You have no control over your anxiety

What fixes a broken leg?

Can you analyse it better? Can you worry it better?

What fixes a cut on your arm?

Can you make it better through personal will? Can you fight it better?

No you cannot, yet this is what we try and do with anxiety. Even though this approach makes us feel worse so many carry on down the same path. Every week I see someone say ‘I am still battling with my anxiety’. Recovery only came to me when I stopped battling, as there is nothing to battle against, it is like lashing out at an enemy that does not exist, tiring yourself out further, mentally and physically, only creating more of what you are trying to get rid of.

The answer to the initial questions is nature fixes anxiety, you have to do nothing to fix a broken leg apart from rest it, you have to do nothing to fix a cut on your arm, it is all done for you.

This is the point I came to, I realised I only thought I had control, yet I never did, I had none, none at all. I could not control my thoughts, my emotions, as much as I could not control my heart or my digestive system, it was like going outside and trying to stop it raining. All I could do was allow all this stuff to come up, feel it fully and let it go.

Try stopping a thought or an emotion and you will soon realise how little control you have.
Me coming to this realisation pretty much stopped the battle in its tracks, I still felt awful on and off for a while as there was so much anxiety and negative energy stored up within me, but finally all attempts at control were over. I finally realised I never had any control, it seemed silly to think I ever did.


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1,064 Responses to “You have no control over your anxiety”

  1. Carmen Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I am more grateful for you and to you than I can even say! I send you a great big hug. Thank you for the books, the app, your availability on social media and this site. I have referred several people here and they start getting well right away.

    I still get setbacks once in a while and how comforting it is to know that all I have to do about them is: nothing! The only way I “suffer” a little bit sometimes is when symptoms change and they scare me for a little while as I am not familiar with those “new” ones. Quickly though, I realize the bluff is on, I am only fake sick again, so do nothing; have a life, and let nature take it’s course, and it always does :)

    A nice side effect of this lifestyle of acceptance is having no self pity no matter what happens. I did not realize how destructive self pity was to my mood and my outlook on life, and how it would put a weight on my shoulders.

    Nolan, thank you for your posts and for sharing your experience. You too have been very helpful to me, God bless you!

    Everybody else here: Rock on! You will get well, you are getting well already! You all are very courageous people, anxiety is not for cowards!

    Love, Carmen

  2. Derrick Says:

    Great thoughts as always Paul. I have been following your approach for about a year with great results at times. I still suffer from setbacks, but I have been able to bounce back every time, even when they last for weeks and feel pretty severe. The good times feel great, and I am just fully living my life when they occur. These good times also can last for weeks. It is a tiring process, but I realize that giving up the fight doesn’t bring instant peace. This is hard to accept, but apparently a hard reality that must be endured.

    Recently, my work was devastated by restructuring and lay offs. I am still working, but my future is very uncertain. In other words I am facing some “real” stress (as opposed to the fake stuff I am usually anxious about). I am trying very hard to just let it all pass, but this situation has me amped up and I feel all of the sensations of stress that caused my GAD in the first place. I was making such good progress with accepting and moving along, but this has taken me into a setback that feels much much more severe. I am trying to let the thoughts just go, but action seems required and I feel a bit paralyzed.

    Any thoughts on how to move forward in this situation? Thanks

  3. Nolan Says:

    Insightful post as usual, Paul.

    Thanks, Carmen. It’s always nice hearing that!

    The mindset of “let it be there, and stop caring so much that it’s there” has made all of the difference for me.
    Whether it was anxiety or depression (both of which I suffered from) or the symptoms that goes along with these (symptoms that can expand, morph, and completely change from day to day) or just the annoyances and stressors of everyday life…. having an attitude of “oh well, it is what it is, But now I’m getting back on with my life” has almost completely changed who I am. For the better.

    Make no mistake, I’ve certainly recovered that ‘old me’. But it’s a better version of ‘old me’. because now, thanks to Paul, I have the right mindset to deal with things that used to throw me off course.

    One of the hardest things to get across are the ‘automatic, inherent insights’ you’ll get along the way once you start moving back on with your life and caring less about how you feel at any given moment (but especially when the anxiety and/or depression are on thick).
    It’s like way deep down inside of you there’s this bit of wisdom that knows what’s going on, knows that it’s nothing to fret over, and knows that the old you is still there. We block it out when we try to conquer the beast with our own actions to ‘figure it all out’, to make sense of anxiety and by force of will expelling it from our lives. But this never works. As Paul has said, it only reinforces the anxiety.

    But once we quiet down and let the anxiety/depression do whatever it wants to do to us (while we’ve since disengaged and have decided to make our lives bigger than the fears, the despair, the symptoms) slowly things start to make sense to us again. It starts to just make sense that we’re not actually broken and that our body knows exactly what to do.

    Stop the search. Let it all be there and move back on with your life.

  4. Kat Says:

    Thank you for the post, Paul. I can’t tell you how nice it was to see a new post on a day when I actually needed it!

    After almost a steady two years of really trying to get the best of anxiety, and see marked improvement for the most part, today, for some unknown reason, the anxiety train came rolling back. No warning, no discernible cause, just “Here I am!”. I did my best to just let it roll over me, to not react too much to the symptoms, but I’m disappointed to realize I have not yet unlearned the impulse to react. I almost cried I was so frustrated, because I was just thinking the other day how good I’ve been feeling, and how much I am looking forward to things. The cynic inside is saying I should have never given myself permission to look forward to anything because that is surely the cause. When I’m feeling calmer, I can see how ridiculous that kind of thinking is, but when the physical symptoms get in the way, it’s hard to see straight. I’ve been dealing with this issue for such a long time, I feel like an expert on it most days. Then, I have a weak moment and I scramble to figure out why and how to fix it. Your post has reminded me that I have no control over it, that I just need to let it happen. I just wish I had more patience in coping with it. I still don’t understand how it can just arrive without any kind of prodding. It’s the unpredictability that is the most frustrating!

    Again, thank you for the post. I may not be in the best of spirits today, but finding a new entry that speaks directly to my problem is a good thing.

    Take care,


  5. Laura Says:

    I have been struggling with anxiety for just over a year now and for the first 4 months it was so hard to even get out of bed.
    After discovering this site and reading Paul’s book I have really benefited and seen progress. I can see how the process and setbacks are necessary for recovery. However it is disappointing when the setbacks come, and often I want to cry and do whatever it takes to feel better. But once I resist and just get on with the next thing, I gradually lose interest in the fear.
    I know I am well into recovery but the bad habits of comparing myself to others and wishing I could have it as easy as them is very strong. Slowly I am letting go of this, but patience is really necessary and often lacking.
    One thing I have learnt from this time is that often we are under the illusion that life should be easy and carefree, and if you have a bad day, month, or year it is not normal or acceptable.
    Actually life has many seasons and is always changing…. Good, bad, boring, inspiring. We just need to let it happen
    Thankyou Paul for helping me understand and slowly making a change, and thanks to others on here who are kind enough to share your experience. I feel supported and it has been foundational in my path of acceptance

  6. Matej Says:

    Hello there,
    After reading the book and the blog in February, I think I finally stopped (or at least trying to) to avoid the feelings, thoughts and sensations. However within this process several times has occured that I experience some unpleasant physical sensations in my body, like within a second there is a blast of pressure and adrenaline/energy in my body. It is not accompanied with any scary thoughts or anything, just some weird stuff going on in my body. Is it a good sign that the body finally is realeasing the adrenaline and the bad energy? I am asking this because of course I started to be scared that if its not a beginning of an anxiety attack even though I think I have never experienced it.

    Thanks a lot on this!


  7. Alz Says:

    Nolan ,
    This is especially for you: I’ve moved back with my husband , I went on that trip to the mountains ( and boy did anxiety play its tricks on me – eg I was thinking I’m imagining things moving ) and I’m trying to regain my life. Sure , the new symptoms are scaring the hell out of me but do I have an option ? No ! There is a lot of anticipatory anxiety and when I think of my child’s death the feelings of unreality pour in ( even writing about it seems unreal for example) but I’m trying not to think too much and at this point I would just like to thank you ! I know I have a very LONG way to go in reclaiming my life but I guess anxiety is something I hv to learn to live with . Right now while talking to my husband I didn’t hear what he was saying and was fr example questioning that but again – it is what it is . If I’m half baked right now I’ll let it be.

  8. Tasnim Says:

    Hey guys,
    I have been on this blog for several months, if you remember seeing me. I would just like to say thank you to Paul and everyone else on here that has helped me. After having a bad fall from anxiety, I feel confident enough to say that I am basically recovered or just a few steps away from it. I wanted to share my insight with it all.

    My anxiety started I think a couple months before I realized it was anxiety, I’m December. I made that worse by worrying about my new intrusive thoughts until I finally got a full blown anxiety attack at the end of January. Then on, I just couldn’t. Bounce back and I had this horrible feeling I couldn’t explain. But then soon enough I found Pauls website and I felt so reassured, because all I ever knew of anxiety was that it was this horrible thing that happened to people and needed to be fixed with medicine and therapy. I went through an up and down process of feeling good and bad, until I started to feel soludarity.

    Some tips I discovered for myself:
    I truly started feeling normal when I stopped trying to feel normal.
    You have to let yourself feel uncomfortable to finally feel comfortable. It’s like that with anything. Like how when you excercise, you should always pick up a weight that you find hard to lift, and eventually you’ll body will get comfortable with it. So when anxiety symptoms come, let them be there no matter how scary they are and how much they bother you because evntually you’ll get used to it
    Engage with life, don’t just be there. In the beginning of my life, a major thing that helped me was just spending time with my friends and family. Even if I felt horrible and inside my head, I still acted like I do with them. Not only did this let me stay with life, but now I can look back at those times and not think anxiety but think of actually memories.
    I had to stop ruminating. I realized that analyzing never gave me a solution but more problems. I just learned to say “that was a scary thought or feeling, but it’ll pass eventuallu . I don’t have to do anything.”
    I learned to stop fearing anxiety like it was some horrendous disease that I got, but really it was a normal human emotion that I made myself, and that’s all it was. Like any human emotion, I just let it runs it’s course. Like when you’re super angry, it’ll affect your whole day, but miraculously after a day or two you feel normal.

    Everyone is different and I’m trying to suggest a guideline for anyone to use, but I wanted to show how understanding and accepting truly did help me. I was just as doubtful as everyone yet here I am. I still get anxiety, and intrusive thoughts, but like everything else they only take up a minute of my entire life, and I can use the rest of my time to actually live. I know that my time with this anxiety was short, but I truly believe that it’s possible to get here no matter how long you suffered. Sorry for the super long post, but I hope this can help even a single person.

  9. Gordon Says:

    Hi All
    Not been on here for quite a while, but a recent very stressful event seems to have me searching again!
    I understand all the principles of what Paul says, and I seem to be able to rationalise that when I get panic attacks they will pass and I will be fine so I just try to ‘float’ through them if you will.
    The thing is I’m finding it difficult at the moment.
    The worst time I have is when I’m doing something on my own with my kids. Just the thought of going anywhere can instantly fill me with panic. I seem to think I’m going to have a complete meltdown and not be able to look after them. I know in my mind that they would be fine and I’m being unrealistic, but I can’t seem to get over this!
    Most of the time I seem to be able to handle it ok using Paul’s advice, but I seem to have spiralled into the depths again lately where I’m now in that place where you think you will never recover, be like this forever, go insane, lose control etc etc!
    Does anyone out there with kids ever feel this way?
    Any advise anyone?

  10. Nolan Says:

    Alz, that is great to hear!
    Trust me on this, you’ll start to notice more and more this inner strength; which is hand in hand with an inner peace.

    I can’t thank Paul enough for his book and his insights. My wife was even telling me not too long ago that she noticed some very good changes in me: slower to anger, more accepting of things that don’t go my way (which was the initial fuel for my anxiety and depression), and much better ability of living my life even when those things aren’t going my way.

    I never used to be like that. But I can feel these changes happening.
    Put more simply: it’s changed the way I deal with the bad stuff that can happen in one’s life.

    You’ve been through more than I would ever want to imagine. There can be nothing harder than losing your child. Nothing compares.

    But Alz, from great sufferings comes great growth. There are other people out there who have lost or are losing their child/children. Their grip on reality, on themselves, on their minds will loosen and slip. They’ll be lost, scared, feeling broken beyond repair…. and you’ll be able to be that calming voice for them. Someone to guide them back through the hardest possible thing that could happen. Helping them through the guilt of even considering healing from the loss of their child; as if in healing they’ll lose their child even more.

    But when we let that pain be there. When we stop running from the pain and face it, carry it with us, let it do to us whatever it wants to…. patiently bear that cross and expect nothing more…. then a profound change slowly starts to happen within us.

    God bless.

  11. Doreen Says:

    Alz – I have had a number of traumatic events in my life which for me were on a par with the ones you have suffered. But what I have learned is that when such events happen they are bound to rock our world and the anxious feelings generated will spill over onto anything and everything. That doesn’t mean that all the other things about which we then become anxious about merit such a awful feeling. I have learned to say to myself ‘this is bound to happen but don’t add any fuel to the initial panic by getting caught up in examining each and every symptom and fear’ Accept that anyone who has suffered the losses that you have is bound to feel dreadful and that some part of you will always ache and be sad but it doesn’t mean that you are losing your mind if at the moment your fragility is causing you to experience strange and worrying thoughts. And most importantly – don’t fight what you feel.

  12. Honey Says:

    Paul I wondered if you would do a post on what to expect from recovery as it still confuses me. Am I learning to accept the feelings and living alongside them forever or am I actually going to lose the element of disorder and live a normal life without daily feelings.

    Do you still feel anxiety at a disordered level at times?

    I’ve been pretty well at times but for the last few years I have felt anxiety at some point everyday and can’t help but think ‘oh no’ when its cloud depends. You see I function and avoid nothing yet I still FEEL anxiety and I still dislike it. What am I doing wrong? I say accept but it’s so hard to truly accept something I hate.

    Once again great post and thank-you for all your work Paul.

  13. Alz Says:

    Doreen thanks a lot ! I know I should accept each and every symptom but there is such fear because I never experienced such symptoms before . Do let me know if u also felt fear along the way and how u dealt with the feelings of losing ur mind especially when they seem so real .How I’m functioning , I have no idea .

  14. Alz Says:

    Nolan, thanks a lot ! I need all the encouragement at this point ..

  15. Kat Says:

    Hello all,

    I hope you are all well and feeling as though you are making great progress in your recovery.

    I have a question for those of you who are recovered, or well on your way toward it: how long did it take you?

    I ask this not to put a deadline on my own progress, but more to get a frame of reference. I have been doing my best to use Paul’s method for a number of years, but I will admit that I have drifted from it a bit when I was feeling good, which made the setbacks that much harder because I had to regroup and try to put the ideas back into motion. For almost two years now I have been really focusing on recovery, and have been doing my level best to try to learn to accept the feelings and to try to live alongside them. As I’ve said in previous posts, I have made some progress, and while I am certainly grateful for those periods where anxiety wasn’t at the forefront of my thoughts each day, I have never really been totally free of it because I was always aware it would likely return.

    I’m in the middle of a bit of a setback at the moment, and I’ve been reading over older posts and Paul’s section on setbacks to help me temper this. All of the advice is sound, but I am still left wondering how long is too long. As I’ve been dealing with anxiety for such a long time, I am really eager to know if anyone else has had an extended period of recovery, in the area of more than two years or so. I realize that this is my effort to get some reassurance, but as it seems to be taking me longer than it takes others, I would really appreciate some positive stories to help me get back on track. I’m having a day where I feel like I’m back at square one and would really like to believe that I’m just as capable as anyone in dealing with this problem.

    Take care,


  16. Simon Says:

    Dear Kat,
    I have been asking the same to Paul. Paul, could you give us some stories of recovery? This would really be encouraging.
    In my case, I had three anxious phases in my life and each time I got an antidepressant and within 2-3 months I felt well again. This time it is different though. I had another crisis starting in January, I took the medicine again and it didn’t have an effect anymore! So I saw this as the big chance to work on myself and recover without crutches. This was a big decision for me. So I cannot say how much time it took me to recover. It is the first time I really work on recovery. My anxiety is due to trauma and I believe that only when I process this unprocessed memories I will be able to turn the page and recover fully. I think it is important to understand what your anxiety trigger is so that you can work on the root causes if needed.
    I am now off medicine (wow, I am so proud of this!) and started doing EMDR therapy to process the unprocessed, and of course, practice Paul’s method. So in total, I am in my 5th month of anxiety of which I have been practicing Paul’s teaching for 1.5 month. I am quite good at going on with my life; I just do everything and force myself to do it despite all the symptoms. My attitude has changed too but I am still struggling with an overheated system. I don’t know how long this desensitization process will take. This wont happen over night and I still fight at times with accepting this. I went through different periods in these 5 months: first depression (crying every time I thought of the trauma) and insomnia, scary thoughts, DP and this kind of dizziness in my head. I don’t know what is next…
    Another point I believe is important is to believe in yourself. Imagine your future without anxiety!

  17. Julie W Says:

    Hi all,
    I haven’t been on here for a couple weeks as I have found myself in a setback and just wanted to get on with things. Anyway, I am really struggling with my intrusive thoughts again. I was doing well with them and just letting them be, but they are really strong again. My thoughts tell me that I won’t be able to get up, that my mind is failing and I will be shipped off to a mental institution or worse (that i will eventually hurt myself because of this – I fear this). I also constantly get thoughts that i can’t do anything (from cooking, going out, etc) but I continue on, pretty much making myself do everything. I find this hard as I can’t just do something without my mind telling me I can’t do it.

    The reason I am posting is because I am really struggling to get out of bed in the morning. It seems to take me ages to get up and going. I don’t feel depressed but i feel like my worst fear is slowly materializing – that I can’t get up and my mind is failing. I feel really, really scared that I am heading downhill. It doesn’t seem to matter that it’s never happened before, it’s almost like the longer this goes on, the more chance of it happening. I plan my day the night before, so that i have plans in the morning, but when morning comes, I don’t care, and just lie in bed for a couple hours.

    I have lots of big vacation plans this summer, and I have done lots of vacations over the last two years with this fear/anxiety, and managed, but I am back into the what it, what if, what if I finally can’t get up to go on vacation and my mind finally fails. I know this is anxiety/OCD but I fear that my fear is actually coming true right now.

    I thought I was doing so well with my intrusive thoughts, but they are scaring me now. Anybody else had a really hard time getting up with these kind of thoughts or does anybody else have any advise?

  18. Fleur Says:

    Hi Julie W,

    I have the same worries (feelings) like you have. When I wake up I am not able to do something. Before 2 days I was pretty good but now again, setback. I don´t understand why am I so scared. I am scared all the time that I will go crazy, that I will do something, what crazy people do. Or when I trust myself enough that I will not go crazy,then I am able to laugh about this strange thought,and then I worry that what if I am depressed, what if i don´t love my boyfriend.. :)

    I don´t have advice for you, because I am not able to give advice, but I would like to tell you that you are definitely not alone.

    Good luck

  19. Julie W Says:

    Thanks Fleur. I wish you all the best too.

    I am not sure why this is bothering me so much recently. I have spent months letting this be, doing exposure with this thought to the point where the thought bores me when I listen to myself repeating it over and over (this is my OCD therapy), but today I feel sick about it and I can’t get it off my mind. I have been told OCD thoughts may never go and you just have to live with them in the back of your mind, which I am trying to be ok with, but I think not being able to get up the last little while, is just adding fuel to the fire, and making me think the fear is actually coming true and one day I really won’t be able to get up – ugg!

  20. Matt K Says:

    Hey Paul,
    I have bought both of your books and what you say makes sense. I am on medication? Prozac, and go to counseling once a week. I function in the world not avoiding many things, but I always seem to have a sense of dread and free floating anxiety. I sometimes sweat when I go out to eat and have an I have an underlying sense of anxiety every day. It has been 20 years feeling this way after a bad drug experience when I was 19. I can’t seem to accept the way that I feel or have trouble allowing it. I also have trouble ha I g faith that if I do nothing I will get better. It seems as though no matter what I try, it just won’t go away. Any advice or insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated. I am tired of feeling this way and would like just to enjoy my life again somehow. Thank you sir!

  21. Simone Says:

    Dear Nolan,
    I just read your post again. And I fully agree with you that the hardest things to get across are the ‘automatic, inherent insights’. I start to be at the point where deep inside me I know what’s going on and there is nothing to fret. Yesterday I felt panic coming up at work, waves of adrenaline with traumatic memories. But I instantly understood the point and didn’t get into the storm. I felt shaky afterwards, but I just continued and went to the gym to do weight lifting. I really felt spaced out though! Knowing that the old me is still there really gives me reassurance to continue even though my body is full of adrenaline and I feel almost constantly apprehensive and DP.
    It is hard to accept that this is the only way to recovery! Let the storm pass through our bodies and let the system desensitize. Sometimes I think “maybe I should call my psychiatrist and as for pills”, but deep inside I know this is not the solution and I already took my decision and I am gonna stick to it. It is the toughest but the most sustainable way to real recovery: No pain no gain!

  22. Bryan Says:


    Lots of us experience slow or prolonged recovery. I’ve been improving with it all for the last few years but like you can still have very harsh patches and setbacks. It’s just reality for us. I know it can feel frustrating because we make progress and it’s hard to imagine being in that harsh place again.
    We also see those around us making more linear recoveries.

    Like you, my symptoms are not situational. They come without explanation. For no reason…. not based on a worry or setting. Just right out of sleep. But it’s all still anxiety and stress. It’s all a manifestation of stress and negative energy as Paul calls it.

    The bottom line remains that life has gotten so much better for me and this has happened throug the continual living of life and best efforts to just allow things to express as they need to. Am I perfect at that? Of course not. But quality of life has improved hugely over the past few years.

    So for now, we just take heart and accept that this is how our bodies are working their way through it all. In time, we will see more and more peace as we continue to look for it less and less.

  23. rawnit Says:

    hello everyone.
    i have been here since last year . silently reading
    posts .. i just want to know that how to
    concentrate on studies while having anxiety.. i
    mean i sometimes feels that i am studying but
    not grasping anything . so many thoughts passing
    through my mind at the same time . and when i
    force my self to focus on what i am studying it
    starts getting worse…. and then again negative
    thoughts thoughts …….. plz guide me as its
    been very tough for me . i have to study to pass
    exams to get a job…. plz any suggestions …paul
    . nolan .. dominic ….. plz

  24. Steve b Says:

    Hi Bryan. Good to hear from you.
    I am the same. I don’t worry about anything in particular although lean to the side of health anxiety. If had to label it. But can’t seem to achieve this linear recovery either.
    I seem to get symptoms for no good reason.
    One day all my thoughts free flowing and feel 100% normal that I can’t remember what I was worrying about. Next day, complete opposite. Been like that for ages.
    I know Paul balks at the idea that some people are just born that way and it would be defeating to think along those lines but it is strange no?

  25. Louise griffiths Says:

    Hi all I am new to this blog. I have been struggling with anxiety and panic attacks since last October. With it lasting for so long it’s caused depression with it too. To the point where I’ve felt like not being here anymore and what’s the point. I have been off food for a week now. Managed a few disgusting smoothies just hoping to keep my nutrients cuz I know it would be worse if I didn’t. I have nausea with all food. Sometimes I can’t swallow and I throw up and then I get diarrheal too which debilitated me for day. Does anyone else have these symptoms. I’m going to try Paul’s approach. I’m in Los Angeles now on holiday and I was hoping it would reset me but it hasn’t. Even the sight of sun and swimming pool isn’t enough to snap me out of it. I’ve heard you’re supposed to focus on what you enjoy and don’t let it stop you. What if you cant find one thing that you enjoy x

  26. Louise griffiths Says:

    As well has anyone ever related anything to hormones. Like maybe an imbalance or too much cortisol x

  27. Bryan Says:

    Hey Steve,

    I balk at it too. I had no real issues for 41 years of my life. So for me it’s just a phase albeit a long one. But Paul had issues for a decade. Some people start with it earlier so it feels like they were born with it but I don’t really buy it.
    It’s behaviorally based at the end of the day. (On a macro level) And we always have options over how we behave.

  28. Gordon Says:

    Hi all, posted this days ago but it was stuck in moderation

    Gordon Says:
    May 15th, 2016 at 7:53 pm
    Hi All
    Not been on here for quite a while, but a recent very stressful event seems to have me searching again!
    I understand all the principles of what Paul says, and I seem to be able to rationalise that when I get panic attacks they will pass and I will be fine so I just try to ‘float’ through them if you will.
    The thing is I’m finding it difficult at the moment.
    The worst time I have is when I’m doing something on my own with my kids. Just the thought of going anywhere can instantly fill me with panic. I seem to think I’m going to have a complete meltdown and not be able to look after them. I know in my mind that they would be fine and I’m being unrealistic, but I can’t seem to get over this!
    Most of the time I seem to be able to handle it ok using Paul’s advice, but I seem to have spiralled into the depths again lately where I’m now in that place where you think you will never recover, be like this forever, go insane, lose control etc etc!
    Does anyone out there with kids ever feel this way?
    Any advice anyone?

  29. Steve b Says:

    Hi mate. Makes sense. I agree. We can all change albeit the older you get the more you are set in your ways.
    It’s a tricky one though. Deconstructing the atom would be easier than losing the anxiety.

  30. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    I’ve not posted in a while so just thought I’d give a post which is an update and also ties in with Paul’s message of little control.

    I hit a very severe setback in mid October last year. It was a bolt out of the blue as I had been well for almost 18 months and my only ‘setbacks’ were a few days max. I thought I had nailed anxiety down to a tee and to experience it all again in such force was very frustrating.

    Fast forward 6/7 months and I am doing much better. I have very good weeks now where I have no interest in anxiety at all, if I read or talk about it then the subject bores me to tears. In those times I am very outward, my physical energy Is good, work and hobbies engrossing etc and I can’t remember how crap I felt. Something innocuous seems to start off a couple of bad days then I am generally in a funk after for a week or so. I’m very inward, no energy, have little motivation to do external things, this pattern seems to repeat itself every few weeks/month. This past week has been like that.

    So how does this tie in with Paul’s post…..?

    I’ve learnt now that these times of crapness, be it highly anxious, depressed, general funk are a process that needs to burn out. The more I try and get back to the feeling of calmness of the preceding days or weeks the more I get stuck in the mud. The real me is the positive one, the outgoing one, the one who makes people laugh, the one who gets engrossed in geeky hobbies and football, NOT the lazy, selfish, inward one. It’s been a very hard journey again since October but I’m starting to see me come back piece by piece. This has only happened through acceptance and getting on with my life. This last week has been hard but I can now be observant and objective about it, another bump in the road. I don’t worry how long the funk lasts anymore, I just get bored of feeling it.

    Sorry this has been a bit evangelical but just wanted people to know that no matter how doomed you feel peace can always be round the corner if you give your body the break it needs. At times over this last half a year I’ve wanted to give up completely but something told me not to. I’m not okay yet but very pleased at my progress.

    Be well.


  31. Rose Says:

    Hello all,

    I’m doing pretty well these days and thought I’d add in my two-penneth about acceptance for anyone who’s still struggling.

    For me, my ability to accept, ‘give up the fight’ or ‘care less’ about symptoms has been something that has fluctuated with the severity of my anxiety. And, even now, when the anxiety has flared up intensely, it has all begun to matter again (Claire Weekes talks about ‘mattering’ returning during setback). One of the things I have really wrestled with during these times has been the feeling that ‘I’m doing it all wrong’ or somehow ‘not accepting properly.’ Feelings of failure, hopelessness and inadequacy that somehow I can’t attain this zen-ilke state of not giving a toss that is talked about on this blog.

    For me, learning to understand that, when the anxiety is truly raging, it can be difficult/near on impossible to ‘not care’ has been the more honest path. Also, admitting that, funnily enough, I don’t actually like feeling highly anxious and would prefer to feel a bit better thank you very much feels like a relief after months of tying myself up in knots trying not to try to get better so I can get better (which I’m not supposed to be trying to do!)

    So (for me, anyway) helpful thoughts have been:

    – it’s just anxiety
    – all of the thoughts are bollocks
    – it’s not dangerous
    – it will burn itself out eventually
    – it feels shit
    – it’s ok to feel shit about feeling shit
    – it’s ok to take positive steps to manage stress and well-being
    – a healthy dose of acceptance is a good thing but it will come and go and works better alongside positive behavioural routines.

    Find your own path people. I am by no means dismissing the importance of acceptance as part of recovery but you will find millions of people all over the internet and in real life who have recovered in a million different ways.

    Best of luck,

    Rose x

  32. Star Says:


    So I have learnt a lot; with the help of the book, this site and mainly my experiences which has reinforced what the way forward is. I have experienced that fighting anxiety brings so much suffering as I experienced to such a huge extent about a month ago and it is so futile, that I don’t think I could do that again to myself.

    I finally understood the dissociation between myself and my thoughts which was a big help and led me to some peaceful days; but of course the anxiety is back; the confusion, indecisiveness, lack of confidence, self consciousness…. But I will definitely not fight it.

    The thing that really irritates me is all that I lose when I am anxious (or maybe I just think that I lose it) I feel like there is anxious me and then real me; and when anxious me is ruling/ muddling up my brain, I can do things uncharacteristic of me and when the real me resurfaces I get really frustrated with ‘anxious me.’ Does that make sense?
    Like I am starting to learn to be ok with feeling awkward and not caring what people are thinking because they usually are not, but I just find that I am so compromised when I am anxious which is a form of resistance I suppose?

  33. Nolan Says:

    Hi Rawnit,

    Just let your mind race when it starts racing.
    You’re sitting there reading a book or going over notes and you find that your mind is gearing up to start shooting in every direction…. or maybe it already has started doing that; so just let it.

    Accept that it might make your studying a bit more cumbersome. Don’t put any more extra importance to it. “Oh well, it’s hard getting the information to sink it. A lot of things are even riding on this…. but that is life. Sometimes the wind blows with us and sometimes against us.”

    It sounds so flippant, but it’s really not. It’s the key to deal with struggles that surface in our lives.

    I had the fear and despair over not being able to sleep at night. “What if I can’t function tomorrow? My job is riding on this… my family… I have a new born son…. what if I lose my job, what if I lose my mind?! What if I’m broken forever!?”

    All of those thoughts crashed down on me. Every way I tried to mentally argue my way out of it just lead to me getting more stuck in it. Lead to me being more flooded with despair and fear.

    When I came to that moment when I said “no more. Whatever happens is going to happen. Sleep or no sleep. Calm mind or flooded with terror. I am done letting this dictate anymore of my life. I know what I need to do and I don’t need my emotional current to be flowing in that direction in order for me to do it. If I’m exhausted and feel like collapsing, then so be that too.”

    You start along that path with that new way of looking at things.. and then you notice things starting to slowly change.

    You get these momentary glimpses of your old self. The fear that dominated and crushed you just isn’t there. And, while at one moment it only seemed to make sense how you were broken for good…. now you see that it’s not that way at all: how this is a blip, a learning experience and that the old you is still very much there.

    So don’t fight an overactive mind. Let it buzz, hum, shoot this way and that. Let it blockade you from being able to properly absorb the information that you’re studying…. be at peace with the lack of peace. And in time you’ll find that peace.

  34. Nolan Says:

    Beautifully said. Couldn’t agree more.

    That’s the exact attitude you need. Let the storm rage, and don’t be so impressed by it.

    Very glad to hear you’re doing well.

  35. Mark R Says:

    Love how you describe the glimpses of old self Nolan…it certainly makes all the effort seem worthwhile seeing them


  36. Jamie Says:

    Hi all

    I have not posted on here for a while but I have been feeling a little better from literally ‘living my life regardless’ of how I feel.

    If someone would have said this to me a few months ago, I would told them they were mad but with this anxiety screaming its head off inside of me, I have been in a relationship with someone I really like for the last 2 months.

    All the things that would usually terrify me (and some still do), I have been doing. For example, eating out, her visiting, me visiting her, going to the cinema, going for a day out etc etc. I have done all of them one after another and simply not let my issues stop me. My daughter met her daughter 2 weekends which was a very big thing for me also. Partly by staying away from this blog I feel and partly by just doing all of these things regardless of how I feel, I feel like I am moving in the right direction.

    Anyway, my questions is this – I am currently taking 45mg of Mirtazipine and I have been on this dose for over 2 years now. Now, to be honest, I don’t think they are actually helping with the anxiety that much and haven’t done for quite a while. I do not like taking tablets but (probably as most people on this blog), I get really worried about increasing or reducing any medication for fear of side effects. My goal is to come off these tablets but how do you know the right time to do it ? Is there a right time or do you just do it regardless (a bit like me making do all of these anxiety inducing things) ? I would be interested in people’s thoughts on this ?

    Thanks for reading

  37. Alz Says:

    Nolan, Bryan or anyone …
    Iv developed this new symptom where I’m second checking myself to see if somethings there or not or if I heard a voice or not. It’s driving me nuts and making me so fearful . For eg I was cleaning my book shelf and thought I saw an authors name but it wasn’t really there.. Tht worried me .. Then I’ll be double checking things to see if they’re there or not .. It’s really disconcerting . Did something like this happen to any of you ? Should I treat it like another symptom of anxiety?

  38. Simon Says:

    Dear Jamie,
    happy to hear that you are going on with life. I also try to stay away from the blog, or at least just check it once in a while, but I don’t really manage doing this yet, i still need reassurance, but i often feel worse afterwards reading about anxiety!!!
    if you feel that your medication didn’t really help you better get off it. i three times on medication and it helped me a lot. when my current crisis broke out i took it again and it didn’t help me anymore! i was still afraid of leaving it, especially as it had helped me previously. i thought that i need medication! this was all wrong. i got slowly off it and i am “clean” now, didn’t have any side effects leaving it. just get off it gradually and believe that you don’t need it! i am still anxious and working on my trauma, but i decided to do this without medication.
    It is a personal decision. but seriously, after my experience with psychiatrists i don’t really trust them anymore. as Paul said, the medical field failed in this domain!

  39. Alz Says:

    Simone I feel checking this blog fr reassurance really helps when one is anxious . The advice is always the same but during times of anxiety we’re so vulnerable that we need reassurance .

  40. Alz Says:

    Steve b, iv started paroxetine/seroxat again . It’s helped me in the past and I’m hoping to God it’ll do the same now! Cipralex was no good – atleast got myself

  41. Bryan Says:


    I understand how bad this feels, but everything you feel is simply an offshoot of a revved up nervous system and worry about it. It’s so simple despite feeling so complex. No one symptom is important. Paul spends a lot of time in his writings about that.

    You are posting and searching and fighting…. looking for explanations for each symptom… looking for outside things like drugs to make it stop. Trust me, I absolutely understand being where you are. I have been there. Some days are still really brutal. (But most are just fine. )

    Point is… we know that fighting will only keep this alive. We need to think about our actions and whether we are accepting or fighting. That’s step number one and a very big task for some of us. But to me… when I see your posts, I see fighting. Paul and others teach us that allowing will help us return to normal, peaceful living. I know it’s not easy. But I also know you can do it. If you can spend that much energy fighting… you can flip the script and accept instead.

  42. Julie W Says:

    What to do when you feel like you’ve given up (and not in a good way). This week has been so hard, and yesterday my mind wouldn’t stop yelling at me all day. I thought I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown last night and I don’t feel like I can take another minute of my mind. Today I feel like I have totally given up. I just don’t care anymore about just getting on with things. I know that’s the only way, but after living my life with this and carrying on with normal living like this, I feel like I have hit a brick wall. It’s not the physical anxiety, it’s the day in and day out mental torment. I’m not sure why I am posting really. I feel like I have lost all my willpower. So many, many bad memories in so many places as I have carried on going here and there. How do you continue on when you feel your willpower has completely gone and you’ve given up – I really don’t know. I don’t think I’m fighting. I just feel done.

  43. Alz Says:

    Thanks Bryan !
    But tell me in order to move ahead , how does one accept when the fear is overwhelming so to speak ? How does one accept at that point ? Go on with doing what your doing ? Thank you as well for always addressing my problems …

  44. Bryan Says:


    What other choice do we have?

    Acceptance and the resumption of outward living are ultimately the ways back to normalcy. But aside from that… when you ask “but what about when it’s overwhelming…”

    Well the only other options we have are fighting and “doing.” And we know those lead to worse symptoms and more suffering.

    So when you think about it… you really only have one logical option. Regardless of how we feel… the option. Is still the same.

    It’s akin to someone being really tired and asking people what they should do about it. Well…. sleep! “Yeah but I’m really SO tired!”

    The answer is still the same…. and there is only one.

    Do you see why the fighting and questioning doesn’t make sense?
    We can only fight when there is a more logical other option.
    In this case… you only have one logical option… so why not commit to what will give you peace over time?

  45. Bryan Says:

    (And again this isn’t to say it is easy… but choosing the right path is still the first step)

  46. Gordon Says:

    Hi All
    Not been on here for quite a while, but a recent very stressful event seems to have me searching again!
    Hi All, posted this earlier but it was stuck in moderation and is now further up the page
    I understand all the principles of what Paul says, and I seem to be able to rationalise that when I get panic attacks they will pass and I will be fine so I just try to ‘float’ through them if you will.
    The thing is I’m finding it difficult at the moment.
    The worst time I have is when I’m doing something on my own with my kids. Just the thought of going anywhere can instantly fill me with panic. I seem to think I’m going to have a complete meltdown and not be able to look after them. I know in my mind that they would be fine and I’m being unrealistic, but I can’t seem to get over this!
    Most of the time I seem to be able to handle it ok using Paul’s advice, but I seem to have spiralled into the depths again lately where I’m now in that place where you think you will never recover, be like this forever, go insane, lose control etc etc!
    Does anyone out there with kids ever feel this way?
    Any advice anyone?

  47. Gordon Says:

    Julie W
    We’ve all been there! as Bryan eludes to, the only way is up! I’m sure you know in your heart of hearts that it will improve given a little time. I know it’s very very hard to believe in your current position, but ‘trust in Paul David’! That’s what I tell myself when feeling down!

  48. Bryan Says:


    You will ALWAYS be able to take great care of your kids. You’ll never let them down because of anxiety. That’s a common fear based in your love for them. In fact taking care of my daughter helped propel me out of my worst times.

    Pay it no mind and move forward.

  49. Julie W Says:

    Thanks Gordon. After posting this morning, it’s now dinner time here and i decided to do what Bryan said and get on with my day as there is no other choice really. It’s hard going against what your brain tells you.

    I too have exactly the same thoughts about my kids. Whenever I think of doing anything with them (or anything at all), i instantly think I can’t and that I will meltdown also. All the fears you mention above, I am having too. So know you are not alone.

  50. Beth Says:

    I’m so confused. I read on Paul’s Facebook page (in response to someone) that if you’re allowing with fear then you’re not really allowing. But isn’t that the crux of the issue? If I could allow without the fear component, I wouldn’t be in this situation. Truly not trying to be difficult here, just would really appreciate some clarification so I can understand. Thank you so much-I appreciate everybody on here. ?

  51. ken Says:

    Can someone help when I let go I feel like and idiot for not taking the first step and I jump back in my head every time. Im going to get help but anxiety has taken everything from me.

  52. Mark R Says:


    Not sure if you read my update post above.

    I know how you feel as my motivation seems to be on the floor at the moment. I can go for days, even weeks where I have no anxiety, even thinking about or talking about it bores me…I’m just completely outwardly focused. It tends to creep back in somehow and I’m back feeling down, thoughts turning inward, body feels sick and buzzing.
    I always carry on though regardless of how I feel, I’m past this dictating my life anymore.

    The whole thing is very up and down. I’m not sure where you are and if you’ve actually seen any ups yet, but keep going, they will come.I assure you.

  53. Carla Says:

    Hi there Beth,

    I think this can be very confusing for a lot of people.

    For me, allowing without fear is the ‘end game’, the point you get to when you can feel the symptoms of adrenaline and shrug your shoulders, brush it off or not really care whether it’s there or not.

    I think it can be very tempting for people who have reached this point to:

    a) become a bit evangelical. ‘Just don’t care about it and it will all fall into place! This is what happened to me and I feel great now! It could happen to you!’

    b) forget the behavioural things that may have helped them arrive at this state of mind. This may include carrying on with life, meeting challenges, exercising, mindfulness, relaxation, talking with friends etc..

    If acceptance becomes some kind of holy grail it can just end up becoming another source of anxiety. “I must accept! I’m doing this wrong! I can’t do anything else to help myself! I shouldn’t want to feel better at all!’ And it’s unrealistic. Almost nobody, in the midst of a severe anxiety state, can just suddenly decide not to care about it and shrug off these intense and intrusive thoughts and feelings. Neither can they sit in a room and simply ‘practise’ not caring/allowing with nothing or no-one else to support them through the process.

    In my opinion, the kind of acceptance that Paul describes is something that emerges over time, alongside a strong behavioural routine. When things are bad, it’s VERY hard to accept in this way. And, for me, it’s crucial that during these times I accept that I can’t accept! When it’s bad I need to be honest with myself that I’m finding it hard and don’t like it, cry if I need to or go for a run to help myself through it. I need to accept that the anxiety will keep adding layers of fear onto every thought that I have and I won’t be able to see things clearly. The most I can hope for is to step back a little and observe all of these layers, recognising them as anxiety at work.

    I think acceptance feels different depending on how severe the anxiety is. When it’s bad it’s a case of trying to find a tiny platform of observation where you can recognise these layers of fear and, if nothing else, see them for what it are. When it drops a little, it then feels easier to give it the big ‘whatever’ and actually believe it.

    But I think it’s normal to feel fear, normal not to like it and normal to want to feel better. For me, it’s been a case of a bit of acceptance, a bit of self-care, a bit of support, a few lifestyle changes and a bit of relaxation.

    All in all. learning to deal with anxiety is a very messy and up and down process and I think, being honest about this, is a small way of enabling us to be kind to ourselves as we sail these stormy seas.

    Hope this helps Beth x

  54. Gordon Says:

    Thanks Bryan and Julie
    Its just so hard sometimes to see the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t it?
    When you guys feel like that about your kids, how do you push through?

  55. Carla Says:

    And Beth,

    I’ve never really got to the place where I’m exactly ‘cool’ with anxiety but I’ve had many, many periods when I’ve been able to feel ‘it’s just anxiety. It’s not nice but it will pass’

    Just don’t beat yourself if you’re not there yet. This feeling will come, go and come again as you move on with your life and look after yourself. You just have to ‘keep trucking’ as the late, great Claire Weekes used to say x

  56. Bryan Says:


    That is a terrific post. Perfectly put.

  57. Kat Says:


    Thank you so much for responding to my post. Even when you have all the information, it’s still a wonderful thing to have someone remind you that they understand. Sometimes, just reading a response that addresses your own state can be enough to put you back on the path toward recovery.

    I have had periods when I don’t access this blog at all, just coast along with the mild annoyances of anxiety, but, I admit guiltily, always wish it would go away completely. My habit has been to come back for reassurance when the symptoms flare up again, which is the case this time. I believe I’m in the middle of a setback, but I know that setbacks are part of the process. I agree with the above post by Carla that trying to master acceptance can also be a source of anxiety, as it is certainly the case with me. This time, I’m doing my best to just do the things I need to in spite of the anxiety. My mood has been foul, unfortunately, because I am tired and on edge, and there are surges of blooming adrenaline that seem to come without any provocation, but I am trying to take the advice given here and trust that it will eventually bring me to the other side of this.

    The thing I need to remember is that worrying/anxiety has been, for me, a lifelong habit. It is going to take a lot of effort to unlearn it. Sometimes, I feel more than discouraged, but then at other times, I feel the clouds part and I know that the dark days don’t last forever.

    Again, thank you. I really needed the encouragement :)

    Take care,


  58. Bryan Says:

    Kat, glad to be of any assistance. One of the blessings (lol) of being a slow-to-recover type guy is that I can certainly relate to others who have had bumps and bruises in the process. It’s easy to read success stories where people seem to just get it… snap out of it and life is normal again. Your attitude sounds great to me and you put it perfectly in that these life-long habits, along with long-term sensitization take time to unwind and do so with fits and starts.

    And don’t feel guilty about preferring a normal state of health. We can prefer to feel normal without putting up a big fight. Carla just explained this very well. And stopping into the blog now and again for some re-education to me is fine. We’re only human and this is counterintuitive information. If it was easy, Paul wouldn’t have written so many books and blogs. Going against everything your mind and body tell you isn’t easy. But it can be done, and done with a sense of peace.
    It’s a learning process and occasionally brushing up on things is perfectly acceptable, IMO. Of course, we all know the difference between reading a post or two from the great posters here…. and frantically searching or begging for reassurance. Of course, the latter is not productive.

    Stay the course, you are on the right track.

  59. Julie W Says:

    Thanks Mark R. I haven’t gone more than a few minutes in the last two years without being so internally focused even though I am living my life and doing things. I seem to feel the same day in and day out with a few ups and downs thrown in. I will keep trucking along. I think you are doing great given how long you have been dealing with this!

    Gordon – I have these thoughts about the kids all day every day and pretty much do what Bryan says and pay no mind to them to them and just move on. I find I have to tell myself not to think, but just go and do whatever I was going to do. I also sometimes look at the kids and feel really guilty for thinking the way I do, but again, I just let that guilt come and go and move on. No other choice really.

  60. Carla Says:

    Thanks Bryan, it’s always nice to read your posts – you’re an empathic and soothing voice of reason to so many!

    Julie – is your life fulfilling at the moment? Are you a stay at home parent? I’ve found being a SAHP a really challenging aspect of recovery; lots of mundane tasks, lots of repetition, a lack of adult company and lots of time to ponder and think etc. I’m working part-time as a teacher right now but it’s not really enough for me. I really think I need a fun and exciting new challenge to get my teeth into. The only problem is finding one!

    Carla xx

  61. Mark R Says:


    Think we’re pretty much the same. I can cope with the (mild?!) annoyances of anxiety that occur daily. I tend to use the blog and chat about it when the I have a flare up as these are the times when I feel lost and awful. I don’t see anything wrong with that though.
    I try and see the bad days objectively now, even though I hate dealing with them. Today has been the very worst of a crap week for me. Despite that I’ve driven 100 miles to Liverpool to get my Everton season ticket. I must admit though I cried an awful lot on the way back. This is the same journey I made last week where I was singing in the car so I know I don’t have to believe the bulls##t it’s churning up. Like you said, the dark days don’t last forever.


    You could always teach me how to paint? Haha x

  62. Gordon Says:

    I get that guilt too, but mine is more like I’m not doing the things with them that I should even though I do do them if that makes sense? What I mean is I still do everything but feel really panicky before due obviously to the viscous circle caused by past experiences, and this makes me feel guilty cos in my mind I’ll do it again in the future.

    Mark R
    It’s funny how two exact same trips can have entirely different outcomes!
    The other week I was going somewhere on my own with one of my kids and on the way there realised I didn’t have my phone with me, panic! This meant that I couldn’t phone my wife to come and rescue us if I lost the plot! Today I done pretty much the exact same trip without a problem. When I got home I realised that I hadn’t had my phone with me and didn’t know! What does that tell us? It’s thoughts that bring all this on, nothing else as Paul says!

  63. Beth Says:

    Thanks Carla, for your very kind words and insight. I know (hope) at some point I will “get it”. I guess with my brain and thoughts on constant overload, it is challenging-as we all know. ? Allowing-without fear-even though we know we’re not gonna like it and that it will be uncomfortable seems like a bit of a paradox. Again, if the fear component isn’t there, why would we feel uncomfortable at all? I really need to go back and re-read Paul’s books as I’m sure others have had to as well before it sinks in. But, it sure does get old, feeling what amounts to stark raving terror almost 24/7. Kindest regards and best thoughts to all who are challenged by this and thanks again, Carla-it’s much appreciated.

  64. Steve b Says:

    Mark r. Did you feel like you thought or did anything different on the two trips. Sometimes I have a terrible day followed by a better day without doing anything different at all. This has been going on for months and months. Sometimes I feel my fight flight response is just malfunctioning in some way although I guess that’s anxiety thinking.

  65. Carla Says:


    Not challenging enough, you’re too good already!

  66. Aaron Says:


  67. Aaron Says:

    I keep trying to post on here but it won’t load. Did I rant too long and it’s too many characters? Lol

  68. Dani Says:

    Hello, has anyone else that’s on here suffered with DP/DR and if so how long did it last before you recovered from it? And did it just gradually fade or did you suddenly feel better one day?

    Rik, are you still reading these posts? If so how are you doing now?


  69. Chris Says:

    Dani, you’re not accepting :)

  70. Dani Says:

    Chris that isn’t helpful. Probably more than half the people on here haven’t fully accepted their anxiety symptoms yet that’s why they post on here and I bet you’ve made posts wanting help before fully accepting it all. Not only that but I would be surprised if you’ve experienced DP/DR much for you to think it’s that simple to just accept it!

  71. Loraine Says:

    Hi Dani
    I have nt experienced dp I suffer mainly with thoughts. But I have read about people who have had this and sounds awful and must be so hard to accept things. Have you read older blogs in the beggining when candie and scarlet were around these posts would be helpful to you both went on to fully recover. Pauls book also touches on this nasty symptom.

  72. Daniel Says:

    Hey Nolan,
    Last month you said you’d give my question a look, so here it is:

    I’ve been meaning to ask you about this one crisis I’ve been facing for a long time. It has been slowing down my acceptance because I don’t know how to proceed.

    Essentially I do good acceptance (for the most part, most of the time) And I don’t let it put a dent in my studies, social life, health, commitments, relationships, etc.
    But there are things I used to do back in the seven month period I was recovered that I still don’t do now. I don’t really feel like doing them, and don’t really have the mental capacity to do them. So I don’t.
    They are things I didn’t do during my previous 6 years of anxiety that I only got interested in and found myself capable of doing when I was recovered. So I think to myself, “If I didn’t do them back then and recovered then I don’t have to do them this time.”
    I think I’m fine with not doing certain things, but is setting a limit on myself like this placing too much importance on recovery? Locking some things off? I mean I’m patient enough to wait until I’m recovered to do them so no pressure there, but I shouldn’t really be waiting to do ANYTHING until I recover.

    I can almost make my peace with certain parts of my life being on hold, I just fear that in doing so I’m avoiding/not accepting- especially considering after two years of ‘acceptance’ I haven’t had a minute in which I felt myself.

    Thank you for your time.

  73. Aaron Says:

    I can try and help a little with acceptance. When going through this we try and accept things like crazy thoughts, emotions and symptoms hoping it will go away. The key is accepting that our mind and body has created a habit of fighting. Our body follows our mind and we get to the point where we have a setback/breakdown because of habit and fighting. When your body fights accept it is fighting and let it fight. Don’t try and stop it. When you have thoughts and you have that little feeling of “I don’t want this to be here” that is your body and mind fighting because we created the habit and behavior. look at it and allow the fight, don’t try and stop it. We don’t notice anxiety until we get symptoms. By then we are already in the loop. We get symptoms because of constant fighting of life and not letting things happen.

  74. Aaron Says:

    Dani I have had DP and it calms down when you calm down. Asking how long it lasts is like asking how long a cut will take to heal if you keep picking at it. Chris was straight to the point and maybe not helpful, but it is true. You need to accept why your body is doing this and not specifically the symptom. Allow yourself to do what it needs. Know the fighting is what’s causing it and let your habits come and go. When I said let it fight in my first response it is the same as when Paul says let it flow through you. Your symptoms will lift when you realize what fighting is. It usually happens gradually but when you make the connection it instantly takes away some anxiety in my experience. Remember these are habits we created. How long does it take you to change your diet or or get used to a new habit? It is the same for anxiety and I hope this helps

  75. Bryan Says:


    I think what Chris was alluding to is that DP is so common it’s almost interchangeable with the word anxiety. It’s like asking people at a migraine forum if they’ve ever had a headache. Paul has written several blog posts about it in fact.

    Beyond that, no one can ensure us how long our symptoms will last. It’s so dependent on a myriad of individual circumstances like how we respond, life stress, etc.

    The great thing about Paul’s blog is that it’s a place for people who are ready to move into the solution. Of course we all wonder about our symptoms at first. But if you’ve read Paul’s book (mandatory IMO) you learn to get away from giving each symptom that arises its own special importance. This frees you up to concentrate on what works.

    I think Chris was playfully trying to snap you into a different mode of thinking.
    We are all in bad places from time to time but frankly what helped me the most was people being brutally honest with me.

    No one can ever say is stuff is easy. It IS simple however, as Claire Weekes taught us. (There’s a big difference.)

    While we all need empathy and reassurance at times, just try to remember that people trying to snap you out of symptom-searching mode is an act of caring on their part because they know peace is found beyond that.

  76. Harry Says:

    Hi Dani,

    Harry here, you may recall my response to you on Paul’s previous blog post. I don’t know Chris personally, but I can virtually guarantee you he meant you no ill will, and I, like Aaron and Bryan, don’t believe he was trying to diminish the bewilderment of your current state. We’ve all been there. I see that you’ve repeatedly asked many people, myself included, how long their DP lasted. Bryan touched on why this is a question with an irrelevant answer, so I will avoid being redundant. But, I will give you a continuation of my take on DP/unreality/anxiety itself. In my experience, it is the inevitable result of unending, anxious self-analysis brought on by the deceptively insidious belief that the way you are feeling is not right, and therefore unacceptable. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing special. Think about it this way: constantly checking if your perception of reality, the thoughts you’re thinking, or the sensations in your body are finally correct or “normal” is not an existence at all. It is an utter rejection of existence, a questioning of reality, a lack of trust in your body, and an endless loop of focused fear. Is it then so mysterious that it feels so unreal? So foreign? So wrong? You see, we’re not meant to live that way. It’s an unnatural manner of operating, a bad habit that some people pick up one way or another along the way. What Paul and others teach is that they have nothing to teach you. That’s the beauty. All you need to do is allow yourself to feel however you’re feeling, and you’ve already won. That’s what you did before you unwittingly afflicted yourself, and you can do it again. Simple? yes. Easy? no matter, it’s necessary. Dani, allow yourself to stop wondering when DP/anxiety will leave you. It will dissolve on its own when you realize you are perpetuating its very existence by seeking to eliminate it. Even if you don’t trust yourself at the moment, then trust that people who have walked this path before you can show you the way.

    I would say, one can’t avoid how one feels. But unfortunately we try, and therein lies the problem :)

    All my best,


  77. Alz Says:

    I can totally relate to how you feel. If i think about it more, I can totally get lost in how dreamlike everything is . At times , when i talk i can hear myself talking and ill find it odd. Yes it sucks! It suck big time and I (and so many others on this blog including Paul), can relate to what you’re going through. Honestly, the only thing you can do is continue living your life. Do the things you would do had you not had dp/dr. It’s harmless and only you know you’re suffering from it. Noone else knows about it and YOU ARE NOT MAD. Trust me on this one. In fact you’re mind is so sharp that its protecting itself from all the anxiety/suffering by putting you in dp/dr mode.

  78. Dani Says:

    Hello, thank you all that replied to me. I understand that that length of time other people suffered from DP won’t necessarily be the same as how long mine will last, but I just wanted to hear that someone else had suffered with it for months and still recovered, to give me some hope. Is it that bad to want some hope?
    I’ve accepted other anxiety symptoms quite easily, even when I’ve felt a panic attack coming I managed to just accept it and add no second fear. But accepting DP is so much harder. To me accepting means being ok with it. How can I be ok with feeling like I don’t exist/thinking I might be dead all the time and all of life feeling so strange to me? How can anyone possibly accept living that way?! Sometimes I wonder if I have DP a lot worse than other people who say they’ve had it because how can other people tell me to accept feeling like I’m no longer a person. I wonder if some people feel a but foggy headed and consider that DP

  79. Loraine Says:

    Hi Dani.
    I was looking through old blogs yesterday if you look on June or July 2008 there is a post on dp. This maybe worth look and you read comments from people in same boat x

  80. Bryan Says:


    No one said hope is bad though there is a school of thought that “looking for hope” is the wrong way to go about this because it sets the mind into a seeking mode.

    If I might make a suggestion…

    Take some time and really read Paul’s books. Read them both and more than once if need be. Instead of upsetting yourself by seeking reassurance here and not getting the responses you want… understanding the core of all of this and how to live alongside it (and ultimately undo it) will provide you much more peace.

    I promise you this will help. Then, you’ll find that you are able to really use these comments from people to learn how to navigate through the acceptance process because you will have understood the basics.

    I don’t suggest this because it’s what I think. I suggest it because it’s what Paul teaches through his works.

    I hope that helps. You absolutely chase the ability to work through this. DP is no different than any other anxiety symptom. It’s like a runny nose to the common cold. The key is getting beneath ALL symptoms and moving on with the mindset those who have recovered have shown us.

  81. Bryan Says:

    “Have” not chase.

  82. Dani Says:

    Hi Bryan, thank you for your reply. I have read Paul’s first book many times especially the sections on DP, I have it by my bed and read it in the mornings. I just don’t know how to be ok with feeling like I’m in a different strange world where human life doesn’t make sense, I really can’t imagine anyone else has had DP this bad and been able to accept it :( I try to carry on my life as normal but it’s so hard

  83. Aaron Says:

    Dani the feeling and thought of “how can anybody be ok with feeling like this” is the anxiety. You have to be ok with having that thought and allowing your body to go through it until it heals. If it needs to fight right now then let it, but know what it is. I look back and notice how much life I have fought and no wonder I have created the habit. Your body follows the signals your mind is putting out. You are doing the same thing I did and trying to accept each symptom. You are playing whack-a-mole with anxiety. Unmask it :-)

  84. Alz Says:

    If we’re all replying to you does that mean we all are part of that dream too? Look these kind of things where you reply to people on the blog, ask them questions.. where you question whether evthing is strange should be your cue to the fact that you are for real. Use your senses..
    make contact with people… i think that helps tremendously.
    honestly we’re all in this thing together and its hard but take it one day at a time.

  85. Alz Says:

    Bryan or anyone…
    i now want to move forward in life- find a job , start driving, apply for further studies. Should i just jump into everything despite how i feel? I mean I went for an interview today and in my head i was sooo tense and nervous. The fact that they didnt get back to me makes me feel like the interviewers could probably see through me and figure out how anxious i am . Also when i was pregnant i seriously went half crazy because of my anxiety and then i went through the still birth. My p doc says the still birth could perhaps been because of my anxiety. I know thats not true because the doctor delayed my delivery and my baby was alright till then. But given this tragic and life shattering incident and what ive gone through after that , how can i imagine having a baby again. Resuming normal life despite having anxiety is tough but in order for me to move forward i have to shatter these fears but how can i get over the fact that perhaps after losing my first baby this way and the way iv suffered after that , God is trying to tell me that i cant have a baby given my anxiety? That this was a reality check?
    I don’t know if this makes sense.. (typing what i did) but there’s so many mountains i have to climb after all thats happened..

  86. Mark R Says:


    I can assure you that many people on here have experienced thick DP, me included. At its very worst its like being in another dimension, at best its a fuzzy, hazy feeling.

    The advice given on here is 100% spot on. You need to accept it as another pesky symptom that will disappear. I don’t really agree with the tired mind theory if I’m honest. My take on it is that it is to do with the stress chemicals in the brain and body. For me the DP alleviates naturallly as my anxiety levels come down. I had a horrendous day on Saturday, stage one muck, my DP was through the roof. The last two have been tolerable and I feel much more connected.

    So rest assured, it will pass as you progress. You’ll look back one day and realised you’re not spaced out anymore. File into under ‘whatever’ for now along with the rest.

  87. Aaron Says:

    Alz, God isn’t telling you that, it’s your anxiety telling you that. Looks like you are still fighting your anxiety and your symptoms, which is understandable in your state. let the anxiety play its tricks and go forward. Allow it to do what you have taught it over the years and it will eventually fade with your new attitude. By you even going for an interview should tell you that you are making progress and honestly if you don’t get the job it doesn’t matter. You cannot control what people think or if they will hire you or not. We can only do our best and cannot control life. Atleast you did it!

  88. Todd Says:

    Hi Nolan,

    English is not my native Langue, so please forgive.
    I suffered the most are intrusive thoughts and sleeplessness, recently I started apply Paul’s teaching, I had some bad mornings and good evenings, seems evening is more likely to calm down. then only one bad thought can knock me off, and losing whole night sleep. I totally understood that thought just a thought carry no truth, but every time when it hits, it feels so real, since it all related with the thing I am afraid the most. :-(. last night I was reading a exercise book, it talks about physical mind… then the thought came, it doubts if I ever can recover. immediately I felt the adrenaline rushing and sweating. my mind starting spinning, I stayed up whole night after that, then today, I felt like back to square one. is this a setback or just normal up and down? seems when anxiety hits, the rational reason I understood has no use. thanks.


  89. Alz Says:

    Thanks Aaron . Means a lot . Now it’s my thoughts of self harm that scare me .. Again obsessive scary thoughts that hv no basis in reality .. It’s just unbelievable how the mind can get so badly polluted with people who suffer from anxiety .

  90. Rik Says:

    Hi Dani,

    Yes I am still posting but I am also trying to not spend too much time here when I can help it. I still have the thick DP. It is just as you describe. It is like being in another world at times and I constantly question my thoughts and analyse everything and wonder whether I am even here at all. This morning I woke up and the obsessive thoughts about reality etc crept in but rather than do battle with them I decided to just let them burn themselves out. I have still felt very emotionally distant from everything to the point of just feeling numb and odd but I have felt more reality today. That is good progress in my opinion as it has shown me that this feeling is being created by my reactions to my thoughts etc.

    I know we can all move past this. It just takes time and patience. You already have the understanding. I dont think anybody could truly be ok or should I say like having DP/DR as it just isnt possible in my opinion but what we can do is be ok with it being temporarily there and allow it to be there. Acceptance is not the same as liking something. I hate it. With a passion. I feel nothing a lot of the time and the weird thoughts I get as a result of it cause me distress. But I know that in order to move past it I must accept that for now, for whatever reasons it is there and me worrying about it is only going to make it worse. Interestingly since I started reading about it again today I have felt the unreality feelings descend again and it is because i am focusing on it so much instead of just getting on with things with it there in the back ground.

  91. Alz Says:

    Big favor: can anyone share the pdf version of Paul’s second book with me? I live in Pakistan where there’s no Amazon and paypal doesn’t work.


  92. Beth Says:

    For a few (brief) seconds through the my morning today I had understanding and “clarity”-it was wonderful. ? It still sucks, it’s still uncomfortable, and I still hate it with a passion. But, I saw to the “other side” for the flash of a second! Oddly enough (or maybe not) the few times this happened, my eyes immediately filled with tears. I’m thinking this was due to understanding, but maybe mainly due to all the many years of negative crap that needs/wants to come up. I’ve got a long road ahead of me and maybe tomorrow I will be a total basket case. But, it is what it is, right? Does any of this make sense?

  93. Dani Says:

    Hi Mark R, thank you for your reply, you say at it’s worse it can make you feel in another dimension, that’s how I feel most the time, did you have it constantly for a while?

  94. Dani Says:

    Hi Rik,

    Thanks for your reply, it’s good to hear from you. Sorry you’re still experiencing thick DP, how long has it been for you? And do you go to work if you don’t mind me asking? I’m signed off sick.
    It’s good to hear someone else say they hate it with a passion, I do too! Can we still accept while hating it?

  95. Dani Says:

    Hi Beth, that’s great that you had that flash of clarity and understanding. I’ve read somewhere that those flashes turn into longer periods of time until you eventually get better x

  96. Aaron Says:

    Alz self harm is an offshoot of not wanting to have anxiety. Again it’s a form of fighting it. Understand that and allow it to fight and don’t try n stop it. Allow it to fight it’s way right trough you and out the other side :-) once you understand where this is coming from you can create new acceptance habits which your body will then follow and so will symptoms. Theses non acceptance habits were being created before you got your first symptoms. Look back at life and see how much you fought. Hope this helps brings some clarity :-)

  97. Alz Says:

    I think it would be better to go to work no? real or not real .. at least your time would pass that way? Being around people would help .
    Yesterday i was so disheartened. I could not help thinking that its not worth it. Every little thing i have to do from the time i wake up till i sleep is filled with anxiety. The only thing that gives me a little hope is when i get down to reading the posts on these blogs and the support i get.
    Ive started the gym, im applying for jobs, im doing things that are anxiety producing and at the same time i question the reality of it all – dp/dr.. Every day just passes this way with the hope that things will get better and what gives me that hope is the struggle that people have gone through on this blog and how they’re now living their life fully.

  98. Star Says:


    So I’m quite miserable.

    I’ve had ups and downs and right now I wouldn’t say is the worst I’ve ever been; but I’m struggling with the story that my brain is telling me; I am struggling with my beliefs. Not struggling as in fighting the thoughts because I know that creates more suffering and pain; but the story about how ‘I am different’ ‘There is something wrong with me’ And for example any things that I have found difficult in the past with my anxiety saying ‘You can’t do that’ ‘You don’t know how to do that well’ Which of course all these beliefs are making me miserable.

    I think having experienced freedom from my thoughts makes it even harder to be stuck in it again.

    I know that my thoughts are not facts; I am just not able to see that clearly. When a thoughts pops up I agree with it; yes that is true I can’t do that properly; yes it is true they will find out how incompetent I am. And hence the horrible feelings.

    I’ve been like this in the past and I didn’t even know what was happening to me; but now I know that I am buying into beliefs that are causing me pain. I want to let go but I suppose I am holding on as a safety/ security blanket.

    How do I let go of these belief and of all control?

    I know there is no definitive answer but maybe someone can help in some way?

  99. Aaron Says:

    Sorry to clarify even more Alz don’t try and accept. Don’t look at the self harm and go “I am accepting you” just realize it’s a form of fighting and allow it to fight until it’s done. If you look at each symptom that’s searching to end them which is a form of fighting too. Just accept the process. Your mind is scaring you into the process of fighting :-)

  100. Alz Says:

    Aaron thank you once again.

    When the thoughts are racing at you with a life of their own and you feel so scared and helpless its seems really tough to rationalize. Don’t know if you get what im trying to say. Anyway.. im just floating every day with many hiccups along the way and trying to be as social as possible so that i can get out of my head at those points and realise that “its just anxiety” and nothing else.


  101. Aaron Says:

    Trust me Alz I do its one of the toughest symptoms to grasp. The habit you have to get to is not to rationalize. Rationalizing is part of the fight to make you feel better, but you cannot try to not do this. I had to allow my habits to play out, but know why they are playing out. When it fights let it fight! You cannot stop any of those thoughts or symptoms from happening just like we cannot stop ourself from getting old or getting rid of a cold after we are already sick. I get it when they happens you don’t want them there,, but your anxiety is what’s fighting them and causing them at the same time. Very few smokers can just quit one day after smoking 15 years so how can we expect to change a habit in one day that we have learned over many years. Also none of this will make sense until you experience it so I understand the doubt you maybe experiencing too. I feel if we have gone through this we should help teach others in need as well and that’s why the others here are helping too.

