thoughts at the moment as well. .My daughters have been really trying lately, which seems to make it even worse anxiety is very manageable right now, but it’s the negativity and doom and gloom that really scares me. My biggest fear is clinical depression, and s******. Just heard that a classmate of mine from high school just did this,and it has really put me in a tailspin. .having a really hard time with these scary thoughts. .has anyone dealt with this, and have any thoughts on how to get past and move on? It just scares the cap or off me because he seemed so happy and had kids and everything. .my biggest fear is being too that point, and have struggled with this fir many years. .just really curious if others have these same scary thoughts and fears. .Thanks so much for any insight. .

  162. Nicole Says:


    Thank you and sorry you are going through such a rough time.

    I have suffered terribly and know how it feels. Dizziness was my worse symptom and a body that found it very hard to be at peace. This morning at the doctors surgery I was sitting there and feeling the normal symptoms and I just looked at them as nervous energy needing to escape, not a sign of imminent breakdown or madness, just a body that had not been given the chance to just “be” for years. Every morning for as long as I can remember I have woken up anxious and tried to fight it, tried to reason with it etc etc, but recently I have just understood that none of this works, feeling anxious in the morning is not nice and I don’t like it but its habit and the more I allow it to be the better it makes me feel. Today for the first time in ages there was no anxiety and I didn’t question why or how to make it the same tomorrow, I just noticed it and went about my day. Even though my symptoms haven’t changed that much I am seeing them differently and that is enough for now.

    Rachel, I suffered terribly with head symptoms and there were days when I literally felt i could not take another second. As soon as I understood that my body was just releasing all the tension it helped a lot. Sometimes I felt faint, sometimes palpitations and sometimes moving objects in front of me, its horrible but even on my very worse days nothing really bad ever did happen.


  163. Bryan 2 Says:

    Rachel, just once let it go. Don’t try to stop it. Invite it in. I know this kind of advice seems meaningless like it did to me once as well but I promise you that when you stop trying to “hold it together” nothing bad happens.

    One of the hardest things for me and for most is to realize that nothing you are doing to “keep it in check” is actually doing what you think it is. Every time you ruminate/worry or avoid and nothing happens we have the tendency to believe it was the worrying or holding on or avoiding that was the reason why nothing happened. The non-anxious reality is that nothing happened because there is nothing wrong with you.

  164. Bryan 2 Says:

    Ryan, it’s not spoken about too much on here from what I see but I think many of us, including myself, have had that same fear. Is mental illness a real thing? Yes, of course it is. Some people have demons and some people have severe depression. It would be foolish to think otherwise but to try and assign values to your classmate and assume you have anything in common is a game not worth playing.

    The reality is your anxiety is scanning exterior threats, seeing nothing and turning inwards and using a current experience or fear to attach itself to. Here is a personal example. I go to a rooftop bar from time-to-time and at the height of my anxiety I had a gripping fear that I would lose control and fall/jump off the roof. Did I want to? Of course not, but that doesn’t matter to your brain. I realized that this was my anxious and frayed nerves trying to play “protector.” Basically saying there was no real danger so inventing one to make me fear and take action (in other words to protect me).

    If you actually wanted to do something, you certainly wouldn’t have a gripping terror/fear of it! It’s so important to realize — and there is simply so much evidence on here of it alone — that an axiety disorder is about the furthest thing away from an impulse disorder. They are apples to oranges in every way possible.

  165. Bryan 2 Says:

    And sorry for the posts in a row but I wanted to further my example just a bit. Not only did I realize it was my anxiety trying to protect me but I made it a point to walk to the fence, look out at the city and show my anxious brain there was nothing at all to fear — no matter how awful it made me feel and boy did it. Every time I’ve gone there since (only a handful of times) I have had adrenalin and every time it has been less and gone away quicker. Your brain really does learn from what your feelings/emotions tell it.

    I can’t stress enough I did this at the HEIGHT of my anxiety and… nothing happened of course!

  166. Ryan Says:

    That is what scares me though. .it’s I have all these doom and gloom thoughts,and feel so depressed and hopeless at times, I think, that’s what people feel like before they do that! So I guess I’m just cofused at these feelings and hard to not be threatened by them. .when my anxiety lifts, I’m the happiest guy in the world. .I love my life but I just get so down and frustrated at dealing with this at times. .I’m guessing that hearing this story and having it hit so close to home has really sent me for a loop, and just have tons of crazy thoughts going through my head. .Most anxious thoughts I can dismiss as irrational or nonsense, but these are much harder to say” I would never do that”..which is why it terrifies me. .thanks for the reply! ! It makes me feel a little less crazy when I know someone else has dealt with this!

  167. Paul David Says:

    Well I wanted to clarify something with you. I got your point that recovery is doing nothing… But my mind keeps telling me that I should do something.. I am letting it should loud.. but sometimes I fall in it’s trap. Can you guide me here?

    Another question when we say ‘so what’ to ourselves or however I feel I feel… Is this not a ‘do’…

    Pravesh – When the mind does not like something it tries to get rid of it, but it is the mind that is the problem, this is why you can never fix the mind with the mind, by trying to analyse or think your way out of it. Let your mind shout, have tantrums, just smile at its antics and it TRUST me it will begin to settle, you cannot settle it by force. It is like letting a child kick and scream until it runs out of energy and eventually stops. As Rich says: Stop believing your anxious mind, trust in your true self, that is the self that starts to come back once the mind settles.

    You can say whatever you want, as long as you are not using these words as a technique to feel better, as again you are suppressing what comes up. You need to del every tantrum, every bit of irritation, crazy thoughts, let it all arise with trying to deny any of it, have no concern over your current state, it will pass. I knew this deep down, I really saw what this process was, so it never concerned me, I was fine with whatever came up. It is not always easy to have this attitude at first, but the more you go through it and come out of the other side, the more you trust in this process and see it is exactly what needs to be done.

  168. Paul David Says:

    Nicole, all I can say is you have got it. I can tell when someone has by they write, it is beyond words, they see it so clearly it makes no sense to carry on what they are doing. Meditation is fine unless it gets used as another technique to try and suppress what is coming up and this is what anxiety sufferers usually do and then it is counter productive. I said in my latest book, I looked at all my self help books, counsellors, internet favourites, rules and techniques and realised I was using them all to try and deny, get rid of how i felt and i just saw it there and then, “this is not working, this can’t work, what have I been doing”. I am so glad you have truly seen something here and that you know and are OK with maybe having to go through some more if need be, but yes it is being at peace with how you feel, one that does not come through effort but through seeing something, the fear goes and the symptoms decrease and have no fuel to continue, all it can live off is old fuel which will eventually die out. Thats how it was for me.

  169. Bryan 2 Says:

    Ryan you said, “Most anxious thoughts I can dismiss as irrational or nonsense, but these are much harder to say” I would never do that”..which is why it terrifies me.”

    To me this is exactly the wrong way to handle a thought. When you say that you are showing your brain that it is a threat, that is something that you need to be protected from. You’re basically arguing with it, which is giving it the utmost respect.

    I know this is such an incredibly hard thing to do when you are anxious and I still struggle with it but you have to really believe that this is anxiety, let it be there and move on. This is why Paul stresses so much that understanding is the key to allowing.

    I have went from having anxious, intrusive thoughts that kept me in a cycle all day long to getting them once or twice a day with such less impact in just a short span of three weeks by really understanding and believing that they are simply a by-product of adrenalin and frayed nerves. Ask yourself this: Do I get these thoughts without the anxiety/fear? In my case I never ever ever get any intrusive thoughts unless I have anxiety (which is exactly what you said about the anxiety lifting).

  170. Debbie Says:

    Paul hi iam wondering about my thoughts they are not about harming its about images that just come in my mind of. Scenes of anything in my memory its scary makes me feel. Unstable and insane ive got both of your books iam able to travel by myself now but the images and everything feeling familiar and associate something with something. Ive come a long way but this is what stays with me and ive never read about anyone having this .
    Thanks debbie

  171. Ryan Says:

    Thanks so much for the discussion. .seems like this is a bit of a taboo subject,but one I feel allot of us deal with. .but you are so right. .I have come SO far in the past few years using Pauls methods, and sometimes need a reminder of what got me here. It’s so funny how anxiety can continue to trick us over and over! What you said makes so much sense. .”Do I think this when I’m not anxious? ” The answer is of course not. .lime I said, I’m the happiest guy in the world when I’m not anxious. .This makes so much sense, and need to go back to the attitude that all this garbage running through my mind is just unimportant noise. .thats what has worked in the past and will work again. .just got slipped up and tricked again! I’ll chalk it up to another lesson learned in my path to recovery! Thanks again Bryan!

  172. Julie Says:

    Nicole – Thank you for replying to me.

    I like that you call it nervous energy and I see that’s what Paul has called it too in his new book. I prefer that expression.

    I think I am just so worried if this anxiety that I am now experiencing is caused by my underactive thryoid and low B12/iron does that mean Pauls method won’t work for me :-(

    I feel terrible. High anxiety every day and I swear it’s because of how fatigued I am and yes I am adding fear as I just hate how weak and tired I am feeling. I wish I could just get back to the place I was in before my health suffered.


  173. Bryan 2 Says:

    Debbie, my answer to you would be exactly the same.

    I also would get plenty of other thoughts and images that were plain silly but still hit hard with impact. One in particular that I laugh at to no end now is I’m sitting outside looking at trees in the horizon and my dumb brain popped in with “that looks fake. what if all of this is fake.” It threw me in to such worry it was ridiculous. I guess it was worry that I was losing it or going insane or something — but I literally can’t even remember why in the moment it scared me!

    But the key is to treat them like any other anxious thought. Let them run around and scream and move on. I will say doing this goes against every instinct. I never thought that it would seem like work to do nothing but at times it really does. But you’ll get there.

    As I progress through my recovery (and I’ve mentioned it before) I have come to realize that I use this site/blog as a crutch at times so I apologize if I don’t follow up to people who directly respond to me quickly. Paul and this blog have helped me so much but my hope, much like all of you, is that in time with understanding and patience the entire condition becomes an afterthought.

  174. carla Says:

    Bryan, Paul, Maria, Nicole etc..

    I totally get the concept that if you lose the fear of anxiety symptoms then they will fade of their own accord – sometimes quickly, sometimes more slowly.

    But what if your fears centre around your inability to lose your fear. Worries such as:

    – I keep feeling worried and having negative thoughts so I will therefore keep feeding my body with negative energy and continue the cycle.

    – I still hate my symptoms when they start bubbling up therefore I must still be scared and will never get better.

    – my mind keeps automatically going into ‘fix-it’ mode so I will therefore never get better.

    – I still feel frightened by my catastrophic thoughts so will never get better.

    How do you deal with worries of this nature. It appears that I’m instinctively doing all the ‘wrong’ things but keep feeling puzzled about how I’m supposed to do the ‘right’ things without some kind of effort.

    How do I effortlessly stop fighting when adrenaline is automatically triggering the fight or fight response?

    It just doesn’t quite make sense to me. It just seems that some people just stop being scared of their symptoms and stop fighting them and others just can’t seem to do this (or, like me, panic, when they feel that they can’t).

    I’d really appreciate some opinions on thoughts and feelings of this nature. Fear of fear of fear basically. Good grief.

  175. colin Says:

    Hi Paul
    I see you wrote above ! That meditation could be perceived as another tecknique I trying to recover ? Is coming On this blog a kind Of tecknique for some people ? I have suffered with anxiety for 4 years on and off . Reading you 1st book at the beginning of year and got it right away what you preached and it was a wow moment !!! Still have small doses of adrenalin lol but just let it happen and get on with my day . And before I know it my clarity is there without any real effort . God I wish I had meet your book 4 years ago mate !!! And thanks for sharing it with us . I don’t often write on here but do pop by to read how others are getting on . And maybe just maybe to learn and understand even more about anxiety .


  176. Natasha Says:

    Hi :) this is my first time posting on here but I have suffered anxiety on and off for years. I feel a bit stuck now and was looking for some advice before turning to medication (which I want to avoid). I first experienced anxiety when I tried smoking cannabis when I was 15, ended up with depersonalisation and plagued with unwanted obsessive thoughts. God knows how I overcome it then as I had no idea it was anxiety I was scared of everything for months and basically lived in my room and wouldn’t leave! My mum ended up forcing me to go back out with friends and to get a job and I suppose over time it just left me. I then experinced it again 7 years later do to alot of stress in my life. I still had no idea it was anxiety so I went to the doctors andstarted crying saying I was going mad, he gave me an ssri and refferred me to cbt. When I was waiting for cbt I came across Pauls book and was feeling even worse at the time due to the anti depressants. After reading the book I felt better almost straight away. I was so glad that other people had experienced these uwanted thoughts and that it was just anxiety and whenever I got a thought after that I just laughed and said Its just anxiety. Now 5 years later its all came back again! Due to high levels of stress :( I’ve had it a year now,iI have done nothing but accept its anxiety and just let the thoughts come and don’t pay them any respect. I have fel treally low this week as I just realised that its been a year I’ve had this now and people say they have good and bad days but every day I feel like crap. I never avoid anything I do everything I want to do and should be doing, I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong this time. Its like I’m totally obsessed with what I’m thinking feeling that it won’t ever leave me if I keep thinking about it. I don’t know if maybe the anti depressants helped more than I thought last time so maybe I need them again to help think more rationally? I try to think if I done anythjng different he last time but I never. Just really starting to annoy me and drag me down now :(

  177. John T Says:

    Ryan – if its any consolation, I have the same exact fear caused by the same exact thing. And I’m similar in that when I’m feeling great, those thoughts, when they come, are easily dismissed and I’m happily living my life.

    The fact is you may NEVER know someone’s demons. And this unanswerable question is what sends your mind off. Look, my brother attempted to take his life 3 times. Thank God he’s still alive now. But his attempts do not really trigger me, because I know they were all due to his drug usage. He tripped so many times and failed and thought there was no way out. But (like anxiety), there was, and he recovered and is now a very successful person. Now, for your friend, the problem lies in that you may not know what happened, and this scares you into paralleling the way you’re feeling into what he may have been feeling. My weird thing is; if I knew why it happened (such as drug abuse, potential prison sentence, alcohol), it doesn’t bother me. But if there’s no definite answer, people are quick to blame depression – even though that may not even be the case. My therapist pointed out that you don’t have to be depressed to end your life – he knew of a guy that went hunting with his son and accidently shot his son to death – and immediately turned the gun on himself because of the overwhelming grief. Personally, if that happened to me, I don’t think I’d be able to survive either, but I think that’s many a parents feeling. The degree of hopelessness is usually the factor.

    I’ve told this story before: My other brother has a MASSIVE FEAR of having a stroke. He’s very OCD about his blood pressure and takes meds to keep it low – meanwhile I have high blood pressure but really don’t take meds for it. He’s completely at a loss as to why I wouldn’t be worried about a stroke, meanwhile he thinks my self harm thoughts are “the dumbest thing ever”. Its all a matter of what you find threatening and how you react to it. Some parents are scared to death to let their kids on a school bus and take the kids in a car. I’ve let my kids ride the bus for so many years and nothing has happened. EVER. Yet, there’s always the parent that says, “NOT YET” – That’s kinda what anxiety does, finds your weak point, and no matter how much you try to negotiate it away, there’s always the “not yet” fear.

  178. Ryan Says:

    John T,

    Really great insight. .I’m really happy that we are having this discussion, as I know it’s really helping me through a slip up, and I hope others can take something away from it. .you are so right about the not knowing..that’s what bothers me as for some reason I feel like I need an answer so I can say. .see that’s not me. ..but here lies the trick. .I need to be okay with the uncertainty, and move along with my life. .I have to be okay if I feel depressed or anxious for as long as it takes. .trying to get reassurance is just reinforcing the fact that I’m afraid. ..

  179. John T Says:

    Ryan – yup, same boat. And this only comes up when sensitized, right? Otherwise, the need to know the answer is overwhelming. And I’ll start digging on google, too. The WORST. I remember when I was in high school, one of the star athletes ended his life. Did we have google or 5000 news channels or twitter or facebook to read all about it? Nope, we heard about it and moved on. I never questioned it.

    It takes a lot of practice, Ryan, but we can learn from it.

  180. JoJo Says:

    Up above someone mentioned I think Bryan 2 that you ask yourself if you have these thoughts when your not anxious and that you only get them when you are feeling anxious.
    This confuses me because I will have thoughts or worries or stress on how I’m feeling and then seek reassurance but may not have physical anxiety while I’m thinking these things. This makes me question is it anxiety I have? Is it physical you mean when you describe feeling anxiety. This has always confused me because your not always having a panic or physical sensations in my experience. Does anyone understand what I’m saying?

  181. Natasha Says:

    Also in Pauls first book he says when he would find himself worrying about past or future things he would stop and say wait I no longer worry about things of the past and carry on with whatever he was doing. I find this confusing as its like I’m doing something when we are told to do nothing. I worry a lot about past and future senarios and not sure of I should allow the worries to be there or tell myself I don’t do this anymore?

  182. Debbie Says:

    Hi jo jo i get thoughts without being anxious . i even get physical symptoms witout being anxious .

  183. JoJo Says:

    Debbie: but you still know it’s anxiety how?

  184. JoJo Says:

    Debbie: how do you know it’s anxiety than?

  185. Debbie Says:

    Hi jo jo i believe its anxiety because what else can give you thoughts like we have i focus on myself 24 7 i was so bad. 6. Months ago my son had to drive me every where and. Go into stores with me that was truly panic than i started reading pauls book and got over that hurdle . now iam stuck with crazy images or whatever they are so it all must be from anxiety i do at times think i have a brain tumor but i guess that gos with the what ifs. Ive been to many dr s therapist cbt .

  186. Debbie Says:

    Hi jo jo also i can be watching tv or laughing and i still get images of weird things. Like i see a park a street anything iam thinking my mind is so use to doing this it has to just get use to not doing it i gues s and hope its just has become a is quite scary it is a part of my mind right now oh well .

  187. Louise Says:

    Am highly Anxious this morning very nearly called in sick as seem to be most anxious and have odd thoughts while at work but……. I am here and determined to stay I think my mind remembers I more anxious at work therefore I expect to be. Just answered own question ha oh well onwards and upwards

  188. Paul David Says:

    Colin says:

    Hi Paul
    I see you wrote above ! That meditation could be perceived as another tecknique I trying to recover ? Is coming On this blog a kind Of technique for some people ?

    I would never call it a technique, if people need to learn more and don’t feel ready to flee the nest then keep learning, just never let this place be a crutch, use it to learn. Some people get it instantly, I have seen people finish my book and they never need anything answering again, they see it totally. It still takes a while to recover, depending on how long they have suffered exactly, but they understand that. Then you may get someone thinking the book has done very little as they either don’t get it or they have been taught to believe that they must do something about it, usually these people exhaust every avenue before coming back to the book.

    It is like anything, you start a new job and it all looks very confusing, you are not sure if you will ever learn this or get it, but in time you do and it becomes second nature. The reason some get it instantly and others take time is the same as some people can be shown how to use a computer and they pick it up effortlessly as it all makes sense to them, it did with me, but some struggle with understanding it, it takes a while. That is the same with me with DIY, I am pretty useless and don’t really get it. It would just take me longer to learn but I would get there. Oh and see what the anxious mind will do here, people will then say ‘That’s me see, I will never get it’ when these thoughts appear ignore them, that’s just the anxious/conditioned mind talking, I used to get these and listening to them and wrap myself in self pity. These thoughts are nothing unless you identify with them, they are just energy in motion, they have no value, you need to see this. I ended up laughing at what my anxious/conditioned mind threw up, when I saw through it, the thoughts hardly registered and I had no emotional reaction and they no longer influenced what I did and did not do.

    I remember when Nolan came on here and he was all over the place with questions and concerns (he posted one for people to read) this was after people kept advising him, he spent quite a while here and then click, he got it, he quickly switched from needing help to helping. All people need to do is not really ask for constant reassurance, but more ask more on how people got there, what they saw, its that drip, drip of knowledge that people need, they see more and more, sometimes they don’t even know they are until they realise how much they have moved on. It took me plenty of reading, self investigating, numerous teachings, trial and error to finally get it, it came in stages, insight after insight. But I had nothing really to go on in those days, I pretty much figured a lot out myself with a bit of guidance here and there. I would say a lot of good spiritual books and teachings helped me more than any anxiety books, apart from claire weeks I found them all pretty useless. If I could have spoke to myself all those years ago I would have recovered far quicker that’s for sure.

    The teaching is to just feel it all, people say I have accepted, but I still feel like this, I can guarantee that they still have plenty of fear and resistance to how they feel, they still avoid these feelings in some way, they still deny and resist, they still try and talk there way out of them, they probably use accepting as a technique, praying these feelings will go, they probably monitor how they are doing. I know because I did all this. Without fear and resistance everything has to fall away as there is no fuel for it to continue, but you will have plenty of past fuel that needs to be used up, this is why it is a very up and down affair. I truly got to the stage where how I felt no longer concerned me, I understood its presence, realised I had to feel this way and just got on with life and in time recovery came to me, I did nothing to force it, used no sayings or techniques. I just lost interest in it, anyone who is progressing or has recovered will say they don’t see how they feel like they once did, they don’t struggle with it the same, they fear it less, this cuts a lot of fuel off, takes a lot of struggle away and they feel better. No one has ever said in my 15 years of being involved in this, I struggled with it and beat it, Paul I analysed myself better, I avoided enough and it went away, yet people still go this way as it feels the right thing to do, I only stopped because I KNEW and SAW why this was the complete wrong thing to do, so why would I keep doing it? I eventually realise that however I felt and whatever I thought was normal in the circumstances and it could never harm or hurt me, there was no dark place waiting for me, so I become OK with it, did not always like it, but I knew I needed to allow it completely for it to go, I just got very comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.

    It is like a man in a gorilla suit, he looks real and scary until you realise, actually its just a man in a suit, there was nothing to actually be scared about.

  189. Hannah Says:

    Will the book be available on anytime soon?

  190. Julie Says:

    Paul – I am not sure if you saw my post yesterday but if my anxiety is being caused again by a physical condition, such as my thyroid and low iron can acceptance still help me? I was doing really well until a few months ago then my fatigue began and I have slowly slipped into high anxiety, feeling inside my head and just generally feeling odd with the intrusives again. I am told my health problems can cause general anxiety, which they have for sure.


  191. Peter Says:

    Julie – if you’re worried about the anxiety and obsessing about it, then yes, acceptance will still help because acceptance is the opposite of worrying and obsessing and trying to “fix it”.

  192. Rich Says:

    Julie, It’s not about the elimination of anxiety – it’s about the elimination of the caring about anxiety. This is the only thing in our power we can do.

    Luckily, this is exactly what then causes the anxiety to reduce and our symptoms to subside which is nice – but by this point we care less about them being there anyway – if at all.

    To everyone questioning their situation, feelings and symptoms – you will continue to suffer because you’re inflicting the suffering upon yourself.

    I cannot recommend enough that those with questions read Paul’s books (I’ve not got the second one but I assume it’s good!) and read the posts on this blog and then read all of the comments made by those helping others. Then if you still have questions, read them all again. Knowledge and understanfing is the foundation to ‘recovery’.

    Take this knowledge and disguest it to understand how this all works, then turn your ‘what if’s into ‘so what’.

  193. Julie Says:

    Thank you Peter and Rich for your replies.

    I noticed my anxiety turned up a notch when my fatigue started. I was so sleepy all the time and just couldn’t think straight. The children were home over the summer so I guess I had them as a distraction but now they are back in school I have too much time to worry about how ill I feel. I am jumpy at every bodily sensation, worried I will collapse and end up in hospital due to the bad fatigue and on top of that my anxiety has really increased. I feel inside my head all day, thinking I am ill and odd because i can’t think straight. I just feel generally odd and I swear it’s all due to how tired I am.

    I keep thinking I really do need to accept that I am fatigued due to my low iron and thyroid and just make the best of it. I am adding fear to how fatigued I am and I don’t know why :-(

    Thanks again.


  194. Paul David Says:

    Julie it has nothing to do with your fatigue, it is all to do with your worry, analysing, brooding, your complete focus on the subject that causes this, you are doing the exact opposite of what is advised, just leave the whole bleeding lot, let it manifest in what ever way it wants, if your mind wants to come up with scenarios then let it. You are doing this to yourself, you are creating anxiety on top of anxiety and so the cycle continues. I am not having a go at you for this, i’m just telling you were you are going wrong, you need to see this and go down a different path. People on here can advise all day long, but the only person who can change their approach is you, no one can do this for you, you don’t need to see too much to stop what you are doing, just lay all your tools down and let everything happen as it does and I mean everything, don’t deny certain parts of it, don’t try and chase certain thoughts and feelings away or try to change them, don’t spend pointless hours trying to figure it all out, let there be no resistance to what is and you will see some changes.

  195. Bryan 2 Says:

    Jojo, what I meant is did you have these thoughts/feelings before you starting having anxiety; not when you physically (or mentally) feel it now.

    If your thoughts had nothing to do with anxiety you wouldn’t fear them! Just because you don’t have physical sensations or don’t have that pit in your stomach doesn’t mean you aren’t anxious. The very fact that you are worrying about the thought when it pops up and it sticks means that you ARE experiencing anxiety.

    I was at the same point as you where I questioned if I really should believe my thoughts because I didn’t feel anxious before I had them. Inevitably the thought started my high anxiety. After a while, I realized that if I really believed the thought or wanted to act on it I wouldn’t be sitting here petrified of it.

    Again, I’m no expert at all, but with enough understanding it is so clear to me now why these thoughts pop in. Your body is in an anxious state (whether you feel it at the time or not) and it scans for something to attach it to. When it sees no external threat it simply creates one. In your case it is pretty obvious what your biggest fear is so it feeds off of that thinking it is protecting you.

    This will seem harsh but I really do believe it is the truth — if you constantly thrash about and argue with it and convince yourself it isn’t true you will never break the cycle. I’ve been there. Most of us have been. It takes a fair degree of faith that what you really have is nothing more sinister than your body trying to protect you but that faith becomes easier to have with more understanding (from Paul’s book in my case).

    And, please, don’t beat yourself up over succombing to a thought every once in a while and ruminating on it. I’ve done that dozens of times during my recovery. It happens to everyone. Habits are damn hard to overcome.

    Debbie, my entire anxiety started with health anxiety so I definitely know what you mean when you question things like a tumor. I look back and laugh at myself. I am in my early 30’s, running every day, playing basketball and baseball and everything like that and here I was worrying that I had a tumor or was having a stroke twenty minutes later. I guess you have to laugh at yourself sometimes.

  196. Peter Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I was wondering how long it takes to recover? I suppose the answer is different for everyone.

  197. Julie Says:

    Paul – Thank you. I have done this in the past with my anxiety and life was really good again. I wasn’t fully recovered but I was living again and happy, the anxiety didn’t matter. Since I felt unwell with my fatigue and weakness due to the low iron and thyroid issues it triggered it all again. I am trying to accept it like I did the anxiety in the past but so far no good. It’s like my brain automatically panics about how I feel all day long without my say so. I want to just say yeh I feel rubbish, I am exhausted and weak but so what, yet this anxiety about my current situation just triggers.

    I hope it’s something I can work on throughout your new book. Thank you for your reply, it was very helpful.


  198. Rich Says:

    Peter, You can’t put a time on it, and it’s different for everybody – so don’t compare your own journey with that of others. It just adds pressure onto yourself.

    One way you could quantify it however is with this equation:

    Recovery Time = Minimum Recovery Time + Added Time Spent Worrying

    What I mean by this is that the time it takes to overcome this is determined by how long it takes your mind to overcome it on its own, but with the added time of every minute you spend needlessly questionning, worrying and fighting it yourself trying to speed the process up.

    It is in our best interests to keep this part of the equation as short as possible, because it is delaying your recovery time needlessly!

  199. Ryan Says:

    As I stated in previous posts, I have been doing pretty great accepting and allowing my anxiety to be there and have come a long long way. .however, as long as I’ve been dealing with this bad boot of anxiety. .I think about 4 years now. ..I have recurrent bouts of really low mood and depression. .now this is especially frustrating as I have seemingly come so far yet this remains and seems to get me every time. .I go to work, go to the gym, go out with freinds, yet still feel like hiding under my sheets and crying all day. .then out of nowhere it will lift and I’ll be back to my old anxious self. ..not knowing what made it lift. .my question is how can I hey better at feeling so sad and down, and how can I try and eliminate these depression episodes? Is it just a by product of anxiety, or should I be concerned I have some sort of a depressive disorder?! I used to think they were just setbacks, but now it’s just feels like depression as my anxiety is always there at some level..just much harder to accept anxiety when you’re feeling so low. .Thanks for any input!

  200. colin Says:

    Nice reply paul . I still believe that here on your blog there are people who habitually return and are turning this habit into a bit of a technique !!! A few months ago there was a guy called peter who for the life of me was so depremental on here and even admitted it was a habit / technique .

    Like you wrote back to me when we fear something it manifests into a much bigger scenario , hence feeding the fear . When I was suffering like so many others I would stay in not go out , but because I run my own business I had to go out and just carry on and gradually without even realising , I felt no anxiety . I learnt from this and then your book that knowledge is everything . When I get an adrenalin spike I actually soak it up and no word of a lie here . Love it !!! It’s basically like when I was younger , I boxed for my county , hours before a fight I used to have masses of adrenalin running through my body . At the time it helped me perform , and I used to soak it up . Then when I first suffered from anxiety. For some strange reason I went the opposite way , maybe because I had a health issue ( believed I had a brain tumour due to years of boxing ) my mind reversed my reaction to this adrenalin bust hence making me anxious . So re training my mind back to default is what has actually saved me and I am so having the best te of my life . I do occasionally have slight negativity but I just let that be and get on with my life . I think this blog is the most amazing Place and the people you can all get well I promise I was in the depths of anxiety and felt hopeless and suicidal !!! But here I am now living life to the full .

    Use can do it !!!

  201. Melissa Says:

    Hi Ryan,

    I think that the reason you are having the symptoms of a depressive disorder is because you are thinking about it and scared of it. As people have mentioned on here before, when you have a thought and start fearing your thought your body gets anxious because it feels there is a threat.

    I had that symptom too, I thought I was Bipolar or going to become depressed and then eventually become suicidal. The problem was that I was feeding that fear like CRAZY! I would google symptoms of Bipolar, Depression, etc. I would dig back into my memory of moments in my life where I may have exhibited those symptoms. Then I catastrophized those memories to make them fit the symptoms of whatever disorder I was researching. What did this all do….? Make the fear worse, and consequently made the depression/anxiety worse.

    Your body is still sensitive to whatever anxiety you had, so when fears come up (rational or not) you cannot feed them by analyzing. You must let it be and keep living your life. We have to re-train our brains to know that there is no danger or threat upon us.

    I hope this makes sense. I totally understand where you are coming from as I felt this way (and still do sometimes), but there is no sense in dwelling. We must live.

    Take care,

  202. Bryan 2 Says:

    To expand on what Melissa said a bit and draw from my personal experience I was terrified when my anxiety first hit that I would somehow develop clinical depression because I interpreted how I felt as “down.” I mean I obsessed about this for hours and days. It’s no wonder I was stuck on the cycle. Add the intrusive thoughts that came and I was a complete anxious mess.

    Only through understanding did I realize what I actually felt wasn’t hopeless or sad it was just… nothing. I had the textbook definition of DP/DR where anxiety basically filtered out the good stuff but I was so obsessed with the word depression that I didn’t know it.

    Now I realize that it was just my body reacting to adrenalin the only way it knows how… preparing me to fight or flight in order to survive.

  203. Melissa Says:

    Bryan (2) that is exactly how I felt too. I did not realize that those feelings are linked to DP/DR. I feel I am SO informed on the subject of anxiety (because of everyone here and Paul’s book…and some obsessive googling), that I am always surprised when there is MORE information about it that I did not know. Anxiety is such a complex thing, but the ‘cure’ isn’t.

  204. Ana Says:

    Guys, I would like to thank everyone for being so helpful on here. I really don’t come here anymore for the last five years as I would say I have fully recovered and moved on with my life. Occasionally I would have a rough patch with anxiety and I would pop by just to refresh my positive thinking and then move on after a few days of storm. With that being said, anxiety does not affect my life and I live it to the fullest except one thing. Travelling far from home. I am not talking about weekend road trip to the near by town. I am talking about taking a plane for seven hours somewhere and staying in a new town. How do you get over this last bit of anxiety? I have noticed if it is a two hour plane flight, because it is closer to home, I am more OK. I had to travel yesterday for an important family reunion (which I couldn’t skip, as no one would understand my condition and I would lose all respect for the no show) five hours away on the plane. Let me tell you it has been HORRIBLE. I have actual panic attacks on and off while I’m here and my reaction is to cancel everything and to take the next plane home. I know this is wrong. Like I said, I live anxiety free and faced every fear and moved on with life. Anxiety is not my number one subject anymore. Not even number five subject. But when I travel…. That’s a different story, I just want to cry the whole time I am here. And of course today is day two and I have less anxiety than yesterday but I am still feeling bad that everyone seems to enjoy travelling and relaxing while even though I look happy to everyone else, deep down I am literally on the verge of having a break down. I don’t even eat while I am away as my appetite is gone 100%.guya, has anyone got over this last fear and how did you do it? I really need to hear an “action plan” of how to manage this horrible fear of being so far away from home, fearing having a meltdown and never being able to travel and be happy. I want to travel so bad but every time I do (not often), I feel like all I do is battle severe full blown panic, stating from the moment of boarding the plane. Who had this and who got over this last annoying phobia. Thank you and have a great day :)

  205. Louise Says:

    Stayed at work today with bizarre thoughts whirling around my head but did it and still anxious and have very little appetite but I getting there

  206. John T Says:

    Ryan – also keep in mind, your anxiety has been beating up your nervous system for quite a while. All this anxious brooding is causing you to feel down. Imagine it wasn’t your nervous system. Lets pick another thing; say you blew out your knee. Imagine you not being able to go to the gym, work out, play softball, whatever – just stuck on the couch for 4 weeks or so.

    Now, being in pain from your knee injury is making you feel down. You can’t have fun. Are you officially depressed out of nowhere? Hell to the NO – you have good reason. Fix the knee and the SITUATIONAL depression will disappear. Again, this is depression caused strictly by a situation, not something you’re born with, not something ominous like bipolar or whatever. Anxiety is the same thing, you’re having these sensations, they’re worrying you, you’re mind is on hyper-alert and of course your body/mind is being taxed.

    Remove the anxiety and your mood lifts.

  207. Mansor Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Long time with symptoms of anxiety. Everything escalated from simple worries to all the symptoms that are mentioned in this blog. Now i am on the road of recovery and i can say that Paul is right about the way of recovery. Let go and the brain will find the way. Your mind is just playing tricks so your thoughts are not real. As i mentioned i am on the road of recovery so there is hope for everyone here . Respect

  208. Ryan Says:

    Wow. .great replies guys and very interesting. .I’ve never thought that I had DP,and didn’t really understand what people were taking about. .but I’ve always had this”blah” and “icky” sense of dreadays that I’ve always had a hard time explain ing. Quite interesting to think that this could is so funny Mellisa add I’ve been around the anxiety loop for done time now, and am still learning new things. .And the “nothing” feeling you describe is right on. ..great to hear others have had this same fear of clinical depression..this is truly my last obstacle add most others have faded and I’m pretty close to the old me. .I actually checked myself into a mental hospital twice three years ago because I thought I wad going crazy with anxiety and intrusive thoughts. .oh how far I’ve come and what I’ve learned. .they gave me tons of pills and I saw tons of therapists in the hope that someone would fix me. ..thank god I found Paul and his methods, or I would still be on that terrible I am a few years later and am off medication and haven’t seen a therapist in years. .I’m traveling the world and doing this that I thought were lost forever. .But,like now, I still slip up and get stuck. .which is very frustrating. .but these trying times are less and less so I know in on the right path. .To all that are struggling or there. ..Pauls methods are truly the key to recovery. .trust me, I’ve tried EVERYTHING else. .it’ll will just make you run in circles. in Pauls way, get out and start living, and STOP fighting! Thanks for all the great taking points as of late guys! Hope you all are doing well!

  209. Paul David Says:

    A brilliant discussion on my Facebook page in reply to someone who was asking about thoughts and falling back into trying to fix again.

    Three replies and then mine

    Gerard Falaro – Megan, yes mine were specific. I eventually just let them go and they tormented me for months but with acceptance they gradually went away. If you try to fight them you just cause them to return more frequently because you are making them so important! This was a long time ago…but really they are just thoughts, they have no reflection on you. They are totally ego-dystonic.

    Mina Lucchese – Gerard is right, You dont have to say anything because for me its already mentally exhausting just having the mind chatter telling you that you will be stuck like this. I just let the mind chatter and just go living. Its not easy because for me it tires me out so much that I literally have to lay down sometimes for quite awhile but I remember Paul said rest is important. Its not easy going around your daily tasks with this mental chatter bringing you down and also causing anxiety even though you know they are just thoughts but the trigger happens anyway. I have seen hours of peace and even upto a week but then it shifts back We must never give up cause it does quiet down.

    Leslie Calhoun Fry – Be persistent with ignoring. The mind is very tricky. So easy to fall back into thinking and reasoning. Especially when your brain keeps saying it can’t be that simple. It really is. Remember, even saying to yourself it’s just me thinking, is more thinking. Let the continual chatter go on and keep going whatever it is you are doing. Your brain wants you to believe you need to think your way out. Not possible. Believe that there is something intuitive about life and that all will fall into place without your help. No amount of thinking will ever change any moment.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 4 hours ago

    AnxietyNoMoreUk – Leslie, brilliant advice, also Mina/Gerard. That is exactly that, your mind wants to try and pull you back into thinking and reasoning, it wants to get rid of the discomfort and thinks it has the answers, it does not as the mind is the problem, you can’t fix the problem with the problem. You just have to let the chatter go on, your mind is just full of momentum and negative energy at the moment, the way for it to die down is to let it scream, have its obsessions, tantrums and when you do it eventually runs out of steam and finds its own resting place, you cannot think or force it to be this way as that just keeps it entertained and keeps the momentum going, it just adds more fuel.

  210. Maria Says:

    Great thread, Paul. Thanks for sharing.

  211. John T Says:

    “You can’t fix the problem with the problem”.

    Wise words indeed.

  212. nidhi Says:

    Hey paul
    I have been reading your blog and your advices since a long time. Your blog is a life saver thank you so much. Just had a question that why do I find it so difficult to be in the present moment. Sometimes even when I am doing some work suddenly I just start questioning myself that why am I doing it.i observe mYself a lot. When one thought leaves the another one is ready to capture me. My dp is vry strong sometimes that I am not able to accept and work through it. Please advice.

  213. Pamela Says:

    Hi eveyone some great tips on recovery can I ask 1 thing to anyone who can answer how do you you stop the constant going over & fear your stuck forever my mind seem stuck in anxiety cycle & constant awareness of my head.

  214. Rich Says:

    Pamela, I imagine right now your mind is in ‘runaway worry mode’ and you feel like you can’t stop it, but the reality is you can stop it at any time, and it’s you keeping yourself in the loop by engaging with the thoughts and feeding them with more fear – so you make yourself feel more anxious due to all of this ‘fear’ your manifesting inside your tired mind.

    How to overcome this is in Paul’s posts above on this very thread, and in the countless posts by the other helpful people on this blog. You can’t be told the answer and then ‘click’ you’re cured – you need to adopt the way of thinking and the blase attitude to it all yourself.

  215. nidhi Says:

    Hey paul
    sometimes I wonder isnt it correct that in order to clean muddy water we need to leave it untouched. It wil take time but mud wil settle itself at the bottom and we can see the clean water. same is the case with a tired mind. The more we try to fix it the more confused it is. the time we wil give it rest it wil heal itself. I have been having good weeks and bad weeks and I am just in the process of learning to accept both good and bad days. Thanks once again for all the help and advice.

  216. Rich Says:

    Hi Ana, I wanted to reply to your post about long-haul travel because I have experience of this to some degree. I used to love flying – loved airports, planes, take-off, the food (!) and all aspects of going away.

    Imagine the panic therefore when one day before flying I have a morning of anxiety resulting in the onset of a load of symptoms I hate and it causing me huge stress before a flight – how am I going to deal with this?! etc etc. Since, I’ve had anxiety before flying and its kind of sapped the fun from it. I’ve been on a 10 hour flight to Mexico sat on my own with no movies to watch and nothing but my own thoughts for company. I was fine and enjoyed the relaxation!

    The last time I flew I was fine too (yay I’ve overcome this!) – until in the gate when my stomach flipped and I filled with adrenalin and had to manage a panic attach whilst boarding and taxiing and then flying – it was only a 1 hour flight! (oh no I’m like this for life!)

    So you’d think this would put me off for life now – to not fly would be so much easier. But, I’m flying next month on honeymoon for 7 hours each way and am away for 2 weeks. I’m looking forward to it – not the anxiety or any symptoms should they crop up, but for the chance to show myself it’s all rubbish and irrational. The only way I can do this is by doing it and walking through the smoke and mirrors. Yes I had a setback last time, but the times before that were fine, and it IS fine – it’s only my mind telling me that it isn’t.

    You can’t tell yourself ‘everything will be fine’ – you have to show yourself – even in the face of screaming panic and anxiety – if just for the retrospective analysis that yes, looking back, there was no actual ‘threat’ and yes everying was actually ‘ok’. I hate exposure therapy, but with specific fears and phobias there is only one way to overcome them I think.

  217. Carla Says:

    Hmm, interesting posts recently,

    For me I think it’s really important to strike the balance between not paying too much attention to anxiety but also not beating myself up if I sometimes find myself pondering things, analysing or worrying. Because I think we need to remember that, these types of thoughts are just another symptom of feeling afraid (and a completely logical and normal one at that). We can’t force too hard to stop worrying or paying attention to the anxiety just as we can’t force away any other symptom. I think as we gradually lose our fear then the analysing and worry fade away with it. And, yes, living our lives normally will help us to build evidence that we are ok and, in turn, reduce fear AND the worry that goes with it.

    You can’t just stop yourself being scared overnight and in the same way you can’t just stop yourself worrying, analysing or being hyper-aware. Try and see it as a slow, gentle process.

    Pamela – there are some fabulous older posts on this blog under the thread titles ‘why is the attention always on me’ and ‘i feel like I’m trapped in my own mind’. Loads of brilliant, sensible and reassuring advice from posters such as Candie and Scarlett. You should take a look, the tone is soft and kind and really does tackle most of the issues that you’re going through.

    Tc xx

  218. Paul David Says:

    Pamela I am not being rude but you have asked that question around 100 times here and on Facebook, people keep telling you what to do and you ask it again, it’s like you take no notice of what people say and just ask again and again, you never go through with the advice. Stop asking and start taking the advice, that is for your own good. As Rich says it tells you in the post I put above, take it on board please, it stops you continually asking the same questions (which others have mentioned before) and stops people having to continually answer with the same advice. Nothing is going to change in the advice if you ask 100 or a 1000 times. Again not being rude, just please stop asking the same questions over and over. If you want to do that find some kind of forum on the internet, there are loads of them, you can ask and ask all day long there, this is not for that, this is for people to educate themselves and move forward.


  219. Louise Says:

    Have read both your books the second one is fab I said before the back pack story has been me to a T. Everything in the back pack I have done and up until recently continued to do. It is refreshing to read a book about anxiety on someone who has been through and recovered rather than by someone who is text book learnt. I have leant your first book to a friend who is finding it really helpful

  220. Pamela Says:

    Sorry paul if I was nuisance I will read through all posts again & sorry once again I will not comment again for a long time. Please accept my apologies.

  221. Carla Says:


    I’m going to be honest here,

    Since reading your second book and your recent blog posts I’ve been getting more and more anxious. My fear has always been of the inward thinking and constant looping, worrying thoughts that come with anxiety.

    I was making some good progress I think, allowing these types of thoughts as another symptom and carrying on my life with them there.

    But now I’ve started seeing them as bad thoughts again, evidence that I’m paying the anxiety too much attention and fuelling the cycle. Every blog post I’ve read recently seems to say the same thing. Stop analysing, stop trying to fix it, stop worrying. Well it seems to have got me in a real stew and I’m finding myself regularly breaking down in tears because I can’t always stop and I’m getting more and more scared.

    I remember Scarlett saying once that we should embrace our analytical minds as they will stand us in good stead for the future. I remember feeling so much relief when I read that.

    I don’t want you to read this as a hostile criticism, I have been extremely grateful for this blog over the past few months. I guess I just need some words of reassurance that it’s ok if we can’t always feel a zen-like state of total allowing and that it’s possible for the anxiety and fear to leave naturally without having to forcefully stop ourselves worrying or over-thinking.

    Kindest regards and many thanks


  222. Peter Says:


    You let those thoughts run. You let them run around in your mind. You don’t try to stop them.

    Even if your thoughts are doubts or “analyzing” or worrying, it doesn’t matter, just let them run around.

    It’s always the path of least resistance. What would you rather do, have to struggle with these thoughts all day long OR just let them run and not get involved with them? Take the easier road, which is just letting them run around all day.

    Just take a deep breath. Let go of your thoughts. They’re just thoughts. I think you’re misinterpreting what “stop analyzing” means. Stop worrying doesn’t mean stop having the thoughts, it’s more like let the thoughts run without trying to do something about them or getting involved.

  223. Bryan 2 Says:

    Carla, I think it’s very important that you are gentle with yourself. We all slip and we all succomb to our old habits.

    I’d wager a bet that not one single person on here who has recovered or has made progress in their recovery didn’t have moments where they faltered and fell back in to the cycle.

    I think it’s important to realize it’s all a process. For me it has gone something like this:

    1) Height of anxiety. I raced around trying to fight thoughts and feelings off, suppress them, avoid them, worry about them. All this did was add more and more anxiety.
    2) Find Paul’s book/site and begin to get an understanding of what the heck was going on inside me. This knowledge took a slight bit of the worry away but my habit was the above so it wasn’t much better. I did get enough of a haze lifted to really understand what I had was nothing more than anxiety though.
    3) Getting thoughts and feelings and still getting the initial reaction of fear/worry/etc but realizing that is all it was and not adding that second fear to it. It still felt like crap but I didn’t add more crap on top of it.
    4) Getting thoughts and feelings and getting very little initial reaction — this is where I am now. I am not recovered but I am getting better every day. I still have inappropriate levels of anxiety and physically feel like crap a lot of the time but I almost never succomb to worry about it. It just is what it is and as my body heals it will pass like the flu or a cold would).
    5) The thoughts and feelings dissipate to be a mere nuisance with so little intensity and meaning that they fall to the background.
    6) Freedom from the grip of anxiety.

    Again, this is just my personal experiences and everyone will suffer and recover differently but the above is a common experience I’ve read before from people on here.

  224. Peter Says:

    Bryan 2 are you recovered?

  225. Bryan 2 Says:

    In the dictionary sense of recovered? No. I still get anxious thoughts and still have anxious symptoms. However, I no longer look at what I have as a problem or as something that I need to recover from.

    It’s hard to explain but I know that is just an inevitably with my attitude so how I feel at any moment doesn’t really bother me. Will it be nice to no longer feel anxiety symptoms? Sure. But it’s not something I NEED at this point if that makes sense.

  226. Rich Says:

    I’m the same. My mind still throws unwanted or unrequired anxiety at me sometimes, and I notice myself following old habits sometimes too, but I now see it for what it is – and nothing more. I believe recovery is a state of mind.

  227. Peter Says:

    Yeah, once you get to that point of not caring I think recovery is inevitable

  228. Carla Says:

    Yeah, I guess for me personally, I need to feel ok if I worry and analyse a bit. The more forbidden this feels the more anxiety it creates. I was doing really well with this attitude and pretty close to recovery but the tougher tone recently has shaken my confidence a bit.

    Bryan, you’re right I think, we need to be gentle on ourselves.

  229. Maria Says:

    Really, really well put, Bryan 2!

    That’s pretty much the same path that I took, except when I read Paul’s book I experienced a very zen-like lifting of the anxiety. I suppose out of relief more than anything else. Paul’s advice made so much sense to me, much more so than anything else I had read and certainly more than any doctor or therapist I had spoken to. This is not to say that I was suddenly and forever symptom free, but I was actually quite elated about putting his advice into practice. What was immediate though was the realization that I really had nothing to fear, and that was a HUGE relief.

    Since then I have had spikes, but nothing remotely close to what I had experienced before reading the book. And now, when I do have them, I just let them be. They don’t frighten me anymore therefore I’m not fueling them. I believe that anxiety is very habit forming. So one of the tasks on the road of healing is to make new habits. And that takes time and practice. I try to look at it as a road to a really amazing new me, one that I’m excited to get to know. :) ( Sorry if that sounds ridiculously corny, but it’s true!)

  230. Bryan 2 Says:

    That’s exactly how I look at it as well to be honest. A new me.

    I was living such a stressful, almost angry at times (driving especially) life that the overflow of anxiety was certainly always going to happen looking back. Not to mention I pretty much suppressed everything I’ve felt for a decade.

    I’ve taken this opportunity that it has given me and really committed to making positive changes in my life. I know people will absolutely roll their eyes at me saying this but I’m glad it happened. I was probably taking years off my life the way I was. I really believe it was body’s way of telling me I needed to change.

    I’ve begun to meditate daily (just ten minutes with no plans of extending) not to rid myself of anxiety but because I want to live more in the here and now and I have begun to do that. Just simple things like really enjoying a nice sunny afternoon that I never would have even thought of in the past. Anyway, I’m rambling. I have a full weekend coming up so work is going by SOO slowly!

  231. Rich Says:

    I agree with both Bryan and Maria. When you breakthrough it’s like the fog lifts. It’s not like being at the top of the mountain but more the bottom of a hill. You stop going lower and lower and instead raise your head and look up and begin to climb out of the darkness. Yes there are still obstacles to cross and the odd dip or bit of rough terrain, but these become less and less of a hinderance because you’ve beaten them before.

    I too am more grateful for those and things around me, I appreciate the little things now and am grateful I notice them there in my life. As you unburden yourself of anxiety fear your make room to let so much back in that once there was no space for.

    As things return, you think you’re going ‘back to normal’ but I too believe I’m not going backwards, but forwards – to a new place. More informed, more in control. I am a better person because of this journey, and if it wasn’t for the journey I’ve been on I wouldn’t be the person I am now.

  232. JoJo Says:

    Bryan 2:
    Thank you for explaining that. I guess I couldn’t see the thoughts were anxiety produced because I did not have physical feelings. So to me my mind is thinking this stuff and I’m not realizing I’m sacred by it so I’m believing it and it feels true. Is this where I’m going wrong? The fact I worry and analyze about how I’m feeling and thinking and about the relationship doesn’t necessarily frighten or petrify me but it’s still anxiety because you obviously think I’m scared or fearful of all this and the relationship even if I’m not shaking in my boots or realizing that I am? I think this simple Change in my attitude or understanding could help.

  233. colin Says:

    Hi I have a question for everyone on this blog ! Does or anyone have or had in there life’s dreams premonitions or psychic abilities? Sorry this might sound strange . But through out my life I have dreamed various things that have came true . And not just coincidence . Only last night while going to bed I was just getting ready to turn the light on cooker hood off and on doing so knew when doing this the bulb would blow as if that energy paul talks about shot out of me and blew the bulb ? I knew it was going to happen !!! This is one of many throughout my life that I have experienced.. I personally think in some bizarre way that our anxiety is a piece of our mind that others without it dont see ( 6th sense ? ) I think it’s something spiritual ? And maybe something if we could accept more and live with could be beneficial ? Hope this doesn’t sound to hair brained ? Lol


  234. Carla Says:

    Oh, and Peter, thank you so much for your comment. I really, really needed to hear that.

    I loved some of the older blog posts where Paul & others reassured us that they thought inwardly and about anxiety for many months into recovery. I think I may re-read those one more time and then give forums and blogs a little rest. Although I’m doing pretty well I’m still easily shaken if I read something that ‘pushes my buttons.’ I need to give my buttons a rest basically!

    But thank you for your kind replies as ever.

    And Colin, I’m afraid I’m not blessed with sixth sense of any kind but it sounds cool! I am extremely sensitive to other peoples’ feelings though and often know what people are thinking or about to say!

  235. Louise Says:

    Hi Carla
    I too like reading the older blogs for me I get a lot out of the much older ones when scarlet and candie were around people used to answer questions not just reply to a select few

  236. Pamela Says:

    True louise I felt that at times aswell.

  237. Peter Says:

    I’ve found so many useful posts in the older blogs…Scarlet, Candie, Dominic, Patrick…I sort of wish some of them would show up one day I have questions lol

  238. Billy Says:

    Hi everyone *waves*

    I’ve read these posts and as i read them i also analyzed them :), its something i always did and obviously still do ?. Few posts jumped out at me regarding the not feeling better even after reading the book or not being able to accept the anxiety as a part of you. For me personally, Pauls book and this website was enough to start healing and while i am not fully anxiety free i would say that i am 99% better. I attribute that lonely 1% to the ear ringing which comes and goes and every now and then i get a thought or two. i go on about my business and i have learned not to let the thoughts scare me.. Back to analyzing now :). Knowing how bad the symptoms can be and how they make/made us feel I think most people can not accept the fact that the answers lay in a book or the website. Who here did not think that they were going mad, loosing it, being scared of maybe screaming in the public place, getting lost and not being able to find your way back home, waking up and not recognize your family, being scared of talking with people on the phone or in person than even if you talk you go back and then analyze everything you said and then you beat yourself over and over if u felt you could have said something differently, of being scared of harming someone, youself etc..i am pretty sure we all have had some or all of these symptoms. All these symptoms sound and feel bad so our mind is thinking no no no i need something else to feel better again i can not just accept this etc. So of course then you start saying well what if its not this but something else. So how can you accept the fact that doing nothing can help you heal. What i did and do when i have an *incoming* is i say to myself *bring it on* and i go on about my day. I dont search for symptoms to make sure they are gone. i get up in the morning and go on about my daily tasks. Every now and then i check Paul’s website, social media but my life does not revolve around constantly searching for answers. i have found my answers in Paul’s book (waiting for the 2nd book to arrive) and website. I have accepted the fact that this is not something that will dissapear as fast as it appeared. I hope others can too.

  239. Peter Says:

    I have a question for y’all…Claire Weekes says to “loosen that tense hold on yourself” and “flop into your chair”. Does this mean that if I’m anxious all the time I should try to relax my body all the time?

    She puts a lot of emphasis on this being tense and uptight thing. In fact she says that “true acceptance” involves letting your body loosen as much as possible.

    So I’m afraid that if I just go about my day with the symptoms there but don’t consciously loosen all the time, then I am not “truly” accepting…

  240. Peter Says:

    On the other hand, I worry that trying to “loosen” and “sag” all the time would be in effect still trying to “do something” about the anxiety.

  241. Maria Says:

    Hi Peter,

    Someone else asked this same question not too long ago. I’ll tell you what the general consensus was…

    The body is naturally tense when you’re anxious. (Duh, right? 😉 ) I realize that Claire Weeks puts a lot of emphasis on this, but think about it for a minute. Doesn’t it make sense that as the anxiety lifts, the relaxation of the body will follow? Tense muscles are just another symptom and if you’re super focussed on any symptom you’re only feeding it. Let your body be, let your symptoms be. If you’re tense, so what. If you’re wound tightly, so what. As your attitude adjusts to the so what mode, your tension will lessen and your body will relax all on its own.

    Hope this helps. :)

  242. Maria Says:

    Louise and Pamela,

    If you feel that your questions are not being answered, maybe it’s because they are the same questions over and over. As someone that is here trying to help others, I tend to answer the questions that I think I can give some new insight into. There are no new answers to the same questions. The advice is all the same, so it seems a bit pointless to keep answering the same questions. Like Paul said, at some point you have to start putting the advice given into practice instead of coming back on and asking the same thing over and over In different ways. I think that’s when this blog becomes a crutch.

  243. Peter Says:

    Yeah Maria, that honestly makes more sense to me than trying to be relaxed…I feel like making sure I’m not tense would just turn into another battle!

  244. Maria Says:

    Exactly, Peter!! :)

  245. Louise Says:

    Hi Maria
    To the best of my knowledge I do not come on asking the same questions in fact I come on here very rarely. I know how to recover but putting it u to practice can be easier said than done sometimes and we all need a little guidance or reassurance

  246. Bryan Says:


    Claire Weekes didn’t advise us to constantly check if we were loose.

    Her exact phrase was… “Loosen that tense hold on yourself.”

    This refers to the notion that most of us during the early parts of our struggle grip ourselves tightly. We clench and force our way through our days and events. Dr. Weekes taught us that “going forward wilingly” and always keeping ourselves “pointed forward” was the way to recovery. (Almost identical to Paul’s teaching and of course a large percentage of all modern anxiety recovery theory is derived from her work. )

    She absolutely never suggested fighting. There is a subtle yet very important distinction. Loosening that tense hold means allowing. It means letting it all be with as relaxed an attitude as possible. It means never trying to change how we feel or fight our sx.

    Hope that helps. Her works are always recommended reading if you need more clarity.

    (Original) Bryan

  247. Maria Says:


    My apologies if I sounded harsh, that was not my intention. You said only a select few questions are answered. And I said I try to answer the questions that I feel I can give some new insight on. Meaning, I tend not to answer the questions that have been asked a ton, whether by one person or many. There is guidance and reassurance all over this blog, even if it’s not directed specifically at a certain question. Every time I post here it is in the hopes that it will help many, not just the person that is asking the question.

    I hope this clarifies things, as I truly did not mean to sound harsh.

  248. Peter Says:

    Thanks all. I’m constantly worried that I’m “doing it wrong”…it’s amazing how an anxious mind can complicate “get on with your life and let the feelings be there” into some kind of technique…as Paul wisely says in his new book it’s not a technique, it’s simply an allowing of all feelings to be there and the byproduct is that these feelings matter less and less until they finally disappear, because it’s only when we make such a big deal out of them that they can exist at all!!!!!!!

    I’m glad the way out is so simple…I’m glad that I can just get on with my life and not have to battle or try to “figure it all out” anymore. I can’t wait to be recovered and I know for sure that I will get there! It’s an inevitability. 😀

  249. Louise Says:

    Hi Maria
    I just get frustrated with this anxiety crap lol. I have no physical symptoms but the intrusives which are my major downfall. I search through my childhood as a old councillor seemed to think there was a reason I can’t find it lol. My mind latched onto anything and everything but less so lately. It is reassuring people like you rich and Nolan come back to answer questions

  250. Maria Says:

    I totally get your frustration! Anxiety sucks! I know how annoying intrusives can be. Just treat them as you would any other symptom. Just let them be. Don’t try to figure out where they came from or why they are here Try sticking your tongue out at them every time one pops in your head. ? sounds silly but try it! Doing something silly helps take their power away.

  251. Louise Says:

    Hi Maria
    Than you for the reply it is helpful. I get a weird sensation in stomach when I get thought I do t like it goes quick enough but Reminds me i have anxiety lol. Am having a good day despite thoughts and had some real moments of mind peace. Of course habit comes into it if I not thinking anxious thoughts I wondering what horror my mind will come up with next sometimes I can see that absurd and smile. ?

  252. Louise Says:

    Sorry one more thing trying to work out why I gave thought in first place one my worst things I do as I know I engaging in thought but least I know what I doing so I can learn to catch my thinking

  253. Sue Says:

    I am trying to understand this anxiety state I am in.
    How some days can be relaxed and fine and other days can be fraught with anxiety from the outset.
    How some days the intrusive thoughts can go round and round in your head and drive you mad and yet other days they can come in and do not bother you.
    I find when I have not slept well the anxiety seems to be worse.
    I went for a job interview today and was fine during the interview. I came out got in the car and a flood of horrible thoughts went through my mind. I did not engage and it passed over for me to have lunch in peace.
    There does not seem any rhyme or reason for how my mind works really.
    I try to rest when I can, thinking this helps my body to heal but then I end up with negative thinking while resting and end up more tense. Its hard to know what to do when for the best. Like Paul says do nothing let it be but sometimes I suppose I get impatient with it all and want it to go away.
    Some days I get glimpses of normality for a few hours and then it comes back again. Its such an on off thing I do not know where I am up to with it or how it will eventually wear off altogether.

  254. Louise Says:

    Hi sue
    You doing great and it sounds like you getting it I am same as you sometimes they bother me some times don’t it depends on whether you engage in them I think. I given up trying to work out how my mind works.

  255. Sue Says:

    Thanks Louise for your vote of confidence. The thoughts have been the worst to contend with and I question sometimes why I am thinking this way. I know it is anxiety throwing it all up together with fluctuating hormones.
    I try to think of times when I was drunk as a single person and when I was ill with flu and the mind was going haywire. it never bothered me what my mind was thinking then or how crap I felt. But now thoughts and feelings have bothered me because I am so aware of myself and the nerves in my body.

  256. Melissa Says:

    Hi Sue,

    Have you tried writing your thoughts down on paper? That helped me a lot. Not only did it get the thoughts out of my head, but it also allowed me to work through some on paper. Like if I had a ‘what if’ thought I would write down my what if and then Add the word so in front of it…turning the question into ‘so what if….?’

    Then I work through it on paper. What is the worse that can happen or what is the likelihood of this specific intrusive thought to actually occur. I was scared of punching or hurting my fiancé. It was so disturbing, but I worked through it by rationalizing with myself on paper.

    Hope this helps. Stay strong and remember in time and acceptance you will be ok.

  257. Nolan Says:

    Paul’s right…. I was a wreck when I was on here initially. People gave me the same advice over and over…. and I just wanted to hear the comforting comments that what I was dealing with was no different from someone who already had got better.

    But that way only can take you so far. You have to eventually make that jump and just move back on with your life and ending the hunt for a cure. To make your life bigger than the anxiety. To not let anxiety dictate what you’re going to do. Let the fear be there for as long as it wants to be there.

    Peace will find you, you don’t need to find it.

    I doubted Paul’s approach even after I had some success with it. I still thought “but I’m so much more broken…. Paul didn’t specifically mention my issues. Maybe I’m beyond help?”… I was wrong.

    I’ve said this once before: but Paul had great reasons for not going into every possible symptom…. or lingering too long on specific symptoms. Because, anxiety can expand, contract, shift, twist, contort into innumerable other manifestations…. treat them all the same.

  258. Rosa Says:

    Hi Nolan and Paul. Sometimes I think I have got it. I have days when I let everything be there, just observing and trying not to react to whateever is happeing in my body and mind. Just yesterday I said to someone that I have lost my fear of my symptoms and that I am not so impressed by them anymore. But today is so much worse.
    One of my anxietys is relationship anxiety and I really struggle with this one. How can I be with someone whose presence makes me so anxious? I catch myself that I want to escape and that I think if I was with someone else my anxiety would disappear. I know this is not true, but the thought still pops into my mind. What I also find really difficult is being close and intimate with him when at the same time I am so anxious. How did you deal with relationship anxiety? Thanks

  259. Louise Says:

    Hi Rosa
    Have you read kats post to me last week she went through it and I coming out the other side. It has been my worst symptom I love my husband more than anything and I argued with thoughts which was wrong thing to do it is hard to accept these thoughts but it is the only way forward and and hold onto any glimpses of the truth. Please read kats posts to me she really knows how it feels

  260. Pheobe Says:

    Hi all- I have started to understand the concept of true acceptance and doing nothing at all to fix the protection (I call it protection now instead of anxiety as I understand that is what it is) I have made some great progress letting the hard moments come and getting through them with several good days in a row (I have also weaned myself down off medication but still on a low dose). My question for some of you is that after I’m doing well for a while I suddenly get these thoughts of “what if this is all wrong and I need to be fixing it” “what if this is all wrong” almost like self sabotage thoughts whenever I’m having a good run. I know deep down that this is the only way forward (that fixing it is not the answer) so these thoughts really confuse me. Do I just do nothing about these thoughts and let them pass? I get confused that they are even there because I know that I have never had success with anything like this method. Does anyone else have a similar experience they are able to share ?

  261. JoJo Says:

    Paul and the others who offer advice did you have a chance to read my long post above and offer any insight?

    I finished the new book and I get all boosted with confidence and decide im going to leave my backpack behind and the next maybe 24 hours or so will be good and my attitude has changed and then sure enough it all comes crashing down again. For those who have recovered how do you get the new confidence and mindset to stick for more than a few hours or days? The mind has to be trained so for those of you where it just clicks I don’t get it because the mind has to be trained back. I also will catch myself saying ok go on with your day or accept this for now etc. I know this is trying to talk my way to recovery but I don’t understand how those who have recovered don’t say anything back to themselves when they are feeling discomfort. Your mind is just blank? I don’t see how that’s possible. When your accepting the thoughts or feelings you are doing what exactly to accept them? It’s just so hard for me to get out of this when I can’t stop thinking about the subject. Thanks to all of you in advance, JoJo

  262. Nolan Says:

    Hi Rosa, you had a good moment and then it all came down again, right?
    That’s pretty common…. very common, actually.

    Just let all that happen. Give yourself no timetable that your anxiety must adhere to…. because it won’t, and thinking that it will will only lead to further frustration and anxiety. So have no demands or assumptions on how your anxiety should react. If it’s there, oh well…. so be it.

    Relationship anxiety. Mine was very intense with my wife years back. Before I even really knew what was going on. All I know is that I would have this intense disdain for her that would just bubble up. No reason at all because she’s a lovely person, patient, kind, attractive.
    But it would just happen…. we’d be together and I’d want her gone immediately. Now this is back when we were just dating but, she’d be at her college and me at mine (separated by about a 2 hour drive)…. I’d miss her greatly. Then we’d get together over the weekend and it was great at first. But slowly the hollowness would start creeping in. I just wanted to be away from her. However, this is no way to treat a person. I knew that she was a good person for me…. more than I even deserved. So, I just made the decision that our relationship was going to be less about what I wanted in life and more about being there for her…. and in time the intensity of those feelings passed. We have a child now and I still at times think back to conversations I had with one of my best friends about how “I need to end the relationship with Alicia…. I can’t explain it but there’s just no feeling there except frustration and uneasiness”…. thankfully I never made that decision based off of those feelings.

  263. Geraldine Says:

    Hi there – just wondering if self doubt thoughts are common even when having some success with Pauls method? such as “what if i need to be fixing the anxiety” – even though I know these thoughts arent true they are still there. do i do nothing about the thoughts?

  264. Elaine Says:

    Hi had a really good day yesterday went to bed feeling relaxed and happy.
    Woke up at 3.30 with palpatiations hid knows where they came from.
    Tried to calm myself down but just ended up sweating and shaking.
    Made myself get up and will get on with my day hate feeling like this feeling sick all day but I ll accept how I feel and not fight it .

  265. pravesh Says:

    Hi Jojo

    No you don’t have to say anything back to yourself. Just imagine when you didn’t had anxiety in the past, you had negative thoughts but you were not saying things to yourself.Just apply this attitude again.

    I am doing this though hard. I am having suicidal thoughts all day. My mind seems not to switch off, I am having thoughts that I am stuck like this forever. They seem so so real. But I am trying not to pay attention To them. Very hard indeed. Hope this helps

  266. Rosa Says:

    Thanks Louise and Nolan for your replys.
    My partner is considerably older than me and this has always been an issue for me. But when we started going out together 6 years ago, I realised that he is a lovely person and really good for me. My anxiety back then wasn’t as bad as it is now. We had lovely times together and have a small son now. I can remember that before this current anxiety phase started I was sitting in our garden, looking at these two people and was totally happy and content and grateful. I haven’t felt like this in ages. Now I obsess about the age difference and whenever I look at him, I get really anxious about how “old” he looks. I have made progress over the last 1 1/2 years, but these thoughts have really stuck with me. But I know what I have to do. Just allow everything and don’t be so impressed by it, whatever it is. Easier said than done! Thanks again!

  267. Louise Says:

    Hi anyone
    I have a new symptom which seems to be almost gagging it feels awful like pressure on throat I am struggling not to panic over this retching

  268. ROBIN SHROFF Says:

    Can any one pls. help me understand that if paul’s teachings are beneficial in all anxiety disorders including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Pure O). I am working on paul’s teachings and feeling benefited but my mind keeps me telling that u have different problem , u have Pure O OCD a brain disorder and u will not get recovered by paul’s teachings. Deep down i know that i am getting benefited and slowly moving forward good but my thoughts are telling that this book and paul’s teaching is only for Generalized Anxiety Disorder not for OCD. If any one can help, it will be motivating for me. I am committed to apply the teachings knowledge but above mentioned thoughts have became my new obsession. May be I want assurance therefore i am posting this but paul has never talked about OCD in his any books.

  269. Bryan 2 Says:

    Jojo, you said:

    ” The mind has to be trained so for those of you where it just clicks I don’t get it because the mind has to be trained back.”

    I think it’s very important for you to realize that any of us who have recovered or have made strides in recovery will tell you it was anything but smooth sailing. Some people may have had it just click, yes, but they are the extreme minority. Even when the attitude clicks that doesn’t mean that your anxiety goes away. It means that your relationship with your anxiety changes.

    For me, I fully understood EVERYTHING I had going on was anxiety. The thoughts, physical feelings, anxious feelings… everything. However, it took me weeks, maybe months, of failing even with that knowledge before really developing the right attitude on how to deal with it. It’s hard — the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life. But you’ll get there, too.

    I’ve had about two weeks now where I haven’t dwelled or cared about anxiety hardly one bit. It’s still there as my body learns that it doesn’t need to protect me but it’s so less intense and frequent at this point. The funny thing is I dreaded the toughts and the waking up with the anxious pit in the stomach (which I still get some) but now the worst part is the accursed headache that pops up!

  270. Belgian Says:

    Reading Paul’s words, I knew all my contemplation was based on anxious thinking. So I took heart. I knew IT wasn’t true. But in a very subtle way, if you USE his words, they will hold you back. There is a huge difference between using his words and understanding them. If you understood them, you would not even think of using them. You don’t need a shield. If you use them, they become a weapon themselves. That is why, always coming back to them does not work. That is why you should go into the fire and live your life with the symptoms present. You have to show yourself that all of these thoughts, all of these symptoms are just you trying to protect yourself from…yourself. There really isn’t anything else.

    For me, there are two auxiliary ‘aides’ to complement on Paul’s teaching.

    Firstly, I have found Claire Weekes concept of “floating” through anxiety very helpful. If done correctly, this is the only technique I would recommend. She herself described is as being masterly inactive. It is in fact no more than that. Loosen your body, your attitude towards the anxiety. Do not wish it to go away, but let your body rest in the fire ‘that the symptoms’ bring. There is so much more to her teachings, I am definitely referring everyone to her books and especially audio books. At first, I would listen to them daily. Now, I only do this once in a while.

    Secondly, I have found a great psychiatrist. It is remarkable how much unresolved emotional issues from the past have the tendency to come back and haunt you later on in life. There does not have to be a major event to provoke an anxiety reaction. I was never abused, nor suffered from a clear trauma. Anxiety lies in your attitude towards ‘difficult’ situations, emotions in life. I say this, not because I am guided towards my past but in observing the here and now, I always stumble it. In our sessions, the goal is to become as anxious as possible and then .. do nothing. I am also taking anti-depressants as part of my therapy. It was a big step to take them, but looking back I did not have a choice. My anxiety consumed me 24/7. The pills do not lift your anxiety, but – without you noticing it – calm down your reaction towards it so you are more likely to ‘reason’ with it. Of course, I would be more than happy also to stop taking medication. But I do not longer worry about it. Let time pass and also this issue will resolve itself.

    Now, more than a year after the ‘big bang :) ‘ , I have found that my life has not really changed. I am still the same person, but my outlook on things have changed. Also the way I look at my love life has changed. I wanted to share this. Especially with the people who are telling similar stories on this blog. (Jojo, ..) At its fiercest, my relationship anxiety got so bad I could not even look at my wife without an almost overwhelming feeling the urge to run away. Now, there are moments when I am with my wife in which I feel a kind of love I never felt before. A love that had to be earned. A lot of my anxiety comes from a fear of opening up and being vulnerable so no wonder that the way I perceived my relationship suffered from this. Of course, I still have times in which I doubt it all. How could I not. But, there is more to love than emotional feeling. Emotions will always act like a roller coaster bringing you up and down, but you can still choose whether or not let emotions govern your life. You can choose today to make ‘how it makes you feel’ your personal guide in your life. The point I am trying to make is that ‘how it makes you feel’ is not always the best guide in your life. Especially when you are feeling anxious. In fact, you are feeling partly anxious because of the fact that you seem unable to choose. You can not choose because what you ‘know’ to be true, is not followed by the feeling you are ‘expecting’ to come with this knowledge. Your suffering would end immediately, if you’d felt differently. The problem is that you can not change your emotions. The thing you can do is accepting that – for now – you are feeling anxious about your relationship. You are feeling tensed, stressful and anxious not because you ‘think’ about your relationship. It’s not even because you do not feel love for your partner, but because you do not accept the fact that you are feeling and thinking the way you do right now. The fun fact is that you are trying to get a grip of something that is unreachable. You can not take love by the hand, look at it and acknowledge it is there forever. You are wanting certainty where there is none. Certain love does not exist because as our life progresses we are constantly changing and so do the people we love. That is why it is normal for any relationship to have his heights and its lows. We can be certain of one thing though and that is our determination to work with whatever ‘love’ brings us and this can be either good or bad. I know you are looking at my words and looking for some recognizable pattern, something to hold on to whenever you need reassurance. Be very glad that such words do not exist. There is nothing but blissful uncertainty in life. How else can we be amazed by a sudden beautiful, clear and sunny sunset after a day full of rain. How else can we be amazed by an unexpected gentle stroke on the back from your partner right after a big fight. Beauty in life does not exist in the absence of pain or distress. It lies in their midst. In the way you cope with them. For so long, you have been questioning your love. I am certain you are holding onto an idea and fighting what is. For once, accept your feelings. See them for what they really are. Feelings and not facts. Have the courage to let go and let time tell you what to do.