  102. Albert Says:

    Ive not been on for a while, basically because ive been doing well.

    My issued for years has been intrusive thoughts , yet through Pauls advice the thoughts have slowly but surely been diminishing in quantity and intensity.

    However I have a problem which I have had for years that however much I try to “accept” I cannot overcome.

    My problem is panic while driving,either on a “trapped road” motorways mainly , or when I’m stuck in a traffic jam.

    I just cannot stop the immense feeling of panic and wanting to flee the situation.

    Whenever I “panic” my response is to get back min the car and face this panic provoking situation in order to prove I can handle it.

    My concern is whether this is the correct thing to do ?

    Am I making then situation worse ?

    I am due to take my 2 young boys away at the weekend which is a 2 and a half hour trip away and I could really do with some help from someone who has recovered on how to get through this

  103. Alz Says:

    Aaron ,
    so its like i have to deal with two things- one: the anxious voice in my head screaming all the negativity in the world and two: interacting in the here and now and living my life. Sometimes i wonder how im doing everything like everyone else despite having all the racing and grotesque thoughts. Feels like im pretending..

  104. Aaron Says:

    No that’s the opposite Alz. You have to understand the voice is one of many things that anxiety brings along. Anxiety is fighting the symptoms by creating the thoughts to make you “fight” or “flight” look at it all as one thing. It’s fighting..It’s a habit that was created overtime and you don’t notice it until you start developing symptoms. You’re anxiety is going to fight each symptom until you realize this is what you have taught yourself overtime and look at it as a habit. When people grieve the loss of a loved one they are sad and have some anxiety and depression. It is because we are fighting the feeling of having to live without that person and letting go. In time we realize we cannot do anything to bring them back and let go. Depression and anxiety go away and we return to normal due to understanding the cause. In our case we have created this habit over a long period of time which became a normal. When we get symptoms we continue to do what we are comfortable with and fight! Do you see the habit? It feels like you are pretending because your mind hasn’t wrapped itself around the new way of thinking. It wants to fight the change as a safety behavior and that is why anxiety may even get worse for a period of time before we get better. In my opinion the way to find peace is acceptance. It is the hardest thing to learn after years of not accepting but it CAN be done. Look at all the different religions. They all teach faith. Faith is a form of acceptance, putting your trust in someone or something that take care of the world and your life. Buddists, Christians etc. All have faith and the true believers have peace. Acceptance= peace :-)

    I am not religious btw I am just speaking off of what I have learned

  105. Alz Says:

    Here’s something you should really read on dp/dr :

    Aron – thanks! Before this REALLY bad setback I was in such a zen like state – would do yoga, meditate and could actually see my thoughts fr what they were . After my trauma I’m either questioning what’s real , trying to accept my anxiety and all its symptoms . There are just some moments of clarity – like right now fr which I am grateful

  106. Dani Says:

    I find this acceptance approach very confusing,
    I can understand the acceptance approach when it comes to panic attacks, you accept you’re feeling fear/panic and so by doing so you don’t add any second fear to keep it going. That makes sense to me. But if you accept you’re fighting anxiety, then surely you are still fighting it and that is not accepting!
    It seems that accepting is not doing anything and not trying to change anything, but by not changing anything then we get the same results = anxiety.

  107. Dani Says:

    Hi Alz thanks for your reply, I was signed off sick last year for 3.5months and then went back to work part time but felt worse and went of sick again. I just feel so strange when I’m there and my DP/DR and intrusive thoughts is worse when there, it’s much more stressful. So I don’t feel I can recover in that state xx

  108. Michael Says:


    Just wanted to offer a few thoughts on acceptance. Firstly, you absolutely can make changes in order to achieve results. For example, I have taken on board a number of lessons anxiety has taught me and I now worry far less about all manner of things. I have made the decision to take a much more relaxed attitude to every aspect of my life. This doesn’t mean I’ve lost drive, it just means I’ve seen the problem with worry and stress. I’ve also begun taking steps to improve the social side of my anxiety. All of this is serving to improve my life as a whole right now. I’ve been feeling great lately and I owe to a number of things, including these positive changes I’ve made.

    All acceptance really means is losing your fear of the various states anxiety creates and just allowing it all to be there. When I make changes to my life, I don’t do it with recovery in mind. I do it with self-improvement in mind. The beautiful thing is, this self-improvement seems to bringing about a recovery in me. It’s confusing because acceptance, the same as any other approach you take, does not produce instant results, so you question it and wonder how you’re meant to do it and how you even know if you’re accepting or not. But if you’re confused, ACCEPT that confusion. Even more confused? Accept that as well. Allow yourself to be confused and your thoughts to be disordered. The reason you don’t fight any of this is that there is no fight to be had. Just let it all play out and your mind and body will bring recovery to you.

    I found that acceptance comes almost as a realisation. It’s like coming up for air. I assume most people find it comes in stages, but for me it was a sudden experience. I went to bed feeling grotty and confused and not sure if I was truly accepting. Then I woke up in the morning and something just felt different. I still had DP/DR and I still felt unwell, but I knew something had changed in me. I just knew, without knowing why, that Paul’s message had sunk in. Since that morning, I’ve been living my life well again – better than ever in some ways. I’m active, socialising, laughing and connecting with the world. I admit I’m on medication, which I’m finding helpful, but ultimately it’s acceptance of my state that delivered some peace my way.

    I hope this helps you understand. In order to accept, don’t fight anything you feel. Don’t make recovery the focus of your days. Just live your life and do whatever you want. If you feel there are positive changes you could make, make them! Just don’t do anything believing it will lead to a sudden improvement in how you feel. Be patient with yourself and be kind to yourself. Let it all play out.

  109. Aaron Says:

    Dani observe and know why your body is fighting. It is going to fight for awhile because of habit that was created by us. There is a difference of your body fighting out of habit and you actively fighting everything that is happening because you are trying to get relief right away. Has changing or fighting up to this point given you anymore then a little bit of relief that eventually goes away and leaves you even more lost then ever? You said second fear and Alz brought up floating so it seems like you may read Claire Weeks. Floating lost me in the book until I had my last setback. I took it as doing nothing and I would have to live this zombie like existence until it went away. Well waiting for it to go away then became another fight because I was checking everyday, every symptom and when nothing went away I gave up and moved to the next “change”. What she meant by floating is that we cannot control life, thoughts or emotions they have to be let free. When you know where these come from then you can observe and let them be. By changing your view on life and situations, by allowing them to come as is then your body will eventually follow. Dani and Alz look at your actions in the last month and see how much thought has been fighting. Fighting from not wanting to feel like this. Now ask yourself what is the only thing you haven’t done. I bet it will be total allowance. And I bet you have not allowed things in the past which led to this. Again I’m only speaking off my experience and I’m not trying to offend you. I’m trying to help you realize. I had to get to a point where I realized for myself because you create a lot of doubt when one technique after another fails. If I am wrong and you guys didn’t read the book I apologize, but it is a metaphor.

  110. Char Says:


    I am finding the emails on acceptance so useful . I totally get that acceptance is the core to recovery but I don’t get why I can’t accept ! I think the closest I got was reading rik comment that you don’t have to like to accept , rather just live with it. But how do you live with something that causes so much distress and impacts the quality of life ? I know I’m missing something but I can’t see it – any advice welcome and I will keep on reading !

  111. Rik Says:

    Hi Dani,

    It has been about 4 months for me now. But has felt a bit worse recently because I have been doing the wrong things such as feeding the fears etc and I also came off the ADs I was prescribed as I felt they were making me feel more emotionless. I think some of what I am going through is related to me coming off them as it seems to have gotten worse since I did but I would rather recover without medication if possible.

    I am still working and have not stopped. It is extremely hard and I don’t feel like working at all but I can’t and won’t give up. I will get back to my normal life no matter what.

    DP is by far the worst anxiety symptom I have experienced. I feel I have lost myself and the world and just cannot connect to either. Looking at people seems odd and things I used to know and be familiar with just feel strange to me.

  112. Alz Says:

    Aaron ,
    Iv read two of Claire Weekes books and yes the term floating comes from that. Iv been fighting this past month fr sure but trying to accept fully as well . It really feels uncomfortable – this acceptance bit but I guess I should accept that too . Had posted earlier but I don’t know why that post is awaiting moderation

  113. Alz Says:

    Aron – thanks! Before this REALLY bad setback I was in such a zen like state – would do yoga, meditate and could actually see my thoughts fr what they were . After my trauma I’m either questioning what’s real , trying to accept my anxiety and all its symptoms . There are just some moments of clarity – like right now fr which I am grateful

  114. Belgian Says:


    I haven’t been here in a long time. I now come back as I feel I am on the verge of another setback. Lately, I have been feeling more and more apprehensive. Sometimes even a little bit ecstatic.

    It has been a while since the last time I felt this, so that’s good news. :-) The difference with before is the fact that I now understand that whatever may come, it is temporary and not important.

    What is puzzling me is what triggered me into this new ‘episode’. I feel a lot of mixed emotions towards my wife. Two weeks ago I felt love and a deep connection with her. Now I don’t feel this and I fear that I want to get out of this relationship.

    I now wonder whether it is my relationship that is making me anxious or it’s my anxiety that is making me question my relationship.

    It’s funny. I know I should accept the fact that I feel strange about my wife and that it is my reaction towards this feeling that is making it stronger. I know that I should float through the more difficult hours. I know I should not try to solve this as a mathematical equation. I know time will bring me “my answer”.

    And still..

    Anxiety calls me like a siren. It’s hard to just float by and not get involved with it. Even when you know for a fact that she will drag you down to the bottom.

    Maybe this is how we learn. We have to fall back and climb out of the pit again. After a while we fall less deep and learn to climb faster. A bit later, we start noticing the pits, try to avoid them but still keep falling into them. Until after a while we are taking the other road. Away from the pits.

    I think it’s important to stress on the fact that all this time, we did not sat still. We were always going on. Always moving forward. It’s often only at the end that we see the journey we did.

  115. Chris Says:

    Hey Dani. Sorry haven’t been on in a few days. I didn’t mean to come across in a negative way, I was just trying to give you the most constructive advice I could. It’s as Bryan says, I meant it in a helpful way, not a condesending way. Definitely not trying to downplay what you are going through, I know how horrendous it is and I completely empathize with you. And yes I used to post here often asking for reassurance, seriously my older posts even from a few months ago were fear central.

    I’m still going through rough patches myself, but one thing I realized is that change needs to come from within, and I know at times it’s hard, but trust me it is the way.

  116. Gordon Says:

    Hi All

    Am I fearing recovery? Is that normal?

    I have had anxiety on and off for a very long time and most of the time have been taking an ssri.
    Don’t get me wrong, there have been long periods when I have been fine, albeit with faint trepidation that it will ‘all come back again’!
    Over the past 10 months I have, very slowly, came off the tablets and have been trying my best to follow Paul’s advice.
    About 3 weeks ago I kind of fell into a hole again because of a pretty stressful life event and therefore am currently having a setback.
    This will sound daft probably, but at this stage of a setback I feel like I should be suffering more, due to past experience, and this worries me!
    I am not as bad as I have been previously and I sometimes get the thought that maybe means I’m losing control (my biggest fear) and don’t realise! I also worry that coming off the tablets has caused some kind of long lasting damage!
    I know the most logical explanation is that I’m recovering slowly causing this setback to be weaker and quicker, but you know anxiety, it always finds a way of shouting the negative the loudest!
    Is this a normal reaction to the recovery process?

  117. Chris Says:

    Also, when we are suffering we always think that we are the worst, I’m sure 90% of us on here have thought that. You should have seen the state of me six months ago, I can’t even put it into words. So yes I have experienced the complete thick of DP/DR as well as other symptoms, and I was so bad at one point that I didn’t want to live. Acceptance doesn’t mean we have to like it, we just have to step out of the way and let it all happen. This way we stop adding fuel to the fire, so eventually it goes out on it’s own. Once again sorry if I upset you.

  118. Michael Says:


    Sorry to hear you’re experiencing a difficult moment. I can say that yourself, along with Nolan, Paul, Claire Weekes and a few other people on here, have been directly responsible for getting me back on my feet. You helped me change my life before you even knew I existed thanks to your posts on this blog. I can’t thank you enough. But enough about me. I’d like to try and help you.

    Firstly, I suspect you’d acknowledge that, to at least some extent, your anxiety is playing a part in your concerns about your relationship. In fact, you do acknowledge it. I would say that if you really were falling out of love with your wife, you would just know. I obviously have no real knowledge of the pair of you or your relationship, but I think we do instinctively know our feelings in this regard. I don’t have a partner, so the two most important people in my life are my sister’s kids. I love them more than I ever thought I could love someone. But it’s not that long ago I was questioning it and it was really frightening. I knew deep down how I felt, but anxiety had robbed me of the natural response to that knowledge and I just felt nothing. I’ve come through that now and my emotions are back to normal, but I can say 100% that anxiety was tricking me in terms of how I felt about those two wonderful children. The fight-or-flight response works in odd ways. Perhaps your mind is trying to get you to escape in that primitive way our minds do, but because it’s 2016, you don’t really need to escape anything, so it’s manifesting as an instruction to flee your relationship? Obviously I don’t know any of this for sure, but I think you should consider what I’m saying nonetheless.

    I do think you’re making one crucial mistake here in that you’re getting too mixed up in your thoughts. You know you don’t like them and you’re finding it hard to just let them be there. You’re also preoccupying yourself with identifying a trigger for your downturn. If you look hard enough, you’ll find one, if you see what I mean. But will it really be one, or will anxiety lie to you about that as well? As you’ve told many people to do before, you need to just throw it all to the ground and let recovery continue coming to you, which I believe it is. One thing I’ve learned is that every anxiety symptom genuinely is temporary – if you give it its space while its with you. This goes for everything from globus feelings to unsteady legs to unpleasant thoughts. It’s all temporary. That doesn’t mean it never comes back, but it will always go away in its own time if you let it. So try to just be a casual, relaxed observer of what’s happening to you now. During my harder moments, I often remind myself that what I’m feeling is temporary and will go away. Even DP/DR will leave you in their own time. I know we’re not meant to have mantras, but keeping this in mind does help me. I’ve even discovered I can live quite happily while feeling a bit derealised. I would NEVER have expected that a few months ago.

    So.. all I would say to you is employ what you’ve learned through Paul David’s work. You know you’re lucky to have found it and you know it works. Everything will be okay, my friend. Just treat yourself with kindness, be patient, observe but don’t get mixed up and allow it all to pass through, as it surely will do at some point.

    Hope that helps you.

  119. Char Says:

    Rose – I loved your post on the other 19th may – u may not see this because it will be held up in moderation – but as in my earlier post I am tying myself up in knots about why I don’t get acceptance . I live with the symptoms – I don’t like them . I don’t avoid anything . I work full time in a high pressure Job, have kids and run a home. I also have anxiety quite badly in my books and I hate it . It spoils things for me. I can’t eat and I like food ! Can someone held shed some light on acceptance – what am I missing . I know it’s something because I suffer from anxiety still after reading loads about it and having councelling.

    I know the answer is with me and my attitude and acceptance but it is just beyond my grasp at the moment and something I am not quite getting.

  120. Tasnim Says:

    Hey guys I haven’t been on a while, but I had a question I was hoping someone could answer. While my anxiety is not consuming me anymore, I do feel it sometimes (which is okay). The last couple days I’ve noticed that I’ve been having trouble keeping my breath, like I’ve been holding my breath. It makes it hard to talk. Now it’s been really, really hot here so I don’t know if that’s why or if it’s because of anxiety. I know there is some mindplay in it, but I don’t know how much. Has anyone ever had issues with their breathing before?

  121. Bryan Says:


    Yes. 100%. Very common and harmless.

    If you have to ask… it’s anxiety.

    True medical conditions will make themselves obvious. This is why Paul teaches us not to play whack-a-mole with symptoms.

    I know it’s frustrating but we can do it.

  122. Tasnim Says:

    Just stick it out I guess? I’ve never been bothered by it before, plus I spent 3 months in South Asia’s gruesome heat last year, and I didn’t struggle so I guess it is in my head. I find it hard to say too much and do anything because I feel like I can’t catch my breath. I hope I get over it soon. I haven’t dealt with much physical symptoms before.

  123. Alz Says:

    iv just posted twice here but my posts wont get thru..

  124. Alz Says:

    so basically maybe there are some words that arent allowed to be posted .. like the S—–e (self harm) word. Im really scared because today that word kept on popping in my head. It scares me that what if my thoughts get so strong that i do it ? I mean iv had such bad anxiety these past couple of months and obviously its hard but that doesnt mean i want to end everythng. Why is this happenign ? and what should i do to let this thought not get to me. Its overwhelming..

  125. Alz Says:

    i hope someone can answer … it scares me that what if im alone and i end up doing that..

  126. Steve b Says:

    Alz. That’s anxiety 101. I had that in a previous episode. Because I wasn’t scared of it this time around I didn’t get it.

  127. Alz Says:

    But steve B i also get pulled down by the anxiety i have.. its such a struggle. if it is an obsessive thought how can i not let it grow larger than life.. WHy should it be there in the first place… ? im thinking of tomorrow and all the things i have to do and how hard itll be.. what if during that moment of vulnerability i actually consider it?

  128. Julie W Says:

    You just have to let the thought be, and not get into a battle with it. I know first hand how hard it is, as i have that thought a lot (it’s one of my fears) and lately i think that i won’t be able to get out of bed, I will sob uncontrollably and my husband and kids will see me like that and have to take me to the mental hospital (also one of my fears). DON’T start analyzing or overthink it, and just let it be there. You need to show your thoughts that you aren’t afraid of them. It’s very scary, I really, really know, but it’s also not helpful to ask for reasurrance. You are just giving the thoughts power as they know you are scared of them.

    Just want to say that i think everyone on here are amazing, strong people. This anxiety stuff is very hard.

  129. Nolan Says:

    Hi Todd,

    Don’t worry about convincing yourself whether the content of those fears are valid or not. Just when the fears come, let them be there.
    If they fill you with fear… let them do that and have an attitude of “oh well”.
    Give no timetable in which they need to leave. Just wear it like a rough sweater (stole that analogy from someone).

    And if your mind wants to race with that intensity just let it. Let go of the reigns and just sit back and ‘enjoy the show’.

    In time and when your body and mind are ready they’ll stop concerning themselves over this issue. It won’t take any mental convincing on your part. When that peace comes it will just make sense to you.

  130. Alz Says:

    Julie W thanks a lot..
    i know i shouldn’t seek reassurance but like you said it scares the hell out of me. I keep on asking my husband when ill be ok. He says if your bad thoughts can have so much power, y cant u let your good thoughts have that much power too.. makes me think y it can’t work that way. Why did i let it get to tht level and how will i ever get out of it.
    Its like my mind is functioning differently and screaming at me day in day out and i have to let it be and just do my thing.

  131. Suzanne Says:

    Oh, the stories I could tell. This site has set me on the right path. More than 12 months ago, I was fraught. Caught deep in a spiral of panic attacks, negative thought, chronic anxiety, responsive fear-filled reactions and a life that focused on the next bad thing that could happen.

    All the ugly ‘what if’ terms popped their heads up, ‘what if … vertigo’, ‘what if …MS’, ‘what if…don’t want to go to the shop’, ‘what if…getting off this medication causes psychosis’, ‘what if…I’m like this for ever’, ‘what if…hang on, did I just hear/see something that wasn’t there?!?….What if going crazy?’. Sound familiar? Bet it does.

    It wasn’t that I didn’t function…I did. I got myself up, dressed, beautiful boys off to school, shopping done, out for a walk, social outings. But the whole time, and I mean the whole time the internal dialogue was churning. I suffered it all. By the way, this was over a period of 6 months. Seems like a short time yes? Oh well, everyone is different. From 0 to 10 in a heartbeat. Started with a panic attack (thought I was dying from an allergic reaction to botox!!), then another (on a plane), then another (had a sugar headache and thought I was dying of an aneryism). So my GP sent in the big guns, a psychiatrist. More harm that help in my opinion. Does anyone else get the feeling the psych industry is built on fear, that their extortionate rates are built on them having us believe in the thin air we go on about ? Anyway, that’s a chat for another time. So onto medication I went. Getting of medication did actually give me tinnitus. Yes, it truly did.

    But by a stroke of luck (hooray!!) I had found this sight and was already on a path to doing nothing and acceptance. The way I choose to handle my tinnitus now is the way I choose to handle anxiety. It’s benign, it’s up to me to ignore it, it’s up to me to get on with things. Oh, and my favourite “let it go, let it go (sing along to the frozen theme)”.

    There’s so much more. But that’s just part and parcel isn’t it. I still have negative thoughts, I still have anxiety, I still think things like “what if this … turns into depression”, “what if ….I get a horrible disease”, “what if, what if, what if”. But then?? But then … let it go. Leave it be. Ignore it. Accept. Accept. Accept.

    Thank you Paul, Claire Weekes, the guy who wrote the do nothing letter. And thank you to me. I did this. And I will continue to do this. Every day. Every single day

  132. Dani Says:

    Hi all,
    Thank you Michael, Aaron, Rik and Chris for your replies, I really appreciate all the advice you’ve given me. As I’m writing this from my phone annoyingly I can’t view your messages at the same time as replying!

    Chris, I misinterpreted your original reply and understand you didn’t mean to cause any upset by it :)

    Rik, I find that really inspiring that you continue to work and carry on with your normal life while feeling strange and in another world, it gives me hope that I may be able to do it to. When you’re at work does it feel like your whole perception of your environment has changed? That’s how it felt for me when I went back to work before being signed off sick again.


  133. Gordon Says:

    I once read somewhere that if we were the type of people who could do that to ourselves then we would not worry about it!
    The fact it worries us means we will never do it!

  134. Gordon Says:

    hi all

    Posted this a few days ago but think it got stuck!

    Am I fearing recovery? Is that normal?

    I have had anxiety on and off for a very long time and most of the time have been taking an ssri.
    Don’t get me wrong, there have been long periods when I have been fine, albeit with faint trepidation that it will ‘all come back again’!
    Over the past 10 months I have, very slowly, came off the tablets and have been trying my best to follow Paul’s advice.
    About 3 weeks ago I kind of fell into a hole again because of a pretty stressful life event and therefore am currently having a setback.
    This will sound daft probably, but at this stage of a setback I feel like I should be suffering more, due to past experience, and this worries me!
    I am not as bad as I have been previously and I sometimes get the thought that maybe means I’m losing control (my biggest fear) and don’t realise! I also worry that coming off the tablets has caused some kind of long lasting damage!
    I know the most logical explanation is that I’m recovering slowly causing this setback to be weaker and quicker, but you know anxiety, it always finds a way of shouting the negative the loudest!
    Is this a normal reaction to the recovery process?

  135. Steve b Says:

    Guys and girls. Wondering if anyone can help out with a bit of reassurance.
    Had an bad stage of anxiety about a year ago. I have slowly, very slowly got better. Still get symptoms which are generally manageable. However, the last 3 weeks or so ago my brain has just started to obsess constantly about anxiety.
    I don’t get any free flowing thoughts about anything other than anxiety.
    It’s not the racing thoughts of the acute stage. It’s just the brain playing over and over and over the same things about what happened, why did it happen, will it come back, basically anything anxiety based. It’s like a stuck record.
    Incidentally I do get records playing over and over again for days sometimes.
    I am worried this is OCD. Can anyone relate. As I say, it’s literally an obsession 24/7. No let up.

  136. Kimi Says:

    Hello Nolan

    I have been reading your posts quite a few times and see that you understand this anxiety thing very well.

    I have a few questions and hope if you could guide me.

    I have progressed quite well, but the only thing that disturb me is that I feel fearful often. I wanted to know what to do here. Am confused how to react here. Should I stay calm and feel the fear OR should I convince myself that this is only a feeling and it will pass.

    Sometimes the fear is so intense that it can take up all my day. How did you get over this?

  137. Rik Says:


    Yes i pretty much constantly feel that way at work. Like im walking around in my own world. Its horrible but all it really is is extreme self awareness. I was rereading claire weekes books the other day and she mentions this too.

    For me it feels like I am completely obsessed with myself againdt my will. Like i cant access the outside world because i am so caught up in my own mind and focussing on myself

  138. Beth Says:

    Rik-You just hit the nail on the nose. ? I had an actual 2 HOURS of clarity a few days ago, solely through acceptance. It was wonderful, but here we are again, worse than ever. I don’t recognize all the symptoms separately, and I know it’s all a trick of anxiety-truly. But, good grief, the stark raving terror 24/7 does get really old. What I don’t completely get (and I should, with all the books I’ve read, etc.) is why it’s so dang frightening. Again, I probably need to re-read Paul’s books, especially certain sections. But it strikes me as a bit odd that my mind is searching for danger when there is none. In the end, I know it doesn’t matter why, but it “boggles the mind”, ya know? Thanks for listening, any and all thoughts are appreciated. ?

  139. Bryan Says:


    Fear of what we’ve been through is common and the provided you’re not involving meds or some other major life stressor… this falls into the same category as any other anxiety flare-up. In fact it’s better because you’ve made progress and this is almost like your mind’s last gasp to “protect” you.

    So as predictable as it may be to say… peace from this is going to come through instructing your brain that there is no actual danger. If we were dealing with a kid we’d call this a “teachable moment”. Think of your brain as a kid that is (whether they know it or not) seeking guidance that they will use and implement forever.

    So if we accept, brush off and get back to life… the brain learns that there is no real danger. If we react and hate the state or attempt to solve the fear… we confirm to the brain that indeed it is doing the right thing by constantly circling around to the same topic.

    It’s not easy. I know all to well. But we can do it and it’s actually a positive sign that you’ve come this far. So now it’s back to what got this recovery ball rolling in the first place…

  140. Bryan Says:


    Also… Paul talks about that topic often. It if you want to see a recent comment from him about it look at his FB page, May 10th.

  141. Steve b Says:

    Thank you so much Bryan. Really really helpful.

  142. Matt Says:

    For anyone who has seen a positive change in their anxiety (or Nolan, since I seem to ask him questions a lot)

    Did anyone suffer from a lot of fatigue? I feel that I’m always tired. I’ve seen the doctor and had some basic blood work, but not sure how much I should attribute fatigue to anxiety versus something else, and was wondering what other people’s experience with fatigue and anxiety was. It’s one of those health things that I don’t want to write off because of anxiety, but at the same time, all the things my mind is putting my body through would definitely cause it. Thanks!

  143. Beth Says:

    Wow, I never learn…chose not to go on an outing today with my daughter-again. Caused even more disappointment (for her) and tears (for me). Because (my brain says) what if I get far away from home, my “safe” place? And something happens? Which I know, as sure as I’m sitting here, is NIT going to happen. So frustrating…

  144. Beth Says:


  145. Jamie Says:

    I have a question about my antidepressants and I wonder if anyone has a view / some advice. I take 45mg Mirtazipine at night and due to the chemist giving me the wrong description, I was left with 2 tablets for 3 days until the chemist is open again.

    I do worry a lot about any alterations to my medication and how it will affect me. Anyway, as I had some 15mg tablets left over from when I was on a smaller dose, I took 3 x 15mg tablets last night and thought it would make no difference. It has made me feel not quite with it today, fuzzy head and quite nauseous. Why is this if it is the same dose but spread over 3 tablets ? My question is – I now have 2 tablets for 2 nights – should I go back to the 45mg tonight or have a night with no tablets as the 3 x 15mgs have affected me today ?

    Granted me worrying about how I feel when I have various social things over the next day or so is not helping but I wondered if anyone could offer any advice ? Thanks

  146. Alz Says:

    Bryan, Nolan, Chris or anyone of the brave anxiety survivors..
    so now that I am trying to get my life back after my loss and the crippling anxiety, iv started doing things i used to do- i.e going to the gym, driving , doing volunteer work etc. Every day , even though i have been doing these things for the past week or so, i get so much anticipatory anxiety. Everything is anxiety producing but i still trudge along carrying on wiht my routine. During times when im alone i get even more anxious because my thoughts really have a life of their own.
    Most recently (past 3, 4 days) ive been havign the thought that living with this anxiety is too much and that its not worth it and that i wont get better… that this is hell. Its such an overwhelming thought despite the fact that i am doing evrything .. but the anxiety day in day out is always there .. even before the most mundane of tasks. The thought keeps on playing in my head like a broken reel. And mind you, to people im so normal – socialising , gymming etc when in reality each daily task produces so much anticipatory anxiety
    now is this an obsessive thought or am I actually vulnerable ? i mean i obviously want to get better. I know acceptance is key .. even of this scary thought.. but its so hard. DID any of you go through this ? how’d you make yourself get over such thinking?

  147. Alz Says:

    And initially when i began doing all these things the challenge was just to begin doing them but with this lingering anxiety with every thing i was doing i don’t feel like doing anything . I think of going to the gym for eg and all the awful feelings i get there including the feeling of being in a dream, not myself etc really make me dread the gym. I know i must continue but for how long will i be living in my head and thinkign all these negative self defeating thoguhts? I was never this bad.
    Ill think of going for yoga or meditating but will not do it because of the anticipatory anxiety. Ill drive but will anticipation .
    and then the constant thought of all this not being worth it is really pullign me down. Its an obsession but a scary one.. the voice in my head is really pulling me down…

  148. Belgian Says:


    Thanks for your reply. I needed to hear that :-)

    One week further down the road I already feel better or let us just say less involved with my anxiety.

    I am glad I was able to help you in one way or the other too!

    Too all others I can once again confirm:

    it’s not anxiety that defines you, it is your reaction towards it!

    Take heart!


  149. Alz Says:

    Noones replied to my posts :(!

  150. Star Says:


    No one usually replies to me (lol- it’s ok….) but because of the way that I relate to this site; I would like to try my luck again,

    I have been through very interesting twists and turns. Ever since I finished my exams last week; the anxiety intensity has decreased immensely but what I am left with is the deep worry ( I know it is conditioned) which I have experienced for the past 4-5 years (I’m not sure if I was such a worrier before I had an anxious change in my life etc)
    I am back to worrying about everything; Worrying about making plans for the day. worrying about things not working out the way that I want them to; worrying, worrying and worrying and trying to control the way things go. This makes me feel constantly afraid, very insecure and just very gloomy; as if something bad is going to happen the whole time. And it makes it hard to be coherent in my decisions, or positive at ALL. This is very different to how I felt when I was at uni and during exams where I felt a million times worse; every exam was torture where my thoughts would tell me they don’t even know why I showed up; I was a disgrace etc etc.
    And then of course, even though I feel ‘better’ (this is not fun at all but it is what I had accepted as my reality for a long time before things got worse) I am worried that when I start working soon the very severe anxiety will come back and smother me.

    The thing that bothers me is that I can’t think straight when the worries flood my mind; I don’t feel like I am myself; the decisions I make I do not feel come from a good place. And I suppose this affects my self esteem.

    Anyway I just want some advice I guess; the anxiety feels much more mellow more like dread; I know there is nothing to do etc. I am not searching. But my brain does not seem to ever want to stop. I suppose the answer is to let it race and not get involved? But it would be nice to hear from others.

    Gosh this takes such a toll on self-esteem.

  151. Tasnim Says:

    A good few times I’ve had this moment where I couldn’t decide if something I remember happened in a dream or in real life. Is this normal? I get confused from thinking. I get worried when this happens. I feel like I’m too in my head right now. Also, like my peripheral vision is smaller and I can’t look outward. Is it some depersonalization.

  152. Belgian Says:


    I say this without being negative about it but your questions have been asked so many times.

    In fact, it’s not the thoughts you hate. It is the feeling that goes with the thoughts that are bothering you. The feelings of anxiety. In other words, it’s not the ever repeating, internal voice that is keeping you down, it is your reaction to it.

    The reason why you can’t simply let the thought go, is because you are still not accepting the fact that you are feeling bad. Although you were told that doing everything like you used to do before will not make the anxiety go away at first, you still don’t accept this.

    What should you DO then? I see that you are not retreating from life but are living it. That is the only thing you can do. As for the anxious feelings and negative thoughts, it is your job not to do ANYthing about it. Or at least try to do nothing about it.

    Anxiety – like any other emotion – will always leave on his own accord. When you are feeling sad, would this sadness go away when you would feel sad because you are feeling sad?
    When you are feeling angry, would your anger leave you as soon as you would feel angry because of it?

    The answer is of course: no. On the contrary!

    Sadness leaves us when our soul and body heals. It often does not leave after deliberate attempts to get it over with. It leaves us automatically. When accepted, time will open the door again for other emotions. The same goes for anxiety.

    Understand that this is a process you are going through. Like any journey in life it goes uphill and downhill. But as long as you keep moving, I promise you, you will go forward!

  153. Vasili Says:

    Hi everyone , and Paul

    I am 23 and have read both of the books Paul has written. I understand them and they really do “hit home”. However I feel as if I can not get to that point of not reacting to my symptoms.

    I SWEAT ALL DAY.literally all day due to my anxiety. And thus has culminated into other forms of anxiety like blurred vision and fear of interacting socially etc. I have even stepped back from many dreams due to my fear of sweating.

    Could any of you shed some light please?

    Thank you wonderful people

  154. Star Says:


    Thanks for your reply.

    Yes, I know that the only advice that anyone can give is to let it wash over you and not get involved.

    I suppose where I was confused is the fact that now it feels different; like worry about things as opposed to how I feel; it feels like I am the one creating this worry by not having trust in things being ok, not having trust in myself. Because it’s like I know that worrying about how I feel will go nowhere so I have let it go for now but the fact that I am still worrying and creating anxiety about things in my life will probably lead me to getting much worse eventually.

    I am going to take the advice and ignore the worries to the best of my ability– to be able to see through them and never get involved.

    I’ll also read up what Paul says in his book about living without worry.

  155. Stephanie Says:

    Hi all,

    I just wanted to provide some encouragement to everyone. I’m actually in the midst of a setback right now, after a period of several good months. But you know what? That’s ok. Setbacks don’t mean you’ve been doing something wrong or that you’re not really recovering. The knowledge and understanding that you’ve gained cannot be lost, and that will make all the difference.

    When I initially felt the anxiety welling back up, I did have a thought “wow I feel like I’m back to the beginning of all this.” But the truth is, I can never be back to the beginning because I know what this all is. Yes, I feel derailed and frustrated. That’s normal. Anxiety is not intended to feel good. It’s not like the symptoms will one day start feeling good. No, they’re terrible. But as we’ve heard time and again, it’s all about how we react to them. We are in control.

    It’s only natural when your mind and body are racing that nothing makes sense. The peace of yesterday seems like a sick joke. This is normal. Everything you’re feeling is normal. Our only task, so to speak, is to let all of that be there (i.e. the racing thoughts, the churning mind, the fatigued body), and to focus on living our lives. Calm will return. Peace will return. But we can’t force it.

  156. Tasnim Says:

    Thanks for the insight. After weeks of feeling like I was recovered and could never feel that way again, I can feel myself slowly slipping back. I’m feeling paranoid, doubt, a need to flee, and disconnected. I assume I’m in a setback right now. I thought since I only suffered for a short time, that I wouldn’t have a setback when I feel practically recovered. I thought it was uphill from here, but I guess I’m still in the process. Hopefully, this time I can get through it quicker.

  157. Mo Says:

    Thank you?
    ” the battle with anxiety is like lashing out at an enemy that doesn’t exist” I can’t think of a better picture in my mind to describe my experience

    You are on point about how we think we have control even though looking from a distance we really don’t. It’s like we try to make everything right in our life instead of truly going with the flow like I once have before for 18 years befor the last 5 years of this battle I created.

    I miss those times and I sort of want it back. NORMALITY.To live my life naturally, peacefully instead of battling myself to regain control life my life.

    I’ve read both your books though having a little difficulty after finishing. It’s almost like I kind of don’t want to make effort to be living my life again because it’s means I’m going to to have to feel these intense emotions and constant adrenaline, while giving into my insecurities and feeling vulnerable for a while.

    I’m going to re-read what recovery means and try to get a clear mind as I’ve been foggy lately the last 2 years from taking stimulant medication(Amphetamine for God sakes!) that is literally making me worse but I feel it’s a shortcut to focus on my studies and job without allowing emotions and thoughts to intervene with my concentration. I’m probably the most stupid anxiety sufferer ever.

    Can anyone throw advice if it’s a good idea to get off of a powerful stimulant for peace and normalcy? I haven’t much experience with anxiety sufferers that also legally take amphetamine pills from their doctor. THIS HAS BEEN A HUGE CONCERN TO ME THE LAST 2 YEARS BUT NO ANXIETY SUFFER IS YET TO SHARE AS I TRUST YOU GUYS MORE THAN MY DOCTOR AND ANYONE CLOSE TO ME SINCE THEY SEEM TO BE IGNORANT(please excuse my rant)

    Thanks again for the advice Mr. David I still wonder how someone long gone past anxiety suffering could help current sufferers to be honest when I use to be normal before anxiety I would shy away from giving advice for past hardships I overcame because I didn’t want people to think different of me and my past life experiences and so I would act ignorant with them to look tough. My attitude has changed as I sort of see you as a role model. I want to be bold like you when I recover and spread the word, of course I would steer it towards your resources as my knowledge of anxiety has come from you:)


  158. Bryan Says:

    Great post Stephanie.

  159. Alz Says:

    can anyone share Paul’s second book with me??

  160. Alz Says:

    That anxiety could manifest itself in so many symptoms I never knew . As I slowly try to move on with my life each day is as unpredictable as trying your luck at a slot machine – you don’t know what combination you’ll get .
    Today was the day when I was rechecking everything to make sure it’s there and not my mind playing tricks , not being able to read sentences from a book properly ( I hv to redress each sentence twice) and the watching tv with this constant glare showing from the edges of the tv and myself questioning it . It’s truly exhausting and pathetic but is there any option ?? No ! I’m grateful I hv this blog where I can vent ( almost every day) as well as read other people’s posts and feel a bit better – although like most anxiety sufferers I feel I hv it the worst;)
    I’m living alongside these feelings and scary symptoms especially when they resurface .. I dunno how far recovery is ..
    Just want to know I’m not alone.. Was anxiety this bad fr ppl? Bryan , Nolan, Chris or any of the anxiety gurus (:p) .. When your anxiety was really bad , how bad was it?

  161. Debbie Says:

    Alz if you give me your emai address i will try and send u pauls 2nd book.

  162. Alz Says:

    Debbie my last post with my email address is awaiting moderation .. Anyway my email is alizehk at gmail dot com .. Hehe let’s see if it gets sent this way ..
    Thanks a lot in advance!

  163. Rik Says:


    Mine is just as bad right now. I question my very sanity. To the point I am seeing a psychiatrist today for a formal diagnosis. I have to accept whatever they tell me and if they say it is simply anxiety then so be it. I will commit to believing them and move on with acceptance.

    I have had all the things you are experiencing. I am keeping an eye on my peripheral vision for movements and checking I am not seeing things and much more. I feel a total lack of emotion that scares me also and sometimes I feel all these things with no anxiety whatsoever unless it is just that I am so used to it now that it feels no different anymore.

    This is definitely as bad as I have ever been with it hence me wanting to see someone for a formal diagnosis. I know this is not accepting but I feel I cannot begin to accept until I have done this for my own peace of mind.

  164. Alz Says:

    Belgian thanks a lot! You honestly make a lot of sense but obviously when one is in the middle of a setback all you want is to get out of it . I think Carla posted something brilliant about this earlier in the posts.

  165. Alz Says:

    Rik I do believe it’s anxiety .. Any possible triggers ? Let me know what the psychiatrist says .. Good luck !

  166. Rik Says:

    I am not sure what my triggers are but I certainly feel that the DP/DR are the major causes for me as I can’t seem to just let it go. I feel I am completely obsessed with myself and cannot find a way out of my mind. I feel I am locked in my own mind and can’t experience the world as I should. I feel more of an observer than a participant.

    I think I am having many more panic attacks than I think but I think they are happening subconciously as I dont seem to get all the physical symptoms that I used to. That could be down to the DP/DR protecting me from it all. I just don’t know.

    I can’t seem to ignore a single thought. I am scanning every thought for fearful content or proof that I am going mad. The same with my senses. I am constantly checking what I am seeing or how I am feeling etc.

    I feel so distant from the rest of the world and everyone else. I can’t feel people if that makes sense. I just feel like a walking shell that is not part of the rest of the world at the moment.

    The frustrating thing is I feel I am doing this to myself.

  167. Rik Says:

    Hi Alz,

    I went to see him. He gave me a formal diagnosis of anxiety with OCD. Not the first time I have been diagnosed with OCD as I had it mid 2014 to mid 2015 but overcame it with CBT and a lot of hard work. I am glad to now have a formal diagnosis as I feel it helps me with to move on and start the work of recovery with a trusted diagnosis. Just thought I should update you as you asked me to and it seems we have been having similar problems. He told me all the disconnect and lack of emotion was stress and anxiety and to accept them and let them be there without obsessing about them. That is the hard part of course.

  168. Alz Says:

    Good for you .. Gives me hope too although I know me fearing it is anxiety .. About the odd thoughts of checking rechecking and problems with reading .. What’d he say?

  169. Rik Says:


    He said I am just obsessing because I am so scared of developing these things. He said I am basically doing it to myself but that the OCD makes it incredibly hard to ignore etc. He said if I can learn again to simply let these thoughts etc just pass then in time concentration etc will be easier. He said I am that busy thinking about myself and symptoms and looking for symptoms etc that there is no space for emotion or focus on anything else.

    He basically told me everything that Paul says but I think I just needed to hear it from someone such as him that is a professional in the field of mental health and could help to put some of my fears to bed. I intend to put my trust in his diagnosis and use this to combat the OCD I have and ignore my intrusive thoughts and fears. For me obsession has been the major component of my troubles the last two times I have had anxiety issues. It seems that when I am tipped into a sensitised state I begin to obsess about symptoms and even end up creating them by looking for them all the time. I know why also. It is because by obsessing about things and researching etc I am attempting to reduce my feelings by finding an answer. The problem is that there is no answer to be found. Anxiety and OCD always leave that seed of doubt so you are constantly searching for something you cant have which is certainty.

    This is where acceptance comes in with regard to the anxiety and thoughts. We accept the presence of the thoughts without assigning any meaning or looking for any answer.

  170. Matt Says:

    Sorry for the repost. Figured I’d try for an answer once more :)

    “For anyone who has seen a positive change in their anxiety (or Nolan, since I seem to ask him questions a lot)

    Did anyone suffer from a lot of fatigue? I feel that I’m always tired. I’ve seen the doctor and had some basic blood work, but not sure how much I should attribute fatigue to anxiety versus something else, and was wondering what other people’s experience with fatigue and anxiety was. It’s one of those health things that I don’t want to write off because of anxiety, but at the same time, all the things my mind is putting my body through would definitely cause it. Thanks”

  171. Rich Says:

    Matt, 100% anxiety is the cause of the fatigue. Give yourself a breather from worrying about it and you’ll feel less fatigued.

    Correction – it’s not the anxiety that’s making you feel fatigued – you are, as a result of your reaction to the anxiety. Be at ease with feeling this way knowing why you feel how you do, and the weight will lift and energy and drive will come back. Keep worrying and tiring yourself out, and you’ll stay stuck in the rut.

    Fatigue is one of the things I have to push myself to get through and I attribute it all to worrying and tiring myself out and my body wanting me to slow down and take it easy. How do I overcome it? I don’t worry about how I feel as I know the ‘why’, and I get up and do stuff anyway. I always feel better for doing something and pushing myself to do it.

  172. Dani Says:

    Hi Rik,
    I’ve just been reading your posts regarding you psychiatrist visit, did they mention DP/DR? I read somewhere that a lot of GP’s and psychiatrists aren’t even that aware of the condition/symptom. I went to see a psychiatrist a 3 weeks ago and she diagnosed me with GAD and derealisation (although I know I also have OCD). She told me the derealisation is temporary, which was good to hear as I have been worrying after reading posts on other sites where people have said they’ve had DP/DR for over 15 years – most discouraging!).

    Can I ask another question, I know you said you get the feeling of being in another world at work, do you also have the feeling of things not being real and that you’re imagining it all in your head and also do you ever look at other people and think how strange humans are?
    The thing that seems to bother me the most is thinking that maybe I’m dead and my spirit is just imagining it all, I know that sounds like such a crazy thing to say though x

  173. Beth Says:

    Rich-You are 100% correct, it IS the reaction to the anxiety, not the anxiety itself. Academically I fully understand this. But, the fear and stark-raving terror are still there. I realize I’m not accepting, but therein lies the rub, right? Any advice/thoughts on understanding this better so that I can, indeed, accept without fear? Thanks in advance…?

  174. Rik Says:


    1000% yes. I get all of that and I also talk to someone who used to be on here a lot that has had all of the exact same things also. From what I can tell it is par for the course with this. When I spoke to the psychiatrist about these things he said this is the OCD that has latched onto these fears and thoughts and is the reason you seem unable to get away from it and it seems to infect your every thought. As you likely know OCD is incredibly cruel and will hijack every thought you have and will torment you seemingly constantly and even more so if you are anxious or stressed already. I am making a real effort now to realise that it is my OCD that has caused this to get as bad as it has and am now working on doing the right things to begin to reclaim my life from it.

    He also confirmed that the feeling unreal is very much an anxiety/stress thing too. I think it is likely I had symptoms of the dp/dr first that I then became scared of such as the feeling of emptiness due to the anxiety and then I panicked about depression. This then led to more introspection and therefore DP which then led me to panick about DP etc and obsess endlessly over it trying to reassure myself. Classic OCD/anxiety behaviour really and the main things that make the problem worse.

    I was given some tablets to help with the OCD which I have had to take as things are just getting too hard and OCD being what it is it can be incredibly difficult to overcome without a helping hand. I have faced it on my own for 6 months now and not missed a day of work but it has all started to take its toll now and I felt it wise to get some outside help. OCD can be incredibly difficult to overcome on your own, it is not called the doubting disease for nothing. It can be done but having a therapist you can trust and sometimes even meds can help you to start regaining some trust in your mind and to start rebuilding the correct ways of thinking.

    As I have seen said elsewhere DP/DR are temporary and it is the experience you will see often on here also. I think having OCD just makes it a lot more difficult to shift but I am 100% confident that I can overcome it and I will. I am sure you will also as we both want to and that is the first step. We are in a viscous cycle of fear and obsession and nothing more. We have the choice to begin working on breaking that cycle whichever way we choose.

  175. Tim Says:

    Hey all, I thought id stop by for a tic. Just wanted to give a bit of positive news. I am still largely recovered (from approximately 10 years of anxiety). I accepted, I allowed – following Paul and Claire’s advice. I still have anxiety occasionally, but its just not a big deal. I haven’t thought about this page for a few weeks until a few moments ago. I feel very out of sync with strategies to explain to you, because as Paul has said all along, there isn’t any.

    I will say one thing though that might help a few of you. I have started to extend my acceptance not just to anxiety but to myself. I have known for years that I beat myself up, that I have a low perception of myself. I have an overprotective mother and a highly critical father.

    If I were to hazard a guess, id say that a huge proportion of you also have a feelings of low self worth, it often comes with the territory. I have been terrified of vulnerability and as a result have tried to control how I appear to others (with devastating results – namely anxiety). This fear of how id be perceived led me to hide my feelings, how terrified I was. I hated my anxiety and myself for being weak, I had become a loser in my own eyes due to anxiety. I didn’t want anyone to see the ‘real me’. Ironically, I would have been much better off if they did see the real me, with fears, faults & anxieties, but also with a number of great qualities too.

    On the lowest level I always liked that I am a good person, but there are so many nasty beliefs I hold about my intelligence, my capability, my looks and my worthiness to be happy.

    Ive always seen those images telling me to love and accept myself on facebook. I’ve read many blogs and self help books that tell me to do it, but I never did. I never committed. Its like that trap where you don’t love yourself so you don’t persist with being kind to yourself. Every morning and night now I just spend a little bit of time practising self compassion. Its made me more kind towards others as a result.

    I just want to say that this is not necessary for recovery. I recovered prior to this. I will say that self acceptance is brining joy back into my life, and I literally don’t remember the last time I was happy. If you also dislike a whole heap about yourself, I think you’ll find self acceptance transformative. Start liking who you are now, not when you are “better”.

    I hope you don’t find this too obnoxious, I really want you all to know that its possible. Have faith :)

  176. Bryan Says:


    As much as you dislike OCD (a fancy name for repetitive thoughts)… I believe you are doing yourself a disservice by attempting to create a “special category” for it or giving yourself the messaging that it requires somehow different treatment than everything else we experience.

    The bottom line is this… your “OCD” is the same as someone’s DP or someone else’s morning anxiety or someone else’s rolling panic, etc. I do agree that repetitive thoughts are difficult to overcome. But what you dislike is the SEVERITY.

    If your racing thoughts were a 5 on a scale of 10… you’d dislike it but you wouldn’t be attempting to put it on such a pedestal and create such a grand profile for it. You would just find it annoying or uncomfortable. At the same time, if you instead had very strong panic attacks and agoraphobia… As in 9 on a scale of 10… THAT would be your central focus. You’d be using special medical names for THAT and saying how it made your situation special and different than others. See what I mean?

    I don’t doubt that you dislike your thought. I don’t doubt it’s strong for you at the moment. But from personal experience, I would recommend considering Paul’s (and other recoverers’) advice in treating this under the blanket of anxiety. Because that’s all it is. Your strong X is someone else’s strong Y.
    It is not a uniquene “disease” (another debatable medical word) separate from, anxiety.

    All that said, you can move past this with the right approach. Hang in there and keep learning about Paul/Claire Weekes’ methods.

  177. Rik Says:


    I understand that at its core it is caused by anxiety, fear and stress and I don’t really want to go into the discussion of whether OCD requires different treatment or not (although even Paul has mentioned this in a past blog entry) but one thing I do know is that when obsessions get as bad as this it is wise to get help if you feel you need it.

    I like to think that I am one of the stronger minded people that I know and I have been to hell and back with obsessive thoughts in the past. I overcame them with CBT and sheer determination. I haven’t missed a day of work with all this and have pushed myself into more uncomfortable situations than I can count while accepting how I feel. Believe me I have been working at acceptance since this all started. I have given it my all and I am struggling. I am not too proud to admit that. I have gone swimming, gone to work, looked after my daughter and pretty much everything else that is part of my normal life and yet I am not progressing despite not watching for recovery etc and this is down to the obsessional thoughts that just wont release their grip no matter how much I accept their presence.

    I first came across Pauls writing around 8 years ago with my first dance with anxiety. I overcame it then. Then at the end of 2014 I developed it again along with severe OCD. I overcame it again and this time it is back again in the form of OCD and DP/DR. I have read Pauls books and Claire Weekes and I fully understand the method and the teachings and they have seen me right in the past. I am just at an incredibly difficult point right now.

    I know you mean well with your post but believe me I have accepted to the best of my ability. I will continue to do so of course but I see no shame in reaching out for a helping hand when I feel like I do.

  178. Bryan Says:


    I think if you reread my post you will find that at no point did I ever discourage anyone from seeking help. I have use an anxiety specialist for therapy from time to time over the last few years myself. We are all only human and everyone needs a helping hand from time to time, I think you misread or mistook the point of my post.

    My point was just that if you dive deeply into the subject using resources from those who understood stress disorders the most, they will all tell you with no uncertainty that repetitive thoughts are not some sort of special unique “disease .” The greats like Claire Weekes and Abraham Low taught us this many decades ago and that teaching has been reinforced by scores of people who have recovered and psychological experts.

    Again, us disliking our specific symptom of anxiety does not make it more medically important. It may suck! We may hate how it feels! But it does not make if something separate than stress disorder. The confusion for people has come into play because those who prescribe drugs need a label in the DSM and this label in your case became “OCD.” The medical community treats with drugs and has little understanding of the process. I am engaged to a nurse practitioner (masters level clinition) and she confirms as much. This is understandable because they need to identify conditions and validate their treatment process. So, they create codes. My fiancé has a coffee mug with REAL DSM codes on it that are hilarious. Fancy codes for basic fears and simple anxiety conditions. (And other odd medical codes)

    Again, reach out for all of the help you need and do it without shame. I was simply attempting to help you see a potential roadblock in your language and approach. But that’s just my opinion and you certainly are free to continue down the road you are on.

    I’ll leave you with a quote from Paul on the topic I saw over on his FB page.
    Be well…

    AnxietyNoMoreUk Holly OCD is just a label, that’s all, there are no such thing as normal and OCD thoughts, like they come from a separate part of you, that’s nonsense. I had loads of labels given to me, I learnt to discard them all.
    Thoughts don’t even come from us, try thinking what you want or stop one and you will realise this. I used to get all sorts of thoughts in my days of suffering as a by product of all the excess negative energy in me, thoughts repeated themselves and were v sticky, I just understood enough to just let them be there and carry on with my day, I did not battle with them or try to suppress them, it was just like a radio babbling on in the background. In time they became less sticky and repetitive, but by that time I really did not care, they held no weight or fear to me. its never about trying to get rid or control thoughts, its about not caring what comes up, then you can think anything.
    -Paul David

  179. Rik Says:


    I don’t want to get into a big debate over it all and I appreciate you taking the time to offer some words of advice as I myself have done in the past when feeling far better. I know Paul and Claire Weekes methods work as they have for me in the past.

    I do feel it will help me to speak to someone about things as my support network is very limited and the DP/DR are making things incredibly hard at the moment combined with all the intrusive thoughts.

    I know OCD is just another term for obsessive thoughts. I also know that therapy is very good at helping someone to overcome them and then in time to overcome the rest of the anxiety too once you have more of a handle on things. I have done this before twice now and I fully understand how painful the process of acceptance can be. I just feel I want/need a little more support at this point.

  180. Bryan Says:

    Again Rik, I think we all agree that reaching for help is a good thing.

    Perhaps I just can’t quite make my point clearly because it appears you are misunderstanding, but it doesn’t matter. My attempt was to help, not confuse or debate. So let’s just move on…

    Best of luck to you.. and I wish you the best in your journey back to normal living.

  181. Char Says:

    How do people manage the constant nature of anxiety. I’m in a setback and feel like I am stuck all day in my head. I carry on, I work I have two children , I’ve just been on holiday and I just can’t let it go. I want to cry I’m watching myself , I give myself a hard time as I don’t get acceptance.

  182. Rik Says:


    No problem. I do get what you mean. Treat it as nothing more than anxiety and take away its power rather than apply a label that could possibly make me think of it in a different light or like it is something more serious.

    I do appreciate the input and I know these things myself. I think in desperate times we may look for things that can offer some kind of reassurance whether it be a label for whst we fear or similar.

    I do plan to keep applying acceptance no matter what as I know that without that nothing would change anyway and the cycle continues. The reason for the psych trip was that the fears were becoming too much for me and i felt i need that reassurance that things werent as serious as i thought.

  183. Beth Says:

    Tim-Thank you for your thoughts, it’s much appreciated and, at least in my case, very true.

  184. Alz Says:

    Did the doctor prescribe any medication? You know i feel like this vortex of anxiety can suck one in so bad.. i mean you can just keep sinking and then getting out of it seems like a task. Anxiety can escalate and even if one is accepting, new symptoms can pop up from no where.
    So you accept you have anxiety, you accept its hard, you accept you have no other way.Its all fine there but when you’re in the thick of it and you feel like there’s no getting out of it , acceptance can feel like a joke. I don’t know if anyone feels this way.
    My mind has become so badly contaminated that i don’t know how ill ever overcome it. Acceptance helps .. yes it does but when anxiety starts playing tricks with your sensation how can you accept that??? Its completely nerve wrecking..

  185. Char Says:

    Hi alz

    I had some events happen to me over a numbe of years , connected to my childbirth and issues. I developed really bad anxiety – the full works – couldn’t sleep , eat , barely coped looking after my family, panic , intrusive thoughts everything . I though I would never be me again. I went to a psychiatrist – they diagnosed anxiety. I tired to persuade her it was something t else – like I had lost my mind – she had none of it and was very clear its all anxiety . I took and still take meds – and I do not want to say to anyone do or don’t take as I know the arguments on here over meds. I took them to help me sleep and to take the edge of anxiety. At the same time I found this blog and began to understand anxiety. I totally r recovered. I am now in a setback again due to stress I would like to say – but in all honestly it’s me not accepting anxiety really.

    You will get better and often you need to take a number of paths that all add up to helping you get better – there are no rights and wrongs.

    Hope that’s some help

  186. Alz Says:

    Thanks char :)

  187. Rik Says:


    Yes i was prescribed meds to help with the obsessive thoughts. I expected that to happen. I have tried very hard without but feel i need that helping hand at the moment. I know there are arguments for and against and it is always down to the individual to make that choice. At the end of the day though at some point you need to accept your discomfort and anxiety no matter what path you take.

    You cannot simply hope to take a magic pill and have it all go away. We need to realise that it is stress and anxiety that has caused this and only by reducing both and accepting their presence will it subside again.

  188. Char Says:

    That’s ok Alz , how r u feeling today

  189. Alz Says:

    I’m better char but I’m continuously questioning visual stimulus.. Is it there or not there.. Then I wasn’t going to this shop ( scared ill imagine all the boxes jumping out ) .. I went and obv nothing happened but obv it scares me.. Dunno y these new symptoms have developed

  190. Char Says:

    Anxiety keeps on moving and trying to find new ways to get you – it’s more proof it’s only anxiety – not that you need any proof but it is classic anxiety upto it’s tricks . I went from intrusive thoughts to thinking I was seeing things to feelings of watching myself to panic – honestly I had the whole range .

    Good on you for good for the shop though – that’s great

  191. Bryan Says:


    No problem and I’m happy to try to help. Again, I only offer people a realistic view because it’s what helped me go from the bottom to a much better place. Doctors and labels only harmed me or wasted my time, much like Paul states.
    I hope your current path works for you and you find relief regardless of your approach. Best of health sons wellness to you.


    Very well put. Since anxiety has no basis in reality and is a product of stress, when there is no obvious stressor to cling to it will invent one. (Obsessive ) And these thoughts are 99% of the time pure “what if” garbage. It’s little wonder these thoughts are so outlandish usually. Anxiety needs a strong reaction from is to keep itself alive to “protect” us. It’s a well intended mechanism overworked and malfuncting. But it’s our response that creates the real suffering most of the time. This isn’t to say we can’t get residual aches pains and headaches that are real. We certainly have strong physical feelings as well. But as Pail said… It’s all harmless. As Claire Weekes taught us… NONE of it is medically important. Which is why physicians so rarely help people effectively. Thankfully we have great resources like this to work with folks who HAVE actually moved past stress disorders in their lives.
    Anyway, good post.


    Have an awesome day! :)

  192. Char Says:


    Thank you for your kind words. I don’t know why I can’t take my own advice….

    I really liked your words above – not sure if u had read my earlier posts but I am struggling to accept as my head is telling me I am having a breakdown , going to go insane ,can’t cope with my kids can’t cope with a new job I start next Tuesday .

    I completely like your comments on why doctors so rarely help – in my case when I was bad I went to a psychiatrist about 10 times – I have no idea why – and no one ever ever said anxiety is normal and harmless etc . So the fear that there is something wrong with me stuck.

    Anyway I like your words and am going to refer back to them as they help

    Thank you

  193. Rik Says:

    Thanks bryan. I have worked acceptance very well today. I have allowed all manner of weird thoughts and feelings and it has certainly helped. I know it is the best way to find your way back to peace. I think i was at a bit of a crisis point the other day which had been building up for quite some time.


    I have also been experiencing what you talk about there and it helps to know someone else has had these things as that is what drove me to see the psych as i have not had these things before.

  194. Char Says:

    Hi rik

    Probably the same thing that drove me – fear I guess of feeling like we did/do. I spent a fortune – and all they ever said was anxiety – I think I felt if a top psychiatrist said it was only anxiety it would cure me – which of course it didn’t . It gave me temporary relief for a bit.

    What upsets me still is that no one in the profession recommended Claire weeks or Paul david etc .

    I myself work in the medical profession but am not a doctor or nurse and I fall into the category that Paul david mentions in his first book – work under great stress and he said he is contacted by people in this profession more than any other .

    I can’t get my head to just accept – I was anxiety condition free for 3 years – so yes I had anxiety but the classic “Normal” limits – I never came back on here though as I could never say I was recovered because I knew I still had a fear of it returning.

    Anyway good few posts from us all recently ! Has helped me today

  195. Rik Says:


    I think after we have been symptom free for a time it can seem even harder to accept when we are back in the cycle again. I first had anxiety 8 years ago. I recovered fully for 6 years until extreme stress drove m back there again. I recovered again for 6 months but the issues that has caused the original relapse were still there and i got overwhelmed again.

    I have been trying to accept also but my symptoms spooked the life out of me and things just got worse and worse. Ive never stopped doing things and living my life but things didnt improve and i had to see someone just to know i wasnt going crazy. I sure felt like it.

    The sheer amount of different symptoms we can get is huge and we can cause a lot for ourselves also. For me it is the mental symptoms that cause me problems. I couldnt care less about a fast heartbeat etc. We always get what we fear most though.

  196. Char Says:


    Same here – I get loads of skipped heartbeats – couldn’t care less – but give me an intrusive thought and I’m a jelly !!

    Yes you prob right after being symptom free for so long it’s a shock and we need to get out memory to kick in again !

  197. Dani Says:

    Hi Rik, I know Bryan says it doesn’t help to label these things (and a therapist I saw said the same thing) – but I think it does make it even harder to dismiss anxious thoughts if you have OCD.
    I just want to say again that I really admire you for carrying on with your normal life and working whilst suffering with DP/DR and horrible intrusive thoughts, it’s so difficult to do and I haven’t managed it myself.
    When you said you get all the things I mentioned, does that include feeling/worrying that you might actually be dead and it’s your spirit imagining it all. That’s the one thing that bothers me the most, I hate it and don’t know how I’m suppose to accept that I feel I might be dead. It’s such a stupid thought yet I’m finding it so hard to get over it

  198. Rik Says:


    I havent had that specific thought but many more like it and all the symptoms that alz and cha have described as well as the ones you have. I know deep down its false but it doesnt stop the anxiety that comes with them at times. That is the DP/DR though. That is how it makes you feel. Its bizarre and awful but it can be overcome. Just remember that. I think about the weird thoughts as our minds trying to make sense of what we are experiencing. It will throw up all kinds of explanations. It doesnt make them right but it does scare us even more. For me it is more the fact i have had such a weird thought than the thought itself if that makes sense.

  199. Alz Says:

    You know I think Bryan mentioned Abraham Low and i got down to looking him up and reading his book . It’s really interesting – a single man being able to help so many ppl who suffered from nervous illness . The thing that really helped all the patients was that they were being helped by ex anxiety sufferers who had recovered . They knew exactly what the patient was talking about and could help him/her much better .. This blog is a something like that . Except I wish I could meet the people who have recovered or get more instant help because most people reply and are very helpful but when the anxiety is really high, the answers seem as late – Murphy’s law I guess . The other problem is that I think because I live in a different time zone , people reply when I’m hibernating .
    Char it’s true that it’s all anxiety .. I’m glad I went to the shop but then I was so apprehensive when I went there. The depression doesn’t help either .. It’s a bad place to be at but I guess one can feel helpless not hopeless ( also something I read from the book )
    Rik I’m glad you did well today . Accepting everything .
    Now I just tell myself – if I can see a glare from the headlights that’s ok , if the tv shows a reflection that’s ok too . If things are not moving or moving that’s fine as well . Except ,that really narrows my idea of reality if anyone understands what I’m trying to say .. How do we realise something is not real or real when we’re confusing ourselves so much … I keep on interacting with people to feel more real

  200. Alz Says:

    Another thing is say a lot is it’s not in my control. If anxiety was in my control why would it happen in the first place? My mom keeps on telling me I’m breeding my fears but honestly I’m not .. I’m trying to move forward but get thrown back two steps if iv recovered one step . For example , I was making progress with driving etc but now with this new fear of being scared of seeing things I’m scared of driving . I was doing a lot of work online but I’m also hesitating from doing that because I’m scared what if I can’t work on the computer just like I was having problems reading the novel . Again , I’m not doing this to myself . .. My anxiety is . Yes it’s all my thoughts and I need to accept that but how much does one accept ? Especially when you’ve seen a ‘normal’ , carefree and relatively anxiety free side of life .
    And yes like both of you Rik and Char, the physical symptoms mean nothing .. I don’t even think I feel them anymore . It’s the mental angst that’s problematic.

  201. Jamie Says:


    My daughter lives with me for part of the week and one of my stresses is worrying about how I will feel when I am responsible for her (others have mentioned a fear of losing control when in charge of their children) and finding things to do with her as a single Dad.

    The main reason for this post is as follows – the thing i really dislike myself for is getting really angry quickly and losing patience if she won’t do as she is told, won’t go to sleep, keeps asking for things etc etc. This is quite normal behaviour for a child (she is 8) but because of my anxiety, I just get angry very quickly when I should be more patient. I never ever really properly shout at her but I am very impatient. This also means I do not really enjoy my time with her because of my anxiety. I really hate myself for this and try and stop myself but it is always there. I also don’t want her to pick up my anxiety traits which makes me dislike myself even more.

    I wondered if any others could relate to this and / or had any thoughts ?

  202. Char Says:

    Hi Alz

    I find it helpful to think of anxiety as a cup, when we fill that cup with stress or upset, the cup can only take so much – once you overfill it it spills out – that’s when the anxiety becomes a problem – we have caused our bodies to release too much adrenaline and all we are feeling are the adrenaline effects. So although people say you can’t control anxiety – you do control your actions and what you do and that in effect controls the anxiety. You are always in control of you – not the anxiety.

    Your anxiety is still just moving around – so it tries to,scare you with say the glare from the tv that works then you calm down, so then it tries something else like the glare from headlights or anything at all !

    You keep doing as you are Alz and you see results – it’s often not instant like we want but you are doing well.

  203. Alz Says:

    Char that’s so true . The cup analogy. However, why is every negative thought so sticky and not a positive one? It seems so easy to make a habit of anxiety which is all negativity really, but rather tough to relearn the good stuff .
    You know with the loss of my baby and the anxiety that’s followed I just wonder if I’ll ever be myself again – or have kids . My new obsession is my predisposition to anxiety and my suffering ..
    Char when you were having the similar symptoms as me ( seeing things etc ) was there a trigger? How’d you overcome that phase?

  204. Char Says:


    You have hit the nail on the head – negative thoughts are sticky as they get a reaction. Your brain sees it gets a reaction and does it again and again – your brain is thinking it is protecting you as it gets a response . So you get stuck in a loop of anxious thinking. A nice thought is just that a thought – it passes by and you carry on. But when a negative thought comes you have a deeper look and then look again and then analyse it….

    I thought I saw loads of things – once I thought I saw a gecko – I live in the UK – and we don’t have geckos ….. Once I thought everything was pink it wasn’t – it was just anxiety – it’s no different to the thoughts – maybe just say to yourself – that’s not real thank you anxiety for playing tricks I’m now just going to carry on slowly and calmly with what I was doing.