    It took me a long time to realize this. It took a lot of help of my partner, friends, medical team and still, even without all of that I would have also come to the same conclusion. Why? Because even at your weakest and most anxious moments, you are still there. You are not lost. The person questioning your anxious thoughts, fighting to get rid of it and struggling to cope with it IS YOU! The energy that creates all this turmoil is coming from no-one else than yourself. Also, this energy will never completely leave you. It’s up to you how you are going to use it. Despite the very difficult situation I was in, I managed to get a new job only two weeks after I lost my old one and I continued my life. You are much stronger than you think you are! There are a lot of you’s in this last bit. But it is really true. You are not the victim here. You are the sole writer of the book of your life. This does not mean you can write the whole story, but you do have a say on how to react to the things that happen in it. Do not feel dismayed when you fail to do so. It’s important to fail in order to know what it is to succeed.

    My apologies for my English. Not being a native speaker can be a hurdle at times, but I hope my message can be understood :-)

    Good luck!

  271. John T Says:

    Louise – what you’re describing is very common with me. I have gagging/dry heaving spells a lot in the morning. It happens when I’m feeling bad, but its happened so many times now that I just casually accept it as being sensitized and really don’t pay attention to it. Matter of fact, was walking my dog this morning when it hit and I was coughing/gagging a lot. I’m not worried its anything physical, I know its only anxiety and I just went about the walk. Sure it’s annoying, but I’m just so used to it anymore that I expect it and when I expect it, it doesn’t even happen. No analyzation, no worry, I just went about my walk.

  272. Elaine Says:

    Hi Louise and John T
    I too struggle with this it’s horrible I’m frightened when I talk to people it happens.iI always have mints gum etc with me.People say just let it happen but I fight it wrong I know
    Thought I was alone on this one.

  273. Louise Says:

    This is a new one for me but know it anxiety I used to the thoughts hate them too lol but learning live alongside them

  274. Bryan 2 Says:

    Can confirm I’ve had it too. Lol, basically every symptom I’ve seen posted on here my anxiety has latched on to at one point. I swear anxiety has a checklist and when you’re no longer afraid of one it just moves on to the next on the list.

    The ever-morphing anxiety is one of the big reasons why Paul stresses to not fight or dwell on one symptom because sure as the sun will come up in the morning your anxiety WILL change and move on to something else.

    One thing I used to do was say OK I accept [symptom A]… and inevitably it wouldn’t come (or I wouldn’t notice it) since I was no longer afraid of it. The shift in mindset is when you start saying that you allow ANYTHING. If you allow anything then you can’t fear anything. I know it sounds odd but I even got to the point where I said I don’t care if I go insane. If it happens I can’t stop it anyway by worrying (even though all I had was anxiety and not insanity!!)

  275. Rachel Says:

    Can your symptoms get worse the longer you have anxiety x

  276. Carla Says:

    Bryan, Nolan, Maria…

    I’m sorry if I’m flogging a dead horse here but I’m still struggling in setback and would really appreciate your thoughts.

    Ok, so my fear is basically of being ‘locked’ in an anxious loop of repetitive thoughts and fears. It is a grim and terrifying thought and one that, despite my best intentions, has me quaking.

    Each morning I wake and my first thoughts are about anxiety. I practice floating, adopting a ‘so what’ attitude and going towards these thoughts. But the fear is always lurking and as the morning progresses and I’m STILL thinking about anxiety the fear intensifies.

    And the same re-occurring thoughts keep intruding: ‘I’m scared of this symptom so will never be free of it. I will never be at peace until I change my attitude or lose my fear of it.’

    And, this thought then has me using various strategies to somehow lose my fear. This generally involves reassuring self-talk, distraction, re-labelling the inward thinking as a nuisance etc. etc.

    Which, of course, has me think, think, thinking all day. I’m over-thinking in order to lose my fear about over-thinking.

    Which is clearly ridiculous.

    But I can’t lose the fear, I’m just so scared. I’m scared I’m in a perfect loop of suffering.

    I don’t even know what ‘letting it all be there’ means anymore. I’m confused – I’m supposed to adopt a different attitude but I don’t know how to do that without a great effort of the mind.

    So sorry to sound like a broken record, it’s probably not helping me to keep posting on here but I’m crying all the time and feeling truly stuck.

    I’ve overcome anxiety in the past for and been free from it for many, many years. But these constant, looping, inward thoughts have really floored me.

    So, how hard should I be trying to relax my attitude/lose my fear. Claire Weekes said it takes effort and practice but, at the moment, the more effort I’m putting in the more I’m feeling stuck in the loop.

    I know it’s all just habit. I know that. But even the idea of being stuck in a habit is scary for me, mainly because it’s such a persistent, intrusive one that takes me away from my life and those that I love.

  277. debbie Says:

    Hi I have a relapse now just feeling scared of a sound a face anything. My biggest problem is thinking iam insane due thoughts of my mind putting me in strange flash backs of movies I have seen dreams ihave had I canbe watching tv a and it has to remind me of something else very scarey everything
    Has to remind me of something I even get images of a street anything .anyone ever get this .

  278. Ryan Says:

    A bit frustrated today. .feel like I’m back to reacting to anxiety like I did when this all started. .Bennett having a bit of a rough week, and this morning woke up with tons of anxiety. .so much so it’s like I just wanted to curl up in a ball and forget about the day. .it’s like I was throwing a tantrum and just so tired of dealing with it all. .I’ve been dealing with this fir a long time, and recently have been doing better than ever, but this morning feels as bad as ever and just feeling so low that I am acting like I did years ago dealing with this. ..which is really bumming me out and feels like a huge step back. .I took a lorazapam to calm me down to get the kids off and get to work, which makes me feel like such a failure. .I’ve gotten off all other med s but use this ad a crutch sometimes.Sorry, just feel so incredibly negative lately and having a really tough time dealing with the constant negative right now. .trying to snap or if it. .just needed to vent I guess. .how you all are doing well!

  279. John T Says:

    Carla – are you working? Reason I ask is I sometimes get caught in that same repetitive loop, but I’m also working 45 hours a week. Sometimes I get so caught up in work, that’s enough distraction to break the loop. I had mentioned that I walked the dog this morning in symptoms, had dry heaving, unreality, etc, but also noticed someone else riding a bike. Then I had the thought, I should start biking more, can I fit that in my schedule, etc, then I got home and started making a schedule of trying to bike at least an hour each day…before you know it, I’m still in my head but also thinking of other things.

    I can remember one day my kid saw me on this forum and said, “Dad – GET A HOBBY BESIDES ANXIETY!!!” – and she’s spot on. My wife has all kinds of notebooks on her physical training, my kid has notebooks on music, my other kid has notebooks on other stuff – and here I am with notebooks on anxiety!! Oh, the irony.

    Ryan – the LAST thing you need to do is beat yourself up over a small dose of meds. If you had an ear splitting headache, would you give yourself crap over taking some Advil? If you pulled a muscle, would you beat yourself up over getting a massage? When was the last time you took anything? If this is the first time in a LONG time, guess what, you’re ok. My wife had to fly a couple of months ago and took a Xanax. Did she beat herself up? Nope, she knew she needed it.

    You’re having a bad couple of days, that’s all. You’re still functioning in symptoms, right? You got the kids off to school, you’re at work and today will pass and tomorrow is another day. You’ve had good days, right? Hey, I hurt myself at work and had to go to do some physical therapy. Some days I felt great and wanted to skip it, but some days I was back to 10 on the pain scale. Why? WHY??? Man, that really got me angry, upset, fired up my anxiety – but that’s just how it is. NOW sucks. LATER will be better, that is what my physical therapist says. There will be ups and downs.

    Debbie – yes, I get that sometimes. Its called severe sensitization. A simple phone ring will set me off into high anxiety. Loud noises bother me. Bright lights drive me crazy. However, I know its just SEVERE SENSITIZATION and it will eventually pass when I don’t attach any danger to it. Practice knowing its nothing dangerous and when your nervous system calms down, these things won’t bother you. For now, avoid bad news on the TV, try to read things that are uplifting, and do your best to relax and realize this will pass.

  280. pravesh Says:

    Just a quick question for anyone who can help. As Paul said I am focussing on other things like watching tv, etc. But it is hard. Should I force on concentrating on other things or focus only how much I can?

  281. Maria Says:

    Hi Carla,

    Sorry you’re having such a tough time. I keep thinking about something Paul said many times in his book that I think you need to remember. You need to be ok with the thought that you may never get out of this loop. I know that sounds preposterous, and super scary, but if you can just say to yourself, ok…if this is the way it’s going to be, then fine. So be it. I can live my life like this. Whether you realize it or not, you are indeed living your life like this right now. And as soon as you say, fine, I’ll just live like this, and then go about your day, you’ll soon find that you are doing nothing to feed your anxiety and it will begin to lift. Give it a try. :)


    We all know how frustrating setbacks can be! I would give you the same advice that I just gave Carla. Just say fine, so be it. But I would also implore you not to beat yourself up for taking the meds. Sometimes it’s just the quickest way to bring the adrenalin levels down so that you can think a bit straighter. I used to take Xanax when things got really bad for me, and it really helped. There’s no shame in that.

    I also tried to look at these sorts of spikes as an opportunity. A chance to prove to myself once again that I could in fact deal with this. So you feel like crap today, so what. We all have our good days and bad days, but for the anxiety sufferer, we tend to look at the bad days as a defeat. Like we’re not strong enough or that we will never get better. But when you do that, you’re giving the anxiety the respect it most certainly does not deserve! If you were having a bad day because you were feeling sad, or tired, or whatever, you wouldn’t beat yourself up about it, would you? No, you’d just go about your day in a crummy mood, no big deal, right? So try to think of it as just another mood, one that really doesn’t mean anything. When you look at it this way, you take away its power and its fuel.

    Hope this helps.

  282. Ryan Says:

    Thanks Maria,
    The medication thing is frustrating as I can go months without taking any, then use it for a few rough days. .the thing is, as I’m not sure if it may be helpful or not. .sure it helps in the immediate, but not sure about long term. .seems like I’m stuck in a cycle of a good month or so,then back to struggling, ect…would like to just make that final jump to recovery! Right now these constant negative thoughts have really have me tricked. .it’s like literally every thought I have is negative, and is really scaring me. .it’s like I’m turning into such a negative person. .and I hate it! My mind keeps saying I’ll never be happy again because I’m so negative now, and I’m buying it. .so frustrating! Trying to just let it do is thing, but I feel so threatened by these thoughts as I’m so afraid of depression and s****** I’m having a hard time with this one. .it’s really got me tripped up. ..I’ve had lots of intrusive thoughts in they pay but I got over those fairly fast.I know it’s the same with this, but seems so different and much more difficult. .Trying to stay positive!

  283. Bryan Says:

    Ryan, just wanted to say that my absolute biggest fear with anxiety was about depression as well. You are not alone by a long-shot. I’ve told people on here (and maybe even you) that what I actually felt was just a lack of feeling (DP/DR) but it is also very natural to have low moods when you are frustrated and feeling overwhelmed.

    I can honestly say that I only got over my fear of developing depression when I finally said that if I develop depression (I didn’t of course, because all I have is anxiety) then no amount of worrying and fighting was going to stop it. Literally all I was doing was making my anxiety worse. Once I finally gave in to the fact that I couldn’t control it one way or another a lot of the fear of it was taken away.

    The funny thing is that people would think I’m crazy that I had that fear. Even through my worst I laugh/joke a ton naturally, I never miss a day of running/working out and my social life didn’t really change much. Not exactly the hallmarks of someone with a depressive disorder!

  284. Carla Says:

    Thankyou Maria,

    I do get you but I’m finding it very, very hard. I do say this kind of thing to myself pretty regularly but my body and mind are still registering fear.

    I keep thinking about other things that Paul has said such as:

    – negative and worrying thoughts feed the body with more anxiety and keep the loop going

    – he lost his fear of his symptoms which meant that he more easily able to accept them

    – worrying, analysing and brooding keep the whole cycle going

    – don’t believe your thoughts

    And Claire Weeks says that cure will come when symptoms ‘no longer matter.’

    And I guess that’s where I keep getting stuck. I’m scared, brooding, worrying, analysing, believing my thoughts and the symptoms most definitely do matter.

    I’m doing all the wrong things but it feels like I can’t help it, the anxiety is driving it all.

    So how can I ‘let the anxiety be’ without doing all these ‘wrong things’, or as Paul puts it ‘the opposite of what I should be doing’

    I just can’t work out where my locus of control is.

  285. Bryan Says:


    That post is from the “new Bryan.”

    We have interacted in the past and I don’t want you to confuse my interactions with this person.

    New Bryan,

    Is there not a nick name or something you could use so we don’t have this confusion? Most boards don’t allow for the same user name to be used twice. It would be nice if you could help ease the confusion by differing yourself from my posts especially considering your post volume is very high.

    Thanks for your consideration.

    (Original) Bryan

  286. Bryan Says:


    You shouldn’t feel like a “failure” for taking meds. I think most of us went through a stage early pm where we looked for the easy way out. It’s understandable and very human at a certain stage of suffering.

    However. I would also say that your instincts are probably correct in attempting to avoid them. I can say with absolute certainty that meds extended my recovery time… benzos in particular. I can’t say strongly enough how much I’d advise against regular use of them. (Which you aren’t doing yet. )

    It can be frustrating, but try to give yourself time to implement what Paul teaches and let your body recover. This can be a very slow process for many of us, and that’s OK. I still have very difficult days occasionally, setbacks, etc. But I have come far enough to know this is the way, and there are no shortcuts. But we can all get there.

    (Original Bryan)

  287. Carla Says:

    And John, no I’m not working. I’ve always been a v. busy, focused person. I used to run a busy school Art department, alongside working as a portrait painter and also renovating houses!

    I’ve been off work, looking after my kids (but still renovating houses). It’s been a stressful and unfulfilling few years and now it’s all gone quiet (my youngest started school today!)

    I think you’re right, I need a job. Something meaty to get stuck into. Your kid shouting at you to get a new hobby did make me chuckle I must say!

    I’ve always liked things to ‘make sense’ too, even when I wasn’t suffering with anxiety. I used to drive my teachers mad, nitpicking at every little detail in lessons.

    And no-one likes a stickler do they?!

    Oh dear, sometimes you’ve got to laugh or you’ll cry!

  288. Ryan Says:

    Hey Bryan,
    Thanks for the reply. .that’s what is frustrating me, as I am far from the early stages of this. .I’ve been dealing with really tough anxiety for about four years. .but in the past year have really made tons of progress. .stopped seeing therapists, stopped medication, and have really been enjoying life again. .but still use the occasional benzo. In the early time I did use them daily. .but when I got better stopped using them. .but these really hard days, I still will take one so I can get to work ect…guess I still have allot of work to do to try and get over this hurdle. .

  289. Bryan 2 Says:

    Sorry about that original Bryan, I forget sometimes!

    Truth is I need to break away from checking on here every day anyway since I use it as a crutch some with that last recovery hurdle. I’ll probably check-in going forward some in the future and try and help when I can.

    I hope everyone on here can find the peace that I’ve been able to find as they work through this themselves!

  290. Melissa Says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Oh man…I have totally been there, and it sucks.

    I was obsessing about being bipolar or depressed. I Googled it, did quizzes online, spoke to my friends and family and asked them what they thought. It got pretty bad. I would be having a good day and then all of a sudden the thought of being bipolar would pop in my mind and I would ruminate on that thought for the better part of the day. Eventually I just put my focus outward and let the thoughts come and eventually I started realizing I was NOT bipolar, I was just anxious and holding on to EVERY fear my brain would make up.

    When it comes to being suicidal, I was so petrified. I was scared to read about it, hear about it and see anything related to it. I was convinced that I would become suicidal so I wanted to avoid everything about it. Finally I realized that this was only feeding into my fear. So instead of avoiding it, I read about it. It was not easy, it was very uncomfortable. In reading about it I read that MOST people with anxiety have this symptom. They become terrified of becoming depressed and/or suicidal. The difference between us and the people who genuinely are suicidal is that people who are suicidal are not scared of it, they accept it as their reality. People who are scared of it are NOT suicidal. My psychologist told me that if I would be suicidal I would have NO issue never seeing my boyfriend, family or friends every again. The thought of that makes me so sad, I get teary eyed just thinking about it.

    Our anxious minds hold onto our deepest fears and make it hard for us to move past them, but our rational minds KNOW that we are not depressed or suicidal. You are going through a hard time, of course you are being a bit more negative than usual….IT IS NORMAL! Be compassionate with yourself, be kind and give yourself the time you need to heal….do not rush your process…it will backfire on you.

    I hope this truly helps. Hang in there.


  291. John T Says:

    Carla, you remind me of….ME!! You know how many people get mad at me when I correct them when they say “your” instead of “you’re”? I mean, I’m doing it to be funny, but its my perfectionistic personality as well.

    I have to say, when I started this new job about 6 years ago, my anxiety disappeared and all my books (yeah, I have about 15 self help books) all gathered dust in a box in the attic. This last year has been trying, and I believe its from extreme stress everywhere in my life (family, financial, work) all hitting at once, but worse is my constant focus on it the anxiety caused by it. Plus, being at my job for 6 years now, I know the ins and outs of how it works and although not boring, its becoming too familiar. Doesn’t mean I want to find another job, because I really like this one, but I do need to get out of my head and find something else to do like everyone else in my family.

    I recently needed some huge renovation done on my house. Those 2-3 weeks of searching for a contractor, making phone calls, contacting banks for loans, they all took me out of my head and into another realm, where anxiety and depression don’t exist. I was feeling great those 2-3 weeks. And once the dust settled, of course, it all came back. Its like I CAN’T relax…otherwise my mind will find something else to gnaw at.

    Does that make sense to you? I mean, I’d LOVE to stay home, but I know if I did, things might become worse. I have a ton of house projects that would keep me busy until old age if I wanted to do it, but then I’m afraid I’d become housebound. At least my job takes me sometimes hundreds of miles out of the way….

  292. Debbie Says:

    Hi its just one of those days of being scared i hope all these nutty intrusives i have are just anxiety .

  293. John T Says:

    Melissa – I can relate as well. I actually was reading something online (STUPID I KNOW), this guy was posting his success story of recovering from mental illness and depression and anxiety. He had this loooong thread somewhere, anyway, I hadn’t checked it in a long time, decided to see how he was doing and saw he fell back into deep depression and was talking about going back to the hospital, how he realized he was bipolar and needed help, etc, etc – it was truly a disaster to read and scared the HELL out of me. Am I really bipolar now? Sure, 99 people will tell me I’m not, but there’s that one person that’ll cast doubt and I’ll feel screwed, thinking I’m in for a lifetime of lithium.

    BUT – I do believe, had this person gotten AWAY from repeatedly posting his progress and went on to live his life and stopped focusing on himself, (and maybe coming HERE for support, not a chat room full of thousands of other seriously depressed people), he may be better. I dunno. I do know I’m highly suggestible when I’m sensitized, and that’s something I have to realize and be careful when reading stuff online.

  294. carla Says:

    Yes John, it makes a lot of sense!

    I actually really enjoyed replying to you, posting something about myself and my life. It helped me take a little step back and see things from a wider perspective.

    The thing is, all of the analysis (which has been driving me mad of late) has stood me in good stead in the past and I’ve always succeeded when I’ve taken on complex and challenging problems. People have always come to me for advice.

    Trouble is it’s a bit of a shit strategy when it comes to anxiety. There are thousands of opinions to sift through and the irrationality of fear is always there to counter any of your logical arguments. Someone said to me once ‘you’ll never outwit your anxiety. It’s being created in your brain so will always be as smart as you’

    But neither do I want to beat myself up over being a bit analytical. The same as Ryan shouldn’t beat himself up over the odd benzo (the deputy head at my daughter’s school joked that he always kept one in his top pocket. And my husband won’t think twice about popping one of my old supply when he can’t sleep). And Bryan, maybe you just like coming on here because you like a good natter!

    I’ve decided that trying to lose my fear too quickly is probably my problem. I need to just accept that my anxiety is latching onto a symptom and I may well feel scared for a while. But, if I just carry on with the fear there for a while and just try and loosen my attitude a tiny bit then that’s good progress.

    We are far too hard on ourselves.

    Grammar ok there John?

  295. John T Says:

    Yes, spot on!! Not reporting you to the grammar police!!

    Man, again, can I relate!! People ALWAYS come to me as well – from work, to kids, to wife, to family – I’m the answer man, I can riff off an answer in like 5 minutes. (for some odd reason I know the real name of Flo, the woman in the Progressive Insurance commercials). The crazy thing is: My one kid does suffer from unreality and depersonalization. So, I’ve fired off answers to her and had her calmed down in no time. BUT – can I do that to myself?

    Nope….I’ve even tried talking in the mirror. All that got me was odd glances from people.

    I like your answer to yourself, though. Trying to lose the fear, the sensations, too quickly. We don’t like them. Anxiety says too bad, you don’t like it, its staying. Just carry on with the fear. Act “as if” everything is ok.

  296. Ryan Says:


    Great reply! I have a bad habit of being way too hard on myself, which gets me into trouble. .fact is, I’ve come a pretty darn long way and have had some of the best years of my life while I’ve been dealing with this. .I just have a hard time seeing the bright side when I feel anxious. .it’s like this fog that prevents me from truly enjoying my life. .which is so frustrating sometimes. ..which gets me down. .which scares me. ..dies that make me depressed and suicidal? Of course not! ! It’s normal to feel down. .especially when our anxiety is high for extended periods. .my wife feels down from time to time. .does she worry about being hauled off to the mental hospital! ?! Of course not! She just understands that it is just a temporary blip, and nothing to worry about. ..our anxiety just tricks us into beliving its something serious. .Just have to get better at moving through these harder times. ..aND I’ll get there, I’ve already come so far!

  297. Melissa Says:


    EXACTLY! There is your rational brain realizing just how awesome you are!

  298. colin Says:

    Is there a reason I can’t post on here ?

  299. colin Says:

    Hi why are my posts being removed ???

  300. Mansor Says:

    John T is very clear that you are still fighting it… Just leave your brain alone say ok i cant do it so what… just continue with your life.
    I’m on the road to recovery and im seeing benefits from paul’s advice

  301. Ana Says:

    Thank you Rich for your reply earlier about travelling anxiety. I completely agree with you. Let me give you an update. The first day I was there was terrible because my body kept telling me there is danger and I will have some kind of break down and I am so far away from home. But then after rounds of intense panic, guess what happened? Nothing! I relaxed and enjoyed the rest of my trip, only occasionally getting mild anxiety. At that point I said to bring it on because I have already been through so much panic earlier and nothing happened. I attended All activities and events without anxiety stopping me. I was in control. By the time I was leaving, I actually wished I was staying longer and had a great memory. Most of all, I felt in control rather than anxiety controlling me.

  302. Tracy Says:

    Hi, Just a question about horrible intrusive thoughts. Is labelling it as one in the moment giving it respect? I know I am desperate to get this right, which doesn’t help, but not sure what to do about the thoughts. I realise that’s all they are, and that I would never act on them, I don’t think I argue with them, but I do worry about them and therefore bring them on. They usually start with ‘what if I think this…’ or ‘if I was a… I might think this….’ Just stupid I know, but this symptom has really thrown me.
    Thanks for any advice from those who gave been there please!

  303. Tom Marshall Says:

    Hey Tracey,

    All of us have been desperate at some point to get rid of certain thoughts or feelings so don’t beat yourself up too much for having those worries. It doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong it’s just that you are still Afraid which is completely fine, allow yourself to be afraid for now and let yourself be uncertain. If I’m honest, just drop labelling thoughts, the more you label what is good or bad in your head the more you get caught up in it all. It’s like a little compulsion to just reassure yourself that you are not crazy or whatever it is that your mind is trying to convince you in that moment. I used to feel relief from spending my whole day labelling certain thoughts and eventually I realised all I was doing was adding more fuel to the fire. In a way your brain likes to keep sending these false signals out because it knows you feel happy when you feel relief for them. This is why the cycle continues.

    Bad thought-reaction-relief-bad thought-reaction- relief

    When you have a bad thought and you don’t react eventually your brain sees no point in sending these signals out because there is no need for them.

    Remember though it’s not about getting rid of the thoughts and never having them again. The attitude you want to have is that you no longer have a problem with them been a part of your day.

    I hope this helped ?


  304. Tracy Says:

    Thanks. That is sort of what I have been thinking, but what do you do with your brain then? Some people say laugh/smile at the thought, is this not the same thing? Very difficult to get my head around, especially when anxiety all along tells me I’m not getting it right!

  305. Tom Marshall Says:

    I can see your confusion here, Your anxious mind has misinterpreted the advice. This happens with most people ‘Do I need to smile/Laugh at these thoughts? Wouldn’t I be reacting by doing that? This is confusing, I can’t do this.’

    there isn’t anything to do. You don’t have to start smiling every time a bad thought comes through your head, its just a pointer, you are just seeing the silliness of the thoughts and not trying to take some action to get rid of them.

  306. Tracy Says:

    Hi, Yes, I am at that point, where I can see its silliness, but questioning how to best deal with the thought becomes the new obsession! The thought also spreads out into life doesn’t it? Things you were watching when you experienced anxiety, etc. Or any anxiety I feel now, must be linked to that thought, even when I didn’t have the thought. Whether to do, or how to do, exposure? So ridiculous….. It’s that perfectionist/control side of our personalities I guess.

  307. Tracy Says:

    Years ago people on this website recommended the book Mindworks, or do people think Paul’s new book deals with scarey obsessive thoughts best? I only have Paul’s first book.

  308. Louise Says:

    Hi Tracy
    I have mind works to be honest I found it hard work a good book I have is Richard carlsons stop thinking start living.

  309. Bryan Says:


    We aren’t that far off. I’m years into recovery myself but it’s worth it and while ours may be longer than others it may be shorter than others too. Hang in there. You know it’s happening. You will get there.

  310. Bryan Says:

    And funny enoug we may have 2 Ryan’s. Are you Ryan C? (The training Ryan?)

  311. Peter Says:

    Mind Works is good but it’s pretty complex…I mean it seems overly-complex for someone who is in an anxiety state….when one is anxious it’s difficult to think…

  312. Ryan Says:

    Bryan..we must have two Ryans! But yes, I think I’m about further along than I give myself credit for sometimes. .every so often I get frustrated and come on here to vent/complain a bit. .but overall this year I have really made HUGE strides ..I think may be taking me longer cause I’m so hard headed!

  313. Tracy Says:

    Thanks Louise. Did it help with the sort of thoughts you wouldn’t tell anyone about? I have really come to terms with other horrible symptoms like brain fog etc, but this is a new symptom and feels like it’s taken me right back. Set backs with the same symptoms I could handle easier!

  314. Sue Says:

    Yesterday I had a good day with no odd irrational thoughts. Most of today I was fine until now when all the silly negative thoughts come flooding back.
    I have let them have their say without reacting too much.
    is this what they call a set back or is it just how the anxious mind can work.
    One minute gone the next there.

  315. John T Says:

    Tracy – one thing I’ve learned about intrusive thoughts: When sensitized, they magnify and literally encompass my mind. I mean, I’ll be driving down the road, see a truck coming the opposite way and think, “what if I just steer towards that truck?” My mind can come up with some of the most bizarre scenarios.

    When NOT sensitized, the intrusive thought disappears within seconds. “What if I steer into that truck….hey, I wonder what my wife is making for dinner?”

    Sensitization is the key.

  316. Debbie Says:

    Hi tom marshall. I dont mean to anoy you but past 3 days. have been scarey i know the protocol to follow and it did help with me. traveling. by myself that was a big plus. now its just those strange spooky feelings best way to describe them feeling like. every thing is strange like it happened before also now i have things where i feel like iam confused constant mind memories of movies or dreams did u ever or anybody else have this spooky feeling . need some reassurance at this time. also feels like iam in these dreams and memories.

  317. Tom Marshall Says:

    Hey Debbie,

    You are not annoying me don’t worry :)

    I know how scary those feelings and thoughts can be, You need to remember they can do you no harm. The mind is extremely creative so don’t be afraid of what the content of your thoughts are. Try not be so focused on keeping up with all the themes of your anxious thoughts at the end of the day they are just thoughts you don’t really need to label them as anything else. Your mind is just anxiously grabbing on to normal thoughts and turning them into a problem. If things feel all dream like and strange at the moment then say ok to it all. It will pass if you just carry on with life. I know its hard to resist the temptation to come seek reassurance but sometimes you have to live with that uncertainty to move through this.

    I hope this helped.


  318. Debbie Says:

    Thanks tom you always help.

  319. Scott H Says:

    First off all this is an incredibly helpful website, and Paul’s books are truly amazing, and I greatly appreciate everyone’s time and effort in helping others. I’m going to make this brief as possible. I’m taking total heed to the direction Paul has stated about not worrying about how you feel. However, I do have a couple of questions for Paul/or anyone that has fully recovered about getting off of medication. I have had intrusive/obsessive thoughts about my son (I know they are only intrusive because I have allowed them to be), I was on Zoloft for right around a year (maxed at 100 mg), tapered off in stages over a 3 month period, every time I lowered my dose I had some great periods, the very last doses were at 12.5MG, and I felt I was at the finish line. I have completely kicked the meds, and the first several days were wonderful, then some anxiety began to seep back in, and now for a couple of weeks I have had a setback (I will persevere), per Paul’s great advice, I’ve allowed everything to just be, I no longer fight how I feel, and I feel things slowly lifting off me. Now for 2 questions, for those that have recovered and were on meds, how did this process work for you? Any relapse? Was there a period that anxiety crept back in? Secondly, I do a lot of self talk, is this considered the same as thoughts?

    Lastly, the phrase, it is what it is, has been frequently used, and for those of us going through the intrusive thoughts loop, I’ve modified this as, it is what it isn’t… Because it really isn’t….

  320. JoJo Says:

    Hi Tom Marshall,
    Your post above to Debbie how your mind throws out false signals because it knows your happy when you get relief from them really stuck with me. I realized I am having a relationship worry and reacting to it and then seeking relief in reassurance from others. I get happy when I realize it’s ok you didn’t make a mistake and all is good. I am totally seeing how this gets me every time, bad thought reaction relief cycle. I now see how I need to react moving forward and just let it all be. I’m not coming on the blog for others to tell me my anxiety over my relationship is real and I need to leave, I’m coming just like you said for relief and to feel happy again. Sorry I’m just excited cause what you said made so much sense and now I see it. Do you agree I got it?? :))

  321. Tracy Says:

    Thanks John T. I agree…. we tend to get caught up in the content of the thought/obsession. Just need to put it all under the anxiety umbrella, and keep going forward, instead of trying to prove thought wrong and puzzling it out. Easier said than done!

  322. Julie Says:


    Does anyone else here struggle with appointments/socalising? Since I have had anxiety the last few years I have found appointments really difficult. I go hot in my face, feel faint and eyes feel black. I really feel terrible and just can’t wait to get out, I take nothing in that my GP says I just rush it to get out.

    Recently I have had some health worries, I wish it was anxiety but my GP has shown concern. I have been struggling with fatigue which affects me daily and in turn sparked my anxiety again and as a result I have struggled with agoraphobia/panic when I am socialising but mostly during appointments. I recently had to have a blood test, my husband came with me and I got through it but went all hot and shaky, it was horrible. My results did give an indication as to why I feel so fatigued and weak, unable to workout, muscle pain, hair loss ….. low b12, low ferritin and borderline hypothyroid.

    Well I forgot to tell my GP I had a very dry mouth, not a thirst but daily my tongue feels rough and dry. He now wants me in tomorrow for a blood test for diabetes. I have to see the nurse to have an instant blood sugar test then she will take my blood to send to the lab to test for diabetes. I did the urine test Monday which was clear. My step dad is diabetic and he did my sugar test and it was 9.2. Which sent me into a panic thinking I must be diabetic. I had eaten 30 minutes before so I am hoping it’s just that.

    I know I must go but I am feeling dreadful. Why can’t I just go to appointments and cope. Why do I always go so hot, feel faint and dizzy. It’s awful. My vision goes funny and I feel I am going black. It terrifies me. There were times this felt a little better especially earlier this year, I was even taking my children to appointments alone again which felt great not needing my husband but now since having all these tests and my GP worrying me I have started feeling higher anxiety and panics at appointments again.

    Can anyone relate or advise how I can think or cope differently about this? I am in floods of tears about tomorrow, I feel so bloody stupid. I am 36!!! I used to do appointments alone, didn’t need my husband and never panicked. The last couple of years it’s been really tough adjusting to this :-( I hate how stupid I feel. Hubby always says I cope well and am honest telling the nurse or GP I am anxious but inside it doesn’t feel like I cope well at all.


  323. Julie Says:


    I suffered terrible intrusive thoughts, they were the main anxiety symptom I had. I still have them now but they only bother me when I am experiencing higher anxiety, which tells me how they are produced. When at my worst I thought my thoughts were causing my anxiety, but infact it was my high anxiety producing them.

    Mine were about harm to myself or my children. I’d panic I was some kind of abuser or murderer, it was horrible. They now still make me feel uneasy at times but I have learnt alot by observing them. I observe them by noticing when I have them, when stressed, tired or something it worrying me. Also if I have a different worry, like recently I have had alot of health issues going on, my intrusives aren’t my main issue, which again proves to me they are not what I feared they were.

    I was told not to label them as that is kind of like reassuring yourself. I was taught to say yes so what, I could do those terrible things. It kind of took the sting out of them and by me bringing them on I was in control. I was told do write scripts of my actual thoughts and read them a fair few times a day, eventually the brain does habituate to the thoughts. This was what my therapist advised as I was told I had pure o. It did help and it also tied in with what Paul advises in his books. Let it be there, do nothing about it. Notice the thoughts, imagine they are speech bubbles above your head then move on with your day. REFOCUS. That is the best thing. When I am having a day of intrusives I don’t lie around questioning, worrying…. I get up and do yoga, cook, clean, watch a movie… anything that isn’t ruminating. Over time this helps and by refocusing you feel happier and calmer. It’s all the questioning, worrying, ruminating, seeking reassurance that gives the thoughts relevance and they become an obsession. I know as I have done that and I think it’s why they still come, out of habit. It does get easier though.

    Take care


  324. John T Says:

    Julie – your appointments:

    YES – what you are feeling is what ANYONE would feel under the circumstances. I hated going to the doctor regardless of being in my anxious state or not. Its even worse when I’m anxious.

    My doc, although caring, seems to find things wrong with me. Here’s how my issues started: I went for a routine physical. He drew all the blood tests, checked everything out, etc. I was ok, but he wanted me to come back and discuss a blood test. WHY?? (I wasn’t nervous then). Anyway, my follow up appointment, I was in the waiting room chugging down some fast food, on the phone with work arguing about a job, then my wife called me and I snapped at her and we were text fighting the whole time I was waiting in the doc office. My face was beet red. The nurse took my blood pressure and it was OVER 200/120. The doc freaked and wanted to send me to the ER. All this started ME freaking out…..forget the blood test, which was fine, BTW….

    Anyway, it took me some time to realize all that stress before the doc sent my BP skyrocketing. However, it has now sent me on a major fear of seeing the doc because there’s always something wrong, even though its minor. I never seem to get a clear bill of health. My BP is better now, but thanks to him I have it in my head I’ve caused some kind of permanent damage from the BP – when it was just a bad day, that’s all. Not to mention the salty sandwich I ate before the visit.

    In the past, I’d see the doc, I’d get the all clear, and that was it. See ya in a year. Now, if it was up to him, he’d have me coming in weekly to monitor my BP, my liver, my o2 levels – and there’s NO WAY I’m doing that. Also, he doles out anti-depressants like confetti. I remember being in pain from a back spasm and he wanted to give me an AD to cope with the pain!! Said it would relax me. I said, “can I get a real pain reliever like Vicodin?” He was like, NO WAY, THAT’S ADDICTIVE. When, in the past, I’ve been on them before and they worked wonders, I never abused or became addicted.

    So I see where you’re coming from. Docs to me are bad news, so of course it will heighten your anxiety.

  325. Julie Says:

    Hi John

    I have bloods done yearly for my low ferritin so it’s pretty normal for me, but this time he did a whole bunch of tests as I told him how fatigued I was and it was very different to the normal tiredness one might feel. I forgot to mention a dry mouth as it was pretty early days with it and I hoped it would pass. 6 weeks on it isn’t so i just mentioned it in passing hoping he would just say it’s due to the iron and now he wants me in for more tests. I am hating it but I know I can’t avoid it as it’s my health. What if i did have diabetes and ignored it, that would be very silly of me being a mum to 3 children. So I will go ahead and do it but yes my anxiety is higher than normal because he keeps running these tests.

    I don’t even want the tests, I do my best to not see my GP more than twice a year lol! I hate going so even if I am ill I avoid but after months of fatigue I thought I had best go talk to him. I guess he is just doing his job and ruling things out.

    I just wish I could cope better seeing the GP and not panic and feel an idiot. It’s a huge part of my anxiety that I struggle with as the feelings are really difficult to be ok with. I can’t help but panic when I am burning up and feeling faint.


  326. Tracy Says:

    Thanks Julie, I had wondered about the ‘writing scripts’ to habituate, but then wondered if that’s paying them too much attention. The ‘so what’ attitude sounds good, and of course ‘refocus’. The working out how to deal with it seems to be the new obsession. Did you have cbt therapy?
    Thanks again

  327. Julie Says:

    HI Tracy

    Yes I did for over a year. It did help with the intrusives alot.

    No it’s not paying them attention, well not according to my therapist. It’s a way of habituating to them if they have become an obsession. It is difficult once they’re obsessive to say so what, so this form of therapy actually brings them on to give you power over them. In time this leads to habituation the more you repeat them and your fear decreases. Your brain gets bored of repeating your fears over and over.

    I did this along with what Paul teaches and it helped alot with my intrusives.


  328. Melissa Says:


    I have been trying to share things on the blog for a couple of days and my comments either have not shown up or are waiting a moderator approval. I was wondering if anyone had a problem with this.


  329. Tracy Says:

    Last question! Since most of the anxiety is actually when I think….’what if I have a thought’ and never about what if I carry out the thought, would you still say ‘so what’…. It’s like my old ‘What ifs’ about feeling other anxiety symptoms have just moved to scarey thoughts. This is a tiring process isn’t it?

  330. Jeff Says:

    @John T
    My perspective on pdocs mirrors yours….and for pretty much the same reasons.
    I can thank my doc for this anxiety….and of course my own ignorance for believing the crap that he was laying on me. Scared me to death over (colon) issues – which turned out to be nothing.
    The incessant worry (and lack of sleep) did result in 2+ fun filled years of intense anxiety, with pretty much all the textbook symptoms – with the exception of intrusives, which I was spared this time thank goodness. I remember receiving a text from my wife while in the ER (thinking I was having a heart attack), that that the test results came back A-OK. News came too late – already stepped over the edge on that one.

    So a few days later I went back to my doc as I couldn’t seem to sleep, think, sit still – was basically basket case…
    He said that Zoloft was the answer to my prayers. Nope it wasn’t – made things worse. So did Lexapro.

    So yes many pdocs consider ADs to be the answer to pretty much anything that ails you….as they are NOT addictive so it’s OK. Though I did hear that coming off ADs aint exactly a walk in the park.
    As for opiates or benzos….my pdoc considers them evil. I consider HIM evil….at least I did at the time.

  331. John T Says:

    Jeff – I have a running joke with my wife when it comes to going to my doctor. I’ll go to my doc for an annual visit and he’ll ask me “So, John, how are you doing?”

    I say, “Pretty good, doc”.

    He says, “Pretty good, huh? Let me give you something for that”.

  332. Jamie Says:

    Hi. Does anyone else suffer with this type of anxiety ? I have a MAJOR problem about speaking to people on a 1 to 1 basis be it at work or socially and I continually worry that I am going to feel anxious in that situation, have a panic attack, have to leave, what will I say ?, what will they think ? and so on and so on. I work in a big open plan office so it could be discussing a piece of work with someone, having a 1 to 1 with my manager, going into a meeting and even socially, it could be meeting a friend for a drink or something to eat. Even things like getting my haircut, going to the dentist or going to the opticians. It is a lot worse if it is 1 to 1 and I am facing the other person. I have a massive fear of appearing anxious, they might notice, I will be trapped, I cannot leave etc etc.

    This never used to be a problem but my anxiety has significantly increased over the last 18 months (due to other events in my life). I realise that I have to keep doing these things and staying in these situations for as long as possible but it does not stop making these situations really anxiety provoking.

    I went on about 5 or 6 dates a few months back (it is the first time I have dated in about 15 years) and each time the anxiety was incredible, both leading up to and during. Each time, the anxiety did tail off after a while which is good. Anyway, I have arranged another date this Fri with someone I have met up with a couple of times and it is terrifying me. I just have this continuous movie playing in my mind of me getting panicky, not being able to speak, having to leave, what she will think etc etc. Sorry about the long message. I really wanted to know if anyone else thinks / suffers like this and your thoughts / views / ways of dealing with it ?

    P.S. I have read Paul’s first book and I am currently reading his second book for the second time.

  333. Dominic Says:

    Hi guys
    I would just like to let you know where I’m at. Maybe to give you all a bit of hope and let you all know what an enlightening journey this has been for me. Maybe explain how recovery feels.
    I had my last setback two years ago. Since then I have been anxiety free. I started off with anxiety attacks in the night. So naturally sleep wasn’t happening. This was my personal hell. You couldn’t explain to anyone how much this tore my life apart. I was a mess.
    Anxiety day and night. No sleep, depression, you name it. I visited therapists, took sleeping tablets etc.
    Things got better and I stopped the sleeping pills and vowed never to take them again. I was feeling ok ish again.
    Then bang! another setback. This time worse. I had all types of crazy thoughts. I feared my own body and mind. Back in hell.
    This carried on for a while. I googled, searched for answers, tried everything to avoid the anxiety and make myself better.
    I stumbled across Paul’s book and things started to get better. I had longer periods of good spells and the setbacks came and went.
    I started to care less and less about these setbacks and got on with my life.
    I’m now in a setback. And after two years anxiety free it’s hit me hard. Now the difference is I no longer care how I feel. I’ve laid awake with a pounding heart, felt rubbish during the day pretty much every symtom has come back. I’ve just let everything do its thing. The thing I feared so much is there but no longer has its power over me. I know these are just feelings and soon the anxiety will go and I’ll be fine again.
    I hope you all get to this point and realise that the crazy thoughts and physical symptoms will go away if you let them be. Give up the fight and accept everything it throws at you. It will pass and you will wonder what all the fuss is about.
    Hope this helps you guys.

  334. Markr Says:

    Hi all,

    I’ve not posted in a while and the reason being is that I’ve been doing so well lately that I’ve just got on with normal life. Saying that, I seem to have hit a bit of a mini dip.

    My anxiety has always centered around my stomach and on Sunday i cooked myself a chilli. On Monday I had stomach issues all day then since then my anxiety has ramped up to an uncomfortable level. I’m annoyed with myself as I’m usually careful with what I eat but just fancied being naughty for once I guess.

    I know this is just a bit of turbulence and although feeling sodding awful for 3 days I’m not overly concerned, just a damned nuisance!

    I always write down in a sort of diary when I feel bad to remind myself I can get through these crappy times. Oddly, it seems to happen once every 2 months and lasts for around a week before I’m back on track. Does anyone else notice this?

    A lot of new faces on here, hope everyone is making good progress.


  335. Ryan Says:

    Hey Mark…
    Ive noticed a similar pattern with myself feel good for a month or so, then a week or two feeling back to terrible. .been going like this for a year or so. .trying to get better at riding the bad times out,but still struggle tons. .in a bad period right now and feels as bad as when this all started. .really frustrating! Just know it will pass!

  336. Melissa Says:

    Hey everyone,

    I am feeling really down today. Had a rough couple of days. Very bad intrusive thoughts centered around ‘what if I hurt myself…etc’. Was able to overcome before and now am feeling extremely sad. I have two days left at this job and I am starting a new job on Monday. I think I just have to ride the wave.

    I have been at this job for 5 and a half years after all. Definitely not an easy transition. Been walking around borderline tears all day, feeling kind of zombie like. I am not looking for anything except for some kind words because at this point I am feeling so sad.

    Sorry for being a downer…didn’t know where else to turn.


  337. Ryan Says:

    Hey Mellisa,

    Don’t get too down on yourself. .I know, it’s so hard. I’m really in the same spot as you after feeling great for months…same intrusive thoughts of hurting myself for me into this setback. .all we can do is keep on moving forward and allow it all to be there. .sometimes WAY easier said than done. .just know you are not alone! These setbacks always pass, we just have to try our best to not fight with it. .Hope you start to come out of it soon!

  338. Mark r Says:

    Hello Ryan,

    Sorry to hear youre also having a tough time. Yes indeed it will pass, I just hate these setbacks, but I tolerate them as I have to.

    Had a lot of stomach issues tonight and woke an hr after sleeping with horrendous anxiety and panic. Pretty peed off I’m feeling likr this at the moment after feeling good for a while. All part of the course I guess.

    Im sure we will be back to feeling good again soon.

  339. Ryan Says:

    Yeah Mark…it’s my Achilles heel…I’m terrible at dealing with setbacks. ..this is what’s really holding me back from recovery. .but yes we will get there,just not add fast as we would like!

  340. Mark r Says:

    We probably think we are but end of the day setbacks are awful. If we get through them, dust ourselves off and carry on, id say that was a pretty good way of dealing with them!

  341. Bryan Says:


    Fantastic post. Very cool of you to share the insight.

  342. Elaine Says:

    Hi everyone
    Went to my cbt therapist on Monday and he said I spend all day fighting and trying not to retch which builds up the anxiety do just let it go.
    So Tuesday woke up feeling anxious went about my morning and just before I went out began retching but felt calm afterwards.But felt more anxious through the day frightened it would happen when out all so stupid but very real
    Will it eventually calm?

  343. Mark r Says:

    Last few days have been rough on me, yesterday was one of the worst I’ve had in months. I even woke at 1am with square one anxiety. Honestly, I wouldve rather gone on holiday with Katie Hopkins!!

    That said I need to allow this bump to have its day. I’m going to have a ‘couldn’t care less about anxiety’ day. Everyone is welcome to join me.

  344. Louise Says:

    Hi Julie
    Just wondered how you getting on

  345. Julie Says:

    Hi Louise,

    Well, it went terrible, just like I thought it would. I am so upset with myself because although I get anxious doing appointments I cope, I feel a little warm and dizzy but I get through it and feel fine afterwards. Well I don’t feel like that after today lol!

    I shouldn’t ruminate but ….I was left to wait 30 minutes, when I eventually got to see the nurse my urge to run away was rife. I told her how scared I was and how anxious I felt. I kept going hot in the face and scared I’d faint. She took the blood right away and then wham my face was boiling. I panicked and lay on the bed afraid to get up, then panicked I couldn’t leave because of how hot and dizzy I was. She told me to lie down and she hugged me. I was sobbing. Eventually i got up and told her my agoraphobia was rife recently due to all these tests and anxiety it had caused. She was so lovely and understanding. She then held my arm and walked me to reception. She was so nice but I feel an absolute idiot. I was crying lying on the bed panicking and telling my husband to hug me because I felt dizzy and all hot in my face. I kept thinking I can’t get out of here because I feel so faint and can’t walk to the car like this. When after appointments I usually can’t wait to get out lol!

    I am never that bad and that is what’s upset me. I feel devastated. Usually I feel anxious, but I do it and feel fine. I never go red hot and freak like that.

    Worst experience in a long time and I am afraid of how set back that will make me. I am so worried about future appointments now and I better not be diabetic because they won’t get me back there in a hurry lol!

    Feeling a failure for sure.

    Thanks for asking after me.

    Julie x

  346. Louise Says:

    Hi Julie
    Please don’t beat yourself up over this at the end of the day although you felt crap and was anxious you bloody well went anyway and that is an achievement in itself. So try not to focus on how bad you feel now. You also stuck 2 fingers up to anxiety by going out of your comfort zone.

  347. Bryan Says:

    Agree with Louise, Julie. So it went poorly. Learning to accept that is part of recovery. I suggest going back in as soon as possible. If not that find something similar. Go right back into it. Do not wait and analyze. It went so poorly because of the analysis leading up to it and the lack of regular exposure to these things. I really suggest getting back out ASAP.

    Claire Weekes offers lots of advice on this topic.

  348. Ryan Says:

    Im right with you Mark..having the worst week I’ve had in very long time. .falling into the same traps. .this morning I hid under the covers and my wife had to take the kids to school. .feel really bad about that. Have the day off, which makes it even worse, trying to get motivated to get some things accomplished. .uggghhh these setbacks!

  349. Jamie Says:

    Hi. Does anyone have any thoughts on this below?

    Jamie Says:
    September 16th, 2015 at 9:00 pm
    Hi. Does anyone else suffer with this type of anxiety ? I have a MAJOR problem about speaking to people on a 1 to 1 basis be it at work or socially and I continually worry that I am going to feel anxious in that situation, have a panic attack, have to leave, what will I say ?, what will they think ? and so on and so on. I work in a big open plan office so it could be discussing a piece of work with someone, having a 1 to 1 with my manager, going into a meeting and even socially, it could be meeting a friend for a drink or something to eat. Even things like getting my haircut, going to the dentist or going to the opticians. It is a lot worse if it is 1 to 1 and I am facing the other person. I have a massive fear of appearing anxious, they might notice, I will be trapped, I cannot leave etc etc.

    This never used to be a problem but my anxiety has significantly increased over the last 18 months (due to other events in my life). I realise that I have to keep doing these things and staying in these situations for as long as possible but it does not stop making these situations really anxiety provoking.

    I went on about 5 or 6 dates a few months back (it is the first time I have dated in about 15 years) and each time the anxiety was incredible, both leading up to and during. Each time, the anxiety did tail off after a while which is good. Anyway, I have arranged another date this Fri with someone I have met up with a couple of times and it is terrifying me. I just have this continuous movie playing in my mind of me getting panicky, not being able to speak, having to leave, what she will think etc etc. Sorry about the long message. I really wanted to know if anyone else thinks / suffers like this and your thoughts / views / ways of dealing with it ?

    P.S. I have read Paul’s first book and I am currently reading his second book for the second time.

  350. Peter Says:

    What’s been happening with me is I start out with acceptance, doing it the way you described in your posts (I threw out all my books too!) but then I got this horrible, nagging thought “what if I’m wrong? what if I’m not accepting correctly?” I know that sounds so silly, but I really can’t get on with my life until I know I’m “doing it right”. Blah.

  351. Rachel Says:

    Ok done Dr says its anxiety the other Dr says its the function of my inner ear so which do I go off because I am doing this letting go stuff not dwelling on it but yet I know my dizziness is still their cos no matter what I do I can still feel it’s still there my head is like its on a merry go round and will not stop and I’m sick to death of feeling like I’m on a swing do I take it it could take weeks to start feeling a tad better xx

  352. Julie Says:

    Thank you Louise and Bryan,

    It was tough but yes I got through it, I don’t feel like I did because to me getting through it is feeling rough but coming out smiling thinking ‘YES!! I did it’. Where as today I came out with a nurse hugging me and me sobbing as soon as I got in the car. I feel such an idiot. I have never had a full blown panic attack infront of a GP or nurse before. I feel so stupid. I am also worried why it only affected one side of my head, my right side of face was hot and my right hand tingled. Nowhere else lol! This was how the panic felt. I always go hot and tingly and feel faint but usually both sides. I think it freaked me out alot for many reasons. I have been physically unwell, needing alot of tests, feeling I can’t go out because of how fatigued i have been… it’s all been alot on my plate. On top of that my husband has started a new job further away from home, kids back to school… it’s been alot to cope with.

    I don’t usually have panic attacks so WOW that was a shock.

    I will be going back November for more bloods (lucky me) I won’t shy away from things, I have children and will keep going but it’s made me very afraid of future blood tests I must admit.

    Where has tough old Julie gone :-( I know she’s still in there somewhere. Maybe todays panic had to happen, a big energy release after coping so well with my son being bullied, hubby in a new job, my ill health… hopefully that release today was very much needed and will help 😉

    Thanks again for replying. I just feel a little embarrassed after today.


  353. mark r Says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Despite my bravado it’s been a grinder of a day. No appetite, tension, poor concentration, grinding teeth….the works. I still went to work though and no one noticed.

    Setbacks are vile creatures but the silver lining is that I always feel loads better and more confident once I’ve come through them.

    Hard to imagine now but in a short time we won’t give a toss about how we feel. Chin up Ryan, they always pass!!


  354. Ryan Says:

    We will get there, Mark..I know I keep falling into these setbacks because I’m still afraid. .of what? I’m not sure. .just feeling like crap I guess..for for years I have done everything in supposed to do, going to work, traveling, ect… but still get caught in the loop. .why? Because as much as I do these things with anxiety by my side, I’m still afraid…I know its just anxiety, I know it can’t hurt me, I know I’m not dying, I know I’m not going crazy, it s just that I hate the feeling. ..and feels like its robbing me of joy. I know I’m doing some things right, as I have gotton tons better, but not sure how to lose this fear. .

  355. Maria Says:

    Hi Jamie,

    I know just how you feel! Yes, I’ve totally gone through the same thing with the one on one thing. And here’s the kicker for me, I’m a hairstylist! So all day everyday I have to talk one on one with my clients. I have to be engaging, I have to keep the conversation going and at least appear to be in a good mood!! Total hell when you’re feeling anxious! I’ve actually had full blown panic attacks while doing a haircut!! Not fun!

    But I’ll tell you what I’ve learned….I always got through it. I’d just literally grin and bear it when every fiber of my being wanted to bolt. But as I started to really understand anxiety, I would just remind myself that all it is is a rush of adrenalin, nothing more, nothing that can hurt me. I would take a deep breath and try to focus on the conversation and not on myself. Instead of rushing just to get through it, I would very consciously try to slow myself down and be in the moment. And with each client and each day it got a little bit easier. Slowly but surely my confidence began to come back and I remembered why I’d love my job. So for me, I really had no choice but to figure out how to do this. It’s my livelihood, I had to!

    And you’re right, you do have to keep doing them. It’s the only way to get your confidence back which goes hand in hand with the lessening of anxiety. Just let it be there and keep doing what you need to do.

  356. mark r Says:

    Guess its the same for me Ryan to be honest. I’ve had anxiety on and off for around 14 years now and I’ve never let it stop me doing anything. I still fear it a little, I fear not having a life like my friends whos don’t have these issues. I think I’m also afraid of ending end in bad shape again for a long time, even though when I do it moves on very quickly.

    I do think the setback thing is partly the luck of the draw though to be honest, not just you fearing them. This is my 3rd bout of anxiety in 14 years and this is the only one where setbacks have affected me, the others being more of a linear recovery. There is a regular poster on here called Bryan who has setbacks regularly, very harshly and deals them extremely well. He doesn’t fear them, just deals with them as they crop up.

    I’ve tried to change my attitude to setbacks as best as I can. Although yesterday was the wordt day I’ve had since May I still went to work and went to parents after. By the evening even though I felt bad and dp was off the scale I seem more interested in chatting and.watching tv than myself… the point where my parents thought I seemed myself.

    It’s a rockier road for some more than others, so don’t beat yourself up. With everything going on in your life it sounds like you have all the elements to recover.

  357. mark r Says:

    Guess its the same for me Ryan to be honest. I’ve had anxiety on and off for around 14 years now and I’ve never let it stop me doing anything. I still fear it a little, I fear not having a life like my friends whos don’t have these issues. I think I’m also afraid of ending end in bad shape again for a long time, even though when I do it moves on very quickly.

    I do think the setback thing is partly the luck of the draw though to be honest, not just you fearing them. This is my 3rd bout of anxiety in 14 years and this is the only one where setbacks have affected me, the others being more of a linear recovery. There is a regular poster on here called Bryan who has setbacks regularly, very harshly and deals them extremely well. He doesn’t fear them, just deals with them as they crop up.

    I’ve tried to change my attitude to setbacks as best as I can. Although yesterday was the wordt day I’ve had since May I still went to work and went to parents after. By the evening even though I felt bad and dp was off the scale I seem more interested in chatting and.watching tv than myself… the point where my parents thought I seemed myself.

    It’s a rockier road for some more than others, so don’t beat yourself up. With everything going on in your life it sounds like you have all the elements to recover.

  358. Dominic Says:

    Personally I came off this blog. I was a bit of a silent searcher. This was my decision as I wanted to do it by myself. I stopped all the searching, questioning, etc.
    when I first got my setbacks it was like ‘oh no’ I’m back in hell again. And the searching started. Why isn’t this working? Or ‘ I need to read a recovery story to make myself feel better’.
    Once I gave up the fight then the feelings started to subside. I was living life instead of spending all day searching for answers.
    Now fast forward two years and in that time I started my own business, we’ve had another baby, I’ve travelled to the states a couple of times. These were all things my anxiety would tell me I could never do.
    Now for some reason I had a setback.who knows why? Maybe a stressful period with my business. But it was here. Do I go back to searching? Do I believe all the crazy thoughts or run away from the feelings? No. I accept everything that comes my way. Where as before I would fear the sleepless nights, or the going to work trying to hide my feelings now I’m just accepting it all and getting on with things. As Nolan pointed out. My mantra was ‘so what’.
    I only come on here to give guidance and a bit of inspiration and I thought this would be a perfect time to share this with you all.
    Hope this helps.

  359. Julie Says:

    Hi all,

    Thanks for your kind words after yesterday.

    I think I have to admit my anxiety has changed focus. My anxiety was always my intrusives and a fear I’d hurt myself or others. It was awful. Now that’s much better I am really happy but in recent months I have felt unwell physically. Which isn’t anxiety caused but being unwell has triggered anxiety in me.

    I have been struggling with faitgue, feeling faint on standing, muscle pains and weakness. Just a general awful fatigue. I had to stop working out as I felt very poorly for days afterwards. My GP ran tests and I have low ferritin, b12 and my TSH borderline hypothyroid. This has all triggered anxiety in me, not so much the results but feeling weak and woozy has caused my fear of fainting, and fear of needing hospital treatment if I collapsed (huge fear of mine since having agoraphobia). Yesterdays panic attack was a shock and of course has knocked my confidence alot.

    I know my physical symptoms are related to my body being a little poorly at the moment but every day I have these symptoms which I am sure are anxiety. I feel hot often, very dry mouth and I panic I am about to faint. Daily I feel sensitive to light and will hide behind sunglasses as I feel woozy and anxious. I just generally feel fragile. I even get anxious some days getting up to make lunch as I feel weak and head feels woozy. It’s all triggering a fainting fear which I haven’t had for years. I have always feared it, I don’t know why. I swear it’s why I panicked yesterday as you hear of people fainting after blood tests, I haven’t been bothered about blood tests before, they are pretty easy for me.

    So I guess this is like a physical anxiety. Feeling woozy in my eyes, light headed and fear I will faint. I get scared to over do it now incase I feel more fatigued and will faint. I swear feeling unwell has triggered my anxiety in a different way that i am not used to. I am getting stuck into Pauls second book. I have always mainly paid attention to books with intrusives thoughts and how to manage them, so I need to really focus in on physical symptoms.

    I don’t get the shakes, or fast heart for me it’s a woozy head, eyes feel they can’t focus and I feel a fear I will faint so I go hot. I am trying to just say so what when I feel like this. Early days but hopefully this will pass. My body has been under alot of stress recently.

    Thank you all for your kindness.


  360. Diane Says:

    Hi Julie,

    I identify with what you are saying. I used always have a fear I would faint too, it can be really scary and the fear fuels how we are feeling , which then makes us feel more dizzy and scared.Its is like the anxiety cycle one feeds the other. Be kind to yourself and not hard on yourself though, health issues and doctors appointments can make us also naturally feel anxiuous. I have been going through health stuff also and am waiting on a hysterectomy in November all the tests have made me feel really vulnerable and anxious too. When we feel this the thoughts then kick in and grab onto something eg fainting and this scars us.Pauls new book discusses this in good detail in the thought chapter.

    You take care of yourself and dont be hard on yourself, this too will pass….

  361. Maria Says:

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to comment on an observation here. So Julie and I have become friends outside of the blog, and I want to reiterate something here that I’ve found to be very important in my recovery. It’s something I’ve said to Julie before but I think it’s important to say again to everyone.

    In order to find peace again in your life, you absolutely must stop focusing on your symptoms, whatever they may be. For many, like Julie and myself, the symptoms are very physical. For others they come in the form of pesky thoughts. I know they are scary, but constantly hashing them out and analyzing them and reliving them only keeps them alive!! You have to just let them be.

    How did I “let them be” when they were so damn present? I got busy. I got off the internet and I put down the books and got busy doing something. I started some DIY projects around my house. I found the planning and doing of those projects to be immensely helpful in occupying my mind WHILE feeling anxious, not as a way of avoiding being anxious. Very important difference there. And I found that with time, my symptoms lessened because I wasn’t feeding them by continuously ruminating on them. This, to me, was acceptance. You’ve had a panick attack? So what! Millions of people do! Move on. You’re having creepy thought? So what, they can’t hurt you. By no means am I trying to make light of any of these crazy symptoms that we suffer from, but the more weight you CHOOSE to give them, the bigger they get.

    At some point, you have to start trusting yourself again. Trust that you are stronger and bigger than this. Take that step to move on. Do whatever you can to get your mind moving forward again instead of idling in this realm of anxiety. Start a workout routine, start a project in your garden, paint a room, sew a quilt, start that project around the house that you’ve been putting off. Just do something. With time and patience your anxiety will realize you aren’t paying it any attention and it will subside.

    I hope this helps as it’s the very best advice I have. ?

  362. Peter Says:

    Hey Dominic,

    Thanks…for a while I was confused about whether or not we should visit here. Of course I think it’s up to the individual, but I think for me…all I do is obsess and try to “work it all out”, so I think not coming here trying to feel better or “fix myself” is important for me personally.

    And Maria’s posts just confirmed that!

    Let’s look at what Claire Weekes says:

    “…as you improve and are no longer afraid of [anxiety], and do not try to cure it by controlling it, and are prepared to accept it and work with it present, you will gradually become more interested in other things and will gradually forget to notice wheter it is there or not. This is the way to recover.”

    I.e., occupation and not dwelling on how you feel all the time is important!

  363. Maria Says:


    I would say I’m pretty darn close. It still catches me once in awhile but I just don’t react to it anymore.

    Your “what if I’m doing x wrong” questions are just another form of anxiety and ruminating. We’ve talked about Claire Weekes’s “loosening as much as possible” thing on here a bit lately and a lot of people seem to get hung up on it. I think that trying to force yourself to loosen up is not a really manageable task when you’re anxious. As your anxiety lifts, your body will follow all on its own.

  364. Tom Marshall Says:

    Hey JoJo!

    It’s good to see how much your attitude has shifted I can tell by the way you wrote that post that something has clicked! I know it’s going to be hard but you will get through it ? all the best!


  365. Louise Says:

    Hi Maria
    I get some horrible thoughts mainly centered around my lovely husband which drive me to despair. However I am making improvements the thing I hate is the horrible feeling I get in my stomach at such thoughts as long as I don’t ruminate is it still accepting even though I still get horrible sensation in stomach. Like I say I am
    Getting better some thoughts so ludicrous it makes me laugh others are just nuts

  366. Tom Marshall Says:

    Just been reading through some of your posts Maria, the stuff you have covered will help people so much, anxiety can come up in so many sneaky forms e.g ‘am I doing this right?’ I’m glad to hear you are doing well :)

  367. Jamie Says:

    Thanks for the reply Maria.

    That must have been extremely tough dealing with your issues whilst being a hairstylist.

    My 1 on 1 anxiety sometimes spreads to making phone calls to clients and even buying a coffee in the canteen. I have a fear of getting panicky in the situation, I won’t be able to speak, I will have to leave / hang up etc.

    Anyway, I went into work and made myself talk to as many people as possible 1 on 1. I went to get a coffee and called some clients. I had been dreading going down to the end of the office to discuss a case with one of the managers (this particularly manager I went to speak to him about work about a year ago and was so panicky, I could barely speak. I then drove home, dissolved in tears and was off work for 2 months!) but I went down there (admittedly I did wait until most ppl had gone home) and discussed the work with him. The panic came, my voice wobbled quite a bit at the start but the panic then dropped off and it all became easier. I am so glad I pushed myself and did these things particularly speaking to him !

  368. Julie Says:

    Great advice Maria. Exactly what Paul and Claire Weekes advised and I took on board last year. It’s the only way forward.

    When I had my intrusives and in the midst of anxiety I pulled myself out of it by letting them be there and refocusing. I started working out, doing yoga, going out again, cleaning, baking, reading……etc. I will do the same now my anxiety has decided to hit in a slightly different way. The only difference is I can’t workout at the moment which is a shame but yoga will do as a great alternative ?

    I think anxiety gets you at your weak spots and tries to come back in. A few months ago I was feeling amazing, i had for a while but then I started to feel unwell physically and I noticed I started becoming scared of feeling fatigued and woozy where as I should have been accepting my fatigue is due to my low iron and thyroid out of sync. My anxiety has for sure noticed this weakness and focused on it. I now have to apply what I did before when I accepted and was doing great. Treat it how I did my pesky thoughts anxiety. If I feel fatigued so what, I know what causes it. If I feel weak and in pain after yoga, I know why, there’s no need to cause fear. I feel terrible some days and that’s ok, rest my body on those days and eat some chocolate ?

    It’s a new type of anxiety to me but I know I can overcome it like I have anxiety before. Thank you for a lovely reply. I’m so glad we met ?


  369. Julie Says:


    Thank you. I’m sorry to hear of your ill health. It certainly does make us feel more vulnerable and anxious. It can be quite frightening when you feel unwell and your gp wants to run tests.

    I’ve had lumps in my breast, the fatigue, feeling weak and muscle pain. My gp has done tests and at first I was fine but then it all became too much and my anxiety crept back in. The only part of anxiety i still found tough was socialising alone. It was a shock to suddenly have physical anxiety and fears I’d faint with the bad fatigue.

    I hope things go well for you. Big hugs xxx

  370. Maria Says:

    Thank you, Tom Marshall, that’s sweet of you to say :)

    Julie, you’ve got this, girl. Whenever you’re feeling in doubt, come back here and read what you just wrote, perfect advice to yourself. :)

    Louise, I know the funny feeling tummy can be disconcerting, but it will pass as your anxiety continues to lift. Try not to focus on it or give it much attention. :)

  371. Melissa Says:

    Hey guys,

    I wanted to know how you all dealt with feelings of self-harm. I am so scared (which I am aware does not help at all!) :(

    I need some tips because I’m scared.


  372. JoJo Says:


    You have to remember if you are scared of the thought you are not suicidal. People who want to hurt themselves are not scared by it. I have struggled with these thoughts myself and I have realized this is just the flight out of how you feel which makes its nothing more than anxiety. I stopped reacting to when the thought comes in and now when it does I almost have a ya right attitude. Your fear of the thought is fueling it more so choose to not go down that path. It is all a choice. Choose the other option and this will go away for you.
    I hope this helped, JoJo

  373. Debbie Says:

    Maria did you ever feel the strangeness in your mind. Of feeling like everything is scarey and your mind. Is always assioating someting with something.its scarey . i have more mind symtom than physical symptoms. I have gotten over agoraphobia you and tom have helped so much . iam just stuck in this right now. Like if i leave a store my mind is still there etc. Pauls book has got me half way there huuray for paul

  374. Maria Says:

    Hi Debbie,

    I’m not sure if this is the exact same thing, but I was afraid of everything, absolutely everything! Even my thoughts scared me but they weren’t necessarily scary thoughts, if that makes sense. I would try to keep my thoughts as simple and straightforward as possible so as not to frighten myself. Kind of a tunnel vision. I think people have all sorts of different versions of this and of what you experience, but I’m pretty sure all of it is just a part of depersonalization. DP makes you feel very unattached, floaty, and not really a part of what’s going on around you. It’s a somewhat difficult feeling to describe, but it sounds like that’s what you too are experiencing. But the good news is that it fades along with the anxiety as you start to accept. Just be ok with it, don’t let it frighten you as there is really nothing to be afraid of, it’s just more of anxiety’s trickery.

  375. Debbie Says:

    Thanks maria. Yes i feel afraid of everything. Especially my own mind.
    Thanks again

  376. Melissa Says:

    Debbie and Maria,

    Thank you for sharing.

    I have these fears too. It’s incredible. I think this is the cause of the self-harm fears also.

    Really unpleasant

  377. Diane Says:

    Hi Julie,

    Julie thank you too and I hope you feel better soon have to agree with Maria your advice and insight is really good on dealing with anxiety.

    Maria thanks again for you advice about a month back….I really think you would make a great therapist:)

    take care


  378. Nolan Says:

    Great seeing you back again, Dominic.

    I did exactly what Dominic is saying too. It was because of Dominic’s posts where I realized that, regardless of how I’m feeling, I need to stop looking for the constant reassurance. I had all of my “I got better” posts printed on paper. I would thumb through those when a setback would come on…. reading all of the stories again…. and hoping that I could see myself in them. But, setbacks muck things up. These great stories fell with a thud. That’s what they are: great stories of other people getting better. But, other peoples’ stories alone aren’t enough to do it.

    Those people didn’t get better by reading the tales of others over and over again. No, they went back to living their life…. no expectations regarding anxiety at all (be it loud or quiet or completely gone).

    When setbacks came I didn’t come back on the blog asking for help anymore. If what Paul said was right then I didn’t need to come back. My body would just know what to do…. when to let the storm pass.

    And every time…. the storm did pass.

    Great seeing you around again, Dominic. You and Paul helped me immensely.

    Even today, I just heard from my dad that he has cancer. My mom is already passed on (2003). The intensity of the feelings are there…. but it’s not life shattering for me. There was a time that news like this would have torn my life apart. I’m sad, I don’t want to lose my dad…. but, I still have to live my life.

  379. Maria Says:

    Hi Diane,

    I’m really glad whatever I said helped! And I am a therapist, I just do haircuts while my clients talk. 😉

  380. Peter Says:

    Sorry to hear about your dad Nolan…my mom went through it so I know how it is :/

  381. Ryan Says:

    So frustrating. ..great day yesterday, now crying and self pity all day. .wish I could learn to allow these tough feelings better without so much resistance. .I think it would be easier if there was any kind of reason for it. .just wake up some days and start to finish constant internal checking and all day long fighting. .dread and worry non stop. .other days, just go about my day with it being a mild annoyance. .so frustrating.

  382. geraldine Says:

    can someone please reply to my above post pls and share a similar experience or a view on this? deep down i know fixing is not the way forward but the thoughts still pop up to try confuse me to start fixing – do i do nothing about these too? x

  383. Dani Says:

    Hi all, this is my first time posting on here. I suffered from anxiety a few years ago and read Paul’s first book and also a Claire weekes book and I gradually got better. A few months ago my dog died and my relationship broke up and was stressed at work etc. I felt the anxiety coming back but still carried on going to work, however I’ve now got to the stage where I’ve been signed off work for a few weeks because of the anxiety.
    I’ve reread Paul’s first book and now also the second book, but I’m finding it hard to accept the anxious thoughts and feelings without trying to accept.
    Also, when I wake up in the mornings I have a nervous feeling in my stomach and feel panicky at the thought of going places, places that I could easily have gone to when I was well. I don’t even know what it is that I’m scared of, I think it is literally scared of feeling so scared.
    The thing which seems to bother me the most is no longer feeling like me, can anyone else relate to this? I remember what it felt like to be me but feel like I just can’t get to that right now, is this all normal anxiety? I’m always thinking of deep thoughts such as “why are we here?” “Does life make sense” I know it probably doesn’t sound scary to some people but to me the thoughts are really scary and make me feel detached etc. Are these thoughts just another symptom of anxiety?