    I can completely understand after your loss – I know of two people who had similar . Both had anxiety afterwards. I myself had two miscarriages – so I understand a little of what you are dealing with.


  205. Alz Says:

    Thanks Char ,
    Really helps . With you giving such great advice, I don’t see how you could suffer from anxiety . Thats the thing , we know it all so well but are still uncomfortable with it .. still not sure when we’ll pop and be sent to the loony bin. Hehe . . It’s also hard to keep up appearances especially when there’s a storm brewing within.

  206. Char Says:

    Ha – I can give advice and I think it helps me – but I don’t listen to my own advice and have just moaned to my husband I still feel weird !

  207. Alz Says:

    I’ve stopped complaining to my husband . Hehe . I use this blog . Honestly people who don’t suffer from anxiety can totally not relate to it . That is why psychiatrists/ psychologists don’t help much either .
    Did u get depression as well ? this anxiety business can really strip one off their self esteem and confidence .

  208. Char Says:

    Hi no I didn’t get depression – I felt low but not real depression – but I worried myself stupid I might develop depression… It was an anxious looping thought I had….I do moan and go on to my husband and a couple of friends and I follow this blog when I need to. Have u had a look at some of the archives on this site ? It is really useful.

  209. Alz Says:

    Hmmm.. I’m trying to see if there are any posts about depression specifically – don’t see any . My one obsessive thought about that is that this is not worth it etc etc and then I fear it’ll escalate and I’ll end up doing something to myself .. That thought comes throughout the day from time to time and scares me .. I believe I won’t do anything but at the same time I agree with not wanting to live like this throughout..

  210. Char Says:

    If it scares you Alz then you have just confirmed for yourself it’s an anxious thought …… See you identified it yourself – it scares you … Try to develop your own strategy for these thoughts – I assume u are having counselling after your loss ? If u are working on how to deal with anxious thoughts then I don’t want to confuse you but you can either ignore then, make fun of them, label them and ignore them, or ask questions to “neutralise” them.

    I take a different approach depending on my anxiety level , but I mainly ignore as I try to group them all under “anxiety”.

    Someone once said to me – think of thoughts as passing trains and you are on the station – just watch them go by – you don’t have to get on any of the trains……

  211. Rik Says:


    The train analogy is very good. When i first had extremely bad intrusive harm thoughts i used this exact thing to overcome them. I would have one and literally say to myself I am not getting on the train and let it pass.

    This evening has been good. Watched the TT racing with my brother and felt much more connected. A far cry from where i was 2 days ago.

    I went to a lovely spot on the river with my wife and daughter and despite the dp and dr i enjoyed myself and made the most of it. I accepted everything that came up and assigned it all to anxiety and moved on. Just about to go to bed now and tomorrow i have my little girl on my own all day and I am going to make the most of it no latter how i feel. It likely wont be easy but nothing worth having is easy to obtain.


    Those of us that have been down this road before know full well that acceptance works and can give advice from first hand experience. It certainly doesnt mean it is any easier for us when we are deep in the middle of it and its hard to put our own advice into practise at times but the answer is always the same and is always the simplest one. Its all anxiety. I was terrified of depression and as a result it was all i thought about. Then i became scared of dp and dr. Again it was all i could think about. Then it was a fear of psychosis. Can you guess what i now cant get out of my head lol. Anxiety will always present thst which we fear the most. The reason being that is what we are looking for. Your brain will keep sending you the messages to see if you are still scared. If you arent then over time it will consider the matter dealt with and will move onto the next thing. In a sensitised state this will be a new fear. When we move out of sensitisation though it becomes what to have for tea or which tv program to watch etc. All anxieties tricks but really it is our own fear that creates it all in the end. Hence why its called the anxiety cycle. We maintain it througj fear even when we dont realise it.

  212. Rik Says:


    You arent alone there. I was very irritable this morning with my little girl and felt terrible for it. I had to give myself a talking to and as much as i didnt feel like playing shop keepers i put a smile on, gave her a big kiss and a cuddle and sat by her toy box asking what she wanted to buy.

    I do also worry about her picking anxiety up from me but that is another stressful thought that wont help to recover. Try to see it in another light and use that thought as even more reason to accept the current situation in order to bring about long term change. One day you will be so proud that you made it and you will be able to be the father you want to be without anxiety intruding on your time with her.

    Try to cut yourself some slack. We are only human and are going through a hell of a lot. Be kind to yourself and just keep forging on. You will get there.

  213. Char Says:

    I have lost my sensible head this am. Anxiety is really high and I am on my own with my daughter this am. Finding it so hard to function as all my focus is on anxiety and the nausea and tiredness and the overwhelming fear.

    Any words of wisdom helpful

  214. Rik Says:


    I am in the same boat as you. Very high anxiety today and feel a bit nauseous. Im just allowing it. It is very hard but I am not letting it suck me down. As uncomfortable as it is just let it play out and burn itself out. Try to keep that panic in check and just observe the symptoms and understand why they are there.

  215. Char Says:

    Thanks Rik. Yes I know u r right. We are up now and the weather is finally warming up down here in the south. Going out in the garden for some fresh air.

    Thanks rik – have u any plans ?

  216. Alz Says:

    Accept char. It’ll pass . Carry on with your work . It’s good you have your daughter – spend time with her . Interact with her . Do what you would do had you not had the anxiety

  217. Alz Says:

    I woke up today with the worst thoughts – completely about how it’s not worth it etc etc .i let it pass .. It’s passed now . Going to go cook something ( even though I don’t feel like it one bit ) … Also to relax myself just a little, I’ll take a quarter of a benzo

  218. Char Says:

    Fab Alz – u r doing so well. Which country are you in ?

  219. Rik Says:


    I am going out for lunch today with my daughter and then just going to relax for the day I think. Still feeling awful and thoughts are all centred around depressive themes but im just letting them be there.


    Good work on letting them go. It is so hard when we have developed the habit of following them without question. We havent asked for them though and they just pop up so we have no need to take them seriously.

  220. Alz Says:

    Char im from Pakistan . Sucks that there is no proper channel here to talk about such thought or anxieties. Anyway it’s not easy and I don’t expect it to be :( how are you feeling now ?
    Rik did the thoughts persost ft some time ? The intrusive ones ? Did you think you might do something ? Are they resulting from anxiety or the helplessness we feel because of the anxiety ?

  221. Alz Says:

    RIk , Char .. Do you think we should give this blog a break ? It might be reinforcing our fears . I must admit though that I check it almost every hour to see replies

  222. Char Says:

    Alz so it’s very late afternoon with you then I guess? At least the Internet and blogs like this are global so communication is always possible whichever country we are in.

    Bit better just done a spot of sitting in the sun and hanging out washing !

  223. Char Says:


    It’s your choice – u always have that choice over anxiety. I never use the blog unless I’m anxious , but when I am then it helps me – nothing wrong with that – just everything in moderation.


  224. Alz Says:

    Ya thank god for blogs like this. You know I really wonder how people like Paul got through without help.. I never used this blog up until about a month ago . Since then it’s sort of been like my lifeline. People might hv become weary of my posts by now .. Hehe
    It’s half past 5 here ..
    I’m glad you sat in the sun and did some laundry . Iv been reading a bit ..

  225. Rik Says:


    Yes the harm thoughts persisted for a long time. I had every one you can imagine and more. It did take a long time to change my attitude towards them but i did it and so can everyone else. It just takes courage and commitment.

    As far as giving the blog a break it is very much an individual choice. I think you would know when you are ready to take a break from it. At the moment the reassurance is helping me through a bad patch. When i am on the mend i will leave the blog for a while to allow my mind to forget things more. I do like to help others also though so its not all for me if you know what i mean.

  226. Alz Says:

    Rik , did the doctor prescribe any benzodiazepines?

  227. Rik Says:

    No he didnt. I dont think i would take them anyway if they had been offered. Not had the best experience with them causing bad nightmares etc and the rebound anxiety from them is in my experience worse than the anxiety experienced before taking them. I prefer to do without meds as much as possible as i know they are not a long term solution for me.

  228. Jamie Says:

    Thanks for the response Rik. I took my daughter out for the afternoon for a trip to the seaside, got some food and went in the arcades. Although that voice inside me was screaming for me to get out and I was worrying I didn’t feel right, I did all of it without a problem. Another success!

  229. Rik Says:


    You did well to get out at least and confront the feelings. I too made myself go out and do things. I first went out for lunch with my daughter and sister in law, followed by taking my grandfather to the hospital to see my grandmother and then I went to my sisters for a bbq. The whole time I felt extreme DP and DR but I did it anyway.

    It is not easy but I refuse to simply give up. I hope that in time me facing this thing over and over will yield results and I will begin to feel more like myself again.

    Do you also get the feelings of DP?

  230. Alz Says:

    I need help.. its really scaring me . I mean today i went somewhere and thought if i go back on the road i might imagine seeing things.. then im scared to go to the gym because.. what if i see things… i Know im doing it to myself. All of this is making me question whats real/ unreal. Right now my husband was asking me if i saw the tv or not.. the dustbin or not. Obv we both agreed on the things we saw or didn’t see. But why am i develping this fear… i actually got so scared i might be seeing things on the road.. or while i go for a walk or to the gym and so its making me lose touch wiht reality… or so i feel.. has this happned to anyone? Am i slowly going mad?

  231. Rik Says:


    You are right that it is your fear of this that is creating more of it. I have done this myself. Today even. I just try to give it no credence and when I have the fear I just ignore it and let it pass.

    I think DP/DR is very good at making you question what is going on around you as you feel so out of touch etc.

    The only way to let this get better is to let the thoughts come and then just ignore them and pass right through them. It is only a thought brought on by your own fear. Do not analyse it and if you catch yourself doing so then just stop and divert your attention elsewhere. I am guilty of this and find myself ruminating and have to focus on something else.

    Remember that with anxiety you will always think about that which scares you the most. I can attest to that. Since I began the meds I was given my anxiety has gone much higher but I am keeping the faith and just letting it be. It is not nice and I would love for it to just stop but until we release this tight grip we have our minds will not get the rest they need and therefore the healing cannot take place.

    Try to give yourself some time to relax in the evenings. I find this the best time as during the day I feel the DP more accutely due to being at work etc. I have started to just sit in front of the TV as the sun goes down and I just let the room gradually get darker until I go to bed. It really seems to relax my mind.

  232. Rik Says:


    I have a good recording of Claire Weekes that you may be interested in. If you let me know your email address I will send it over to you as I think it will help you. You may want to put it in a way such as ‘name at gmail dot com’ to avoid spam.

  233. Natasha Says:

    I have noticed a few people on here have ocd and have problems obsessional unwanted thoughts. I have been diagnosed with OCD with having spells of it on and off but my most recent time with it is lasting ages, its been nearly 2 yeats of suffering these thoughts. I was just wondering if anyone thinks that once you have ocd you have it for life? Like it can go and come back but you will always have it? I find with ocd it is very difficult to be aware of thoughts and just let them pass without reacting as with ocd you always react and get into arguements with them its kind of inpossible not to and thats why its called ocd. Such a horrible thing to have, I can understand what everyone is going through :(

  234. Rik Says:


    I think the issue is more that when we get anxious again we immediately start looking out for the thoughts that we don’t want to have and because we are already in such an anxious state it doesnt take long for them to take hold again. Obsession and intrusive thoughts are very much a part of anxiety in general. The first time I had anxiety I had some intrusive thoughts but didnt even consider OCD and my main symptoms were generalised anxiety. I overcame the anxiety and the thoughts went with it.

    The previous time to this I had the same harm thoughts and this time I focused on them and was terrified of them and so I got more of them and they became the main focus of the anxiety.

    This time it is intrusive thoughts combined with DP/DR and that is because in my sensitised state they scare me more than anything else. Obsession causes DP in many anyway as you become so inwardly focused and cant seem to switch the thoughts off.

  235. Rik Says:

    I should stress that that is just my opinion and experience of it. My anxiety always comes before the OCD/obsessional thinking kicks in.

  236. Natasha Says:

    Yeah I agree with what your saying as everytime it has happened to me I have had bad stress/anxiety before the intrusive thoughts came. Then the harm thoughts come and that becomes my new stress/anxiety. I find it strange because the first time I had thiswas more than 10 years ago I didnt have access to the internet so had no idea what it was as was too scared too tell anyone, then it gradually dissapearred. The second time I found pauls book and read the part about intrusive thiughts and I was so happy and relieved that the thoughts stopped within a day! This time has been different though, they are well and truely atuck just now and I’m finding it very difficult :(

  237. Rik Says:


    I believe that could be because you are expecting the same quick results as last time so are in fact checking in a lot to see if they have gone yet. Checking is a classic OCD/obsessive thoughts thing and something I am also guilty of. All it does is keep it all front and centre in your mind and keep them coming. Then as a result of them keeping coming you begin to wonder even more whether there is something more serious going on so you check more and fear more and the cycle continues.

  238. Natasha Says:

    Yeah that really makes sense! Thanks very much for your advice, it always helps to hear from someone going through the same thing. So I take it we allow ourselves to check and not get worked up about it, just allow our minds to do whatever they like? Recovery sounds so simple but when you actually put it into practice I make it so difficult lol

  239. Rik Says:


    Yes, just allow it to happen and don’t do it intentionally. Eventually the habit of checking will be replaced. Just allow the thoughts to come and do nothing at all about them. Let them do their thing and simply ignore them. It is the checking that brings more of them. In order to check if something is there your brain first has to think about it. Try it now. Try to check if you have a thought about elephants in your mind. You will soon notice a thought about elephants as you have no choice but to think about that which you wish to check for. Its a real catch 22.

  240. Jess Says:

    I’ve struggled with anxiety for the past year, only really starting to feel better once I read Paul’s book. I’ve steadily been able to let go of all the intrusive and scary thoughts, which I struggled with the most.

    Over the past few weeks my mother has become ill and I’ve been offered a job in London. I’m scared that these outside ‘real’ stressors will have a detrimental impact upon my recovery. Does anyone have any advice on dealing with ‘real’ stress?



  241. Natasha Says:

    Rik, thanks so much for your help, everything you say makes sense. Definately think checking has a big part but obviously cant stop doing it, so will just allow myself to check and not react to it :)

  242. Alz Says:

    Rik !
    Thanks :) I have her book self help for your nerves and essential help for your nerves .. My address is alizehk at gmail dot com. Do send it . Thank you so much !

  243. Rik Says:


    I have just sent them for you.

  244. Alz Says:

    Got em!
    Thanks :)

  245. Jamie Says:

    Hi Rik

    Define DP/DR for me as I’m not sure what is and then I’ll be able to answer your question.

    I’ve just tried playing a PS4 game and turned it off after 10 minutes as it made me anxious. I then tried continuing with one of my boxsets and turned that off and deleted it as the reviews said the series was not that good (why can’t i make my own mind up eh?). All of the time I’m doing something of an evening, be it playing PS4, watching a tv prog, watching a film….I’m constantly thinking I should be doing something else ! I think subconciously I’m searching for the ‘perfect’ evening.The time I spend actually just choosing a film on Netflix or Amazon Prime is beyond a joke. This quest for ‘perfection’ really is ridiculous and I KNOW it is but it still makes me feel exactly the same most nights of the week.

  246. Julie W Says:

    Hi Natasha,
    I was diagnosed with OCD a number of months ago, after my therapist was suspicious of it. Have always had OCD tendancies but never these intrusive thoughts, which have now been going on for 2 years. I have been told you can’t cure OCD, but you can manage it. I am at my wits end these days. I thought i was getting better, but the last 2 months have been Hell on earth. I had to call a mental crisis line the other day, and someone came out to talk with me. I thought I was having a breakdown. The thoughts have gotten strong again, even though I have been using the right approach to it (and i am doing therapy for it – exposing myself to my fears). I am continuing on, but I really don’t know what the answer is anymore. I can’t do antidepressants, as I have extremely bad side effects from them.

    I also have times each day where my brain seems to be on high alert for a number of hours and I feel like I am just hanging on. It’s not really saying anything, it just feels overwhelming and I feel like crying, but I carry on. I have’t heard anyone before mention anything like this, but i am sure it is ocd or anxiety related. Not sure how much a person can take. You are not alone!

  247. Char Says:

    Hi Julie – I totally understand, one of my fears was one that you mentioned in an earlier post – that my kids would see me crying etc and I would end up in hospital. And the feeling of being on alert and wanting to cry – is how I feel
    A lot – it is classic anxiety though.

    I have had loads of intrusive thoughts about everything- honestly they jumped around so much I have forgotten most of them now – but I remember at the time they seems so real and important . They r not – it is just your tired mind has lost its resilience.

    Hope u ok

  248. Natasha Says:

    Julie W, I have been told you cant sure it as well and can just learn to manage it, I dont want to manage it I want it gone lol I’m sorry you are going throigh a hard time, its horrible to feel like that. I have been there with feeling high alert all the time, it did eventually not bother me and went away but then just get replaced with some other intrusive thoughts, just goes round in a circle, gets so tiring :(

  249. Andy J Says:

    Hi Guys,

    I thought I’d post as I’d seen a few comments say that OCD can not be cured. I read a post by Paul on his facebook page saying that OCD is just another title for anxiety. I’ve copied and pasted it here:

    AnxietyNoMoreUk Holly OCD is just a label, that’s all, there are no such thing as normal and OCD thoughts, like they come from a separate part of you, that’s nonsense. I had loads of labels given to me, I learnt to discard them all.
    Thoughts don’t even come from us, try thinking what you want or stop one and you will realise this. I used to get all sorts of thoughts in my days of suffering as a by product of all the excess negative energy in me, thoughts repeated themselves and were v sticky, I just understood enough to just let them be there and carry on with my day, I did not battle with them or try to suppress them, it was just like a radio babbling on in the background. In time they became less sticky and repetitive, but by that time I really did not care, they held no weight or fear to me. its never about trying to get rid or control thoughts, its about not caring what comes up, then you can think anything.
    -Paul David

    The more importance you attach to these thoughts, the more attention they get and their severity/frequency increases.

    If the thoughts are just that, then what harm can they do?

    All the best,


  250. Natasha Says:

    Andy J thanks so much! It really helped to read that with the way I am feeling just now. Think that is the what I am going to apply from now on, that the thoughts are not may so doesnt matter what content they are :)

  251. Julie W Says:

    Thanks Char, Natasha and Andy J – appreciate everyone’s comments!!

  252. Char Says:

    How are you feeling julie ? Do you work.? I have had a rubbish day – severe anxiety this am – I went back to work. Felt too much at one point but I stayed with it and it eased a minuscule amount lol !

  253. Bryan Says:


    As a reminder, being “diagnosed” with OCD is like being diagnosed with laughing at funny jokes or being tired because you haven’t slept enough. It’s like being “diagnosed” with being hungry because you haven’t eaten properly.

    There is no true tangible medical framework for “diagnosing” anxiety, which is all “OCD” is. Racy or repeated thoughts that we choose to fear are not genetic nor can they be found in a blood test. It is impossible to PROVE someone has “OCD.” It’s even further impossible to prove that OCD lives as something outside of basic stress disorder the same way we describe panic, GAD, insomnia etc.

    These terms were created so insurance companies could allow for docs to give people drugs without fear of litigation. I’m not saying all together that’s a bad thing, we do need names for things in life. And I’m not being critical at all, I would just like to repeat that the more we use language like “diagnosed” and the more we create a special mythology around one particular symptom, the larger becomes in our head. We turn basic anxiety into some larger than life disease that needs medical intervention in our minds. And the more we live believing this is a special outside force (as if a cancer or autoimmune disease) the more helpless we feel to address it.

    Your psychologist was “suspicious” of “OCD” the same way you would be suspicious if I told you I was smelly and hadn’t taken a shower in a week. It would be basic common sense. Not any kind of special finding or mysterious prognosis.

    Again, this is not to say dealing with any stress symptom is easy. But every expert you will ever read on this topic will advise us to treat them all the same way. And the language we use in our day-to-day lives is critical because it instructs our brain on how much of a threat level there really is.

    Just some thoughts to consider.

  254. Char Says:

    Bryan , did you recommend work by a jim folk sometime ago ? Sorry if not – it was a name I seem to remember from this blog .

  255. Steve b Says:

    I worked with one of their therapists. Doug Wildman. Still do sometimes. They are very good.

  256. Char Says:

    Thanks Steve – that’s what I was after – I am on the waiting list as they are full at the moment. My anxiety is so high I feel
    I need some support.

  257. Debbie Says:

    Char i also have a therapist on anxiety centre jim folk . His name is stacey ellerston thst are great on thst site.

  258. Char Says:

    Ah thank you Debbie. I was unsure as I am in the UK but that has eased my mind. I am just waiting for a space to come up – I am top of their list apparently !

    Have you been with them for some time ?

  259. Scoobydo Says:

    Hello All, I have been on here a number of times when I have had anxiety issues. I have had my current episode since December/January. At last I seem to be having more good times than bad. Whilst I know from all that is spoken about on here that we shouldn’t question anything….. it’s all anxiety. But, what I would like to know is this – having started to feel like I am actually recovering step by step, today I have the worst feelings about recovery. Can you have ‘withdrawal’ symptoms as such when feeling less anxious? I have pretty much taken the whole experience as ‘cold turkey’ with the occasional Diazapam if feeling too rough. Lately I seem to be taking more Diazapam as the feelings diminish to less active. By that – I only mean one a day and then sometimes not even that. I find in my normal times that I don’t want the day to end – and will delay the going to bed process to savour the normality for just that little bit longer. I know the fact that I am having more better times is the road to recovery so am not complaining. I have warned my partner that the road could still be rocky even when recovery starts to be more rather than less. I was just wondering if there was anyone else on the blog who might be experiencing that same thing? or similar? thank you.

  260. Bryan Says:


    I’m a big fan of Jim and AC. I have used one of their therapists myself and still do from time to time. Their methodology is very similar to Weekes/Paul David methodology with the main difference coming in how to sustain good health.
    (AC suggests a bit more active approach beyond pure acceptance.)
    But the basic tenants are the same.

  261. Debbie Says:

    Char hi i have been with them 7 months. The site is also great.

  262. Char Says:

    Thanks Debbie and Bryan I’m looking forward to them getting in touch

  263. Joy Says:

    Hello everybody,

    First of all English isn’t my main language so i am very sorry for mistakes :)

    I haven’t been on this blog for such a long time! I suffered from anxiety and depression for many years since childhood. This blog totally saved me! Today i am fully recovered and a completely new, enthusiastic and life-loving person!
    There have been so many amazing people on this blog who helped me during my anxiety so I decided to come back and do the same.
    Feel free to ask me anything :)


  264. Julie W Says:

    Hi Char,
    I am doing ok. Yes, I work a couple days a week. I am an accountant, but I tell you, when I work, my brain doesn’t stop. It’s on hyper-alert ALL the time but I don’t run away, I continue working. Been this way ever since I have been dealing with this. Good for you to go back to work and i know how you feel! Hope you are doing ok.

    Thanks Bryan for your comments. I will try not to attach a label, but I do have a hard time with that. I read somewhere that Paul said that after a good workout, his thoughts would go and would start up when the adrenaline started again. That so does not happen with me. I love to work out, but my thoughts go on and on and on – nothing can burn them out! I know Paul also mentioned that he was so busy just getting on with his day, that people would ask him how he was, and he would have to think about it. I hope to get to that place once day, but my brain doesn’t shut up, so I have no idea how you can not notice it!

  265. Char Says:

    Hi julie

    Ah glad you ok. I work 4 days and have two young kids. I find it hard trying to do everything. Anxiety makes it a million times worse but we somehow do it don’t we. I find focusing on work very hard as my mind is all over the place do you ?

    We seem to have been experiencing similar issues – somehow it is comforting to know you are not alone


  266. Tasnim Says:

    While I feel like I’m not being weighed down by anxiety anymore, it’s still perturbing my life. I’m just constantly contemplating anxiety: when I suffered from it, when I’ll suffer again, how I’m feeling, the fact that I’m constantly thinking about it etc. Even though I’m not seriously curled away from scary thoughts, I haven’t gotten over anxiety. While I’m glad I learned about it and helped myself feel better, I still wish I never knew about it and schizophrenia. I wish so bad to forget about it. I feel like I would have more quickly just moved on with my life without giving anxiety a second thought. I would be able to put it past me. I just want to get to a point where I can move past it and stop mixing it in with my thoughts and life.

  267. Julie W Says:

    Hi Char,

    It does seem we are experiencing similar issues, and I know some others on here are too. It is hard to focus on work, but we just do it anyway, don’t we. I too have two children, although they are teenagers, still lots to always do, and like you said, we just do it. Blessings to you!

  268. Char Says:

    Hi Julie

    I saw you find the mornings hard – I find them nearly impossible ! I feel nausea and having young children I need to get them ready and myself . I try to focus on small tasks but my mind is already racing to how I will manage. We then usually end up late which adds more stress!

    Are you in the UK ? How long have you had anxiety ?


  269. Natasha Says:

    Bryan think that is true in what you are saying. Do you suffer from obsessive thinking as well? Or have you recovered?

  270. Geraldine Says:

    Hi all – I have had a setback after 8 months of being off medication and about 9 months of being in recovery. i feel i am doing slightly better than my major setback last year where i started to truly understand acceptance. i can see a shift in the way I am approaching this and just trusting my body to heal itself, doing nothing with the thoughts that try and confuse me.

    Deep down i know i don’t want to be on medication and I can recover without, as I got through the last 8 months fabulously without it – but now I have this nagging thought “what if i need to go back on medication” and its starting to make me believe it. I guess I just want some reasusrance that I can do it without and that I don’t need the medication to make it through this setback. I know on a rational level it wouldn’t be the right decision, but the thought is trying to convince me otherwise!

    Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.

  271. Andy J Says:

    Hi Guys,

    This might be a weird question, but does any one else feel like they are anxious because they are anxious? Or depressed because they are depressed?

    I’ve experienced various parts of anxiety and depression, but this seems to be something that has hurt the most. So I feel on edge constantly, but without any sort of reason. So some people would be nervous about a job interview or making a presentation at work, then anxiety would be expected and then would pretty much disappear once that event was over.

    However, I cant seem to work out why I am so anxious, other than the state I am in and have been in. How do you rationalise this? I’ve tried working out and telling myself that this whole thing is manifesting itself, rather than any external force, but I just get hung up on the inability to understand it.

    On the depression side of things, can people become depressed simply because of the state they are in? Rather than say some one becoming depressed because they have been made redundant or have lost a member of their family?

    One thing I have noticed though, is that with these feelings, my intrusive thoughts have reduced dramatically.

    Any advice would be welcomed.


  272. Char Says:

    Andy – yes me – I have written the same post you wrote and then deleted it so many times. I am anxious over anxiety ! My councellor said she had not heard of my situation before and that she would have to get back to me – well that sent me into more of a panic …. We have now departed ways !

    I found a book called panicking over panic which felt like a lifesaver to me – it is very similar to Paul david book but with a slightly different emphasis.

    I am exactly the same as you …..

  273. Rich Says:

    Hi Geraldine, I’ve been where you are many times. In a setback you a thrown back into a place you think you’ve escaped from. Not only do all the old feelings and worries come back, but you are caught out by their reappearance and fall into the trap of believing them again.

    The first step to climbing back out of the hole is to realise you’ve fallen in it, and to remember not to believe the thoughts and feelings you are having – as they are skewed by the anxiety.

    I too thought about going back to the DRs or back on medication, but each time I thought this I didn’t, and just carried on my life as normal. Soon enough the feelings and fears would subside as I showed myself that actually, everything is OK and there’s no need for the fear overload.

    Sure sometimes I’m nervous, and I get stressed and genuinely anxious about things, but I rationalise with myself about the true situation I am in, ignore the unnecessary thoughts and feelings as best I can, and just do all I can to climb back out the hole by just carrying on regardless.

  274. Rich Says:

    Andy & Char,

    Panicking over Panicking is my No.1 fear. I have anticipatory anxiety over going places and doing things, but it’s not the places or the thing I fear – it’s feeling anxiety while I’m there doing them. Kind of like a vicious circle in that I bring it all on myself, but it is not something I can consciously control – so I just go places and do things anyway, in the hope that as I do, my body turns down the panic dial and gives me an easier ride. And yes, in time, it does.

  275. Steve b Says:

    Andy. Me to. I don’t have any other anxiety apart from being anxious about being anxious. My therapist said you have created a monster about what is just a normal human reaction. Makes me a little cross. She wasn’t the one who spent 6 months curled up in a ball.

  276. Andy J Says:

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your replies, its comforting to know that it isnt just me.

    The whole ‘not feeling right’ is what pushed me in to this thing. I also have a tendency to try and work out everything in my head which brings the reassurance I require. With this though, you can’t and as Rich said, it is a vicious circle, a bit like chasing your own tail or wondering what came first, chicken or the egg.

    Dont get me wrong, I do have times where I can be lost in the moment and forget that I actually have kind of anxiety. But then there are times when I am alone, either late at night or driving to work where the symptoms are so strong.

    As has been said loads of times before on this blog, just do nothing and carry on with life.



  277. Char Says:

    All I couldn’t agree more -Andy my mind is on overdrive trying to sort it out and it can’t so I continue to loop in anxiety. When I was younger I would have anxiety for normal reasons if u know what I mean – before an exam etc. I know I don’t worry about it – I knew it was “just”‘anxiety. But now I am scared of being anxious because I think it will lead somewhere like to a breakdown or something so I then re feed the anxiety loop.

    Do you identify ?

    Steve – was it the councellor at anxcitycentre who said that ? I’m waiting for one of the councellors to contact me.

  278. Alz Says:

    Guys! I’m back :) feels like I’m on the edge of insanity .. I’m not checking rechecking anymore but my mind is drawing weird images .. Like a spooky man etc .. Scary. Nothing like that exists in reality I know but just weird images . Does anyone get that ??

  279. Alz Says:

    Rich , what is it that you anticipate? My mind has kind of started conjuring up images and thoughts that are really scary. Before it was just the thought of feeling anxious if I stepped out to a place I hadn’t been to .. Now it’s scary thoughts and images

  280. Andy J Says:

    Hi Char,

    Yes, I can identify with that. I think I have always been an anxious person and some one who naturally worries, but it was always anticipation of real life events, so as you say, an exam or having to stand up and talk in front of people. Once I’d done the exam or given the presentation I would no longer have it to worry about so would return to normal life (or worry about the next thing.)

    I think because I haven’t fell myself for a while, the whole idea of living with anxiety has in itself become a subject or anxiety or depression. There tends to be a hopelessness attached to it.

    As Paul and others always say, the adoption of a ‘so what’ attitude can ease the pain. It can be hard, especially when the symptoms are particularly strong, but what is the alternative? We cant make ourselves better by trying to, otherwise no one would ever be in this situation.

    Believe me, I have suffered as bad as any one, but I try to have faith in Paul’s teachings and the success that many many people have had because of them.

    All the best,


  281. Steve b Says:

    Hi Char. No. It was another lady who I see face to face.
    Mind you, the guys at anxiety centre have the same kind of outlook. They call it level one recovery. Become afraid of anxiety and it’s symptoms
    I always wonder if others are stronger than me because how can you become unaffraid of anxiety and it’s symptoms. Hmmm.

  282. Steve b Says:

    Alz. I had terribly disturbing images. One was me being lifted into my coffin. Over and over.
    They will go when you are less sensitised

  283. Alz Says:

    but Steve this fr example me sitting on the sofa and then I’ll imagine someone else on the opposite sofa- all imagination since no ones there. Scary ..

  284. Bryan Says:


    I have indeed had bouts of repetitive thoughts. My symptoms shift and morph though which actually helped me learn that it was all just different versions of the same thing.

    I wouldn’t say I’m 100% recovered but life is good and I’m getting better over time. I’ll have the odd spike or rough patch still. I’m still somewhat sensitized I suppose. But the biggest help has been learning how to go through it the best I can using what Paul (and others) teach. Most days I feel pretty good which is a massive improvement over the prior years. So, I’m just enjoying life and letting things come and go as they need to.

  285. Bryan Says:


    Did you read Steve’s response to you?

    One really crucial step for recovery is really digging into the advice those who have made progress give us. While it can be tempting to repeat the symptoms we don’t like, real peace comes from discussing and fully understanding… and then committing to the mindset.

  286. Alz Says:

    I guess ur right ..I think you’ve been through all the terrible symptoms and now nothhng prob affects you …

  287. Bryan Says:


    Oh it can still affect me! Read Rich’s post above. It describes me as well. Only difference is his sx are more situational and mine appear at random. (Probably due to a build up of life stress.)But I can still have really hard days. I just had a patch over the weekend. But learning from folks like Rich has helped me move on from them when they appear. I still have progress to make and that’s fine.
    It’s all worth it. But yes… most of us who have made progressed or even those who recover can see a bad spell pop up then and again until things settle for good.

  288. Steve b Says:

    Bryan. Hi mate I think we spoke about this before but isn’t it strange that these spikes just seem to appear out of nowhere. I am having a bad day today. Yesterday I was planning my holidays and felt fantastic.
    I know Paul says don’t disect your day but I always wonder why it is like this.
    What is the mechanism for a bad day vs good? Any thoughts?

  289. Bryan Says:


    I don’t know what the percentage is for those of us who experience this at ransom as opposed to situationally or theme-based anxiety. But I know there are plenty of us who can’t put any reason or logic to their struggles.

    I don’t know the exact mechanism for why things cycle like they do. For me, I’ve always suspected that it is a larger cyclical pattern of recovery and it is affected by ongoing stress so good and bad days can express themselves in ways that don’t make any logical sense because those effecting factors arent linear. So, it’s hard to see a cause-and-effect but I do believe ultimately that stress causes all of this, it just doesn’t always cause it immediately after the stressor.

    So like you said, Paul is right and the best thing we can do is to not spend our brainpower keeping ourselves in any kind of a loop searching for reasons that things go well or go poorly. When things are good for me which is pretty much of the time, I get on with life and really don’t pay the whole topic much mind at all. When things get rocky or the storms come, I do my best to keep that same mindset but of course I’m only human and at times the brain can resort to old habits and programs. But even when it does, we’ve now got the knowledge inside of us somewhere that can be accessed to help us get back on that proper course even when we are feeling horrid. Doing that allows the body to adjust back to that better state of balance and the better days find their way back to us. This isn’t to say it’s easy of course, but we can absolutely do it and we get better with practice.

  290. Steve b Says:

    Makes sense mate. Thank you
    Yes, when you have no particular focus for your anxiety ( sounds like we are the same) but you still get surges of anxiety, good days, bad days etc it is strange.
    I agree stress must be a major factor. I have no tolerance to it at all although my life is very stress free.
    I do have an underlying fear of death which I think plays a part but I don’t feel like that fear has a bearing on whether I am feeling well, completely normal, or like a sack of potatoes.
    You are right about trying to work it all out. I have a terrible habit of doing that.
    I start to question what is going on in my brain etc. It never gives me an answer.

  291. Julie W Says:

    Hi Char,
    I actually live in Canada. I am from the UK originally though. I am coming back there on holiday this summer – trying to look forward to it, although it’s hard to do when you have anxiety. I have had this for 2 years. Had my first ever panic attack 2 years ago, and all this came after that.

    Just went for a nice rollerblade – where my mind was coming up with the worst thoughts possible, but still going to go on with my day:)

    Hopefully by continuing on we can all eventually find peace!

  292. Doreen Says:

    Alz – I understand why you are asking this question of Bryan and he may answer differently but I consider that everybody has their own version of ‘how bad’. In other words some people may be able to tolerate high levels of anxiety and others may be thrown by them, which is not criticism of the latter.
    You seem to be clutching at asking questions and hoping magically that the answer will be the one which ‘makes you better’. You are not the only person to do that on this blog and in time most come to realise that the way forward lies within themselves.

  293. Sam Says:

    Really need an advice.

    So, I have experienced many of the symptoms , and most of them were gone after I treated them as it is written in the book of Paul . But a few days I was tormented by one of the most bothersome symptoms – spasms and throat problems with swallowing . I try not to attach any importance to this and take as part of the anxiety , but sometimes the throat binds so much that I think really suffocate or choke a meal.
    today for the first time the problem occurred during a meal , and I really think that because you can choke . Can someone tell me how to go through this symptom, please ?

  294. Natasha Says:

    Bryan I am so glad to hear you are on your way to recovery, I find it really positive to hear other peoples stories who have been in similar situations. I do have some occasions where I still have the thoughts just not as often so I suppose I am recovering in some way, just having a bit of a setback just now and have fell in to the trap of questioning the obsessive thoughts and checking them which makes them come more often

  295. Alz Says:

    Doreen ,
    You’re absolutely right. About more than a month ago i never even used this blog.. Its just that im having the worst patch ever and any sort of questions just make me feel like im not alone. As it is, when you have to be around people who don’t even understand what anxiety is (my husband for example), it feels like a very lonely business.
    I know im hoping for a miracle cure/answer but in the thick of it these little glimmers of hope keep one going.
    Yes ur right at the end of the day… i just have to rely on myself for moving forward but with lack of confidence and new symptoms popping up almost every day , it does get tough.. Not impossible . Tough.

  296. Char Says:

    Hi Julie
    Ah thought the rollerblading sounded too exotic for the UK ! I had a big meeting today – and stuck it out and had a good day !

    I’ve had mine on and off for a few years. Been free for 3 years but came back a few weeks ago. Have you had any little breaks or does it feel constant ?

    I’ve done hols with anxiety as well – not my favourite thing to do but the best thing all around .

    We are off to Spain in the summer hols – can’t wait !

  297. Char Says:


    I was exactly the same as you and we all understand as we have been there. As you get better and you will – things become easier to understand and take in. I think we all always want to know how bad everyone was as we get some comfort thinking maybe someone was worse than us. But because as Doreen says we all have individual responses to anxiety then we can’t really gauge who is bad etc.

    I suspect we all think we were bad – I thought I was the worst ever at one point that no one could ever be as bad as me ….. I had some quite dramatic moments for sure but I’m here , I’m at work in a stressful job and I’m very happy now – I still have this annoying anxiety looking over my shoulder by I’m also still a work in progress !
    Have u thought about collecting all the responses or blog posts on here that you find comforting ? You can then easily read them whenever you feel you need to.

  298. Alz Says:

    Thanks char!
    I never thought of putting the blogs together .. Good idea . I’m glad ur better :) and yes ur right – everyone’s anxiety is different .. The main thing it does is create fear.
    Its good that you continue doing what ur doing – work , holidays etc … At this point I’m jobless ,can’t imagine traveling although I must admit iv made progress in other domains ..

  299. ShirlD Says:

    I posted last night under Scoobydo – perhaps it was a bit of an obscure name? I was hoping I may have a reply tonight. Just a little bump up and hope someone might be able to give me a bit of reassurance.

  300. Nick Says:

    Hi guys

    I’m wondering if anyone could help as I have been really having a hard time…

    I had terrible anxiety and DP a few years ago brought on after a huge panic attack, but over the course of a couple of years I managed to get over it using pauls method, exercise and meditation but was always scared it might return…

    The recently I had another panic attack and have found myself back on the DP/anxiety roundabout. I’ve got DP which i’m not too concerned about as I know it will go but the thoughts are really making me scared and depressed and feel so so tired.

    The thing is i’m worried that I haven’t addressed this properly and that leading up to it i guess i was stuck in a rut and in denial that life was all good when in fact I was leading quite an unhealthy life (eating lots of sugar, spending long hours on a computer every day, ging out less) which is probably why it has returned. I’m also a huge catastrophizer and am often scared to push things forward in areas of my life like women and work. Especially fearful of relationships after a bad one when i was young. Although im 33 now.

    The thing is i know im in a heightened anxiety state and thing swill overly effect me and i’m super emotional/fearful, feel like crying regularly and obviously mad thoughts are running rampant. But as much as i want to not buy into these thoughts, i feel like the ones suggesting that i may not have fixed the route causes of my anxiety and that i may not be free of it ever and it will continue to manifest itself in parts of my life like women and finding fulfilment in life may hold truth and that i may never be happy which is giving me real bad feelings of hopelessness.

    I only say this because the anxiety has come back strong which means I cant have really addressed the route cause despite following pauls method last time.

    Any help anyone can offer, id be so grateful as having a really tough time, i would really appreciate it.


  301. Char Says:

    Alz – no problem – and no worries not having a job – there are pros and cons with each – I suspect im older than you as I’m in my forties – if I don’t have a job I would take time to learn some new smiles like learning. How to use ms project or excel properly rather than just winging it !!! I also thought of doing a qualification in yoga.

    There is a really lovely poem in one of the archives -‘might be in 2010 – can’t remember but will try to find it for you.

  302. Alz Says:

    I’m in my thirties :)
    Oh yes I read that poem .. Was by a lady suffering from anxiety right? It was so apt !

  303. Geraldine Says:

    thanks so much Rich – you have given me reassurance that this is just a common thought that comes up that I don’t have to give meaning to. Hopefully i can do this with practice :)

  304. Bryan Says:


    I had symptoms that made me wonder how I’d get through each day, how I’d keep my job, the usual. I was in total misery at times… and in a bad place for a very long time. And I can still have the odd day where I feel like I’m back at the beginning.
    But I’ve learned enough and improved enough to help myself through those times and thus, the good times are better and more often.

    Almost everyone on this board suffered greatly at times. It’s what’s brought us here and together to help each other figure out how to resume normal living. We MUST do this ourselves, but we’re only human… and without the information, how would we know? Beyond that, even folks like myself who are better and years into this still need to learn at times, and not so much reassurance but a boost when times are confusing.

    The best thing you can do right now Alz is to work slowly to stop identifying yourself with this condition. You don’t have a “thing” or a disease, and you don’t need to look at yourself as a sick person or any different than you were before you had stress set in. You’ve been hit with stress in your life and it manifested in symptoms which scared you and that led to them looping into a “disorder” level.

    It’s common, human, safe and can be overcome with some persistence and patience. This is no medical condition, diagnosis or any other mysterious negative “thing” that’s befallen us. It’s just stress… expressing as discomfort.
    It can be excruciating at times, but nonetheless… it remains a simple, common human state that millions pass through in their lives.

  305. Natalia Says:

    Hi, is anybody here who suffers from migraine too? Cause I have anxiety disorder with DP for nearly two years, since reading Paul’s book and blog, studying more and more finally see some results, still am very detached and anxious but I seems to be less caring about it what gives me such a relief finally after such a long. The book I’ve bought a year ago,but even though I read it a few times still apparently didn’t really get the point. Now I study the book often, actually every day I read one two pages or smth from the blog, it helps me to create a new habit of not caring about what happens to me, of going with my day no matter what. Before I thought I was doing same thing, I was working, doing what I have to,but I wasn’t getting better at all. I think it was because I forced myself to go to work, then quickly get home, still home was my paradise. Now even though I feel the same I calmed down, I believe that I will recover, I’m not afraid of my symptoms. I’m texting now because I suffers from migraine, terribly migraine attacks with are combined with anxiety attacks. Recently I get more migraine attacks, one a week. When I get it it’s obviously worse than before I got anxiety. I feel numb, I don’t hear, I don’t see, I have the feeling that I’m dying. I know it’s related with anxiety too that the migraine attack is even worse. Not even the terrible pain is the worst but the attack right before. It takes half an hour, an hour. I’ve read today that a lot of people get migraines who have anxiety but I’ve never read anything about here on the blog or anywhere at this topic. I don’t want to read forums cuz they put me always in such a bad mood, even today what I read was that sufferers of these too are over risk of committing a suecide. If anybody here has same problem please say anything about it. I don’t want to search for an answer anywhere else.

  306. Natalia Says:

    I’m sorry for the mistakes, I’m just right after the migraine attack while posting. Don’t really pay attention

  307. Chris Says:

    Hi everyone, just thought I would check in.

    I’ve started working full time again, saving to move overseas, and I’ve even started drinking coffee again! Haha. Been doing alot better recently and I’ve decided to spend some time away from the subject and blog. Whenever the fears come up now I just let the worst case scenario present itself, and I greet it with a ‘oh well so be it’ attitude. No longer taking it seriously. These fears I have now are minor at best.

    It’s interesting though. Since fully allowing alot of guilt and anxiety has come up from the past. I guess this old stuff coming out of the floodgates, but I totally got bluffed yesterday after reading something that came up on my facebook. It triggered an old event which mentally I blew way out of proportion, and I was dealing with very brutal intrusive thoughts all day. I used to think my fears were the absolute worst, fears of being damaged from dabbling in drugs in my early twenties. However I was wrong, I totally get now that no matter what the fear or thought is, it’s the emotional reaction that really knocks us down. I used to see people post about harm obsessions and think ‘aren’t these people lucky, they have it easy’, but I was so wrong it’s not even funny. I’ve had thought storms all day about ‘me’ and ‘how I’m such a horrible person because I did this and this, and I should’ve known better’ etc. It sucked and I felt very overwhelmed earlier, but it’s interesting how these thoughts all of a sudden seemed to be the worst thoughts to have, just like last time when I had the other thoughts.

    I guess my point is that it doesn’t matter what type of thoughts or fears you have. The advice is all the same. I’m in a setback, and it was triggered by reading something on Facebook, but at the end of the day it just gives me another chance to clear out those past emotions.

    By the way, although my post is of a positive nature, I absolutely dislike how I feel, it’s crap. And I am buying into the thoughts sometimes (they are literally so brutal lol) but it’s just part of the process and the best thing I can do is get up brush my teeth go to work then finish work then play video games maybe eat some pizza or maybe go to the pub, go to bed etc etc.

  308. Char Says:


    Yes it great . The headspace app is also very useful

  309. Char Says:

    Bryan or anyone !

    How do i stop myself genuinely just wanting to feel me again. I m at work and I am trying to accept . I had a good day yesterday and am not so good today. But I want to cry as I’m anxious and scared again and just want to push it away .

    I tie my head up in knots trying to sort it cause as I said in the posts yesterday on anxiety over anxiety , I know it’s anxiety but I’m scared of it and I don’t like it and maybe I don’t truely believe it is anxiety as I’m scared of mental illness or some kind of breakdown….

    I’m probably not making sense but if you get what I’m saying any advice welcome


  310. Aj Says:

    I think I may be repeating the post. Anybody has any experience with mindfulness meditation?

  311. Char Says:

    I have just read my post and realised I don’t try and stop do I – I accept I feel like this !

  312. Andy J Says:


    I have been and still am on occasions where you are. I dont like having anxiety, neither do you or any one else who comes on to this blog. But just because we dislike it, doesnt mean it is going to go anywhere, in fact it probably makes it more difficult.

    What Paul tries to teach is that this whole anxiety is natural, totally normal for your body. It cant harm you in anyway. Its just your bodies natural response to times of being tired/stressed etc. Your mind is basically saying I can take no more of this worry. So if we then think ‘oh my god I cant take this’, its only adding to the worry.

    Take this as an example. When you are sitting alone, thinking about ways of getting rid of your anxiety or pondering how you got in to this evil hole, do you ever think yourself any better? If you’re like me, then the answer will be no, if anything itll make it worse, and plunge you deeper in to the ‘abyss’.

    Now take another example. A friend calls and asks you to meet for coffee in an hour. You might be anxious, but when you are there, you are distracted, even for a few minutes or seconds here or there, and the anxiety lifts, you aren’t focused on it. Now imagine you had rejected the offer of coffee and instead opted for the first example. Which one do you think would have been better for you?

    I understand exactly what you are going through, the same thinking patterns, the same hatred, the same frustrations. But this thing can not be fought. You have to give up the fight against it. You will never win by trying to out think it. A saying I have heard is, ‘thoughts you resist, persist’.

    I hope this helps a little.


  313. Alz Says:

    Iv done a lot of mindful meditation in the past and when my anxiety was comparatively less it helped a lot .

  314. Rich Says:

    Alz, to me you sound typical of someone lost in the wilderness. Seeking constant reassurance and constantly worrying about this or that or the other.

    Many people before you have been where you are – you’re just at the bottom of the recovery ladder – wondering around in the dark wondering where the ladder actually is. Turns out, you’re the one holding the light switch in the ‘off’ position – and just don’t see it.

    You can ask questions about anyone or anything, compare yourself to others and try to seek reassurance to make yourself feel better – this is only natural to do, but you don’t seem to be actually reading the replies of the books you’re reading and actually processing the information you’re being given.

    Stop worrying, stop wondering, stop being scared by everything you’re experiencing, and you’ll then get the rest and relief your mind needs.

    Read your past posts again – all the short-term reassurances, all the questionning – it’s like you don’t realise you’re stressing yourself out, you’re tiring your mind, and you’re believing everything your tired and worn out mind is throwing at you, in its desperate attempt to make you stop over-working it and just let go.

    If I were you I’d look at the triviality of your problems – chat the guy on the sofa or look at the things you’re seeing – and be inquisitive. I hope you know ‘why’ they are happening – they freak you out so your mind is working well at getting your attention.

    Want to be rid of it? Stop caring and realise what is happening, and who is causing it.

  315. Rich Says:


    Another example of over-working a tired mind. If you have a migrane it’s pretty obvious why, or why it would be worse than if you weren’t anxious. Go for a walk, rest and relax. Realise it’s your mind overloaded – so give it time and space. let it think, dream, imagine, worry – whatever it wants to do – just take the spanner out of the works and leave it alone. In time, it will use this space you’re giving it to settle back down and restore balance.

  316. Rich Says:

    I wonder how many books, apps, forums and websites people use? I learned long ago that once you know what’s going on, recovery comes from doing normal things. Non-affected people don’t spend all their waking hours researching and reading and posting and worrying.

    I gave up reading and questionning long before I felt I was recovering from anxiety, and soon after, my recovery bagan. It is this leap of faith – this commitment to yourself and your goal of recovery to take the first step, way before you feel ready to.

    The amount of freedom and relief you have when you put down your fighting weapons of choice is a real catalyst to recovery. You see things slowly emerge from the darkness and you see what a negative force your best intentions have been all this time.

  317. Aj Says:

    Rich do you mean mindfulness meditation as tool for overall wellbeing would be counterproductive?

  318. Char Says:

    Andy j
    Thnks so much. I am a scientist and have a very analytical mind – it sometimes hinders me with my thought process – I love facts and defined process. So I suspect and I know I have trouble accepting that anxiety wouldn’t hurt me, cause a breakdown, end up me somehow losing my job etc – I find myself getting in a muddle thinking but what if I continue to push myself by carrying on – is this right – is this definitely anxiety – what if it does cause me to go insane and everyone else is wrong.

    Having just written the above I can actually see if someone else had written it I would have said to them – classic anxiety 101…. But because it’s me I don’t get it.

    Thanks Andy – hope u well

  319. Alz Says:

    Rich thank you !
    I needed this .. I’m doing this to myself.. It’s ironic how one doesn’t want it but does it to themselves – it’s all fear driven
    Thank you again ..
    Bryan you too :)

  320. Gordon Says:

    Hi All
    There’s one problem with acceptance I just can’t seem to get! My biggest fear seems to be doing things on my own with my kids when my wife is not nearby eg she’s at work. I tend to be very anxious about it in the lead up to it, then panic sets in! An example is that I take them football training twice a week. One of the nights she’s home, the other she’s at work. The night she’s at home is no problem! I still get anxiety but can let it be there knowing that she could be there in 5 mins if I needed her to get them. The night she’s at work is a different story! I get the whole idea of accepting and letting it be there etc, but when you are in a position of sole responsibility of the kids, letting it be there is so difficult as every bone in my body screams that you have to fight it for their sake, otherwise you will lose control or go insane in front of all their friends etc and who will look after them! The stupid thing is that every time I do it it’s much easier once the ‘rest and digest’ kicks in, but how can I make this easier and not have these terrible feelings in the lead up to it? I know this is worse at the moment because I’m in a setback, it just feels like I am ruining everything for my kids although they have no idea I have anxiety!
    Any advice anyone?

  321. Rich Says:

    Alz, you have to go against your tired mind and not believe the untruths it is telling you. To see the fear but be able to discount it as untrue or misplaced, and to ignore the horrible thoughts and terrible feelings and symptoms goes against our basic programming – but it is how to get through this. You have to realise your mind is your best friend – it’s trying to protect you. What it is doing is all with the best intentions – but as it’s a little skewed, you need to ignore it and let it rebalance itself and give it time and space to do so.

    Aj, Mindfulness is great – and it makes you appreciate things around you and brings you back ‘into’ the real world, but try mindfulness when full of anxiety and it’s almost impossible to do. Depending on your symptoms and mindset, I’d start small – just rest, relax, be kind to yourself, then start thinking in mindful ways. Don’t ‘try’ too hard else you’ll just be disappointed if the anxierty wins-out.

    Be forgiving with yourself, don’t beat yourself up and don’t get frustrated – you have to invite recovery into your world – and make time and room for it to happen – on its own terms. Your body knows how to do this if you get out of the way. If it’s not happening, think if you’re blocking it, and how, and how you can stop doing this.

  322. Rich Says:

    Gordon, Anticipatory Anxiety is my number one thing – I’ve still not mastered it. Winding myself up beforehand to ruin the build up and wasting time, where if I didn’t have this, I’d be OK in the first place! Often this is for nothing too – making it even more frustrating and leaving me tired and annoyed for no logical reason.

    Advice? Just keep doing it. See each time as an opportunity to show yourself it’s OK. take the chance to think of the positives – dismiss the negatives and focus on all the good bits – seeing the kids have fun, getting out, meeting other people, doing it on your own – beating this thing! The more positive reinforcement and experience you have, without any worry of anything bad happening (even if it does, so what, really?!) the more you’ll lose the anxiety – by which point you won’t care either way.

  323. Luke Says:

    Hi everyone,

    Has anyone here dealt with feelings of paranoia? I don’t see this being mentioned here too much. My anxiety evolves around fear of going mad and thus i feel my brain is on alert for any fearfull thoughts about this subject. I would get fearfull reaction when i hear my coworkers talk and laugh and would think they must be laughing at me but i actually know they are not.

    I get also alot of horrible thoughts about my kids too. Its very unsettling and hard to deal with.

    My concern is that if my tired and worn out mind is coming up with these thoughts long enough that i might reach a point where i will actually start believing them. Which would basically mean i lost it for good. Is this possible with anxiety? I feel like my rational me is still very much in control but i feel on the edge of losing it all the time. This has been my problem for several months now.

    Can anyone relate to this or has anyone been in similar situation and was able to overcome it? Thank you

  324. Gordon Says:

    Thanks Bryan
    It’s just so hard when you feel the kids are solely reliant on you and you feel like you can’t cope!

    That is because you think you are going mad that you worry what you might become capable of! I read once that the fact you are worrying about these thoughts means that you are not capable of any such actions! Anyone that could do that would think about it and not be worrying! Does anyone else agree?

  325. Julie W Says:

    Hi Char,
    I’ve had the odd break, but it pretty much feels constant. In March, I thought I was actually making progress, only to be stuck in it again. I’m in my 40’s too, and seems like we have a lot in common. I am in the change of life, and I really think everything I am going through has a lot to do with that. Others may disagree, but I know a lot of people my age really struggling with anxiety when they have never experienced it before. Sorry to hear you are having a bad day:(

  326. Char Says:

    Hi Julie – yep same here. I had my kids very late though – I was early forties with my four year old ! Now trying to manage a career I have worked hard at and manage a family is so hard.

    Well I continued with my day, had meetings ,organised a few things, and at times I forgot about anxiety. The support on this blog is so great .

    Hope your day goes well ! I work 4 days which is tough

  327. ShirlD Says:

    Hello All, I have been on here a number of times when I have had anxiety issues. I have had my current episode since December/January. At last I seem to be having more good times than bad. Whilst I know from all that is spoken about on here that we shouldn’t question anything….. it’s all anxiety. But, what I would like to know is this – having started to feel like I am actually recovering step by step, today I have the worst feelings about recovery. Can you have ‘withdrawal’ symptoms as such when feeling less anxious? I have pretty much taken the whole experience as ‘cold turkey’ with the occasional Diazapam if feeling too rough. Lately I seem to be taking more Diazapam as the feelings diminish to less active. By that – I only mean one a day and then sometimes not even that. I find in my normal times that I don’t want the day to end – and will delay the going to bed process to savour the normality for just that little bit longer. I know the fact that I am having more better times is the road to recovery so am not complaining. I have warned my partner that the road could still be rocky even when recovery starts to be more rather than less. I was just wondering if there was anyone else on the blog who might be experiencing that same thing? or similar? thank you.

  328. Bryan Says:


    I saw your post on the other forum about your kids as well. Wanted to offer a thought…

    I went through a divorce at my very worst. I had severe withdrawal coming off of the meds they gave me to “help” my anxiety. (It didn’t.) My then wife wanted a divorce while I was at my sickest. Turns out that was a blessing for me, but I needed years to realize those benefits.

    So, at my very lowest… I kept working through a full time job, a side business and being the primary parent of a 6 year old daughter who lived with me full time

    I did it… I made it… you can make it.

    Here’s the thing… anxiety is going to put itself SOMEwhere. In your case, it’s the kids… so you feel like that makes you different. In some cases it’s anticipation, so that feels different to that person. In some, they say “OCD” (simply repetitive thoughts) makes them special or different. In my case, I have severe physical symptoms at random and out of sleep. That makes me “special.”

    You probably get my point by now. None of this stuff matters. You transferring your anxiety to the topic of your kids isn’t the problem. The problem is that you have a stress disorder you are stoking and keeping alive with your response to it. (Just like I did.)

    The interesting thing is… if you read through the posts on this board, there is ALWAYS the same format…

    Person X comes in and says – OMG I’m having “XYZ” symptoms, and I hate it!

    Then person Y will say… your symptom isn’t the problem.

    Person X will continue to complain about that or different symptoms.

    Person Y (and others) will try to explain to them in multiple different ways that they have to get past the symptom, realize it isn’t important and work on the PROCESS.

    And here’s the difference between those who improve and those who don’t….

    The person X who stops asking about their symptoms and repeating themselves… and starts yearning for knowledge about the PROCESS always goes on to improve and eventually live normally and eventually recover.

    The person X who continues paying credence to XYZ symptom(s) and repeating their dislike for it generally stays in that pattern.

    This isn’t to say it’s easy. I understood this process YEARS ago and it’s taken me a very long time to make progress, but I have. I’m stubborn or a slow learner. lol.
    But, one thing I can say is that 95% of the time now when I face bad days… I’m concerned with what I can do better with my mindset and acceptance rather than solving a particular symptom, thought or quirk in my body.

    So, even once we understand what we need to do… it’s a learning process. And that’s OK.

    But the first step is realizing that no symptom… no particular fear we create (kids, etc.) …. no thing that makes us “special” matters. It simply doesn’t. It’s hard to get past that stage but once we do, that’s where the real learning and healing can begin.

    That’s my two cents, anyway.

  329. Tasnim Says:

    I have and still am a little in the same boat. Many of my posts have dealt with my fear of schizophrenia. Due to it, I started to fear and try to control my thoughts because I thought I was going mad. While now and then I still do it, I’ve gotten A LOT better. I know its hard when you feel like you need to keep a grip on every thought, but just let your self believe and think whatever for a moment. No matter what your reaction is, keep with it. For me, it wasn’t when I finally convinced myself I wasn’t crazy that I felt better, but when I stopped trying to convince and reassure myself. I let the possibility of it be, and allowed myself to accept the uncertainty of it. I’m still working at it, but I’ve improved. I used to constantly wish I could erase any knowledge of it from my mind, and still do at times. Once you stop focusing on it, you’ll eventually stop having those paranoia reactions and those doubts wont come to you.

  330. Aj Says:

    THANKS Rich for responding
    It’s Paul’s book that pulled me out of severe anxiety that started 2 years ago due stress. Paul’s method works great. I still have anxiety low level but sometimes it shoots up. Currently I am having some physical problems (not related to anxiety). Due to this anxiety shoots up. Hence, started guided mindfulness meditation using audio track, for overall wellbeing. This is 8 week program and I have completed one week. I am doing this along with Paul’s teachings. Let’s see what happens.

  331. Joy Says:


    When i suffered from anxiety I had exactly the same thoughts. These intrusive thoughts were probably my main problem : ” What if you go crazy? – What if you already are crazy? -What if this is schizophrenia…”
    Today while writing this down I can finally laugh at myself and how I could believe all these stupid thoughts!

    Your thoughts are NOT real! Your nerves are tired from all the worrying and questioning so that you are in constant fear about everything. I am very sure that deep down you know that they are not real and this fact shows that you are not schizophrenic or anything. You are just tired and sensitive at the moment.

    Accept the thoughts or maybe say “goodbye” to them whenever they show up and then go on with whatever you’re doing. Give your mind a rest, try to accept and believe that you are completely okay and live your life, this is how anxiety fades :)

  332. Gordon Says:

    Hi Bryan, thanks for the response.
    I get the fact that everyone’s symptoms are different and I get the whole need for acceptance. It’s just that when you are meant to be in charge of your kids it’s soooo difficult to just ‘let go’! I was out with them on my own last night and took a very small dose of diazepam before I went and it all went well in the end, albeit with anxiety. The taking of the tablet is just a short term thing that I have also done in the past when in an acute state like I am in this setback. Although I still do everything that I worry about, I get a lot of guilt because I am doing it with such trepidation and fear that I am letting everyone down and not giving the kids the life they deserve. Daft really because I am still doing everything and the kids don’t suffer! For some reason I am really down on myself about the whole situation and have been when in this place in the past. Up until this recent setback I had been just trying to let the feelings be there with the understanding that they could not harm me, is that the same ‘process’ that you mentioned? You say that when you have bad days you concentrate on a better mindset and acceptance, is that not just fighting it?

  333. Geraldine Says:

    Hi all – I just want reassurance that it’s ok to “surrender” and give up fighting anxiety and have the attitude of “I give up and that’s why I’m not fighting this” – I still don’t like the anxiety – I generally have the belief that I practice acceptance as there really is no other option or way for me to fix it? I believe that at one stage Paul said to not surrender and give up but in a way I feel like it is giving up in a way as its recognising that there is no other option but accepting (I know this is the only way to true inner peace). Can you tell me if its ok to have this attitude towards it while practicing acceptance ?

  334. Beth Says:

    Hi all-Thought I was accepting, but very clearly not. I KNOW there’s no danger outside of me and that there IS no emergency no matter where I am but absolutely terrified 24/7…just waiting for “the bomb to drop” knowing, once again, there isn’t one. At home I’m marginally better, however still no “safe haven” even there. Any thoughts, ideas? Any and all would be appreciated. Also, sometimes when I’ve gone to post here and I type in the Captcha Code correctly, it doesn’t recognize it. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks everyone. ?

  335. Bryan Says:


    No… it is not fighting it. What I mean is.. when symptoms or bad days arise now instead of trying to chase it off or seek reassurance, I refocus on letting it be… living outwardly and keeping on with my day. What I mean is… when days are bad, that can be hard! It really can. But it takes no more effort to refocus on acceptance and living the it does fussing and fretting. (Actually it does take less. Lol)

    Point being… one of those choices leads to a calming of the CSN and one stokes it into further distress. At a certain point I just made the decision I’d choose the one that helped me. Again, not to say it’s easy… but it’s what we choose if we prefer normal living.

  336. Eric Says:

    Hello everyone, I was doing better and living my life despite feeling anxious all the time but I have been feeling empty, zoned out and awful for couple days now. I guess this will pass and I will get more energy again but is this normal during recovery and why does this happen so randomly?

  337. Gordon Says:

    Thanks again Bryan
    I get what you are saying. I still do everything that I’m worried about and continue to work etc therefore living an outward life. In my head I’m thinking ‘why am I not getting better if I keep doing everything?’ But I guess I’m still doing it all with apprehension and looking for escape routes therefore not fully accepting! That’s the bit I’m struggling with, true acceptance! When I get bad I end up googling, coming on here etc looking for hope. My wife (who is extremely supportive and also gives me a kick up the arse if I need it!) will tell me that at times I seem to like wallowing in my own self pity! I guess that’s another protection system i.e in a funny way anxiety becomes a crutch as you are affraid of what’s on the other side of the fear, does that all make sense to anyone?

  338. Bryan Says:


    True full acceptance is a long process for most of us. Those who have ah-ha moments and snap of it instantly are an extreme minority IMO.

    Patience with ourselves is a big part of this…

  339. Stephanie Says:

    Hi Gordon, I saw your posts about anxiety in regards to taking care of your kids. I totally understand. My anxiety has centered a lot around my daughter. I used to be terrified of staying alone with her. I’d think, “How can I take care of her when I’m like this? What if I have a panic attack?” Well, I can tell you that I’ve been through all of it (anxiety, panic attacks, intrusive thoughts towards her, etc) and nothing has ever happened. Not even while having a panic attack while driving with her. In fact, I now stay home with her full time, and I love it. I’ve actually learned to appreciate having her around when I’m anxious, because she gives me something to focus on other than myself. All this to say, you’re not alone in your fears. Let them be there and then go enjoy your kiddos!

  340. Geraldine Says:

    Hi – in my feelings of high anxiety (or high “protection” as I call it!) I still don’t like the feelings – i know some people mention that true acceptance is almost being happy when anxiety comes on, but i am never happy when it comes on and to be honest still really would prefer not to feel it. i don’t try fix it or get rid of it, but it is hard to be OK with it in the intense moments, though I always end up riding it out. Is this attitude hindering me? Do i need to train myself to like it, or is it OK to still not like it, i’m almost “giving up” and surrendering to let it do its thing as i know there is no other option?

  341. Gordon Says:

    Thanks Bryan and Stephanie
    Guess it’s ‘keep on trucking’!

  342. Sue Says:

    have not been on here for a while thought I was on top of it all. But just lately it seems to have all come back with wizzing negative thoughts and headaches and feeling sick. I seem to be constantly worrying about my thoughts and how I can get rid of them. I don’t like the way I am thinking at times and yet I know it is not how I would normally think. I am making far too much of my thoughts and as much as I try to ignore them they seem to be my main focus.
    I have resorted to the odd anxiety med now when my head just won’t switch off. nothing has changed in my life from how it was just the same but I don’t understand why it has all come back again. I get weary with it because as you say I think I must be inwardly fighting the thoughts again. Any Advice on how to get out of the cycle again and stop mithering over myself.

  343. Sue Says:

    my anxiety was brought on with the menopause and all the symptoms I was having as well as hot flushes which seemed to exacerbate anxiety. As much as I understand now what is happening and I try to convince myself it is only harmless menopause and nothing will happen to me the anxiety has come up with all sorts of thoughts which made me more anxious. Does anyone know on here if HRT helps with anxiety.

  344. Nick Says:

    Hi guy posted before but i think it got lost in the mix. If anyone can offer any advice I would be hugely grateful, here is my original post…

    Hi guys

    I’m wondering if anyone could help as I have been really having a hard time…

    I had terrible anxiety and DP a few years ago brought on after a huge panic attack, but over the course of a couple of years I managed to get over it using pauls method, exercise and meditation but was always scared it might return…

    The recently I had another panic attack and have found myself back on the DP/anxiety roundabout. I’ve got DP which i’m not too concerned about as I know it will go but the thoughts are really making me scared and depressed and feel so so tired.