  384. Belgian Says:

    Belgian Says:
    September 14th, 2015 at 12:56 pm
    Reading Paul’s words, I knew all my contemplation was based on anxious thinking. So I took heart. I knew IT wasn’t true. But in a very subtle way, if you USE his words, they will hold you back. There is a huge difference between using his words and understanding them. If you understood them, you would not even think of using them. You don’t need a shield. If you use them, they become a weapon themselves. That is why, always coming back to them does not work. That is why you should go into the fire and live your life with the symptoms present. You have to show yourself that all of these thoughts, all of these symptoms are just you trying to protect yourself from…yourself. There really isn’t anything else.

    For me, there are two auxiliary ‘aides’ to complement on Paul’s teaching.

    Firstly, I have found Claire Weekes concept of “floating” through anxiety very helpful. If done correctly, this is the only technique I would recommend. She herself described is as being masterly inactive. It is in fact no more than that. Loosen your body, your attitude towards the anxiety. Do not wish it to go away, but let your body rest in the fire ‘that the symptoms’ bring. There is so much more to her teachings, I am definitely referring everyone to her books and especially audio books. At first, I would listen to them daily. Now, I only do this once in a while.

    Secondly, I have found a great psychiatrist. It is remarkable how much unresolved emotional issues from the past have the tendency to come back and haunt you later on in life. There does not have to be a major event to provoke an anxiety reaction. I was never abused, nor suffered from a clear trauma. Anxiety lies in your attitude towards ‘difficult’ situations, emotions in life. I say this, not because I am guided towards my past but in observing the here and now, I always stumble it. In our sessions, the goal is to become as anxious as possible and then .. do nothing. I am also taking anti-depressants as part of my therapy. It was a big step to take them, but looking back I did not have a choice. My anxiety consumed me 24/7. The pills do not lift your anxiety, but – without you noticing it – calm down your reaction towards it so you are more likely to ‘reason’ with it. Of course, I would be more than happy also to stop taking medication. But I do not longer worry about it. Let time pass and also this issue will resolve itself.

    Now, more than a year after the ‘big bang :) ‘ , I have found that my life has not really changed. I am still the same person, but my outlook on things have changed. Also the way I look at my love life has changed. I wanted to share this. Especially with the people who are telling similar stories on this blog. (Jojo, ..) At its fiercest, my relationship anxiety got so bad I could not even look at my wife without an almost overwhelming feeling the urge to run away. Now, there are moments when I am with my wife in which I feel a kind of love I never felt before. A love that had to be earned. A lot of my anxiety comes from a fear of opening up and being vulnerable so no wonder that the way I perceived my relationship suffered from this. Of course, I still have times in which I doubt it all. How could I not. But, there is more to love than emotional feeling. Emotions will always act like a roller coaster bringing you up and down, but you can still choose whether or not let emotions govern your life. You can choose today to make ‘how it makes you feel’ your personal guide in your life. The point I am trying to make is that ‘how it makes you feel’ is not always the best guide in your life. Especially when you are feeling anxious. In fact, you are feeling partly anxious because of the fact that you seem unable to choose. You can not choose because what you ‘know’ to be true, is not followed by the feeling you are ‘expecting’ to come with this knowledge. Your suffering would end immediately, if you’d felt differently. The problem is that you can not change your emotions. The thing you can do is accepting that – for now – you are feeling anxious about your relationship. You are feeling tensed, stressful and anxious not because you ‘think’ about your relationship. It’s not even because you do not feel love for your partner, but because you do not accept the fact that you are feeling and thinking the way you do right now. The fun fact is that you are trying to get a grip of something that is unreachable. You can not take love by the hand, look at it and acknowledge it is there forever. You are wanting certainty where there is none. Certain love does not exist because as our life progresses we are constantly changing and so do the people we love. That is why it is normal for any relationship to have his heights and its lows. We can be certain of one thing though and that is our determination to work with whatever ‘love’ brings us and this can be either good or bad. I know you are looking at my words and looking for some recognizable pattern, something to hold on to whenever you need reassurance. Be very glad that such words do not exist. There is nothing but blissful uncertainty in life. How else can we be amazed by a sudden beautiful, clear and sunny sunset after a day full of rain. How else can we be amazed by an unexpected gentle stroke on the back from your partner right after a big fight. Beauty in life does not exist in the absence of pain or distress. It lies in their midst. In the way you cope with them. For so long, you have been questioning your love. I am certain you are holding onto an idea and fighting what is. For once, accept your feelings. See them for what they really are. Feelings and not facts. Have the courage to let go and let time tell you what to do.

    It took me a long time to realize this. It took a lot of help of my partner, friends, medical team and still, even without all of that I would have also come to the same conclusion. Why? Because even at your weakest and most anxious moments, you are still there. You are not lost. The person questioning your anxious thoughts, fighting to get rid of it and struggling to cope with it IS YOU! The energy that creates all this turmoil is coming from no-one else than yourself. Also, this energy will never completely leave you. It’s up to you how you are going to use it. Despite the very difficult situation I was in, I managed to get a new job only two weeks after I lost my old one and I continued my life. You are much stronger than you think you are! There are a lot of you’s in this last bit. But it is really true. You are not the victim here. You are the sole writer of the book of your life. This does not mean you can write the whole story, but you do have a say on how to react to the things that happen in it. Do not feel dismayed when you fail to do so. It’s important to fail in order to know what it is to succeed.

    My apologies for my English. Not being a native speaker can be a hurdle at times, but I hope my message can be understood :-)

    Good luck!

  385. Julie Says:

    HI all,

    I need to ask about something which I think is depersonalisation. It’s a very tough feeling I struggle to accept and it’s not new to me, I have had this one a long time.

    It hit last summer when at the grocery store carpark and it caused a huge panic in me. Since then I get it often when I go out, even if with hubby and the children but lately I will get it at home. I am guessing this is DP. I suddenly feel like i am floating, weak all over, almost like I am tingly inside and can’t feel grounded. It’s not coming from over breathing or panic as I don’t feel like that. It always hits when I am out shopping or driving and lately at home. I just feel strange and it always triggers me to panic, not a panic attack but I panic and will return home or at home i will have to lie down until it passes.

    It isn’t a constant thing but it will hit most days lately which is tough. I had it this morning at the supermarket and I had to lie down once home. I am posting because I want to know how do you be ok with that feeling without feeling the need to lie down or panicking about it. I don’t panic where people can tell, I just inside feel scared and want to cry. I always used to think it was low sugar so I’d eat, carry snacks or avoid going out near meal times as they sometimes hit at those times. How can you be ok with that feeling where you feel like your head is floating and your body goes all weak and you don’t feel at all in the room. I have tried so many times to keep going through it, and on occasion I do but I feel terrible inside and it has never ever got easier for me.

    Any advice? I am guessing this is DP.


  386. Scott H Says:

    Hi everyone, thanks for all the great advice on here. I’m going through a challenging set back (thought I was basically at the finish prior), like many have, and I have before. I’ve tried (tried I guess implies effort, which I believe is part of the problem), to give up the fight, and feel that I mostly have, but at times know that I’m still fighting my thoughts, which makes them ruminate, and makes me think about my condition constantly. I look back, I timeline, and on and on, the thing that has me confused is if we’re supposed to give room for all thoughts and not block any, how are we supposed to divert our attention away from focusing on ones condition? I want to give it space but it’s always there if I do….

  387. John T Says:

    Ryan – its a setback. That’s all. I had a clunker of a day yesterday myself, and I swore that I was back to square 1. I mean, even square -1. I felt like I was starting all over and why bother? The intrusives – the S word – were in full bloom. (My worst fear). And this was at work. Work spiked me and from there it snowballed.

    Woke up this morning after HORRIBLE sleep and feeling like crap. But its another day to practice, and practice I will. I fell off the bike again and its time to get back on it.

    Will I crack open Paul’s book and study where I went wrong? No, I will make a list of things needing to be done around the house and do them.

    Will I write in a journal? Maybe – but I will definitely throw away yesterday’s journal because I do not want to be reminded of how yesterday was. Today is a new day.

    Will I obsessively research stuff online? No, I decided to drop by the blog and saw your post and figured I can offer some helpful advice, which makes ME feel good.

    Yesterday is done and gone. I cannot do a damn thing about it. Today is another day, and I can choose to walk the dog, learn a new song on guitar, or best yet, WATCH FOOTBALL ALL DAY!!!! Also known as getting on with my life.


  388. Peter Says:

    Hey Belgian,

    Your English is perfect.

    You talked about Claire Weekes and loosening…did you try and loosen your body all the time you were awake since you had anxiety all the time? Just wondering. Or just during particularly tense moments?

  389. Bryan Says:

    Love the attitude John T. I feel the same during those setbacks. We have to write them off as part of the process…. not obsess about not being “perfect” at this recovery thing.

    Who is your team? I’m a Broncos fan. So I’m already happy this weekend.

  390. Bryan Says:

    Nolan I just read your post. Will pray for you my friend. God bless.

  391. Ryan Says:

    Great post John T,
    Feeling a bit normal this morning. .man yesterday wad bad but you are so right..need to just get up and move on. .feel like im broken forever sometimes, but hey, I know what has gotton me better in the past, and I need to hey back on track. .I’m off to finish some chores,then watch football as well. ..although I’m a vikings fan, so I’m not sure if that will make me feel better or worse! Have a great day guys!

  392. John T Says:

    Ryan (and any others) – its amazing how we react when its our mind/brain/anxiety symptoms. How we’re so, SO scared…how we check in every minute on this.

    Couple of weeks ago I was walking the dog thru some woods. I hit a little trench and I heard the distinctive pop from my ankle – within an hour my ankle was swollen and I knew I obviously sprained it. It took about a week and a half for it to finally settle down. Now, I *did* google that and saw it takes anywhere for 2-4 weeks for it to heal, I gave it no mind and I was fine.

    Think about that. Did I obsess and wake up the next day wondering why its still there? No, I knew that its gonna take a while to heal, so I didn’t check in on it daily. I knew I had to take it easy, not run or jog, not do anything stupid with it. Ice, rest, Advil, whatever – I did what I had to do.

    Now – compare that to our anxiety. If we gave our setbacks as much attention as we give a sprained ankle, we’d be well in no time.

    Oh, and this oddity: When I sprained my ankle, my anxiety level was pretty low. I focused more on my ankle than I did my own head.

  393. Nicole Says:


    So many of your symptoms mirrored mine, feeling faint, fear of fainting, weak body, people talking to me but i don’t really feel there… I could go on. It really doesn’t matter what the symptom is at all, its your reaction that matters. Once I had accepted that these symptoms were just a release of excess adrenalin and that I didn’t need to question, solve, make go away etc things got so much better. However awful the day I was doing my thing and the symptoms were doing their thing. Some days I was tired and had to go a bit slower, or dizzy so also went a bit slower but the absolute relief in being able to leave them alone was amazing. The other day I was in the dreaded doctors surgery with my daughter waiting to be called and as usual anxiety symptoms appeared (habit no more than that) and instead of fidgeting and doing deep breathing or playing with phone I just let them be, yes they were horrid but not actually doing anything about them for once meant that within a short space of time I was chatting away to my daughter, laughing with the doctor and the symptoms were forgotten. Im not saying they weren’t there but they didn’t seem as important. Doing nothing about symptoms is hard and takes practice and courage but the more you practice the easier it becomes and peace finds its way to you without you having to look for it.

    A doctors surgery or a car or supermarket is not dangerous in itself obviously, its our reaction and release of adrenalin that makes us feel that some situations will make us panic more than others and of course our body obeys by producing the symptoms we fear. No amout of saying “its just adrenalin” or any other saying will help, its just allowing and not questioning anything. The more you do this the more your brain is free to think about other things such as “what shall I have for dinner” and “what shall I watch on TV tonight?” and before long you haven’t thought about anxiety for a few hours.

    Lastly I had a horrible day on Monday, all symptoms back with full force, no sleep, jumpy all day but I didn’t say “oh goodness its all back” or “what am i doing wrong”, I didn’t like it but I just let it pass and guess what it was my quickest passing setback ever!!

    I really hope this helps to all of you struggling, less is more xx

  394. Horton Says:

    I know I’m just fishing for relief, but out of curiosity when was it that Nolan recovered in full?
    I know he, like me and most of us, had been suffering for a life time before developing his ‘disorder.’ And I know he reached the point that most of us refer to as the the start of our anxiety disorder on February in the year 2013.
    I am not asking in order to create a timetable for myself, Nolan managed more in his first 10 months of recovery than I have in my first thirteen, and it was clear from the start I am a slower learner than he is, which is ok.
    But I am curious when it was that he said to himself, “This is it, I am officially 100% recovered and can be myself again full time.”

    Anyway, take care everybody.
    Conversations are seeming positive and everyone is seeming more pateint and ok with themselves and their ‘condition’

  395. Nolan Says:

    Hi Horton,

    Please know that my recovery schedule is not yours. I’m a bit apprehensive answering the question because I don’t want to get hopes up or down.
    The most important thing is just living your life and not letting the anxiety tell you what’s what in your life. Sure, it’s still going to be there for awhile. But to stop taking its heed. To make your life bigger than it again and to simply allow the worst of it to be there for as long as it wants to be there.

    To your question:
    Am I completely recovered in the sense that I no longer have any symptoms or thoughts or fears ever again? No.
    The symptoms bubble up from time to time. But, they have nowhere near the impact on me they used to.

    The thoughts full of despair and fear? Those are almost completely gone. And, if they were to come back…. fine, come back. As a matter of fact I had a rough setback about 3 months ago. And then that storm passed as all storms do.

    If given the choice, I would never give back the pain and torment I had to go through. I’m glad I had to go through it. I’m still learning to be a more patient, loving, understanding person. By God’s grace I’ll eventually get there.

    So, am I completely recovered? I’ll say this: I’m more recovered now than I ever was in my entire life…. and I would not give any of the struggles and hardships back for anything in the world.

  396. Meg Says:

    Hi all,
    Not been on the blog for about a month but having a bad few days and just wanting to talk /write my feelings down.

    I’ve actually stated having days where I feel happy, make plans, go out socially which has been amazing. In the week when I’m busy working I’m fine but as soon as the weekend comes and im not busy I’m really struggling with anxiety and bouts of tearfulness. Does anyone else have this? I also feel anxious physically with no mental symptoms which is incredibly frustrating as well as having a nervous giddy on edge type feeling.. I’m finding that my anxiety for the most part revolves around worrying I have a more severe mental illness such as bi polar despite so much reassurance from my dr, therapist and family. I just feel so up and down my mind just latches onto thinking it’s something more. I feel.frightened this will develop into something more and must admit to falling into the Google trap today for the first time in weeks where I read a comment someone had written sating sometimes people think they just have anxiety but may have bigger mental health issues 😐

    Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated :)
    It’s hard to believe that this time last year these thoughts had never even crossed my mind…

  397. Meg Says:

    Just to add – I’m so sorry to hear about your dad I’m going through a similar thing eith my grandmother which is what caused my anxiety to increase in intensity and develop into a full blown disorder.

    I admire your strength and courage in dealing with this in such a healthy way an I hope that I can reach that point.

  398. Meg Says:

    That was aimed at Nolan^

  399. Bryan Says:

    John T…

    What a shocker, an obnoxious Eagles fan. 😉 Good luck today. Huge game for you.

  400. Maria Says:


    Ding ding ding ding!! We have a winner, folks! :) that is spot on!! You’ve got it down now and I couldn’t be happier for you!! Please, everyone, if you haven’t read what Nicole just post, please read it, then read it again!! It does take practice, and it is scary at first. But soon, very soon you will see that when you just let each and every symptom just be there, they will all fade because you are not fueling them.

    Bravo, Nicole! :)

  401. Nicole Says:

    Aw thanks Maria, even in my darkest days I always thought that when I was feeling better I would pass on any help I could as others peoples success stories on this blog helped me enormously and kept hope alive, even before I was able to properly start to understand Pauls message and put it into practice xx

  402. Julie Says:


    Thank you. Great advice for coping with depersonalisation.

    I did what you suggested tonight. I felt awful with dp today from this morning that really didn’t want to wear off so in the end we went out shopping and out for dinner. My daughter is 10 tomorrow and I wasn’t missing celebrating. I took anxiety with me in my bag. I think he enjoyed it too ?

    I guess it’s all the same way of coping but it does help to know why the symptoms occur as it takes the sting out for sure.

    Well done you. Physical anxiety can be rough. You’ve done great.


  403. geraldine Says:

    hi guys – i would love one of you to reply to me – I am going off medication at the moment and im confused by my thoughts not matching my attitude (see above) – i would really appreciate someone replying so I dont have to keep coming back here to see if i got a response and so I cna stay off the blog for a while and not be so confused.. can anyone help? Thank you I appreciate it.

  404. Maria Says:


    I’ve scrolled through this entire thread and cannot find your original comment. Could you copy and paste it or tell me the date that you posted it?

  405. Maria Says:


    You’ve got stop trying to figure out why the symptoms occur. They occur because you have anxiety. Period.

    Using John’s analogy above of his sprained ankle….would you try to figure out exactly why the ankle was swelling and turning all sorts of pretty colors? No, you would just chalk it all up to spraining your ankle. It’s the same thing with anxiety, chalk all those symptoms up to anxiety.

  406. Geraldine Says:

    Thanks Maria for coming back to me I really appreciate.

    My post:

    “Hi there – just wondering if self doubt thoughts are common even when having some success with Pauls method? such as “what if i need to be fixing the anxiety” – even though I know these thoughts arent true they are still there. do i do nothing about the thoughts?”

    I saw Phoebe above kind of covered what I am asking too i have copied and pasted her question below

    “Hi all- I have started to understand the concept of true acceptance and doing nothing at all to fix the protection (I call it protection now instead of anxiety as I understand that is what it is) I have made some great progress letting the hard moments come and getting through them with several good days in a row. My question for some of you is that after I’m doing well for a while I suddenly get these thoughts of “what if this is all wrong and I need to be fixing it” “what if this is all wrong” almost like self sabotage thoughts whenever I’m having a good run. I know deep down that this is the only way forward (that fixing it is not the answer) so these thoughts really confuse me. Do I just do nothing about these thoughts and let them pass? I get confused that they are even there because I know that I have never had success with anything like this method. Does anyone else have a similar experience?”

  407. Dustin Says:

    Hi all,
    it’s been a while since I’ve posted on here and I hope everyone’s doing well. As usual, I would like to direct this post to Nolan, but all insight is appreciated. Right now, I feel as though I am stuck in a rut. I don’t really have any specific questions, but I just want to throw some thoughts out there to get peoples’ perspectives. I feel as though I have been getting sick (just mild colds) quite often lately, and they just seem to linger. I feel like I can’t get back to my regular healthy self. When I’m sick my anxiety ramps up (surprise I know), and because I’m sick, I have little energy/motivation to do anything. So basically I feel like my mind is caught up in this whirlwind of confusion, fatigue, anxiety, and wondering whether I’m depressed or not. It is very confusing and frustrating. I know that Nolan has used the metaphor of a ship being tossed about on the ocean, and I totally understand that, but It has been many months since I have seen any land where the peace of mind and happiness exists. At the moment, it doesn’t feel possible that it will ever come back. I don’t really expect any specific advice on this, just wanted put it out there. Again, I hope everyone is doing well!

  408. Maria Says:

    Hi Geraldine,

    Well sure, self doubt thoughts were very common for me as I began trying to accept all of this. This is a new path, a new way of doing things and it goes against our natural instincts. Anxiety is like this overblown alarm system that is trying to warn us of danger. So we react with panic and fear, that’s just natural. What we are all learning here is to NOT travel down that well worn path, but rather to allow the panic and fear to be there without reacting to it. So of course there will be some self doubt at first. But when you start seeing your symptoms begin to subside, you will become more confident that you are, for lack of a better way to put it, doing it right. :)

    Hope this makes sense and helps!

  409. Julie Says:

    Thank you Maria.

    Great post John, that is exactly what you have to do and I thought about that a while ago. I once had a huge raised gland that would not go down, I worried about it for weeks. In the end I saw my GP and he reassured me that I just had an infection going on. From that moment I didn’t prod or touch it again, I knew it was due to an infection and my fear left. That was about 10 years ago but not long ago I thought I must do the same with anxiety, if I have lots of fears I just have to treat them the same way as I did once my GP told me why I had the lump. The only thing I am struggling with at the moment is i am so sensitised since having physical anxiety, every sensation, ache, pain sends me into high anxiety. It’s most strange and unlike me as my anxiety has always been about intrusive thoughts. Every sensation makes me fear I will need to see a doctor or end up in hospital, this has all come from having agoraphobia and fearing ever needing to be away from my home if I was ill and how I’d cope.

    I know this will pass and I just have to accept I am jumpy about my health and it’s understandable after feeling physically unwell recently and needing tests. Now the doctors are leaving me alone for a couple of months maybe I can get some rest and in time my anxiety level will come down;-)

    Julie :-)

  410. Dani Says:

    Hello all, I was hoping someone could advise me please?
    I’m struggling with accepting how I feel, as I know I shouldn’t be trying to accept or striving for it, does or did anyone else have trouble with this? I keep getting really frustrated with how I feel, which I understand just adds more tension but I don’t know how to just accept something that feels so awful.
    I miss feeling normal and being focused on everyday things, sometimes it feels like I’m not even human anymore, has anyone else ever felt this way?
    I feel scared to go places because if how I feel. Sometimes in the evenings I think I’m getting back to normal but then when morning comes it’s like nothing has changed and I feel just as bad. I’d really appreciate some advice or just reassurance that I’m not alone in feeling this way

  411. geraldine Says:

    thanks maria for your reply – i know its common at the start just been having progress for a while and know this is what i need to be following so i just find it odd that i still get thoughts of needing to fix.. but im believing them less and less which i guess is progress?

  412. Julie Says:

    Dani, you are not alone at all. I am in an anxiety blip and I could quite easily spend the day curled up on my bed crying. Everytime I do something I feel shaken and afraid of this anxiety spiraling but that is what’s fueling it. Refocusing is key but I know how difficult that is when you are anxious. Baby steps.

    Try each day to do something you enjoy. I just did yoga, it felt hard as I am shaken inside from all the recent anxiety but it gave me some me time, time to connect with myself. I let the anxiety be there but I did what I wanted to do. I will do some colouring soon as that is another great focus. I love the adult colouring books you can buy here now.

    You are not alone and if you ever need to chat give me a shout.


  413. Dani Says:

    Hi Julie, thank you so much for replying, I really appreciate it. I’m sorry that you’re going through anxiety also. I feel disconnected from everyday life and just don’t feel like the normal me, things feel strange but I’m not sure how to describe it.
    I’m so focused on how I’m feeling. I understand that by accepting these anxious thoughts and feelings it takes the fear out of it and it relieves some of the tension, but I’m finding it hard to put into practice. I can accept the churning nervous stomach and fast heartbeat sensations, but find it hard to accept the mental side of things, such as feeling strange, disconnected and unreal. Do most people just get the accepting bit straightaway or can it take some getting used to?
    I sometimes do cross-stitch to focus my mind on something else, I still have the thoughts at the same time though

  414. Julie Says:

    Hi Dani,

    I did respond but I think my reply got lost in cyber space 😉 Trying to remember what I wrote now. lol!

    I know what you mean, I find it so hard when in a setback to ignore how I feel mentally. Physically I accept i feel grim but can’t help but feel frightened that I am slipping back, and may end up like the old me. It’s quite a worry BUT by refocusing you pull yourself out of this rumination. At first it feels too difficult, you feel you are still inside your head and still feel awful. Like today doing yoga I still felt scared and awful inside that I was ill again but I did it anyway. I know that when at my worst 2 years ago I felt I couldn’t do anything and would lie around crying but that was the worst thing to do, so I know that I have to refocus and I know inside that this will get easier again.

    Acceptance took me a long time and I never fully grasped it I don’t think. I found refocusing on my life and interests brought me back into my life and with that eventually my anxiety settled. I then noticed that when I wasn’t anxious my thoughts were calm and I felt happy again. If I ever felt anxious again and I felt scared, had scary thoughts etc.. I noticed that they came with high anxiety. I think acceptance is tough to grasp for some, but others get it straight away and find peace quickly. We all get their in our own time.

    It’s ok to still have the thoughts whilst doing an activity, at first you won’t lose yourself in the things you love, but in time that will come. You find yourself in the things you love, if it feels too hard at first that is ok but do it anyway.

    Julie xx

  415. Steve b Says:

    Geraldine. Self sabotage is very common with anxiety. Remember the idea of anxiety is to get you to run. You mention it’s when you are feeling relaxed. Well that makes perfect sense, it’s no good being relaxed when a tiger is about to chase you out of camp.

  416. Joe Says:

    I’m getting a lot of anger and jealousy and bitterness towards people who don’t have anxiety which is hard to accept or express or hide

  417. mina Says:

    I have been following Pauls advice. When the anxiety leaves your body exhausted that you need to rest for long periods and the mental chattering going from past to future thinking and even the horrible thoughts etc leave you mentally exhaustted What do you do? If I don’t rest and just keep going( within a split second) more of the above just starts the whole cycle again I want to go and do a lot of things Im not letting anxiety and the whole package stop me but the triggers happen and leaves you so so wiped Its seems the cycle is never ending You finally are living with it along side you and then even after resting you feel a little better enough to get supper on table but the whole cycle can start again with another feeling trigger etc. Its so hard!

  418. Jessica Says:

    Hi All!

    It’s been awhile since I’ve checked in and it seems like a lot are making great progress and positive posts. I have always enjoyed that, as it seems that we can all add our own unique experience and perspective. Sometimes just seeing it through another set of eyes gives us a better glimpse into our own struggles.

    Nolan, I did want to say that I was very sorry to hear of your Dad’s diagnosis. I will be sure to keep you and your family in my prayers.

    I see a lot of fight and struggle in many comments. I know what that feels/felt like. We so desperately want to know why we feel so bad, and we want to get rid of that feeling ASAP. It’s only natural.

    My biggest breakthroughs have coming from realizing two things. One, that accepting doesn’t mean that you are going to feel better instantly, or that you aren’t going to feel like crap. You actually have to accept that you feel like crap and just move on. Become okay with the uncertainty. That was probably one of the biggest things for me. I would think “But I’ve been accepting and I still feel like crap, when will this go away?” That’s not accepting. I have become better at this, but I still have my stumbles.

    Secondly, I always, and I mean ALWAYS associated recovery with never feeling like that again. Never having anxiety. Never having to deal with it. When I finally realized AND started to accept that recovery isn’t about not feeling anxiety ever again—it’s about having it/feeling it and being okay with it. Not going back to the despair, the safety behaviors, etc. That’s what recovery is to me.

    Even this morning I woke up with tightness in my chest—my classic anxiety symptom. And I just shrugged my shoulders and moved on. I had my coffee, worked, and got on with my day. It came to my forefront a few times, but I just did the “okay, whatever” and moved on.

    Don’t set specific expectations for yourself, or for your day. Just go with the flow. If you feel like crap in the morning that doesn’t mean your whole day is shot. Turn it around. Show anxiety that you can do whatever you want anyways.

    Football season (Born and bred Steelers fan btw who is married to a Cowboys fan!) is in full swing and hockey is coming up and I’m so excited. These aren’t distractions—these are passions I’m enjoying. I’m just letting recovery go as slow as it needs be. I’m really an impatient person—but I’m working on this. I’m working on a more positive attitude and letting things not affect me as much. I’m becoming a better person for having anxiety, not being handicapped because of it. :)

  419. Emma Says:

    Hi Dani and Julie,

    Just want to say that you are both not alone. I have been feeling very stable for quite some time with only some minor blips along the way, I even went to to Hawaii back in May for a week despite almost cancelling my trip because I was in a FULL BLOWN, full symptom setback. Thankfully awesome ppl here on the blog like Karen and John T encouraged me not to cancel my trip as well as Jeff, Rich, Nolan, Kelly helped me work through that inner turmoil. I went on my trip even though my anxiety was full throttle and wound up not wanting to go back home by the end of it!

    Since I got back from my trip my anxiety and low mood (can’t bring myself to even use the word depression) have really abated. But I too, after having been doing well, am in some kind of a setback at the moment. Anxiety and low moods especially have been rearing their heads like no other. Just a little over a month ago, I posted saying I blipping with my anxiety/low moods…sure enough, that little blip only lasted about 4 days and I was back to normal — enjoying life, feeling super stable with my anxiety and moods, etc. Now Im experiencing a similar blip, however, this one has lasted slightly longer than last month’s and is still lingering.

    Tonight I broke down in tears for no real reason, my heart was heavy and I let myself cry, which in turn caused me to experience heightened anxiety out of bewilderment as to why I had been so low lately, how it got to this poing of falling apart sobbing on a normal Monday night — anxiety thoughts swirled and anxiety feelings surfaced during my crying spell.

    Anyway, this is all just to say that I feel your pain! I am trying to go with the down feelings and the anxious sensations and give them NO importance. Yes, this is tough to do when my mind processes these sensations as though something is “horribly wrong.” I think what helps me when I’m in a setback is to relinquish the need to control how I feel, its the desire to feel a certain way that perpetuates the tug-for-war with anxiety. If we let go, and accept it as though we chose to have it there, while continuing to live our lives, it would pass much more painlessly.

    Still, I can’t help but think as I type “but I really do hope I feel better tomorrow…”


  420. Emma Says:


    I relate to your post so much! I have also made the realization after 4 years that my anxiety will never “disappear forever” — I realized now that it will always wax and wane, rise and fall, but that the real key in this recovery business is to arrive at a place where I can feel anxiety (or low moods) and no longer care — true desensitization. This ONLY comes with time, practice and allowing yourself to be exposed to those anxious triggers (not avoiding).

    A big trigger for me is feeling mildly depressed, sad or blue — whatever you want to call it. As well as feeling anxious, just free standing anxiety, that “anxious ache” as Megan so cleverly once said. Experiencing these sensations and these greyer/darker mood states illicit a big worry response from me, which can lead to despairing (like this evening for me). I’m working on this and am really beginning to see these setbacks as opportunities to continue desensitizing my mind to its own feelings of anxiety and to its own mood states.

    I guess for me it can be just difficult sometimes to let it be and not care. Physical symptoms hardly phase me anymore…its that depression feeling and that’s raw, slow burn anxiety feeling mixed in with dark thoughts that get me. It can all seem so catastrophic. And sometimes I feel more vulnerable than others, sometimes I can simply not care, but times like in this recent blip I’m having, I’m noticing it’s much harder than usual to let it be. Still a work in progress. Thanks for your lovely post. Xx

  421. Jessica Says:


    First of all, let me just share with you that many of your posts in the past were inspiring to me. I wasn’t at the point where I was jumping in and joining in the blog discussions, but I would read your struggles and successes and they really resonated with me! I just wanted you to know that as much as others have helped you—you too have helped others. :)

    I’m pretty much in the same department as you, when it comes to the low moods, thoughts, etc. My setback earlier this year was centered around the low moods and feelings of hopelessness/crying, etc. I mean I just was SO focused on how I felt, it’s no wonder I was feeling so low. I was obsessing over how I felt. I was fearing how I felt. I didn’t want to feel that way for one more second. I was feeding anxiety exactly what it wanted.

    That being said, you know exactly how to respond to your feelings. They can scream at you, they can distract you, they can take up your sole focus—but they can’t control how you respond. Whenever I feel like crap and focus on it, I end up feeling worse. Before you know it, I’m curled up, crying and feeling sorry for myself. That’s not to discount what you are feeling—it’s terrible. I think we both know that!

    However, whenever you choose to just have that cry and not analyze, you choose to move on, you do not let your mind wonder down that “what if” road, you are accepting. It doesn’t have to make you feel good—in fact in the moment it can be scary. But long term it’s much more beneficial. It’s hard to ignore those thoughts and not catastrophize. I’m pretty much the queen of that myself. But I’ve really begun to see it as “so what.” I can’t predict the future. I can’t stop things from happening. They just do. Maybe my worst fears will come true? I don’t know. No one does. I think the more comfortable we can become with uncertainty the easier acceptance becomes.

    Baby steps. Like you said—work in progress. That’s how I see it too. It’s not always going to go well. But if you approach it as practice like you said, then we can only become better at it. Let’s face it, we didn’t become this way overnight. 😉

  422. Dominic Says:

    Hi Nolan.
    I’m very happy that my posts inspired you. I’m very sorry to hear about your dad. My dad got cancer two years ago and thankfully is nearly recovered. I wish the same for yours.
    Wow I’m in a setback after two years anxiety free. It’s a stinker. It’s thrown everything at me. Sure I’ve had the thoughts about being stuck like this and all the silly anxiety based thoughts.
    I’ve just ignored them. Which is still hard. I’m only visiting to help others that are feeling hopeless. Trust that you will recover and let anxiety give you all it’s got.
    Here’s an instance. Last night I had pretty much little to no sleep. I had electricity running through me all night. I was waking up from the little sleep I did get with a beating heart etc.
    Where as before this would spiral me into dispair, this time I felt a peace and calmness like I’ve never felt before. It didn’t bother me. Sure the symptoms were there but I felt such peace it was unreal. I wanted to stay awake just to feel that peace.
    Anyway lovely to see you all but I’ve got to take my own advice of course and I’ll be back soon.


  423. JoJo Says:

    Hi! What is the best way to deal with the feelings of despair and feeling down? Or how your going to go on and handle life? Why does anxiety cause this symptom? I think if I can understand how or why it causes those thoughts or feelings I could lose some of the fear about feeling that way.
    Thank you, JoJo

  424. Bryan Says:


    Always loved your posts as well and what a chain reaction of positivity you helped set up around here. (Among many others. )

    Rest up and enjoy the setback lifting as you helped teach us it always does.

  425. Rich Says:

    JoJo your questions are answered in many of the posts above. You don’t ‘deal with them’ – this is an active action which is actually counter productive. Doesn’t matter what the thought or feeling is – just leave it be.

    Anxiety causes these thoughts and feelings because you’re in an anxious, hyper-sensitive state and are tired from all the worrying you’re doing. Pay it no active attention and you recover. Your sensitive state lowers and you see the thoughts for what they really are – rubbish. While you’re in the hyper-sensitive state, you can’t see the thoughts are rubbish, so you have to call their bluff and just leave them alone – it is only then that the fog lifts.

  426. Ryan Says:

    Having such a rough time. .my wife left this morning for a work trip, and I’m alone with the kids for the days now. Last night I had more anxiety running through my body than I’ve had in a very long time. .no sleep and just in rough shape this morning trying to get the kids to school and go about my day. ..really worried as it was borderline panic. .and lasted all night. Really hard as I was already in a setback, and slowly coming out of it, now this hits and I’m really terrified as I also have a trip to Europe coming up next week. ..just feeling really low, and not sure how im going to hey through it all. ..all I can think of as how scared I am that I’ll feel like I felt last night on the plane to Europe and it really scares me. .uggghhh so tired of the ups and downs up it all. .

  427. Julie Says:

    Jessica – Great to hear you are doing so well. Well done you.

    That is exactly what i think acceptance is. Feeling crap but being ok with it, that is what brings recovery. Now if I could just bloody well do that without adding fear and despairing. lol! My problem is i feel bad and i dwell on it because I have felt so well. I then despair and panic i will be as ill as i i was 2 years ago, that is my biggest fear. I have to learn to be ok with that and think oh well. I am getting better at it I think, but it’ll take time.

    Well done. I am really pleased for you.

    Julie xxx

    Emma – So sorry to hear things have been tough for you. It is awful when you have found peace again isn’t it. It’s hard to accept you feel so bad again and i think deep down when we feel bad again our fear of being as bad as we once were takes over. For me it does anyway, i panic ‘oh no this means i will spiral and be as bad as i was 2 years ago’ which of course throws more petrol on the fire and i feel even worse.

    I really hope things improve for you. You have got there before and you will again.

    Julie xx

  428. colin Says:

    Just read your post my friend. I really feel for you bud .
    Please just try and stay positive . I know on here everyone says just accepted and all will be good !!! But in you current state it’s very difficult to just accepted ? Please just try land just do what you do best and look after your kids . Do your trip to Europe . And try be yourself . Remember it can’t harm you feeling shit . So good luck with your trip and be brave mate .


  429. Jamie Says:

    This is just a general question for all (thanks for your reply to my last question Maria again). I struggle quite a lot with 1 on 1 situations and worry I am going to appear/get panicky and have to leave the situation. To move through this, would people’s views be for me to go into as many anxiety provoking situations as I can to prove there is no threat or to do them a bit at a time, start at the bottom and work up (by grading the situations maybe) ?