    The thing is i’m worried that I haven’t addressed this properly and that leading up to it i guess i was stuck in a rut and in denial that life was all good when in fact I was leading quite an unhealthy life (eating lots of sugar, spending long hours on a computer every day, ging out less) which is probably why it has returned. I’m also a huge catastrophizer and am often scared to push things forward in areas of my life like women and work. Especially fearful of relationships after a bad one when i was young. Although im 33 now.

    The thing is i know im in a heightened anxiety state and thing swill overly effect me and i’m super emotional/fearful, feel like crying regularly and obviously mad thoughts are running rampant. But as much as i want to not buy into these thoughts, i feel like the ones suggesting that i may not have fixed the route causes of my anxiety and that i may not be free of it ever and it will continue to manifest itself in parts of my life like women and finding fulfilment in life may hold truth and that i may never be happy which is giving me real bad feelings of hopelessness.

    I only say this because the anxiety has come back strong which means I cant have really addressed the route cause despite following pauls method last time.

    Any help anyone can offer, id be so grateful as having a really tough time, i would really appreciate it.


  345. Joy Says:


    first of all, don’t be scared or angry or anything because your anxiety came back!
    When I suffered from anxiety I used to have days where I felt completely great and I thought like: ” wow, my anxiety is gone, this must be recovery!”. The next day I found myself back in total despair.. The ups and downs during anxiety can be really intense, but this is completely normal!

    For me it seems like now that all your scary thoughts and your anxiety came back you try to fight it again. I am very sure you try to accept your fears as you did before, but it seems like deep down you are still fighting and wishing it away.

    I’ve been in that state too. When my anxiety was really bad I had constant dp. And my scary thoughts followed me 24/7. It was like hell! I had many ups and downs and I often thought that this would be me for the rest of my life and that I would never be able to enjoy this world again.

    For me the only thing that totally helped and what finally led to my full recovery was living my life, chasing dreams, and focussing on the good things.
    I went to a songwriting competition what has always been a huge dream since I was a kid. I made it into the next round and that was the point when I said to myself: ” Being in this competition has always been your dream.This is something my anxiety will never take away from me. I’m going to live my dream now, live my life, no matter if anxiety is still there or not.”

    The whole competition process took nearly one year and it was definitely the best year of my life! It was the year in which I finally felt pure wanderlust. I finally did the things I truly loved and met so many amazing new people. During the competition I had to sing in front of many people and of ‘course my anxiety was still really bad at the beginning, but I made it and finally felt like anxiety can’t stop me anymore.
    And at the end of the year I was in the finals and had to perform live on TV! This is what brought me back to life. You don’t have to join a TV show or anything to recover, but just do whatever you want to do!! If you want to run a marathon, then go out and focus on running and having fun doing it. Focus on your dreams, the things that make you happy. Join a sports club if this is something you like or whatever.
    Just focus on LIFE and not on your stupid anxiety. Anxiety can not harm you! Actually it is just your body protecting you, so it is totally harmless! Go out, meet your friends, listen to your favorite music and have a dance in your house. But don’t sit around the whole day worrying about your thoughts or dp or whatever.

    I promise you, one day your anxiety will fade completely and then you will think back and smile about how you could believe all these feelings and thoughts and panic attacks :)

    I really hope this helps you a bit, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me!

  346. Joy Says:


    These thoughts used to be one of my main problems too. When they were extremely persistent I told them to “shut up”. By imagining this in my head I kinda broke the cycle for a little moment and so I could focus on life again.

    You don’t have to try to explain every little thought to yourself as this would be a way of fighting it again. Just tell them to shut up and then focus on life again, on the conversation you were having, on the music that is on the radio or on whatever you did before your thoughts came up. To *focus on life* is the thing that totally helped me to recover :) Anxiety is harmless, your thoughts are harmless and so are your feelings, so why worrying about it?

  347. Luke Says:


    thank you. I remember some of your older posts and I am glad you are doing a lot better now and that you were able to successfully apply the acceptance approach. It gives me hope it can be done. I just have to be more patient and keep practicing non-reaction to ANY disturbing thought i get no matter how long it will take.


    thank you too. I get discouraged sometimes because i feel like in times i get worse instead of better. Maybe its because i expect to get better. I recall Nolan said in some of his older posts that once he stopped caring whether the anxiety disappears or not, he is going to make life larger than this, that was when he started to turn things around.
    What throws me is that anxiety can trick me so well that i truly feel like going mad soon. In October ’15 i felt like there is no way i can stay sane until thanksgiving, the day came and nothing happen, so i said to myself ok, if i am still normal until Christmas this must really be just anxiety. Christmas came and went and nothing happened. Then we scheduled vacation with my family out of state in April ’16 and weeks leading up to it I truly had some rotten days thinking I will have to cancel this because I am about to go bananas any day now. Vacation came and it was awesome. NOTHING bad ever happened to me! Few times i even jokingly told my wife that if I ever end up crazy locked up in some ward if she would bring me my favorite chocolate from time to time :)
    Now its June and i still have these crazy thoughts about everything and based on what i wrote before I know now that anxiety is just one huge trick, con, bluff, but somehow I keep getting played by it.

    I feel like i am in a battle with my own imagination. Sometimes I tell myself that i should use it for something more productive, such as writing a book, or music instead of torturing myself with these fearful thoughts.

  348. Joy Says:


    my thoughts also used to make me feel as if I was about to lose it.
    I had tons of philosophical thoughts in my head, about life, the earth, my body..Sometimes I thought I would end up in a clinic forever, but as you already said nothing ever happened. I worried about so many really weird things and nothing ever happened, nothing ever harmed me or made me go crazy. I think when you suffer from intrusive thoughts you just need some time to see that nothing happens and that it is just stupid to worry about so many things. Try to laugh them of, tell them to “shut up” or whatever. These thoughts are not real and once you realize that and truly believe it I am very sure recovery is not far away:)
    Today I can think of all the scary thoughts I had again and they just don’t scare me anymore. It’s just funny how I could worry about such stupid things all day. 😉

  349. Joy Says:

    Thanks Joy for coming back to me. it has made me realise how foolish I can be at times. It worries me at times why I focus on one particular thing and why the thoughts keep occurring but as you say the thoughts are harmless however irrational I know they are. I build on them with all sorts of senareios driving myself mad at times. I HAVE GOT TO STOP IT!. I do go out and enjoy my life but it could be better. It seems to be more when I am in the house and sat quiet and my mind has a field day. Some days I get up with nothing on my mind and it is as though my mind starts searching for anything bad to worry about. Obviously a habit and I am trying to stop the habit. I will start with the shut up go away thing and see what happens. Sometimes the thought seems so deep in my head. Sometimes when I am relaxed I laugh and see how ridiculous it all is, but when the anxiety hits then seems very real. even though underneath I know it is not. Why do I listen to the wrong voice! at times

  350. Sue Says:

    Sorry I was replying to Joy and did not put my own name on it.

  351. Geraldine Says:

    hi guys – in a major setback and panic attack. My brain keeps trying to fix it by trying to research what i did to come out of it last time. It happened last time where i got to a point where i truly didn’t mind how the anxiety felt (more so the DP and racing thoughts) but it never got that way with the stomach urges that its now bothered by. Can i get to this point with every symptom?

    Yesterday night i abrely slept and then last night the calm came to me, but this mornign the aniety was back and threw me into a state.

    i feel like im never going to recover now, i know i shouldnt be trying to fix it but it seems like thats what my subconcious is doing. can someone please reassure me? I properly didn’t mind the DP / racing thoughts last time this happened but this time even though I am letting the stomach churns be there I don’t feel like I am at the “not fussed” point with them – will this come naturally? im lost.

  352. Carla Says:


    It is TOTALLY normal for your logical brain to work in this way. If we were presented with a real-life problem, our brains automatically go into problem-solving mode, scanning for danger, assessing risk and trying to find solutions. And it does it quickly and automatically – that’s what it’s programmed to do.

    I spent a while beating myself up over this before it finally sank in that these mental processes very much part of the anxiety state and die down as anxiety levels subside.

    And, for what it’s worth, trying to be ‘cool’ about anxiety whilst it was really raging was another impossible task. For me it was more helpful to acknowledge what was happening in an honest way whilst trying to be as pragmatic as possible. Recognising that it was all just stress feeding on stress and that I simply needed time to calm down again. And, whilst sometimes it was just a case of carrying on and waiting for it to pass, I realised that it was also healthy and helpful to do lots of lovely, positive and nourishing things to help myself too. Be it exercise, meditation, massage, yoga, whatever works.

    For me, the path of recovery has been found in more of a middle ground than some of the posters here. For me it was unrealistic to ‘not care’ about feelings of high anxiety. But what I could do (some of the time!) was step back, recognise all of the layers (the worry, the worrying about worry, the worrying about how I’m reacting to the worry etc!!!) and put it all fundamentally down to stress. I could accept that it wouldn’t destroy, whilst admitting that I needed to look after myself and help myself and my body calm down in healthy ways. It’s not a case of fighting, but looking after ourselves. It’s ok to want to feel better.

    Just try and be kind to yourself. Dealing with anxiety can be very tricky and can give confidence a real bashing. Just keep acting in healthy ways, stay busy, look after yourself, treat yourself to nice experiences but ABOVE ALL ELSE please don’t punish yourself for dealing with a challenging experience in a normal, human way.

    All the best,

    Carla x

  353. Carla Says:

    Cripes, I’ve just read that back and can see that it’s full of grammatical errors – hope you managed to get the jist!

  354. Carla Says:


    It is TOTALLY normal for your logical brain to work in this way. If we were presented with a real-life problem, our brains automatically go into problem-solving mode, scanning for danger, assessing risk and trying to find solutions. And it does it quickly and automatically – that’s what it’s programmed to do.

    I spent a while beating myself up over this before it finally sank in that these mental processes very much part of the anxiety state and die down as anxiety levels subside.

    And, for what it’s worth, trying to be ‘cool’ about anxiety whilst it was really raging was another impossible task. For me it was more helpful to acknowledge what was happening in an honest way whilst trying to be as pragmatic as possible. Recognising that it was all just stress feeding on stress and that I simply needed time to calm down again. And, whilst sometimes it was just a case of carrying on and waiting for it to pass, I realised that it was also healthy and helpful to do lots of lovely, positive and nourishing things to help myself too. Be it exercise, meditation, massage, yoga, whatever works.

    For me, the path of recovery has been found in more of a middle ground than some of the posters here. For me it was unrealistic to ‘not care’ about feelings of high anxiety. But what I could do (some of the time!) was step back, recognise all of the layers (the worry, the worrying about worry, the worrying about how I’m reacting to the worry etc!!!) and put it all fundamentally down to stress. I could accept that it wouldn’t destroy, whilst admitting that I needed to look after myself and help myself and my body calm down in healthy ways. It’s not a case of fighting, but looking after ourselves. It’s ok to want to feel better.

    Just try and be kind to yourself. Dealing with anxiety can be very tricky and can give confidence a real bashing. Just keep acting in healthy ways, stay busy, look after yourself, treat yourself to nice experiences but ABOVE ALL ELSE please don’t punish yourself for dealing with a challenging experience in a normal, human way.

    All the best,

    Carla xx

  355. Carla Says:

    Aargh, just wrote another post but accidentally posted the same one twice. Let me try again:

    Taking acceptance to the extreme, advising people to just ‘be cool’ with it it on a par with advising people to ‘just relax’. And ‘trying not to get better’ in order to get better’ (or is it ‘not trying’ to get better in order to ‘not get better’) is a bit of an impossible puzzle that ends up giving me a bit of a headache.

    For me it was more honest, realistic and true to myself to think along the lines of;

    ‘I’m stressed-out, it’s feeding on itself and I just need to calm down a bit’

    In terms of recovery, I think I’m making some good progress. The calm periods seem to be getting longer and I’m able to dismiss the critical, negative and scary thoughts more easily. However, there are still occasions when the fear overwhelms me again and, do you know what I do then? I go for a long run, have a nice, hot bath and listen to a meditation. I might even persuade my husband to give me a foot rub too. Nothing complicated, nothing clever, just good old-fashioned advice that my granny probably would have given me.

    This may not feel right for you of course but I’d encourage you to find your *own* approach that does work for you. You’re allowed to mix and match you know – a bit of acceptance here, a bit of cbt, a bit of exercise there etc. etc. If you scour the internet (which I don’t recommend), you’ll find countless people who have recovered/learned to manage their anxiety in all sorts of different ways. I think part of recovery is finding the confidence to find a path (an imperfect one probably) that makes sense to you.

    Anyway, I’ve waffled on enough, hope this is helpful and you’re feeling a little better this afternoon xx

  356. Loraine Says:

    Hi Carla
    Your advice is sound I too have struggled with the ( being ok ) with thoughts that scare pants off you. I too am having longer stretches of
    Calm I still get thoughts but not as much as used to
    And they still have the ability to
    Draw me in but it’s a process

  357. Char Says:

    Carla , I thought your post was really good too – many thanks- I also struggle to accept – and after a number of years of anxiety free I’m also in a setback so it’s good to get some reminders and help along the way !

  358. Stephanie Says:

    I agree with Carla that “not doing anything” doesn’t mean we can’t practice self-care. In fact, I think self-care is extremely important. Sometimes I can chalk my anxiety up to not eating well, not sleeping enough, and not exercising. When we’re not taking care of ourselves in a healthy manner, it’s only natural that our bodies won’t be able to function as well and we’ll stress more easily.

  359. Jayrobz Says:

    Just wanted to pop in and say hello to everyone and I hope everyone is well!

    I’m SO happy to say I haven’t been on this site for nearly a year now?! As I feel like I’m pretty much recovered.

    I just wanted to pop in and maybe help or she’d some light on my own personal journey and what helped/didn’t help me!

    Anyone need a reply or whatever just message me and I’ll try and pop back to the blog every few hours! I’ll probably be on the other section too!

    P.s the biggest thing I’ve ever taken away from dealing with the anxiety is tension! Anxiety is created by us, we start it, we make it hurt, we make it endless, the sooner you let anxiety take you under you suddenly realise it vanish. Stay strong everyone

  360. Sara A Says:


    So I’m back again. I was on here back in 2010/11 and I managed to begin my life after finding this website and purchasing Paul’s book. I have now been hurled right back into it. And I need for someone to ease my mind. I no longer have the book but I do remember a lot of it. I will order the newest one. But I’m ok with all of this. I’ve had the most traumatic couple of years and a period of calm for four months at the beginning of this year and then my anxiety was triggered. I had made myself a safe home and was finally settled and boom. My mind is racing constant. I have flashbacks, I so badly don’t want to have a conversation in my mind I end up having one. I don’t want to think bad things about people or repeat what people have said in my mind so it does. This is my anxiety isn’t it? Just need to know please and then I can let it play out. Hope everyone is doing great.
    Paul I’m pleased your website and blog is still here! You are obviously doing so much great work and a new book too ?

  361. Belgian Says:

    In five days it will be two years since my first big panic attack…

    It’s been a very emotional time and quite the journey. I have learned more in these past two years than I’ve did in the 30 before them. Although I think I’ve never suffered so much before, I don’t feel any regret or sorrow. Instead, I feel thankful for every bump in the road, every tear, every loss. Every single one of those painful moments has made me the person I am today.

    Thank you, Paul!

  362. Andy J Says:

    Good to see you back Belgian and pleased you are doing so well.

    I seem to be falling for some of my old tricks. My main journey with anxiety began when I didnt ‘feel right’ and that I couldnt enjoy things as much as I used to. I still feel like that quite alot and find it hard to get lost in the moment of things anymore. This causes me subsequent anxiety. In fact to the point where I believe I am depressed.

    It can be difficult at times, but I know I have responsibilities. I have to work, need to be there for my wife and family and know I have things to do to be normal. However, these things can often be so easy for me to think ‘ah so what, who cares’ and be apathetic to it all.

    My question is, when some one is down, rather than merely anxious, is there a point where you should care and take steps to do things? I havent missed a day of work, try not to miss social occassions or things like the gym, but it can often be hard to find the motivation.

    I often find mornings to be difficult too, but can pick up during the day. How do people judge how they are doing? Or should we just continue regardless?



  363. Char Says:

    Sara A – yep it’s your anxiety 100%. I get flash backs a lot to when I was bad with anxiety in 2011 ish aswell . In fact it’s a bit driver of mine as I always think how horrible it was and I need to change that feeing to one of but its fine and it passed.

    A number of people seem to be having a setback – myself included .

    Hope u ok

  364. Rik Says:


    Did you also feel very unreal etc while having these thoughts? These kinds of thoughts are what is really getting to me at the moment. I feel divorced from my life and everything around me. I feel I am observing life and not participating in it at all despite trying to. I don’t take time off work and yet I just feel so trapped in my mind. What did you find was the best thing for the DP and to get through these thoughts?

  365. Dani Says:

    Hi Joy

    How long did your constant DP last for roughly? And did it make you feel like you were in another dimension and that normal life things feel strange? Like the whole concept of life seems strange?
    I feel that now I’ve viewed life in this weird strange way I’ll never be able to get back to my normal view of it before DP.
    I feel like I never get a moments peace from it, never a moment where I just feel normal, if I could just have some moments of feeling back to normal, even if they didn’t last long it would give me hope that I could recover.
    I don’t want my life to feel like this always

  366. Sara A Says:

    Thankyou Char

    I know what needs doing. Need a little more attitude about me I guess. But it will show no doubt. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. Positive positive.
    Much love to all of you.


  367. Nick Says:

    Hi Joy,

    Thanks so much for your words. I know how the anxiety plays on my worst fears but unlike you i don’t necessarily have any big dreams as such. This is what terrifies me, i have a good job and good friends etc but no real direction in life. Just trying to find a wife and kids doesn’t seem hugely appealing right now and am just quite lost really even though i’ve just turned 33 and am single.

    Just feels like last time I had it i didn’t make real life changes and am now very fearful of the future. Just feeling quiet hopeless and hard to decipher weather it is just the anxiety or also a bit of depression coming through as like i said before my routine wasn’t great prior to it returning and didn’t really have any big goals/dreams or huge passion to cultivate etc. Almost felt like was just going through the motions and trying to avoid being fearful. Although wouldn’t have considered myself super depressed but not having great experiences in life at all.

    Just wonder how i can find passion for stuff again like you did and beat the anxiety, despite feeling quite defeated by it all and down.


  368. Joy Says:


    the whole world around me felt extremely unrealistic. I remember sitting in school and feeling kinda invisible. Sometimes I would try to concentrate really hard on conversations or on the lessons, but as hard as I tried it only got worse.

    My dp even got so bad that I could not really feel my body. All those feelings totally scared the hell out of me. I thought this would be me forever. I thought I would never really know how life and happiness feels like. I even started questioning life. I was wondering if this world is even real-lol. So my dp was really bad and one of my main problems.

    What brought me out was to focus on everything I enjoy. I did not try to focus to get rid of dp.I just focussed and took dp with me.
    One day after suffering from dp for so long I just did not really care anymore.
    I knew that feeling and I just took it with me. As I already wrote before I joined a show on tv and this was something that really helped me to focus on the real life.
    I started thinking about this show 24/7 and so my really bad anxiety thoughts changed into positive thoughts about the upcoming show.

    You need to understand that DP will never hurt you! Actually it is a very good feeling, as your body only tries to protect you from all the worrying.
    You won’t go crazy, you won’t get hurt, it’s nothing more than a stupid feeling.
    Believe me, this dp will fade! Focus on life, find things you really enjoy and then live your life and take your dp with you. It takes a while, but it will fade completely!

    Joy :)

  369. Jamie Says:


    I have not posted for a while but wanted to check in with what has been happening. I have been in a relationship for the last 3 months which was absolutely brilliant for the first couple of months. God know how I went from being a bundle of nerves at every date I went on to being in a relationship but I have !

    She was a bit insecure and anxious and I am anxious – it worked well as we understood each other. We talked and text all the time, saw each other a lot, our daughters met each other, we talked about possibly living together and things were great. It gained momentum really quickly but we were both happy.

    Anyway, her insecurities have come more and more evident which has slowly made me more and more anxious over the last few weeks, has pushed me away and it is really pushing me to the limit now. I am having to really try to be calm, slow things down and try and be mindful when possible. Her insecurity is feeding my anxiety and me backing away is feeding her insecurity. I have explained that I am not equipped to deal with her insecurities due to my issues and I don’t want to start going backwards with my progress as a result of all this. Anyway, I am maybe dealing with it better than I thought I would. She is not dealing with it particularly well but I have to protect myself at the end of the day. Is that cruel ?

    Anyway, I will be ok and I still pop back every now and again to see how people are doing.

    Keep going everyone !

  370. Joy Says:


    I just wrote an answer to Rik about my dp that could help you too :)
    To answer your question, my dp lastet for many months. It started with feeling unreal in crowds or in places where I knew I could not get out of the situation ( restaurants, cinema, school). In the end I had constant dp, even at home.
    I felt just like you. There wasn’t any minute in which I felt back to normal, it was just constant dp! I thought this was me forever and that this hell would never end, but it did! Once you understand that this feeling is totally harmless and that you can fully accept it, it will start to fade.
    Once you truly focus on life and start to accept dp you will find yourself not even thinking about anxiety anymore. It takes a while for dp to fade, but it will!
    Go out, take a walk, go shopping, meet friends. I know it feels weird and actually all you want to do is staying in your comfort zone, but try to replace your bad thoughts about anxiety by doing things you truly love :)


  371. Joy Says:


    you don’t have to join a tv show or something like I did to recover :) I also had really depressive times during my anxiety where I could not even enjoy my music. The doctors even gave me medication, but I never took it as I was to scared to get addicted or something.
    I am very sure that everybody has something he or she truly loves. Maybe it is something you don’t even know yet. I am very sure that your biggest dream right now is to just get rid of anxiety, but you can have a life right now!! Go out, meet some friends, have a nice dinner. Maybe you would like to join a sports club or try something completely new. Listen to your heart, i am very sure that it is holding lots of dreams. Go on parties and meet new people, even if you feel depressed or anxious, just do it and find passion in your life. You don’t have to wait with finding a girlfriend until your anxiety is gone. You can have a life now! It’s there outside waiting for you!

    Also what helped me was writing lists with positive things I was looking forward to.
    When you’re depressed it really helps to watch the positive things in life again and again. Even if the positive things seem small, just write them down and watch them and feel happy about it :)

  372. Geraldine Says:

    Hi Carla – thanks so much for your post it’s really helpful. I think that i am beating myself up a lot that I still really dislike the anxiety feeling – I thought that i needed to get a point where I would be cool with it, but as you say thats impossible for me and thats OK. I think just allowing myself to be frustrated and really dislike the anxiety, feeling awful is OK, and what feels right for me – not punishing myself for not being cool with it. I don’t think I’ll ever like it. I feel that strong feeling of frustration and instense anxiety has passed the last 12 hours have been good for me. I realize it’s likely I’ll fall into that again, but I am not scared of it as much as I know it will pass – I’d still prefer to not have it though, but what can you do ! life goes on.

    Thanks again

  373. honey Says:

    Just testing to see if my posts are going through or not as having difficulty

  374. Rik Says:

    Thanks Joy,

    I am struggling so much because I feel I cannot enjoy anything and therefore the things I used to love dont appeal to me. Everything seems unreal and I feel very little emotion. I also get the bizarre thoughts about things not being real and many more. Logically I know it is anxiety but they still cause me anxiety and demand my attention. As I work 5 days a week there is not that much time to enjoy myself. When I go swimming it almost feels like I am not there and that I am not in my body if that makes sense. Does that sound similar to how you were at times?

  375. Sara A Says:

    Heya guys I was on here yesterday. And I know it seems silly of me to ask this again but I’ve really embraced that stupid intrusive thoughts. Mine aren’t like others. Mine is triggered by looking at someone and it saying anything because I’m aware it could or me having a complete convo because I know it can and then it does. It can be literally about anything. Even if my mind automatically says stop talking to yourself it will go on with a conversation. I believe I am doing it all correctly by embracing it as they are now coming so thick and fast and my adrenaline isn’t wishing around. Although I really want all this chitter chatter to stop. If a vision/flashback comes in then my mind finds something to say about it. Everything I don’t want to have in mind or say happens and it’s literally constant. I just want to know that by allowing wateva even if it wants me to question wether I’ve failed by saying to me you just failed in accepting that I haven’t by just acknowledging and still getting on with my day?
    Is it a coping mechanism by brain has started to stop me dealing with normal stresses in my life right now? It also ask me if I’m doing it right in my head and then will continue to natter on but I allow it. This correct thing to do?



  376. Joy Says:


    this is exactly how I felt during dp! I also used to go swimming once a week and this was also when I had my first experience with dp. I started swimming but I was still worrying all the time in the water. At that time I was very hypochondric and out of the sudden the whole world around me seemed to disappear which totally scared me. I could not feel my body anymore and I was wondering if this might be a dream, haha. Well, it was not and so I went out of the water as fast as I could and panicked for a while. But actually nothing bad happened. Anxiety attacks can not last forever and so my panic faded after a while and nothing bad happened. This dp did not hurt me and I did not go crazy. You need to learn to not get scared whenever you feel dp. It is harmless, it’s nothing more than protection and you should rather embrace it.
    And don’t worry about feeling depressive at times. This is totally normal. Once your anxiety gets better so will your depression. It takes some time, so be patient, but step by step you will start to truly enjoy things again.

    When I had anxiety I always tried to avoid any situation that could make me feel anxious or where my dp could become worse. Today I can go everywhere. I enjoy going on parties, I go shopping, I even go on a vacation on my own this year. It’s going to be a 12 hour flight, but I’m so happy about it and can’t wait for summer :)

    Be patient, accept your dp, try to embrace your anxiety and focus on your life. Also if you feel like hiding just try to enjoy the things you used to love . You will feel so much better after doing it:)

  377. Belgian Says:

    Hi Andy,

    Firstly, if you think you are depressed, I suggest you seek help with a specialist who can help you. A psychiatrist or a doctor. For a trained professional it’s not that hard to determine whether or not you need further medical attention. I am very happy by the way I was/am treated and it certainly helped me recovering. You are not alone in this and you certainly don’t have to be alone with it!

    I think we all experience the feelings you are feeling right now. Sometimes I too wake up and wondering where this is all going to. What the point of this all is…

    As long as you don’t expect to find an answer in endlessly worrying about it, you’ll be fine.

    Try to live in the moment and try to be fine with it. Life isn’t always the glorious story we would like it to be. And that’s okay.

    In fact, you should feel some sense of proud to carry through regardless of the way how you feel. The only thing that could possible hold you back is you yourself. If you dwell on the state you are being in, you will create even more of it. It’s this simple Law of nature that is keeping so many of us in. We think we have to find answers, solutions for self-created problems.

    At my worst, I was worrying 24/7 about my relationship. It got to the point that there wasn’t one waking minute where I wasn’t consumed by my thoughts. Looking at it back again, the content of my worrying wasn’t unimportant. It was something to be dealt with. Only not by worrying about it.

    The truth is that there is no truth other than the moment you are living in. Life fills in the blank. Life will prepare the story you can tell afterwards to yourself and sell it as the truth to others.

    As life is ever changing, so are your thoughts and emotions. They are not the fortresses we are imagining them to be and in which we are locked up away in. Instead, we are imprisoning ourselves in them.

    Once you understand life as being a river we are all drifting on. Always moving with the ever changing current. Hopefully, you will learn to be courageous enough to let yourself go with the flow. Let life & time bring you to your next destination without you worrying – too much – about it.

    I wish you all the best or I prefer to say: I wish you all the life you could possibly experience. Good and/or bad.

  378. Rik Says:

    Thank you Joy,

    I know I am asking for reassurance but dp experiences can be so bizarre and I have it constantly at the moment. There is no let up. But then I focus on it all the time almost like I cant help it. I also get weird thoughts as a result but I guess I need to just let these go and accept that this will pass in time. It is just so hard when you are stuck in the middle.

  379. Dani Says:

    Hey Joy, thank you so much for your reply. It helps knowing that someone else suffered with it for many months and managed to recover. Before DP/DR I used to go on with my normal life and not question it, now I constantly question how strange life is and think it’s so bizarre how can any of it be real, I hate it! I just want to go back to accepting life as it is. Also, sometimes I think maybe I died and this is my spirit trapped in the world, and I know that thought sounds crazy but it still really scares me. I feel that I’m constantly checking in on how I feel and my thoughts, I mean constantly! Even when I distract myself with something like painting the thoughts are still there. I feel sorry for myself too, I’ve watched lots of you tube videos on people with DP/DR and they pretty much all say it’s the worst feeling you can get and I just think why me?! None of my friends have gone through this, it’s so unfair that I am suffering this way!

  380. Dani Says:

    Hi Rik, what kind of weird thoughts do you get? Xx

  381. Sara A Says:

    Can someone reply to me please? Sorry to pester.
    Just literally don’t want to panic if I’m actually doing ok.


  382. Rik Says:

    Sara A,

    It sounds to me like you are on the right track by just accepting that your mind will do that for the time being. You will have all kinds of internal chatter going on. Just leave it to it.


    You name it I have likely thought it with regard to DP/DR. I won’t give examples as you will just have more ammunition to batter your mind with. Suffice it to say that there isn’t much I haven’t scared myself with at this point.

  383. Sara A Says:

    Hi Rik

    Thanks for replying. I just haven’t noticed anyone having the same thoughts. My mind will literally say anything it wants even rhymes, anything that doesn’t make sense. And it will go on and on and on. If I try and stop it I get a massive surge of adrenaline which will just build until I literally give into the mind exploding with all this mess. I’m starting to think I’m suffering differently to everyone else on here? Just be nice ( awful of me I know) to have just one person to say it’s the same kind of thoughts for them too. I feel so so alone right now. :(
    Want this to be happier post :(


  384. Debbie Says:

    Sara i have had strange thoughts images just pop in my mind of anything like movies i have seen dreams etc or feeling like it happened before . A real creepy feeling like iam alawys testing my mind. Also i had mind chatter vulgar words just popping in my mind out of no where. It scared me so much . So u are not alone.

  385. Sara A Says:

    Hiya Debbie

    I’m so overwhelmed by it all and life in general. If I’m crying it helps me not care as much about the mind chatter as much and it becomes less intense. It’s when I am pushing on with life it’s like if I try and do “normal” routine it just drones on. Never a minute of quiet and it likes to repeat things. So selfaware. Constant fight or flight.


  386. Char Says:

    Sara – I was EXACTLY the same and still am at times. My mind would say horrid things about people – use language I wouldn’t normally use – and go on and on.

    After crying I would get a temporary release -‘and that’s fine.

    Repetition is classic anxiety.

    Do you work or are you studying or a stay at home ? Remember to practice self care like some of the earlier posts

  387. Jamie Says:


    Any thoughts on my post below ? I’ve had to finish the relationship today because of the effect it’s had on me….

    Jamie Says:
    June 13th, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    I have not posted for a while but wanted to check in with what has been happening. I have been in a relationship for the last 3 months which was absolutely brilliant for the first couple of months. God know how I went from being a bundle of nerves at every date I went on to being in a relationship but I have !

    She was a bit insecure and anxious and I am anxious – it worked well as we understood each other. We talked and text all the time, saw each other a lot, our daughters met each other, we talked about possibly living together and things were great. It gained momentum really quickly but we were both happy.

    Anyway, her insecurities have come more and more evident which has slowly made me more and more anxious over the last few weeks, has pushed me away and it is really pushing me to the limit now. I am having to really try to be calm, slow things down and try and be mindful when possible. Her insecurity is feeding my anxiety and me backing away is feeding her insecurity. I have explained that I am not equipped to deal with her insecurities due to my issues and I don’t want to start going backwards with my progress as a result of all this. Anyway, I am maybe dealing with it better than I thought I would. She is not dealing with it particularly well but I have to protect myself at the end of the day. Is that cruel ?

    Anyway, I will be ok and I still pop back every now and again to see how people are doing.

    Keep going everyone !

  388. Sara A Says:

    Hiya Char
    I am a mum and my child is now at school full time. I’m meant to be on a course next week which is away from home and set up self employment from there. I think a lot of change has caused my setback and potentially trying to make me lack any belief in myself that I can achieve it. Also I was in an unhealthy relationship and a phone call recent tipped me over the edge. I was safe and now I don’t feel control in any way. So much at once and well yeh that sums it up. Thankyou for taking your time to help me.

  389. Sue Says:

    to all who have made a recovery.
    Does anyone find that some days the intrusive thoughts are constant through out the day and then other days they are not there at all. Can anyone who has recovered from anxiety let me know if this means eventually the thoughts will just fade away and will not be a problem anymore. Is it possible once recovered from anxiety that one forgets all what you have gone through. I find sometimes looking back and thinking of things I have experienced and sometimes I think that is keeping my anxiety going. Will it all just fade away and the memory forgotten.

  390. Sue Says:

    Hi Char,

    I also have horrible thoughts about people that go on and on at times. I have some lovely neighbours and yet my thoughts towards them have not been very nice as though they are a problem. I know it is my anxiety which has latched on to this and I am trying to let the thoughts come and go. Sometimes they are fading away and then sometimes my thoughts will raise their ugly head again when I have an attack of anxiety. I am glad I am not the only one who has the issue as I was beginning to think there was something wrong the way I was thinking. I just do not want to think that way.

  391. Joy Says:


    i had exactly the same questions in my head! I wondered if this life was real or if I was still alive. I was scared of this world and I was even scared of myself-lol.
    I promise you those questions only scare you during your anxiety.
    Now that I am recovered I just know this world is real and so am i. I am a living and life loving person and whenever I think back to these crazy thoughts I just start smiling, because they are so stupid and totally unreal.
    I promise you that once you recover these thoughts won’t scare you anymore. Try to accept them. They are not real and they won’t do you any harm :) Be patient and focus on all the positive things !


  392. Char Says:


    I’m a mum of two – my youngest will start school this September . I also work – stressy job. Just got a new job – bit of a promotions and then anxiety hit. Although prior to this we moved home due to work relocating across the country. We had to move our children’s schools and all that involves. This was on top of family illness and a protracted time not knowing if we had jobs or not or if we had to move.

    I guess sometimes we fail to realise that stress can be a trigger for anxiety to come back. I am putting into place some proper self care practices – I am going to take at least 15 mins lunch break – I usually don’t stop for 7 hours. I have downloaded the headspace app and am going to do that aswell. I know they won’t cure my anxiety but having something that you can feel you can control can help.

    Let me know how you are


  393. Char Says:


    Honestly I had thoughts about everyone !!! My neighbours included. People who walked past me, people I worked with …. It was horrible but I can now laugh and can’t believe why I was worried .

    I now have intrusives about going crazy or getting depressed – for some reason I can’t shake or accept these ones – even though I know that the content of intrusive thoughts is nonsense.

    Anxiety is a clever thing – it’s picks on our worst fears !

    Hope you ok

  394. Joy Says:


    anxiety goes up and down. Most of the days during my anxiety I would just wake up and start worrying. In the mornings my dp was pretty okay, but it always got worse during the day and at the end of if I just wanted to hide in my bed and sleep.

    Then I had days where I woke up and felt pretty much back to normal. I thought ” wow, this is it. This must be recovery” and baam the next morning I was back in the hell.
    That is anxiety! But the fact that you are having good and bad days shows that you are on your way to recovery :) Good days show, that this whole anxiety stuff is not real. There is no reason to be scared. Anxiety is totally harmless :)

    Of ‘course you will never forget about what happened and you will always remember that you once had anxiety but it won’t scare you anymore!! Now that I am recovered I only think about my anxiety when I come to the blog to help others.
    Why should I think about my anxiety and my past all the time?- it does not scare me anymore, I am fully recovered and it’s like all these scary thoughts I had became boring for me.
    Once you’re recovered your past with your anxiety will be a part of you, but a very good part! You will come out so much stronger and with so much more self confidence!


  395. Shandi Says:

    Hey everyone.

    I’ve never left a comment here before, but I’ve read MANY replies on this blog for the past few months. I’m writing now because it’s 3 a.m and I realized something very interesting regarding my recovery process.

    A little backstory; I had my first panic attack in January last year and have been suffering with GAD and Panic since then. Some time near the end of last year, I read Paul’s book and things have improved immensely. I still have bad days, but it’s definitely better than the majority of last year was.

    Before I discovered this book, I wanted to try practicing mindfulness on several occasions and recently I feel like focusing on the present might be that push I need to get over this anxiety hurdle and get on with my life.

    But, ironically enough, I’m worried.

    I spend a lot of time in my head. I work as a graphic designer and I also draw and write. All of those things are very important to me and I’m very passionate about them, so I did some research about the effects of mindfulness on creativity and imagination and, after reading in many sources that mindfulness does not hinder creativity or stop you from daydreaming even, I was still afraid of trying it.

    I hate to be my own psychiatrist, but I think I’m afraid of changing my habits because I’m afraid that getting lost in my imagination is what’s keeping me from falling back into crippling anxiety and depression. An escape of sorts. But at the same time, staying in this cycle of daydreaming and fantasy is keeping me from doing things to improve myself. On the one hand, I want to focus outward instead of on the way I feel or think, but on the other hand, I’m scared that I won’t like what I find on the outside and it will just make things worse.

    Has anyone else ever gotten so strangely comfortable with anxiety habits that they were essentially afraid of getting better? Has anyone been MORE anxious when they started recovering as opposed to when they were suffering? Is this just me?

  396. Albert Says:


    I have been doing really well recently and slowly but surely I’m accepting all this rubbish.

    However I have one stumbling block which I just cant seem to overcome and in fact its turned more into a phobia .

    Its about going on holiday abroad.

    However I try to “accept” it I cant get past the thought of “what if I feel really anxious while away or I have a massive panic attack”,

    what if it spoils the holiday ?

    Its ridiculous but I cant get over it.

    I m doing so well and just living my live and basically saying if anxiety isn’t there great, but if it is, so what,and if it gets really bad I ask it for more.

    Ive even been on holiday in the UK (though it was to a place my parents own where I have been before)

    I want to book a holiday abroad for me and my 2 young boys but I cant conquer this thought/Phobia

    Any help please ?

  397. Mark R Says:

    Hi Albert,

    This is a bugbear for me too. I always find that any anxiety about the trip beforehand far outweighs what I feel when I am there.

    I think you’ve kind of answered your own question in a way.”it’s ridiculous but I can’t get over it”. See to me the getting over it is the problem. Your anxious mind is trying to protect you from feeling anxious on the trip by throwing up all kinds of negative thoughts and images. It’s doing its job and doing it well. If you try and battle it, think round it, argue against it then you’ll be fighting a pointless cause.

    The key is to go anyway regardless of how you feel. I know it doesn’t seem enjoyable and a ‘waste of a holiday’ but chances are you’ll be having fun and you’re mind will be focusing out there and not on yourself. Its a great opportunity to practice acceptance again and show your overzealous mind it can back down.

    Not to sound belittling but what does it matter if you feel anxious/panic on holiday or at home? Just the same feeling in a different place thats all.

    Go on your holiday. After going through an anxious period you owe yourself a break.

  398. Mark R Says:


  399. Ves Says:

    “Has anyone else ever gotten so strangely comfortable with anxiety habits that they were essentially afraid of getting better?”

    Hi Shandi,

    It is the fear that tells you “be comfortable with anxiety” and not you. Our lives can be governed either by fear or love. Without love, fear is bound to be there. Love shows up, fear just disappears. Fear is just a symptom, it is not disease. There is no cure for it and there is no need. It is useful because it shows you that you should not waste your life any longer. But don’t work on fear because you will strengthen it, because your whole attention will be focused on it. Work on love.

  400. Chris Says:

    Hi everyone.

    Haven’t been doing too well, my mind decided to bring up something from the past that I previously felt quite guilty about. Of course it’s being blown way out of proportion and I’ve had plenty of reassurance from guy and girl mates, but it’s on my mind 24/7 and causing absolute havok. Been doing ok with allowing until today as I’m feeling absolutely spent and at rock bottom. Very depressed and anxious. So thought I’d reach out on here as I need some advice.

    Basically what happened was I was on Tinder last year and chatting to a girl and we decided to have some drinks at mine. I went and picked her up and she seemed cool. Had no intentions of a one night stand, was genuinely interested in just hanging out. Well we got back to mine and as soon as we walked in the door she completely changed. Started acting very stupid and she was obviously drunk (she wasn’t acting this way in the car). She kept on hitting on me and trying to drag me into my room, she made it very clear what she wanted from me. I refused several times, gave her water and told her to sober up. A few hours later after I had a few beers I gave in and we very briefly did stuff, but mutually decided to stop. I felt absolutely terrible straight after, and even though the next day she reassured me I did nothing wrong (I apologized quite a few times), I still felt horrendous as I should’ve known better, because she was drunk. She was very clingy the morning after but in such a weird way. She definitely had her own issues as she was on meds etc. But I was weak, and I gave in. Well I got over it and didn’t think about it for months… But it recently came back. The guilt/depression and regret is overwhelming. Embarrasing to admit but my mind is saying stuff ‘you’re a criminal’ ‘you’re a rapist’ which is so exaggerated. Maybe I should just apply the same advice to this too?

    I just wanted to reach out, and so sorry I went into so much detail, everything I say is 100% how it happened. Maybe I just needed to get this off my chest. I feel like such an awful person. Any advice? Should I be ashamed? Thanks everyone.

  401. Chris Says:

    Sorry for the change in tone from my last posts too. I was really on the right track and them bam, this comes up. The last few days were better and I definitely allowed it all, today it’s just a bit overwhelming and feels quite devastating. My mind is playing the scenario over and over in my head and the thoughts are causing despair. I saw the truth so clearly this morning, this afternoon I can’t.

  402. Cheryl Jepson Says:

    Hi I don’t know how long these things take to get published but I’m after some help
    I’ve just come home from work as I work in Customer services and the first call set me off crying
    I’ve had anxiety off and on for years , not all the time fortunately . I am going through a particularly bad phase at the min and just would like a bit of encouragement .
    I’m scared of hearing things, scared of cancer , my brain is hyper sensitive so picking up on things normally wouldn’t bother me .
    I’ve read Claire weeks and Pauls books and totally get all of it and it has helped , but it really is coming off in layers, I’m angry , depressed totally scared out of my wits some nights but due to what I’ve learnt, it’s like I k ow it bad but I know why I’m feeling like this
    Through recovery is it normal to be so totally not you, I’ve threatened to divorce my hubby, haven’t spoke to him for days , angry at my lovely dogs, I feel tired, not with it I’m also going through pre menopause which isn’t helping either
    When I cry I feel like it all releases I’ve just apologise profusely to my family as I feel I’m such an awful person
    Please someone tell me this the healing process

  403. Chris Says:

    Wow it’s so obvious. I just need to surrender to it all. I did earlier with no intention to feel better and it’s passed now. Kinda regret writing that post now as I didn’t really want to go into detail about it, was just a weak moment. Oh well.

  404. Rik Says:


    This is classic anxiety based intrusive thoughts. When you have dealt with one issue then another soon finds its way into your thoughts because you are still sensitised. It is like your mind is looking for the root of the fear again and because a thought has worried you it has picked that up as the thing to fear.

    This is something I experienced last year when I suffered terribly with harm thoughts. Once I overcame then I could almost tell that I was scanning for the next fear to come along. When I did have reactions to any thoughts I simply did not allow any second fear and in time my anxiety lessened and I recovered.

    These new thoughts threw you for a loop and that is ok. It is now up to you to apply what you have learnt to these new thoughts so that you can move past them on onwards to recovery.

  405. Chris Says:

    Thanks Rik, appreciate it. It’s so easy to forget how awful anxiety can feel.

    It’s crazy, I never thought I would be making a post like that again. But I get why they stuck around again today and were such a big deal. I was trying too hard to not believe them, like ‘I must not believe these thoughts’ and felt like I had to try and maintain this. Instead I should’ve just dropped my guard without fear of the consequences. I did this yesterday which resulted in a better day, and I did this again after I made the comment and it just started to melt away. Then I realize these destructive thoughts are bull, and I’m not the horribe person I perceive myself to be when feeling crappy. So at least I know what direction I need to go in.

    I’ve also been going to work everyday, even though it’s been hell. Might as well make some money while I’m feeling rubbish.

  406. Rik Says:


    You seem to be doing much much better than you were. I myself have been struggling a lot with DP/DR and still am. I am doing what I can to try and just relax and let it pass but my mind just seems so focused on it all the time.

    I have also been going to work despite it all and lord knows how. I am sure in time it will all fade away again.

    You now know what to do with your thoughts and can set about ignoring them again. They will leave in time once you get back on track with that.

  407. Belgian Says:


    I follow you already quite some time here and I must say I notice a lot of improvement on your end!

    You know already everything there is to know. But I recognized the anxiety mindset in your post immediately.

    Please forgive me when I say this, but it is kind of funny, isn’t it? To feel incredibly guilty over something as futile as your situation with this girl. Especially since this took place a year ago.

    But I do get it, when in an anxious state everything feels so unbearable. Guilt indeed feels unbearable. Every choice that has to be made almost has the same impact like the one Sophie had to take.

    When things calm down, I always find it unbelievable that I was so worked up about a thought! I must admit, I even find it funny.

    Why is funny that important for me? I feel that the only force that brings everything into perspective, even during the fiercest storms of anxiety, is humor. My wife and I sometimes make joke about my anxious thoughts. It does help to take some of the pressure away.

    My advice to you, now more than ever, is to stay away from this forum a while. Go out and live your life without this forum. As I’ve said, you know everything there is to know about anxiety. You don’t need this blog as your sanctuary to find solace and peace. Let these things come to you automatically through acceptance.

    One of the things that keeps people in is the fact that they revert everything back to anxiety. I too do this still too often. It’s the self-fulfilling prophecy. If you connect everything with your anxiety, your anxiety will be connected to everything.

    Let life bring different things without the need to connect the dots with anxiety. Take the leap away from this forum. You can do this! Go and live your life!

    All the best,


  408. Steve b Says:

    It is so frustrating when you don’t have physical symptoms or intrusive thoughts anymore but are still unstable. Full of anxiety with no focus on any one thing. I find it hard to put Paul’s teaching into operation when I don’t know what i am worried about.

  409. Beth Says:

    This has probably been addressed before, but…I guess I’m more ‘fortunate” than most as I don’t “see things” or think harmful thoughts, etc. However, racing heart, intense fear and a sense of foreboding ALL THE TIME. I realize these are all offshoots of anxiety, of course. The weird thing is I feel as if something horrible is going to happen but can’t put my finger on what. It’s not a panic attack, I know I’ll live through that as I have many, many times. I feel like it’d be something even more horrible-what a crock that is, right? ? Anyway, I would really appreciate any thoughts, ideas, tidbits from anyone. I’ve posted on here before but I know people are busy. Thank you in advance for anyone willing to share.

  410. Beth Says:

    Also…I’ve never been agoraphobic but feel I’m heading down that road. When I’m home I’m still scared, just not quite as severe. I very seldom leave the house and when I do it’s only to go about a mile or 2 from home. Thanks all!

  411. ShirlD Says:

    Shandi. I posted about this further up the page and got no reply. I will post it again.

    Hello All, I have been on here a number of times when I have had anxiety issues. I have had my current episode since December/January. At last I seem to be having more good times than bad. Whilst I know from all that is spoken about on here that we shouldn’t question anything….. it’s all anxiety. But, what I would like to know is this – having started to feel like I am actually recovering step by step, today I have the worst feelings about recovery. Can you have ‘withdrawal’ symptoms as such when feeling less anxious? I have pretty much taken the whole experience as ‘cold turkey’ with the occasional Diazapam if feeling too rough. Lately I seem to be taking more Diazapam as the feelings diminish to less active. By that – I only mean one a day and then sometimes not even that. I find in my normal times that I don’t want the day to end – and will delay the going to bed process to savour the normality for just that little bit longer. I know the fact that I am having more better times is the road to recovery so am not complaining. I have warned my partner that the road could still be rocky even when recovery starts to be more rather than less. I was just wondering if there was anyone else on the blog who might be experiencing that same thing? or similar? thank you.

    I think we might be at the same stage (if there is ever a same stage as each other)!

  412. ShirlD Says:

    Char and Sara. I have read your posts to each other with great interest. Lovely to see so many people still supporting each other on here.

  413. Sue Says:

    Hi Joy,

    Thanks for all you have said you have made me feel better already knowing that my good days indicate I am on the road to recovery. I seem to be accepting the thoughts more and they are not cropping up as often. I did what you said and told them to shut up was not interested and it did seem to distract them some what. I still find when I am tired they start to creep in a bit more repetitive but I just ignore them now.

  414. Chris Says:

    Thanks Belgian. Words of wisdom. I will be staying offline, perhaps this is the final thread to be broken before recovery. Completely allowing 100% today, it feels so right.

  415. Dani Says:

    Hi Joy
    Thank you for your reply, it really helps knowing that someone else has had these strange thoughts and that you recovered and the thoughts no longer bother you. You’ve given me hope thank you xxx

  416. Natalie Says:

    Any help of you guys. I struggle the most with dp, every day 24h I’m living in a dream. I have been feeling really awful lately. Can’t focus on anything. But I decided to go on with my day despite everything. The biggest concern of dp for me is always that I’m so dizzy, so unreal that i can’t follow what people say to me, so how I can go to work, how I can manage with anything if I’m so lost. Today despite everything I’ve decided to go to work. It was so awful, I couldn’t concentrate, I had problem with understanding what people say to me. I left the company crying. How I can believe that this way I’m improving ????? How I can not be afraid of showing up there tomorrow if I can’t follow normal conversation. How I will be able to pass an exam next month if I can’t understand what sb says to me ? I feel like I’m the stupidest person in whole universe. I’m so extremely exhausted. I don’t know how I can help myself anymore.

    My point is should I continue what I’m doing ? Should I go to work tomorrow again even though today I thought I will explode and I don’t remember half of what people were talking to me ??? Should I continue ??? Or I should give myself a break ?

    I mean I know I should do,, I should go on with my life, I know that’s the only way to make progress but if I know my brain is totally exhausted I can’t follow anything what happens around me should I go to work which means for tomorrow 1O hours in extensive stress ? How should we behave in a situation like that? I’m sorry if I annoys anybody, but it’s always my main problem DP and how to go on with life if you don’t want to embarrass yourself.

  417. Beth Says:

    Not sure why there are no responses to my posts…am I asking the “wrong” type of questions? But thanks to everyone who posts here, it truly is a real comfort when dealing with all this. ?

  418. Rik Says:


    Something that has helped me a lot today is to just allow all the weirdness and bizarre thoughts without indulging them at all. I have had a much better day. I can tell that if I keep it up and get back to my life and allow the DP/DR and strange thoughts to just do their thing in time I will lose interest in them and come back to myself again. I am tired of allowing this all to rule my life. I want my life back and I will get it back by accepting and carrying on regardless.

  419. Gordon Says:

    Hi All
    Can anxiety mimic OCD symptoms ?
    I get the fact that we get obsessive thoughts where you can get an unwanted thought then worry about it, which is an OCD symptom, but is it normal for someone with anxiety to also carry out some compulsions/rituals to give temporal relief?

  420. Sara A Says:

    Hey guys. I think I’ve got it now 100%. My anxiety was triggered by my ex calling and I worried for weeks if he was going to find me etc and because it was an abusive relationship I went round and round in circles. Now I’m left with random thoughts and images of my past, answering myself back and a lot of other weird nonsense sentences. Is it right for me to believe that if all these random stuff comes thick and fast and I allow it that eventually I will also forget the presence of him on my mind. It’s as tho these weird and strange thoughts came to protect me from thinking of him but yet they are now a constant reminder of him? Is this me accepting? I’ve had a ok day today and was pretty much distracted although aware. But it’s not the fear of my ex now it’s the constant rubbish my mind is throwin at me that makes me remember how this started. Hope you are all ok. Hugs

  421. Luke Says:


    Keep it up! I agree with you and i can just add that anytime i had a good day was only when i was able to let the thoughts play out and not get involved and just carrying on, talking to people, exercising etc. I just need to get better at that.
    Anyways, great to hear you progress!

  422. Char Says:

    Hi Beth

    It’s sometimes hard to get a response as posts get lost among the numbers but no one means anything ! Your feeling of dread is classic anxiety – I personally am not scared of the mechanics of a panic attack as I know and understand that is what it is. The fear with anxiety is often more complex and is a fear of the unknown or something that might happen. It’s just anxiety and too much adrenalin – the adrenalin means you are on the look out for something but as there isn’t anything. To fear you are left with the sense of unease.
    Hope u ok

  423. Sara A Says:

    Char is my last post right? I wake in the mornings and he’s on my mind and then I get depressed and it’s constantly him that my mind recalls and then feeds in all this nonsense stuff of weird thoughts and stuff. Xxx

  424. Char Says:

    Hi Sara, yes you have got anxiety sorted ! I can understand how a call would be a trigger – that is totally normal – and feeling anxious or upset about the situation is also totally normal. Remember you can’t stop
    Thoughts or memories Sara – but you can control how you react to them.

    You trigger how now just resulted in your anxious mind trying to protect you how it knows best – my triggering the flight or fight response and in your case it is the thousands guys and mind chatter etc.

    You can see all this Sara and are doing fab.


  425. Sara A Says:

    Hey Thankyou char. It didn’t seem so hard when I had this last time. Never expected to be back in it. Tougher because I have a fear of ex although I know he’s probs moved on. My mind just won’t allow to accept it. I want to be happy and positive but when I am having a laugh an play with my daughter or just getting on the stupid silly chatter/images/association all comes hard at me. I don’t feel that I’m trying to get better just wanting to enjoy my day because deep down thats what I want. I have so much to look forward to in life I know that but why when I have a laugh it’s like no have this thought u aren’t entitled to laugh and oooo annoying to say the least. You’ve been such a great help. Xx

  426. Char Says:

    Sorry about all the spelling mistakes – stupid autocorrect! Remember the time you least want to feel anxious is probably times like playing with your daughter. You are subconsciously making yourself anxious by thinking this and then when you get an intrusive thought or mind chatter – you almost say I knew this would happen and then you are just in the loop of anxiety.

    When I was bad a few years ago , it was always so bad when I was with my kids – probably because as I said that’s exactly the time we think we should be enjoying . All that is happening is anxiety is trying to protect us in those situations we place emphasis on. It’s iust because we have gotten ourselves scared of anxiety that we are in this loop. Just carry on and try to just watch the thoughts or mind chatter. You don’t have to like it – I don’t – just try to carry on with your day.

  427. Dani Says:

    Hi Rik,
    I find it hard not to indulge in my thoughts, like literally impossible for me to do. I feel really upset today, I’m sick of having the feeling that I don’t exist, what a stupid feeling to have but it’s ruining my life and really gets to me. Do you ever get the feeling you don’t exist or is yours more that life isn’t real? (I get that too, lucky me) xx

  428. Sara A Says:

    Char you are such a lovely lady. Thankyou so much.

    To everyone, patience, faith, belief, strength, hope, trust.

  429. Natasha Says:

    Hi Dani, I have that fear that I dont exist also, sometimes I think I’ve passed away and living in the spirit world but everyone else is alive, its crazy to explain. Or sometimes I think I have went mad and everyone I know is just in my head, totally crazy what the mind comes up with!

  430. Dani Says:

    Hi Natasha, It’s a relief to read someone else has these thoughts too (although obviously I don’t want you to have to suffer it), and yes it really is hard to explain it, like when I told someone I feel like I don’t exist/dead and they replied “well obviously you exist because you’re talking to me” and I tried to explain that doesn’t help because my spirit could be imagining you say that!
    It doesn’t help that I watched the film the sixth sense when I was younger (if you’ve seen it you’ll know what I mean and if you haven’t seen it then I recommend never watching it!)
    I also had the thoughts of maybe I’m mad and my mind is just making all this up, but it I’m most scared of the being dead thought so that’s the one that seems to persist.
    Have you had or do you have DP/DR?

  431. Tasnim Says:

    Joy (or anyone who can help),
    I’m not sure how often you come on here, but I know from previous posts you struggled with intrusive thoughts of going crazy. I feel like my thoughts are coming back full circle to it. I’m constantly analyzing my thoughts, and I’m so stuck in my head. It’s funny for a while I thought I was recovered… I’m back to questioning every thought. I get worried and start to reflect, looking for signs and symptoms of psychosis. Ugh, it’s so annoying, I thought I got over it. I feel that if I never learned about it, or if I could forget all info relating to it. It just doesn’t seem like I can get past this.

  432. Rik Says:


    Ive had all those same thoughts and fears. To be honest I think that if anyone has ever had dp or dr then they would have had thoughts along these lines too. As with all anxiety symptoms though it is not that thought that is the problem. It is the reaction you give it.

    I spoke to a friend yesterday and he said he had been thinking loads of weird stuff the night before but then he just thought ‘i dont care and am going to just live my life and enjoy it’. I took this on board and did the same. I enjoyed my day yesterday and we went out on our motorbikes and had a great time. I still felt unreal at times and had weird thoughts but i just thought ‘i dont care’ and for some periods i forgot all about it and enjoyed myself.

    This last 3 days since i began to really apply the ‘i dont care’ attitude i have felt much better and have had flashes of freedom. I am done letting this ruin my life. I only get one life and i want to live it with freedom and a clear mind.

    Anxiety and dp/dr will still be there for the time being but as Paul says unless you stop focusing on it and your symptoms how can they ever leave? It is a cycle. Break a few links and freedom will come.

  433. Rik Says:


    You can move past this if you can simply take your focus away from the thoughts and back to the world around you. It is hard I know. I need to do the same and so does Dani. I reread Claire Weekes words on dp and she states that it is brought about by too much introspection. I would fully agree with this. When i stopped being so internal this last few days i have felt more in contact with the world. It is all habits that we have built through fear. We are constantly analysing in a fearful way looking for that which we fear the most. If we can break this habit and cultivate new healthier habits and focus back on our external environment istead of our thoughts and sensations then we can overcome this. Acceptance does this for us as we no longer care what is happening in our thoughts etc.

  434. Sara A Says:

    Hiya guys. I’m so angry today and over this anxiety. I sit with all the thoughts and they r coming thick and really fast now and constant adrenaline in my chest. I’m getting up and doing normal day to day stuff. Does anyone else experience the pent up adrenaline feeling constantly? I’ve completely stopped eating sugar and drinking caffeine too as I spiral. Think anxiety is doing everything to hold me in right now. I start my course tomorro and I want to be excited so I’m annoyed ?

  435. Natalia Says:

    Thank you Rich for your reply. I have one question more which is running in my head constantly and I have no clue how to deal with it. If I’m waking up every day totally detached, dizzy and feeling like in a dream, obviously I have something important to do so I worry all the way until I get to the place, I’m extremely detached, have problem with recognizing places When on my way then when I finally do what I have to do I entirely lose control over it, my energy is releasing. But when I’m in a situation like that and I don’t understand what sb talkes to me, I can’t follow conversation-what can I do I mean I feel ashamed, I want to cry I’m getting panic attack, I want to run away , I don’t but it’s not passing and I’m getting worse and worse. What do I do? Sb talkes to me and I realize that the words are just not sinking in, also I can’t say anything, I’m making mistakes while talking. What do I do in a situation like this one ? I’m lost as for how should I react, I don’t want to sb think I lost my mind, what can I do what should I say ‘sorry I don’t follow ???!’ Please if sb could help me to make it more clear, I stuck here and can’t get out of it

  436. Char Says:

    Hi Sara

    It’s just the ups and downs of anxiety. I’m
    Having a rubbish day again and lost my sensible head. Feeling panicky and am with my kids and like you I guess I put myself under pressure not to have anxiety when with then….

    We will get there my carrying on as we can.

    I also started a new job a few weeks ago, I suspect natural anxiety is also Witt both is us – but as we are in our anxiety loops we misinterpret it.


  437. Natasha Says:

    Dani, yes I have DR/DP and intrusive thoughts. Like tasnim one of my main fear is going mad so I analyse and watch everything for signs. My main problem is checking to see whether I still have strange thoughts/feelings. I feel that cause I keep checking they will never go away but I cant stop checking, really frustrating :*

  438. Sara A Says:

    Hiya Char

    It’s so tricky isn’t it. I’m getting the 5mins when I’m let’s say normal and then I’m reminded by anxiety and nearly panic. Yeh I agree it is normal for anybody to genuinely feel apprehensive when in any new environment just can’t rationalise with my anxiety head.
    Do you have support at home? People that understand?

  439. Char Says:


    I have some good friends all of whom have had anxiety and we met here actually and they are a great support to me – I talk to them and text etc. how about you ??

    I also can’t rationalise the it’s normal to feel anxiety …!!! I am scared of it but I can see that my fear keeps me in the loop…

    I have found the weekends harder than the working week recently …..

  440. Sara A Says:


    That’s great you have support through meeting people on here. I have my family and although they don’t 100% get it they can see its hard. My anxiety keeps searching for something to make me latch on. Like this course tomorrow which is four days long. It’s trying to make me think it over and all worst case scenarios. Literally stuck on this loop. I keep wanting to cave and give up as it feels never ending. But know this isn’t what will help long term. Anxious about life and future and past. Just got to try focus on now I guess. So much change going on doesn’t help.

    How old are you Hun? If you see my email address you can email me.

  441. Bryan Says:


    “OCD” is just another form of anxiety. It expresses differently but is the exact same thing. Claire Weekes covers obsessive issues very well.

  442. Albert Says:

    I know this is a subject covered before and I also know its the route to freedom of anxiety,but can anyone explain in a way that resonates on how to accept anxiety ?

    As ive mentioned before I’m making progress however I cant fully get my head around acceptance, I know its not a “method” but an attitude.

    For instance I still suffer from panic mainly when driving on “trapped” roads and when a panic starts to build I say to it “I accept these horrible feelings,come on do your worst” however at the back of my mind I’m thinking ” I accept these feelings but come on please go away” which isn’t really accepting , its wanting to accept but ultimately I want it to go away .

    Hope I’m making sense ? but I feel if I could sort this out , I would basically be sorted

  443. Char Says:

    Hi Sara

    Yep I’m the same?. I’m mid forties has my kids late in life. I can’t see your email is it in a previous post ?

    Have you tried mindfullnes? Must admit I don’t get it but I’m trying an online course – only problem is my only free time is in the evening so I fall asleep doing it!

    Are you away for your course ?


  444. Rik Says:


    It is about not accepting through gritted teeth. Accepting that as awful as it feels it will do you no harm. Truly allowing it to just do its worst and not watching for it to end. It takes time to cultivate this attitude. It doesnt happen right away. Just as you learnt to fear all these things you must unlearn that habit and replace it with one of not caring anymore about your symptoms.

    Another way to think of it is that as long as your are fearfully watching for something you are keeping your mind tensed. Only by no longer fearing these things will your mind relax and your focus go elsewhere.

    Think of it like a fridge light. If you keep looking in the fridge the light is always on. If you leave the door shut and have faith that the light stays off then the light will in fact stay off.

    Have faith that if you accept with a non tensed mind these things will begin to fade and recovery will find you.

    Ive spent the last 3 days truly accepting. My DP has not been as bad and i have felt far better. If I can keep it up then i have faith that my thoughts will stop being so obsessive and life will captivate me once more meaning dp/dr will also fade as it is no longer needed to protect me.

  445. Dani Says:

    Hi Rik,
    do you mean you have the thought/feeling of not existing sometimes?
    I’m glad you’ve been experiencing some freedom from it, the problem I have is that I really am bothered by the thoughts and feelings and just don’t know how to stop being bothered and have the “I don’t care” attitude. Do you get lots of thoughts of life being strange and think it’s all so bizarre and clever how can it be real?
    Hi Natasha, I also have that same problem, the constant checking in. I analyse my thoughts and actions a lot. I also don’t know how we can get better when we keep checking in all the time.

  446. Gordon Says:

    Thanks Bryan
    I get anxiety/panic and all the normal symptoms but I also find myself doing certain ‘compulsions’ to help make it all ‘alright’. Does this make me have OCD also or is it a normal anxiety reaction? It kind of more like superstitions, you know like ‘touch wood’ for good luck!

  447. Rik Says:


    Yes I do. In spades. Every day. Thoughts of unreality, feelings of the same, bizarre thoughts, fears and more. But do you know what. We have two choices. Continue down this pointless path of trying to figure it all out and keeping our anxiety and therefore symptoms (spaced out, feeling unreal, fear of everything etc etc) high constantly or we can say ok I am done with this. From now on I am not going to take these fears seriously and will assign them all to anxiety where they belong.

    I have only been doing it for a few days and have had the best few days in ages. Because I no longer fear these wacky thoughts and can see that they have in fact been coming about as a result of my own obsessing and anxiety/stress.

    What I have learnt is that in actual fact it is the way I have been feeling that has fuelled and created these thoughts. Had I not been so anxious before hand and trying to figure out why I felt the way I did I would not have begun to feel unreal and begun to get trapped in my own mind. I believe this is what DP/DR is. It is both an effect of high anxiety designed to protect us from fear and also an effect of constant introspection and analysis.

    We get the unreality first caused by the extreme anxiety or constant inward thinking and then the thoughts about unreality etc etc come from there and we obsess constantly over it all analysing everything and ourselves and questioning everything even our very existence. Had we never felt unreal we would have had no reason to take these thoughts seriously.

    If you cannot have the attitude of dont care towards the thoughts then instead have a dont care attitude toward the fear/symptoms that they generate. Allow yourself to realise that this is all being powered by anxiety and fear. You feel unreal because of both anxiety and constant inward thinking. Things feel unreal because your mind is trying to protect you from the fear and also because you are so in your own head that you are not able to focus on the real world around you.

    I promise you that if you can take that leap of faith to truly believe that this is all a result of anxiety freedom is just around the corner. It may not be a straight line and you will have to accept the feelings of being spaced out, drunk, disconnected etc but I can see now where I have been going wrong. I was not accepting. I was afraid. Truly afraid. I was creating my own symptoms and have been for months. The stress I experienced in the first place was not my fault and it kick started all of this but now it is up to me to make the changes in my attitude and approach and take my life back.

    We are doing this to ourselves out of fear. We fear letting go of these obsessions. We fear the feelings of unreality and we fear the perceived meaning behind this. The real truth is that this is all an effect of stress. An effect of persistently high levels of stress and fear. Nothing more. The thoughts that are bothering you now can be let go of. You dont need to keep looking for them and fearing them. Let them come and just get bored of them. They dont mean anything other than the fact you are tired, stressed and afraid.