    Thanks for your advice

  430. Dani Says:

    Hi All

    Julie & Emma
    thank you for your replies I really appreciate it. feeling hopeless and despairing is hard to accept. Do you ever doubt your ability to do even simple things when I’m the midst of an anxiety episode? I find myself worrying that life will just stop making sense to me and that I won’t be able to cope with everyday life, is this just anxious thoughts? I told my dr of these thoughts and she said it’s because of the anxiety, but it doesn’t sound like the anxious thoughts that other people describe.

    Emma, well done for having the courage to go on your trip to Hawaii, at the moment I feel scared at the thought of just going to the supermarket!

    Joe, just to let you know I can totally relate to your post re feeling jealous of other people without anxiety. I feel bad for it, but I feel jealous of other people getting on with everyday life things and think how much easier life must be for those without anxiety or other mental illness. Then I think why do I have to have anxiety, why can’t I just be “normal” and then I feel like I’m wrong for indulging in self pity!

    I’m also experiencing tiredness and at times exhaustion which I think is a result of the anxiety wearing me out, maybe also the tablets I’m on for it. I sleep for around 11 hours each night, sometimes more, and I am still tired! (Before this anxiety episode I slept for around 7-9 hours a night). Sorry I don’t have any tips for dealing with it but just letting you know I feel it too.


  431. Jessica Says:


    Thank you for your kind words! I know you’ve been there before too and will get there again. It’s easy to fall back into the cycle, you know first hand. You, Maria, and others have helped me through this last setback. You are spot on though, not adding that additional fear or despair is what is key.

    I know it’s extremely difficult to ignore how you feel sometimes, but you know that only drags you down further. I woke up with an even tighter chest this morning, and I really felt like staying in bed. But, I got up and went to work and just got on with the day. You really have to let go of the “fear of going back” I’m still working on that–but the more I push forward, the more I realize that I’ve been avoiding all those feelings and fears. I’ve been doing everything in my power to not feel that way–which only made it worse.

    Deep down, even if you ever got to your lowest point again, you know that you would make it back. Don’t be afraid of it. Don’t question it. Just allow it. It’s tough not to get caught up. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to go through this, but in reality I’m grateful. It’s made me a stronger, more confident person. I know you already know all of this–I have seen you write about it before. It’s always just easier said than done :)

  432. Jeff Says:

    Jamie – it sounds to me like you’re experiencing something of the classic ‘fight or flight’ response that many (or most) of us go through at some point in our anxiety experience.

    There’s nothing to fight – so we want to run far far away….
    Believe me, I know this feeling very well.

    Most of us don’t have the luxury of running away to a deserted island to wait this thing out. We have to still interact with others…which can turn into (as you know) quite the challenge.

    You’re over-sensitized. Pushing yourself likely won’t help calm you. Don’t push to prove yourself to yourself. Don’t avoid, but don’t push.

    When you’re face to face with someone, don’t rush the conversation. Breath deep and try your damnedest to enjoy the interaction.

    You’ll calm down in due time. As time passes – everyday conversations, meetings and other social interactions will get easier and easier to the point where it (the fear) won’t even cross your mind.

  433. Natalie Says:

    Hi everyone, I haven’t been on here for quite a while as although I’ve had moments, I’ve kind of got to the point with anxiety where I feel like I can’t be bothered with it any more and I can’t do anything about it so may as well carry on with it in the background. I have though been really struggling with stress and was after some advice. I seem to constantly feel overwhelmed and like I can’t cope with all these things I have to do. Like I constantly feel under pressure to get lots of things done, except all these things are are normal daily tasks like cooking, housework, work, making packed lunch and even showering. Things that other people don’t even care about, they just do them and it’s no problem. It’s as if I won’t be ‘satisfied’ unless I have absolutely nothing to do which obviously isn’t even possible. Tonight I have just returned from my evening college class where I’m learning sugarcraft and I’ve started to feel that’s a burden eating into my ‘chill out’ time which is stupid as its a hobby I used to really enjoy. I couldn’t grasp what we had to do tonight and have got so wound up I’ve sobbed and cried my heart out all the way home. I feel so frustrated and like throwing my work across the room. Although I am a perfectionist and it is normal for me to want to do the best, it is not normal for me to get angry or flip over something so silly. I just don’t know what to do to help manage stress as it never gives up and I don’t want it to get out of hand and fuel my anxiety even more.

    Sorry for the rambling, and thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

  434. Matt Says:

    Would you say that not caring about anxiety is essentially rewiring your brain? Like, by telling yourself (when you need to), that these thoughts are unimportant, you’re really just rewiring your brain to think in a more healthy fashion? It’s akin to positive thinking I guess, except that your not necessarily trying to change your thoughts immediately.

  435. Nolan Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone.

    Setbacks are terrible. But, there’s really no more sense to be made of them.
    Things that just click and make intuitive sense when our minds are clear…. fall with a dull thud against the ‘horrid’ logic of anxiety/depression.

    We all know that feeling…. say we have a story of recovery that gave us hope while we were doing ‘okay’. We read it, it fills us with a sense that “this isn’t a life sentence for me!!”. It might even boost us up abit.

    But, then comes that thick doubt and despair of anxiety/depression (a setback). We read that story again and try to see how it applies to us, how we can see ourselves in that story… but it’s not working like it did before. We start thinking “am I more broken than I thought I was originally??!”.
    We start mentally arguing with it. We try to see our way through the maze but obstacles keep popping up. Dread and despair start building and building.

    Don’t play the game. Know that “things won’t make sense when it’s on thick”. That the reality of the anxiety and/or depression just seem final. But that’s not the end of the story.

    Treat it all the same. Move on with your life.

  436. JoJo Says:

    I just saw your post above, it was so great. I never realized like you said that it’s what you know to be true versus how you feel that causes the internal stress. Did you end up staying in your relationship? I saw you mentioned that you said let time tell you what to do, this has been 5 years with no clearer clarify for me on what to do. I think what you said also spikes me a bit because what if I let myself be and time tells me I’m with the wrong person?
    Talk to you soon,

  437. Ves Says:

    Hi Nolan,
    I am sorry to hear about your Dad. My Mom was diagnosed with cancer 2 weeks ago. You are right that we get that first sad thought “I don’t want to lose my dad/mom”. But little bit later I also had a thought “that mom actually never dies” because she is part of me. So as you say “I still have to live my life as it is”, she is still living along with me.

  438. Jacob Says:

    So it looks like my question did not get posted above.

    Basically I had taken a drug known as Propecia and it gave me anxiety/low libido and completely destroyed the great life I had.

    Now my life is absolutely terrible: floaters, night sweats, low sex drive, massive anxiety, emotional numbing, lack of concentration, and all of this is causing me to get nowhere in my life. It is a total hellhole.

    Everybody else is accomplishing big things while im stuck with all these problems for no reason.

    On top of that, Paul mentions that symptoms don’t appear overnight and therefore will not go away overnight. Well my symptoms DID appear overnight and I have been searching months for a cure and nobody really knows. It seems like Propecia also does damage hormones in ways we don’t know.

    How should I proceed? I just feel like acceptance is so useless in my case cause I never had any trauma/stressors/etc to begin with. Its literally caused by some drug I took and no other reason

  439. Adam Says:

    Hi Jamie,
    I wanted to respond to your post with my thoughts… in addition to Jeff’s… because my advice to you is slightly different than what Jeff posted in his response. Please take what you can from both posts to use with your specific situation and with what works best for you.

    I agree with Jeff that it sounds like your flight/fight response is activating/anxiety has focused on one of your fears: that of having a one on one conversation with someone. How to handle it? In my opinion, and what I did in my situation, is every time I felt anxious about a situation I made myself go through it. You see, I had the very same fear as you…fear of public speaking or private conversations with my boss or a senior level manager. In fact, my anxiety first presented itself to me during a presentation I was giving for a small group of people (~10). So, after that initial incident where I reacted poorly and became afraid it would happen again (much like a panic attack) I would fear speaking in public for large or small groups and then from there it morphed into my “one on one” sessions with my boss or others. After a while it even got to the point where I was starting to fear talking to my loved ones and my children and going to work at all because of the interactions with people and my fear of what I would do in them. So, fast forward a year or so and after reading Paul’s book and coming on here to read the good advice from everyone (and learning as much as I could about anxiety), I learned to challenge myself and my anxiety. And what I mean by that is if I would think of a situation that made me anxious-like going to work-I would make myself do it. I wouldn’t run from it or avoid it. I would force myself to sit through it. Was it uncomfortable? Sure, at first. But part of the process here is to feel uncomfortable. It is necessary and supposed to happen. However, the HUGE benefit from feeling uncomfortable is that you are (re)teaching your body and mind that you have nothing to fear from those situations. You are learning to be comfortable with feeling those uncomfortable feelings AND you are losing your fear of them. Finally, after all of that, you are rebuilding your confidence in yourself and your own inherent abilities. Do this over and over and over again and you will ultimately recover. You have to…it is inevitable. You are effectively teaching yourself a new response to those earlier fearful situations and through repetition you will erase your fear of them. You will see anxiety for the “lie” that it is and not be afraid of it or its effect on your body any longer. For example, for me now, I am still not a fan of public speaking but I do it when I have to and I know even when I am anxious on the floor in front of everyone…its ok. I can and will survive the feelings. And I wont “mess up” or slurr my words or freak out (like I used to think I would) because I have felt these feelings before and I know I can handle them and myself in those situations. Its ok to feel anxious and one can do almost anything while feeling anxious/uncomfortable.
    So, bottom line, I would recommend you move towards these interactions that cause you angst and put yourself through those situations. You will only get better by doing so. Avoidance never, ever reduces anxiety. It only increases it. It will be tough and uncomfortable at first. But it does get easier with time. And eventually you will say “so what” when presented with the fear/anxiety. The old saying is totally true: feel the fear and do it anyway. Good luck….

  440. Tracy Says:

    Just wondered if anyone else feels like they are manufacturing their scary thoughts rather than them being intrusive? I feel like the first thought I have is ‘what if I have that thought/image?’ then because I am trying not to resist or fight the thoughts, I kind of create the image to prove a point? Which means I have lots more if them. Any thoughts?

  441. Mansor Says:

    Tracy you are right. The idea here is that the brain creates these thoughts in order to see if you are afraid anymore or not but this cycle is wrong . If you do what pauls says you will see that the brain will not show these thoughts or images because you dont have to prove that you are afraid or not .

  442. Tracy Says:

    Thanks Manor, what does Paul say about this? Feel like I don’t ‘get’ it when it comes to thoughts.

  443. Mansor Says:

    Just accept the thoughts. Even if the thoughts are scary accept them and remember that your are not your thoughts. Anxiety play trics thats all. The paradox here is that you have to accept the thoughts. Get out your house say ok i have these thoughts and move . :)

  444. Melissa Says:

    Is there a way I can purchase Paul’s second book (Paperback version) through Amazon? Thanks!

  445. Madge Says:

    First time posting here but have been reading for months. I have come a long way. From severe anxiety to weak but constant anxiety. I feel like I’ve tried to do this method. Some days are great others aren’t. To the outside person you could never tell I suffer from anxiety but it is with me everyday. I also go to cbt. At what point do you say- I can’t do this I should be trying medication? Or do you just keep with. And accept you will always have some form of amxiety. I haven’t wanted to take medication but now that I’m in a bit of a relapse I’m considering maybe I will never kick this. Thanks for any encouragement or thoughts.

  446. Jamie Bartlett Says:

    Thanks for your comments Jeff and Adam.

    Adam – did you go through a spell of avoiding the situations ? Did your symptoms not affect your ability to carry out stuff you needed to do ?

  447. JoJo Says:

    I went to my regular Dr yesterday and we were speaking about lowering my dose of lexapro. He said if you don’t have a true chemical imbalance you should be able to get off. This frustrates me and makes me feel like how do you know you can get off the medicine. I don’t believe this is a chemical imbalance. Does anyone have advice on this or success coming off meds to prove its not an imbalance?

  448. Melissa Says:

    Hello All, I am so thankful for Paul’s book, for it has hiven me a little understanding of this hell I’m going through. Everybody’s comments and advice have really helped. I do however go through tough moments throughout the day. I am training myself to just live along the horrible physical symptoms. I catch myself not being able to cope or believe the horrible mental breakdown I am going through. I get Dp strongly throughout the day and am imbalanced most of the time. Im staying positive as much as I can but I do admit it is such a struggle. Anyhow, I want to thank Paul and everyone on this blog for the support. May we all find peace and recovery.

  449. Adam Says:

    The chemical imbalance theory is just that….a theory. There is no proof that such a thing as a “chemical imbalance” is real in those with anxiety and/or depression. It is a theory that was put forth in the 1990’s by Big Pharma companies with the explosion of psychotropic drugs used to treat depression and anxiety. It was put forth despite continued research findings that say depression is unrelated to levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin (i.e. the “chemical” that is supposedly imbalanced) in the brain. And despite those and other research findings saying that there is minimal, if any, beneficial effect from taking these drugs, the market continues to explode and now there are literally hundreds of types of these drugs being prescribed everyday to people with “chemical imbalances” all over the world. Its a business that generates BILLIONS in revenue every year for the Big Pharma companies that make these drugs. And its no surprise that your Dr subscribes to this theory. He is after all the person prescribing you your medication (i.e. Lexapro).

    As for you not believing you have a chemical imbalance, I agree. But then again, I also at one time believed the theory and took multiple different kinds of psychotropic drugs (i.e. SSRI’s and others) in an attempt to rid myself of my anxiety. Not a single one of any of these medications did anything for me but gave me side effects. As with you, I was also on Lexapro at one time. I tried it for the minimum time of 6 weeks to see if it had any positive effect on my anxiety. When it didn’t, I promptly came off of it. I weaned myself down to almost no dose per day by cutting my pills into smaller quantities (1/2, 1/4, 1/8 etc) over a week’s time. By the end of the week I was off of it altogether and had ZERO side effects or withdrawal effects. Lexapro was the last psychotropic drug I tried in an effort to “rid” myself of my anxiety. In my personal opinion, the chemical imbalance theory is crap and was a product of business attempting to gain access to a field (i.e. mental health) where the situation was ripe to make A LOT of money. But my opinion is based on my personal experience alone with these drugs and my advice to you is to develop your own opinion with regard to the theory based on your experience. We all know what feels right with our bodies & minds…you just have to listen to yours and hear what it is telling you. Mine told me that the theory was crap. And I listened, found this website and Paul’s book and have moved well beyond where any of the pills prescribed to me to “treat” anxiety could ever have taken me in a 1000 years.

  450. Rachel Says:

    Pls someone answer this when I move my head from side to side it’s like my mind blacks out and I get pins and needles in my head what is this

  451. Rich Says:

    Hi Rachel, How are your little toes?

  452. JoJo Says:

    The lexapro helped with not sleeping and not eating and slowed down the thoughts a bit but I still struggle and by no means are cured. If it helped somewhat that still doesn’t mean I had an imbalance does it?

    My thing now is that I just can’t get this off my mind. If I’m not having anxious thoughts or physical stuff what is making me still come on here? What are you trying to get reassurance from still? Am I just not realizing I’m still suffering with it?

  453. James Says:


    I really hope you will allow this post on the forum, but I know previously when I have written something similar it has been disallowed. I can kind of understand why, that perhaps you do not want me creating worries for other people, and also you probably see it as just another “what if”, when you have stated so clearly we are not broken and can return to our natural default setting.

    Perhaps also, it is the fact that my worry (that I will get to) is a result of my own doing, it is less easy to have sympathy. However I ask that you do allow my post, and I ask that if you have the time please could you could reply to me, because after all I am an anxiety sufferer and I am lost.

    I read your first book when it was first published (I even bought it twice, as you released an updated version a few years later), and I have bought this second book a few days ago. My anxiety started for me about 13 years ago or so, and in that time I have not come across any other advice that feels like the answer in the way that yours does. I know deep down that what you say is the truth, and the only way out of this dark hole I am in.


    There is one thing that I believe separates me from the majority of people with the same symptoms as me, and that is that I have abused the drug MDMA (Ecstasy) very heavily. My consumption of this drug would shock other users of the drug, let alone the average person. I am very ashamed of this aspect of my past, but looking back it was an escape for me, as even before my anxiety disorder started I was a troubled inside.

    Whilst there was no obvious link between taking the drug and my anxiety starting (i.e. it didn’t all begin after a bad trip), my symptoms did onset during the period that I started using the drug regularly.

    My deepest worry, that I have lived with for the past 13+ years, is that I have done brain damage, and I HAVE damaged my default setting, and that therefore I AM broken.

    What I would like to know, is whether you still believe that even I can be still restored to my previous natural wellbeing? Is the old me still there to come back to, or is how I feel now just the new default for me? All the time I have this worry, I just can’t seem to summon the courage to let go and trust in my “psychological immune system” to heal me.

    Of course I understand if you say that you don’t know the answer, but I just really had to ask you this question, because it is preventing me moving forward.

    Many thanks,


  454. Mansor Says:

    Jojo im in the road of recovery. I have made progress. I had many of the symptoms mentionet in this blog and i believe that anxiety is something learned. I had sever anxiety and managed to improve my life. Your brain i trained to react this way . So i suggest to all dont take medication but retrain your brain to create new prespective of life. Follow pauls advice

  455. Rachel Says:

    Rich not sure what you mean but apart from them feeling tingley their ok x

  456. Emma Says:

    Jessica – thanks for your kind response. You seem very positive in spite of everything. The feelings have started to abate a little bit, they are not as intense as when I wrote my last post. I take it that’s a good sign. I still feel off though. What I keep reminding myself is not to discriminate between mood states, that all mood states should be equally as acceptable. I think anxiety and depression really come down to learning how to relate to our feelings in a new way, getting to a point where we no longer process down/blue feelings as ‘bad’ or anxious thoughts as ‘bad’ — the suffering doesn’t come from the anxiety or feeling down, I really believe the suffering comes from the inability to just be OK with whatever mood arises. Takes practice I guess. Even today, and as I type this, my anxiety/down mood has been waxing and waning, receding into the background only to then surge back to the foreground with a bit of a kick. When it returns, I try to let it be and focus my attention on what’s in front of me. Of course, at times I can’t help but “feel bad because I’m feeling bad” which adds a layer. Xx

    Julie – I’m the same way, I too begin to fear falling back to my old ways when I’m in an anxious hold. What often leads me to tearfulness or small moments of despair is the idea that “I’m spiraling downward.” I recognize this as suffering I cast upon myself because I fear this inability to control where my mood is taking me. A big thing for me to work on is relinquishing control and being okay with wherever my moods want to go. Let’s hope practice makes perfect. Xx

  457. Dani Says:

    Hi Madge – Although it’s an individual’s decision as to whether or not to take medication to help, my personal opinion is that it’s worth a try, if people are in pain they take pain relief medication, I think of it along the same lines xx

  458. Bryan Says:


    I think Rich was trying to inject a little humor into your day. He certainly did mine.

    The message here is that we can repeat ourselves and ask questions about our symptoms for a long time on this blog, but it’s not going to get us anywhere.

    I know I’ve asked you several times if you read Paul’s book. The reason I ask is because what you’re doing is not in line with what he teaches, and yet you remain here doing the opposite of what he teaches, and yet you remain here doing the opposite of what he teaches. I can relate to horrible symptoms as much as anyone, but I started to make great recovery when I left them all be there and got on with my life.

    Perhaps reading Paul’s book again, the new one, would be more effective than asking questions about fairly common benign anxiety symptoms repeatedly?

  459. Rich Says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I thought I’d throw a totally random question at you. Things that you aren’t bothered about (like your little toes) don’t even register because you’re not bothered about them. The trick is to notice why you’re hypersensitive about certain things and not others. Why is this? What happens if you call your own bluff instead of falling into anxieties trap each time?

    When you feel panic, you need to draw on all of the messages in this blog and in the books and apply the teachings advocated here. When I read your posts it’s like you’re in a mad panic and desperate for help, 100% convinced everything is real – when none of it is.

    May I suggest you change your approach and stop fuelling the fire with secondary anxiety (anxiety about anxiety)? You’ll benefit from this so much.

    Bryan is spot on – I was using some reverse psychology. I agree with Bryan’s comments about your posts too – it’s as if you don’t read anything posted here and nothing sinks in. I read your posts and see a decline in your situation and not a recovery. You’re stopping yourself by not rising above the symptoms each time they hit, being fooled completely at each opportunity to show yourself the actual truth of the situation. Do keep us informed of your efforts to change this behaviour – as I’d love to see you get better.

  460. Adam Says:

    My personal take on your situation, from the limited information you post on here, is that much like many who have tried them and found no relief from the drugs…you are finding out that the anxiety is still there even after taking them.
    This was exactly me. I took them and felt little if any different other than the side effects with regard to my anxiety. And I am no Dr. but it is my opinion that this is because in using them we are attempting to treat a mostly emotional disorder or situation (i.e. anxiety) with a physical response. The drugs only mask the symptoms of the disorder and don’t deal with the root cause: your emotional health. But again, that is completely my opinion generated from my personal experience. I am quite certain there are people out there in cyberspace who would vehemently disagree with me. And that’s ok (see…acceptance!). I am not them and they are not me and don’t have my personal experience(s).

    As for requiring reassurance, that is a normal part of recovery and we all do it and need it at times. Just don’t make it habitual. You have to feel the fear and live your life anyway to get better. Do this a lot and you will become unafraid of your symptoms (because most importantly…you are still here and moving forward each and everyday. Regardless of what the lie that is anxiety tells you). Once there, you will be well on your way to recovery. But when and where you take that first step on your road to recovery is entirely up to you. And that first step is to confront your fear. Face it and live your life anyway.

  461. Dani Says:

    Hi all, I was just wondering does anyone else question meaning of life etc and whether we are really here etc when anxious?
    My anxiety seems to make me question all deep stuff that freaks me out, then because I don’t have any answers to the questions it makes me worry that it will bother me always.
    Thinking these thoughts makes me feel detached from everyday life. Is this just another symptom of anxiety?

  462. Jacobh Says:


    i feel the same way. For me it was propecia and my sex drive has gone to nothing along with low confidence and anxiety.

    I actually had no issues whatsoever before and from reading online it seems like it causes hormone imbalances that are difficult to fix

    That is why im wondering why paul says the symptoms dont come on overnight when in fact for many people who got anxiety after a physical trigger they do come on overnight.

    So what the hell am i supposed to do about this? Before Propecia the drug I had everything somebody could ask for and now my life is completely messed up. All my friends are getting ahead while im stuck in a hellhole.

  463. JoJo Says:

    Thank you for your response and I agree with you :)

    In regards to your advice, I’m not even quite sure what I’m trying to be reassured about though? Does that make sense? I don’t know how to face the fear when I don’t know what the fear is or lie is I’m being told. I just feel a need to talk about anxiety or see reassurance it’s all ok but I don’t even know what is not ok. I feel like I’m not making sense :( When it’s about the relationship or about a physical symptom I get the fear and the lie but when it has no set thought or symptom what am I even seeking help from at that point?

  464. Anxious Indian Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    This anxiety really is like a sadistic weird game that throws different levels at you! Even before you cross one, there’s another!

    With all your help, I was able to live with attention on me and strange intrusive thoughts, without bothering about them and without seeing them as an enemy to get rid of. Almost 95% of everything faded as well.

    I can’ describe the sense of freedom I felt, just knowing that whether something existed or did not, it can’t bother me :)

    Now, since the last 2 days, I am struck with another symptom. A chorus from a song (which I don’t even like) keeps playing CONTINUOUSLY, no matter what I am doing. I tried not to react much but now I feel edgy and nervous because it massively interferes with my ability to concentrate on tasks at hand. With a thought you can dismiss it and continue whatever you are doing. It’s a lot more difficult to do it with a song because it is continuous! :(

    Please Paul, Nolan and all you wonderful helpful people out there, please share with me and tips.

    Should I keep refocusing on other things, or should I go through the song over and over and try to enjoy it, or should I let it play but only in the background without giving it conscious attention. Please help! This has brought attention back on me (which is fine though) and I keep having the ‘what if’ this plays for the rest of my life! :(

  465. Rich Says:

    Anxious Indian, The other day I had ‘Dolly Parton – 9 to 5’ going around and around my head all morning. I didn’t think anything of it, and neither should you.

    Dani, Your question has been asked a million times and the answer remains unchanged. It’s a normal question for anyone and needs no further questionning.

    JoJo, I find when in the crux of anxiety it strips you right back to basic, raw feelings and emotional needs – the need for a hug or paternal reassurance or basic comfort. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpont how you feel. Answer? Don’t bother trying to figure it all out. Carry on and it will all fall away and you’ll move on without at first even noticing you’re leaving it behind. Leaving it – behind, alone, without analysis is the key.

  466. Anxious Indian Says:

    Thanks so much Rich! I am so happy to hear from you. I have loved every bit of your past posts. Can I just ask a couple of things more:

    1. When I am not fully engaged in anything else and I notice the song going round and round in my head, should I actively listen to it or should I focus on something else, or either way is fine (provided I don’t try to get rid of it)?

    2. Is this an anxiety symptom? Is it due to tired mind? I am asking because I have never had something like this happen for 2 to 3 days at a stretch. Maybe half a day at max!

    Thanks again!

  467. Dani Says:

    Hi Rich

    Thanks for your reply;

    “Dani, Your question has been asked a million times and the answer remains unchanged. It’s a normal question for anyone and needs no further questionning.”

    Do you mean it has been asked a million times by people on here or just in general? I just wondered if it’s common anxious thinking and therefore won’t bother me so much when the anxiety lessens. All this deep questioning just makes me feel detached from everyday life, and I know I should be accepting it but I can accept the physical sensations but find it hard to accept the detached unreal feeling.

  468. Julie Says:

    Emma – Me too. I am terrible at just accepting this physical anxiety. It’s like I really can’t do it. I know I have to be ok with however I feel but my mind and body just react with fear.

    Today I have strong DP, feel floaty in my head and weak/woozy and I am feeling fearful of it. Tearful and upset about it. I have done yoga and made lunch and am still feeling general anxiety racing around my body like excess energy bursting around me. Again I struggle to be ok with that too. It’s most strange and I worry if this is a side of my anxiety I won’t ever accept. My moods or intrusives I have been used to being ok with but all of this is quite new and it’s been triggered since my thyroid went out of wack.


  469. Rich Says:

    Hi Dani, It’s been asked a million times on here, and I imagine everyone asks themselves this just as a natural progression through life at some point or another. I know I have. Anxiety makes you question it all, makes you feel hopeless and helpless and alone and detached from the world which seems to move along with you as a passenger rather than a driver. It’s all part of the mood it puts you in and the clouded outlook it gives you.

    As the blog, comments and books say, this is due to a tired mind trying to figure it all out, fearful of being like it forever, the loss of self etc. You have to just accept it’s because of this and nothing more, is temporary and just a result of your current state.

    As you put it down and let it be, it diminishes and a more realistic, happy and positive self re-emerges and your outlook shifts.

    De-personalisation, loss of character and positivity and the onset of depressive thoughts, self-pity etc etc etc is all part of the fun – picking yourself up and pushing yourself to live life regardless is the quickest route to losing the thoughts, but the first hurdle is not to care about it all – as it’s all just part of it.

    I’ve said nothing new here – so if you need more in this just have a roam around the blog – I think most people go through the fog at some point.

  470. Rich Says:

    Anxious Indian, I’ll break your post down so I can rattle through it quickly – as no more time than absolutely necessary should be spent answering specifics – it’s the overall general state you should be thinking about. I’ve had ‘9 to 5′ in my head a lot today since writing it earlier on here – I don’t care.

    Don’t bother trying to squash individual ants – focus on not being bothered by the ant hill.

    Specific thoughts and symptoms really don’t matter.

    “Can I just ask a couple of things more:”

    – Don’t get caught up in the specifics. In future, put it down and walk away.

    “1. When I am not fully engaged in anything else and I notice the song going round and round in my head, should I actively listen to it or should I focus on something else, or either way is fine (provided I don’t try to get rid of it)?”

    – Whatever you like. I don’t care and neither should you! Listen, sing along, replace it with another song you prefer – whatever you want. It is so trivial it really doesn’t matter. So long as you don’t care or worry you’re doing the right thing. The wrong thing by the way is thinking there is a right or wrong thing. It’s a song – not the end of the world. I think a little perspective here is needed!!

    “2. Is this an anxiety symptom?”

    – I think we all know the answer to this one!

    “3. Is it due to tired mind?”

    – And this one!!

    “I am asking because I have never had something like this happen for 2 to 3 days at a stretch. Maybe half a day at max!”

    Next you’ll be timing the gaps between the songs in minutes with a stopwatch. This, like any other symptom, will disappear if you leave it alone of its own accord. You’ll only notice when its been gone and you’ve not noticed and wonder how long it’s been gone.

    I don’t want to repeat myself too much so I’ll keep this short. I hope this helps. I’m off to do some more work. What a way to make a livin’.

  471. Jeff Says:

    Dani – when we’re in the clutches of anxiety, making sense of how we feel is an exercise in futility. Realize this. Realize that you are not going to figure ‘it’ out because we can’t define what ‘it’ is….as it’s always changing in weird ways.

    When you get a head cold or the flu…. do you try to figure out why you feel like crap? You accept that a virus is making you feel that way.

    Stress overload is the ‘virus’ in our case (anxiety)….which is much harder and more scary to deal with because it’s in our head. It’s weird, gives us confusing feelings, unpleasant sensations that we can’t get a grip on….like DP….like living in a perpetual dream state. Believe me, most of us have been there. At least try to take comfort in that what you’re experiencing isn’t unique….it’s a well travelled road.

    Anxious Indian – I’ve had that before. Some silly random song stuck in my head. After a while it got comical (to me)…at that point it faded away. Maybe try to get a different song stuck in your head….a trick that’s worked for me…

  472. Ryan Says:

    Well this setback just doesn’t want to let go. ..this may just be the worst over I’ve ever had. ..had a decent lady two days but then last night I had another sleepless night filed with panic and crazy anxiety. ..usually when it gets that bad, I take am ativan and that usually does the trick and I’m able to sleep and think rationally…ended up talking two ands they did nothing, which is scary to me. ..because now I leave for Europe in a week and every time I think of flying I go into a panic. . (I’ve flown many times, and have been to Europe before) but still see myself feeling liner I do now acme freaking out or something. ..ruining my trip. .so much so I want to cancel,but know that’s not the awsner. So frustrating. .should be looking forward to this trip but am scared to death. suet it’s no coincidence that the week before my trip in feeling this way. .just hoping I can really practice acceptance. ..just always fail when it gets this intense. ..sorry diet the negative post just feeling really down and back to square one. ..

  473. Debbie Says:

    Hi just feeling the flood gates of anxiety opened with every intrusive thought fear totally feel nuts scared weird as i watch my dad take his last breaths i hope i make it .

  474. abhi Says:

    Hi, I’m new on site but a regulaar silent searcher of this blog. After 1 year I have a setback truely very breaking this time. I havet to start my studies seriouly from six months. But then ths satback me badly. I want do my studies seriously but fear says u cant do that. U cant be norml. I want some guidence guys. My exam is one month later. I want my carrier but anxity is at its peak.

  475. Anxious Indian Says:

    Rich and Jeff, thanks so much! This puts it in perfect perspective for me. Now I feel silly about making such a fuss about it! :) Thanks again!

  476. Julie Says:


    Maria is unable to post. Everytime she writes a post it doesn’t show on here. She has emailed Paul but I said I’d leave a note here to make you aware of it.



  477. Emma Says:


    You sound just like I did before my trip in May.

    I had sleepless anxiety-ridden nights, the worst anxiety I have had in a very long time. I wanted nothing more than to cancel the trip. Every time I thought about being on my trip I would see myself there falling apart, or there and having a mental breakdown, or there and feeling completely horrible sitting in my hotel unable to enjoy my trip — it’s like my current anxiety was projecting itself into my perception of the future and tainted everything. I kept thinking to myself, how can I go on this trip when I ALREADY feel this bad. How much worse will it get? I also was dreading the idea of being out of my comfort zone, of not being able to “retreat” back to my cozy, safe, familiar spot at home. My anxiety was attaching itself to more than just my trip, by this point I was having intrusives and all that.

    Well, the night before the trip I cried, I was anxious barely slept. 3am head to the airport for my flight and I was anxious at the airport, my benzo’s ready just ‘in case’ … and I remembered what my therapist told me, that this part of me that is SO fearful, that is so apprehensive and carries all this dread simply needs to know that it is safe — so I told my inner child, ‘i will take care of you on this trip, you don’t need to be afraid. Just relax now, you can relax now.” I know we are not supposed to necessarily get involved with our fear-based feelings with Paul’s approach, but I was in such a bad place that I needed something, anything to help me cope — my therapist is quite big on the idea of the ‘wounded self’ and the inner child — and I comforted my inner child with the ‘adult’ part of me to get through that little bit.

    When we got to our destination, there was about a 45 minute drive to the hotel — the scenery on the way there was beautiful but I sat there feeling down and low moods. I felt off, I felt depressed and anxious and just overall shitty. I wanted to cry at that moment and I could feel myself start to despair because I had just arrived at this beautiful place and couldn’t even enjoy it. Then I thought “I’m not going to let my FEELINGS dictate whether or not I’m enjoying myself, whether or not this trip goes well, or anything else. I need to stop trying to control how I feel — I need to stop caring whether or not I’m feeling good.”

    And from that point I just actively practiced not caring — I had moments of feeling anxious or down but I told myself “who cares, stop caring!” and would focus on the things in front of me — on the actual trip itself. The first few mornings, I would wake up with a bit of morning anxiety but it would diminish as the day went by and was totally bearable.

    Mid-way through the trip I was feeling way better and realized all that anticipatory anxiety about falling apart on my trip was completely the opposite — that I challenged myself and coped. You will cope too! Your mind isn’t just going to unravel Ryan, we adapt, emotionally and mentally, yes you’re going to have some anxiety while you’re there but you will be SURPRISED as to how quickly you adjust and how well you tolerate your anxiety. The anxiety seems intractable right now but it’s really not. No one could convince me that the trip would be okay, because I was already knee-deep in a setback BEFORE going, but honestly, anxiety isn’t intractable — it will retract, it’s just going to happen when you allow yourself, non-judgmentally, to feel completely and utterly anxious… it has nowhere else to go at that point and eventually just consumes itself.

    “When you’re going through hell…just keep going!” — my favourite quote hehe.

  478. Emma Says:


    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. That’s tragic. I hope you can allow yourself to respect your grief at this time by processing your feelings of sadness and loss. I know that ‘s not easy to do because we fear our grief will turn to depression or worsen our anxiety, but the truth is that when we allow ourselves to experience the full depth of our feelings without trapping them in cages of judgement, we actually release those feelings to be free, and they leave us when they are ready.
    (Judgements like” ‘this is going to spiral, this is going to turn to depression, I cannot cope, I don’t want to feel this,’ etc.). Sending love xx

  479. Debbie Says:

    Thanks emma big hug to yoi

  480. Ryan Says:

    Thanks Emma, it’s just so frustrating. ..your thoughts mirror mine exactly. .thing is I know it will be fine. ..I love to travel and always enjoy myself..wad in Europe this time last year and had a blast. .just all the rotten thoughts gong through my head again. .so annoying. .just have to take these sleepless nights with a grain of salt, and allow my thoughts to go as wild as they want. ..having allot of physical symptoms is making it harder. .Thanks Emma!

  481. Emma Says:


    I agree that when the symptoms are both mental and physical it can be doubly challenging, but you’re straining against the anxiety, you have to soften to it. I know this is so difficult when in the thick of it but when you have a thought or when you notice a feeling, acknowledge that you’ve noticed it — that recognition tool is called awareness — you’re aware that what you had was a thought, that what you’re feeling is a mood dip, that the sensation in your chest is your pounding heart — being able to notice all this makes you an observer to your interiority, instead of a prisoner. My name should now be highlighted in blue, if you click it, it will link you to a web-talk that Jon Kabat-Zinn gave about mindfulness. There are striking similarities between Paul’s method and mindfulness — very similar. All about turning down your suffering by accepting your thoughts and feelings. I hope it helps. I always listen to this talk when I’m in a setback — a powerful reminder about acceptance. xx

  482. Kat Says:

    Hi Debbie,

    My condolences to you and your family.

    I thought I’d echo what Emma wrote, a bit. I lost my mother in my January of this year, and her death had been unexpected. I was already in the middle of a very intense anxiety cycle, and thought for sure that losing her, especially in such a sudden manner, would cause me to “spiral” and I’d fall down the anxiety hole forever. I hope to reassure you when I say that though you will certainly be grieving during this devastating period, that is absolutely the most natural reaction and you should allow yourself to do it freely. This is not anxiety or depression; it is a very normal response to loss.