  448. Rik Says:


    OCD and anxiety based intrusive thoughts are one and the same. I believe as Bryan says that OCD is the term used to define a specific issue where you carry out compulsions to ease the anxiety that the thoughts cause. In actual fact every anxiety suffered is obsessive. Whether it be obsessed with health, physical symptoms, thoughts, fears or whatever it may be. I know I for one would have been classified as pure OCD sufferer by a psychiatrist because I do not do physical compulsions but I do a lot of mental ones such as neutralising thoughts etc. You have no reason to fear OCD. It is just a term for obsessive thoughts that a person then feels the need to neutralise with some kind of compulsion that eases the anxiety they feel. Accept the thoughts presence without doing a compulsion and you break the chain. Break the chain and the thoughts lose importance. When they lose importance they come less and less as you no longer look for them. I have experienced this first hand when I overcame harm OCD and can see it again now with my DP/DR and my obsession with reality.

    The same applies to anxiety in general. Break the cycle of fear and over time the symptoms lose importance. Once they lose importance your mind calms and your body does also and they come less and less.

    It is all a nasty cycle we get stuck in due to fear and wanting to find answers to things that do not necessarily have an answer. We want certainty that we are not crazy or that things are real or that we are not going to have a heart attack etc etc. We can never have 100% certainty on anything in life and that is what anxiety operates on. We have to live with uncertainty and the anxiety that that generates in order to break the cycle of fear etc.

    This is why tablets can never cure you. You must break the cycle yourself in your thinking and live your life.

  449. Joy Says:

    Hey everybody! I tried to write a little post about the things that led to my recovery. I really hope it helps some of you!

    When I suffered from anxiety, intrusive and scary thoughts were my main problem.
    I also had really bad dp but actually the thoughts were what scared me the most.
    “Why do I feel so unreal?” “Do I actually exist?” ” Am I going crazy?” ” What happens after life?”..these thoughts were with me 24/7 and sometimes there wasn’t any minute without them. It was like hell and there were days where all I wanted to do was hiding and feeling depressed.

    Today I am fully recovered and I can tell all of you that anxiety is just NOT real! These feelings only scare you that much because your nerves are tired from all the worrying. When you worry all the time your body feels like there must be something really dangerous going on and so your body tries to protect you by becoming super sensitive. Anxiety is totally harmless. It is a natural feeling we need to survive during danger.

    1. Don’t put anxiety into little pieces!
    See anxiety as one big harmless feeling.It does not matter if you suffer from dp, panic attacks or scary thoughts. It is ALL anxiety and you should NOT analyse every little symptom. Once you recover from anxiety all those symptoms will fade, promise! :)

    2. Take your time!
    Don’t be frustrated if you feel like you can’t accept anxiety. Recovery is a long process.It won’t happen in a day, nor in a week. It takes time to recover, but it also takes time to heal a broken leg as Paul always says :) Believe me, you WILL recover! So don’t be angry or sad if you can’t feel any process at this point.

    3.Anxiety is harmless and you will NOT go crazy 😀
    Anxiety is a totally harmless and natural feeling. Your body became super sensitive from all the worrying and all it does is trying to protect you from all the danger that actually isn’t there, lol. Many people fear that they will go crazy, but the fact that you worry about going crazy actually shows that you won’t! Anxiety is nothing more than a feeling so don’t be scared of it :) It will pass once your body gets the rest it needs.

    4. Tell your thoughts to “shut up” or laugh them off.
    This is something that helped me a lot. Don’t try to fight your thoughts or anything, just tell them to “shut up” and then go on with whatever your doing :) Just don’t give them the attention they want! Treat them like one of those wannabe-Superstars that fight for attention but never get it, haha 😀

    5. Live your life NOW.
    You don’t have to wait until you’re recovered, you can have a life right now!
    I know how hard it can be to leave your comfort zone, but just do it! If anxiety gets way too bad you can always go home again, there is always a way out, but just try it. Try to concentrate on the positive things, because there are so many amazing things in life! Find passion, have fun, meet friends, love, your life now, even if you feel like crap :)


  450. Sara A Says:

    Joy and Rik. Your posts are great! Very inspiring and eye opening. X

    Char, I haven’t tried mindfulness yet. But I will look into it :)
    I am away for my course. But it’s not too far from home and a family member has come too for my piece of mind. I’m mid 20s.
    I will keep u posted on how I get on on this course. It’s only 4 days long but intense. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages and maybe the bravest I’ll ever have to be to get through it. This blog and talking with others is comforting. Have u any tips on diet? Hope your day goes well tomorrow Hun. Step by step hey :)
    Is it ok to post email address on here?

  451. Char Says:

    Ah thanks !

    All the best for the coming week. It sounds very exciting !

    Very brave of you Sara – i sure it will be fine – and u will enjoy it.

    Keep in touch


  452. honey Says:

    Thank-you joy it’s always inspiring to hear from those who have come out the other side. May I ask how long you have been recovered for. I fear it’ll happen and then il have another setback that will set me back. Do you still feel anxiety on a more heightened level that say the average non anxiety sufferer or would you say you feel back to normal before you were anxious? Thank-you

  453. Natalia Says:

    Hi, it’s so amazing to read all these recovery stories ! It gives so much hope. I can’t just figure out even after reading both Paul books, blog and this forum how to behave in situations when detchachement is so thick, you are so stressed that you forgot words and you don’t understand what people talk to you. How do you react in this kind of situation ? Should I give myself a break, or should I let it be ? But I’ve tried and it doesn’t go away so I feel like stupid and it just makes everything worse and worse. My dp is always very strong, I have just moments when I feel better. I don’t understand how I can do smth more stressful like going to the exam? Even when I have private class I’m so stressed I feel dumb. What do you do when you obviously don’t want to feel like an idiot who doesn’t understand what people talk you ???? I’m not looking for a technique, I just want to know what is the best to do about it ? Still let it be even though I can’t follow at all or “take a break” and let yourself calm down? Last time I just let it be and it rised and rised, was getting worse and worse and when the class finished I left and started crying. Now because of this I’m afraid of going there back. And now I know I’m making everything worse, cuz I don’t want to face a situation like this. What do you do ???

  454. Joy Says:


    i’m glad my post helped you :) I think recovery took like one and a half year for me. (If I start counting on the day where I found this blog and Paul’s book) :)
    This may sound like a really long time, but at one point I could truly watch myself recover.
    I got better and better until I did not even think about recovery or anxiety anymore. There were still moments when my dp came back or where I felt panic in crowds or when I was on stage, so I knew I wasn’t fully recovered yet. But after a few months anxiety just did not bother me anymore. It was still there, but I knew that it wasn’t real as I had so many good times. Once you truly realize what anxiety is and that there is no reason to be scared, this is the point where it won’t matter how long full recovery takes.
    At that point you just know and believe that you WILL recover and you just don’t care anymore about how much time it takes.

    Today I am totally back to normal, but actually it’s a much better feeling. I feel like I can cope with everything now as i’ve been to hell already, lol. This year i’m going to fly to the USA for the first time on my own and I am so excited! I’m a bit scared of the flight maybe, but that’s just me and it won’t stop me from traveling.
    It’s like nothing can stop me anymore and I just don’t fear anxiety coming back as I know it would not scare me anymore.
    I could feel dp right now for the whole day and well I would not enjoy it but I also would not care about it. It’s a harmless feeling and there’s no reason to be scared about it :) So be patient, I know you will recover and just don’t worry about how long it might take. It does not matter :) Once you’re anxiety does not scare you anymore, that is when you know recovery is not far away.


    PS: I’m very sorry for grammar mistakes :p English is not my native language.

  455. Joy Says:


    try to not avoid situations. You can always leave any situation, there is always a way out, but avoiding situation is not the solution :) If people blame you for leaving the situations or for crying then they are just idiots, remember that! 😀 So if you leave the situation that’s okay, but try to join them.

    When I suffered from anxiety my dp was also one of my main problems. You need to understand that it is a totally harmless feeling. It won’t hurt you! You don’t have to try so hard to ‘let it be’ as this often ends in fighting again, but just ignore it. Just don’t give it the attention it wants.
    Try to concentrate on what your teacher tells or on the conversation you’re having instead of dp.It just does not need any of your attention :)


  456. Natalia Says:

    Joy, thank you so much for your reply. It gives me so much hope when sb who has already recovered can give me an advise. I’m very very thankful. I think this is why I don’t improve because I’m scared of it. Even though I do a lot, I live in China far away from home, I work, but I am scared , if I do smth then I go home quickly to avoid situations. What I need is support from people like you to move on with my life and stopped caring about dp and those thoughts just let them all be. It’s so amazing what people together do here on this forum, obviously Paul with his books but only him.. All of you who support each other ! This is the only forum ,only website I visit and it gives me new energy to go on with my life. But the most important is that I know I’m not alone in this and that everybody has a chance to overcome it. Thank you Joy once again. And good luck with your trip, for sure will be wonderful :))

  457. Bryan Says:


    Did you read Claire Weekes’ chapters on obsessive thoughts and behaviors?
    I really highly recommend it. She deconstructs the entire myth that it means something special and explains that it can be approached (essentially) like any expression of anxiety. (Panic, DP, worry, physical symptoms etc)

    I really recommend starting there. It’s well worth the few minutes of reading or listening…

  458. Steve b Says:

    Joy. Interesting that you say anxiety doesn’t scare you anymore and that is a major part of your recovery. I think that is where I am falling down because it still scares me. Not the symptoms but the thought it might come back. I have had 4 episodes which doesn’t help. How do you become unaffraid of what is so awful?..

  459. Alz Says:

    Hello hello.
    Good to read everyone’s posts: Char, Rik , Dani etc
    I thought I should take some time off from the blog and it has sort of helped. My only question is this :since I suffer from dp/dr , ocd and anxiety, I mentioned how I get scary images in my head and then I imagine ‘ what if I see them in reality’ . The thing is that my idea of reality is so warped with dp/dr anyway that it scares me that I might just start seeing them . Can’t explain but that is how warped my thinking has become . Would anyone like to take a go at this ? Other than that I have the usual fear of being alone ,fear of driving too far alone ,fear of starting work etc etc …

  460. Rik Says:


    I have had this also and also get DP/DR. It has lessened a lot because I started to simply not care. It is a product of a scared mind and nothing more. You are scared of it so your mind keeps presenting it to check if you are still scared of it. You are also probably looking yourself for those thoughts and of course you will find thoughts and images etc if you are actively looking for them. The best thing you can do is work on acceptance that these things are nothing more than anxiety and tiredness. A tired mind is very suggestible. I would really recommend listening to that claire weekes audio again that I sent to you. When I am having a bad moment I sometimes put it on to remind myself to just accept it and float past it.

    This is all just obsession in a tired mind. Nothing more.

  461. Char Says:

    Steve b – I am very similar to you . I don’t have the answer – yet – lol ! But have u read a letter to musket nothing works ? I think you have to search quite hard to find it as it is in some archive . It was written by a bloke called Chris – I think it might help you as it deals with this fear of fear very well.


  462. Char Says:

    Meant it’s called a letter to myself …..

  463. Chris Says:

    Hi everyone. I apologize in advance, I managed to get to a place where I thought there was no going back, and I managed to start offering advice on this blog instead of asking fear fueled questions, ot complaining about how I felt. This is one time where I really feel like I need some support, because I’m not coping well. Unfortunately the attitude that was serving me well has vanished.

    Anyways, It’s in relation to my post above (the girl situation) and my imagination is literally running wild with this one telling me horrible things – the thoughts are brutal and I won’t go into detail, and it’s really eating away at me. I’m doing my best, but my emotions are so harsh right now and this really doesn’t feel healthy, the depression is literally devastating and my mind just doesn’t want to shut off from the past. I’ve tried being like – yeah whatever, but it’s just too intense.

    Sorry this is so dramatic. I really was on the right track and then this irrelevant stuff from the past decides to rear it’s ugly head and torment me – it’s blown wayyy out of proportion and feels so real. I just feel like a horribe human being, and I haven’t really experienced this aspect of anxiety before, because I knew before this came up that I was a good person. Then I read something on Facebook and it started a snowball effect.

    Any advice? Heck I’m even open to reassurance, because for once I really need it. I actually forgot how awful this feels, it definitely feels like intense depression more than anxiety at the minute.

  464. Rik Says:


    You know what you need to do. You have done this before. Remember how terrified you were with your last fear? This is no different. It is an intrusive thought that has got under your skin because of your reaction to it. Nothing more. Your reaction to this proves you are a good person. You know that. Anxiety will throw as many doubts as it can at you. It is up to you to do what you did last time and let these things pop up without indulging. If you habituate to it and it no longer produces a reaction it does not mean it is any more true so dont fall for that trick either. That is called a back door spike in ocd terms where you then fear that because something no longer bothers you that you believe it and then the cycle starts again. Just dont get into these debates with your mind any more. Let it go unanswered.

    What usually happens in my experience with intrusive thoughts is that once you have dealt with one thing, if you are still in a sensitised state your mind will try to find something else that bothers you. As far as your mind is concerned you are stressed and scared and it needs to find out why. That is its purpose. It has found a thought that distresses you and is now presenting it over and over to try to find a resolution for it. If you do resolve it and are still sensitised guess what will then happen. It will try to find something else.

    Your job if you want recovery is to allow ANY thought and let it go just as Paul says. It is just a thought. You did not ask for it to come up and you cannot control how often or when it may come up. What you can change is your reaction to thoughts and your relationship with them.

    You can do this Chris. You have proven this already. Be consistent in your approach and expect new fears to come up at any time. You can move past this. Over time your body will calm and so will your mind and normal non fear based thinking will return as will your zest for life and involvement in it.

  465. honey Says:

    Joy- Thankyou for replying to my post. I feel like recovery is just not for me. You see I have been following this method for about four years and i’m getting worse not better. I’m struggling with acceptance I know. You see I still fear anxiety’s capeabilities. I know i’m not dying, I know I’m not going mad, I know it wont always be here every minute of every day, but I FEAR it all the time because it makes me FEEL horrible and I just dislike it immensely. I can’t get over that. It has the ability to stop me in my tracks and ruin my day. I can’t get my head around that. This is why I fear I will never recover because I fear the one thing that even acceptance cannot cure. I cannot accept it. I also don’t believe I will recover and this is why I feel I’m not recovering. Any advice regarding how to really accept it? And how to truly believe it?

    When I feel well and good, anxiety doesn’t concern me at all and I am over it, but when it’s bad it consumes me. I fear that recovery will just feel like a good day and that if it comes back it will destroy everything. I fear it returning before it’s even gone! Then I question that this must be more than psychological.


  466. Steve b Says:

    Thanks Char. Yes. I have read that before. It’s great. I struggle with his ideas that you will be ok in a few days though. I have been accepting for 18 months now lol
    The fear of fear is my major problem as well honey. As mentioned above. I hate the feeling so much and was so ill it would take mother Theresa not to worry about it coming back. Paul has obviously lost his fear despite suffering for 10 years. I can’t help feeling he is stronger than me.

  467. Dani Says:

    Hello, thank you Rik for your reply and thank you joy for your recovery tips. I’m having a real down couple of days, I can’t stop crying, I just can’t take any more of feeling this way and I’m losing a hope of recovery. I just don’t think I can accept or develop the not caring attitude because I hate the way I feel so much, I even hate myself for feeling this way. I feel like my mind has completely turned against me and torments me every second of the day with stupid questions over life and existence. I can’t even pick up a hairbrush without my mind analysing it and telling me how strange life is. It’s been 10 months of this now and I don’t think I’m going to get better, I feel like my life is over. I looked at my old Facebook posts from a few years ago when I was happy and it just feels like a different girl. I just want to believe in life again and feel normal. This is such a cruel thing to go through. I’m sorry for such a negative post x

  468. Rik Says:


    Recovery has to start somewhere. For me it was only a few days ago when I decided ‘ok enough is enough. I want my life back.’

    I have committed myself to just accepting whatever comes up and however I feel. If things seem unreal then so be it. If I struggle to feel people around me as real so be it. If I have weird thoughts so be it. I no longer care. I am done with it all.

    I have a choice. Continue to allow it to kick me up and down or say that’s it I am done with it all. It is an obsession and nothing more.

    It doesn’t mean it stops right away but I have felt so much better this last few days because I am engaging with life again and allowing these thoughts and feelings to no longer have the same power over me. They are still there a lot but I don’t care any more. I lived perfectly fine beforehand so I will get back to that point again.

    As I said recovery has to start somewhere. Why not today? Why not take today to just say ‘ok, until I go to bed I am going to just let these thoughts come and practice accepting their presence’. Not the content but their presence. You dont have to believe them. You dont have to even indulge them at all. Let them pop up and then let them fade away. You may need to do this a thousand times in a day but surely your recovery is worth that?

    I am going fishing with a friend this evening. Am I anxious. You bet. Do I care that I am anxious? Not really no. I would be anxious regardless so I am just going to go and enjoy it as best I can with whatever thoughts that want to come along. I have had freedom from anxiety before and I know that the only way to reach recovery is to accept until your mind and body calm down and your thoughts become external again.

  469. Bryan Says:

    Hi Steve,

    I’m a big an of Chris’ Nothing Works as well and I never got the notion he taught that people would be ok in a few days. Good thing since my progress has taken years. Lol. Maybe read it again if you have time. It’s such a brilliant piece. Really helps take the mystery out of it all.

  470. Albert Says:

    your message to Dani,awesome mate, so inspiring ,
    it relates with me on so may levels
    your a good man

  471. Jamie Says:


    I was wondering if anyone, like me, is still affected by their ex and wanted to share their thoughts ? My marriage ended 2 and a half years ago and one of the reasons my ex said it was finished was because of my anxiety. Since then, it has come apparent that she had met someone else while we were still together and this was just an excuse. However, to say that to someone who is anxious anyway just sent the anxiety through the roof.

    Two and a half years on, most text messages I get from her put me on edge and make me really anxious. She only texts when she wants something or wants to rant and ignores most other messages from me. Any texts that are about money, arrangements for my daughter, parenting or any form of disagreement / confrontation really affects me and brings on a lot of anxiety. It can then affect me for days as I will stew on it.

    I hate myself that I still react like this after all this time and then worry over whether I should ignore the text, argue back, what I should I say in response, what her response to that will be……etc etc. I will get other people say to me that I should not let her get away with it which fuels the anxiety still further.

    I appreciate me adding to the anxiety by worrying I am anxious fuels the fire but I really dislike myself that she has this hold over me after all this time. I wondered if anyone else has experienced / experiences this ?

    Thanks for reading.

  472. Char Says:

    Steve and honey

    I totally understand your fear of anxiety . There is a section in the letter to myself that really helped me- it’s about 2/3 of the way through. It talks about Chris driving one day . He talks about anxiety is fear – and yes it feels horrible. Anxiety and or fear do feel horrible – they are meant to as the feelings are destined to protect you as we know. So In my opinion you try to stop fearing fear or hating the anxiety symptoms as they are horrible.

    However you do have a choice to accept that the horribleness is caused by anxiety which is your flight or fight response. This is acceptance in my opinion and recovery follows this. In my opinion no-one can accept feeling sick or that they are going mad or horrid thoughts because it is a horrible feeling BUT you can accept it is all just caused by the flight fight response – if you accept this then you are accepting anxiety.
    Today I have been anxiety free all day . Well no , a couple of emails wound me up but that’s normal. I have very very slowly started to accept I have anxiety – and that the symptoms are horrid but they are just anxiety. Yes I care when it happens , I care very much and I don’t like it at all – but as soon as I feel anxiety I can accept it is anxiety and so I don’t fear anxiety as such. I fear the symptoms and probably always will but I can accept it is anxiety and to me that’s recovery.

    Sorry if that is a ramble but I can’t quite explain what has made the difference to me but it is that section from the letter to myself aswell as the general understanding .


  473. honey Says:

    Thank-you Char that makes total sense. Accept that it’s just anxiety and that it’s there and may well be for a while. I think in still fighting it and shuddering when it appears rather than saying its OK its just anxiety. Instead I fear it and recoil adding second fear. Second fear produces the thoughts that go with it all such as this is never going to go away etc

  474. Char Says:

    Honey – absolutely – I never really understood the second fear as talked about by Claire w – but it is now slowly sinking in. So we can both and others work on thinking of acceptance as accepting we have anxiety – but we still reserve the right to say we really hate the symptoms !! Well I do anyway – apart from maybe me losing my appetite as it helps me lose weight !

    Remind me of this post when I next post saying aargh I lost my sensible head again!!!

  475. Tasnim Says:

    I accidently came across information about left-handedness and things it relates too. It just made me more scared, and now I feel uncomfortable with being left-handed.

  476. Chris Says:

    Thanks Rik. It’s hard work, because it feels so real and it’s literally destroying me. I’ve fallen into a really bad depression and the thoughts actually make me feel so sick. Definitely not coping.

  477. Beth Says:

    Anyone know where in the archives the letter to myself is? I would love to read it. Thanks!

  478. Albert Says:

    How was the fishing ??

  479. Rik Says:

    Here is the link to the ‘Letter To Myself: Nothing Works’ article. (assuming the mods let it through)

    Approved as this is such an awesome article for anyone trying to get their head around what may be happening to them. – Rich :)

  480. Rik Says:


    It was good but also quite tricky. I felt very much stuck in my own mind and unreal. I had lots of intrusive thoughts. I did my very best to just allow it all and to carry on and I didn’t run away although I felt like it at times.

    I consider it to have been a victory as I did not shy away from any of it. I had a good time. I felt very disconnected and my thoughts ran wild but no matter what happened I stuck with it. I am trying to let myself understand that it took a long time for me to get into this mess and way of thinking so it will take a long time to get out.

    I feel like the major cause of this is constant self monitoring and analysing. When I feel unreal etc and disconnected it is because I am watching myself and constantly aware of my thoughts.

    Someone who is not suffering this way does not do this. They simply be. They dont monitor themselves or try to figure things out they just are. This is what I am aiming for but I believe it has to happen naturally or else I am still watching myself for it to happen if that makes sense.

  481. Cheryl Says:

    Hi, did anyone manage to read my post, Took a while to get on . It’s so helpful reading about recovery , as like everyone else you feel totally alone sometimes
    My prev question was about relationships , my marriage is on rocky ground as I’m taking out all my frustration on my family,
    I know a lot of these blogs are about the symptoms but how did this effect everyone around you ?
    I’ve sent websites to my husband but he’s very immature anyway and is spending more and more time away , so,the explaining bit is useless. Through claire weekes and Paul , I’m coming through this quite quickly but as I asked before , are you all going through the mosh mash of emotions you feel you have no control over ? Is it layers or result of the anxiety
    Could do with some advise

  482. Rik Says:


    Irritability is definitely there for me at times. I want so much to be like my old self and not have such nonsensical thoughts and of course, for anyone, that is frustrating. Lack of understanding from others also plays a role in us getting annoyed with them.

    I definitely think that this is all just a product of your anxiety. Anxiety is a very tough thing to get through and is bound to cause all kinds of emotions in us. Depression, anger, flatness, frustration and everything in between.

  483. Cheryl Says:

    Thankyou appreciate the reply , it is very difficult and I think it’s only people that have or are having anxiety that understand .
    I think the worse thing is your self esteem, you dislike yourself anyway for feeling the way you do and because of lack of understanding you feel very idolated.
    On a positive note , I’ve had this for 20 yrs and since doing this ” method” I’ve realised what I’m feeling is only a symptom and I feel ok now most days
    Just struggle with the loneliness on the bad days

  484. Chris Says:

    Just realized how silly I’m being and how I’m blowing this past experience way out of proportion. Far out, it’s crazy how we perceive things when severely sensitized.

  485. Rik Says:


    You aren’t wrong buddy. I am guilty of it also. I am slowly moving away from DP/DR but it is very slowly. I am just letting it be and ignoring it. It is so hard at times especially when coupled with intrusive thoughts but if I don’t give up the fight and just accept the way I feel right now I will never progress. I will get there in time as my mind desensitises and I ignore what is going on. Of that I am sure.

    Use this insight you have just had to move past the fear the next time it rears its head. Freedom is always waiting for you on the other side.

  486. Star Says:

    Hiya friends.

    I haven’t read through this blog for a while.

    I haven’t been using Paul’s approach either for a while.

    I just started this therapy, which I hope will help; it’s based on healing emotions and I think separating from the anxiety. Of course I have a lot of anxiety about it. And of course I will not use it as a technique because as we know, trying to get better does not help anyone.

    I find that Paul’s approach is definately the answer because when I was reading over his book and blog and I managed to separate myself from the anxiety, I experienced relief. However, what I found difficult was maintaining the approach. For me, it did not click straight away and then I had a consistent attitude. When anxiety hits me, I get thrown by it; I believe it. I can’t help it. And if I get upset at myself for it, it just makes it worse.

    I suppose what I am saying is that although I know this is the approach that works, for me at least, it caused a lot of extra suffering where I would try and force myself to accept which would make things worse.

    Forcing and fighting anything doesn’t work.

    I don’t even know anymore.

    I shouldn’t even be posting.

  487. Sara A Says:

    Hello you lovely bunch :)

    I was having a tough day yesterday and my mum heard this song and told me to listen to it. It brought me to tears but in a good way
    Please if you have time listen to it. Artist is Labi Siffre and song title ‘ something inside so strong’
    This is now a song that i believe resonates for me and my relationship to anxiety. Maybe it will comfort some of you once you listen to the words?

    Let me know.

    Hugs x

  488. Bryan Says:


    Removing the struggle and the fight IS what will eventually allow your body to de stimulate. Paul’s method is about acceptance and there are many acceptance based approaches. But removing the danger from your situation is indeed what will calm. This is what acceptance does over time.

  489. Chris Says:

    Thanks Rik. I woke up today with anxiety etc but it’s ok. This attitude I once had has reawoken. I’m going to get nothing from living in the past. I actually meditated last night and had this realization, and that these thoughts I’ve been having are completely irrelevant to my situation.

  490. Tasnim Says:

    It’s hard. It’s really hard. Since the surfacing of my anxiety I got past a lot of obsessive and intrusive thoughts. I was able to mostly let go of the worry of developing depression, the worry of hurting someone or myself, existential thoughts, some depersonalization (that still comes and goes), but this fear of schizo/becoming psychotic never left me. It’s lasted the whole way through, and its the one I want to be rid of most. I just keep latching on to these different symptoms, and link them with my own traits, convincing myself each one is an early sign. It makes me feel insecure about each of my traits. I know I can’t do anything. I can’t get the assurance that I’ll never go crazy because no one can predict the future, but at 17 yrs. old there is much uncertainty ahead that it’s hard not to keep wishing for it. I try so hard to resist reassurance and to not ask about everything I do to see if its normal or not. I’m not sure what I’m asking for even. I just feel drained and scared and confused. Sorry about the long post, but I’ve been sitting in my mind all week and so I thought it’d be best if I came on the website.

  491. Rik Says:


    You say ‘I was able to mostly let go of the worry of developing depression, the worry of hurting someone or myself, existential thoughts, some depersonalization (that still comes and goes)’

    You are discounting how amazingly well you have already done to move past these things. You are now left with that which you fear the most. This is your last step. You are right that you will never get that 100% certainty. That is what obsessions are all about. Your mind cannot find a resolution so it comes again and again in the hope that you will work it out. The trick though is realising that there is no need to figure it out. No need to worry about it. You have the CHOICE to just let those thoughts go when they arise. Watch a few videos on youtube by a lady called Katie D’aath. She explains very well the mechanism of obsession.

    A week ago I was such a mess. I felt trapped in my own head with no escape and in fear and DP/DR constantly. I decided to simply give up the fight. To just allow all this rubbish to float on through my head because I am done with it. I want my old life back and that is my choice.

    I could have gone on forever being scared of these thoughts and lending them importance and constantly observing myself. There is no life that way. You will live forever in torment. There needs to come a time where you say enough is enough. Stand up and walk away from the chess board. Stop playing the game and you will find that anxiety will get bored and go away in time. You must have patience and be consistent in your acceptance of symptoms.

    I have seen massive improvements over the last week since I walked away from the game. Yes anxiety does still throw all it has at me but I am not interested any more. I woke this morning and cuddled my wife and felt it. I felt alive for the first time in months. I also had anxiety and intrusive thoughts but I allowed them to just be there. Even now I feel spaced out and tired etc but I have work to do and a life to live. I may have wobbles and set backs but I am not doing the anxiety game any more. Not doing the obsessions any more. I have lost the last 6 months of my life to this (again). No more.

  492. Beth Says:

    I posted this before, but…anyone know where I can find the letter to myself? I would very much enjoy reading it. Thanks all!

  493. Rik Says:


    I have posted a link to it but it is awaiting moderation.

  494. Beth Says:

    Thank you Rik, I appreciate it!

  495. Char Says:

    Beth in case t he link is not published – it is an external website – it is not in the archives here – you would need to goggle using the name Chris and letter etc – even then it can b hard to find though! So hopefully the link will be published

  496. Rik Says:


    If you can’t get the link you can always email me at rchippex at google mail dot com.

  497. Gordon Says:

    Hi guys
    I’m in a bit of a hole again at the moment! Yesterday I went to the docs and decided to go back into an SSRI again (albeit a different one from previously as it seemed to have no effect in the end!) I just felt that everything was getting too much, added to the fact that I’m not sleeping very well at the moment, and just needed some respite during this stressful period. Anxiety being anxiety, I’m now really worried about having gone back on the meds! Can anyone advise whether the whole acceptance process is the same with or without meds? I’ve felt a rise in anxiety already after 2 days and feel a bit lost. When I first came across Paul’s book I was on meds then and i seemed to be making progress until I had a pretty stressful life event recently (at which time I had been tapering off my meds and had finally stopped) question is, should I still just be following the acceptance approach meds or not with an aim to getting off them again in the future?

  498. Bryan Says:


    I have a copy of it as well. I can email you the pdf. (It was always free.)

    Thenukes at yahoo is my address. I’ll send it over if you want.

  499. Stephanie Says:

    Hi Gordon, getting on or off medication is a personal choice. We can only share our own experiences and opinions. I was only on meds for a few weeks. Like you, I got on them at my worst when I just wanted some relief. Unfortunately I was hoping they would be a magic cure, that I could just sit back and watch all my fears, anxiety, bad habits, etc. disappear. It didn’t happen. In fact, I felt worse than ever on meds. I realized that it wasn’t pills I needed. I needed to face my anxiety and start making choices to not let it control me. So whether you decide to take or not take meds, it’s still up to you how you choose to respond to your anxiety. Hope this helps.

  500. Gordon Says:

    Thanks Stephanie
    I’m totally aware after suffering for so long that there is no magic pill, I just find it a bit easier to cope and put Paul’s advice into practice with a little help, especially when the anxiety can be so acute at times. I was just wondering if anyone else had used meds along with Paul’s method

  501. Beth Says:

    Thanks everyone. ? Some days this roller coaster only goes one direction-down. It sucks, sucks, sucks.

  502. Beth Says:

    Just curious…has anyone else had success when challenged by the thought that there’s danger-ALL the time? If I go very far from my house (I know it’s anxiety only) I’m absolutely terrified 24/7. Also, I wake up EVERY DAY with a rapid heart beat-before I’m even aware that I’m thinking anything! I realize I’m not accepting…but it’s just so darn frightening.

  503. Debbie Says:

    Hi all! I do not suffer from anxiety but my 24 year old daughter does and it has recently hit at all time high. She is constantly worrying and doing what I believe is ruminating. I read Paul’s book and think it would be very helpful for her. She started it but doesn’t think it applies to her. She thinks it is more about worrying about how you feel rather than worrying about actual things that may happen. I feel it is all based in anxiety but am having trouble convincing her. Has anyone had any success stopping ruminating using Paul’s advice? Thank you in advance! We are really struggling here and could use any help.

  504. ken Says:

    So im just waking up from a night terror. And overwhelmly over living in my parents house. Im constantly on eggshells in the house but have nowhere to go abd no job at the moment im really ashamed of some things and avoidface my old employment. I just need a place to write. Dont really have anybidy and scared to reach out. Someone suggested an axiety treatment program that is 14000 dollars which is kind of over the top to me and am not able to afford anyway bit I just need a place to feel safe and its not my parents house and coming off of a benzoface. Fraking at all the horror stories. This environment is not healthy and im about to just run away I I feel it’s all I can do. Im anface adult but feel I should run away

  505. Kirstie Says:

    Hi i just wanted some advice as to what I’m suffering from is anxiety.. I can only describe it as my eyes seem to not focus on people a day my family seem so unreal to me like I just can’t focus on them it’s so strange and hard to explain and I keep thinking about them in my head and old memories and I feel like I have more than one mom.. it sounds crazy I know and it’s really scaring me but like if I was in the garden with my mom and then the day after we went out shopping I feel like I’m with a different person to who I was with yesterday even though I know I’m not and I do the same with my daughter sister partner etc I just donthought know what’s happening to me and my wardrobes and draws in my bedroom are all mirrored and I keep thinking I’m going to start thinking reflections are real ): I just feel like iv lost all sense.. any advice would be so appreciated thank you xx

  506. Nicole Says:

    I just purchased and read your book. I already knew I had full blown anxiety for over a year now with panic attacks beginning around January 2015. I can pin point what triggered it and the events that followed that contributed to it being an ongoing breakdown. I am finally putting the pieces of my life back together and every now and then I feel like myself again. The two areas that I have been struggling with that no therapist has really been able to help me with was in the area of social anxiety and depersonalization. Now that things are quieting and I finally have some stressful areas settled have my “self” and my “body” started to re-align. It is not everyday or every hour but it is more often than not. But reading about your experience with depersonalization helped tremendously. I had brought it up with a previous counselor and he said no you don’t have that. But I continued for over a year still feeling this weird disconnection. As if I am observing everything from outside of my body. In the meantime I started a new relationship and a new business, all stressful and exciting shifts but still felt like I was observing everything from an observer perspective. Like my boyfriends face was not real, and my business is not real. Very hard to feel that way when beautiful real things are right in front of you. Your chapter really helped me connect the fact that what my brain did was simply protect myself from some dreadful events that were unrolling. I have felt that my brain re-wired and I am sure it did to a degree. But the way you described it as a switch resonated with me. It is the same way I kept saying, “it feels like my brain broke”. It is more like it just switched off and stopped working. And when it did, there must have been some underlying current that allowed me to continue with work even though I felt so disconnected.

    My big breakthrough has been self-care. I am in steady areas of my life, while I self-care. I believe this big pause is needed. I agree thinking about the self can be obsessive and a deterrent but there were many events I did not really process. Journaling has greatly helped + talk therapy + homeopathic medicine + EXERCISE as you mentioned. Within 2 weeks of implementing these things I feel that I have control again of my body and mind and can heal and move forward with my new life.

    Long story but I just want to thank you for your book as it has put a term to what I have been feeling and helped me understand I am where I am and I need to just get back to living.

    Thank you!!

  507. Stevie Says:

    Hi everyone, I was just wondering if anyone else has read the newest book? I’ve just ordered it. I read the first one and my anxiety got a much better. Started to feel myself and then the last few weeks everything has gone horrible. Dp back with a vengeance. Not been able to get to sleep o a night which makes the Dp even worse ad you’ll prob know. Has anyone else felt like they had it all under control then it all come back. ?
    It’s so intense but I’m trying not to let it stop me living my normal life and doing things.

  508. Stevie Says:

    Also does anyone find when they are feeling very anxious it’s hard to yawn ??? Random I know !!

    – Steve this is so insignificant I think this doesn’t even need an answer. – Rich :)

  509. Joey Says:

    With your ocd did you get so bad that you would be borderline panicking all day long–or at least really intense anxiety? I’ve been having an awful past few days after some really good ones and the anxiety seems worse than ever.

  510. Louise Says:


    I feel like your situation is very similar to mine in the way of intrusive thoughts..I’m a mum to a beautiful little boy he was born prematurely and I have a very traumatic birth my son spent 5 weeks in hospital I was fine for a few months I knew deep down the way I was feeling wasn’t right but regardless I still managed to look after him and the house etc.. When my son was 9 months old my mother in law was diagnosed with brain cancer and one night I suffered a massive panic attack I totally thought I was going to lose my mind and end up in some mental institution.. That was the night my life changed.. I would constantly worry about another attack and didn’t want to be alone with my son.. I went to see my doctor after starting to have awful thoughts about hurting myself or my family I seriously thought I was insane.. I was so scared and felt so alone like my mind was slowly going to drive me to insanity I feared everything and anything. My son is is now 3 and I’m still struggling with intrusive thoughts whether it be harm thoughts or health or going insane or maybe it’s not anxiety and something else you name it I’ve thought it.. I do work part time and most days I get through but some days I really just want to run away I’m scared of everything and anything.. Like everyone on here i have good days and bad the bad days are the worst but I try not to let them get me down Paul’s books and advice have gotten me through some VERY tough times I am on medication but I don’t think it helps very much which makes me realize I’m helping myself I fi feel though i need the medication to help with sleep and appetite mainly.. I just wanted to ask anyone my hubby wants to have another child and I also do but I’m SO scared of something going wrong or the thoughts I’ll have or what if it tips me over the edge and I can’t function. It’s so upsetting I just need some advice thank you.

  511. Uma Says:

    Hello all. I am doing so much better following Paul’s advice. I think I finally got it. The anxiety has subsided, my thoughts are quieter, I have more energy. The only thing that seems to be hanging around is selfawarness. Any advice?

  512. Sara A Says:

    Hey char or Rik. Can you help. I am truly truly lost. Im scared of life. I have always clung to people and gone from job to job. It hit me today that I’ve always lived for others and through others. I am scared to eat to shower to go anywhere do anything. I am settled with a partner and my daughter now at school and am faced with having to discover and find out who I am. I don’t know what’s right or wrong. Who to be friends with. What I like or don’t like. What job I want or not. To work or not to? Being faced with all this terrifies me. I’m scared I’ll do anything and it will b for distraction reasons only. My teenage years were full of health issues. I’ve never been alone with my own company. And now I’m scared of being happy. No peace at all in a day now. Adrenaline racing hurtful/suicual/negative/nonsense/images of past/imagining future thoughts. I get no peace with anyone or anything. Im safe nowhere.
    I can’t do this again. I’m scared. Anxiety is all I have known.
    I posted before this but didn’t show so have wrote again. Apologies if shown twice.

  513. Dani Says:

    Hi Sara, I can’t really offer any words of advice but just wanted to let you know that I can totally relate when you say “I get no peace with anyone or anything, I’m safe no where” I feel just the same, there’s nowhere I can escape from feeling this way and thinking these thoughts constantly. I really feel I don’t get a moments peace from it. I’d give nearly anything just to feel back to normal x

  514. Char Says:

    Hi Sara – and Dani – this may help you aswell!

    So sorry to hear you having a hard time. How was your course ?

    Your post is your anxiety talking – when we are anxious our anxious brain takes over temporary – it tends to stop all the good rationale thoughts – as it focusses ust on your anxious thoughts – it does this because you have so much adrenaline in your system – this is just a biological reaction to keep you safe. Your brain thinks you are in danger , so it is focussed on trying to find the danger – all it can do is generate more and more anxious thoughts cause it sees this gets a reaction – so it keeps on trying – more and more absurd to keep getting a reaction. It has to do this because there is no real danger – it is expecting danger because you have high adrenalin – nothing more.

    Some of us do by nature worry about things and sometimes that concern is in health issues – it’s all normal – don’t be thinking you are abnormal because you are a worrier – u are more normal than you think.

    You have a partner, a child, a job – all positive things – so you don’t like being alone – so what for the moment – you are anxious and that anxiety is playing on that – be kind to yourself .

    It is often we don’t get a break from anxiety – but try to think that when the phone rings or you answer the door for at a least the smallest amount of time you are distracted enough to answer it – that small time show your mind is capable of returning to normality . Anxiety is not like a heartbeat or breathing – it is not continuous although we tell ourselves it is.

    Tomorrow if you have any time of relief – even if it so brief it less than a second – note it down – note it down every time it happens.

    I did this last week cause I realised I was lying to myself – I was having breaks – yes really really small and then wham it was all back. But those small breaks added up and up.

    I’ve had some pretty good days and some totally anxiety free moments.

    Let me know how you are,


  515. Sara A Says:

    Thanks char. I couldnt continue on the course. I kept being overwhelmed and crying. They have said I can do it at a later date. I’m in the midst of a house move as well which is sending me over the edge. I don’t work and I can’t rush that as I have no clue what I want to do. Summer holidays coming up and obviously my child be off school. After the move is done this week I’m faced with only taking my daughter to school and picking her up. In between I am clueless. I know getting on with normal life is best but I don’t have a normal life. I don’t have structure. Nothing to do? X

  516. Char Says:

    Hi Sara

    When I had my first child I had to finish in my job – bearing in mind I was old (36…..!) and had worked full time since I was 21 years old in a high pressure job. Suddenly I was at home – in a house we had just moved to – i had lived in a different part of the country for my pregnancy and commuted – long story. -don’t recommend it. Anyway although our circumstances are different I was home with a baby , in a new house and with no job and not knowing what would happen of if I would ever get a job again. I was like this for 2 years. I so wish I had found this blog in that time as looking back I was quite rubbish at knowing what to do and how to fill my time – I let my child dominate the time. You can have a structure Sara – it’s just means you are your own boss. So after you drop your daughter off , you have about 6 hours that needs a schedule! Each day you could do some exercise, schedule in time for meditation or enroll on a free online course for meditation. How about free online courses for any IT or technical things you want to brush up on ? I would love to have time to properly learn msproject or something.

    Schedule in time for a walk, housework and then to be Honest you would have run out of time as its time for school pick up !

    Not having a job does not mean you don’t have a routine and structure – it just means you set your own.

    It doesn’t matter at all re the course – do it again later when you can.


  517. Chris Says:

    If anyones looking for the nothing else letter just Google ‘a letter to myself, nothing works’. It’s the first link, (posted it in a forum.)

  518. Sara A Says:

    Hiya char.
    I understand that it’s being my own boss at making decisions. I guess as I was growing up I never figured out who I was deep down. I lack so much confidence and like I say hav always relied on company of others. I’m fearful of life alone. I doubt myself on everything. I feel very childlike. My mum thinks it’s the final piece to my jigsaw and I should see it as exciting. I have my own path of discovery. Can take up new hobbies and experiment. Just can’t help but think I will fail. Happiness comes from within and self esteem etc. I care too much about others opinions and have always thought of myself last which I guess has led me to be in some unhealthy relationships and led to more anxiety. I need to create some healthy boundaries too. Haven’t ever had any. Life is very overwhelming. I will just have to take a big jump and go without thinking for most of it. Make it up as I go along.
    How are you anyway?

  519. Geraldine Says:

    I’m in the midst of an awful time. Hard on myself that I’m hating how caught up I’m getting in the anxiety. Hating that it’s coming back daily and I only get moments of peace at a time. Hating all of it and I know that’s not acceptance. Feel like I’m never going to get back to my normal self. Away on vacation and getting through it but it’s a really yuk time. Feel helpless

  520. Char Says:

    Sara – totally agree with your mum . I suspect that you find it hard to believe but remember that’s only your anxiety talking . I never had a master plan – life just happened – is that right or wrong – I don’t know but I don’t mind either !

    Also a lot of people never put themselves first – it is very easy to do – don’t beat yourself up ovesomething so many people do. Have you looked at tiny budda website – it has some lovely articles your might like.

  521. Rik Says:


    Yes I did. The thoughts felt near constant as did the anxiety that went with them.

  522. Sara A Says:

    Hey char! Awww that’s lovely! I’ve checked the site out. It does have some good articles. Are we able to exchange numbers or emails? X

  523. anna Says:

    Hi everyone,
    Have been very silent on this blog. Read both of pauls books, and can’t thank him enough. Thank you paul, God bless you!
    My anxiety started from worry and fear, i ended up in the er with a full blown panic attack. No one knew what was wrong. I left with no answers, and then came the searching/ googling every single minute..So scared, couldn’t drive, couldn’t communicate, i was in hell. I didn’t want to leave my house, woke up disgusted, sweating, panicky, lost 20 pounds, scary and anxious thoughts, shaky, vision problems, ear problems, low mood,dp, i couldn’t even watch scary movies or the news ( so many more symptoms) Googled most of my day, was thinking about anxiety 24/7. Tried to be positive, but the negativity was higher, cause i had so much stored. i found pauls book and blog, and quickly ordered the books and read. In the beginning it was still hard, cause i had so much negativity and habits formed. but slowly i started seeing changes. Its been a year and a half since my first panic attack. i havant seen no therapist and haven’t taken any pills. Now i can say i feel so much better, on my way to recovery. I still get anxious, negative thinking, but not like before, it comes and goes and i just let it go instead of hanging on to them and believing that lie. It needs to be released somehow. I have some quiet times in my head and it feels awesome. When i look at myself 6 months ago and now, theres a huge difference. I just want to give hope to people who are suffering. This too shall pass. Be patient, let it pass, don’t be scared, this is not you forever, I thought it will never pass, but trust me it does. At the darkest moment when your anxiety in high, its the worst, but carry on and let your body heal, don’t add more to it. We will be stronger then ever my friends! We are special! we are strong. Anxiety is a lie.

  524. Chris Says:

    Hey all, I hope you are well. Really need some advice here.

    Not doing terribly well I’m afraid – not just with how I feel, but putting Paul’s advice into practice. Feeling rather crushed by it all. Just had a question, why do illogical fears seem so real, and how do we not believe them? Alot of Paul’s advice states that we shouldn’t believe the thoughts, but in all honestly I find that easier said than done at times – as illogical as they are, they seem so so real.

    I got this new ‘obsession’ by seeing a news article on Facebook, which made my thoughts spiral downward. It’s attacking my sense of self, which I’ve never had with anxiety before so maybe this is why I’m finding it so hard – it can be devastating at times. The thoughts are actually so embarrassing, and they literally make me feel sick. I made the mistake of Googling it deliberately about a week ago, as a kind of test to myself. However it just made me feel far far worse, and in a way it worried me because I thought if I got such a reaction from reading it all then it must be true. Deep down I know it isn’t true, and I can see this at times, but a majority of the time I just feel awful from it. I’m so embarrassed by it.

    It’s related to that girl situation I was in a year ago (posted above), and even though I’ve been reassured time and time again by alot of people (family, friends, even saw a therapist) that I didn’t do anything bad and I’m a good person, my thoughts always create a new scenario. Even the girl herself said I’m being silly and that I don’t need to be sorry about anything. I won’t go into too much detail about the fear because it’s downright embarrassing, but it’s like I’m comparing myself to that guy on the news. How do I stop doing this?

    Really need some advice to help get me through this one, I know only ultimately I can do it, but it’s been a real challenge. The thoughts are so bad that I even think sometimes that people on here might look at me in a different light now cos I opened up about it (sorry, I’m sure you don’t and I’m sure you all understand) it’s a tough one to accept that’s for sure.

    I know this is different to myself a month ago when I was giving advice, and I’m sad about this, but if anyone can offer any helpful words I’d be so appreciated. Thanks everyone.

    Edit: sorry I don’t know if the first comment posted so sorry if this appears twice! Another part I wanted to add is should I treat these thoughts of the past the same as any other anxious thought, or maybe let go of all these thoughts and focus on the future.

  525. Chris Says:

    It seems really important, especially when I’m severly depressed and I’m very confused about the whole thing, but maybe I need to just leave the thoughts alone and leave the whole thing unresolved. Maybe I’m just giving the whole thing too much importance?

  526. anna Says:

    the more you show that you care, and try to figure out how u feel, think that ur anxious thoughts are you, and show them importance the more they’re going to come along. Its a cycle, you have to break it by not giving a crap. It gets hard to not care, but in time when your body/mind starts to heal it’ll make sense.

  527. lorna Says:

    I will quote from Dr weekes to help you.
    “If you have this type of obsession, you must first understand that you have this strong reaction because you are sensitised and that you cannot be desensitised overnight. You must accept yourself as youbare for the time being. Secondly, you must now do what you failed to do on that firs overwhelming occasion. You must practise accepting the fear, but as you see it through you must try to glimpse the truth, which is, of course, that you would never do this thing. You are being bluffed by exaggerated feeling, bluffed by thought. Tty to follow your fear reaction with the real, true point of view. You may only glimpse this at first. But with practice it will become stronger, until you will be able to hold it firmly and the obsession will gradually lose its meaning. You gradually replace the obsessive thoughts with the true thoughts.”
    Hope this helps.

  528. Andy J Says:

    Hi guys,

    Havent posted for a while. Things havent really improved too much at my end. I still feel like I am stuck. I work in IT and we have things called infinite loops. Basically the same thing happens over and over again and thats where I feel I am.

    My intrusive thoughts are ridiculous. I just cant seem to appreciate that they are just that. Their impact is still as severe as it was almost two years ago when I first started having them. I just cant seem to shift how I feel about them and how I fear them. I dont want to tell myself ‘this is just anxiety’ as I fear it will become a ritual, but at the same time I absolutely fear how I feel about them, the possibility of acting them out and what sort of impact they are having on my life.

    I have a good hour or two here or there without doing anything to get rid of them (naturally distracted), but they always still pop up again later in the day and with the same venom.

    I’d really appreciate some advice, especially if some one has been through this.



  529. Rik Says:


    Testing, checking, googling etc etc is all a compulsion to try to reduce the anxiety.

    You have been told what needs to be done buddy and you know how to do it as you already have once before.

    Get back into recovery mode and keep practising letting them go when they pop up.


    Have a read through my posts on here as some of them (especially in relation to Chris) may be of some benefit to you.

  530. Bryan Says:


    The mere fact that you do get an odd good stretch tells you there is nothing “infinite” about this. (And of course we have all experienced this or something similar because we are all here. )

    I know how hard it is. But have another read through Paul’s blog posts on repetitive thoughts. Have another read through Claire Weekes’ materials on the topic. This is a highly common stress symptom based on a tired mind and a dislike of a particular thought. If the “intrusive” was about pizza and beer I highly doubt you’d care. But your tired mind has found a thought that scares you and now you’re on guard against it.

    The process of taking the emotion out of it has to start. For me that means smiling and living right along side of it. For others that might mean talking it out with a therapist and realizing how silly it is… and then getting on with life. But it will always come down to removing the emotion and not ADDING to what is happening. Because an impartial response would eventually end that “loop.”

    I know it’s hard. I also know you’ll look back one day and wonder why you ever cared about a fatigued mind’s nonsense.

  531. Bryan Says:

    Great post Anna!

  532. Chris Says:

    Thanks Rik and Anna, just a tough few days. The rest of the day I did a better job with accepting, even through the depths of depression. Can clearly see the bluff now and can see I’ve been reacting in fear to the most irrelevant crap. There’s been a compulsion to prove these fears wrong and I recognize the same mistakes I’ve been making this time. By acting out these rituals I’m reinforcing it for sure.

    The previous setback made me stronger, so I’m sure I’ll become a god once I come through this setback, haha.

  533. Char Says:

    Hi Sara

    Of course – shall we email the admin ? Don’t think u can post emails on here ??

    How r u doing today ?

  534. Dani Says:

    Hi Rik, does DP make driving seem really strange to you? When I’m driving I find the whole concept of driving strange and wonder how I know how to do it (even though I know logically it’s because I had driving lessons!). My mind just keeps saying over again that life is strange and doesn’t make sense and whenever I’m doing anything I have constant thoughts saying “life doesn’t make sense, what you’re doing doesn’t make sense” x

  535. Rik Says:


    DP makes everything strange. Nothing makes sense. Everything feels odd, strange etc etc. The biggest mistake you are making here is that you are still treating every new thought, fear, perception etc etc as something different. This is all a tired (exhausted even) mind that is struggling to cope with the constant hammering you are giving it day in and day out. Today I felt awful. Felt depressed, drunk, weird etc etc. In the past I would have constantly analysed this to try to figure things out. Instead I ignored it. I did my work and had a chat and a laugh with the guys at work. Even when they felt unreal to me. Guess what. At one point I forgot to keep an eye on my symptoms and had a period of actual reality. No analysing, no fear just real living. As soon as I realised I started observing and analysing again instead of living and I felt the emotions drain and the DP descend once more.

    DP is nothing more than a symptom of anxiety due to constant introspection and anlysis of things that just do not require it. It is an obsession in a tired mind. A product of anxious thought and analysis that you keep going yourself by giving it attention and further questioning.

    At some point you need to decide that you are no longer going to play the game. You are going to allow the weird thoughts, allow the weird feelings and no longer give them any attention. Instead you will focus your attention on the real world around you. I have been doing this and over time I am feeling more real, more connected to myself and am getting the odd window in the DP where I feel like me again.

    On Sunday I went to camp at a race track with my brother and we did a track day with our mates on the monday. I had loads of DP but at times I completely forgot. Usually when doing 100mph+ on the track. This proved to me that I can live with this for the time being while I try to refocus back on life and not on the constant garbage my tired mind has been pumping out in an attempt to explain what I am experiencing.

    Get some really good rest. Get some quality sleep (this is VERY important to heal your mind) and more importantly start working on accepting this garbage as a tired anxious mind and nothing more.

    I really hope that helps. I have been just as bad as you and do still have tough times but I have seen that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We can move out of this state and back to life and more importantly back to ourselves and our loved ones.

  536. Sara A Says:

    Hey char
    Yeh how do we go about admin?
    I’ve had a lot of tears today. I’m right in not holding back on the crying aren’t I? It feels worse if I try hold it in. I have a lot of pent up stress inside from last years abuse and i guess it’s a good way to heal? How about u? R u ok? Xx

  537. Tasnim Says:

    I know exactly how you feel about a fear seeming real. I’m sure if you read my previous posts you know what fear is getting to me. Sometimes something will happen that reminds me of a symptom of it, and I get that sudden downpour of anxiety and rumination and fear and what ifs. I’ve been having good days the last couple of days and I can thank some of it to me just NOT SPENDING ANYMORE TIME THINKING ABOUT IT. When I have that sudden doubt of “wait, isn’t this a symptom” or “maybe this means I am showing early signs of it,” I just say ok and move on with what I’m doing. When I say I just let it go and move one, it doesn’t mean I was able to relieve myself and stop caring about the fearful thought. The doubt and fear still swarms around my head and I spend of good portion of time feeling sick to my stomach, but I still carry on with the best of my focus. When I my anxiety and obsessive thoughts started to spike again, I did go back to the same rumination and analyzing. I actually felt myself feel worse and worse, and more anxious. So I reluctantly said “No, I can’t go through this again.” I just got so tired of thinking about it, I had to stop. It’s so hard. I actually just came back on this site because I found myself questioning myself again, and couldn’t handle it, but honestly for a good portion of the day I felt like I was floating on a cloud. I know it’s hard, but you have to try and let it go. No matter how many times the thought comes back knocking on the door, don’t open it. The knocking might get really annoying, and might make you feel horrible, but one day you’ll stop noticing it, and eventually it’ll stop knocking. There’s nothing for you to solve, or figure it out. Just something we need to get past.

  538. Tasnim Says:

    Just another two cents.

    I realized that the more exposure I gave to info on schizophrenia, the less badly I reacted to it. It’s like how each setback makes you stronger. I guess the more times you are exposed to something, the less sensitive you become to it, and the easier it is to learn from your mistakes. I’m not saying deliberately put yourself in the presence of these fears, but don’t avoid it, and allow yourself to face it when you appear.

  539. Chris Says:

    Thanks Tamsin, yes I can certainly relate. But I’m starting to have realizations again, and really starting to see through all of it. Don’t get me wrong I still feel very anxious and raw, but I realized – seriously what’s the point in worrying about all this irrelevant crap. It’s funny, no matter how illogical the thought, anxiety always seems to have the last laugh – that is if we engage with the thought and try to prove it wrong. But now I’m taking a different approach, the same approach with my last fear (the oh no recreational drugs messed me up) which I say I’m 100% not fearful of anymore. Whenever I feel that sickening feeling to build up from a thought, I literally change my attitude to ‘whatever’ which defuses the downward spiral and stops me getting involved. The anxiety and left over thoughts are still there, but I’m no longer getting involved. Then I usually realize, man I’m being silly, or man this is irrelevant, who cares!

    I read something on Facebook yesterday which if I read this time last year, I would have freaked out. But I read through it yesterday out of curiousity and I didn’t even freak out, I was able to think – oh well, what’s the point in worrying about this. And then I was able to form my own opinion. But yeah definitely won’t be going out of my way to read anything, because if I did it would be with the agenda ‘I must prove this wrong!’ Now I know I don’t even need to waste my time with that.

    PS: definitely not schizophrenic. If you weren’t you wouldn’t even be questioning it.

  540. Beth Says:

    Why can’t my mind just ACCEPT that there IS NO DANGER?!?! So darn frustrating…

  541. Stephanie Says:

    Beth, I can relate to your frustration. However, acceptance is just as much about actions as it as about a mental understanding. You accept your anxiety by doing things regardless of how you feel, even if (or perhaps especially) your mind is screaming “no! no!” at you the entire time. You accept there is no danger by doing whatever it is that your anxiety says is dangerous. Over time you’ll be able to “feel” your acceptance by moments of calm and peace. But those moments will only come if you prove by your actions that you accept anxiety can’t hurt you.

  542. Beth Says:

    Thank you, Stephanie…I appreciate your kind words-because they’re true-and your feedback. ?

  543. Debbie Says:

    Stephanie, in trying to help my daughter deal with her anxiety, I have read hundreds of websites, both of Paul’s books and one of Claire Weekes’ books. Your post above stating “acceptance is just as much about actions as it is about a mental understanding” is spot on. I keep telling my daughter to push through and carry on despite how she feels. I know it is easier said than done and not having anxiety myself I don’t truly have an understanding of what she is going through, but this approach seems to be working somewhat. She is making some progress :)

  544. Sue Says:

    Does anyone have days where their mind just seems blank and is not thinking of anything. Is this what a normal none anxious mind should be like. Then when anxiety hits the intrusive thoughts come in all at once it seems then they can go away again.

  545. Sue Says:

    Does anyone find when the anxiety symptoms come on that they are talking to themselves all the time or singing. Is this a form of avoiding. How do I stop doing it. It seems it just happens that way.

  546. Julie Says:

    Hello all,

    It’s been a while since I posted. Anxiety wise I was doing so well then last June time I started with ill health, which at first I assumed was all anxiety but as time went on I became very unwell and by January this year I was bed ridden with crippling fatigue, weakness and alot of other horrible symptoms. Turned out I was suffering from a very underactive thyroid and on top chronic fatigue had set in as it went undiagnosed for so long. I started thyroxine 6 weeks ago and slowly health wise I am improving which is a real blessing.

    My ill health triggered alot of anxiety again, but this time physically. In the form of panic attacks occasionally due to my fear of how ill I felt some days. My agoraphobia also crept back in which my GP said was totally understandable considering how unwell I was feeling, I mean who wants to go out when they feel ill. As my fatigue has started to lift slightly now I’m on thyroxine I have been able to get back out and I have just come back from a weeks holiday with my children and husband, something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do considering my ill health. My ill health causes energy crashes which hit after too much exertion and land me bed ridden, but thankfully they’re becoming far less frequent as I have learnt to pace and on holiday I had the most amazing time.

    So there are many positives, my agoraphobia is lifting, but I have a huge mental block with appointments. Many of you know my anxiety started after my brother attacked me 4 years ago. It led to me hiding at home and avoiding all appointments and going out for a while but I overcame all of that and did all appointments until my ill health hit and suddenly had a panic attack while having tests in the nurses room and since then appointments are a mental block again. My GP has come to my house on the 3 occasions I have had to see him for thyroid issues, he has been very understanding and has told me once I am 100% health wise I will get back out to appointments because I am working hard on getting out every single day and he said I am no quitter. I am going out again livinig life but appointments and social events are again tough since being poorly physically.

    Ok, now I am seeking a little reassurance here but the anxiety that is bothering me is I keep doubting this is anxiety. I have re read Pauls book and still worry do I need assistance from a therapist, or is this more than just anxiety. Which in itself probably is just an anxiety symptom, doubting myself 😉

    I am having unreality alot, which is triggered by my fatigue and brain fog. I feel unreal or like everyhting around me is unreal and floaty. I don’t feel grounded which triggers….you got it, intrusives! My old intrusives which some of you may remember, but mainly ones of am I mentally ill? is this not just anxiety? Am I a bad mum for having such horrible thoughts? They don’t spike like they used to but just the fact I think thoughts like that and they still after 3 years can come into my head, has recently caused me to doubt myself. Tired mind and all that I know, all due to my ill health causing me tiredness and brain fog. Now I had CBT/ERP for my intrusives 2 years ago when they started, was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder and OCD type thoughts and told how to overcome them, and I did alot but still 1 or 2 lingered but no longer caused me to fear them. All of this had passed really, and just was in the background.

    So it’s mainly the unreality and fears after all these years these thoughts mean I am odd, and ill mentally. Also in the mornings since being unwell I have woken with fear of what the day will bring, I guess that comes from 6 months of being chronically unwell before the doctors treated me, now I feel stuck with bad memories of that time and a few times in the last 2 weeks I have woken up with this dread of what if today I feel ill, what if I crash, what if I am rushed into hospital (agoraphobia fear) which then as soon as I get out of bed causes a weak spell where my heart races, mouth goes bone dry, I feel shaken to the core and weak. This is new to me as my anxiety has always been mental based, intrusives etc so this physical anxiety is fairly new.

    I carry on and am really happy in my life, do yoga, I eat well, cook, bake cakes get out alot more, been on holiday but what keeps holding me back is, is this really anxiety? and this worry of am I odd for the things I think, for not being able to do appointments, for fearing my ill health so much that I get scared incase one day I feel so ill I’d have to stay in hospital for the thyroid issues (all due to how my agoraphobia makes me fear appointments at doctors or hospitals) and the unreality I feel on a daily basis. After 3 years it makes me doubt myself if it’s really anxiety, it makes me compare myself to other mums all the time and I worry I am letting my children down for having these thoughts, for not being able to do appointments, for fearing all these silly things. Maybe i just need reminding from other sufferers that this is real and just anxiety. It feels strange as I had overcome so much then since June last year it’s been a smack in the face. I don’t really seek help and have just been getting on with things pretty much silently and have been making progress but if anyone has just a little kick up the bum for me I’d really appreciate it :-)

    I hope everyone is doing well. It certainly can be a rollercoaster when it returns 😉


  547. Nolan Says:

    You will find your old self.
    There was a time when I was certain that there was no escape for me; I broke myself and I would just have to live the rest of my days being tormented by this mind and body that were no longer under my control. My only hope, at that time, was that I wouldn’t have to live like that much longer.

    I couldn’t imagine it ever ending. The pain and fear were so real and so final. Any attempt to think my way out of it only increased the despair I felt. Fear was the solution I kept running into as I would try think a way in overcoming it.

    As bat-pooh crazy as this is going to sound I can actually look back fondly on those days now.

    The only thing I can say is to make your life bigger than anxiety again. Let all of the fears be there when you make that decision to do some bit of your old life again (going to a movie, going out to eat, meeting up with friends)…. let it pile on you as intensely as it can but still live your life. You’re going to have 2nd thoughts on it “maybe I shouldn’t go out… maybe I should just play it safe”. The 2nd thoughts can howl at you as much as the fears…. but carry back on with you life.
    And, do it simply for the fact that you want your life to be bigger again. If the anxiety abates then great. But don’t make that your goal. Make living your life regardless of all of the pain your goal.

  548. Rik Says:


    Can I just say that it sounds like you have been incredibly strong through all this and continue to be so. This is a huge positive. You have done very well to keep forging on and it is great to see such spirit. It helps all those that need a boost.

    As for the unreality I think Claire Weekes is absolutely spot on when she talks about this being caused by an obsession with yourself and too much anxious introspection and watching your symptoms and thoughts. I have this daily. I am now making strides to overcome it since accepting it and its causes. I have a tape of hers that i listen to every morning. It talks about the various stages of nervous illness and it is so accurate and puts a lot of the fears of mental illness to bed. I am happy to send you this if you would like it. At one point i was beginning to genuinely believe i was going mad and losing all reality. The reason was becuase I was so obsessed with myself and what was going on within me that i was not taking anything else in. The world felt unreal to me because i was trapped in my mind desperately searching and watching and analysing everything in the hopes i could figure this thing out. If you have read pauls book you will know this is what caused his unreality too. It is so simple and yet it feels so complicated when you are in the middle of it. I am 100% confident that i can move past this now. I just have to accept that this will pass when i no longer obsess over myself. When i finally let life back in again and ignore the ridiculous thoughts I have all day. I have had pretty much every weird thought you can imagine believe me. I have also had a huge array of obsessive thoughts including horrible ones that you likely experience yourself or have done in the past. We get these because we are so scared of them. We are on the lookout for them so of course they are there as we must think of something in order to look out for it. Its a real catch 22.

    Thank god for people like claire weeks and paul who put this simple yet true information out there so that when we are ready we can understand it and start to put right the things we are doing wrong and reclaim our lives and in many cases ourselves back from anxiety etc.

    Nolan is spot on also. Make your life bigger than your internal world of anxiety and obsession etc and take it back. I would add on top of that that at some point you need to take that leap of faith that this is all just anxiety no matter what your fears try to bluff you with. It is all temporary and one day you will be free because you no longer care about it any more and are too busy enjoying your life with those that you love.

  549. Tasnim Says:

    When you guys are anxious, do you guys have this certain feeling. I have no idea how to describe it. It’s like this feeling that’s constantly ticking/knocking at your brain. And there’s usually no scary thoughts associated with it, but the there is a lot of fear and awareness in that feeling where you know that you don’t feel “normal.” It’s when I have this on-edge, total awareness feeling, that I know I’m anxious. It’s like I’m waiting for my brain and thoughts to not act right. I have no idea if anyone knows what I’m talking about, but it bugs me that I can’t describe the feeling since its literally this feeling that I describe as the epitome of my OCD/anxiety.

  550. Rik Says:


    Yes I have what I would describe as a hyperawareness of myself. That for me is how I know I am sensitised. It is like I am locked in to watching myself. It is a habit born out of introspection and watching for thoughts and feelings. Like I am on guard and not relaxed.

  551. Tasnim Says:


    Yeah I guess thats what it is. Its when I feel that, that I know I’m feeling anxiety. And mixed with my obsessive fear of schizo, I think its what causes me to analyze every thought and behavior, and feel overwhelmed. I’m really bad at describing things, I think I’m more visual. I can picture the inside of my braib like a hollow space, and the feeling within it, but I can never put it to words. Its worst at night when I have nothing to do but be aware of all my thoughts.

  552. Julie Says:


    Thank you for your reply. Hopefully I will find the old me, I have before and I know I will again. Being unwell physically has certainly triggered alot of anxiety again. It started as alot of physical symptoms that I wasn’t used to with anxiety, which made me fear illness even more but over time I realsied I was anxious due to how unwell I felt physically. I still have anxiety about how i feel on the days my ill health rears it’s head. I am trying to find ways to not fear it. I keep telling myself many other people have health conditions but don’t add anxiety and fear to it daily.

    Now my health is improving I certainly do go out on the days I feel I have energy to do so. This week I proved how much more can do and not let any anxiety stop me, not that I felt much anxiety going out to be honest. I just need to stay in that positive mindset at home.

    Thank you.


    Thank you for your reply and thank you for your kind words. I have certainly never given up, I guess I have to remember how much I have overcome and not let this anxiety that’s spiked due to ill health effect me and make me think bad about myself.