    I recall that I felt numb for about a week. I’d have moments of extreme sadness, which I’d expected, but the anxiety seemed to turn off while I was dealing with helping my father with the arrangements. The body is very good about protecting us, I think. Yes, I had some intense moments of anxiety/depressive feelings from time to time afterward, but they didn’t seem to have anything to do with my grieving. Instead, it’s my belief that my anxiety is a well-honed habit, and when I have the smallest symptom, I pay attention to it, as is my habit, and it blooms. Knowing the difference between the two things made losing her about her, not me, if that makes any sense.

    I suppose I just want to say that you need to feel the loss to really accept it. The same goes for anxiety. I am far from recovered (I spent the first half of my life developing the anxiety habit, so it’s going to take a while to unlearn it), but I have had moments of happiness and peace since her death, some periods longer than others, but they were certainly there. I am still grieving, and miss her terribly, but I don’t worry about needing to cry about her when the urge comes, I just do it. Whatever you feel, just let it ride, and eventually it will calm itself.

    My best to you and yours.

    Take care,


  483. Debbie Says:

    Thanks. Kat i always was dealing with bad anxiety begore today really bad. I started getting intrusives of just seeing. Streets movies ivd seen and dreams i have had and it crippled me. Dont know what it is very scarey now iam hoping it dont get worse . right now i feel so empty. My dad is only dead 3 hours thank you again kat

  484. Mark r Says:


    Some very wise words from Emma there.

    I’ve hit a mini dip too, been a bit rocky for 2 weeks now. It started last week when I had digestion problems and a cold. Since then I’ve had good days, choppy days and a square one day. This is after months of relative peace where my anxiety levels have been so low that life has just taken over and I’ve been feeling pretty good.

    Years ago I would have crumbled, cried, and generally overreacted to the return of my symptoms….completely exacerbating the situation and spiralling. Nowadays, I’m wise enough to know that I am sensitive to illness and stress and my nervous system gets upset. I know it is frustrating when you feel crap one day and great the next but try and be positive about it. Surely it’s a sign that you have the capacity to feel good again and you are moving forward?

    I have a week off on annual leave this week so I’ve booked a trip to Berlin. I’ve not been abroad for 2 years so I think I owe myself a holiday. As I said above I am choppy at the moment so when my mind isn’t anxious I’m planning where to go, places to eat etc etc. Equally when I am anxious my mind is churning up all kinds of scenarios similar to Emma that I will fall about, not leave hotel etc. I know these are products of an anxious mind and not real thoughts, the real me wants to go and enjoy myself. The only thing stopping either of us going on our trip are thoughts and feelings. Is this the best it can do really? If it is its a pretty lame attempt by anxiety.

    Make sure you go on that trip. You will be so pleased with yourself that you did in the end. Do what the real you wants to, not the anxious one.


    I’m into mindfullness and meditation, they have both made a huge difference in my recovery. As I mentioned above I don’t spiral anymore. Even in setbacks I see the thoughts and feelings as a separate part of me, with the real me underneath the storm. Its a fascinating subject for anyone who wants to learn about themselves.

    Hope everyone is doing well.

  485. Dominic Says:

    Hi Guys
    just thought I’d pop back to give you and bit of help and inspiration. I don’t stay for long so I’m sorry if I don’t answer questions etc.
    Anyway after about 3 years without anxiety I hit a massive setback about two weeks ago.
    This one hit me hard. I thought I was totally over it. I had a totally normal life.
    We had another baby, my focus had nothing to do with anxiety at all.
    Looking back and reflecting I could see this coming. Having my own business was very stressful, two young children and the stresses that brings to relationships etc.
    Anyway as like the first time I got anxiety, it returned.
    Now…., here’s the big difference. The first time I got it I completely fell apart. I focussed on my symptoms. For me it was sleep. As I had the attack while trying to get to sleep. I read books on insomnia, saw sleep therapists, stopped drinking tea, coffee. All types of different silly rituals. I’m sure Nolan will be nodding his head and laughing.
    i would cry about the situation, moan, constantly seek reassurances by googling, YouTube videos, anything to make me feel better or find a way to fix myself. It was my mission. Nothing else mattered but to try and fix this. There must be a way.
    Let me fast forward now to this lovely setback. My anxiety told me I was back to square one. I felt all the intense feelings. I had awful sleep. Not getting to sleep. Waking up at 2 am sweating and heart pumping.
    The thoughts and feelings were as intense as ever.
    this time I knew what to expect. I just accepted everything. It’s not easy, but I knew after all that time free of it, I could be back there again. I let everything happen and laughed at it. It told me to try and fix things. It made me fear everything that normally never bothered me. A trip booked to New York that I was looking forward to now filled me with dread. It told me I would stay like this forever. I accepted this and everything because I knew it was a lie.
    It was my old friend and he was back for a while. I even predicted what he was going to do before he did it.
    Now accepting isn’t easy but once you have good periods you realise that it will pass and you will start to feel good again.
    I’m now lifting out of this setback and normal feelings are starting to return slowly. But not by forcing them but by letting things happen.
    Once I fell into this setback I told my wife and family, but not to moan and complain but just to let them know and to tell them not to worry. I was ok with it. Sure it’s horrible. Who wants feel like that, who’s wants to go to work on two hours sleep. But so what. It will pass.
    My point is that you need to be ok with everything it tells you and does to you because after a while the good periods will make you have nothing to fear from it.
    I’ve seen this period of anxiety as a life saver and my bodies way of telling me to slow down. I’ve not enjoyed it and it may not be finished with yet but I’m good with that. It’s what it is.
    Please don’t fear the thoughts and symptoms as they soon pass and you soon realise them as a lie.
    Hope that helps a little.


  486. Jamie Says:

    Really great post Dominic. Very inspiring. This is yet another ray of sunlight for us all that shows recovery is out there :o)

  487. Dani Says:

    Hi all

    Rich & Jeff – thank you for your replies I really appreciate it.

    The DP/DR is what bothers me the most, I can accept the physical side of anxiety but finding it really had to accept the DP/DR. I’ve read up on DP on the internet and found it can be a disorder on its own with no cure. How of I know if my DP is an offshoot of anxiety or of it’s a disorder which will never go away?
    It makes me feel like I’m not part of world :( I really think anxiety would be so much easier to deal with if it wasn’t for this symptom.

  488. Bryan Says:


    For all of the help you’ve given around here, we are going to pitch in and update your iTunes collection for you. :)

  489. Tom Marshall Says:


    Technically it’s not a disorder. It’s your bodies way of shutting down when it needs a break from all the stress and worry. That’s like saying when you cut yourself and it hurts that you have a ‘pain disorder’ take some comfort in knowing that it’s only temporary. There is no mystery cure to DP it’s just like a broken leg. Only time can heal it :)

    I hope this helped.


  490. Emma Says:

    Hi Dani,

    Just want to say that my anxiety 4 years ago started out mainly as DP/DR. I felt totally disconnected. I even saw a therapist specifically for DPDisorder. What she told me was that intense anxiety can take the form of dp and that it’s not necessarily a disorder at that level. True dissociative disorders are far more intense and are in a category of their own in terms of psychiatric classification. You don’t have that. What you have and what you described is minor anxiety-related dp. I know it feels anything but “mild” but it’s normal for us to experience dp as part of our anxiety, it’s just one of many manifestations anxiety can have.

    But dp like all anxiety symptoms does pass. I haven’t had a bad bout of dp for almost a year. I’ve had little moments here and there but nothing that has lasted. With DP and the related symptoms of not feeling like yourself, feeling like a stranger to yourself and to the world, you need to embrace these uncomfortable sensations, don’t focus on them, what keeps the dp fire burning is the attention and importance you give it. Once you focus on other things and start taking a “meh, whatever ” attitude to the dp, it will slowly fade away. Dp is also characterized by those existential questions you brought up before “why arewe here, what is life, etc.” — the same questions used to give me such panic.

    I’m not gonna lie, it doesn’t happen over night — it took months for the dp symptoms to leave me. But every month was a little better. After my dp lifted my symptoms changed and I had more general anxiety, then that morphed to intrusive thoughts and ocd thoughts, which later morphed to some low moods, etc. Manifestations of anxiety can vary, Ive been through them all it seems! But take it day by day and direct your focus on things other than your symptoms. It will 100% get better in time. Xx

  491. Emma Says:


    Glad to hear you’re handling the blip well. I too came back to the blog after having been well for some time. My current little funk is slowwwwly improving (last Monday being an almost ” back to square one” day). I think with every setback, blip or mood dip, we become a bit more anxiety-savvy and understand the role we play in our own suffering. I always feel faced with the same choice time and time again: to utterly and radically accept and allow all this inner discomfort… or resist it. It comes down to the same thing each time… And with each setback I stumble a bit before I actually allow myself to go through it and give it less importance.

    I think the most valuable thing I have I’ve learnt to date is that which you mentioned “the real me is underneath the storm” — Reminding me of a great quote I read somewhere: “You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” Meaning that our awareness (the sky) is vast enough to hold all and any afflicting mood states and anxiety (the weather).

    Am working on being comfortable with my discomfort at the moment xx

  492. Mansor Says:

    Dani if you think is a disorder it is not. That is the way how anxiety works. Anxiety makes you think you have an disorder. The only way to recover anxiety is to accept. By acceptance you have to say ok i have a mental disorder and i dont care. I know is so hard to do this thing but you have too trust me you will recover in this way.

  493. Pietro Says:

    Awesome Dominic :)

    3 years recovered, that’s amazing

  494. Dani Says:

    Hi Tom, Emma and Mansor,

    Thank you all for taking the time to reply to me, I really appreciate it and it does help me.

    Emma, thank you for detailing your experience with DP, I find it reassuring to know that you also felt panicked by the existential questions and overcame it. I also find it comforting that it takes a few months to disappear, which may sound strange, but I was worrying that it should have disappeared by now. Although, I know this means I haven’t yet accepted it, as Paul says not to put a time limit on recovery. I find myself thinking I’ll accept it for a while, whilst hoping it goes away quickly. I understand that’s not true acceptance though.
    Can I just ask, is it quite normal for the DP to seem to be there all day? As I’ve read of some people only having DP during panic attacks or just for short periods of time.

    Thank you xx

  495. Debbie Says:

    Emma was your dp ever seeing just images of anything. I see dreams i have movies streets anything i feel like iam there and it scares me why they pop in constantlyb7

  496. James Says:


    I’ve taken Propecia too, and I’ve been on the websites where everyone worries it messes you up badly forever. I chose to stop taking it because I decided I couldn’t handle that extra worry in my life.

    To be honest I think the body does tend to return to it’s default given half a chance. I suspect very few people get permanent changes from Propecia, but all the worry surrounding it causes us to look for symptoms. Try and put it out of your mind and move on with your life, and you may just find that the symptoms clear up.

  497. Ryan Says:

    Mark R…your post is so amazing because I could have written it word for word. .it is exactly what ive been dealing with lately. .reading some of your back posts,seems as if our story is similar. Thanks for the nice reminder as I had another rough night and morning after a couple of nice days. ..I do have to understand that I always get worked up before a trip and my nerves go a bit haywire. .I am excited fot the trip as I love Europe, and I’m visiting Spain and the UK, which I’ve never been to either. .I know once it’s here, I’ll have a great time. .just have to accept that this week might be a bit challenging I guess. I really appreciate everyone on here, it’s so nice to discuss things with like minded people. ..

  498. karen Says:

    Really appreciate some advice. I have been doing so well, many anxiety free days, read Pauls new book … massive help. I have come across a stumbling block. I am just getting comfortable at work, and I have been asked to work in a different section for a day. Queue anxiety … stopped sleeping / anxiety through roof / what if I have panic attack or meltdown mid presentation / what if I go mad / queue intrusives / what if I have to leave etc etc. / what if it erodes the confidence it’s taken ages to build in the area I am working now …. I don’t have to do it, I can say no …. it’s the anticipation ….I am making myself so ill that by the time I get there I shall be a wreck….. I know worry is a waste of time but trying to stop it is so hard … My friends tell me it’s normal to worry about doing something different but I am sure they don’t end up like this! Is it ok to not do it? Anyone empathise?

  499. Steve b Says:

    Guys. Looking for a bit of reassurance. Heart palps. Anxiety 101. Had them a lot, racing heart for 30 mins. Maybe an hour then drops back into place. But the last 2 days I have had heart flutters almost constantly. Not racing. Flutters, normal beats for a minute or so flutters again. Is this normal or should i visit the doctors? Anyone had this?

  500. Dani Says:

    Hi Steve b,

    I’ve got Claire Weekes book which says the following re heart palpations;

    “Nervous palpitations are not at all dangerous. A healthy heart can tolerate a rate of over 200 beats per minute for days even weeks without any damage. So let your heart race until it chooses to calm down, remembering that it is a good heart, beating quickly because of nervous stimulation; that such stimulation will not harm it, and that it will always eventually calm down.”

    Re constantly quickly beating heart;

    “A person under the tension of sustained anxiety may find his heart constantly beating quickly, although not as fast as during an attack of palpations. As with palpitations, the increased rate is merely a nervous reaction and once again it is the awareness that disturbs, not the actual rate. If you suffer in this way, be prepared to live with this quick beating, to accept the racing, thumping, as part of the process of recovery, until your nerves become less sensitised. It may be weeks before you cease to be conscious of your heart’s quick action, but once you accept it you will be getting better all the time.”

    Dr weekes also says re ‘missed’ heartbeats;

    “A heart stimulated by too much alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, indigestion or simply under nervous tension, may ‘miss’ beats. The beats are not really missed, although they feel like this. They are spaced irregularly and are called extra systoles. Once again, the timing of the best is at fault. The heart compensates for an unusually quick beat by taking a restful pause, so that the three unevenly spaced beats take the same time as there even beats. The long pause gives the sensation of the heart ‘stopping’ or ‘missing’ a beat. It doesn’t. ‘Missed’ beats are not dangerous.”

    I hope this helps to reassure you x

  501. Jen Says:

    Hi there.
    I have a question about recovery. I feel like I am getting normal feelings back from a panic attack I had about 2 months ago. After that pa ic attack I was so nervous and panky about thr feeling it left me so of course worried about it now I am on some medication for but 2 weeks now but I am havinga hard time with sleeping. Did this get better when you recovered? Also I am starting to feel normal however it feels so weird and strange did anyone experience this? And it’s like I want to start to panic from it cuz its different thrn what I have been kinda used to from worrying and panick. I still get anxious once in awhile but seems to be getting better.

  502. JoJo Says:

    Hi Rich:
    Thank you for your help as always. When you say don’t try and figure it out, do you mean don’t question why it’s on my mind or question what I’m emotionally feeling? Don’t question why I’m needing reassurance? Does it make sense to you that I don’t even know what’s bothering me or what my problem is? I just feel like I’m struggling mentally and thinking thoughts that make me feel bad and uneasy.

  503. Adam Says:

    I can relate. I got, get, all of what you are speaking of and more. My anxiety started with a work related episode and primarily focused on work for a large part of my recovery (see my posts last week to JoJo). Anticipatory anxiety was ALWAYS a big part of my issues as well. It would start well in advance of any speaking/presentation for me and just build up to and during my event.

    How to overcome? 1) remember that anticipatory anxiety is primarily just negative thoughts. Anticipatory anxiety is the fear of a future event with a negative outcome. And I learned over time that anxiety is a horrible predictor of the future. When I looked back over months of my recovery and anticipatory anxiety, I realized that all that worry over all of those situations amounted to nothing. The specific fears I had before the events in nearly every case turned out to be false and didn’t happen like I feared. Did every situation turn out good? Absolutely not, but none of them were ever as bad as I feared. And I had come through all of them. I was still here, nothing nearly as bad as I feared had ever happened to me and I was progressing. Which brings me to #2) Face your fears. Confront that presentation at work or meeting where you fear you will “lose your marbles” and see what happens. Will everything always be 100% great? No way. But when you go into those situations and feel the fear and sit with your body while it pushes the “flight or fight” mechanism down your throat…and you not only survive but overcome…you cant fail to realize that anxiety is all just a lie. We can all recover and all overcome simply by “facing the fear and doing it anyway”. After you do that you will not have the same anticipatory anxiety as you used to with these events. How can you when you know you can trust yourself “in battle” and anxiety is nothing but a lie?

  504. JoJo Says:

    Did you see my comment above about your comment :)

  505. Adam Says:

    I did see it and I just re-read it. So, basically, you are saying that you feel afraid but of nothing specific? Is it just an impending sense of doom that you carry around with you all day, everyday? If so, I felt very much the same when my anxiety is high and still do sometimes. There are many reasons for it…some physical, some mental or emotional but all the same: its just anxiety. General, run of the mill, boring anxiety. How to handle it? Let it be and say “so what” and go on about your day. Carry it with you wherever you go…and do go places and do things. Live your life with it. Does it suck? Absolutely. Is it a harbinger of bad things to come? No one, even anxiety, can tell the future. So, no, it is not. Its most likely a negative emotion you are feeling that you may have stifled and/or some extra energy (adrenaline) that needs burning off. In the end, its all just anxiety and it cannot hurt you. Feel it and go on about your day. That is what I do…I say to myself, “Ok, I feel anxious today. Guess Im gonna be anxious today…oh well” and I go on about my day. You would be astounded, as am I, with the ever growing list of things I have done while feeling anxious. IT CANNOT STOP YOU from doing what you want to do. The key is to feel it, acknowledge it, pay it no further attention and go on about your day. You will end up doing the things you want to do and this “impending feeling of doom/anxiety” will flicker and dull like a candle blowing in the wind over time. And you will live your life as you want and gain confidence in yourself from doing so….does this answer your question at all???

  506. Rosa Says:

    Hello everyone. I wanted to ask for some advice and your experience. I have had anxiety for about 12 years although not as bad as it is now. I have started applying Paul’s advice 16 months ago and have made progress. At my worst I was not able to go to work or look after my small son. I am now working and do everything like I used to do. I took me a long time to understand Paul’s approach, but I think I got it now. At least sometimes. I have days when I feel anxious, but it doesn’t matter. Internally I feel strong enough to deal with it, I see it as a way to grow. I have had hours of normality, but have had some symptoms every day. Today is a bad day – I feel so weak and defeted by anxiety and question that this will ever end. Does it really take that long to recover? I feel like I will never do.

  507. Steve b Says:

    Bless you Dani. Thanks.

  508. Rich Says:

    Hi Bryan, I’m getting married next month – maybe I should have put iTunes vouchers on the gift list. My music collection is a very eclectic mix that’s for sure.

    JoJo, Adam’s reply to you sums everything I could say on the subject of feeling ‘meh’ and unable to figure it out or pinpoint why. Just don’t bother – it’s the best approach you can take and the sooner you float above it all the sooner the fog lifts. Like rambleman says below too, it cannot harm you, its temporary (it’s not a life-long condition like Dani fears – it’s only a condition for as long as you make it). Overcoming this is a result of doing nothing to try to overcome it. You cannot actively overcome it – so honestly don’t waste time and energy trying.

  509. Dani Says:

    Hi all,

    So with DP caused by anxiety is it common to feel like things aren’t real? Sometimes I worry “what if I’m actually dead and I’m just a spirit stuck not accepting that I’ve died” – I know that sounds weird but is this all part of DP and has anyone else felt like this before? Will the thoughts pass in time? It really scares me and I don’t know how to accept such scary thoughts.


  510. Chris Says:


    I have been reading your posts and you’re experience literally mirrors mine. Fear of depression is also my biggest hurdle, and yes whenever the dreaded S word comes to mind my emotions go haywire. It’s funny because when I’m feeling well (desensitized) it doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but when I am in the anxiety/depression state with a severe low mood, it really messes with me. The fear that I have Clinical Depression looms large, and I felt so alone with this fear, but as you can see with the comments here we are not alone.

    Honestly we have both been through the exact same thing, especially with travelling. I actually got back from Europe a week ago. I went for three months and was so excited about it all year. I hadn’t had a severe setback in 10 months, and then BAM, two weeks before the trip I felt like I was back to square one. My fear was similar to Emma’s, Of not being able to enjoy it due to how I felt at the time, fearing that I would feel like absolute crap and that the whole trip would have been a waste of time. And boy did this get me down, my mood plummeted to an all time low, and my anxiety was high. It was hell. But I went regardless, and of course because our suffering has momentum I didn’t feel great straight away when I was over there. But everyday I did feel better, and within a few weeks I was having the time of my life! I now look back on the last three months as something really special.

    So yeah, you fear going. But hey, you’re going anyway! Don’t let fear stop you. As Paul would say, just your life regardless of anxiety. Hopefully my words have helped you out :)

    And Emma, it was great reading your story about how you were prior to travelling, and how you enjoyed it once you were there. I was exactly like you were before the trip, and the night before I was exactly the same, barely any sleep, so anxious/depressed it wasn’t even funny. It’s crazy how much I can relate to both you and Ryan!

  511. James Says:

    I guess Paul doesn’t get much time to reply to this blog, but I just wondered if anyone else had any input to my (rather long) post above on Sept 24th?
    Here is the link to it:

  512. Chris Says:

    Hey James

    Yeah I can relate. This was my biggest fear for a long time. I used MDMA several times, along with other things. I had anxiety issues before using it, but I progressively got worse and I attributed it to the MDMA (I mean it definitely didn’t help I know that). I visited forums daily with others who had the same problem (you’ve probably been to these forums yourself I imagine). Basically I was reading scare stories, reinforcing the fear etc. I had convinced myself that I had brain damage.

    Anyways, fast forward a few months I did start feeling better and I did have long extended periods of peace. I would go months without depression and very minimal anxiety. I had found my old self again. I did this by implementing Paul’s advice, and Claire Weekes teachings.

    I haven’t visited those forums in a year or so now, but most of the people I conversed with made full recoveries. The posts turned from scare stories to sound advice, all based off the acceptance approach. In fact, a few of the posters on there recommended that I visit this website and read At Last a Life. I remember one guy, who probably took the drug more than you (when he mentioned how much he had taken in his lifetime I was shocked, like wow that is alot), and he made a complete recovery. He basically realized he was keeping himself in the loop. As soon as he posted his recovery story it was like a domino effect, more and more positive stories were emerging. The idea of having brain damage is devastating, and it’s a waste of time really. There are plenty others like you, who have recovered.

    Hope this helps. Try not to be hard on yourself about the drugs, it’s all in the past now.

  513. Maria Says:

    Steve b,

    I had the heart flutters off and on for about a year when my anxiety was high. I saw my regular doc who did an EKG, results normal. Then a few months later I went to an Urgent Care center, same thing, normal results. Now that I’ve been pretty much anxiety free for months now, I haven’t felt any. Go see your doctor if it would make you feel better about it. But they are a pretty common symptom of anxiety. Hope this helps!

  514. Chris Says:


    Just thought I’d give you a heads up to too so you don’t go down the same path I did. I mentioned that I visited forums on the subject. Worst thing to do. Same with researching looking for answers (I’m not sure if you do this or not but I certainly did). There is zero point, so I’d recommend treating the ‘brain damage’ thought as any other anxious thought. Let it be there. Even though I did go on these forums, there is still alot of nonconstructive advice on there.

    The thought still does catch me off guard very occasionally when I am in a setback (I’m in a setback now actually, so I don’t really want to discuss it any further if you don’t mind) but is easily dismissed when I’m not. I’m far better off now that I have moved on from the subject :)

  515. debbie Says:

    Hi anyone tom. Maria. rich ,bryan ,dominic with me just feeling like my mind gos to scenes from movies , dreams, anything has anyone ever had this it makes me feel scared like my mind is there. Like when anxiety started 9 months ago. Wheni washed my clothes my mind saw a scarey movie I saw and every time I washed my clothes I saw the movie scene in my mind . Do s this become habit . Is that why my mind see s these intrusives they are habit from when my anxiety was really bad . I just need reassurance right now I wake up. With nervous stomach also my dad passed away friday has anyone ever felt this way with thoughts . I never read anyone has .is it dp intrusive thoughts.

  516. abhi Says:

    pls guys give some guidence for my 25th

  517. Belgian Says:


    You are still looking for an answer for an unsolvable problem or rather a problem that does not exist… That is why you ask if I am still together with my wife. Me saying yes would give you some comfort… for 5 minutes… Why? Because as long as you do not see the pointlessness of asking these questions, you give them the power to continue bothering you. You’re saying to me that you are still together after five years of you being in the state you are in? Well, then you surely must have some degree of feelings for this person. Why would you bother otherwise. Is it the RIGHT person? Who knows. Nobody really knows. That is why this question is such an interesting vehicle for your anxiety to pop out. There is always a degree of uncertainty that goes with love. You are asking them continuously because you are anxious and the lack of a satisfying answers is keeping you in it. There could be a thousand reasons as to why you doubt your love for someone, but even if i were to give you thousand answers that would not change the fact that you are anxious. So for once let the fight go. Will you feel awful? Yes. But it would not matter, because if you do nothing this will pass too. As you will do this, very gradually the mists will begin to clear and you will be able to see through it. Can I guarantee you that after this you still want to be with your husband? Again, you are asking the wrong question. Your first concern should always be your own health and right now you are anxious. I tell you that the only way out of anxiety is right through it. The only way out is to stop fighting and accept the questions as riddles with no answer. I am still together with my wife but this does not mean that at times i do not have anxious thoughts about my relationship. Personally, I have learned that these questions tell me more about myself than they do about my relationship. I learned that I am afraid to really commit. To really letting me become so vulnerable. So I see recurrent anxious thoughts as moments where I have the choice to deliberately letting my guard down or just run away. Sometimes I run for a while before remembering that standing still and letting it all flood over me is the more wiser thing to do. This is truly a process and you must practice patience. So I wish you courage to see your fears through by accepting them. And I wish you patience to do this time and time again.

  518. Belgian Says:


    Whenever I feel tension mounting, I envision myself floating right through it. Total surrender. Of course, I am not doing this 24/7 :-) Only during the more stressful moments.

    I am going on holiday on sunday for the first time in more than a year. Feeling slightly anxious already. So that’s a good sign :-) I will be able to learn more floating when I’ll be there 😉

  519. James Says:


    That is very helpful, thank you :)

  520. Ryan Says:

    Chris…so interesting how similar or nervous systems are reacting
    .I had probably the worst night last night that I’ve had in years. .mine racing ,pacing sind the house all night, crying. ..ect..I haven’t been this bad since it all started and boy im struggling with it. .gels different than my normal high anxiety, feels almost like a continues panic attack. ..I had to take 2 ativan last night to finally fal asleep at 5am…nowr I’m awake and heading to work and my stomach is in complete knots and anxiety sky high. .I’m beyond frustrated with myself right now, and just feel as if I’m going mad…when is this bad and this high, I’m just so scared and acceptance seems impossible. .any tips on this especially sleeping at night? I haven’t really slept in the days, and that’s making everything so much worse. .I keep having the thoughts too, of me freaking out on the ]plane or sitting crying in my hotel room ..ect..which i can’t seem to convince myself that enduring is going to be fine. .even though I travel at least three times a year and it’s always fine. .panic just continues to shoot through my body. ..aaasrghhh.

  521. Mansor Says:

    You guys stay in the loop coz you fear yourselves. To much thinking is blocking your regulating process in brain. Your are creating the anxiety. In order to recover you have to accept everything. I cannot stress enough just accept and move. If you think you have brain problem accept and just move. People with brain problem don’t know whats the problem coz they cant analise like you. The problem here is only the brain fighting with it self. So your you are just fighting yourself.

    I remember myself before i got HOCD. I was obsessed if was gay or not. Then i thought i had brain problems. I realized that i was creating this problems because i was not accepting myself. Your brain makes you anxious because you are testing yourself all the time. So keep in mind just accept it say ok i have this problem but i dont care and move on with your day.

  522. Dani Says:

    Hi Debbie, I also randomly have scenes from dreams pop into my mind sometimes, even dreams from years ago, sometimes it happens a few times in a row. I don’t know why, but then it sometimes leaves me with the atmosphere / feelings of that dream. Also, every morning for the last few weeks I’ve woken with a really nervous feeling in my stomach, and I feel panicky at the thought of getting up and facing the day. I’m really sorry to hear you Dad passed away recently, it must naturally be a tough time for you. Sorry I know this doesn’t offer any insight as to why you are having these scenes or how to deal with them (although I imagine the answer is to accept) but just thought I’d let you know that I have experienced something similar with the dreams side of things. I hope someone can give you an answer that helps xx

  523. JoJo Says:

    Hi Rich & Adam,

    I think I didn’t explain myself well enough. Basically why when your not feeling anxious or not having a thought that bothers you why are you still thinking about the subject and needing reassurance? I notice even when I’m fine I’m still dwelling on this or wanting to read Pauls book again or come on this blog for reassurance. Is this just a habit that forms? How to you move on when in the interim of anxiety it’s on your mind even if your not experiencing any symptoms? How can you stop doing the habit or stop wanting reassurance?

  524. Sue Says:

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  525. Sue Says:


  526. Sue Says:

    I have had intrusive thoughts for many months all on the same theme and as much as I try not to think them they come back. Do I just keep thinking this way until the anxiety goes. It is my only concern now as I do not get many symptoms only horrible thoughts.

  527. Sue Says:

    Question has now been printed so do not know why it was not before page just went back to top of forum when I pressed submit.

  528. debbie Says:

    Thanks dani for your answer .

  529. Maria Says:

    Hi Sue,

    Your last 4 post are showing up for me, not sure if you can see them or not? I’ve been having the same issue for the past week and a half, I would post but it would just refresh and send me to the top of the page and my comment would not show up. Don’t know why that’s happening!

    As for your intrusives, don’t “try not to think them”. Just let them be there for as long as they need to without reacting to them. It’s the reacting that keeps them around. After awhile of paying them no heed, they will lift.

    Hi Debbie,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your father’s passing. I was trying to post to you that night to send you my love but the darn thing wasn’t posting for me!

    So with anxiety our minds tend to be in this weird hyper mode. Hyper alert, hyper aware, racing thoughts, everything just fast and intense. While I’ve never had movie scenes pop in on a regular basis, I did have scenes from dreams pop in from time to time. The fact that it is scaring you is what is keeping it around. You’re focusing on these thoughts, giving them loads more attention than they deserve. They are nothing more than your anxious mind at work. They are just your personal form of intrusives. Some people have thoughts of harming themselves or others, some have thoughts of doing something super nutty, you have scenes from movies. So really you deal with them the same way anybody would deal with intrusives. You let them be. They can’t hurt you and they don’t mean anything. They just mean you have anxiety. So try your best to just let them be there without giving them any extra thought or reaction. In time they will go away.

    Take good care of yourself, you’re in my prayers. :)

  530. Debbie Says:

    Thanks. Maria you are a great person .
    With love debbie

  531. Debbie Says:

    Maria did you ever fear looking at tv. Or fear things you should not.

  532. Debbie Says:

    Also maria dos dp feel like your mind is pulled to somewhere else and it dont make sense.and gives you panic

  533. Rachel Says:

    Rich before I go on please don’t get mad ? I just want to know why this is linked to anxiety I’m getting comfy in bed and I go really dizzy like a motion thing as I’m moving about im not thinking about it I’m just trying to get comfy to go to sleep how come that is linked to it xx

  534. Mark r Says:

    Hello all,

    Has anyone had setbacks where they have been totally dreadful one day then have very little anxiety the next? Im in that place at the moment where im having 2 or 3 bad days then the same in good days. This is after around 9 months or so of being okayish. Its as if it wants to lift then the cloud descends again.

  535. Debbie Says:

    Hi rachel hi had that and it had nothing to do with anxiety i thought. It did it was my inner ear crystals were off. The dizziness is caused by motion its nothing serious at all. They taught me have to turn my head a certain way looking down and. The dizziness go s away.

  536. Maria Says:

    Hi Debbie,

    Honey, I feared EVERYTHING! TV, movies, reading, you name it, I feared it. I was just wound up so tight that really everything was frightening to me. DP is a very strange sensation. I felt very outside myself, like I wasn’t really here, does that make sense? I know it’s a scary feeling, but as soon as you really realize that it can’t hurt you and there is nothing to fear, the panic will lessen. I know I sound like a broken record, but try to let it all just be. Don’t try to analyze every feeling and thought and make any sense of it because it doesn’t make sense. And you won’t find answers. Throw all these thoughts and fears into one big box, write “ANXIETY” on the box, and treat them all with the same indifference. I promise, when you stop fearing that box, the anxiety will lift. :)

  537. Ryan Says:

    Hey Mark R,
    That’s exaltly how my setbacks go. ..good days, bad days, great days, horrendous days. .but to be honest, that’s how I am the vast majority of the time. I’m not sure if what I’m in its a setback sometimes, or just how is going to be. .it’s very rare that I go more than a few days without some high anxiety. .but I cam go for weeks feeling pretty great and just deal with the bad days way better. .

  538. Debbie Says:

    Thanks again and again maria. Sorry for always bothering you.

  539. Maria Says:

    Never a bother, Debbie. :)

  540. Chris Says:

    Hey Ryan.

    To be honest I am right there with you. Luckily I’m sleeping better than I did during my last setback, but I’m back in a really bad state just as you are. Sometimes when we are in this state it can be so hard to accept because the thoughts are so believeable, that is the case with me anyways.

    Hey James.

    No worries. To be honest I was free of the thought ‘what if the drugs messed me up for good’ too. However it came back for me yesterday too, and it was a real coincidence that I stumbled across your post. It’s hard to deal with, and I’ve actually really struggled with it today. I’ve tried applying Paul’s advice by simply letting it be there but it’s really dragging my mood down and bringing intense fear. I then try to think ‘but I went back to normal for 10 months so surely it’s not the effects of the drug’ I used to not even worry about this thought when I was feeling ok, but now it’s back. Bare in mind I haven’t consumed any drug in over two years (exception for alcohol).

    Can anyone offer some helpful advice for this actually? Because I can’t seem to move past it and it’s bringing me to my knees :/

  541. Jessica Says:


    You said (a little while back) “I really believe the suffering comes from the inability to just be OK with whatever mood arises.”

    Spot on! This is the perfect way to describe all of our exhaustive efforts that only serve to cause more anxiety. It’s the constant fighting and straining against everything we feel that causes the suffering—not the moods, feelings, or physical symptoms themselves. If you can get to that point where you start to place less focus on everything you are feeling, not resist, then you are taking a giant step towards recovery. It’s very hard, as it’s the body’s natural response.

    I, like you, tend to feel the wax and wane, but have gotten better about trying to ignore it. Not always successful, however I think my positivity stems from the gains I have seen over the course of the year. For once, I really believe I’m seeing anxiety for what it is—a lie. You are very well spoken and offer some great advice! I think sometimes we tend to be better at offering others advice, than listening to it ourselves. But just wanted to pop in and say, you sound like you are making great strides and have a great knowledge and advice to share. :)

  542. Jessica Says:


    Just wanted to extend my condolences to you. Please take time for yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself. Even with losing my grandmother, which as difficult as it was, is not on par with the loss of a parent. I had a lot of stress at the time, and when she passed it was essentially the “final straw” so to speak and the anxiety floodgates opened. I had a lot of DP/DR and was really shaken to the core. Everything I have seen you post about in the past few days is exactly what I felt. Unreal, scary and confusing. I felt like I was in a fog and panicked over EVERYTHING. I mean everything.

    Allow yourself to grieve and feel it all. In the moment it’s the worst thing. It makes you question everything. Hell, sometimes I still do. But it’s just your body reacting to your current situation. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t worry about it. Don’t over analyze and question it. I can pretty much bet that the answer to any of your questions is Anxiety. Take care, heal, and I will keep you in my prayers. Hugs :)

  543. Maria Says:


    My best advice would be not to try to move past it. It is in the trying that we start spinning in circles. Just allow yourself to feel as you are feeling, with no thought to, “oh but I was doing so well for so long”. If you don’t give it any power over you it won’t stick around. I know it’s hard, but just let yourself feel the anxiety. And when you do that, without responding with fear and despair, it will subside. :)

  544. abhi Says:

    hii guys plz advice me.your advice wll be helpful for me..i have an exam one mnth later which is carrer oriented for me.last 4months i was doings its preparation.but 3weeks ago my anxiety suddnly pop up.m feeling very dread to. think abt my exam.dont knowhow to to gp foreword.i was anxity free for 1year.but nw in a massive setback..give some advice

  545. Mark r Says:

    Thanks Ryan,

    I have to admit to myself I’m going through a sticky patch and it’s okay to feel a bit wonky at the moment. Setbacks are devious little buggers. They hijack you when you are in a good spell and trick you into believing you are falling back. This year has been the biggest leap forward in terms of recovery so I’m trying not to it get the better of me.

    I think a pattern of good days then bad days is positive to be honest, as do remember a time when everything was just bad. Although the last two days have been crappy, Saturday was the most peaceful I have felt in years. If you’d asked me if I would feel anxious again then I wouldve laughed. The signs are there for me that I’m okay underneath these surface emotions.

  546. Dani Says:

    Hi Jessica, Emma, Julie, or anyone that has experienced DP/DR;

    Please could you help me?

    Sometimes I worry “what if I’m actually dead and I’m just a spirit stuck not accepting that I’ve died” – I know that sounds weird but when I think it it really panics me, is this all part of DP / feeling unreal and has anyone else felt like this before?

    Also, can it make you feel really different, like everyday life no longer feels normal to you?

    I suppose I’m really looking for reassurance that this is all part of anxiety and that it gets better.

    Thank you x

  547. Chris Says:

    Thanks Maria! I’ve been reading through Paul’s new book today and it’s all making more sense now.

  548. Dani Says:

    Also, I meant to ask in my above post, can DP/DR make familiar places such as the supermarket feel strange/different somehow even though they look the same? Xx

  549. Belgian Says:


    I had a similar thought at one point. Now I just smile and laugh about it. :-)

    Did you see ‘the 6th sense’?

    I can tell you that if you were dead, I must be dead too because otherwise I would not be able to answer you. 😉

    It’s just a thought in a tired mind. It does not make you a crazy person.

    DP/DR can make everything feel weird, you must have already read this. So stop questioning it. You’re just really tired, that’s all there is.

  550. Belgian Says:


    again, it’s all the reassurance you are seeking that is keeping you in.

    Please read my previous post.

    Also, how do you stop seeking reassurance? By feeling anxiety right through. Again and again. This while accepting that this is only anxiety playing its trick and no real harm can be done to you. Seeking reassurance is not accepting it and fighting it. Stop fighting. It is just a feeling. Nothing more.

    Do not feel desperate if this is not easy. It is not easy, but you are able to do it. It takes time but the reward makes all the effort worth it.

  551. Dani Says:

    Hi Belgian,

    Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it.

    Yes I have seen that film and that’s mainly where my fear comes from! Also a film called The Others. If only I hadn’t watched those films!

    Thing is logically I know I’m not, but when I get in a certain frame of mind I think “what if” and then it gets me in a panic. I think a lot of anxious thoughts begin “what if”!

    I have read that DP/DR can make you feel strange and not with it / unreal, but wasn’t sure if it can make familiar places feel unfamiliar yet look the same. I try not to google it too much else I just scare myself more, e.g. Worrying that I have a disorder.

    Thanks again :) xx

  552. James Says:


    I’m really sorry if I’ve caused that worry to come back for you :(
    I think like you said, if you recovered for 10 months and haven’t taken drugs since, that really proves that drugs/damage are definitely not in the equation for you.

    I have yet to have a period of being better to prove that to myself!

  553. James Says:

    Does anyone get skin sensitivity as a symptom?

    I didn’t for the first 10+ years of anxiety, but now for about 3 years I have a horrible feeling all over my body, although mostly on my arms and legs, as though i have sunburn. I think it is called dysesthesia.

    Clothing feels very unpleasant against my skin, and even moving sometimes feels bad. It’s really getting me down at the moment as it is particularly bad.

    I have had an MRI for it, but doctors say it is the result of anxiety. It certainly is not a common symptom though, from researching.

  554. abhi Says:

    any one give advice..plz read my post..

  555. Maria Says:


    You’re stressed because of an important exam you have to take soon. I’m sure everyone that has to take that exam is stressed out too! It’s logical that at times like this your anxiety is going to kick in. As with any anxiety, you have to just allow it to be there and get on with whatever you need to do. Focus on your studies, not on the anxiety. You go forward by continuing to do what you need to do. Everyone has setbacks, but how you choose to react to it will determine how long it sticks around.

    Hope this helps!

  556. Debbie Says:

    Maria feeling scared today didnt sleep well.feeling like whatever i see my mind stays there in that image . the burial is today.

  557. Maria Says:


    I have to agree with Belgian here. How about this…next time you have this thought, instead of reacting with panic, try reacting with so what. Fearing that you’re a spirit is just your particular intrusive that has taken hold. And as with any intrusive, how you react to it is what’s important. Let the thought be there without giving it any power.

    As for a familiar place feeling unfamiliar, well that’s basically DP in a nutshell. DP makes everything feel unreal or surreal. It’s just what our minds do when we are feeling anxious. I know it’s a scary feeling, but acceptance is the only way forward. When you finally realize and accept that it can’t hurt you and that nothing bad will happen, the anxiety will begin to lift and you’ll start feeling like your old self again.

    Hope this helps, hang in there! It will get better! :)

  558. Maria Says:

    Hi Debbie,

    Oh hon, you have a tough day ahead. Of course you’re scared and anxious. Anyone would be. If you can, try to just let those images be without reacting to them. Take comfort today in the people around you that love and care for you. Allow yourself to grieve. Wish I could give you a big hug. Don’t be hard on yourself, anxiety is such a natural part of losing a loved one.

    Sending you prayers and hugs.

  559. abhi Says:

    thanks maria..i will do what i want..anxiety can never feed my career..thanks a lot for your precious advice..thanks again

  560. Bryan Says:


    Yes skin issues are 100% normal and we want to stop researching.
    This gives it power and importance when the truth is it is meaningless.

  561. Steve b Says:

    Chris. The what if the drugs have done something is an old chestnut. Don’t worry about it. That was a big one of mine in a past episode. Very common amongst anxiety sufferers if you indulged in drugs. I recovered.

  562. Jessica Says:


    Maria and Belgian are exactly right and have given some great advice!

    DP/DR is really scary when you experience it, it is such a foreign feeling and everything feels odd. I would look at places that I’ve been by a 100 times and would think “has it always looked like that, am I in Austin, TX, it doesn’t seem like it.” Really weird, bizarre things. It’s all a product of a tired mind. The more you try to analyze it the worse it becomes–you can’t reason with it, trust me.

    I’ll share something that will make you laugh (and might even make you think I’m crazy 😉 My husband and I have two dogs and we’ve always given them “voices” so to speak. Normally it would be things like “Dad, I’m hungry, Mom can I have some of that, etc.” We found it a comical thing to do. Brought them and their personalities to life so to speak. Anyways, during an especially difficult time I would have the dogs echo my fears “Oh great, Mom thinks she’s dead again.” “Oh are we all dead?, Oh no” “Oh mom’s crazy, she’s going to lose it” “Where are we I don’t know where we are?” It sounds ridiculous and funny but it helped me to see how ridiculous my thoughts were and it actually helped me to see the humor in it all.

    Like Belgian and Maria have echoed–just go with it. If you think you’re dead, oh well. I would say man, this reality I’m in sucks b/c I still have to go to work. I’ve even recently had a similar thought when I’ve been feeling well. I thought well I’m doing so much better I must have slipped into a different reality—but hey this one I can stand :) See how it’s ever evolving and tries to continue to scare you? As scary as it is, just go with it. One day you will look back and laugh—promise! Your body and mind just need rest, that’s all!

  563. Debbie Says:

    Maria i made it trough the burial and doing ok anxiety makes me feel like my mind is in scarey places but iam making it thanks for your support .
    With many thanks debbie ps it dos make u feel u have lost your mind.

  564. JoJo Says:


    Thank you for your post. But why am I thinking about this subject and seeking reassurance when I’m not having a bad thought or having physical anxiety in that exact moment? Has talking about it with my family and seeking reassurance just become a bad habit even when your not having symptoms?

    On another aspect of this: I’m just upset and frustrated and angry about all this today. I was having a good morning and then around mid dad I started thinking how I was tired and wanted to be done with work. With that came an uneasy feeling. I don’t know how to explain it but it’s not doom or panic or dread. Why does a normal thought like that make you feel like it’s wrong and needs figuring out? Are you just overly sensitized? I started thinking maybe I’m not happy with my job or maybe I feel this way bc my mind is tired from all this worrying. I just never know when a thought or feeling needs paying attention to or not? But why I am so affected about all this I don’t understand. It was just a simple emotion about work and being tired. Then the despair comes in that whatever this is will never go away and what am I gonna do etc

    I don’t even know what I’m upset about but whatever it is bothers me everyday. I can’t make it more than two days talking or seeking reassurance about all this and I don’t even know what THIS is. Is it just fear and I don’t see it cause I’m not shaking in my boots?

    Please help anyone, feeling really low tonight

  565. Dominic Says:

    Jo Jo
    I’m not sure if you read my earlier posts but I’ve been pretty much recovered for the last couple of years.
    I’m just coming out of a bad setback and let me tell you that when it first hit me I was shaking, not sleeping, feelings of intense fear. I couldn’t sit still for a second because of the adrenaline going through me.
    I just ignored it all and got on with my day. I slept when I could and lay there resting when I was awake.
    The feelings are just adrenaline and make you fear everything. Trust me I had the craziest thoughts.
    Now because I just left it all alone and got on with things they have slowly faded away.
    When I first got anxiety 3 years ago I was the same as you. Constantly seeking help and looking for someone to show me the way, tell me I’ll be ok. I felt better for a few hours, slept well that night, then bang! Anxiety was tricking me again. I kept searching for answers, looking for ways to recover. Should I get hypnotised, I was at work sneaking around looking on forums, reading e books on insomnia, anxiety, depression, you name it.
    I saw therapists and I still wouldn’t believe them. I thought I was different. My anxiety told me I was broken.
    Now once it all became clear and I realised after reading Paul’s book. I realised what anxiety was and what it was doing to my bod. I decided to leave it alone. It was just adrenaline and it made me feel scared. It faded, it went. I had setbacks, then good periods, then setbacks, then longer good periods until I realised it didn’t actually bother me anymore.
    Just accept it for what it is and ignore all the silly whys? And what ifs?
    My anxiety right now tells me I’m back to square one but I just ignore it and get on with my day.
    You will feel scared of everything. I’m going to New York in November and a week ago it terrified me.why? I was so excited a month ago. You see how anxiety plays tricks with you.
    I’m going New York regardless!
    Don’t play the game. Accept it all and move forward. It all passed for me and pretty much everyone else who recovered.
    Hope that helps.

  566. Dani Says:

    Hi Jessica & Maria

    Thank you so much for the great advice :) I really appreciate you taking the time to reply and help me.

    Jessica, that did make me smile re the dog’s voices, my ex and I sometimes used to do a voice for my dog. Sounds like a good idea having ‘their voice’ say those things, adding a humorous side to it must help make the thoughts feel less serious and take away some of their seeming importance.

    For a while I have been avoiding going places such as the supermarket through fear of feeling unreal and strange whilst I’m there, but yesterday I managed to go in one and do some shopping, I thought to myself “however I feel, I feel” and just kept thinking “utter acceptance of all feelings”. I did feel strange and not good whilst I was there, and afterwards I felt disappointed that I had felt strange and not normal, but then I reminded myself that a few days ago I wouldn’t have gone in there, so it’s still a step forward even though I didn’t feel normal


  567. Dani Says:

    Hi JoJo,

    I’ve had it in the past where I have a general feeling of uneasiness and I feel as though I’m worried over something or something is bothering me but don’t know what it is specifically. I just thought it was general anxiety but at a lower intensity then feeling panicky, fearful and really nervous.


  568. Belgian Says:


    Read your post again and see how many question marks you have put in there. You must be tired because your asking so many questions… You do this because you do not accept the way you feel. Again: it is not the way you feel that is causing your suffering, it is your reaction to it!

    Feel the fear, feel it through. Think the thoughts, they are just thoughts. The only relationship you need to change at this point is your relationship with your feelings and your thoughts. That is your starting point.

    A course of mindfulness helped me to gain some insight on the matter as well as some literature on the way our mind works. Also I am seeing a therapist to try to understand how my mind in particular works :-)

    But.. bottomline is always.. if you’d accepted your thoughts and feelings, you would not suffer. Knowledge only makes it easier to carry them. Another way of putting it: if you FULLY accepted it without knowing, you would recover too.

  569. Dani Says:

    Hi Jessica, I also meant to say, it really helps to know that I’m not the only one to have these thoughts. I get upset that I worry over and have these thoughts as they seem so strange, I get upset and I think to myself, if I have to worry than why can’t it be over something normal. To know I’m not the only one that has had these thoughts is reassuring. Thank you xx

  570. Maria Says:

    Hi Debbie,

    Glad to hear you made it through yesterday, I’m sure it was a very tough day. Hang in there, you’re going to be just fine. :) xoxo

  571. Jamie Says:

    I have made a conscious effort to do more than usual to put myself out of my comfort zone over the last couple of weeks as I was not doing enough to challenge myself. I have spoken to as many people as possible in my office on a 1 on 1 basis (just general chatter I struggle with) been to watch a live band with a lot of people I do not really know, a karaoke night, a quiz night, went to see a mate (just me and him) to watch football, had a day out with my daughter and took my daughter to the dentist. These things may seem run of the mill to most people but filled me with absolute terror and dread both beforehand and during with very panicky feelings and constant thoughts of “you have to get out”, “you are going to lose control”, “you will have to leave and people will notice you are anxious” etc but I have ridden the storm and got through them. Anyway, I did all of them and I am going for a contact lens tomorrow which will be challenging but I will do it anyway.

    I am doing what I usually do and not congratulating myself and getting frustrated that these things are a problem, particularly because I have felt more anxious over the last few weeks and the anxiety is not lessening for every little thing that I am doing.

  572. JoJo Says:


    Sorry to bother you again :( I understand the feel the fear concept. But as I mentioned sometimes I don’t think I’m having any fear but just out of habit wanting to talk about it or seek reassurance. It’s hard to “accept and feel” when you don’t even know what your feeling or accepting. Are you saying I’m not realizing it is fear that I’m having and all I need to do is accept that, accept the thoughts and feelings??? Stop asking questions about what I’m feeling?

  573. Maria Says:


    Great job on still living your life! Question…how do you react when you feel that, “I gotta get outta here” feeling?

  574. Jessica Says:


    I’m glad I could give you a smile–and you could confirm that other people give their dog’s voices :)

    When you said you found comfort in hearing someone else say they have experienced it–that is exactly what this forum is for. Support and advice! I was lucky to finally stumble across Paul’s book and subsequently this forum when I was deep in the midst of things. I think it’s very hard to grasp that anxiety can really make you feel this way. That always puzzled me (and frankly still does!) that a single thing, a release of energy, a release of adrenaline, can cause all of these weird things.

    Even when you find that out, it’s hard to accept. It took me quite a while to finally and truly implement the “so what” attitude and follow Paul’s method. It will be awful at times, but it is SO worth it.

    Also, don’t be so hard on yourself. That’s what I always did and still do. It’s the perfectionist attitude towards things that ultimately bring us back into the cycle. A good pdoc (someone who actually understood Paul’s teachings) once told me that I think in terms of “all or nothing” It’s either I’m not feeling anxiety and I have succeeded, or I’m feeling any anxiety and I’m a failure. There will be times that you go to places in the future and still feel “out of it” I did for quite some time. Focus on the fact that you did it. That’s the point. It’s not about not feeling crummy or weird or scared in those situations. It’s about feeling that way and saying “Oh well” and just moving on. So congratulate yourself that you did it, even when your body and mind were saying “Don’t do it Dani. You are going to feel weird. You feel odd. You don’t recognize this place, etc. etc.”

    So anyways, don’t beat yourself up. Feel proud and take baby steps. See that trip to the supermarket as the beginning of something good. The beginning of saying “So what, do what you want anxiety, I’m going to do things in spite of you.” Now you don’t have to go out there and conquer the world in a day, but my point is that you recover by taking small steps like you are. Not hiding away. :)

  575. Jessica Says:

    Err, I just realized I meant blog–not forum. Big difference. This is obviously set up for others to advise and share their personal experience for those who are struggling or are new to this whole experience. Or maybe might need clarification on something–I’m always the biggest proponent of a different view of things. Sometimes something finally clicks when someone shares their view.

    It’s certainly not in place to continually reassure people and answer the same questions over and over. Just thought I should put that clarification out there. That’s me being me–just don’t want to be misinterpreted :)

  576. Jamie Bartlett Says:

    Hi Maria. If I’m honest I think I do ‘react’ to the thoughts and feelings when they kick and although I have not backed out of a situation at the last minute or left a situation, I just get a bit panicky and they subside. I can’t say I actively observe what is happening and think rationally (which I feel I should be doing after all this time) but just stay in the situation because I feel I can’t leave it for fear of what I’d say, what people may think etc.

    If I’m also honest, I think my anxiety has increased since I’ve read Paul’s new book and consequently visited this blog a lot more often. As soon I’d read the book, I went right back to the start and started it over again, probably looking for that ‘golden nugget’.

    I find every day thinking things like “I truly give up”, “anxiety cannot harm me”, “I am not my thoughts”, “allow everything” etc etc etc and each night, my mind is frazzled and I have a tension headache from all of the thinking

  577. Dani Says:

    Hi Jessica,

    Thank you so much for your great advice, I truly appreciate it :)

    It reassures me when other people say that it took them a while to get to grips with accepting the anxiety. I find it a lot easier to accept the physical symptoms of anxiety, but not yet mastered accepting the mental side of anxiety such as the DP/DR and certain thoughts. I feel like anxiety would be so much easier to deal with if it wasn’t for the DP/DR.

    I can relate to the all or nothing type thinking re the anxiety, but I need to remind myself that it’s a step forwards if I go somewhere or do something that I’ve previously avoided, despite feeling odd / in a dream etc. Yesterday I walked into town and went in 3 shops, still felt strange but did it anyway.

    Thank you for all your help xx

  578. Maria Says:

    Hi Jaime,

    Ah…you’re so close but I think I know what you’re missing here and that’s the “so what” attitude. So you’re making yourself go into these uncomfortable situations, which is all fine and dandy, but you’re going into them with this super tense, this is totally gonna suck attitude. “I’ll just grin and bear it” and get through it. You can think those mantra type thoughts all day long but if you don’t feel them and believe them, you won’t get anywhere. You have to wholeheartedly believe that you don’t care how you feel, not just say the words.

    So, next time you’re entering one of those situations, try doing so with they attitude (attitude, not just words) of, yep, this may very likely suck, but I don’t care. So what if I feel anxious and allow yourself to feel however you feel. By reacting with tension and frustration, you just continue to feed it.

    There’s a really fine line here that’s hard to explain, but I hope this makes sense! Hang in there, you really are so close and I’m very proud of you for putting yourself out there, I know how hard that can be!

  579. Jamie Says:

    Thanks Maria. What makes you say that I am so close ? A lot of stuff has been difficult for me for a long while but stuff like worrying I will feel anxious/lose control/have a panic attack while looking after my daughter (which is 2/3 times a week) has crept in only over the last few weeks.

    I obviously need to work on the “not caring” attitude going forward.

    I won’t go into all of the details but briefly….I have always been an anxious person but since a very long relationship came to an end nearly 2 years ago, it has got a lot higher (one of the reasons for this was supposedly my anxiety but I think was an excuse). Anyway, I joined a group on the internet to get out and make friends with others in a similar position and because I had not bothered with the group for a few months, this is the reason why I have put myself out there recently and gone to see the band, karaoke and quiz. Anyway, at the karaoke, I was chatting to a lady there and picked up a vibe that she may like me. I then got really worked up leading up to the quiz a few days later as she was going again. I felt soo anxious beforehand but did it anyway. I still think she likes me and I quite like her. Anyway, my mind has now gone into overdrive worrying about seeing her at future events (I will have to leave, I will appear anxious, what if she is “the one” etc) and the thought of going on a 1 on 1 date with her or entering into a relationship with her (or anyone else) fills me with horror. This is all of course very irrational but does not alter how real the thoughts and worries are. I have always been an anxious person as I said and my brain ignores the fact that I was in 10 year relationship and tells me that I am not going to be able to enter into another one because of my issues. Can anyone relate to this ?

  580. Jeff Says:

    Jamie – anticipatory anxiety, in my experience, is ALWAYS much worse than any anxiety actually felt during the event. I’ve found that this has been the case 100% of the time.

    Maybe this person that you’ve met will be the one who will help you laugh again, feel alive again…..

    I agree with Maria….I think you’re close too. Going out and doing the things that you’re doing speaks volumes about your recovery, and lack of (debilitating) fear.

  581. Jamie Says:

    Thanks Jeff. I just went to an opticians appointment which I was absolutely dreading being in rooms with people 1 on 1. My heart was going like the clappers driving there and in the waiting room. The result ? I stayed nearly an hour and half and bought some new glasses ! Go figure !

  582. Maria Says:

    Clapping for Jamie!! Well done!!

    I was going to say much what Jeff just said. You’re so close because you’re not letting it keep you from doing things, that’s huge! You just need that slight shift in attitude and I think you’ll see big strides in your recovery. :)

  583. Dani Says:

    I went to the supermarket yesterday, but it felt so different/odd/strange to normal, I didn’t panic but afterwards I got really upset. I suppose I expected it to feel more normal than I had 2 days ago when I went in there and now feel that I’m not making any progress because it just felt as odd as last time if not more so. I find it so frustrating that I can’t just make it feel normal. It all feels so strange to me and I spent the rest of the day crying over how weird I feel. I don’t understand how to accept something that feels so awful, I was happy the other day that I had been in there even though it felt odd.

  584. Maria Says:

    Hi Dani,

    Hon, you have to stop being so hard on yourself! This is not an overnight fix. It takes time and patience and understanding. I know you feel weird and awful, I’ve been there. But try to remember everything that you’ve learned here. DP, just another form of anxiety, is caused by a very tired mind and an adrenalin powered body. I know it sucks, but acceptance is the way to get through this. By not caring how you feel. By being absolutely fine with feeling weird. “Oh well” instead of tears. Look at the bright side, you didn’t panic at the feelings! That’s huge! Yes, you were bummed out about it but you didn’t freak. Next step is to just say so what if I feel like this. It will take some time, but this is how you stop feeding it and it will eventually fade.

    Hope this helps! Xo

  585. Dani Says:

    Hi Maria

    Thank you so much for the reply. That’s a good point, the fact that I didn’t panic over it is quite good, and hopefully a step in the right direction.

    I think my problem is that when I went in there the first time a couple of days ago I expected to feel strange / unreal etc, and so I was ok with it – just happy that I had done it. However yesterday I was expecting it to feel a slight improvement because I had already done it once, so then when I felt just as strange I was so disappointed. The only thing that was different was my expectations. I know this means I wasn’t truly accepting.

    I’m telling myself that the more I go places the more normal it will become, but then find myself putting too much importance on how I’m feeling. Because I couldn’t see any improvement from the 1st visit and 2nd visit I automatically think I’ll never get better. I really need to remind myself that it’s not going to get better overnight, so to stop feeling so despondent.


  586. Emma Says:

    Mark R., & Ryan,

    How have you guys been doing with your setbacks lately? Mine seems to have lessened some. Still fluctuates throughout the day and spikes but generally that slow-burn, dull anxious/depressed ache that was there is lessening. Not entirely sure if it was anxiety or depression or a mix of both but definitely had the blues during this setback.

    I know this isn’t my last setback (even though I’m not completely out of the woods just yet), that it will come around again sooner or later and make me feel like I’m regressing but I need to find a way to be ok with this — almost to ‘expect’ that it will return…so that when it does come back (because its the nature of my being) that I can welcome it and be peace with it instead of struggling like I tend to do in the beginning. Hard work ! xx

  587. Jamie Says:

    Maria – may I ask what stage you are out now on your road to recovery ? Do you think the not caring how you feel at all was the lightbulb moment ?

  588. JoJo Says:

    Hi Belgian:
    Did you see my post above:

  589. Debbie Says:

    Maria i feel bad set backs today so bad every thing feels like it seems familiar. My mind is so scared everything seems dark and scarey i have images of memories anything my mind seems confused.

  590. Maria Says:

    Hi Jamie,

    I’m not sure how to answer the what stage of recovery are you on question. I still have the occasional blip of anxiety, but it doesn’t bother or frighten me like it used to. Realizing that there really was nothing to be afraid of was my lightbulb moment. Truly believing that nothing bad was going to happen to me and that I wasn’t going to lose it, that was when it all began to lift for me. I adopted the so what attitude and lo and behold, my anxiety lessened substantially. But there is a learning curve. What I mean by that is that for a long time I would react out of habit. An example…boyfriend says lets go to the grocery store. My initial reaction would be oh hell no, I hate the grocery store, it makes me anxious. That was habit. But then I would just say, oh yeah, I forgot, I’m cool with this! And off to the store we’d go. If I was anxious, so what. More often than not, I would get to the store and be totally fine. I’d even be walking through the store half expecting to start feeling anxious and even waiting to feel anxious but ultimately think, wow, I’m so not anxious right now, this is pretty cool! It took many experiences like that to sort of get out of the habit, if that makes sense. Now the “oh what if I get anxious” habit rarely comes to mind. So, that’s the stage I’m in on my road to recovery. :)


    Hon, you have to give yourself a break here. You’re going through a really tough time right now. Just allow your mind, scary as it feels, to be where it needs to be. You’re grieving the loss of your loved one with a huge scoop of anxiety on top. I know you’re scared, but I promise this will pass. Just allow it all to be there. Find something to do while your mind begins to heal. Don’t do it to avoid being anxious, do it while you’re anxious. This helped me a great deal, finding something I enjoyed doing was really important for me. It just helped occupy my mind while it began to settle.

    And take care of yourself, go easy on yourself. This will get better, promise!

  591. Jessica Says:


    I’m glad to hear that despite feeling out of it/weird, that you are still going out there. I have to again echo Maria’s sentiment in saying try not to be so hard on yourself!

    I had the same frustrations as you are experiencing. I had fears centered around travel, mainly flying and such, after an incident with panic attacks on a plane. I still went on many flights but was still experiencing some level of panic or anxiety towards travel. I remember earlier this year feeling completely exasperated with the fact that I was going out there and yet still felt weird or bad at times. I had this thought that if I did it a few times, or the more I did it the easier it would become. I was so angry that I had gone out and done these things, yet was still experiencing anxiety.

    I really thought that I would tackle it much quicker, that if I had a really good trip, or a really good experience that it wouldn’t happen again. And now I was frustrated, angry, and despairing again. Really what I was doing was making it worse. I wasn’t looking to accept, I was looking to not feel that way. That was the wrong attitude.

    I know it can be self-defeating when you want to feel a certain way, or you expect to be at another stage and you aren’t, but this takes time. I’m one of the most impatient people and I have had to learn that this is a process. This didn’t come on overnight, it won’t leave that way either. We have to retrain our brain in a sense. We have to undo old habits and just learn to live alongside the anxiety and crappy feelings.

    Even this morning, after three stressful days of tests for work (I’m earning a new compliance certification) and being up until all hours of the night, I felt odd and out of it. I could feel myself starting to fight it, starting to become upset b/c I haven’t felt this way in awhile, but I know what I have to do. I have two choices–I can sulk, feel upset, and analyze until I make myself worse, or I can accept that I’m having some feelings that I don’t necessarily like, but can say “so what” I’m choosing the later and will be going out to dinner with my husband tonight and then catching some college football.

    Hang in there, and be proud that you aren’t hiding away. No matter how you feel. You may not like it, but it won’t hurt you. :)

  592. JoJo Says:

    Hey I posted this on the new blog but I am not sure if people are still responding on this one: if so

    I woke up this morning and as I started my day I thought that life seems routine and mundane. I find myself always questioning is my life enough or ok or fulfilled. Is this anxiety making me feel this way? I don’t feel like it’s a depressive thought. I just don’t see others say that thinking and questioning the quality of life as being anxiety? Then I’ll say ok why do you feel life is mundane or what do I need to do to fix my life so I stop thinking this way. Please help

  593. Jamie Says:


    This is quite a long post but here goes…

    I went to a football match today and then drinks with some friends. Both of which were quite anxiety inducing but I did them so that is good. Anyway, while I am out having drinks after the game, I was getting messages from the lady (we had been messaging each other since I saw her a quiz night on Tue) I mentioned who seems to like me from the internet meet up group I joined. She said she was out at a disco with friends and said that as I was only about 20 mins away, did I want to drive up and see her ?

    I left the pub and told myself I would drive up there and then decide whether to go in or not. I drove up there and basically sat in the car or paced up and down feeling so anxious I can’t put it into words. Anyway, I plucked up the courage to tell her I was there and her and some of her friends came out to greet me. I went in and paid £12 to get in. I sat with the lady, chatted with her (with the panic rising and falling all night) and her friends spoke to me. Her best friend sat down and gave me a right grilling (in a nice way though) asking me all about myself and said “will you be going on a date with xxx” ? to which I replied “I am not sure yet”. I feel really bad saying this but the lady I went to see is not slim (this is my perfectionism anxious mind coming out) so all night, all I kept thinking was “she is not the one, she is not slim so you can’t go out with her”. The lady in question towards the end of the night said “so are we going to do something else together?” and put on the spot I just said “er…maybe” (the idea of a date seems really difficult) and I felt really awkward and I just changed the subject. I left and kissed her goodnight but my mind has gone into overdrive as she is on this internet meetup group that we do things on will wonder why I drove up there, paid to get in and didn’t seem that keen on going out with her alone. Because we have been messaging each other since Tue, I now want to cool the messages down and she will not be happy about that. I am worrying it will be awkward at the next meetup we do whatever happens. On dates, if it doesn’t go that well, you can just calm the contact down and you will probably never see them again so no harm done but this is different. When I was there, I was telling myself not to think so far ahead and just treat is an anxiety experiment for me by challenging myself again but this is someone else’s feelings we are talking about here. What have I done ? Should I have not kissed her as it is giving the wrong message ?

    P.S. Please don’t judge me for what I said about the lady in question’s appearance. I am not proud of it. That is the fussy/perfection voice.

  594. Maria Says:

    Hey Jamie,

    Before we jump into a whole analysis of this, I just want to understand a few things first. What kind of meetup group is this? Had you ever met her before? And does she know about your anxiety?


    I’m super proud of you. :)

  595. Jamie Says:

    Hey Maria

    Is it basically just a a Meetup group for people in my area of the country who are in similar position (single, separated, divorced, widowed) to do things socially so it is not a dating or singles thing. I chatted to her about 6 months ago on a walk, saw her at a karaoke Fri before last, at a quiz on Tue and of course last night. I think it is/was not a good thing to do to take things any further with anyone on this group as it makes it awkward going forward. No, she does now know about my anxiety.

    I am not feeling proud today just really regretfull. I must have liked her to go up there but now I am not so sure

  596. Anxious Indian Says:

    Hi Elaine,

    Sorry I saw your question in the last blog post late. I replied to it and hope it will help you.

    Regarding the gagging, another things that greatly helps is sipping water throughout the day. Again, do it for comfort, but don’t fear the gagging. It can’t hurt you in any way. FACT!

    It is only your anxious mind making you worry about it so much.

    By fearing it, it always stays on your mind, and leads to more gagging. So learn to smile at it too if you can :) Might not come at first so fake it, but eventually with practice it will become second nature to you.

    Hope this helps!

  597. Maria Says:

    Hi Jamie,

    so you’re worried that you may have lead her to believe you are interested and you’re not. Well, we’ve all been in that situation. :) And it’s an awkward one for sure. I think if you find the right time, you can just say that you’re not really in a place where you’re comfortable dating yet. That the main reason you’re in this group is to just get out and socialize a bit and meet new people and make new friends. And don’t feel bad about not being attracted to her, it’s just one of those either you are or you’re not things. Just be honest with her, then there’s nothing you can feel guilty about.

    As for the anxiety part, jeez, I’m impressed that you even went! 😉 but you did go and nothing horrible happened! It’s tough when you’re first trying the acceptance thing on and taking it for a spin. Takes a little getting used to as we’re so accustomed to reacting a certain way to our anxiety. Just take it easy on yourself. Being hard on yourself accomplishes nothing except more anxiety.

    Hope this helps?

  598. Jamie Says:

    Well someone inside made me go up there but I just maybe did not find her as attractive as I thought I did, if that makes sense. The 20 questions from her best friend and being asked outright if I was going to take her on a date really did not help either. As per usual, rather than driving home congratulating myself my head just went into a tailspin of all the ramifications of me going up there to see her. In hindsight, I think I should not have gone and just met her at the next meetup so it was not me making a special effort to see her. From her point of view, I have driven up there specifically to see her, paid to get in and sat with her for 2 hours then said goodnight so I was worried I may have given mixed messages.

    I can’t believe I went either. When I was outside deciding whether to just drive home again or go in, I was physically shaking.

    I am sorry if I have turned this into a dating forum now :o)

  599. Bryan Says:


    Did you change your user name again?

  600. Debbie Says:

    I dont know what debbie u are talking about but i never changed my user name.

  601. Dani Says:

    Hi Jessica,

    Thank you so much for your reply, everything you’ve said really makes sense. I have taken screenshots on my phone of your’s & Maria’s replies to me, to remind my self when needed. It really helps having people that understand how it feels, especially knowing that you have come through it. I have a couple of friends who suffer with anxiety but they don’t seem to get the DP/DR, and it’s hard to explain to people who haven’t experienced it.

    Good luck in your tests, I hope it goes well :)


  602. Jessica Says:


    Thank you! :) It’s not always easy at times, but if it was, then, well we wouldn’t all need this blog, or great advice. Plus, it would be meaningless in a sense. If things come easy, you never learn. That’s what I had to fight for so long. I wanted the easy way–but there isn’t. Thanks for the great advice and continued support!


    I’m glad to hear that you are finding help and advice from myself and others here. Maria is a a great source!! She’s helped me many times! It definitely helps to talk things through sometimes, and this blog is such a great resource to aid you along with Paul’s invaluable knowledge.

    I’ve passed the first 2 tests–now I have 3 more to go to earn the certification. I’ll keep my fingers crossed :)

  603. Keari Says:

    Hi all,

    I’ve had episodes of anxiety and fully recovered and I’m going through a particularly rough spell right now. All of your comments and support on this website are beautiful and wonderful to read and I love to see it. It’s funny how easy it is to try to fight it. The fighting comes so natural when we don’t feel well. Even when I know better.

    I see a lot of people post about their apprehension when they feel good afraid it will come back. I wanted to share what helped me recover from my worst epidosde. What helped me was to accept that my good days wouldn’t last and neither would my bad days. All things ebb and flow. Once you can accept that you can’t make it stay by holding on, and accepting that it too will pass, its actually easier to let it be and enjoy the moment for what it is. This can also be helpful for when you’re in a bad day. Accept that things ebb and flow and nothing lasts. Not the good. Not the bad. And that’s okay. But eventually your baseline raises and your neutral becomes more tolerable, and then, over time, more pleasant. But those blips high and low don’t last. They can’t. Just be with them for what they are while they’re there. I hope that helps in some way.

  604. Jamie Says:

    Well I am at the end of another week and I have been talking to as many people as possible at work on a 1 to 1 basis and I had an appraisal with my line manager. I managed to get through all of them. Whenever people sit down beside me to discuss work or I sit beside someone else to discuss work, after a while I feel this big rush of panic rise up and all these thoughts telling me I have to get out, but I breathe and speak slowly and wait for it to subside. Two women at work asked me yesterday if I wanted to go out and get McDonalds for lunch. Wow. Queue for me saying “I’m not sure about that…..maybe” and then clock watching constantly until it was time to go. Travelling with them in a car, ordering at McDonalds and then coming back ? Intense panic and negative thoughts. I told myself I was not going to back out of it and I was going to do it. I went in the car and apart from feeling a bit panicky at the beginning, I was ok (there is no way they would have noticed – I must hide it well). They then suggested sitting down at a table to eat it by the coffee machine. Oh my god ? I couldn’t possibly do that ! I did that too and it was fine. I have been a bit better this week with not caring how I feel, taking the anxiety with me everywhere and slowly trying to make my life bigger than the anxiety. Usually every Friday night, my head is tied in about 100 knots, I have a banging headache and I feel down and frustrated that I feel emotionally and mentally drained every Friday. I am thinking differently today and feel a little calmer.

    I am taking my daughter to the cinema in the morning and I have this constant movie in my head for the last few days that I am going to feel really panicky, she will notice and I will have to say I don’t feel well and leave half way through. I have done it lots of times so I am damn well going to do it again.

    Then we get on tomorrow night where I am going to a disco where the lady from my Meetup group is going to be there that I spoke about in my previous messages. I am not sure how I am going to play that and I think I will get pretty nervous beforehand but I think I will just go along and see what happens….

  605. Elena k Says:

    Hi can Anyone please help
    Every time I eat I feel really sick and when I do eat
    I feel really anxious and vomit
    It seems to be getting worse and I can’t keep anything down.
    I don’t want to go on meds but I feel like I’m slowly giving up

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