    Is the Claire Weekes audio, Self Help for your Nerves? I have that and isn’t it amazing. I listened to it last week. It’s very reassuring and her voice is a comfort isn’t it. She certainly knew her stuff.

    I do need to trust that this is anxiety. I did before so I can again. The harm thoughts went into the background but never fully went, this time they’ve returned, not in full force at all but enough for me to then wonder if I am ok, do I need psychological help etc… I even worry my issues are way too much for a book to help. The agoraphobia about appointments, not doing social events alone, anxious stood talking to people when alone, unreality even at home sometimes, can’t do shops alone (I could but soon as ill last summer health wise, these things returned due to being too ill to get out alone) Then on top the fears I am mentally unwell and beyond a book. I think what caused this fear is I went on another anxiety forum of a pretty well known anxiety book in January this year, I talked about what i have mentioned here and about my ill health making me lose my confidence going out again. Then told them about my 12 year old soon and being bullied which was a huge trigger of my anxiety as my son became suicidal, the most horrific time and probably another reason my anxiety spiked. And a woman replied saying I needed serious help probably in a psychiatric ward and I was beyond the help of a book. The book was no use and nothing at all like Pauls or Claire Weekes, I threw it away. What this woman said shocked me to the core. Alot of people there jumped to my defence and slammed this woman for what she said to me, apparently she had bullied others in this way to frighten them but ever since I have worried if all my issues do mean I can’t get well myself and need help. The NHS are useless, after my brother attacked me i wasn’t given any support other than being told there was an 18 month wait for CBT. I refused to wait and went private for over a year and it helped alot with the intrusives and agorpahobia. It’s not something I want to do again but I hate how my ill health has flared up alot of anxiety again.I am living life, content and happy yet the the way anxiety effects me does get to me at times, I wish I could accept it’s just anxiety and what that woman said to me should not make me doubt myself. I hadnt realised how much her comments effected me, but they really have.

    Sorry this got long. Thank you both so much for replying to me.


  553. Dani Says:

    Hi Rik
    Thank you so much for your reply a few days ago. The other day I forced myself to go out for a meal but everything just felt so strange, too strange to even begin to describe and it’s really put me off going out like that again. I also went for a walk with a friend and I felt so disconnected and like I wasn’t really there. Then I made myself meet up with another friend and on the way back to my car, I looked at the car and it just seemed so strange and unfamiliar to me. Back in January time going out with friends actually helped make me feel more normal but now it just makes me feel worse.
    I keep thinking that life doesn’t make any sense and I keep doubting whether I understand the things I’m doing, even if it’s just brushing my teeth, I worried I’m going to forget how to function altogether – have you ever felt like this?
    I also worry when people are speaking or even when I’m speaking that the words mean nothing and I don’t understand them. It’s so hard to accept all of this x

  554. Bryan Says:


    It seems that in your posts you list dozens of things you are afraid of.
    Don’t you think that is what is keeping you stuck? At some point perhaps addressing the overall core fear is where you need to begin? Because if we pay every odd fear that arises respect and legitimize them… the mind will of course keep creating more for us. It’s simply trying to protect us.

  555. Julie Says:

    Hi Bryan

    And the core fear I’m not really sure how to address as my anxiety seems to have many branches since I’ve been physically unwell. Lots of fears for sure and I’m not sure how to overcome them all. Being ill made me too weak to go out, I’d drive my children to our school then flop inot my bed I was so poorly. Overtime that of course caused me to relapse agoraphobia wise. Which was pretty soul destroying after all my hard work. I’m working on it and I’d say I’m 60% better but I’ve this appointment issue now but my health isn’t fully understand control and I know once it is I will start exposures doing appointments.

    It’s also triggered the physical anxiety due to my fear of how ill I felt. I’ve added physical anxiety on top of my physically ill health symptoms. This is getting much better as my health improves and I think I’m used to feeling like crap now lol! The unreality, inside my head, worrying I’m mentally ill and too many issues to overcome it, all comes from what I said that lady said to me in my reply to rik. It effected me alot and I’ve not told anyone how much it upset me but it triggered all the worries I’m beyond help etc… nice of that person to do that to me.

    So I’m not sure how to get to that core issue if that makes sense as my ill health triggered it all and now I’m not sure how to work on it as it feels like a hell of alot has come back to the surface but if I was to break it down to a one core fear it’s that I’m mentally ill. So I may have a fear of a panic attack at an appointment but it’s also a fear the gp would think I was weird or mentally ill and section me, similar fear about being taken into hospital, same about going out alone a fear of panic or collapsing due to my ill health. The unreality and intrusives boil down to a fear I’m mentally ill. So a couple of core fears really when I think about it like that.

    Thank you


  556. Stephanie Says:

    Hi Julie,

    Good to hear from you! I’m glad the doctors finally figured out the cause of your fatigue.

    As someone who does this too, I want to urge you to stop making excuses for your anxiety. Right now you’re using your health as the reason why you’re struggling. Once that resolves itself, you’ll find some other reason unless you choose to stop viewing yourself as the victim. We can’t always control our circumstances, but we can control how we respond to them. That is the key. You can choose not to let your health dictate your actions. Yes, obviously you must use discretion and determine when your body needs rest. But I’m sure you can tell the difference between true fatigue and anxiety-induced fear.

    Again, I say all this because I’m guilty of it. I’ve looked at my circumstances and said, “Well of course I’m stressed and anxious! I can’t recover with all of this going on. If only life were easier then I wouldn’t be anxious.” And you know what happens when I do that? I continue to let my anxious thoughts/feelings dictate my attitude and my actions. On the other hand, the times when I say, “Yes, what is going on is hard and stressful, but I can choose to keep moving forward regardless of all that” – those are the times that my anxiety fades into the background.

    So keep moving forward. Every time you the anxious thoughts/feelings pop, you get to decide how to respond. You are in control.

  557. Amanda Says:

    Hi my name is Mandy and I have been on and of this site for years and Paul has helped me get over one aspect of my anxiety but I have now developed a fear of my children getting ill and dieing any advice I am not copying very well at the minute thanks

  558. Julie Says:

    Hi Stephanie

    You’re so right and I think that’s why I have been so anxious during my ill health. I let my anxiety control me and then maybe thought my ill health causes it. It may have been a major trigger in my setback but it’s me that’s continued the fear. I jist find it so hard not to be scared when I’m so poorly some days.

    The different fatigues I can’t tell the difference either. Whej I wake absolutely exhausted recently I get up, remember past memories of waking feeling ill and I swear it’s why those funny turns happen where I go weak and shaky. Worried they were health caused maybe they are little panic attacks. I wake most days lately and one seems to try and happen and I can tell now my negative fearful mindset on waking is not helping my situation at all. I allow my brain to dwell on past memories of being so unwell or I look to the future frightened of what could happen nate as of being in the here and now. I can see its me doing it. I’ve always said well if I wasn’t tired I’d not be anxious, if I didn’t have weak legs, if I didn’t feel dizzy… it’d probably true but it’s me igniting that fear. I even said to my husband other people are physically unwell but not anxious about it so why am I? I find it frustrating.

    I need to accept how unwell in been, accept where I am right now and not let myou mind run away with me on a day I don’t feel so great. What you’ve said about me controlling it is true and maybe once my health improves I will find another reason to fear it all.

    Thank you.
    Julie x

  559. Julie Says:

    Stephanie please excuse my typos I was on my phone, it has a mind of its own and I couldn’t seem to scroll up to proof read it. Stupid thing lol!

  560. Sara A Says:

    Does anyone here suffer with bad depression as well as bad anxiety? I have constant ringing in my ears now and and every morning I get either high adrenaline all over because of fear or last night I was startled and my adrenaline soared and I was irritable and angry wanting to cause myself harm or smash something. I sat with it. But I seem to be doing this all wrong. I’m restless. Unable to sleep. Having high and really low moods. Constant racing mind and sticky thoughts as well as the obsessive ones. I’m in a right pickle.
    Does anyone else have this intense intolerable adrenaline either caused by irritability and compulsion feelings or general fear adrenaline?


  561. Christopher Lewis Says:

    Hi all! Hope you’re all well.

    Been away for a few days so I just thought I would check in, and I’m doing alot better. Now that my anxiety has dropped alot lower and the dark clouds are evaporating I can see things more clearly. Was definitely being very silly taking all the anxious thoughts I’ve had seriously.

    All I did was go out and do stuff as per normal. Whenever I felt the need to analyze I wouldn’t. I didn’t even need to do anything and I’ve barely noticed it, but the obsessive thoughts have for the most part literally evaporated. I was trying to solve them, trying to convince myself they weren’t real. That was the wrong approach, all I really had to do was be like ‘screw it, I’m only here on this planet once, so why worry about any of this irrelevant crap’. Over the course of the next few days I could see the truth more clearly. I was looking externally, constantly looking for reassurance, when really all I needed to do was not get involved, and glimpse the real me. I thought I lost my sense of self, but it was always there underneath. The only thing that changed my perception was the anxiety, period!

    I was also coming on here reading posts alot, re reading Claire Weekes, reading other web pages on allowing etc, but I did it with an agenda, to ‘recover’, and all this did was create more obsessive thoughts and behaviors, “am I doing this right” “oh no I’m suppressing these thoughts and emotions”etc etc. I took a major step back from all of it, and just decided to live instead, and to do this on my own terms instead of frequently relying on outside resources in a compulsive manner. It was a good move! :)

    Not saying don’t come on here by the way, there’s some great advice around. Just don’t do it obsessively like I did :p

  562. Chris Says:

    Moderator: I made the same post above (awaiting moderation) but it has my full name due to Chrome autofill settings, do you mind deleting it? Cheers.

    Hi all! Hope you’re all well.

    Been away for a few days so I just thought I would check in, and I’m doing alot better. Now that my anxiety has dropped alot lower and the dark clouds are evaporating I can see things more clearly. Was definitely being very silly taking all the anxious thoughts I’ve had seriously.

    All I did was go out and do stuff as per normal. Whenever I felt the need to analyze I wouldn’t. I didn’t even need to do anything and I’ve barely noticed it, but the obsessive thoughts have for the most part literally evaporated. I was trying to solve them, trying to convince myself they weren’t real. That was the wrong approach, all I really had to do was be like ‘screw it, I’m only here on this planet once, so why worry about any of this irrelevant crap’. Over the course of the next few days I could see the truth more clearly. I was looking externally, constantly looking for reassurance, when really all I needed to do was not get involved, and glimpse the real me. I thought I lost my sense of self, but it was always there underneath. The only thing that changed my perception was the anxiety, period!

    I was also coming on here reading posts alot, re reading Claire Weekes, reading other web pages on allowing etc, but I did it with an agenda, to ‘recover’, and all this did was create more obsessive thoughts and behaviors, “am I doing this right” “oh no I’m suppressing these thoughts and emotions”etc etc. I took a major step back from all of it, and just decided to live instead, and to do this on my own terms instead of frequently relying on outside resources in a compulsive manner. It was a good move! :)

    Not saying don’t come on here by the way, there’s some great advice around. Just don’t do it obsessively like I did :p

  563. Bryan Says:


    I think Stephanie gave you excellent advice. Even your response above though seems to feel the need to express once again in dramatic detail your symptoms. When you use such exhausting detail and dramatic language to yourself and others, you build this “thing” up and up and up.

    Stephanie’s point was that ultimately you are in control of your response. You don’t have to enjoy feeling poorly. But you do have the option to use different language and make real change.

    The more we expound on what is wrong and keep our focus there the more it remains or increases. It’s safe to say that at this point I expect everyone around you and everyone on this board understands that you dislike your symptoms and don’t feel well. And we all empathize. We really do. But we would also all like to see you improve. You deserve it. But that improvement is going to be the result of very difficult, deliberate change. Not just saying we understand what we need to do but doing it.

    It’s very difficult at times. Not saying it is easy. But we have to put our first foot forward at some point…

  564. Bryan Says:

    That’s awesome Chris. Great job and great advice.

  565. Natasha Says:

    I am looking for some advice about being trapped inside your head. I feel like I’m trapped in my head and self talking 24/7 its starting to drive me nuts as I am hyper aware of everything. Basically I want to know should I try stop myself doing this as its a habit I have got into or do I allow myself to do it and it should stop itself? I’m worried about allowing myself to do it as I feel it may make the habit even worse! Just like if you allow yourself to bite your nails its going to get worse and worse over time

  566. Geraldine Says:

    Hey guys – wanted to know if anyone else has experienced their brain snapping back to a peaceful spot where they are watching the anxiety from a different perspective that’s hard to put my finger on. I always thought that I had tuned into the observation side of my mind as I could always see my thoughts cycle and spot the thoughts and I thought that this was ultimately going to just strengthen with time. But the last 3 days I have had overwhelming moments of peace which is great , the anxiety is still there but I can see it all at work almost from a different place in my brain. Is this something anyone else has experienced ? And is spotting thoughts and this part of my brain connected? I’m intrigued but also wierded out as today I had a huge day of thoughts running wild and no sleep and then it just clicked back into gear and saw it from a different perspective without me trying.

    Can anyone relate?

  567. Rik Says:


    Fantastic. Keep it up.


    I had this a lot and it contributed hugely to my DP. I have been fir the last 2 weeks simply saying ‘dont care’ or whatever when i start being internal etc. I have been getting better each day. My DP is showing breaks now and i am having periods of feeling love again. I never thought i would get to this point. Acceptance of this internal dialog and no longer intentionally listening to it or choosing to watch it is what has paid dividends for me. I have been firmly locked in my head for 6 months and suffered debilitating DP and DR and constant intrusive thoughts etc but now through a shift in attitude and a consistent approach i am beginning to overturn this habit of introspection. It feels amazing to have a break in DP where interest in the outside world returns. I am beating DP and anxiety more each day. I have never stopped living my life and that has helped.

    I have had support on here and from members who dont post much and it has helped so much. I am on the up and it feels so good. The confidence is returning slowly.

  568. Tasnim Says:


    I have this issue too. What helps me is just interacting with people. I spend a lot of time with my sisters (I still live with them), and I can honestly say, if they weren’t there I probably could have been deeper in dp. I don’t think you should aim to do anything with being inside your head. Just engage with the world, and do what things that make you feel good as well.


    I’ve been experiencing those moments too here and there. Its like I’ll be sitting there, feeling like my old self, and thinking wow I can’t believe I am so bothered by anxiety. It’s nothing. But then soon enough I’ll ruminate too long and slip back into it. And then I just cant help but feel all anxious again. I guess its just the up and down process maybe! I take it as a sign of improvement.

  569. Bryan Says:


    What you’re describing is generally what is described from those who practice mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. People practice very hard to see such moments and you seem to be having them without beckoning. It’s described as enlightenment or the real you/the knower etc.

    I wouldn’t be weirded out at all. In fact I would relax towards this state as it is truly a higher state and you’re lucky to have these moments IMO.

    Just my two cents.

  570. Cheryl Says:

    I would like to tell my story to help people and if also like some advice
    My anxiety issues started really when I became pregnant , I won’t go into too much details as people are still sensitive but involved horrible thoughts so much so I lost 3 stone . I received no help from doctors or counsellors , I’ve had every treatment available and I still had it . I was a zombie for a year ,not knowing what day it was to the next
    I had health anxiety continually and still did until about a year ago
    This was 20 yrs ago and I did recover and had some great times although I still had the odd thought, always what if I did this and what if I did that , I actually now laugh , it’s like I think Jesus ..your scraping the barrel now this was even before reading Pauls book

    I had a relapse in October due to daughter leaving home where the thoughts came, I was I such a state unjust wanted to end it , I though not again .i found Pauls book and Clare weekes and started to look at it all differently , after a few weeks I was back at work and felt more like I knew why these things happened And pretty much ” back to normal ”
    My question is, my fears are similar to Tasnim for 20 yrs I’m scared of hearing things , I’m so sensitised I listening for things, I’d I fall sleep and if I was drifted off, I’d wake in a panic thinking I’m hearing voices
    I know this is very common the schitzo fear it’s apparently very common
    But can someone reassure me this is the absolute last thing to go , e etc thing else has disappeared , the DP, the health anxiety , harming I feel ok apart from this
    Btw my husband has left home for some “space ” I’m very hurt by this suspect this is adding to the stress
    Really welcome some advice on someone whose experienced similar and COMEOUT of it

  571. Cheryl Says:

    Ps even writing that down has been helpful , I’ve only ever told 2 people

  572. Julie Says:


    Thank you. I do agree, I just find it very hard as it’s real ill health frightening me. So when I feel the weakness, crippling fatigue etc starts… my body or mind instantly notices it and triggers high anxiety. That I find hard to respond differently to as it seems to do it instantly without my consent. I hope that makes sense.

    As you know I made great progress and was doing fine, it’s been the ill health that has made me very hypervigilent so that I have noticed every single symptom and been afraid. I now find it hard to tell what is my ill health and what is anxiety lol! I have to laugh at myself because I can never tell. I just seem to be very afraid of what I feel physically and I’d like to be more relaxed about it as I know it will make my recovery from hypothyroidism much easier, adding the stress response just makes me feel even worse.

    Thank you


  573. Julie Says:


    I had the same fear when my anxiety first began a couple of years ago. When my anxiety was at its highest I was so hypervigilent about what I could hear, see etc.. I used to panic I’d seen things or heard voices. I used to worry I’d heard someone shouting in my head when really it was all my own voice, because I was thinking these things could happen I convinced myself I could hear them. This is ‘just’ anxiety playing tricks and I am sorry to say, well for me it was when my anxiety was high. When my anxiety relaxed over time all these fears calmed and now never bother me. I too had intrusives at this time and was terrified to be alone, again all of that settled as my anxiety did.

    It’s true intrusive thoughts really are the last thing to go, they fade into the background over time but because we are so afaid of them they linger around, but over time you’ll notice your fear lessen. I still have some intrusives now, they rarely cause me anxiety they are just an annoyance but at times they concern me. I think things like I have said in my post above about whether they mean something about me, and like you just typing that out on here helped as I realised that itself is another fear/intrusive and I am learning to just let it go. So it’s good you have typed it out, I believe getting it all out and having a couple of helpful replies really does reassure us and keep us on track.

    I had therapy for my intrusives and I was taught to go towards those fears. In my case I was told to write a script of the very thing I feared. So if you fear hearing things, and it meaning you are schizophrenic then write that fear out as you think it in your head, word for word. Then every couple of hours you read that script 25 times, notice how anxious you feel at the begining of repeating it, then see how you feel by the 25th time. Stand infront of a mirror if you can and see yourself saying it to yourself. This may sound silly or very frightening to you, but it helps you to habituate to that fear. Like when you watch a horror movie, the first time it is terrifying, the second time maybe as scary but think if you had to watch it every day for 25 days, would your reaction be the same by the 25th time? This is habituation.

    I suggest trying this as it will help you to face this fear. Use Pauls response to ‘so what’ the thoughts of hearing voices. It may seem false but over time you will say it with confidence.

    I hope this has helped a little. I saw your post and couldn’t not reply.

    Take care.

  574. Andy J Says:

    Thanks for all of the advice.

    Rik, I watched those videos and they are a good tool for explaining. I wish I had seen them two years ago when all of these obsessions began. Its sad that for two years I have been petrified of who I am and have done my best to carry on with my life regardless. I guess the whole ‘trying and failing’ is whats causing me to be so down.

    I have had an anxiety disorder for approaching ten years now. I lost a lot of my 20’s to it and don’t want to lose the majority of my 30’s to it. When intrusive thoughts strike, it is so hard to label them as just thoughts rather than who I actually am. I question my reaction to them, whether they scare me enough, whether I could act on them, all of these things. I know it is just adding fuel to the fire, but its like I cant ‘not think’ them. They just get stuck.

    Thanks again every one.

  575. Andy Says:


    The issue here I think is that you are trying to not think them. This is not the point of recovery. The aim is to no longer give them any thought when they pop up. Let them pop up and then let them go again. Dont feel the need to react, analyse, inspect, argue against or anything like that. That just confirms to your mind that they are important and so they are far more likely to pop up again and again.

    The paradox of this condition is that the less you want it and check for it the more you get it. It really is a complete paradox. Take my feeling or unreality and thoughts of it. I look for them all the time (or did before I began accepting) and as a result they were always there. I worried about having weird thoughts so I looked for them. In order to look for something I have to know what it is which means I have to think about it. Do you see how that works in our minds? By looking for it we are guaranteeing that it will come again and by flagging it as important we are making sure our minds keep presenting it from time to time. Only by refusing to play the game anymore and stepping back from them will you find peace again. It sounds impossible right now but it isn’t. You can start the process of recovery at any time.

  576. Rik Says:

    (Posted using Andy’s name by mistake)


    The issue here I think is that you are trying to not think them. This is not the point of recovery. The aim is to no longer give them any thought when they pop up. Let them pop up and then let them go again. Dont feel the need to react, analyse, inspect, argue against or anything like that. That just confirms to your mind that they are important and so they are far more likely to pop up again and again.

    The paradox of this condition is that the less you want it and check for it the more you get it. It really is a complete paradox. Take my feeling or unreality and thoughts of it. I look for them all the time (or did before I began accepting) and as a result they were always there. I worried about having weird thoughts so I looked for them. In order to look for something I have to know what it is which means I have to think about it. Do you see how that works in our minds? By looking for it we are guaranteeing that it will come again and by flagging it as important we are making sure our minds keep presenting it from time to time. Only by refusing to play the game anymore and stepping back from them will you find peace again. It sounds impossible right now but it isn’t. You can start the process of recovery at any time.

  577. Cheryl Says:

    Thanks so much for that helpful reply , I think you come to a point where you know what’s real or not and although I agree it happens when your most anxious , the more you get to understand , the quicker it goes
    My husband has left for a week as he is trying to get his heads round my ” moods” and with all that and with ” sometimes” horrible scared thoughts , there is a calmness and strength I would have only got through going through this .
    That idea about writing it down is bang on, someone said once, ask the thought to come closer so you can observe it , I will try that and thanks for being honest about your experiences it halves the stress when you can talk openly about these things
    Imwill let you know once I’m fully recovered and will help,you all through it too xxx

  578. Ves Says:

    Hi Julie, Andy,

    Intense fear is always present in anxiety. The problem of anixety longevity happens with the help of deception of the mind. Problem is that that Mind is saying “I accept”, “I surrender” but at the same time it is doing the “thinking”, “calculating”. If you are “thinking”, “calculating” then you are choosing. If you are choosing then it is not 100% accepting and surrendering. Then the mind is still in the anixety “loop” but it will have different levels of intensity. But you will not be out of the “loop”. The only way to get out of the “loop” is to accept and surrender by your inner being and not mind. Mind is always a deceiver.

    If someone with anixety reads Paul’s posts then mind will automatically try to dissect the post and start process of “thinking” and “calculating” to figure out the solution. That is why Paul says that all the posts are just pointers and not “solutions”.

    The so called “solution” for anxiety is rejecting your own mind and rationalizations. You reject your own innermost biological urge to survive. You reject everything. It is very difficult. But when you do the impossible you are transformed. That is total surrender. It is not a question of whether it is appealing to your mind or not, whether your mind says yes or not. When you surrender you have surrendered all possibility of saying no. Whatsoever the situation, you will not say no. The total “yes” means surrender. Difficult! That’s why transformation is difficult.

    Julie, your “key” for anixety is at that waiting room at the medical office. That is where your surrender and acceptance counts the most because your fear is the highest at that moment and place. You can’t surrender when you are in safety of home because there is no fear there. So whatever mind tells you in that medical waiting room your inner being have to fully accept. Mind will even try to agree and chatter in the background “I surrender” just to deceive you. But you have to stay there and say “yes” to this doctor’s visit and another visit and another visit.
    And if anixety moves your fear to different object or place you surrender to that too.

    Therapy that you describe for your intrusives is correct in terms of habituation with the fear. But it will not be successful if habituation of fear is done my mind. Repeating written script many times is just mind memorizing and mind is great deceiver. Habituation of the fear has to happen with your inner being and in totality. If it is not total then it is divided and then it is almost impossible.

  579. Tasnim Says:


    I know you said you wanted advice from someone recovered, but I thought I’d add in my two cents. The past couple weeks I had a sort of setback/relapse of anxiety and intrusives after believing I was almost recovered. My fear developed again. But this time I could actually feel myself slipping back into the anxiety state and I knew it was rumination with each thought. I basically said “not again.” So I had to force myself to not play with anymore of my fearful, intrusive thoughts. Obviously I didnt come through everytime, and it was really super hard. I couldnt shake it off, but honestly the best thing I did is bear the thoughts and stop trying to get rid of them or “distract” myself from them. I just did what I normally did day to day. I realized that the more I shrugged off the thoughts, and allowed each one to come, the better I eventually felt. Today was an absolutely amazing day. I felt the most normal I’ve ever felt, and I laugh thinking I was close to recovery before. I know I’m not truly recovered, but I can say this whole accepting thing is helping. It definetely is up and down. After two days of feeling better, I was overcome by thoughts again yesterday. And now back again to feeling invincible. Tomorrow I may be the one asking for help again. I have no choice. I can either ruminate and let the thoughts consume me, or bear them and live my life, with the hope of not caring anymore. Im sticking with the latter for now.

  580. Cheryl Says:

    I’m exactly the same one day I feel like it’s all been a bad dream , the next I’m drowning again . I have been where you are and I promise 100% you will feel different , the reason I had anxiety for 20 yrs was being given the wrong advice
    I still feel very bitter about the doctors failure . This method works , I only listen to Paul and Claire weeks, accept accept and you’ll feel better
    Set backs need to be accepted too .
    Anxiety is like going to weight watchers, your not going to lose weight over night , it takes months sometimes to see results , a change in life style and a little faith
    As you can tell today is a good day !
    Ps hormones do effect your moods swings and intensity keep a diary

  581. Natasha Says:

    I feel like I have been accepting for months if not years and still not getting anywhere :( just trapped in my head talking away to myself creating scenarios that could happen and preparing myself for any conversation that might happen ( 9 times out of 10 they dont happen) but I do it all automatically out of habit, I’m so mentally exhausted :(

  582. Natasha Says:

    Also its not the scary thoughts that bother me its the racing thoughts, can think about everything, its like my brain is stuck on fast forward and has been for months. I dont have anything to stress or worry about its just the speed of the thoughts, or sometimes a song get stuck in my head over and over I keep singing it in my head faster and faster :(

  583. Julie Says:

    Thank you Ves.

    I agree, recovery comes from putting yourself into those fearful places we avoid and proving your thoughts wrong. Proving that you are normal, you can do things and if you panic when there you keep going nack and trying. That is something I have a mental block with because of my fear of panicking infront of people after that happened there last autumn. I couldn’t even force myself to walk in yesterday to order my prescription, something I have still been able to do . I have a mental block with that building that I have to overcome. I just know I will go dizzy, hot, feel faint when I go in to ask for my prescription, I see it in my head and I know it will happen so I can’t seem to push through that and take that first step of going into the building. The panic there was so bad. I am determined to face it though, I am no quitter.

    Thank you.


  584. Beth Says:

    Whenever I even have the briefest of moments of complete allowing, I feel as if I’m going to start crying and never stop…

  585. Gordon Says:

    Hi all
    I don’t know if I’m looking for advice or reassurance, probably a bit of both! I’ve made some posts recently and if you’ve read them you’ll know that I’ve been in the anxiety loop again. I had been doing not bad since finding Paul’s books and following his advice but have fallen into a bit of a hole again! The problem I have is I am due to go on holiday on Friday and am basically shi**ing myself about the whole thing! I have suffered from anxiety and panic for a long time, and the crux of the whole thing for me is that I’m losing control, going crazy, going to have a complete meltdown, not be able to look after my family, letting them down if I don’t go etc etc, all due to anxiety and panic stacks! These worries, as you can imagine,are heightened by the thought of going away to another country. I am anticipating the worst and totally catastrophising! Should I just say stuff the anxiety and go anyway? Any tips advice please?

  586. Kristen Westelaken Says:

    Hi all,

    I found this blog about a year ago, during a time when my anxiety felt completely uncontrollable, I felt like I was “crazy” and I couldn’t even begin to get myself out of the huge hole I was sinking into. I took matters into my own hands and eventually started having results. For the past couple of months, my anxiety has sky rocketed, and I can think back to a time late last year when I sat in front of my counsellor and told her I wasn’t anxious anymore but was so scared it would come back. Here I am, feeling like I’m becoming that old, scared, anxious self who can’t function properly in society because my mind is too busy telling me lies. Am i the only one who feels they cannot fully take on the “let it be” attitude? I’m too focused on feeling sorry for myself and being angry that I’m feeling this way, and that causes me to lose sight of any hope. It’s like I tell myself this is just how I am going to be, anything I am working towards is unattainable, I don’t deserve to be happy or feel good. I can see those weeks where I felt no anxiety, and I was happy. Today I am miserable. I don’t see a light at the end of this tunnel, and I am caught in my own trap. Why would I want to continue living this way, and putting myself further and further away from goals I’ve set, all because I’m allowing myself to be weak? Maybe I just need a kick in the ass to realize that I DON’T have to feel this way, and that I DO deserve to be happy and live above my anxiety.
    The support in the comments can sometimes be enough, but I’m sure many can understand the loneliness I feel at the current moment.


  587. Bryan Says:


    Paul’s new book offers a great section on setback. Have you read it?

  588. Mark R Says:

    Tamsin and Cheryl…..its interesting to read your posts as I’m pretty much in the same place as you. I can go for weeks on end without thinking of anxiety then to have a bad day slapped in my chops and feel like I’ve made no progress at all. In these times I try and push my acceptance levels up and focus outwards as much as I can. It’s the hardest thing to do I know!

    Gordon, absolutely go on holiday, its a great opportunity to let outside things sink in. Let the thoughts rant and rave but give them no credence. I bet you have a nice time!

  589. Gordon Says:

    Yes I have and it does make sense. Do you think the same process applies even when you are taking meds as I am currently? Or do they mask the situation?
    I know deep down that that is the answer, but it just feels so hard to put yourself into a situation where you believe in your head you are going to feel really uncomfortable or lose control/panic etc

  590. Cheryl Says:

    Gordon, go on holiday you will take your anxiety with you , you know that but a different focus, will help not hinder . Confidence is a big thing with anxiety , anxiety is .. Thinking you won’t be able to cope . The more you quit your safety zone the more confident you’ll become . I’m going to America for 2 weeks I’m practicing what I preach
    Mark you sound like your nearly there , that’s fantastic not having anxiety for weeks . I think the pushing the acceptance is the issue, it’s still a technique of sorts . Have hope you sound like you haven’t got far to go
    Ves, I thought your post was very interesting, if I got a scary thought I surrendered , I imagined I was on a beach and I let the sea wash over me , is this what you mean ?

  591. Gordon Says:

    Thanks Cheryl
    I know that is the answer! I just seem to have a mental block with the whole thing and can’t seem to engage in the fact that we’re actually going in 2 days! Does that make sense?

  592. Adel Says:

    Hi guys….im new to this group…im so hopeless…i need some advise. Did any of u get to the point of not remembering thing none memories brain not picking anything at all….plus im scared because my body does strange movements … do u feel like somebody else is looking throught your eyes?i feel like my drdp is scared of itself…pills r no solution for me as i feel really bad ive tried plenty…please any advise will help…so tired of it all….i dont know whats the date time season nothing

  593. Belgian Says:


    always like your thoughts and words on acceptance!

    It is indeed by truly surrendering that peace will be found. In fact, it’s very difficult to put into words what should be done. I truly believe there are no words to describe it fully.

    It’s exactly the same as trying to describe joy or sadness. Poetry sometimes comes close to bring the necessary words to life, but it will never totally grasp ‘it’.

    After two years of practicing, I am finally able to forget “it”. I mean that there are days during which I even forget that anxiety is/was such a big part of me. I could not have imagined this back then.

    I even feel so much stronger than before. Before the big outburst of fear two years ago, for thirty years I lived my life too often through fear. Most of the time I was brave and carried on, but I was living in its shadows.

    Now, I am able to live my life regardless how I feel. The feelings and anxious thoughts are sometimes still there, but they don’t matter so much as they used to before. To achieve this, it’s imperative I had to go through every twist and corner of the road to recover.

    The body remembers and is very, very cautious. Every time, an anxious impulse is felt, there’s a risk that it goes into overdrive. I call this the initial reaction of fear. If left alone, it will rather quickly stop. Unfortunately, too often our mind comes into play. The second fear kicks in, it tries to figure it all out and by doing so the result is the exact opposite. Before you know, you are back in the cycle.

    To recover, you have to practice acceptance each time there is an initial fear. By knowing and understanding in your mind that all of these annoying feelings can’t hurt you, you can gradually stop your overreaction. Sticking with the initial fear. That is why one said peace is to be found on the other side of fear. You have to pass through fear, to reach this peace.

    You can’t totally relax using your mind. Total surrender is not a mental exercise, it’s a physical one. It’s something felt and through the body.

    When you calm down, I feel it’s interesting to discover the stimuli that are provoking that first fear. In therapy, we often come to surprising conclusions. My anxiety chooses different topics. First, it was my health. Then it was my relationship. These topics are in fact nothing but vehicles for my mind to put the anxious feeling in. What truly is going on, is playing on a much deeper level. I am now beginning to realize that my fear is often caused by hidden memory and thought patterns. It’s not about ‘truth’ or ‘facts’. It’s about my approach to life in general.

    I choose to work on this during my therapy. Because, life is still going on. I want to live it rather than be victimized by it.

    Are there any other Belgians / Dutch people on this blog?

  594. Mark R Says:

    Hi Cheryl,

    Sorry the way I typed it does sound like a technique but I meant I incorporate the feelings and thoughts into acceptance, pushing wasn’t the right word to use!

    As you and Tansim stated you feel invincible one day then dragged back into it the next, I’d agree with that. There seems to be two modes with me, the non anxious one which enjoys life, plans for the future and wants to make the most out of every day. The other mode is the anxious side, the one that worries, sees everything negatively, can’t look to the future, kicks up a fuss at everything I plan and do. What I have learnt though is when I’m in the grip of the latter is to let it rant, almost like a child trying to get its own way, it never will.

    Another thing that I feel is important is to be very patient. One thing I was doing was feeling great for a time, feeling really upbeat and positive and then get a few bad days and then pining for the good days again and trying to force them. This was totally counter productive, so what tends to happen now is I’m having a hard time (like this week) is to just let it be there until outside interests claim me again and I lose the self focus. It’s not easy and I still don’t like the times when anxiety presents itself……….it drains me, takes away my vitality and the fun from my life….but its something I have to deal with unfortunately and I like to think I do in a better way now.

  595. Natasha Says:

    Actually feel the most depressed I have ever felt. Feel like im never getting out this black hole and there is no way of escaping the mental toture in my head, just think think constantly. Everyone says they have good days then get hit with bad days but I havent had a good day in nearly 2 years, dont know what I am doing wrong :(

  596. Adel Says:

    Natasha….same here…2years and 6months and things are getting worse…r u on any meds?i been struugling with this cycle for over 15years but last two r the worst…

  597. Natasha Says:

    Adel, it is really getting to me. I feel like I just cant accept this feeling and the depressed thoughts, how are you meant to accept them? Thoughts race in my head constantly! I started taking mirtazapine about 6-8 weks ago cause it was getting too much but I think they might be making me worse :( I’m not sure if its the meds making me worse or just the way I’m thinking. Are you on meds?

  598. Adel Says:

    Meds have made me worse and long term use benzo….i have pretty bad dissociation…have long and short term memory….and racing thoughts….meds r good for some nit for all…i dont know how we meant to accept…specialy whhen i found out ignore them it was hell…and still is….and i have son 7years old…?

  599. Natasha Says:

    Has anything helped for your racing thoughts? I know, I accept and still go through the same hell, cant win either way :( its so difficult when you have children as well, I feel I get irrated so easy and snap at mine over little things, its not fair on them

  600. Jayne Says:

    Can anyone help me? I have suffered anxiety and depression on and off throughout my life, but never like it has been for the past 14 months. It has been constant torture and fear that I can’t seem to switch off. I know there were various factors that contributed to what I think is a breakdown but the straw that broke the camel’s back was moving house. I made the decision with my husband when I was off work with anxiety and DP and was never completely happy with the decision although I never knew why. The house is beautiful and we couldn’t want for any more. It ticked all the boxes and I didn’t want to miss out on it so I went ahead. Now I can’t settle and see the house as the problem. I feel the area is too posh and I don’t fit in and I worry about what people think when they visit. We worked hard and saved hard to have a nice house for our family but I can’t seem to enjoy it. Sorry if I sound like a spoilt little rich girl but for me this is a very serious problem. Moving is not an option. I love my husband dearly and sometimes wonder if he should just agree to move, but he says he doesn’t want to lose this house to try and solve my problem as anxiety is my problem, the house is just a symptom. He says when I recover, if I don’t like the house, we will move. I think this is reasonable as sometimes, often in the evenings, I go back to being the real me and the house doesn’t even feature as a problem. This feeling is bliss, I enjoy my kids again, have things to look forward to and life is bright again. So surely this means it is the anxiety and I caN follow Paul’s advice. I have been doing this for about a month and have been much better, but that awful doubt that maybe this problem is not the kind of thing Paul is talking about, creeps in and I start to analyse everything and think that the problem IS the house and this terrible fear will never go while I am here. Health professionals, family and friends all tell me that my fears about the house are irrational. I desperately want to follow Paul’s advice and feel confident that I will recover, wherever I live. The thoughts come all the time as obvioiusly I live in the thing that scares me. Please help.

  601. Todd Says:

    Hi Nolan,

    Thank you very much for your great advice, it helped me a lot. Thanks again.
    Would you please give me some advice on anger? I am very easy to get frustrated and angry, especially when I having argument with wife and teenage kids. It’s hard to control when I get angry, even I know it’s not good, afterward, I always feel regret.
    Another thing, what do you think about positive thinking?


  602. Bryan Says:


    I’m not really allowed to give an opinion on meds here but suffice to say, they were counterproductive to my recovery. (That’s a factual statement.)

    As for the process… yes, it would be the same even if you are using drugs as part of your recovery. The reason drugs often don’t work for people is because the body’s supply of chemical stores is massively powerful. It’s there to keep you alive. So when people ramp themselves up with fear and worry… those chemicals can override the drugs intended effect. Conversely, when we accept… allow it to pass and remove the 2nd fear…. those hormones retract, leaving us feeling peaceful.

    This is the reason drugs are not required for recovery. (Fact, not opinion.) People CAN CHOOSE to use drugs for recovery, but they are not required.

    Disclaimer – The above statements are facts, not opinions and not intended to persuade or frighten anyone regarding taking drugs for recovery. Please consult someone you respect medically for advice regarding the use of drugs.

  603. Belgian Says:


    I really appreciate your effort to be as neutral as possible on this.


  604. Victor Says:

    Hi everyone this is something that’s been going on in my life for about 2 weeks and I think I’ve been driving everyone in my family crazy.

    It’s something a few members have been through before and everyone tells me that it passes just give it time. It’s been the biggest battle of my life mentally as I’m sure it’s been for many on this blog. And I little by little am trying to cope with my anxiety and the reason for my depression. Especially in the aspect of why I’m not sleeping.

    One of my biggest fears are that my thoughts are one of a schizophrenic one. I lived with my gf at her parents house and her brother who happens to be one does also and when the anxiety hit me. I literally thought I was stuck forever in this whole, and a million things started to jump in my mind. Thinking over thinking, OMG I’m just like him, I’m doing the things he’s doing. I’m having conversations in my head. It’s something that I still can’t cope with. Little by little I am still trying to figure it all out by no means do I feel cured. I am figity as we speak. But if anyone has had any similar experiences please share with me.
    Thank you.

  605. Rik Says:

    Hi All,

    Just an update. I have been working on completely accepting my DP/DR and related symptoms. This has been extremely hard but has been beginning to show results. I am feeling more like myself today. Not quite so trapped in my mind and not so impressed by my thoughts and feelings anymore. Things have certainly improved a lot since a few weeks ago. I am not fully recovered by a long stretch but the improvement is vast by comparison. I have a long way to go but I am definitely on the right path at last.

    One thing that has been really helpful is Claire Weekes take on what causes this which is constant introspection and obsession with self. Since realising this from reading her books I have really committed to no longer listening to my weird thoughts and also focusing my attention outside of my mind rather than inspecting everything that is going on in my head. I am confident that I will move past this in time and feel even more like my self and be able to feel all my emotions again. The total self awareness is not as strong and I feel it is just a case of beating the habits I have built up through fear.

    Alz, Dani I am hoping you will feel some hope from seeing this.

  606. Albert Says:

    Can someone who has overcome panic/anxiety give me some help ?

    Ive suffered for years with panic while driving mainly when on motorways or on “trapped” roads.

    When ive suffered a panic attack while driving my response is to go out and drive again to face my fear and try and beat it.

    However my problem is not getting any better and I have been told this is the wrong thing to do, as it gives panic/anxiety power and respect and keeps it alive in fact I have been told the more I try to do this the worse it will get.

    On the other hand I have read that we must face our fears in order to beat them and to “habituate ” to them ,so I thought I was doing the correct thing ?

    Can someone please explain where I’m going wrong as my problem is not getting any better.

    Any help please ?

  607. Rik Says:


    In my experience it is not so much about the exposure but more about the attitude you take into it. Going out apprehensively on the road will of course keep these feelings coming. It is all about how you approach it. If you begin to build your confidence and begin to no longer care if you feel a certain way then this is what will lead you to recovery.

    For example next time you go out in the car begin to tell yourself that you no longer care if you feel awful or panic. Rather than expecting fear and panic and worrying about it anxiously start to not care less if it comes. This is what will retrain your mind into not seeing danger when it comes to driving.

    Attitude is everything. This is why acceptance works. If you accept you will panic it no longer holds the same fear and in time this translates to less false alarms coming from your limbic system.

  608. Albert Says:

    Nice one Rik,appreciate you replying
    Your right, I think I’m doing this with the wrong attitude .
    Im currently going through a messy divorce and my ex wants custody of the children and half of the family home which is causing massive stress
    Id just come out of a meeting discussing all this , got in the car and was on a road ive been on 100s of times, a sudden rush of panic then hit me and I wanted to get of the road.
    I was so frustrated with my myself as id been improving lately.
    Hence my response was as soon as I got home to get back in my car in order to prove I could handle the place where I had a panic attack.I did it ok but my response then was well I’m going to try and drive other places I normally feel anxious in as if this thing gets worse it could stop me from working, keeping my kids etc . I was incredibly anxious doing this driving and I came home in a right old state .
    Like you say I feel its because my attitude is totally wrong .
    I want to beat this thing which I suppose isn’t acceptance ?
    ive been told to not drive unless I have to and then if anxiety rears its ugly head, so what ? let it do its worse ??
    Any ideas on this ?

  609. Gordon Says:

    Thanks Bryan
    So what you are basically saying is that the process is the same with or without meds. Some people will use meds and not the method therefore their body may override them?

  610. Cheryl Says:

    I know how you feel , it’s a really lonely place . You seem in the same position as me , I can ok for weeks, then something triggers it off and you’ll feel like your back to,square one.
    You are not alone , I’m currently on the floor because my marriage has broke down, it feels like I have to deal with that and crippling anxiety .
    I have been in this position before and did come out of it , it does help,when you read about all the recovery stories .
    I know there is hope and this will makes us stronger , I just keep trying not to live in my head, I still go out and carry on doing normal things although it’s hard.
    I’m here if you need to talk your not alone xx

  611. Rik Says:


    You said: “and then if anxiety rears its ugly head, so what ? let it do its worse ??”.

    Exactly. It either will or it wont. If you accept its presence and no longer give it the power over you then in time your subconcious will realise that there is nothing to be worried about and will stop preparing you for fight or flight. You don’t have to actively ‘fight this thing’. You just simply live your life as normal and if it comes up you no longer care. Just accept that you feel on edge etc and then carry on with what you are doing with a relaxed attitude. In time this calm attitude is the default and not the panic.

  612. Ves Says:

    “In fact, it’s very difficult to put into words what should be done. I truly believe there are no words to describe it fully. Poetry sometimes comes close to bring the necessary words to life, but it will never totally grasp ‘it’.”

    Hi Belgium,


    Yes. The reason for that is that “words” are only beautiful but you cannot experience the truth with “words”. Words only have esthetic value. Words are not bad, poetry is beautiful, but their true nature is not the truth. The truth can only be told in silence when we get that moments of peace when we transcend the Mind’s confusion.

  613. Ves Says:

    “Ves, I thought your post was very interesting, if I got a scary thought I surrendered , I imagined I was on a beach and I let the sea wash over me , is this what you mean ?”

    Hi Cheryl,

    Imagination of being on the beach and letting sea wash over you is just mind fabrication to get you through the moments of scary thoughts. The Mind tries to project something that is appealing to it. Fears will not be transformed by Mind fabrications.

    Surrendering or Accepting means Allow Life to unfold and when you allow it in totality then intensive fear dissolves.

  614. Pravesh Says:

    Hello to all lovely people on this blog.

    Just a quick update about myself. I am doing quite well with anxiety by following Paul’s advice. But there is one thing that really bothers me, it’s the panic attacks. It seems so frightening. Whenever it happens i try to stay calm in my attitude as Paul advised , but it seems to never leave me. If anyone could help me and give me some advice on how they recovered from this.

    Right now I am not working as I have a baby to take care of, but soon I have to go to work and I am worried if I can work again with these panic attacks and also worried that this is me forever.

    Greatly appreciated if anyone could help me.

    Impressed by Joy and Nolan recovery. If you both also could guide me.


  615. Beth Says:

    How does one flip that attitude “switch” to just accepting when all you feel is Stark Raving Terror?

  616. Rik Says:


    I am not sure it is flicked as such in the beginning but rather developed over time.

  617. Albert Says:

    A message for Nolan or anyone else who has recovered from this.

    I know I must face my fears in order to beat them but do I go out of my way to beat them ?

    Ive been out for meals, took my kids places, been on holiday and ive done it ok

    However when ive forced myself top do things when ive not needed to I seem if anything to be getting worse

    For example I have purposely gone into crowded areas to prove I can handle it or stood in queues when it wasn’t part of my normal day or drove into town during the rush hour when ive not needed to .During these times my anxiety has not improved and probably got worse.

    However if these “problems” occur in my “normal life” ive not turned the opportunity down and ive handled them better.

    Any ideas on why and what I am doing wrong ?

  618. Bryan Says:


    Again… the climate in this particular blog is not open to full and honest histories and discussions about using psych drugs. My email is in a post above if you would like to discuss the subject in a non-censored format.

  619. Nolan Says:

    Hi Todd,

    HA! Anger. I have that issue too.
    I am very easily frustrated and quick to anger as well.
    I’m getting better at it. In all honesty, it was my poorly handling stress, which would lead to anger that ultimately lead to my anxiety/depression.

    I treat the frustration and anger the same as I did the anxiety. I understand that there’s only so much I can do with respects to changing that tendency of mine. We want that tendency to be eradicated from us right away and to never struggle with it again. But, that’s just not realistic.

    But, what we can do is to start being more patient with ourselves. Along with the anger there is the recognition that “here I go again… letting my emotions dictate how I react… I screwed up”. But, where does that thought get us? It only further increases our frustrations.

    So, start by recognizing that you do want to change while also being patient with yourself that this particular change is going to take some time.

    You’re in a situation that is at first frustrating you… why? because things are going the way that you think they should go, right? You think X should happen, but Y is happening instead. And that frustrates you.

    Your (or my) unwillingness to accept that sometimes Y is going to happen instead of X is only further increased as it keeps happening (or as you still find yourself in that situation). Then frustration leads to anger.

    When we get to that point of anger it’s almost as if it’s now beyond our immediate control. We let our emotions dictate how we’re going to react to someone. We slam a fist down, yell at someone, punch the wall, forcefully grab an arm, whatever it maybe.

    But, sometimes you can let that anger fizzle out. At that moment when you feel overcome you can make the decision to not let your actions match your thoughts. It’s unreasonable at that point to just ‘shoo away’ the anger because it’s so entrenched.
    However, and I’m not saying this is easy, but you can also make the decision to not act. To let the fury of the storm be there in your mind but to tell yourself “You can be angry, but don’t let it dictate what you do next”.
    You feel like letting that 1 outburst through… and 2, 3, 4, 5 more are sure to follow.
    But, you stand your ground and just let that anger sizzle… staring at it and saying “not this time. you’re clouding my judgment right now, I know if I react to you I’ll regret it later… but this time I’m not letting those outbursts through. I’m riding this one out”.

    And, when the storm passes and that fundamental sense that “you know, it wasn’t all that big of a deal anyway” settles in your mind you’ll be beyond thankful to yourself that you DIDN’T let that storm of anger dictate how you acted.

    Remember: it’s okay for the immediate mental activity that goes with anger to be there. You’ve probably spent years kindling that tendency (I know I have). So, be patient with yourself that your mind might be directed in that way. It will redirect itself when it’s ready and clarity of thought will be with you. You just need to be patient, let it sizzle, and not let it dictate what you’re going to physically/behaviorally do.

    And, if you do screw up and let the anger dictate your actions don’t get too hard on yourself either. Sure, accept that you did stumble but get right back on with the new way of dealing with it.

    Also, I think it might be wise to reflect on the idea that “it’s okay for things to not go our way”. Even if the one doing it is doing it spitefully towards us…. it’s okay for things to not go our way. And, when we start more gracefully and peacefully reacting in those moments then we can truly start to affect a positive change in others around us.

    Best of luck. God bless.

  620. Nolan Says:

    I meant to say:

    You’re in a situation that is at first frustrating you… why? because things aren’t going the way that you think they should go, right? You think X should happen, but Y is happening instead. And that frustrates you.

  621. Nolan Says:

    Hi Albert,

    I didn’t really put myself in situations to test it.
    I think that attitude of testing it is not all that productive.

    If someone really doesn’t have anxiety regarding something like “being able to fall asleep”…. they don’t need to test it, right? As a matter of fact, if they started trying to test their ability to doze off peacefully, they might be getting in their own way now. They’re making an unimportant, unintentional act both very important and very intentional.

    A person who isn’t filled with anxiety with respects to being in public places doesn’t need to test it to make sure they aren’t that way. And, even if they had alittle spat where they found themselves a bit more high strung, as soon as that moment passed they were probably back to not caring about it at all.

    When those anxieties do creep up truly be at peace with the fact that they’re there. That means, if you find your mind automatically and frantically shifting from this thing to that thing…. let it.

    My biggest thing was falling to sleep. I was flooded with so much fear that I was broken. I’d close my eyes and did so many goofy mental gymnastics to calm myself down that all it ever did was gear me up even more; making me more afraid, more full of despair, more certain I was broken.

    But, then (after reading Paul’s book and some helpful posts here) I started to lay down with no expectations. If I get sleep, great… if not, oh well. Sucks, but, sometimes life can suck and that’s okay too.
    I’d close my eyes and I’d let my mind go anywhere it wanted to. All of it was happening automatically anyway, so I just laid there, eyes closed and sat by passively as my mind frantically leapt from this fear to that fear, from this disturbing thought to that disturbing thought. If it made my stomach churn and knot up, fine. if it made me sweat profusely, fine.
    But, I was now going to just passively let it all happen.

    And that attitude made all of the difference. Slowly, with set backs, but, when the peace came back upon me things just made sense again and I could see that I was never really broken at all.

  622. Joey Says:

    Nolan and Todd,.

    I have the same type of problem, only with me it’s more in imagined arguments with people. I think about how I’ll react emotionally and respond if a disagreement comes about between my partner and i, or if she does something I find itritating. Then I’ll roll it around in my mind for a while and feel the stress, frustration and sometimes anger building. I think at some point when I was in a high state of anxiety and was easily irritable with my partner, it really bothered and frightened me that I was becoming angry with her over trifling matters, and I soon began “testing” in my head to see whether “X” still bothered me. When I found it did I became more irritated and anxious about it and continued the analysis of why that was. Maybe I don’t really love her? Maybe she’s just not my type after all? It’s all untrue but I puzzled over it endlessly. I’m getting better with it and have started to stop myself from analyzing why I feel that way. It’d become an entrenched habit and my body has become accustomed to fire off some adrenaline at certain provications. It will take time. But like you Nolan, I’ve been treating the frustration/anger the same way as anxiety. I trust that in time I will habituate to it all, and although frustration is inevitable in life, I won’t feel it as intensely once my body calms down. Have you noticed improvements in the frustration/anger department, Nolan? I love all of your posts by the way. You have been a great help to me and so many others! Thanks for continuing to stick around.


  623. Joey Says:


    When you had sleeping problems, did you have the problem of kinda jerking awake right as you were starting to doze off? It’s been happening to me all the time lately. Whenever I start to get tired and my body starts relaxing my legs jerk–sometimes it seems like my whole body. It’s just odd because I have had anxiety a while but this had only been going on for a couple weeks. It’s almost like as my obsessive thinking has begun to calm down, my body has,decided to give me something else to trouble me. Lol.

  624. Albert Says:

    Cheers Nolan,
    So in a nutshell your saying live my life as a “normal” person would but if an anxiety provoking situation happens , don’t turn it down but face it ?
    If so my only other concern is I can quite easily go a few weeks practically staying in apart from shopping,gym,out with mates, out with kids ( I work from home and I’m a single parent), so I’m concerned I’m not getting out enough and concerned my world will get smaller as my anxieties have increased since I started working for myself

  625. Louise Says:

    Hi Beth did you see my message I feel as if our symptoms and intrusive thoughts are similar also to char and Sara A well actually a lot of you have had similar symptoms just wanting to chat to anyone maybe swap emails etc it definitely is comforting to know I’m not alone when it feels like you have no control over your feelings and thoughts

  626. Tasnim Says:

    Why is that my thoughts are so vivid at night, while laying bed. Its so many random thougjts that dont make sense, popping into my head. And they feel vivid. I get scared that they will sound like voices, especially while falling asleep. I’ll close my eyes and just let each random thought come, but sometimes that thought seems so vivid, that it almost feels like a voice, and it jolts me awake. I’ve been falling alseep to youtube and netflix, so I could distract myself. I only notice this at night. There was a good week in between I didnt notice, but now its bothering me again.

  627. Aj Says:

    Hi All
    Writing here after a long time. Made lot progress after reading Paul’s book, setbacks and all. Not recovered completely, some or the other stressor triggers my anxiety. I obsess a lot about some things
    1. I am 46, single (but in a relationship), now I feel I should have had married and had family long time ago, the fact is idea of marriage never appealed to me, I was scared of commitment. Now when I see people my age having nice family and also doing their own things, I feel I have missed out on something really good. I regret about this 24×7. This particular obsession is with me since more than a year now, never regretted before my anxiety began.

    2. I obsess a lot about health, had sever dental issues and other problems, I also developed hypertension 2 years ago. Got diagnosed with Hepatitis-B in February 2016, this came as a shock. Don’t know how i got this virus, never had any symptoms, it showed up in blood test done for insurance purpose.

  628. Beth Says:

    Hi Louise,
    We can exchange emails if you like. :)

  629. Cheryl Says:

    Tasmin, it’s anxiety I get it too, it passes when I feel ok, it’s just that your hypersensitive and listening for things. Read Julie’s post it will pass don’t fret
    Ps , I’ve never been able to sleep in silence even before anxiety , I listen to waves or Claire weekes audio, it will relax you more

  630. Louise Says:

    Hi Beth that would be awesome : )

  631. Louise Says:

    Also just wondering where everyone is from? Anyone from Australia?

  632. Pravesh Says:

    Hi Louise

    I am from Mauritius – the paradise island. Do you know it?

    Well I was wondering why no one is replying to my query above.

  633. Louise Says:

    Hi Pravesh

    Sorry I did not see your comment oh yes Mauritius my sister in law is from there it looks so beautiful!
    I’m going through a setback at the moment I have anxiety with intrusive thoughts it’s so awful I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone I also have a 3 year old little boy and my anxiety started when he was 9 months old it’s been awful most days but I’m back at work and you know what? It was the best thing I ever did as it keeps you interacting with other people and in a way distracts you from how you feel.. Yes it always comes back but it gives you moments of silence and calm… I’m still on the road to recovery and I know I will never give up hope you are ok? Here to talk if you want

  634. Pravesh Says:

    I am doing well. But my panic attacks seems to never leave me. That’s why I was looking advice from those who recovered from it.

  635. Sinead Says:

    Hi Paul
    Firstly thank you-4 years ago I had a bout of anxiety lasting about a year where I thought my life was over and I’d ruined everything. After thankfully finding yourself as I was able to let the thoughts be and just get on with my life and slowly but surely over months the anxoius thoughts lost their power and my mind became filled with normal everyday thoughts and I recovered and graduated from university with distinction! And even if the thoughts did come it didn’t matter as I knew to just get on with my day and let them be.

    Now fast forward to today-im still doing very well . Unfortunately I had a few life catastrophies in the past few weeks-job problems, a crashed car and Id been working very hard so I was exhausted and typically an exhausted mind is easy pickings for anxious thoughts.Luckily after the first day or two i suddenly realised that the thoughts I was having werent fact and was just my anxiety manifesting itself again-its quite difficult when theres real life things going on to distinguish the real life thought from the anxious irrational worry!
    So im doing fine and letting the thoughts be.but my question is-im prone to this when something goes wrong in life having irrational and catastrophic thinking-is there a place for me to try cognitive behavioural therapy? Or is that to try and control the thoughts and give them power? The reason I ask is as I find I can manage my anxious thoughts fine when they come but I think it would be beneficial for me not to always be the person to jump to the worst case sceanario in my head every time life gives me lemons! But my conflict I suppose is jumping to that sceanario is just my anxiety and by trying to change the way I think-is that going back to trying?

  636. Louise Says:

    Hey Beth how do we exchange emails? Do we ask Paul?

  637. Horty Says:

    I am new here and looking for some help. In a very stressful family situation 7 years ago I became overwhelmed with anxiety (classic nervous breakdown- no previous history of anxiety). Not knowing what to do I did the rounds of doctors and took a variety of psych drugs, none of which helped. I ended up going through a torrid withdrawal off a benzodiazepine and an antidepressant which took years to recover from. 5 years after the nightmare started I was almost back to complete normality- living life normally with a bit of background anxiety there most of the time but not bothersome. I made the most of feeling good and went full on into life and work (which included some very big overseas trips). I loved it even though I had lots of stress. Then 6 weeks ago the same overwhelming anxiety that had triggered the nightmare came back and I’ve been struggling ever since. I know now that the answer is not in drs or drugs (although I am struggling to stop myself going over- am I hypothyroid, is it menopause, is it adrenal fatigue). I truly believe that what Paul has written about it the solution I want to not care about the feelings in my body (same as Claire Weeks!) butI can’t work out how to practically just let the worrying go and to not let the feelings bother me. Can someone help me please? I am desperate!

  638. Beth Says:

    Nit sure…if anyone here could advise?

  639. Amanda Says:

    I am from Australia Louise.

  640. lorna Says:

    Hi Louise and Pravesh
    I am from Sydney Australia and my husband is from MAuritius.

  641. Louise Says:

    Hi Amanda and Lorna oh wow that’s awesome how are you all doing today??

  642. Alz Says:

    I read what you wrote about seeing and hearing things and the fear of being when your anxiety was really bad.. your therapist taught you habituation. Thank you for sharing it – i have copy pasted it as these are some of the things that frighten me .
    Is that the only thing your therapist taught – writing down what you fear and then reading it 25 times or was there more that he/she taught? Could you share that too?

  643. Alz Says:

    *fear of being alone

  644. Alz Says:

    ves.. .
    how does one achieve “Habituation of the fear has to happen with your inner being and in totality. If it is not total then it is divided and then it is almost impossible.”

  645. Horty Says:

    Hi ladies, I am also in Australia in the east.

  646. Beth Says:

    I’m so, so tired if being so, so scared all the time. For a very long time I’ve had about a 5 mile radius I could comfortably go. Now, not only can I barely leave the house, when I do get out, it’s constant, constant panic abd horrible fear…I’m going the wrong direction here.

  647. Daniel Says:

    Hey Beth,

    I know what you mean. Anxiety causes our world’s to shrink. We lose contact with people and stop doing certain things or going places.

    You probably know this, but your only option is to go out of that 5 mile radius. It’ll be difficult at first, but you have to make a stand and stop letting anxiety control your life.

    It might be sometime until your “disorder” goes away in it’s entirety, but in the mean time you need to reclaim pieces of your world. I guarantee, that if you keep leaving your comfort zone you will eventually stop feeling that constant panic and horrible fear in those situations. Your world will get bigger again and you’ll have more room to explore during your stay on anxiety island.

    Stay in touch with people, keep up obligation, don’t let your world shrink.

  648. Horton Says:

    Hello everyone,

    I could use some advice:

    I’m thinking of taking St. John’s Wort. I must stress I know acceptance is the way, and perhaps the only long term solution to dealing with anxiety/depression.
    But after two years I haven’t made much progress, a fact that I owe to a lot of poorly timed events in my life: my father leaving, my grandfather dying, losing my home, etc.
    I feel that all these external factors are adding to what was originally a purely internal strife. And as such I was thinking of evening the playing field a little bit with some homeopathic medication.

    I view medication as being ideologically contrary to the acceptance approach, in that you literally make part of your daily routine doing something to try and rid yourself of your symptoms. SO I am very nervous about taking it. Moreover I fear once I stop the dosage I will not have learned anything from my experience with anxiety (having spent so much time avoiding it through herbal supplements) that I will relapse and be unable to accept.

    I could use some advice in this regard. I kind of hope medication (when used reasonably and in accordance to the acceptance path) functions something like the training wheels on a bicycle, helping you on your way until you find your balance and the confidence to do it on your own.

    Please, some thoughts?

  649. Tasnim Says:

    I agree with Daniel. You need to not run away from that panic and step back outside. At the very beginning of my anxiety, when I was still very confused, all I could think about was the constant and unnecessary anxiety I felt when I was out and about, but eventually I caved and beared through it, and right now, going out is one of the things that makes me feel the best. It’s truly going to be hard, but you’ll find that you will feel comfortable with it again. But stop waiting for that moment, and get your life back.

  650. Bryan Says:


    St. John’s Wort is a supplement not a medication.

    99.9% chance it will be of marginal help at best. Vitamins and supplements aren’t really likely going to interfere with your acceptance process.

    Heavy psych drugs and CNS depressants are a totally different conversation, one we are not allowed to have here in a balanced, honest climate. (Certain views are censored.)

    Let’s just say your initial strong instinct on the situation is there for a reason and my advice would be to trust it. You dealt with a lot in these two years.
    But I went through similar things and have made big strides.

    You can do this. Ask yourself what you’re afraid of? What is keeping you from living your life? And start from there…

  651. Bryan Says:


    Our situations were very similar – almost all aspects of how it progressed.

    Like you life improved greatly for me. Life is good! The only difference is you described a no-anxiety state whereas I still have bumps from time to time. Had a nasty one for the past few days. But in a way… that’s almost kept me practicing. I’d prefer not to have the flare ups but it is what it is. Overall I’m happy to have made so much progress that I just do my best when they come… and allow them to pass with as little fanfare as possible. Sometimes I do better than others. :)

    It sounds to me like you know exactly what to do. It sounds like you are just in the early phases of putting the proper attitude back in place to resume Norma living. Yes it may feel crappy for a bit. But you’ve done this before. You’ve been through worse and your mind and body know the answer. It’s about letting go and recommitting yourself to that mindset.

    I expect that you will simply just decide on your own to do this and it will happen. It’s never easy when we have setbacks, and we all need a little time to readjust our thought processes. Give yourself credit for having gone through this and come out on top before, and it will happen again.

    You’re not in any danger.

  652. Alz Says:

    As you know i was an active user- reader and writer- at this blog and then i just decided to take a break and stop using it so much..
    I wont say things have been awesome but I was making much progress.I was replacing my imaginative thougths of seeing things etc with what reality is.. that in reality there would be nothing.. i would meditate to it. But the last few days have been really bad.. I don’t know why… maybe because i am alone a lot??! I question seeing things and then i imagine that if i look in the mirror i will see something different, I am scared of going to the toilet.. being alone i guess and then i truly just had a meltdown.. I was praying on the prayer mat and that was also scaring me.. dunno why. Then i prayed to God really hard to take me out of this torture and i just started crying. I mean i am now also scared of going to my mom (in a different city) lest this new symptom of imagining seeing things gets worse..I imagine myself in my own room at my mom’s and then the horrible way i will feel there…
    any words of reassurance and advice would help

  653. Alz Says:

    oh and now i also have feelings of unreality (the infamous dp/dr). How do i make myself belive that this life is real.. that what im doing is real … that it is the real truth???!

  654. Joey Says:


    While in the thick of intense anxiety, whatever it is that we really want to feel certain of will elude us. If you read through all of the comments on this blog throughout the years, you will see that everyone with anxiety suffers from that. The person who really wants to feel assurance and certainty that he loves his partner is scared because he cannot feel it. The person with thoughts of harming their child is scared, not only becsuse of the intensity of the thought, but because they cannot feel convinced that they cannot feel convinced that they would never do such a thing. The person who fears going crazy is scared because they cannot feel convinced of their sanity. On and on this could go. You can break put of the loop by not trying to feel convinced or certain that your particular fear (the content is irrelevant) is untrue. Accept the fact that you might not be able to feel convinced for a while…BUT ALSO accept that the whole thing is a bluff (a very convincing bluff) fueled by anxiety. You can KNOW that you and the world are real even if you can’t feel it. You know the truth about all of these things. It’s just that your feelings and emotions haven’t fallen into line yet. Give it time and they will. :)

  655. Alz Says:

    thanks Joey…

  656. Stephanie Says:

    Hi Horton, I once considered taking St John’s myself but never did. I believe you could do better for yourself by simply eating right, exercising and getting sufficient sleep. I believe these go a long way toward helping heal your body. The rest is an attitude change.

  657. Albert Says:

    Hello everyone,
    I am currently going through a tough time and I could do with some help .

    Basically I’m a single dad of 2 going through a divorce where my ex is trying to get custody of my children.

    I’m constantly anxious ,”edgy” dizzy, off my food, not wanting to interact with life .

    I have been trying to accept all this basically along the lines of letting the anxious feelings be there, saying “do your worst, you cannot hurt or harm me ”

    My trouble is that these feelings have been going on for about 4 weeks and I’m totally fed up with how I’m feeling

    I know by being fed up with it I’m not “accepting” it but how do you “accept” for weeks on end? when these horrible feelings are affecting my life and stopping me from enjoying or living my life ?

  658. Bryan Says:


    I went through a divorce at the peak of my worst. It’s not easy. However, I survived and it turned out to be for the best. I wouldn’t change anything now.

    One way I try to help myself when acceptance is hard besides reaching out to a mentor or friend is to ask…. what is actually other option? Even if I have to write it out.

    You can work to do as Paul and so many others suggest… or… fight and fret?
    Battle with it? Honestly and truly ask… Even if accepting is hard, when when don’t want to do one thing we must have a realistic option for another.
    Is there one? Would fighting or complaining make this go away? Is there some way we can force this away purely by our will? By out dislike of it?

    This isn’t to be snarky or insensitive. Rather a truly honest question. What else can we do?

    I think when we really unpack it and work through it… it helps us find more peace in the right attitude. I know it’s not easy, believe me. But it’s in us all to do.

  659. Sue Says:

    I have been doing well just lately and living life to the full. I do not worry as I did and most of the anxiety feelings have gone. However I over did it last week and have ended up exhausted this weekend and so tired that a few of the horrible thoughts were just going round my head constantly for 2 days and my head was aching with a tight band round it. it seems every time I do too much the black thoughts descend. Does anyone else find this. I have rested for a couple of days now and the thoughts seem to be easing. Its the horrible negative thoughts that up set me the most and I don’t know how to stop thinking them. May be out of habit but even when tired it would be nice to think of ordinary things than horrible ones.

  660. Jacob Says:

    So my take away from this last post is. Nature fixes anxiety. Life and life changes. Ok. I can agree. If that is true should one steer clear from medication for anxiety with all its adverse affects?

  661. Louise Says:

    Hi sue I know exactly what you mean I find I can go some days with no horrible thoughts then they come out of nowhere : (

  662. Jessica Williams Says:

    I have anxiety and was doing great up for about 3 1/2 and all of a sudden a conversation came up about Schizophrenia and that sent my anxiety sorrowing high. My moms friend has that disease and i find myself checking all noises I hear and things I see. I also worry what if her thoughts become mine and I loose my mind. Who will take care of my kids, how will people view me. I know these things are not true and everything I see and hear checks out to be legit so im just trying to stay positive and let it pass. I know this is anxiety, but I just want to know if anyone else has expirence this, also my head is so tight and full of pressure. I also dont want to go around my moms friend anymore is this normal please help somebody. I just want to feel like myself again. This is a painful feeling. Also anyone having problems sleeping i toss and turn at nite. Also what about nightmares and feeling as though u mind never shuts down and suggestions will be greatly appreciated

  663. Sue Says:

    Hi Louise,

    Thanks for coming back to me and thanks for your reasureance that you and others also suffer the same as me. It is my Birthday today and fortunately I have not had too many horrible thoughts. I was determined I was not going to have them but somehow like you say they come from nowhere. I realise I am still not out of the woods yet as far as the brain is concerned. It still comes up with crappy thoughts I thought had long gone. I would not have imagined that you could still think the same things 2 years on surely the mind forgets one day. I notice some days you get up full of the joys of spring and out of the blue a horrible thought reminds you.

  664. Alz Says:

    Pls tell me how to deal with hyper vigilance … Looking at things from the corner of my eye .. Sometimes also imagining seeing things not there .. Should I accept this too? Surely this isn’t anxiety but partial madness .. I’m like a zombie and I don’t know how I’m able to seem normal to others when I think, feel and imagine so irrationally . Does anyone feel that way? Maybe my stillbirth was too much to take and now my brain has rewired wrong ???

  665. Bryan Says:


    Visual tricks are 100% normal. It’s a common complaint. People describe tons of different varieties of eye tricks, etc.

    Your brain operates generally via electrochemical process. Signals are sent back and forth from nerves to eyes to brain…. etc. When the brain is fatigued, stressed… tired… worn… those signals can temporarily become skewed. Have you ever been so tired when you were driving you thought you saw something in the road that wasn’t there, for example? Had eyes that were sensitive to light? Etc? This is simply the brain being fatigued and its processes not working normally.

    A simple amount of rest and discontinuation of worry solves these things.

    Depersonalization is the same thing, and you hear people complain of that here almost universally.

    Also, we really have to watch our language when we are stressed. Find new ways to frame what is happening to you…

    “I feel awful… but it’s just a product of stress and being on edge… ”

    as opposed to…

    “Madness and zombies”

    It may feel good or like a release to be dramatic, but really… one is true (stress) and one is nonsense (zombies) … and when you are dramatic, you send fear messages to your brain which puts MORE stress chemistry into your system.

    I know you feel awful, been there – many times.

    But the truth is this…

    1. You are healthy.
    2. Nothing is broken.
    3. This is very common and human.
    4. It’s all stress-related.
    5. It can all unwind when we let it.

    No matter how dramatic our symptoms feel, the above is true. I have a hard time believing some days myself. But it is the truth.

  666. Bryan Says:


    That’s also common… high stress can do that to any of us. I’m years into recovery and live pretty well these days – but at times high stress times can crank things up and I have the dark, depressive, fearful brain for no reason.

    But then, when allowed… it lifts.

    Be mindful to get enough rest, practice good self-care and just try to live as normally as you can. It’s hard to be patient through this, I know how you feel.
    But keep pointed forward.

  667. Louise Says:

    Sue I want to wish you a very happy birthday! Please try and have a wonderful day… You are definitely not alone… For a long time I thought I was the only one and that I was losing my mind.. But I now have days with no horrible thoughts and this is how I know that I can come through this.. It won’t be easy but what in this life is ever easy? We just need to get on with our lives and let anxiety and all that comes with it linger in the background. I believe everything happens for a reason and maybe just maybe anxiety has come to us to make us see how truly strong we all are.. I really wish you all the best and I’m here if you need to chat : )

  668. Alz Says:

    Bryan ,
    Thank you so much .. Ur honestly the bad cop here and that ALWAYS helps .., and I mean this in a good way ! Putting a stop to the thoughts is the point which I haven’t reached … And it gets so bad that I fear everything.. Then , I come here , seek support , talk to God and sincerely ask for recovery .
    Yesterday I thought , if I’m seeing things – accept. If I’m feeling unreal – accept .. If im having self harm thoughts – accept . All part of anxiety . That helped but ( there’s always a but) what if I am heading towards insanity ??! See another thought worse than the others .. Won’t let you be will it – this dear friend of ours called anxiety .. I guess accept that too .. If I have to go mad I will and nothing can stop that .. It’s bad when u start sort of internalizing that thought – the fear grows

  669. Sue Says:

    Hi Bryan and Louise

    Sat at home today resting up in between getting ready for party tommorrow.

    Very tired because did not sleep too well last night too much activity outside the house. Awful full head and negative thinking. Why do we keep searching in our minds for something to make us anxious. Anxious thoughts from a time I was really anxious and yet do not feel that way any more. How does one stop torturing yourself by keep waiting for thoughts to crop up again in the same situations. or looking for new thoughts. I feel I waste alot of energy this way but do not know how to stop doing it to myself. Or perhaps its just tiredness playing tricks making me think the anxiety is back when its not.

  670. Sue Says:

    How really does one let the past anxiety go and really move forwards to relaxation and lack of irritation keep taking over.

  671. Anxious Indian Says:

    Hi Sue!

    I got this too lots of times right toll the end of recovery.

    I thinks it’s because we are so used to anxiety/intrusive thoughts that we start expecting them or sometimes even looking for them.

    The way I got around this habit was this – the moment I felt myself doing this I would stop. I found myself.doing this so often that it got very frustrating. But I decided to give myself time. This habit came n went and eventually I started smiling at the silliness of my habit.

    The stress attached to it left and so did the habit.

  672. Sue Says:

    Thanks Anxious Indian,

    It sure does help to know that others experience this as well. Why do we always feel everything is unique to us and that no one else has had what I have had.
    I think being trapped in your own head at times can be a lonely place and you do think at times something bad is going to happen to you. But when others point you in the right direction it is reassuring to know we are not loosing the plot.
    I have had plenty of good days and really should know better that this thing will pass again. I think sometimes we just let it get on top of us again for no rhyme or reason when suddenly the negatives outweigh the positives. I know it has been my own stupid fault for doing to much again. The days you feel full of energy you want to do more and think you are OK only to find a few days later the energy is gone and your tired out again.

  673. Sue Says:

    I have nothing to be anxious about now other than the thoughts I have had in the past. I do not consider my life stressful. I enjoy most things in life and go away on holidays and do things I enjoy. I suppose the only thing that can stress me at times is the intrusive thoughts and how to get rid of them and be how I was.
    I can never remember a time in my life when my thoughts stuck in my head and kept repeating themselves over and over again, or some of the black anxious fearful thoughts that can plague me at times and it has been disconcerting wondering how to calm it all down and be how I used to be without a care in the world. The fear has gone but the thoughts persist at times.

  674. Debbie Says:

    Anxious indian iam so happy to hear your doing well.

  675. Anxious Indian Says:

    Sue, this was the last thing for me to go too. I was no longer fearful of these thoughts but it felt so irritating to have them over and over again.

    At my calmest I realised a few things:

    1. Because the underlying thought for me too was ‘anxiety has gone but these thoughts remain’ it reminded me of the thoughts and naturally I remembered them again and again.

    Once I realised this, I calmed down and realised how futile it was to ‘try’ and forget them. I let myself remember and didn’t care.

    The cycle was something like this:

    Intrusive thought –> thought about when anxiety has gone why do these thoughts still remain –> remember thought again –> why am I remembering this again –> I will never forget this — I will never be able to get out of this habit this way –> remember thought again & so on.

    The past anxiety thoughts kept popping up in my mind as memories.

    So I completely stopped caring whether the thought pops up or whether I remember it. It was Ok either way.

    It was natural too. Obviously we remember because we know ‘we remember’

    That was when I realised how funny and stupid this whole business was. I calmed down and the habit faded – came back – faded – and eventually went away.

    2. Our body and mind are very tired. And it has become our habit to remember ‘our troubles’ again and again. That too causes us to think of intrusive thoughts.

    It’s OK. Just realise that our mind is like a TV screen. Whatever it remembers let it pass, you come back to what you want to remember.

    Slowly the mind rebalances, new habits are formed and memories fade away.

  676. Anxious Indian Says:

    Thanks Debbie :)

    I am fine now – all thanks to Paul, Nolan, Rick, Ves and all the wonderful people here who helped and guided me so many times without tiring of it.

    Also, 15 to 30 mins of mindful meditation helped me the most in my recovery. I watched Tara Brach’s videos on suffering and tried it out, it left me with a learning that I shall cherish all my life.

  677. Bryan Says:

    Alz – No one has ever “headed towards insanity.” You won’t be thr first in human history. :)

    Insanity, which is really slang for very distinct afflictions which are easily identified and apparent at an early age in most cases. Also if you were “insane” you wouldn’t know or care.

    You have anxiety. You worry about fear and are fearful about fear and fearful about worry and worried about worrying….

    As for God, I’m no expert. But when I’ve reached out… I always ask for guidance. I ask for strength and understanding to move through this on my own. I’ve always been told that God gave us free will. So… he would want us to solve this by our own choices. To me… those choices involve the kinds of attitudes Paul, Claire Weekes Ana others have taught us.

  678. Sue Says:

    Hi Anxious Indian,

    I am so glad you have explained it to me. I think that has been my main problem in recovery and caused me as just as much anxiety.
    As you say you remember because you know you remember. When the intrusive thoughts keep coming back you get more in a tiss because they are still there. You start to question them even though at times you have got rid of them and worked your way out of thinking them
    and assume because you no longer care about them why they still persist.
    Its as though your mind says well you have not thought about that today so we better think it now.
    Today I have been pre occupied with preparations for my party and have sat down in between and the thoughts have not plagued me as much for having a rest and not dwelling on myself. I think as you said the secret at times is as much rest and relaxation out of your head is the best thing. I did go through a stage where I was alright when I was out doing things and yet when I came home it all descended into my head again. But that seems to be going gradually.
    Thank you for your help!

  679. Stephanie Says:

    We have a choice in how we respond to anxiety. We are not simply victims of our thoughts and feelings. There’s freedom in realizing and understanding this. So right now, if you’re feeling anxious (in whatever form), you get to choose what your next step is. You can google anxiety, or you can go take a walk outside. You can sit on the couch and feel sorry for yourself, or you can read a book. You can complain to family/friends about how you’re so miserable, or you can cook a yummy meal. Some of those actions will keep you stuck in the anxiety cycle; some of those actions will make your life about more than anxiety.

    You get to choose. So today, is your life going to be about the thoughts raging in your mind and the feelings raging in your body? Or will today be about something more, something bigger?

    Don’t make an excuse for yourself. You do have a choice. And don’t give up when the anxiety doesn’t disappear overnight. That’s not the point. The point is to make your life about more than anxiety. Anxiety can still be there, screaming away at you. As Nolan always says, peace will find its way back to you. It’s not your job to find it. It’s your job to live your life.

  680. Sue Says:

    Its funny how the nice thoughts never stick like the strawberry trifles going round your head they just sieve through. where as the horrible fearful thoughts about people and things happening negatively go on and on.
    Anxiety is a horrible condition and I hope once it has gone it will never come back again to haunt me. Nothing is so important to worry about that would cause so much suffering. The world through the book at me before I had anxiety exacerbated by the onset of menopause. I will spend the rest of my life trying to live a calm and reduced stress existence as I possibly can if this terrible anxiety has been the result.

  681. Anxious Indian Says:

    Sue…anxiety around menopause is the worst kinds as hormones make it so compulsive. You should give a pat on your back to yourself for coming so far in such a condition.

    Also, what you said is absolutely right. Nothing….just NOTHING….is worth worrying about…whether its a repetitive thought, a repetitive habit, a bad sensation, just nothing at all.

    One more things that I realised was that although anxiety goes away, but it leaves us with a lot of nervous energy that causes these negative thoughts and habits.

    First of all…love and forgive yourself.
    Get as much rest and relaxation as you can.
    Make a deliberate attempt to calm down all the time – try to get calmer – treat it like a healing medicine for your tired body and mind. Yo can try some mindful meditation. Even Paul used to do that for a few minutes after bath with some soothing music.
    With a lot of patience, train yourself to focus on the positive or real, than negative and imaginary.

    You’ll be there, very soon. You are almost there! :)

  682. Sue Says:

    Hi Anxious,

    Yes it has definitely been a trying time and I have got through a great deal of stress and anxiety over the past 2 years.

    Yes I have been thinking about all the things I have thought and although I know they are adrenaline based sometimes they had felt so real. Some of the things I have thought I have felt bad about, so yes there is a place to forgive ones self especially when they have been directed at loved ones. But then at the time it seemed they hurt and were the scariest thoughts of all. I am learning that it is rest that helps to heal. Many times I have gone out trying to run away from myself half the time and hoping to get rid of thoughts and feelings but like today it is the quiet of the home that has brought me peace.
    So is it the excercise that helps to get rid of the nervous energy.
    Yes I do try hard to focus on the positive and go to work part time.
    Thanks for encouraging me to realise I am well on the road to recovery.
    Just does not seem like it sometimes.

  683. Jonny Says:

    I’ve only ever read the comments and never posted. But just thought I’d share something. Struggled really bad with anxiety for last year or so, mostly physical symptoms dizziness, shortness of breath etc etc. Anyway im just back from a family holiday which I thoroughly enjoyed, but had seriously considered not going due to fear of symptoms. I can’t believe I nearly let anxiety convince me not to go and although some of the days were a struggle but I just got on with it . Do you know what I will never let anxiety tell me what I can and cannot do ever again. As Paul says in the books anxiety has taken enough of my life but no more. Good luck everyone.

  684. Tom Says:

    Hi everyone!
    I would appreciate if somebody could help me with an issue that’s keeping me stuck. I’ve had anxiety for six years, and have been reading this blog for the past two years. During that time, there were a few times when I could actually accept all of the symptoms, and after a few moments of heightened anxiety my mind became much clearer, and calmer. This state lasted a couple of days each time. The problem is that after it I always fall back into the anxious state, and stay that way for a few months, or even half a year, until something clicks in me again, and I’m able to accept everything once again. I always try to remember HOW I could accept my symptoms in the past, which I understand is counterproductive. I would be glad to hear your view on what I might be doing wrong, since I can only seem to apply the attitude of acceptance very rarely.
    Thanks for reading this.

  685. Stephanie Says:

    Hey Tom,

    For me acceptance is an attitude of deciding that my anxious feelings/thoughts will no longer dictate my actions. This doesn’t mean that I don’t care about my anxiety in the sense that it no longer bothers me. It can still feel terrible. But the difference is I say, “I’m feeling anxious – ok, this stinks, but oh well, I’m still going about my day.”

    Also, accepting means you stop viewing your life in terms of anxiety. You stop saying, “Yesterday I barely felt anxious, but today I’m a bundle of nerves again!” Every day is how it is, and you feel how you feel. Yes, some days will be good, and some days will be bad. But you stop tracking yourself – “well last week I had three good days, but this week I’ve had all bad days, I must be doing something wrong!!” Your life becomes about more than anxiety, more than how you’re feeling at any given moment. It’s actually quite liberating to realize you can be more than your feelings.

  686. Albert Says:

    Stephanie great post,
    I’m going through an intense bout of anxiety (divorce,custody of kids etc) and ive been lying in bed dreading the day thinking how to cope with my kids.But like you said ive thought “so what” I’m going to face the day and if I feel crap, I do , but I’m not going to lye around thinking and feeling sorry for myself anymore ,it probably wont be nice but what other option is there ? Stay in and wait to feel better, well I know that wont work.
    So off I go !

  687. Jamie Says:

    Hi. I have not posted for a while but after another read of Claire Weekes’ “Self Help For Your Nerves”, I have been feeling better. I have been ‘floating’ through days / situations / feelings and have just told myself to ‘stop’ and to know that my body will heal if I continue with this attitude.

    Anyway, I was not having a great day on Friday at work (I musn’t expect every day to be ok I guess) and a woman asked me for some help with her work. Now this is the bit I feel a bit stupid saying this, but being around this woman makes me anxious. The reason for this is that she made a play for me at the Xmas Do in December which I declined and half the office were talking about it / making jokes about it it for weeks. My anxiety makes me hate being the centre of attention so her doing that and also messaging me on Facebook after the Do made me find talking to her / being around her feel pretty anxious. This was 7 months ago now but the feeling is still there !

    Anyway, she asked me for some help with her work and all of a sudden, when I started talking to her 1 on 1, I became completely flooded with anxiety and terrible thoughts. My heart was racing, the adrenalin was pumping and my head was telling me I was going to have to leave and say to her ‘I’ve got to go – back in a minute’ and leg it. I was struggling to talk properly when I was talking to her and of course worried that she noticed.

    My anxiety makes it so difficult for me to concentrate at the best of times and so, afterwards, I kept going over it and wondering if I gave her the right advice. The anxiety did eventually calm and I gave her my answer.

    Then shortly after this, I saw the woman talking to her team leader and leapt to the conclusion that I gave her the wrong answer and she had gone to someone else for a second opinion. I then spent the rest of the afternoon petrified that she would ask me another question, I would have another panic episode and / or not be able to answer her. This has been on my mind since Friday afternoon and I am projecting forward to next week and worrying it may happen again.

    I have had a problem speaking to people on a 1-1 basis for quite a while now as I fear I will get anxious, the other person will notice, I will be ‘trapped’ and cannot leave. However, the problem had been easier and and I had been managing these situations a bit better….until this happened…..

    As I said, I have not been on here for a while and I believe doing so, has also made me feel a bit better. However, I guess I have come back for a little support and reassurance. Thanks for listening

  688. Alz Says:

    I agree with the free will bit ..
    hehe as for the insanity bit .. thanks for that reality check.
    You know i read in Paul’s first book that a lot of pregnant women sought help from him-post , pre , he even mentioned the case of a woman who went through still birth and depersonalization etc etc.. i think hormones have a big role to play in this especially for women ..
    anyway i do hope to have another baby and maybe if i think of it in a spiritual way, i am being taught to deal with the full throttle of anxiety that I had never experienced but was always scared of. Right now , its full throttle.. and nature will heal it like Paul said BUT at this point , this interim period, its hard .. its anxiety and the it has a life of its own.
    I recently joined a myptsd forum group but i think this blog is enough.. yes i havent processed the death of my baby completely but right now all i have is anxiety, obsessive thoughts and sometimes a feeling of unreality. I think this blog is enough to help me with that.
    Also a call out to Paul… a new post is definitely required whenever you’re free !:)

  689. Alz Says:

    ALso bryan..
    do u think writing helps? i mean having a diary of your own… cbt sort of .. rationalising with irrational thoughts…
    what does one do when they feel so real? accept that thats also part of anxiety i guess..

  690. Bryan Says:


    I kept/keep a simple journal. Some people swear by it. My only caution would be not to use it as an “anxiety removal tool.” If you just want to jot some thoughts on paper to release them that seems fine to me.

    As for thoughts seeming real… I know how harsh this can make our lives at times. But again… getting about our day and letting the body release these feelings always is the best course.

    If you need to talk out what you’ve been through with the pregnancy that’s totally normal. But as for the residual stress symptoms you are going through… I believe the answer is the same for you as it is for me as for anyone here.

  691. Anxious Indian Says:

    Hey Tom! In 6 years, your body and mind have become used to being on the edge (if not anxious) all the time. That is the reason that after experiencing days of calm we again get pulled back into the cycle.

    Anything can pull you back in the cycle – a scary thought that you habitually react to, a panicky or edgy feeling (i used to feel like a hunted animal) or just the habit of our mind trying to look for something to worry about.

    Now in order to move forward, someone has to break the cycle. Your tired body and mind cannot – so YOU have to. In fact your body and mind desperately need a rest, and you should give them that rest. Now the question is HOW

    I would suggest, for a month at least, deliberately try and keep yourself calm. A scary thought or sensation or situation will send you into panic, but the moment you realise it’s happening again, please say to yourself “no matter what happens in my mind or body, I am going to stay calm this month”.

    You will be tempted to analyse, to make sense of things and will also do so automatically at times as it becomes a strong habit – but the moment you realise you are a participating in it, just get out of the thought chain and focus on anything you are doing – eating, reading, watching TV or just looking out of the window.

    Please try and give your mind and body a month of calm and rest, and after that see if you feel a difference. For this 1 month, let anxiety do it’s thing but you focus on your life as much as possible.

    Do things you enjoy and get rest as much as possible.

  692. Anxious Indian Says:

    Jamie, I have been through the same thing for so many years and I know how it feels.

    However, as of now, what do you think is more important to you – recovering from anxiety or other people’s opinion of you?

    If recovering from anxiety is a priority then for a while try and stop caring of how you come across in conversations or what people think of you. Anxiety has made your mind tired, extra-sensitive and detached, and that makes it difficult in 1 on 1 conversations where more concentration is required. It is this very worry of how we are coming across that is keeping the anxiety cycle going:

    You speak to people and worry about how you are coming across –> anxiety swells up –> your mind gets even more detached and starts chattering –> you are not able to concentrate on the conversation –> you worry even more about how you are coming across –> anxiety grows and thrives

    See the cycle? YOU have to break it. You break it by acknowledging to yourself “Anxiety has made my mind tired and detached and I won’t be able to give my full concentration to conversations. People may or may not notice but till I recover, I will not care.” Your priority should be to give your mind and body a rest. They deserve it.

    Also, in most cases, people don’t notice. Just smile, nod and play along. And if they do, so be it. Your goal is to stay calm and give a chance to your mind and body to recover. And once you recover, you will anyway freely be able to have the most intelligent and interesting conversations.

  693. Louise Says:

    Hi Alz

    I’ve just been reading your posts and can I just wanted to say sorry for the loss of your baby I cannot begin to imagine how awful that must of been : ( my anxiety was also bought on by a very traumatic birth of my son he was 6 weeks early and had to be in hospital for 5 weeks he had some breathing issues which required surgery… I felt very disconnected from him and was in shock from my emergency c section.. Giving birth to my son was not how I had pictures it to be it was awful and terrifying and knocked me for a 6! Not long after my mother in law was diagnosed with brain cancer which set off my first panic attack I’ve had anxiety every day since then so going on 3 years I suffer horrible scary intrusive thoughts that make me sick to my stomach.. My hubby wants another baby which should be a wonderful exciting thing but it fills me with terror : ( deep down in my heart I want another child but I just need to get past the fear..I’m also terrified I’ll have awful thoughts and have them whilst looking after a toddler and newborn it’s just awful to not be able to be excited about having another baby

  694. Cat Says:

    Hi all, this is my first time posting here. I have read Paul’s first book a couple of years back. Now reading his recent book.

    My anxiety started 5 years ago after a traumatic abortion. I went on counseling, meds etc and recovered. By God’s grace, I had another beautiful baby too.

    Yet anxiety returned and I had a couple of relapses last year due to stress. This year, again 2 more episodes… Getting weary as I thought I have left that beast behind.

    To Louise and Alz : I understand how u feel… would like to encourage u to just keep trying for another baby. When I was going thru the 2nd pregnancy, I kept telling myself to just do it afraid. Not to let the anxiety stop you.

    I’m still grappling with the thots and feelings although from Paul’s writings, it is really v clear that the act of trying is the problem itself. I recognize that yet it is really automatic response that I kept falling the tricks that anxiety plays.

  695. Alz Says:

    Hey Louise .
    thank you so much..
    you know even before having your new born, you’re already setting the stage for how your pregnancy will be and that you’ll have awful thoughts etc. This is not what i felt and i just went straight into trying for a baby – i had stopped taking anti depressants, was meditating , doing yoga and was at a good place. But, when i conceived.. BOOM!.. i had the worst fears etc etc and then the traumatic death of my baby followed. I just couldn’t accept any of my fears during my pregnancy. I don’t think i even tried acceptance- i fed each fear.
    I would suggest that if you have anxiety, fears, intrusives then do be comfortable with the idea that you will have ALL sorts of fears, intrusives etc etc while your pregnant because honestly ur already fearing that. But, while you are pregnant, get some therapy to address all these thoughts and learn to accept. 9 months is not going to be a short time and then you have a toddler too.
    I also really want a child.. even though its been 6 months and as you must have read my posts i have a LOT of FEARS. So I am definitely going to give it time. I have to start accepting all my fears and living life along with them… Im not there yet.. i am still affected and feel flawed. Once i reach that happy equilibrium, i will try and honestly i don’t know how long that will take…but one can always be hopeful :)

  696. Alz Says:

    Anxious Indian…
    such great posts..
    And ironically i am going through Tara Brach’s audio book and did try her meditation yesterday..

  697. Jamie Says:

    Thanks for the reply Anxious Indian.

    May I ask what stage of ‘recovery’ you are at currently ?

  698. Julie Says:


    Can I ask if anyone can relate to this that I am suffering from. I am guessing it is derealisation. Recently I even get it if I am at home all day and don’t go out but when it triggered was after our holiday. I came home from the holiday and all day I felt the house was too bright, unreal, spaced out and i felt floaty. A week lt carried on into the second day at home but then eased off. Then last weekend we went out shopping and to put some flowers on my Nan and Grandads grave, I got home and felt the same feeling on returning home. Like all my surroundings were too bright, distant, floaty and I didn’t feel in the room. So hard to explain, but I don’t get the out of body feeling you read about with DP, or the watching yourself feeling. I just feel like almost everything is out of focus or I can’t focus on things, distant and unreal feeling. Again it passed and last week i was fine. Until yesterday when it hit again.

    I have been unwell the last 4 days with a virus so yesterday I had a day of rest, took full advantage of hubby home so he could watch the children. I had a rest and watched tv and again it hit. I found myself reaching for my sunglasses and that took away some of the feeling.

    Can anyone relate to this, is this what they call derealisation? I admit it worried me and gave me a fright. I still have it some what today and I have to drive my car this afternoon which does scare me a little having this feeling. It’s very strange. I guess I’d just like to know for sure what it is and if anyone can relate.


  699. Lats Says:

    Hi all..i m new here…i have read pauls book once…and i keep on reading comments here…jst thought of joining the group today…as i m in confusion..i m suffering from anxiety and depression since 5 yrs..i have very scary physical the new symptom has come is tmj problem, continous ringing in left ear, severe pain in left ear and electric shock feeling in left ear..its very scarry..does anyone have had this scarry symptom.pls telme..

  700. Bryan Says:


    Please read my post to Alz on July 16th above.

    Change the name to your name.

    (What you describe is extremely common and basic for stress disorder. )

  701. Anxious Indian Says:

    Jamie, glad to be of help!

    I am completely recovered now, in fact much calmer than my pre-anxiety self. It took me 2 yes though to reach this point.

  702. Anxious Indian Says:

    Alz I am glad I can help here sometimes. …..the least I can do for this forum that helped me so much.

    Tara Brach teaches a beautiful way of mindfulness meditation with an attitude of compassion towards your own self. Even if you prqcrice it just 15 minutes a day, you will start feeling a difference in your calmness levels real soon.

  703. Alz Says:

    Anxious Indian did you require medication on the path to recovery ?

  704. Jamie Says:

    Anxious Indian

    That gives me and should give others on here inspiration that there are people on this blog ‘recovered’. Of course, when I use that term, I mean able to live their life and not be troubled by anxiety.

    Everyone is different but for you, was it 2 years from reading Paul’s book for the first time or did you have a ‘lightbulb’ moment when everything just fell into place ?

  705. Anxious Indian Says:

    Alz I was prescribed an anti-depressant 20 mg each day for 3 mnths, but I tapered them off after 2 mnths as I felt they were not helping.

    The only thing that used to help me was deliberately taking a break from rumination no matter how bad the symptoms, and to calm my mind. I kept reminding myself that “my mind is tired n hyperactive, I can’t afford to do any deep thinking and tire it more, no matter how bad I feel or if I get an intrusive thought every 10 secs – which I did at times thanks to the imagination a human mind is capable of – I will not consciously participate in figuring things out or thinking of ways to feel better” .

    I had made it an aim to let my mind get some rest.

    Habit ensured that I still got involved in rumination very often, but I did not want to give up so I kept stopping myself from getting involved consciously whenever I realised that I was doing so.

    Once my mind started calming down, things started to make sense them self. I did not need to analyse, understanding of my condition dawned itself.

    It was a slow process…very very slow….sometimes I cried too….but slowly the good habits overtook the bad ones and things got better.

  706. Tom Says:

    Thanks Stephanie and Anxious Indian, great posts!
    Could this same approach also be applied to thoughts that aren’t necessarily anxious, but rather negative or depressing?

  707. Joe Says:

    Hi everyone (sorry if this is interrupting I’ve never commented here before)

    I’ve read Paul’s book and it’s helped me it a little bit. It’s been about 4-5 days since I started trying to change my attitude (I’m being careful not to say something along the lines of ‘trying to use this method to recover’ as I recognise that this is the wrong approach) and I’m fairly certain this is the best way to help with my anxiety.

    I had a bout of depersonalisation after 2/3 years of having my nerves bombarded with acute emotional stress, anxiety and depression. It lifted after about a month but it left me with this weird anxiety about existence and the mind/brain/consciousness and the flow of time which became really chronic and intense. It’s been like this for 2 months I think.

    Because of how strange these thoughts and anxieties are i often fall into the trap of thinking I have some kind of incurable mental condition, like I’ll never ‘unsee’ all these weird existential/metaphysical/philosophical ‘realisations’ and such and I’ll be in a perpetual state of anxiety and depression forever.

    I also, after reading the book, am worried about itself. The advice is not to worry but then I get worried about worrying and things like ‘what if I can’t stop worrying and I’ll never be able to get better’. I get hung up about accepting and letting thoughts come to the point where that becomes my source of worry and anxiety. I catch myself worrying and then feel under a lot of pressure which seems to go against the advice given here. Almost like I feel under pressure to not feel under pressure and then once I have that thought it makes me feel under more pressure. This only makes my anxiety about being aware of having a mind/brain/thoughts even worse.

    I’ve always been a chronic worrier my whole life and I feel like I won’t be able to get over this.

  708. Stephanie Says:

    Tom, yes, absolutely. It applies to all thoughts and to all feelings. And new thoughts/feelings will pop up, of differing kinds, in order to grab your attention. But that’s when you say, “Oh, hmm, that’s new. But oh well, it doesn’t matter, I have more important things to do than focus on this.”

    The process takes time. Sometimes you’ll still find yourself drawn in, but that’s when you just turn your focus outwards again. And again, and again. But then you’ll find it becomes easier to live your life, even with it all there in the background.

  709. Julie Says:


    Great post, thank you for directing me to it.

    It’s good to know it’s very normal. Having a flare up of generalised anxiety I guess it just goes hand in hand with it. Strangely I am pretty calm and relaxed but I have the DP and mind worries lingering on.

    Thanks again.


  710. Alz Says:

    just need some reassurance….
    my anxiety had reached heights where it manifests in things i feel i saw… for eg i was looking in the mirror and thought i saw something on my face (a black line) but looking again, it wasn’t there…. what scares me is what if i start seeing more things.. I don’t know why but ever since i moved back to my husband’s iv been very hyper alert — scared i might start seeing things and then my imagination also cooks up things.. and then the derealization cuz one is so caught up in the seeing not seeing…
    did anyone go through this.. how do i ease my mind? its not schizophrenia because then seeing things would feel normal.. but can anxiety also cause imagination to go so wild?
    now im scared of going to my mom’s because i fear this symptom might worsen… and then that makes me really depressed because i do want to obviously visit my mother (in a different city).
    Bryan , iv started writing my thoughts.. but what about this where your imagination is actually creating things.. that arent there?! its v scary

  711. Jessica Says:

    Do any of you guys get Bizarre irrational thoughts I do good a few days then they come back just aggravating and scary. I need encouragement? Like thought being taken over by someone else but its scary and I know it cant happen but I get scared that one day I will believe it since I think it, & freak myself out and end up in a Mental Hospital and not be able to be with my family. Im tired of these Annoying thoughts.

  712. Anxious Indian Says:

    Tom, anxiety makes us tired, edgy and feeling trapped in our scary little world with no escape. That naturally results in a lot of negative and depressive thoughts. You can treat them the same way, give them little attention and move on with life.

    However, when it comes to THOUGHTs of any kind, I want to share with you one of my greatest learnings that put a seal on my recovery.

    I used to be plagued with scary or depressive intrusive thoughts every 20 seconds! Although Paul always guides us not to argue with thoughts, but we do tend to get pulled in when it’s something that bothers us a lot.

    I was walking up the slope to my house and this thought kept going around in my mind that “I will lose my close ones very soon” (the reason perhaps is that I lost my mom at a very early age and that pain was part of me), and every time this thought would come, I would feel panic welling up in my body and mind. Then I mustered up the courage and kept saying “My family will live a long and happy life” and everytime I said this with conviction, I felt a little happiness and peace in me. I was lost in these ongoing arguments – analysis and justifications – and I didn’t realise that I was crossing the road and a car coming down the slope barely missed running over me. I realised I was so close to dying myself that very moment. What purpose would the arguments about my family’s life being short or long served me, if I had myself died much before them at that very moment?

    Then a surprising realisation hit me. I think ‘Thought A’ (in my own mind) and I feel dread, then I think ‘Thought B’ (again, in the very same mind) and I feel happy. What is the sanctity of either Thought A or B? The truth (what happens for real in life) could be a situation C. And yet I had been driving myself nuts over A & B!
    Everything felt so stupid!

    I realised my mind was MINE – it was just a simple screen inside my head that played over thoughts, it was not some super power dictating reality or something possessed by an outside force. Every thought – negative or positive – is at the end of the day only a thought in my own mind, and it is ME who chooses to give the thought attention.

    I was elated and wanted to experience this more. I sat in my room deliberately thinking negative and positive thoughts alternately. Every time I thought something negative, I felt panic and dread pass through me. I did not resist, I left myself loose to feel it completely. And every time I thought of positive things, I felt some happiness or calmness in me. I was then sure that it was MY mind, MY body and I had been so afraid of it!

    That moment made me realise it is of 0 significance what thoughts pass through our head. They have 0 value till we choose to give them attention. And I had been driving myself anxious over thoughts for more than a year!

    I started not bothering about what I thought. I started paying attention to only the real things – my work, my job, food I ate, walks I took, etc. Also I slowly retrained myself to focus on positive things, and ignore negative things without making it my goal to get rid of them. There is so much accumulated negative energy – it made much more sense to let it burn itself out without my active interference.

    My mind felt ‘surprised’ for a while – it kept saying “Really? It’s OK to think ANYTHING?” The sense of freedom that came with it was amazing!

    Slowly I calmed down, my mind stopped being alert all the time in anticipation of scary thoughts and I moved forward on the path to recovery.

  713. Tasnim Says:

    Hey guys,
    So the past week I’ve been feeling this pressure on the sides of my head, around my ears and temples, as wells as my sinus areas. Sometimes it’ll feel like my head is heavy, and that the pressuring is pushing at all sides of my head. Along with I’ll feel a painless throbbing, or pulse at the sides of my head, near my ears or around my temples. Has anyone had this? Would you say it’s anxiety related? I also have TMJ problems, and could possibly grind my teeth at night, which could add to the anxiety. I’m not sure if I should ask my doctor, as I go to her a lot for no reason. It’s not constant, but comes on and off. I never really get physical symptoms so I’m not sure what to think.

  714. Cat Says:

    Hi Anxious Indian, your last post is excellent and a great reminder about being in the present moment. Indeed the thoughts are just thoughts. We get too self-focused on them and get pulled in. When I can focus and do other stuff regardless what the thoughts are, then gradually I get better. Tons of patience is needed as it is a process, not something that I can deliberately do and will immediately feel better and anxiety does not come back… It does and just have to keep on going the best one can.

  715. Nisha Says:

    Hallo all,

    | have been suffering from anxiety since my childhood, which i realised only two two years back. I am married and have a 5 year old kid. But anxiety is taking my life away. I am unable to make decisions in my life. I have bought both the books of Paul David, but still its not striking me. Whenever i read success stories, i think, why is that me not getting the point. I dont know where am going wrong. For example, i wish to have a second kid, but anxious thoughts doesn’t allow me to take my decisions. I had anxiety for my first kid as well. Sleepless nights made me more anxious. I can feel that my boy has also anxiety. So scared of going for a second kid. All anxious thoughts just pops up. What will happen if i get aborted? What will happen if i die during my pregnancy? What will happen if hear death news of my parents or other family members? If am anxious for anything and everything, will it affect the kid inside? This is just one example. Also, I am learning driving and stopped the class due to anxious thoughts about accidents, death, losing my family. I see them as real and dont even realize its a condition of anxiety and brain plays its tricks. Can somebody please help me how to handle these kind of thoughts? Should i talk positively? Should i say: Nothing will happen, you will be alright..I am so confused.

  716. Alz Says:

    Tasnim give it a few days and if it doesn’t go away make a visit to your doctor .. Although it does sound like anxiety

  717. Alz Says:

    guys.. (reposting so that someone can reply)
    just need some reassurance….
    my anxiety had reached heights where it manifests in things i feel i saw… for eg i was looking in the mirror and thought i saw something on my face (a black line) but looking again, it wasn’t there…. what scares me is what if i start seeing more things.. I don’t know why but ever since i moved back to my husband’s iv been very hyper alert — scared i might start seeing things and then my imagination also cooks up things.. and then the derealization cuz one is so caught up in the seeing not seeing…
    did anyone go through this.. how do i ease my mind? its not schizophrenia because then seeing things would feel normal.. but can anxiety also cause imagination to go so wild?
    now im scared of going to my mom’s because i fear this symptom might worsen… and then that makes me really depressed because i do want to obviously visit my mother (in a different city).
    Bryan , iv started writing my thoughts.. but what about this where your imagination is actually creating things.. that arent there?! its v scary

  718. Alz Says:

    you need to read Louise’s post on July 18… she’s stating almost exactly the same fear you have..
    Maybe you guys can help each other out get over these fears…
    hormones go whack during pregnancy and after which creates a lot of anxiety.. if uv read paul’s first book, he mentions how so many pregnant women seek help from him..

  719. Anxious Indian Says:

    Alz….I haven’t experienced intrusive images or visuals (I did hear strange things which is a similar symptom) but I feel the way to deal with them is the same.

    The anxious mind will keep throwing up different symptoms. ..let them be and try not to care.

    You might experience some more of these or maybe not, but they are not worth missing your life which is real and waiting for you like going to your mom’s. Life is short and you should not miss chances to be with your loved ones. It is the best part of life.

    Once anxiety goes down, nerves heal and mind gets off from the hyper alert mode which causes great stress on it, the symptoms will go away.

  720. Jenny Lee Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I haven’t been on the blog for a year or so at least. I’ve been trying to focus on life and give up caring about how I feel so much. However, I’ve become caught in a rut after a panic attack a few months ago on a train.

    I’ve always had a bit of claustrophobia and I know I’ve picked that up, a learned behaviour, from my mum. But recently, I’ve been terrified of the train getting stuck inbetween stations and me not being able to escape. I think it’s a fear of how I would cope because I literally have no choice to leave. Other situations, when I experience panic attacks it isn’t so bad because I CHOOSE to stay, but a train or plane forces me to stay, if that makes sense.

    I don’t avoid the train, but my attitude is wrong every time! I totally totally fear it getting stuck and I start to panic everytime it slows down, I’m terrified. I just want to get out.

    I don’t know how to overcome this one because it seems so extreme. I’m getting on a plane for 4 hours soon for my honeymoon and I’m more scared of that than the actual wedding day!! What if I panic and the panic attack never goes away?!!

    Please can anyone give me some advice and encouragement.

    Feel like i can’t do it!!
    Thank you

    Jenny Lee

  721. Cat Says:

    Hi Jenny, I’m no expert but sounds like your anxiety / panic is very specific – which may be a good thing. Have you tried working with a psychologist to slowly expose and de-sensitise the fear of trains / plane? or just take a sleeping pill and hmm, just sleep the 4 hours on the plane?

    Hmm, if it is any comfort – I actually think specific phobia / fear is better than GAD. :) cos u know specifically what to work on. And congrats for the wedding!

  722. Cat Says:

    Nisah, I also had anxiety during my 2nd pregnancy. What helped me a lot was this book – Mindful Motherhood by Cassandra Vieten. Perhaps you would like to try it.

  723. Lata Says:

    Hi all..i really need help m in confusion..suddenly 1 week back i felt electric shock kind feeling in my ear and jaw..first day it hapend once 2nd day twice and 3rd day many times continuous..i felt pins and needles in ears and around jaws and the wierd thing is that after this whenever i m eating after that i m geting severe pain on full left side around ears and jaw…does anyone had this symptom…would appreciate if someone could help..

  724. Bazza Says:

    Hi All

    I haven’t been on this in around 2 years but I’m getting a set back.

    My mind scares me so much!!!!!!!! I was on meds for 1 year and being honest I felt great no constant shit thinking over and over again. My thinking is relationship based. I have 2 kids and a great partner but all this becomes so clouded when I’m like this. All I think is that I must lealeave it

  725. Louise Says:

    Hi nisha

    I just read your post sounds identical to my situation I have a 3 year old little boy and am so scared to have another child but I guess if we want another child and we don’t because of fear of anxiety I guess we are letting our anxiety win and make choices for us… So I think we need to do what we want to in our hearts if we want more children we should have them anxiety will be there regardless but it’s up to us whether we allow it to stop us from doing the things we want to.. Sorry hope that makes sense

  726. Jessica Says:

    Reposting for Response
    Do any of you guys get Bizarre irrational thoughts I do good a few days then they come back just aggravating and scary. I need encouragement? Like thought being taken over by someone else but its scary and I know it cant happen but I get scared that one day I will believe it since I think it, & freak myself out and end up in a Mental Hospital and not be able to be with my family. Im tired of these Annoying thoughts.

  727. Alz Says:

    Louise were you the one who posted about hypervigilance ? Imagining hearing voices etc ,.. How did that go ? I posted above asking for help. I think in my head what if I start seeing images and then my mind creates visual intrusives… It’s unbelieveable how much the mind can scare you .

  728. Alz Says:

    Jessica ur not alone … Thoughts are just thoughts and at our levels of anxiety we believe they’re real – THEYRE NOT… Now I just tell myself if I have to end up mad I will … That’s my worst fear and my anxiety really makes me believe it but trudge along .., they’re so many ppl who’ve gone through similar symptoms … Know that you , myself etc etc etc are not the only ones ..

  729. Jessica Says:

    I have floatera in my eyes and it just irritatee the heck out of me and floaters are another symptom brought on by Anxiety which plays trick on me. I just want to get back to my old self and i know thay crazy people dont make plans for the future or for anything of that nature I just want my brain back. I feel like my thoughts are not my own and im just stuck like this. I want to be able to enjoy life again and just not care. I did good with not a care in the world for 3 1/2 yrs and just recently expirenced a setback and feel like im at square one again. Any suggestions, i have been reading the post and I try to not care but its just hard sometimes to not care when the thoughts are so scary.

  730. Rik Says:

    Hi guys,

    Just another update. I don’t really come on here any more. I needed to get away from it all and just live my life. I have been supporting one or two via email when they have contacted me and have been happy to do so.

    So onto my DP and anxiety. I am happy to report that by doing absolutely nothing and no longer caring about it and giving it attention it has reduced massively. My weird thoughts are far less and carry far less weight now. My physical symptoms are pretty much gone. On the whole I would say I am well and truly on the mend.

    It hasn’t been easy and I had to take a leap of faith to reach this point and just live my life with all the thoughts, feelings and dp/dr present and make the choice to ignore them and no longer worry about it all. I figured that if this is a stress based condition then adding further stress is a surefire way to make sure it sticks around as is concentrating on it. I believe we really have to begin to look outwards again and re-engage with life in the way we used to.

    I hope everyone is doing ok and I just wanted to give people a little bit of hope that things can get better. Believe me when I say I thought I had had it. I thought I was destined for a mental hospital or worse and yet here I am. Chilling out watching tv with my wife after having been to the gym and all the other things I used to do, even fishing on the river at night on my own. I am not fully out of the woods yet but I know I will make it. That positive attitude really helps when a symptom comes back or a thought. I just think to myself that I am not going there anymore and I refocus on what I was doing.

    Interest in the outside world has returned and so has my personality for the most part. I think this is crucial in moving forward past DP. For me DP/DR is a symptom of looking inward too much and concentrating so much on me and my internal world that the outer world begins to feel unreal and odd. The habit of questioning it all becomes established and the mind becomes exhausted. Pretty much exactly how Claire Weekes and Paul explain it. It is not madness nor is it any other kind of mental illness. It is nothing more than anxiety and intense introspection.

    DP/DR and intrusive thoughts were by far my biggest symptoms. I thought I could never move past them but over time they have all lessened and I can see the light at then end of the tunnel. Dont lose faith guys. Keep moving forward and accepting all that anxiety has to throw at you.

  731. Alz Says:


    Floaters in the eye- common anxiety symptom
    comparing yourself to ur past- what people with anxiety do
    crazy people don’t make plans for the future- you know you’re not mad.
    you admit you are experiencing a setback- anxiety again
    scary thoughts – anxiety again

    read the posts if you feel like for reassurance.. you just have anxiety and you need to accept that and make peace with ALL the anxiety symptoms…

    ahaha.. its kind of funny im giving advice… im ALWAYS asking for it. And trust me… your symptoms are not as bad as mine..

  732. Alz Says:

    Thanks for the update and help…
    ive just restarted work after a year (first day today) and i felt so MUCH dp/dr. Like you , i will take a leap of faith and just carry on with my day.. which feels like a dream. I am doing everything and somehow not incorrectly so i guess it is dp/dr (not madness.. ehehe).. im on autopilot and it feels very odd. Like i mentioned before , i felt dp/dr in bits and pieces during the day.. today was almost the whole day..
    the hypervigilance and wild imagination bit hasn’t ended yet although im starting to accept these demons.. ill admit im saying it but the fear is there..
    being all by myself is also a BIG fear..
    and like i mentioned earlir .. going to see my mother (different city ).. scared the intrusive images/ imagination will go berserk and i might really end up in a “white jacket”.. eheh..
    would you say the medication has helped you? You began it and ive noticed the positive changes in you ever since..

  733. Rik Says:


    Floaters are a pita arent they :) I get them a lot too. Its only because we are so hyper alert to everything that we notice ours so much. It will pass.


    In all honesty i dont think the meds are what has helped. It was only when i truly began to accept that i began to see real improvement and as you know i started the meds many weeks ago. I would say the last two weeks have seen the biggest improvement and that was when i started listening to that claire weekes audio i sent you every day and i started to allow myself to believe this was nothing more than stress and anxiety. I began to truly understand what was causing the DP and stopped questioning it all the time and focusing on it. The meds may have taken an edge off but i cant say i have noticed anything until i began to work on this myself.

    I now 100% believe that DP and DR are for the most part caused by too much introspection and analysis which causes your mind to become completely exhausted and can be completely recovered from if you deal with it in the right way and give your mind a rest so it can recover. You cant do this while watching yourself constantly as it uses so much mental energy to do so. Just as it was a process of conditioning yourself into this habit it is a process of changing that habit that can reverse it. Acceptance achieves recovery in my opinion by removing the constant stress of self analysis and constant anxious thoughts that keep your body and mind stressed and exhausted.

  734. Cat Says:


    Just like to share too. I do take anti-depressant meds but the effect is not immediate. The stronger tranquilizer is effective but I only keep take it if I’m really really bad. Most days, I just put up with whatever anxiety symptoms come along. There can be moments of respite even in bad days so do look for them and enjoy them. For me, it can be a hot shower before bed time and I relax a bit.

    Yes, it is tough and yes, I too get the hypervigilance and out-of-sorts feeling/thots. Internally, it is all about the fight-and-flighting that is going on. My mind telling me I have to fight or run away. Yet all I can do is just remain v tense and carry on with whatever I’m doing.

    Acceptance is key. Even trying to accept is a form of trying – in which I remained tense and still fighting the thot “I’m TRYING to accept, so why am I still this way?”.

    In the end, it still boils down to just giving it all up. I prayed – and I’m going to just leave it as it is. Which means -> not doing anything else. So we will still feel awful but just go ahead! Go ahead and visit your mom. Take that step. Just breath. And actually when we take the step out, the anxiety cannot make us much worse. I tell myself : just do your worst, I don’t care.


    Your post was very encouraging and comforting. Thanks for sharing. Agree so much that it is the introspection and analysis.

    As Claire Weekes put it,
    “Understanding your condition as brainfag that will gradually disappear with enough sleep, acceptance, and occupation; realizing that you are not going mad and that many before you have felt this way, will release you from some fear and tension, so that your thoughts will turn inward more lightly, will be less clingly, until they are no more than a touch, and the smallest interest will be enough to make you forget the habit.”

  735. Jake Says:

    Hi All

    I haven’t been on in about 20 months. I went onto meds and it definitely helped. I decided to come off meds and I don’t want to stay on them. Anyway I feel I’m starting to slip again. I’m starting to feel emotionless again which is scarey. I’m getting the thoughts I had before I need to leave my relationship and I will be cured!!! They are basically telling me to leave my family and this will sort me out. I need to pull it together and rid this pessimistic think about my relationship will fail and you must leave. Any help please!!!

  736. Cat Says:


    It is your attitude to these thoughts.

    Feelings and thoughts are not absolute – these are just figments from our imagination. Ground yourself in something / anything.

    You don’t need to “pull it together” nor try to get rid of these “pessimistic think”.

    Remember, there is NO cure… only to let go and see the thots and feelings for what they truly are – symptoms of an anxious mind. No need to engage these, let your mind rest and it will heal by itself.

  737. Jake Says:

    Thanks Cat

    Yep it’s horrible I know exactly what I have to do but it’s rough and feels so so real. I can’t leave my family (partner & kids) over lies I’m being told!!

  738. Rik Says:


    Cat is spot on. Let the thoughts come and let them bounce around and then let them go. Refuse to get on that metaphorical train. You have the choice about whether you ignore them or not. You are only thinking these things because yopu are scared of them and looking for them. All obsessive thoughts are the same and stick around for the same reasons.

  739. Jake Says:

    They are so so believable but I know from the past its how it works it tricks you into this state. Every inch of my body is telling me to leave my family but I know it’s not the right thing to do. If I left it would be bringing my problems with me that problem being me!! I need to just let it come no matter how crap it makes me feel. My partner is picking up that I’m down but I’m not telling her why.

  740. Jessica Says:


    Yes you are right its easy to comprehend that we are ok when we are talking and giving advice, I tell my husband the same thing, its just when we sit and think and try ti analyse that makes it seem worse than it is, its just still scary to have these thoughts.


    Floaters are a major annoyance, but im glad I can look forward to them going away.

    I wanted to share that prayer is a huge help when it comes to anxiety, I try to always pray for guidance and understanding of my anxiety instead of saying take it away, I want to learn to live with it so when it comes again I know how to deal with it, praying for guidance lead me to you guys and im so thankful cause I thought I was alone with these weird feelings. I pray you all heal and have a blessed anr prosperous day.

  741. Alz Says:

    Jessica ur so right – prayer helps …
    Iv realised that with anxiety one has to be prepared for anything and everything and at anytime !

  742. karen Says:

    Anxious Indian, so pleased to hear how well you are doing. Can you tell me which Tara Beach videos you watch please? I enjoy mindfulness but was unsure which you meant. X

  743. Jessica Says:

    Do you or any others currently expirence Nightmares or bad dreams why currently going through anxiety Ugh this is so annoying. I havent had a goods night sleep in a long time, but

    My husband said I sleep really hard last night for a little while and that He was telling me to turn off the tv and that I sat up in the bed while he was talking to me but never responded until he started to talk louder. Whata wrong with me? Help Me Guys

  744. Bryan Says:


    I have plenty of heightened REM sleep and bad dreams. Common for stress.

    My fiancé doesn’t even have anxiety or stress disorder and she wakes up and talks to me all the time without remembering.

    >>”what’s wrong with me?”

    Absolutely nothing.

  745. Jessica Says:

    I think I hate the Bad Dreams/ Nocturnal Part of Anxiety more than the daytime Anxiety. I wake up so uneased. Its even worse on the days that I eat late or eat something greasy before bed.

    Also while I was sleep last night I had the wierdest dream. Someone in my dream said I will see you soon and it scared me so bad that I jumped up. I couldnt make up the face but it sure was scary every had that happen anyone? Stress & Anxiety is a Terrible Beast.

  746. Anxious Indian Says:

    Hi Karen!

    So nice to hear from you after such a long time! How are things with you?

    I went through Tara Brach’s blog initially – the posts have videos which are excellent – the ones that helped me most are the ones related to mindfulness with the attitude of compassion towards oneself. She talks about a compassionate non-judgmental approach towards your own thinking.

    Later I tried her ‘guided meditations’ (section on her website)

    And later once I got interested in mindfulness, I went on to practice vipassana meditation and a form of meditation called ‘Heartfulness’ . These helped me the most.

  747. Alz Says:

    Guys I’m really struggling with the things I’m imagining seeing with anxiety: I thought there was a bug in my car while I was driving and there wasn’t .. I see a billboard of a man and imagine he’s winking .. I thought something was on my face yesterday .. I know I need to accept but can anyone tell me I’m not alone ?! It’s like im checking all the time what’s imaginary and what’s real … So when I was driving the car there was no fear and suddenly just to catch my attention I actually imagine a bug flying in the car .
    This is too much … I’m in constant fear that this might not be anxiety but the beginning of something else . My grandmother had psychosis and my paternal uncle had schizophrenia :(

  748. Anxious Indian Says:

    Alz…when our mind is anxious, it is constantly trying to find something to worry or be scared of, something to ‘fix’ – that is what anxiety is all about. The mind’s habit to ‘find’ a problem and then continuously ruminate over it. That is why Paul speaks of stepping out of this unending cycle.

    I have read your posts above and what I think is happening in your case is this:

    Sometimes we all have visual illusions. Last night I thought I saw a cat for a second, in my house. But when I looked attentively there was nothing in the room. I realized that the windy curtains were creating shadows on the wall and maybe that caused a momentary illusion. I am sure everyone here will agree that all people – anxious or not – often experience this.

    I strongly feel that in your case, you had a similar experience or two initially. Now your anxious mind found something to worry about…bingo…and attached a fear to this.

    Now when you are calm, you ‘remember’ this issue and your mind pops up another image. And you worry or fear more.

    I suggest you do 2 things:

    1. Understand the origin of this trouble, and calm down. Let the images pop and fade off. Make some space for them – only for a while – till you nerves and mind relax.

    2. Wherever it is not necessary, don’t bother checking whether an image is real or not.

    Where it is necessary, deliberately calm down for a minute and then check closely.

    It is best to nip this issue in the bud. Please remember – what is important right now is that you don’t let anxiety get another excuse to play its games. You do this by calmly accepting the visuals, and not caring so much

  749. Jessica Says:

    Anxious Indian

    I can relate to Alz so much that is to what im expirencing and it scares me. However when I check closely there is nothing there. Which makes me Not freak out but just be more attentive for the next time I do think I saw something.

    Also to add when I was a little girl my mom who was on drugs at the time made me lie about seeing and hearing things to a psychatrist and in turn she told me I was diagnosed with Schzophrenia. I have never saw or heard a real image or voice im not delusional and on top of that Im scared as hell of the word Schzophrenia. I got nervous just typing the words. How ever when my anxiety started i called that disability office to see if that was true ad there was no record of me ever having a diagnosis of that but a real diagnosis of Nervousness. This is where my anxiety fuels from I feel like my mom in a sense ruined my adulthood. I could have been ok now at 28 to finding out that i have had anxiety all my life but because of her manipulating me as a child. I wonder if it something more sometimes, but my dr say Anxiety. Any helpful suggestions.

  750. Jessica Says:

    Anxious Indian

    Noted she made me say that to get a Disability Check. Which they must have discovered it was a lie because they cut it off. Also dr said at that time what i was going through I would grow out of as I got older. You dont grow out of schizophrenia.

  751. Anxious Indian Says:

    Jessica I am so sorry to hear about what happened with your mom. It sure sounds like anxiety only and am sure your doc is right.

    But you are 28, and you have a long long life ahead of you. Paul”s guidance will definitely help you get over anxiety and have a beautiful future. All it needs is a little patience and faith.

    Please work on your calmness. Try and practice mindfulness for 10 mind a day at the minimum if you can.

    What happened to us in life does not make us. What matters is what we choose to become.

  752. Jessica Says:

    Anxious Indian

    Thank you I needed to hear that, my mom confessed one month ago that she lied to get the check at the time, and all I could do was break down because everytime my anxiety fuel I would always say is it that finally but it would always pass. I just want to get back to my normal and soon

  753. Loraine Says:

    I have had these thoughts and they bloody horrible on and off for 2 years I know it’s a lie and getting better at just letting thoughts be there. The thoughts went away for you and they will again like you say we just get bluffed by a lie. I love my husband more than anything anxiety picks on what scares us most

  754. karen Says:

    Thanks anxious Indian. Very up and down thanks for asking. However there’s usually reasons I can identify for the tough days / weeks …. ie. Tiredness / stress / facing past triggers. I just try to carry on with life regardless however difficult and no matter what my brain is saying. May and June I had more good than bad days x

  755. Jake Says:

    Hi Lorraine

    Thanks!!!! It’s horrible isn’t it. I judge my partner it’s like I’m trying to convince myself to leave. If I leave I will be cured!!!! Absolute crap… I convince myself you don’t love her you don’t find her attractive and then my mind goes to war… I think I am alone with my feelings so it is reassuring to see someone else suffers with what I do ( I mean that in the nicest way possible)

  756. Jake Says:

    She thinks I’m not being supportive and I don’t give a shit. Certainly at the moment I don’t but I THINK I do but my mind keeps saying to just end it

  757. Loraine Says:

    Hi Jake.
    I know how you feel but you know
    Like 20 months ago it’s a lie. I am much better sometimes they bother me and I get involved but less so. I didn’t go down the meds route and it has been hard. Kat suffered and she wrote a response sept last year to someone else which helped me take a look at what she has to say she recovered as has everyone who had this

  758. Lorraine Says:

    Hi Jake. I wrote you a reply but not showing. For me this been my worst symptom by far. Even Clare weekes writes about this symptom in her book. A reply from Kat to someone in sept last year helped loads she went through it and I think took her 2 years to recover. Everyone and I mean everyone who has these thoughts recovers did the thoughts go completely and now you off meds anxiety hit again

  759. Albert Says:

    I could do with a bit of help please ?

    I’m going through a tough time ,divorce ,custody of kids etc .

    For the last few weeks ive been consumed with awful anxious feelings where I’m struggling to sleep,eat etc .

    I’m trying to use acceptance for this but it is so hard at the moment.

    I live on my own and my children are currently away with there mum,so basically I’m alone all day everyday with my thoughts.

    I feel I’m stuck in the classic vicious circle of worrying about my anxiety (ie I’m struggling to eat and sleep and keep trying to work out how to sort this,im also worried I’m getting myself in a mess just in time for when my children come back after being with there mum,which is adding extra pressure)

    I know I’m adding anxiety to anxiety but cannot stop it

    I’m wondering if anyone else has been in a similar situation and if so how they came out of the other side

  760. Lorraine Says:

    One more thing I know you have heard of her before I remember reading your posts when you first suffered check out Cheryl Paul’s site it on setbacks

  761. Jamie Says:


    I just wanted to check in with quite a big success story. I spent a night away in a hotel last night with my girlfriend which was massive with my anxiety. I was quite nervous about the usual things – “will I feel panicky when I am there?”, “will the room be ok?”, “will I sleep ok?” etc etc. I had a couple of anxious moments but on the whole I was absolutely fine. This is a big step forward. We spent a day down there, walked along the beach, had a meal and had drinks in the evening.

    I have been with her for 4 months and it is going quite well so far. However, I am not very good at focusing on the positives and instead, have doubts. There are several things about her and our relationship that make me anxious, which are :

    1) She lives in a small maisonette which is extremely messy (stuff all over the place, stuff stacked up in the sink, cobwebs, dog hairs etc). I have never seen such an untidy place and I have to be careful what I say as I could not live like that. I am quite a tidy person and going into her flat makes me feel really on edge. I am trying to just take it week to week but the idea of living with someone like this would make me very anxious.

    2) She has 2 pugs and I may be allergic to them / their hair. They shed like crazy and when I am near them sometimes or if they have been in my car, it brings on asthma symptoms. I love dogs a lot but as I may be allergic, if they come near me, I just step away and feel quite anxious. This is probably going to sound rather stupid but if she talks about them or if I even see a picture of one on the internet or see a video of a pug on Facebook or Youtube, it makes me really anxious. How on earth could I live with someone that has 2 dogs that leave hairs all round the house and possibly give me asthma ?

    I have discussed my anxiety with her (when the time was right) and she is very understanding about it. I have explained that being in her house is a stressful environment for me as it is a small (messy) space with 2 dogs running around. The plus side is she has a daughter the same age as my daughter.

    Rather than thinking nice things like we make each other laugh, I enjoy her company and I find her attractive, I have these worrying thoughts a lot of the time.

    How much of this are just thoughts that I should just ignore and see what happens ? On the flip side, if she has a messy person by nature and obviously she is not going to rehome her dogs because of me, is there any future ? Should I consider ending it because of my concerns ? I have discussed all of this with her and she doesn’t really invite me into her house much now as she knows it puts me on edge.

    Thanks for reading

  762. Andy J Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Hope every one is well.

    Having a bit of a difficult time so have returned to the blog for a bit of reassurance.

    My intrusive thoughts have been kicking in again, and sometimes I find it really hard to allow them to be there. Im not going to go in to specifics, but they arent very nice.

    I’ve actually just passed the milestone of 2 years since I first started having them on this topic and have had to live with them ever since. Needless to say, life has been pretty miserable. I’ve tried multiple therapists, multiple anti depressants, mindfulness, reading this blog, not reading this blog, generally getting on with life and still seem to be coming back to the same place I started.

    I’ll choose a different topic of intrusive thoughts to try and explain. Say the intrusive thoughts were around driving and the idea of deliberately crashing the car. If every time you got in the car you had this thought, you’d be pretty scared. In my own example, I would probably avoid getting in the car, but then maybes half halfheartedly drive occasionally. I would ponder over the ease in which I could inflict damage on not only myself but also others. As the thoughts went on, I would start to question whether these thoughts scared me as much as they should and whether I was actually repulsed by them. Would I actually like to do these things?

    Now prior to my first intrusive thoughts, driving was never an issue for me. In fact I used to love driving. I try and remind myself of this, but I start thinking ‘I have changed’.

    The whole cycle then becomes an issue and the worry of being anxious about driving when I am out/ at work/on my own etc, gets me down.

    I know its a strange example, but its really hard to get over. The whole ‘is this anxiety or who I am?’ question.

    Thanks in advance of any advice.

  763. Jake Says:

    Hi Lorraine

    Yes I was in a much happier place when I was on the meds. I think it just stems back to my parents bad relationship. It’s at my hard again now with the exact same thoughts.
    You should leave you will be happier
    This will end when you end the relationship
    You don’t love her

    It is horrible but a part of me is saying right now it’s time to step up to theses thoughts for once. It is making me so so miserable and my partner is picking it up from my body language. I’m always looking at her and checking for feelings which is crazy and exactly what I did the last time. I’m like everyone else – I’m like this forever, this is just part of your make up. I went to bed last night and hugged her. It really is zapping the life out of me and making me sad and really unhappy but I suppose that’s what anxiety does!!

  764. Lorraine Says:

    Hi Jake
    The fact the thoughts went last time prices they a lie amd they are lying again I hey drawn in sometimes but mostly don’t react to them
    I have found acceptance hard but am finally getting there. You will too you did it once before and you can again. I think
    A lady called called dawn has this then had it again a year later and
    Stil came through it

  765. Jake Says:

    You are a star!! It’s horrible really is but I think I’m going to steer clear of tablets as I certainly have years of this negativity that I think it’s time to face it all. Are you happy now that you stayed in your relationship looking back now

  766. Jessica Says:

    I have the same reoccuring thoughts day in and day out. Im just at a point where im just completely sick and tired of being sick and tired of anxiety. I need my peace of mind back, this is just entirely to much to deal with sometimes.

    I read a post that said The most frustrating thing about having a Anxiety disorder; Knowing as your freaking out there is no reason to be freaked out, but lacking the ability to shut the emotion down.

    This is exactly how I feel, every morning I have to talk myself down and keep calm and then late afternoon I start to level off and somewhat be able to function. Im frustrated more than anything.

  767. Alz Says:

    Anxious indian,
    Thank you so much for that reply – really helps . I think at this point my imagination is too vulnerable and they say anxious people have amazing imaginations – hence were always living in the past or present making stories in our heads..

  768. Lorraine Says:

    Absolutely I knew straight away it was anxiety and I hated the thoughts so much and wanted them gone. I still
    Get them now when anxious but I know they false. I’m glad I didn’t go down meds route but each to there own and
    Everyone different. Hang in there it frustrating but read Kats reply to Louise sept last year helped me

  769. Bryan Says:


    Sounds like a great situation with a typical amount of hurdles to get past. No relationship with people who have kids (etc) is going to be perfect.

    Also… don’t take this wrong but just in my experience I have seen allergies as very related to mind/body issues. My fiancé used to spend the night at my old house when I had a cat and generally did fine. But when she was upset the allergies got worse. Not saying they aren’t real but I have a suspicion the brain uses them the way it uses other symptoms at times.

    On women being a lot cleaner and neater than men… I’ve found that to be largely a myth. Lol.

    Sounds like the makings of a good relationship. It’s early on. Just enjoy it and try not to overwhelm her with your condition or expectations. If she’s willing to work with you and your recovery that says something about her. Time will tell of course but my suggestion would be to try to leave the anxiety stuff behind as much as you can with this. If you make her feel guilty for how she is… it’s going to go south. (“She knows it puts me on edge…”)

    I’d suggest making hard decisions now. If you like this chick… then dump the allergy and messy talk. You can deal with that when you move in together. Imagine if she told you your symptoms and setbacks really put her on edge. Wouldn’t fly…. right?

    Congrats on your return to normal living! The trip will serve to propel you into much more of it. Keep up the good work.

  770. Alz Says:

    Bryan today I also thought I was hearing things :( iv started work on a positive note and on a negative note my dp/dr has increased – mostly feelings of unreality and then with these extra fears it gets too much . I know you said no one can turn insane but always living in ur head and with ur fears is disconcerting and since there’s so much on the net about schizophrenia/psychosis .. And the symptoms I’m experiencing, how can I not question my sanity?

  771. Bryan Says:

    Alz – how can anyone not question their symptoms? Everyone feels the urge to fret and fuss about her they feel. But those who recover are those who make the decision to just let he storm rage and move on. I’m not all the way there yet. Had a great vacation weekend this past few days but back home now and some heightened sx. My brain wants to analyze and fuss over it. But I’m not going to let it. I’m going to work and going to juice the day for all I can.

    You have symptoms of stress. Nothing more. Any attention on it will make it linger. Acceptance and life resumption will allow it to pass.

    On their note… congrats on getting back to work! You’re doin great. Keep moving forward…

  772. Alz Says:

    Hehe .. Thanks !!! I think the key is to work as u normally would without anxiety and slowly it’ll dissipate … Key is it can come in any shape and form so accept that ..

  773. Tasnim Says:

    I dont know to what extent I’m feeling DP, but I just don’t feel completely connected to my surroundings. My periferral vision seems smaller and when I look around the room I’m in, I feel like I’m looking at it through a glass box. My anxious thoughts have decreased for now, but the DP is always there. Also I feel more depressed, yet at the same time I dont. I think I’m longing to feel like myself from last year, and its making me more upset that I can’t go back to that time.

  774. Jake Says:

    Disconnection from all feelings and a hollow pit in my stomach – Is this all anxiety also??

  775. Tom Says:

    Anxious Indian, thanks for sharing that story, it really shows how much control of our attention we really have. Have you used mindfulness meditation, or similar exercises on your path to recovery?

  776. Alz Says:

    paul new post needed !! Had an emergency session with my therapist today … I guess it’s the fact that iv started work , am short on money and have had a still birth .. Iv realised the extra anxiety brings on symptoms of ocd , self harm thoughts , imagination of seeing images and also sounds …my brain needs rest but one has to live this life so, does one continue like this ? In a depersonalized state with fears and thoughts etc ? It’s almost going to be 7 months since my still birth .. I want my old life back .. Not that it was without anxiety but not perpetual fears , thoughts, images … Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.i dunno if writing or talking about it helps or makes it worse.
    Again, Paul if you could write a new post abt anxiety symptoms – how you lived with such fear for 10 long years and like you I want to have that lightbulb moment – like u , like people over here who’ve healed et etc

  777. Bryan Says:


    You are straining, fighting and protesting.

    This will ensure you stay anxious and symptomatic.

    Stop all that and return to life and you will be free in time.

    Paul has already written all you need. Read his book. Paul can’t do this for you. You have to decide you want change badly enough to actually do it.

  778. Jessica Says:


    Did your anxiety make you scared to be around people? Or anyone else who may have went throw this, How did you cope and what is the besr thing to do? Im so over this day in and day out the same thing. I literally panic sometimes when im around people my brain is tired.

  779. Carrie Says:

    Lats and Tasmin,

    I was exploring my “new medical issue” – TMJ – for many months last year. I don’t know about UK, but in the US it requires a very expensive treatment and is not covered by insurance. Most importantly though, it is a waste of time because I realize now that it is just a new face of anxiety. (At one point several years ago, I had a pain in my hip for 6 months. I did multiple tests, but, as you can imagine, they did not find anything.) I get deep piercing headaches in my temples (always one-sided) spreading into my neck, shoulder and further down my body. They can keep me up all night (adding insomnia and exhaustion to my misery) and continue throughout the next day or two. Although it is very hard to bear emotionally and physically, I realize that it is only emotional (just based on several instances where some random positive thought or emotion made my pain go away in a moment) and I try not to have a strong response to it. I am also going through this while being pregnant with my first baby. But none of the pregnancy symptoms (morning sickness, etc.) come even close to the pain caused by anxiety.

    Things that help me… I keep reading Paul’s books and practicing relaxation (self-hypnosis, focusing and plain focused breathing). I know that the best advice is do nothing, but I also think that negative thought patterns (all or nothing thinking, selective thinking) keep us in the anxiety cycle and could use work. I keep reminding myself that the anxiety is not me and that it is temporary (even if the temporary has lasted for 5+ years, triggered by a personal relationship) and that I keep growing and will overcome it one day through teaching my body to react to stress differently and have more realistic thought patterns. It is also useful to remind ourselves about things that we individually overcame and about past fears that have lost their strength today.

    Warm regards,


  780. Jamie Says:

    Thanks for the reply Bryan.

    The relationship was going at 100 miles at the start and we talked about where we would live, which school our daughters would go to etc etc. Due to previous relationships she is very insecure and with my anxiety, everything got out of hand and I ended it briefly. Her insecurity was making me anxious and vice versa.

    It’s started up again albeit a lot slower paced which seems to work better. I’m just taking it week to week.

    As she knows her dogs and flat make me anxious, I’m barely allowed in her house now (she was embarrassed about how messy it was too start with anyway) and she shoos the dogs away from me if they come near me. Will this help long term or make it worse?

    I get what you’re saying about anxiety making symptoms worse / bringing on symptoms. I never really got to the bottom of whether it was the dogs or just hayfever

  781. Chris Says:

    Hi everyone!

    Just thought I’d pop in and say hello as it’s been a while. I’ve been getting on with life and am moving to a new city tomorrow which is exciting! A bit apprehensive as this is my first big move since anxiety came back into play, but exciting nonetheless. I also joined a band so will be great to get back into that.

    I had a severe setback which is pretty much gone. I’m still experiencing some anxiety and dp, but the main thing thing that brings them on is triggers. Stuff I read on Facebook or on the news or whatever. I got to the point where I was about to delete the facebook app… But hang on, this is running away I realized, so I kept it. Today was a good day, as I feel I finally have developed the attitude that will ultimately set me free from this mental prison. It’s great because I’m actually suffering far less now, probably because I’m not indulging in self pity and all the resistance to what is, is gone. It’s very simple, here’s what I do…

    I meet my symptoms, thoughts, fears with a positive attitude. That’s all I do. I welcome it, I observe it, I let my mind and feelings go crazy, all while maintaining a positive attitude and not buying into the crap my anxious mind tries to tell me. It feels way less personal this way, and in a way it’s not even unpleasant. Don’t get me wrong it’s not pleasant either, but I see it as something separate to me now and I smile at it. I had a similar realization like this in the past and I’m glad it’s back. This attitude isn’t exclusively for anxiety either, it’s something I’m gonna use for everything. It makes you realize that suffering is so unnecessary!

    This above to me is acceptance. Greeting the thoughts, symptoms, moods etc with a positive attitude (different to positive thinking incase this confuses anyone). It’s really simple and I hope it helps someone!

  782. Chris Says:

    It’s also shown me how much self pity I’ve indulged in! Well no more of that ?

  783. Jake Says:

    Hi All,

    I’ve been looking over some old posts between Helen & Dawn. Helens advice is brilliant and it’s good she came out the other side and stayed strong and now appears to have a better relationship with her husband.
    Does anyone know how Dawn did? I hope she pulled through?? Anyone know.

  784. Alz Says:

    Bryan ,
    I feel like a bit more and I’ll go mad .. I already question what’s real
    Unreal and then all the symptoms I mention ..

  785. Jessica Says:

    Bryan or Anxious Indian

    Did your anxiety make you scared to be around people? Or anyone else who may have went throw this, How did you cope and what is the besr thing to do? Im so over this day in and day out the same thing. I literally panic sometimes when im around people my brain is tired

  786. Lorraine Says:

    Hi Jake yes I followed these 2 dawn did recover as did kat who is also still with her partner I think it was around 2009 Kat and quite few had this symptom and all recovered. You know it is a lie but it really is the worst symptom I have/ had

  787. Bryan Says:


    Nobody likes the symptoms. We all truly empathize.

    But… to get better requires change. It’s up to you. Follow Paul’s advice and get better. Or keep repeating that you don’t like it and stoke the condition further.

    You will never go “mad.” That’s a fairytale.

    You can however keep yourself stuck by refusing to move forward.

    So it’s up to you… not anyone here. It’s up to you. You are not going to recover because Oaul writes one more article.

    It’s up to you.

  788. Jake Says:

    It sure is Lorraine. I like the part you said it’s the worst thing you have/had. I hope you are happy in your own relationship now with all of this crap behind you. I see a lot of people saying it makes them into a better person so here’s a hoping.
    Dawn seem in an awful state I had a quick scan to see how she got on but didn’t come across anything.

  789. Jessica Says:

    Bryan can you check my message above please?

  790. Jake Says:

    I’ve had this for my whole life regarding relationships but never knew what it was. Any girl I got close to I quickly shut it down all in my 20s I’m now in my 30s so time to reverse the thinking

  791. Bryan Says:


    I was the other way. I tend to like to keep busy and around people when things are ramped up. In fact back at my worst at times I felt uncomfortable alone. (Now I love some alone time lol)

    It’s common to have one or the other and it’s absolutely meaningless. If it’s not one thing it’s another. The anxious brain will come up with something.

    Like you said… your brain is tired. Rest it… physically and and with acceptance.

    I just had s nasty setback and by brain was fatigued after. So I rested extra…. took it easy and did my best to just let it all play itself out.

  792. Bryan Says:


    Personally I would just continue to take it very slowly and just enjoy it for what it is. Enjoy the dating process and get to really know her. Relax your attitude about the dogs. If you truly can’t handle being around them then don’t. That will work itself out in time if it’s meant to be. Just go slowly and try not to analyze it into the ground. I love pugs by the way. ?

    Just my two cents.


    Awesome post. Everyone should take time to read it.

  793. Jessica Says:

    I am trying so hard to let it all be and ignore it but my nerves hype me up and make me think im really loosing it, but im sort of seeing it for the bluff it is. I said to myself yesterday that you have ben afraid you are loosing your mind for 2 mths now and yet you are still fine and aware and alert. However my floatets are making me think I saw something out the corner of my eye all the time. Any suggestions on this how it can be treated or do I just ignore these too?

  794. Jessica Says:


    Also how do I rest my brain when it seems to never shut down?

    Thank you so much for your help.

  795. Bryan Says:


    We just do what we can do, but the primary thing is trying to get your mind focused off of the condition itself. if you can meditate or take naps or things that normal people do, do your best to do them. If you can’t, take walks, get involved with friends or family, do chores or listen to podcasts, but whatever you do don’t run from it and do your best to move focus off of how you feel.

    As Paul teaches, moving on with life doesn’t mean it’s going to feel good right away. Part of recovery is being OK with not feeling OK for a while, this is what allows the brain to turn off the alarms.

    I’m not saying it’s easy but I am Sam over time, it absolutely is the answer.

  796. Jessica Says:

    Thank you so much Bryan!

  797. Lorraine Says:

    I tried looking for it I found it random
    A year or so later. I still get thoughts now and they still
    Have ability to pull me in sometimes I love my husband more than anything that’s why these thoughts so hard but I found and still find acceptance hard but hey it the nature of these thoughts they want to scare. Did you look
    At Kat response sept last year it was great another lady called Jo Jo was going through it. Even Clare weekes touches upon it in her book

  798. Lorraine Says:

    Did your thoughts go completely in the 20 months you on meds or were they in background you just didn’t pay attention to them

  799. Jake Says:

    Yes the meds were good to me. Are you thinking about going on them.? I didn’t see Kate to Jojo how did they both end up?

  800. Katrina Says:

    Hi All,
    I haven’t posted on this forum for years. I’ve had my fair share of anxiety over the years and have come to this forum when i’ve needed to check myself and get a ‘dose’ of what i’m doing wrong.
    Im a 42 year old female and the times i’ve had the most severe anxiety have been related to two pregnancies, or post pregnancy to be precise.
    Just wanting to check in with any other women who experience any hormonal related anxiety, i’ve recently started to experience very irregular periods and my anxiety is out of control. I’m having very severe panic attacks now almost daily. Very severe feelings of DP and not sure if this is my hormones or have i talked myself into it? I’ve never taken medication for it before but i feel so desperate lately, I’d almost take anything… Just wondering if i should ride it out or not, hoping to get some advice

  801. Jake Says:

    I love seeing success stories especially with my symptoms. When I read something like I got a divorce etc I get such a spike. Lorraine & Belgian have good success stories which I need to stick to.

  802. Lorraine Says:

    Hi no was just wondering if they went away completely in meds. It was Kat reply in sept last year and she suffered bad a few years ago and she came through it it was long post beggining of sept last year I snap shotted it ha. Yeah Belgian was last person I saw who had this experience

  803. Jake Says:

    Lorraine thanks for your help its good to speak to someone who has come out the other side and is now happy in their relationship. I do get times when everything settles down and I still do be searching for feelings and can’t find them. I feel calm within myself but just can’t find my feelings towards my partner that’s when I start thinking, I’m calm so not anxious but you still don’t feel anything. Is this all still part of it????

  804. Jake Says:

    Last thing sorry for clogging up the feed. It’s like I feel I can’t love and being honest I may have always been like this

  805. Lorraine Says:

    Hi Jake
    I think that’s when habit and memory comes into play so sometime
    Remembering certain situations may mean remembering the thoughts we have had. I do think that the level of thoughts is a good Indicater of your anxiety levels sometimes too. I recently read another book called dare very similar to Paul’s worth a read I think

  806. Lorraine Says:

    Also Jake have you read Paul second book this subject also mentioned in there

  807. Jake Says:

    So it is part of it all? I think I’m waiting to wake up one day and have all these feelings back. I haven’t read Pauls second book yet I must get it

  808. Chris Says:

    Thanks Bryan!

    Having a positive attitude towards my anxiety has been the most productive approach I’ve taken. Now no matter what comes up, no matter how I feel, I see it in a different light. It’s all about changing our reaction and having a different relationship with our suffering. And this way we suffer far less. Still feel grotty but hey that’s all good.

  809. Tom Says:

    Hi everyone!

    Because my mind is fatigued, many times I feel that its hard for me to concentrate. This bothers me, especially when I’m trying to focus on things I am currently doing, even though I know that it’s exactly what I should be doing in order to relax my mind. Sometimes it even feels much more relaxing to just let my mind ruminate, and not spend so much energy trying to be in the present.

    Could it be that I am “trying” too hard to focus on the present and not give in to thoughts, which ironically is a form of suppressing them? I am a bit confused. Has anyone experienced something similar?

  810. Lorraine Says:

    Yes part of it think of it more like blip in the bumpy road that is anxiety. You should read exchanges between Kat and Helen back 2009 / 2010 they helped me and it was the same Kat that replied to Louise sept last year I saved that reply. I still get those thought now when under stress but know they they false

  811. Bryan Says:


    I think I know what you mean and I use a similar approach thigh mine is more based on forward movement and attempting to outwardly focus.

    You said an interesting thing at the end of your post. You said “this is different than positive thinking.” Care to elaborate on that more?

  812. Tasnim Says:

    This might sound stupid, bu Does anyone have this issue with seeing their blurs of their own nose. I get that we all can see our nose, and our brain just blocks it out, but thats why I wonder why mine isnt being blocked out. Its like this transparent skin colored blur at the corner of my eye. I think I mainly notcie when I’m on my phone. Its bothering me a lot these past few days, and I cant focus on anything else. I was thinking it could be related to anxiety, but I dont know. I only noticed it recently.

  813. Rachel T Says:

    Hi all,

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here. I have a thyroid issue that causes me to cycle between Hypo and Hype. When I’m Hyper I become very anxious. Although I know why I’m anxious the cycle is the same as everyone on here. I’m irritable and short tempered at the moment and I question if my reactions are extreme, normal, paranoid etc constantly. I seek reassurance off people in behaving appropriately which must be concerning and exhausting for them. I guess it Mental Health Anxiety. This then makes me panic that I’m going bonkers and I’m on the verge of losing control of myself. It’s very frightening and when it whanes off it makes me very sad that I get caught in that vortex as I feel so unable to step off the wheel. Pauls book saved my soul when I came across it and I have long periods of time that my life is ‘normal’ before the storm starts again. Does anybody else have experience of applying acceptance to Mental Health Anxiety? Sending warm hugs to you all xx

  814. Bryan Says:


    Of course it’s anxiety. We have all had similar nonsense. It’s meaningless and treat it accordingly.

  815. Lata Says:

    Hi all…it may sound wierd but does anyone have had this issue of swallowing problem…i feel i swallow food from one side…i feel my food pipe is shifted…was jst wondering is this an anxiety symptom…any suggestions…whould appreciate it…

  816. Chris Says:

    Hi Bryan. Basically having a positive attitude towards symptoms/thoughts means you dont need positive thinking, because it’s all about the attitude. I find with the attitude, positive thinking becomes automatic anyway, and when negative thoughts arrive I can smile at them.

    I guess overall for me it’s having a positive attitude, but also with a whatever/as if attitude – no longer being convinced of stupid fears.

    Positive attitude = acceptance, whatever attitude = changing our reaction to anxiety.

  817. Joe Says:

    Hey everyone

    Been kinda anxious for most of my teens (I’m 19 now). Think a lot of emotional stress and trauma in he last few years has probably taken its toll on my nerves as well as smoking quite a lot of cannabis from last Sep to this March. I got depersonalisation after a panic attack as a side effect from antidepressants I just started (which I promptly stopped). The ‘normal’ DP (drunk, strange dreamlike feeling) sorta went after a few weeks but left me with this crazy hyperawarenes anxiety about consciousness and having a mind/thoughts (sounds totally bananas I know) and I’ve been terrified since. I tried the Hope and Help for Your Nerves audiobook which helped the tiniest bit but i don’t think the acceptance thing really sank in.

    A couple of months later it got worse because while I was browsing the DPselfhelp forum I came across a guy who was suffering a different hyperawareness anxiety about time passing and stuff like that and it just messed me up even more. Now I have both things to deal with although the time thing seems kinda worse. I get that I might be saying that because that’s my current worry, however. I sort of wish I never spent so much time on that website and found this one instead.

    these anxieties are so crazy and disturbing. Did anyone else get DP and then become freaked out by these kinds of things? I’m not sure it matters but I haven’t really found anybody whose ever recovered from this sort of thing, or at least ‘accepted’ it and become okay with having this particular kind of anxiety, as the book suggests. Things have been pretty hard and I’m not really sure I’ll get my life back at this point.

  818. Stephanie Says:

    Hey Joe, I think everybody who has experienced DP has been freaked out by it. Also, many people with anxiety experience a sort of existential crisis. This is all totally normal. In fact, everything and anything you experience with anxiety is normal. Understanding why these things happen (especially DP) helps remove some of the fear. After that it’s up to you to say, “You know what, this doesn’t feel good, and I don’t like it, but I know there’s nothing wrong with me so I’m going to keep just living my life.” This attitude takes time and practice, so be patient.

    Another important thing is to realize that nothing really makes sense in the thick of anxiety. It all seems impossible and endless. This is normal. When the fog clears (and it will), you’ll understand how all of this has been nothing more than anxiety fueled by a tired mind. For now, have faith that living your life regardless of how you feel is the way forward.

    Lastly, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Eat right, exercise and get sleep. Never underestimate the importance of these three things.

    God bless.

  819. Stephanie Says:

    Lata, anything and everything can be a symptom of anxiety. Ignore this latest one and in time it will disappear.

  820. Katrina Says:

    Hi Jo,
    I’m experiencing some pretty intense DP at the moment too. Over the past week, i’ll have episodes where i feel completely out of my body and panic. I’ve had this years ago and thought i mastered how to deal with it. But i haven’t had it for a long time and for it to come back has hit me pretty hard. I’ve rationalised that its just a symptom of ‘severe anxiety’, and i’m going through a very stressful time at the moment, so its to be expected. I didn’t expect to become so frightened by it again though. Twice in the last week i’ve walked out of shops as I’ve felt it come on and normally i’d wait it out and let it pass but both times its felt so awful that i’ve left. Its a bad cycle and i too am not sure how to ‘not be afraid’ of it again, or lose interest in it. Which i’m pretty sure is what happened the last time i got over it.

  821. lorna Says:

    I get swallowing problems when anxious. Behaving anxiously activates the stress response which causes tightening of the body,s muscles. This can include the muscles in the throat that help to swallow. As your body recovers this feeling should subside. Hope this helps.

  822. Joe Says:

    Thanks Stephanie. I’m going to try and carry on getting on with things. I sort of I feel like whenever I explain my anxieties to people they say it’s an existential crisis, but when I search the symptoms of existential crisis they don’t really match what I’m feeling. It’s more like weird philosophical awareness of certain aspects of existence.

    I suppose it doesn’t matter it’s just frustrating because I’ve been trying to live my life with this for a while now and I’m not sure how well it’s working. I’ve heard a lot about the difference between simply ‘putting up with’ vs. actual ‘acceptance’ and I always worry that I’m just putting up with and not accepting. I get really confused and worried when I think of this. I know the advice is not to worry but I feel like worrying is something I do voluntarily and I’m not really sure how to not worry. What’s more is that if I feel like I try not to worry then I’m really just contradicting the advice in At Last a Life that says that you shouldn’t try to ‘do’ anything and the more I think about this the more I get confused and flustered and then the more depressed I get :/

    What do you think the right mental approach is? I know the behavioural approach is to just get on with things regardless of how you feel but I think my mental state is something that I can’t so easily change and I’m not really sure I understand the advice for this too well.

    Thanks !

  823. Stephanie Says:


    You’re right, you can’t change your mental state in the sense of stopping the anxious/negative/weird thoughts. But, you can control how you respond to
    those thoughts. You can decide they will no longer dictate your actions and how you live your life. This, for me, is acceptance: Recognizing that anxiety will still be there (for a time, however long that is) but also deciding to carry on with all of it there in the background.

    So my advice isn’t to stop worrying, or to stop trying to not worry. All of that is just mental gymnastics, most of which occurs unconsciously anyways. No, my advice is to live your life regardless of how you feel at any given moment.

    Also, as far as wanting to find a description that matches your exact symptoms, let it go. Like I said, everything is normal. And I’m sure your anxiety will latch on to different things anyways, so learn to just say, “oh, hmm, interesting…oh well, who cares, I have more important things to focus on.”

    Lastly, try to stop tracking “how well it’s working.” I know this is a temptation, but the purpose of acceptance is to make your life about more than anxiety, so every time you stop and evaluate your level of anxiety or how recovered you are, you’re making the focus about anxiety again. Besides, recovery isn’t a linear process, so you’ll just unnecessarily frustrate yourself.

    Hope this helps.

  824. Lata Says:

    Thanx stephanie and lorna…but sometimes i feel it very annoying and my mind says is it something else and i m taking it as a anxiety symptom…i feel very wierd as if i m swallowing only from one side…and onecmore thing i wanted to know is that what u do when u get a new symptom and that is very u get it checked by the doctor first..bcoz we cannot take everything as anxiety symptom..some symptoms can be real and physical do we difference between an anxiety symptom and real ones..

  825. dockies Says:

    Hi i have a question to all, does anyone here ever experience panic attack while sleeping? and it only occurs in the morning. It always happens to me around 8 in the morning, and because of my work i always sleep very late around 3 AM. When this episodes happen it always wakes me up but only partially, enough to make me feel everything like palpitations and a sense of danger. I usually able to make it fade away on its own by allowing it to flow and i will be able to drift away again to my sleep. Does this ever happen to some of you?

  826. Belgian Says:

    Jake, Lorraine,

    As Lorraine said, I did focus my anxiety on the relationship with my partner last time.

    I don’t come here so often any more, but it’s funny that I did today and read up on your posts.

    It’s funny because at this very moment, I am again “in a sensitized state”. I don’t have to look too far to know why this is the case. I just came back from holiday and had a very stressful week. I am lacking sleep and my body is craving for rest.

    But as sensitization is back, anxiety kicks in as well. And together with it, the even more dreaded anxious thoughts.

    When I was on holiday, my wife and I felt really close. It was the first time in two years I really felt so near to her and felt so in love that it hurt :) . Now two weeks later and my anxious thoughts are telling me the complete opposite. They are telling me to leave. To have a fresh new start. That I don’t love her.

    This time, it’s different though. This time I have experience. I had these thoughts before and in the end they meant nothing. I still can make a choice though. I can choose to go in combat mode and fight these thoughts. Start the never ending war with myself. OR, I can chose to surrender to the feelings and float through them.

    I woke up tonight having a panic attack. Did would have scared me so much in the past. Tonight I surrendered completely to the feelings and fell back asleep a couple of minutes later.

    My point is that once you’ve hit the other side. Once you’ve found peace on the other side of panic. You have learned the way. Peace is inevitable. Even without acceptance. When your body calms down, peace will follow swiftly.

    Although there are many roads to peace and calmness, once you’ve done it the acceptance way, you will be able to confront anxiety in a new and smarter way.

    As we are human, we tend to forget. So sometimes, finding the right way back is difficult. But trust me when I say that what is forgotten never gets lost. It always begins with the same attitude as the first time. The attitude of acceptance. The attitude to surrender to your anxiety. To surrender with a smile on your face.

    As for your doubts and fears concerning your relationship, Jake. Don’t expect them to go away. Invite them in. Make them feel welcome in your heart. Surrender to them. They are a part of you. But it’s not because they are a part of you that you ARE them.

    If you say you love your wife, there must be some memory of this that you carry in your heart and mind. When you fight so bravely against these anxious thoughts which bother you so much, you must have a just cause to do so.

    Anxiety tends to highlight the sharp edges of our humanity. The edges we can or learned to lived with when in a more calm state, seem unbearable when in a anxious state. Love is not about loving one another without a shadow of a doubt. Love is persistence. Love is a cathedral that never gets completely finished. Love would never be true without this uncertainty. There is nothing more uncertain than love. So of course, being anxious you are telling yourself to run away. Of course you are internally shouting that fleeing the scene would make ‘it’ all go away.

    Instead, embrace this uncertainty. Embrace your uncertainty. Embrace it with all the love for yourself that you can summon. Don’t let your anxiety define who you are. Don’t let it make it your choices for you. Accept your current state and move beyond it.

  827. Carrie Says:

    Hi all,

    I would appreciate some feedback on dealing with physical pain caused by anxiety. I know it’s anxiety-driven because a random positive thought or feeling can remove my pain in a moment (not too frequently though for me to get confidence in that). I also have been to numerous doctors and they did not find a physical cause (other than myofascial pain, which is a fancy term for muscle pain caused by prolonged period of stress). Please tell me if someone else here is stuck in the anxiety/lack of sleep/pain cycle and how to best deal with it. It is very hard to ignore/try to fall asleep with physical pain and just float with it.

    Thank you,


  828. Beth Says:

    Hi all! Really “struggling” here which, I know, is the exact wrong approach. Can’t even get a few miles from home and am CONSTANTLY terrified-knowing, of course, there’s nothing to be afraid of whatsoever. After 25 years, it’s gotten really old, to say the least. I do have a question (which I thought I knew the answer to)…why in the world does my mind continually search for danger-where none exists-if it supposedly logically knows there is none? I realize it doesn’t matter, it’s all just anxiety, but when you’re in the throes of it, it seems a whole lot more important than it is. Thanks in advance for any and all comments-much appreciated.

  829. Jessica Says:

    My anxiety is just lingering around. My thoughte persay scare me anymore. I think I kinds scares me because they are still lingering around? Im just tired of it, but how do I need with the lingering affects it so annoying. I want old me back. Thats easily said but its the putting it in action and getting on with everything. Any suggestions anyone.

  830. Lata Says:

    Hi all..i have a question..why does the doctors take anxiety people very lightly…they think if a person has anxiety then the person is half of the time lieing..if v go for a physical thing,,say for a real disease then too first they will think v dont have anything or v r exagerating and saying…has it happend to anybody…

  831. Alz Says:

    could anyone relate to anxiety that is associated with trauma? I have become extremely hypervigilant and have obsessive images which don’t exist in reality.. then today when i came from work there were voices in my head..
    this is not easy and i am continuing with all my day to day activities. But how can i accept all these bizarre symptoms? noone relates to them..
    its been 7 months since my trauma (still birth) and i always had anxiety.. just not sure if its escalated to something more.. that scares the hell out of me. My P doc says its anxiety but I have NEVER had it this bad… its like im also not willing to believe him … did that happen with anyone too?
    for those with trauma related anxiety do such symptoms occur? im not hallucinating.. but what if i start.. its like my brain is heading in that direction..
    katrina .. read paul’s first book… he mentions how SO many women who come on this forum have pregnancy related anxiety..

  832. Joe Says:

    Hey guys

    Just want some opinions. I posted on here an received some great advice from Stephanie about worrying. But i still have some questions

    I’m 19 years old and i did a gap year to recover from some unrelated emotional issues (probably caused my nerves to go bad as they are now). It’s now the summertime and as you can imagine i’ve been going out with friends a lot and getting drunk a lot. I wasn’t really sure if i was going out because i like going out and enjoying the company of my friends and getting f**ked because it’s fun, or if i was trying to escape the way i feel day to day. Well I’ve been drinking less anyway because I don’t like feeling hungover all the time but I still feel the need to get out of the house. You see, I don’t have a job (i quit to enjoy my summer) so I’m often left with nothing to do. So I always try and go out every night, although i don’t always drink. In fact, I always feel the need to get out of the house during the day. Even if it means going for a walk around the high street or meeting up with a friend to do something. I don’t like to be alone with myself in the house because I know i’ll get into the worry cycle. I try reading but it’s v difficult to do because I seem to just get more worried. I kinda feel like i’m just trying to pass the time.

    A typical story for an anxiety sufferer is that they end up getting more and more anxious as they feel that cannot do things they ‘used to’ do because of how they feel to the point where they become agoraphobic, even bed-stricken, and then find that when they get out of bed and leave the house, although scary at first, they begin to recover as they do this. Well I feel like i’m kind of the opposite. I dread being IN the house, in some ways. I kind of used to spend time lazing around doing nothing and being useless, as a lot of teenagers are probably doing. Should I start doing this again? It sort of feels like it would be the wrong approach.

    Today i tried staying at home and reading and playing around with music and binge-watching netflix but ended up adding fear and worry to my symptoms, seemingly exactly as the book tells you not to do. These are the things I think i used to do for most of my gap year when I was feeling okay and wasn’t so crazily introspective.

    I’m quite confused. I feel like i’ve been so introspective and watching the way i feel that I can no longer think straight. Kind of like how you repeat a word so much that it starts to seem strange and ridiculous, that’s how my mind feels. In fact the thoughts that made me anxious in the first place and still make me anxious are about the nature of the mind. I know it’s probably not important but yeah i have this weird existence-phobia and it’s v difficult to explain. I don’t even know how to begin to describe how i feel. It’s kinda like I don’t even understand emotions and how they’re meant to feel anymore because of so much focusing on my own ones.I know that i’m confused and uncomfortable and I’m sure I don’t like it. I guess the advice is to accept it all, whatever it is, however as I said my mind is so confused and thoughts and feelings are so hard to process, recognise and understand that I feel like i have no idea how i could possibly know if i’m truly ‘accepting’ the way i feel.

    My mind will seemingly immediately start this intense cycle of worrying, wondering and thinking about these things i’ve written above and i’m not sure how to switch it off, or at least not engage with it. It’s a mental habit that i’m not entirely sure how to change because i’m so confused about how my mind is meant to work. This confusion is awful, I always feel like i’m losing myself. I know my ‘old’ self is never really supposed to go, but i really don’t feel like i’ll ever get him back to be honest. I know there’s no point worrying about this but it just kind of happens.

  833. Stephanie Says:


    Frankly, the more you look for reassurance, question your various symptoms, and wonder if there’s something wrong with you other than anxiety, the more you’ll continue to suffer. Now, you’re not doing anything wrong. Everybody starts out where you are. I did. It was months before I had the courage to move forward, symptoms and all. Even then I had days where I continued to question and fear. Ultimately I realized I was and would always be the one to determine my recovery. When I responded to my symptoms with panic and fear, they would stick around and torment me. When I responded to them by saying “so what, I have things to do”, then they would gradually fade into the background and disappear. But you can’t watch for them to leave. Also, dont’t put a timeline on your recovery – “Oh no, it’s been months and I’m still suffering! This must not be anxiety!” Stop comparing how you are today to how you were last week. Focus on living your life. If the doubt keeps popping up, say “Oh well, it doesn’t matter, I have more important things to focus on.”

  834. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    I’ve not posted in a while so hope everyone is doing well.

    I’ve been going great overall but seem to have hit an odd pattern where I feel fairly good for around 3 weeks or so but then seem to hit a bumpy period or a setback once a month. I’ll forget about anxiety in the good period, totally focused externally, convinced I’ll never need another therapist appointment again or a blog then WHAM. This week has been like that, I started feeling the lovely anxious feelings on Tuesday then its built up to today which is off the scale bad. I’m sat here at work teeth grinding, tense, stomach churning….the works.
    These times undoubtedly pass but its no fun when you have to deal with them every month. All I want to do today is curl up in a ball.

    Anyone have a similar story?


  835. Alz Says:

    stephanie …
    im trying to follow ur advice..
    thanks a lot for taking the time to reply… you know i dont know how im functioning. Doing everything right but feeling mad in my head. Just need to have the faith that this is anxiety and it will end.. I was reading on this blog how anxiety can be so bad that it tends to make you imagine things etc.. more an obsessive intrusive image…

  836. Alz Says:

    BASICALLY once i dont believe something isnt wrong with me , no amount of reassurance will help.. ur right stephanie. But the fear is overwhelming none the less.. i guess move on and do other things when im hypervigilant etc.

  837. Joe Says:

    Hey everyone

    I don’t really feel better, in fact I kind of feel worse perhaps. But I think I’ve had a pretty important realisation in terms of how I go about acceptance and ‘dealing’ with anxiety. I sort of realised that, while I know that it doesn’t do to simply wait around to get better, I’ve still been kind of doing this. I didn’t really realise it but whenever I think about recovering from anxiety I think about how I might be feeling in a few weeks or months time. It’s that living in the future that is keeping me in this state, not least because of how hopeless I feel about recovering sometimes. You have to start living today, despite everything. I’ve been doing all the things I would usually do in my life before anxiety, but I understand that that’s not enough. You have to change your mindset and stop thinking about the future, basically. I’m going to stop saying to myself ‘there must be more to my life than this’ because for the time being, there isn’t. There may be in the future, but it’s important to remember that this is how things are today and the best thing I can do is remember to live for today rather than for 2-3 months time.

    I’m still kind of sceptical that I’ll ever recover to be honest, but I don’t mind keeping with this attitude for a few months. I don’t know if having this realisation was meant to make my anxiety a little worse but maybe that just comes from the realisation that I actually have to face anxiety rather than just deal with it for a while.

    As I write this, for some reason the essence of my realisation seems to mind of be fading and stop making as much sense but I think perhaps that’s just my overactive mind.

  838. Jake Says:

    Hi Guys

    I left a few postings 1/2 weeks ago and I have anxiety regarding my partner. I am currently in the depths but I know what’s required. (I think/I hope) my appetite is gone answer sleeping pattern very bad but so be it. I get small glimpse of hope but just keep getting pulled in bad and just want to run!!! Anyways is it normal to welcome these horrible horrible thoughts like sometimes grin at how silly they are. It’s currently shouting your stuck like this you don’t love her you never have blah blah blah. I look forward to the day I grow from this I’ve always had it even in past relationships and just had a bad stigma towards relationships with my own parents. I was away recently and was looking forward to getting home to have sex with my partner but like overnight that urge has just switched off. I know what’s required and need to stay strong

  839. Jake Says:

    Last thing sorry… When I hear about other people breaking up friends even people I don’t know it sends spikes through my whole system. What’s going on there??? Is that normal??? In work a guy told me his mate is married to a woman and he is totally unhappy I nearly got sick I don’t even know him!!!!

  840. Belgian Says:

    Jake, have you read my post of a couple of days ago?

  841. Jake Says:

    Sorry pal I totally missed that. Thank you for your kind reply!!!
    It just is strange that I get these spike about people breaking up people I don’t even know!!! You talk a lot of sense and good to see you are out the other side

  842. Alz Says:

    i wish this was more like a chat…

  843. Kat Says:

    Hi Jake,

    I’ve just read your post about feeling anxiety over your relationship and I am here to tell you that it’s going to be okay.

    As some others have posted, I went through that about five years ago, and it really felt like the end of the world to me. I had gone from being completely in love to feeling like my partner was the source of my greatest anxiety, all in the span of a single day. One awkward evening, which, without going into too much detail to respect everyone’s sensitivities, included a difficult sexual encounter (I could not muster the required feelings, and it was the first time that had happened to me with him), and I had a panic attack as a response. The panicky feeling was with me for a good while following that event, with peaks and valleys, and through it all, I had trouble even looking at him because by doing so I experienced all sorts of anxiety symptoms.

    What really frightened me was that I had been in a relationship prior to this one in which there was a lot of turmoil regarding the topic of sex. He was very interested, and I had absolutely no sex drive. I realize now that anxiety attacks my sex drive first, so because I began to experience anxiety/panic while in that relationship, our physical life came to a full stop, which caused a lot of arguments, and eventually lead to our permanent split. My anxiety during this most recent period was far worse because I thought that this meant that this relationship was coming to an end as well, and we have a child together, so I didn’t want that to happen.

    I came to this blog and received wonderful advice from Paul, but also Helen who was absolutely instrumental in helping me understand what was going on and that it was not as dire a situation as my feelings were trying to convince me. She suggested that I force myself to hold his hand, even when I felt like every instinct went against it, to have talks with him, to do things like watch movies together, etc. I did as she told me to (she’d been through it herself), and many times came back to this blog searching for more reassurance, which she, as well as others, provided. I was frustrated that the feelings persisted even when I did what I was advised to, but that frustration only caused my anxiety to bloom further.

    Things began to change, slowly. First, I was honest with my partner. He was very understanding and never expressed fear or anger over what I was feeling. I could go for five days of feeling wretched and scared of him, and on the sixth, I would suddenly feel a flutter of love. This might lead to another five days of fear, but then I would feel love again for a slightly longer period. Eventually, I would feel love more than fear, until one day I realized that not only did I love this man, but I could not imagine being without him. It was incredible, given that I was terrified before about spending my life with him!

    I still deal with anxiety. It’s not on a daily basis anymore, but it’s still there and I am slowly (very slowly) working on it. It’s been my pattern throughout my life, and after so many years of it, I’ve experienced it in many different ways. It’s attachment to my relationship, to sex, to driving, to moving about freely, is indicative of a problem which loves to get in the way of the fun stuff in life. I am just happy I’ve never had anxiety about chocolate, or I’d really be in trouble!

    My point is that anxiety attaches itself to things we love because we fear losing them so much. No, my sex life hasn’t returned to the way it was from my earlier days, but you know what? It doesn’t for a lot of people because as we mature, and settle into our base relationships, the sex becomes a little less important than the bond we develop with our partners. It should still be there, obviously, but if it isn’t as often or as passionate, that doesn’t mean the relationship is doomed.

    Sometimes relationships end, and while it’s sad and frightening, having anxiety about your partner doesn’t mean that things have to end. When I am clear-headed and I think about my first relationship ending, I can see objectively that the real problem was that we were very different people, and that while anxiety certainly played a role in our parting, it wasn’t the reason it had to happen. All these years later, I still feel a sense of relief that it ended. I didn’t necessarily fear my first partner, in fact I loved him, but our incompatibility was too much to endure. When my anxiety quieted down, I still couldn’t feel the connection I needed, and that’s when I knew it had to end.

    Not to sound like a broken record, but for me, just allowing myself to believe in what Helen and Paul had to say about what I was feeling was a great comfort. It’s not believing that causes the resistance, which exacerbates the anxiety and feeds it. As I said, the feelings didn’t vanish instantly, but eventually they did. Anxiety is anxiety, in all of its annoying forms, and right now yours is attached to the person you care about. Believe me when I tell you that they will fade and that when they do, you’ll feel better about things than ever.

    I hope this helps!

    Take care,


  844. Bryan Says:


    How are you doing since things flared up? I had almost the same thing happen. Going well… vacation… Had fun… Came back and now in a very rocky stretch and having the mindset tested a bit. Always a challenge after long periods of getting along well. Interesting that we landed in the same place at thr same time. I’m sure you’re getting on with life… as I’m doing (thr best I can) as well.
    Hope it smooths out.

  845. Jake Says:

    Thanks Kat

    I hope you are right I have 2 kids but just feeling nothing towards my partner starting to question if I ever did but I know when I went on meds I was happy and content but I just have slipped again. No sleep last night wasn’t a good night with my thinking

  846. Rik Says:

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to provide another update for you all. So I was suffering immensely with DP/DR and intrusive thoughts and have been for the last 7 months. This was due to my marriage breaking down and constant stress for a long time. I am glad to say things are still improving since I began to simply accept that for the time being this is me and that there is no use in fighting against myself and therefore creating more stress. I put all obsessive, bizarre and scary thoughts down to anxiety and no longer pick at them and follow them to see how weird they can become.

    Today I would say I am around 70% recovered but I do not check progress every day and am instead simply living my life with all these things in tow. To say I never thought I would even get to this point is a massive understatement. I was in a very bad place. Listening to an audio book of claire weekes that I have was a massive help as well as having the support of one of the members I met on here who has also been suffering with DP and is now in her own words about 85% recovered.

    I can quite honestly say now that I do believe that 100% recovery is out there for me and if I keep doing the things I am doing I can reach it. I will not be making any special efforts to do so however and will instead simply let it come to me.

    This is the 3rd time I have been down the road of anxiety due to various reasons so I know that recovery is definitely attainable. Each time I had it I thought I would never recover and yet here I am again walking slowly out of the dark forest towards the sunshine. I dont come on here much anymore as I am trying to give myself time to forget things and to not dwell on the subject all day every day. I think this is very important as how can you move on with your life if you constantly remind yourself of how ill you are supposed to be rather than living life as best you can and in spite of symptoms.

    Anyway I hope you are all progressing well. All the best.


  847. Lauren Says:

    Jake, Kat – both of your words from the past few weeks – that I’ve just scrolled through – have helped me immensely. I really needed to see them right now, so I am happy I checked in on this blog today.

    I don’t post often but I am often very soothed by reading through everyone’s conversations.

    Somewhere above, someone posted this, and I didn’t note who it was but want to copy and paste because it was so powerful, and really spoke to me in this moment:

    “Anxiety tends to highlight the sharp edges of our humanity. The edges we can or learned to lived with when in a more calm state, seem unbearable when in a anxious state. Love is not about loving one another without a shadow of a doubt. Love is persistence. Love is a cathedral that never gets completely finished. Love would never be true without this uncertainty. There is nothing more uncertain than love. So of course, being anxious you are telling yourself to run away. Of course you are internally shouting that fleeing the scene would make ‘it’ all go away.”

    Plain and simple: Anxiety lies. I have dealt with its lies all my life and I always conveniently forget that it takes different forms, and plagues me when I least expect it. Peaks and valleys, and right now I am in a bit of a valley. It seems like many of us are.

    We are all going to be okay. I am grateful to have this blog and all of the wise insights that it holds. Thank you to everyone for being so disarmingly honest – the last few weeks of entries above reveal to me that there are so many of us who struggle with this ridiculous thoughts and feelings and fears, and it is all this hundred-tentacled beast called anxiety – that we don’t feel we can speak openly about.

  848. Bryan Says:

    Good stuff Rik!

  849. Tom Says:

    Hi all!

    I am confused regarding the fact that I’m unable to enjoy many things. Because I feel constantly tired, 9 times out of 10 I can’t enjoy things that I used to, like listening to and playing music, going for a walk, or enjoying the buzz from having a couple of beers. These activities seem empty, emotionless, and boring most of the time.

    Because of this, I’m constantly wondering if I have depression, or if it’s just the tiredness caused by anxiety that prevents me from experiencing fulfillment from many activities.

    Would the right attitude towards this issue be that I still keep on doing these things despite the dullness?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  850. Lata Says:

    Hi tom…i have gone through this for many months when my anxiety was new and m still dealing with this bcoz its not gone completely..sometimes i feel tired for no reason and sometimes if i go out n after m back home i feel so tired n i get panic attack bcoz of it…sometimes my mind says i cant travel long distance and if i will travel i may get tired and again panic attack..its a very common sympton of anxiety..u r not alone…hope this helps

  851. Debbie Says:

    Hi rik its debbie i have talked to u before can u give me your email address would like to talk to you about dp and intrusives if u dont mind thanks.

  852. Rik Says:

    Hi Debbie,

    Sure. It’s rchippex at googlemail dot com. I dont mind people getting in touch and if I can help in any way then I will do. Its the least I can do. This blog has helped me more than once over the years and I try to give back where I am able.

    The help of a member on here has been invaluable to me in my progress.

  853. Rik Says:


    A little helpful hint here is that how can you hope to be interested in outside events when you are constantly looking inward and constantly analysing things. I suffered the exact same thing until i realised it was actually me that was causing this lack of interest. All i was interested in was how i was feeling and what i was thinking and feeling sorry for myself. Claire Weekes explains this extremely well in ‘hope and help for your nerves’. Only when you lose this constant introspection will interest in the outside world resume. You cannot commit your mind to enjoying things while you are stuck inside your mind thinking it all through and trying to force feelings. When you used to enjoy things there was no analysis, no effort. Your mind was relaxed and it just came naturally. This will come back in time once you begin to just be again.

  854. Jake Says:

    I went back onto meds I think I’m making a mistake. I’m not facing my fears!!!

  855. Alz Says:

    wow.. another new symptom.. hearing someone else’s voice in my head… o course.. very scary !!! i really need peace… i know its anxiety and i will ignore the voice… but another new symptom?? did anyone experience this????

  856. Nolan Says:

    Hi Alz,

    Stop beating yourself up. Okay, new symptom… so what? Move back on with your life.
    You don’t even need to put forth effort to ignore it. Just allow it to be there for as long as it wants to. Tell yourself “this is what I’m doing to have to be dealing with…. so be it”, and live your life again.

    You’ll get nowhere scrutinizing the presence of this fear, wondering if that fear is gone for good, and if new fears will arise.

    It’s like me with my sleep anxiety (and every other manifestation of anxiety I had) It just wasn’t something I could solve. A maze that makes you more mad the more you sprint around in desperation to get out. So, make your life about other things again. Make the focus of your life the other people in your life, and not how your handling or struggling with every blip that comes along.

    You can do it… but you have to want to actually do it.

  857. Nolan Says:


    You don’t need to face down your fears like it’s an opponent in the other corner of a boxing ring. If you want anything to face, face the things that once made your life yours. Live that life again. Okay, you’re flooded with fears, doubts, despair. And you know that it’s not something you can simply argue away anymore. We all realize that in the first few weeks of this. Let those fears, doubts, and despair be there…. but don’t let them dictate how you live your life.

    And again, one of the best ways to start doing that is to make other people the focus of your life. Care about them, humble yourself in not caring about how you’re feeling at any given moment. Sure, the weight will still be there…. it will make your love for others (the things you do for them) that much more meaningful; because you did it for them while you were lost yourself and full of despair.

    And trust me, Jake. If you haven’t already, you’ll get those glimpses of peace. They’ll come into your being at the most unsuspecting time…. you’re life will feel full again. The passing of this storm will just make sense to you at a fundamental level. You’ll realize at that moment that you never needed to struggle with this beast at all. That moment will pass, doubt will surface again…. but keep on. Those moments will continue and one day you’ll look around and the fog will have lifted completely.

  858. Nolan Says:

    Beautifully said, Rik.

  859. Jessica Says:

    Any forum here on Hypervigilence or anyone willing to share on getting pass it?

  860. Beth Says:

    Nolan-What you are saying sounds like the most wonderful thing in the world-glimpses of peace and no more fighting. After over 25 years of dealing with this and basically, letting it ruin my life, it’s hard to grasp. At his point I’d practically sell my soul to get past this. But, I’m truly glad others are having success.

  861. Alz Says:

    Jessica i have it .. and again it’ll go on its own .. there’s no getting past it. Like Nolan said.. its just there and you have to live your life and after some time it’ll leave on its own….
    what i used to do is that if im thinking something is there i would look again and again and again.. Now , i just look once and move on.
    did u go through some sort of trauma ?

  862. Alz Says:

    Long time..:) thanks for replying ! the thing is i haven’t really accepted.. obviously its not fun feeling like you’re going mad but on the plus side, i am starting to move on in life: i got a job, moved back with my husband (remember i was too scared to go?) , i gym, i pray and i socialize. I haven’t come to that point where i can say its JUST anxiety and it can play so many tricks that its hard to believe that. But yes, i do want to move past this and I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!!

  863. Shandi Says:

    Hi guys.

    I usually don’t post here because I try to just follow Paul’s advice and not dwell on things I’m thinking or feeling by posting themy here, but I am more afraid right now than I have been in my entire history of anxiety.

    I read Paul’s book in December last year and I’ve been applying the techniques that he spoke about since then. I’ve gotten much better since then (I do have some days/weeks where I feel bad, but I usually just move on with my life and those feelings/thoughts fade and I feel like I’m getting better again) but I’m terrified tonight.

    So, about 2 days ago, I watched a video on schizophrenia and the early warning signs and I am so scared that I might have mild/early schizophrenia. The biggest part of my fear is that I have always had a habit of talking to myself. I never really had any friends growing up so, as a child, I used to act out scenarios by myself and that then transformed into talking to myself regularly (every day, when I’m alone.) I always just brushed it off as habit, but I’ve been doing it more lately and it’s become different over the years in the fact that instead of taking to myself, I imagine talking to a friend/family member that isn’t there at the moment. I say something to them (always in a hushed, whispered voice), then I think of what their reply would be and keep a conversation going like that. I imagine how they would react to me showing them something or telling them something.

    Also, because I constantly imagine that I’m not alone, I sometimes do/write/draw/etc something that I wouldn’t want someone to see and, for a brief moment, I feel like I shouldn’t do it because they’re watching me, but then I realize that they’re not actually there and I end up doing whatever it is.

    I keep telling myself that I can’t be schizophrenic because I’m aware that there is nobody there and that I’m not having these conversationswith anyone but myself, but I’m still so scared because I think that if I keep up the habit, I’ll lose touch with reality and I WILL be schizophrenic. At the moment, I only do this when I’m by myself, I don’t talk to myself when I’m with other people, but again, I’m scared that I will start talking to myself in public or saying nonsensical things as is apparently common in schizophrenics.

    I researched schizophrenia and a lot of the symptoms do apply to me. They say it most likely happens to women in their late teens/early 20s (I’m 22.) People with schizophrenia become reclusive and don’t pay too much attention to their hygiene or appearance (I did become VERY reclusive a couple of years ago and, while I do take care of my appearance and hygiene, I don’t fuss over it as much as I used to.) Schizophrenics lose interest in hobbies and become apathetic and lazy (I still have hobbies, but I’m not as passionate about them and I don’t have any plans for the future because I have no idea what I want to do and I keep trying to MAKE a plan, but I’m too lazy to get things done.) I don’t think I have any delusions, but they say that schizophrenics don’the realize that they’re delusions, so I’m really worried that I might be having them without being aware.

    I’m really scared that I might be schizophrenic because there’s no cure and I don’t want to be crazy for the rest of my life and risk doing/saying things that are out of my control. This is the most terrified I’ve been since my first panic attack and I just feel like breaking down and crying because I’m so unsure about this. I’m also afraid to see a physiatrist incase I do get told I’m schizophrenic, as stupid as that is.

    I’ve tried Googling to see if anyone has had a similar experience, but all I’ve found are accounts of people who are as scared as I am, but no actual answers.

    Is this anxiety or could I actually be going crazy? Please help, I’m really scared.

  864. Nolan Says:

    Hi Jessica,
    Hypervigilance is essentially what was disallowing me from falling asleep at night.
    Many times I compared my anxiety (some of the forms that it took on) to being hypervigilance.

    What did I do? I let my mind go into that hyper vigilant mode and stopped caring so much that it did.
    I would close my eyes to go to sleep and it was like a switch was flipped in me to make me as alert as possible. I would try all of these goofy tricks to try to get me to fall asleep until it dawned on me that it should be treated the exact same way: stop fighting it and let your body do what ever it wants to.

    So, then I would start closing my eyes at night and as soon as that mode kicked in I would just lay there welcoming it. I’d let it drag my thoughts here or there…. I’d let it scream at me that I’m broken…. and all I did was lay back with my eyes closed watching it all play out like a movie. But, with no concern for how that movie ends.

    And that hypervigilance just ran out of steam. In time it wasn’t an issue any more.

    So, don’t fight it…. let it move your thoughts where ever it wants to but with an accepting attitude of “oh well, so what…. it will end when it’s ready to end.”

  865. Nolan Says:

    Hi Beth,

    You said, “After over 25 years of dealing with this”… then stop dealing with it. When you put on a shirt in the morning you don’t think of it in terms of “having to deal with a shirt being on”… you’re just wearing a shirt. It goes into the background and you give it little consideration.

    Say when you put that shirt on you willfully started focusing on things about it: “this tag is kind of itchy…. but if I cut it off it will be even more itchy”… “it’s kind of tight around my neck”. And on and on.

    To break that the only possible option seems to be: “Oh well, it’s here… it’s been here for awhile. And never once have I been able to think or trick myself out of it being there”. So accept it. So much of our misery is wanting things so desperately to be “A” when we find that they’re actually “B”. Here’s a great opportunity to say “okay, I’m getting “B” when I want “A”…. but I’m done with bothering over the particulars. “B” it is…. if and when “A” ever comes back…. good. If not, oh well.”

    And whatever you do stay away from pity. Stay away from longing for how badly you wish things could actually be. That is poisonous and it does nothing for you or me or anyone.

  866. Nolan Says:

    Hi Alz,

    Good to hear some things are trending in a better direction.

    You said, “But yes, i do want to move past this and I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!!”. Then start moving past it by making your focus others when it’s gearing up. With little concern if it will benefit you. It can be done. You just have to start taking the first steps. But be patient with yourself. It’s been said that rushing into perfecting a virtue will only lead you to more frustration. So don’t expect to be a saint on the first day of deciding to do that.

  867. Beth Says:

    Thanks Nolan, for your kind words and insights. “Accepting without fear” is what I feel I “should” be doing. But, if I accept-and the fear is not there-then I wouldn’t be in this “predicament”, right? But, having said all that, I do understand what you’re saying and I really do appreciate it-thank you.

  868. Jessica Says:


    Explained perfectly cause this is exactly what is happening it is playing out like a movie and I do feel like a switch flips in me sometimes and it kinda scares me. Nolan, glad you checked back in on us you gives us great reassurance and hope that we can beat this thing.

  869. Jake Says:

    Cheers Nolan

    As you just feel so empty your whole mood and demeanour is totally affected. I’m not sleeping or eating but is it just a case “oh well let’s keep going?? I feel so sad that it’s hard to keep going but I suppose I haven’t seen a post yet saying it’s easy.
    Is this the right approach??

  870. Victor Says:

    Hello everyone, I’ve been battling with my anxiety for 3 months now and It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. My parents are worried sick and everything I read I just freak out and have the biggest panic attacks.
    The hardest aspect of all this and the reason why I cannot seem to even begin to get better is because I feel like I haven’t slept and day since the day my anxiety and panic first came up. I feel like I am constantly awake all night hearing everything that is going on, yet my parents and gf tell me they hear me snoring but I just don’t feel like I’ve slept a second. It’s to the point where I don’t even want the night to come because I am petrified. I’ve been to the doctors. They have given me meds for sleep and for some reason I am fighting them. I hope someone has something similar to them. More maybe please just some guidance because I really am at the point where I feel like One day my body is going to give up on me.

  871. Tom Says:

    Thanks Lata, it’ good to know I’m not alone with this symptom.

    Thank you Rik, I can see what I’m doing wrong now, I should continue doing whatever I am at the moment without ruminating so much.

  872. Tasnim Says:

    I’ve been dealing with anxiety only just a bit longer than you. You can trust me when I say it gets better. I can look back the last couple months and realize how I never felt like I had a good sleep. I was cranky. I hated waking up in the mornings. I was terrified to go to bed because I had to be alone with my mind. I just let it be. The last few days I have been waking up feeling more refreshed. Your body won’t collapse. Just take care of your body as best as you can, and let it work itself out.

  873. Tasnim Says:

    My anxiety is on the high end for the last few days. I feel overwhelmed and confused for no reason. I no I need to let it be, but its hard not to doubt yourself in the moment of it. I keep thinking it’s always going to be like this. One week I’ll feel 90% fine, and the other weeks I’ll be overcome with anxiety. Just a constant cycle. I thinks its because I always find something to worry about. I used to worry about random stuff before too, but it never lead me to feeling anxiety. I wish my mind wasn’t so sensitive. I feel like I’ll never be able to handle anything ever again. How will I get through college when I start this year?

  874. Jamie Says:


    I just completed a successful weeks holiday away with my parents and my daughter. I was quite anxious leading up to it but the 4 hour drive was fine. I travelled down with my daughter separately from my parents and this added a little anxiety with the “what if you get panicky in the car with her ?” silly thoughts coming and going but it was fine.

    Now the week went ok. We did all the usual things – swimming, days out, eating out, trips to the beach, arcades, evening entertainment for the kids and although I was quite self conscious at times, analysed how I felt a lot of the time, felt anxious some days more than others, I ignored all of the thoughts and feeling and did everything I wanted to. I think if it was just me and my daughter going away, I would have been a lot more anxious. Being solely in charge of her for a week with anxiety in tow, I think I would have found tough . I asked my parents to come along as ‘back up’ is the best way to describe it as I think I would have struggled otherwise. I got home yesterday and although I had found the week difficult at times, as soon as my daughter was back with her Mum, I missed her loads.

    The reason for my post is this – while I was away I really found it difficult being around my Mum and I feel really bad saying this. She is a worrier and stresses about lots of things including many things to do with my daughter. For example, what she wears, what she eats, her personality, her behaviour, what she should / shouldn’t do etc. The usual parenty things. I firmly believe that I have developed anxiety problems partly because of the way she is.

    Not all day every day but a few times each day, she would make comments about my daughter and maybe stuff about me e.g. I should be more ‘up for it’ (up dancing all the time) as my daughter would take personality traits from me and my ex, it didn’t look like I was enjoying myself (this was towards the end of the week when I was really finding her difficult and of course, to say that to someone that is self-conscious and wished they were happier and enjoyed things more is not good) and general bits and pieces about my daughter.

    It slowly started to become very irritating and I made a deliberate decision to not be as close to her as I used to be about a year or so ago for this very reason. I think I had just been brainwashed and just did whatever she said as she likes to give advice out on all matter of things.

    A couple of times, I was quite short with her and just said “alright alright” and “she will find her own way” (referring to my daughter) but as my Mum is very sensitive, this went down like a lead balloon so she just went quiet.

    I discussed it with my Dad when she was not around and he knows exactly what she is like. She means well and is trying to help but it just makes me more anxious. How do you say to your own Mother, in not so many words, to keep her comments to herself and keep her nose out ? My Dad just said ignore it but an anxious person finds this very difficult and, I feel horrible for saying this, I was glad to be away from her a while by the end of the week.

    I was very worried before the holiday and during that my daughter may not enjoy the holiday as she had no other children with her to play with. She did not make any friends when we were there but that did not bother her and she had a whale of a time so I had nothing to worry about. Instead of coming home and giving myself a big pat on the back for doing a weeks holiday, my overriding memory is how increasingly difficult I found being around my own Mother !

    Am I being harsh here or should I look after my own wellbeing no matter what or who it involves ?

  875. Jake Says:

    Hi Kat

    I stumbled across some of your posts from 2011. You really are a star!!! You seemed to help Lucy, Sara so much back then. Are you still in touch with them?? Did they are recover and went back to a happy relationship like you

  876. Mark R Says:

    No takers on my post from 4th August?

  877. Sue Says:

    Hi Anxious Indian,

    having spoken to you a while ago when you gave me some advice. I was doing very well and have no anxiety feelings as such anymore but I am still plagued by negative thoughts. I have become very tired again with a virus and have noticed thoughts and feelings which remind me of how I felt with anxiety and I think it has caught me off guard again. I have tried to pull myself together again and won’t allow it to descend as before. How did you find when the anxiety had gone that the thoughts came in again and memories were quick to take over. how did you deal with this. Sometimes you think you will never be free of it and sometimes I think oh no were not going back there again.

  878. Jamie Says:

    I know the feeling Mark R :)

    My long post seems to have brought the blog to a standstill….

  879. Jessica Says:

    I started out having a good few days last week, and now all of a sudden Boom anxiety is Festering up in me bad again. I try to not get caught up in the good days/bad days thing but sometimes it hard not too, I feel like I am going mad. Im just so jittery and nervous. How to deal with the physical symptoms of Anxiety? I feel like I cant get relaxed.

  880. honey Says:

    This message is probably a bit late as your post was a few days back and a few posts ago but I can reassure you that the chances you have schizophrenia are incredibly low. People with severe and enduring mental illnesses are not aware of their journey into it. They genuinely believe their world is real and don’t have fear of going ‘mad’ because they don’t have that awareness. Everyone has an inner voice and everyone talks to themselves sometimes. I discussed this with a therapist four years ago because I had the same fears as you. Four years ago. And I am still having conversations with myself lol! Anxious people probably talk more to themselves and have more dialogue because their thoughts run wild all the time mind darting from one worry to the next. I haven’t got schizprenia after developing anxiety about eight years ago in my early 20s too. I can assure you it is a very common worry for anxiety sufferers. I had the same concerns as you even the feeling someone could be watching or filming me even! I even had that before I had anxiety. The mind is a weird thing! If I was developing a sever mental illness I’m pretty sure I’d have it by now, probably have been admitted against my will despite my protests at being completely mentally stable. You see people with this illness usually lack insight. I have experience with working with people who have this illness so I have slot of knowledge about it. It is truly horrible to watch someone so vulnerable and poorly but trust me you have anxiety not schizophrenia. Not one schizophrenic patient I’ve cared for has told me they are worried they might be schizophrenic. They do have anxiety but usually for different reasons for example they are very afraid that someone might be coming to get them and harm them. They aren’t anxious because they fear being ill because in most cases they aren’t even aware they are ill and their delusions aren’t real. They hear voices. Sometimes good but usually unsupportive and those voices feel to them like they are coming from an external source and are very rarely the sound of their own voice. Hope that helps

  881. Mark R Says:

    Well done for going away Jamie. I wouldn’t worry too much about upsetting your Mom. Its easy to snap when you feel anxious and Ive lashed out at my own closest. If she knows your issue she will understand.

    I just feel in a bit of a crap spot at the moment, hate to use the word setback. I’ve been pretty down for a week now apart from Friday and Saturday which were great. I’ve been doing well overall with going days and weeks without any anxious issues so its hard when you hit these spots. I’m just going to have to ride it out. Had a rotten day yesterday and cried when I left work and anxiety was screaming at me to just go home and get under the covers. I ignored it and went to the footie as planned so I’m glad I made that call.


  882. Maggie Says:

    Hi guys,

    I hear you Mark R I am going through a setback
    at the moment.
    Question guys:
    Does anyone experience the following? Any thought
    That hits your brain no matter what is it, becomes
    anxiety adrenalin producing.
    Example I can think about making a tea I feel the flow
    I think about doing something with my kids adrenalin
    again.,…..list goes on
    Then I start thinking no this must be something
    else this time.
    Thank you!

  883. honey Says:

    Yes I get this Maggie but couldn’t explain it. I think the thought is how can I think about normal things when I haven’t figured anxiety out’ it’s what drives me to then research my condition, fight it and look for cures. It keeps me in the loop

  884. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    I don’t post.on here much anymore but I’m having a hard time of it at the moment. This all started in October of last year and I’ve slowly got better over that period. From about April I’d say I was starting to feel more myself and stopped using the blog and concentrate on other things.
    I seem to have hit a setback (hate that word) last week where I started to feel total crap again with full force of the symptoms. It’s tossed me about the place and I felt a while heap better on Friday and great on Saturday only to feel bad again on Monday.
    The last two days have been very harsh and I feel drained this morning due to being woken every 2 hours with anxiety. Now logical Mark would think to let this spend itself and I’ll be back on track once it has but I’m feeling in the grip of my emotional, fearful brain and its trying to steer the ship towards me back to how bad it was in October of last year, all progress lost etc. Im trying to stick to my routine of going to work, socialise etc but at the moment I want to just stay under the covers!
    Has anyone had dealings with a similar harsh time recently after progress? If so any tips would be appreciated.


  885. honey Says:

    Mark what about if you said to yourself, get as bad as you were in October. Accept that might happen. What have you got to lose? For me it’s the frustrating cycle.
    I feel bad, I make a plan right I’m gonna read the book again rein for very the message accept fully. I do. It improves and I get a few really good days. Then I notice one day I’m anxious. And I think oh here we go it’s back. It’s not back because it never went away as we are still not healed. So it’s the resistance each blip that’s the most important part of this stage. It’s at this point that we have two choices. Wallow and reinforce old habits or try acceptance. It feels forced and hard and it’s actually more comfortable to research and analyse because it’s an old safety behaviour we’ve got etched in our minds. But habits take repetition and the crucial point is when we have a bad day. Accept and we develop a new pathway. Keep accepting and eventually it will be the more comfortable pathway.

    Yesterday as you know was a rough day for me. Started out anxious. I kept thinking to myself I must research and I must find answers but when I went to I thought. No o actually cannot be bothered. What’s the point in that it never achieves anything. It just reinforces old habits. Of course the anxiety built because I ignored safety behaviours and later manifested in panic because I kept thinking what if it gets bad again. I felt totally helpless when the panic crashed over me and then o thought right here is another opportunity to practice acceptance. I willed it to get worse. It did a bit but despite feeling horrible I didn’t actually feel 100% fear like I used to. I of course was in that primitive brain response so it’s hard to be rational and didn’t think perfectly but I follow the advice and did the best I could. The panic subsided and now I feel OK. Not really anxious today actually. I just feel a bit deflated because of what happened yesterday. The usual post panic blues I guess

  886. Maggie Says:

    Yes Mark R I am going through the same state
    than you.
    I felt so good for sometime and now feels like
    back to 2008.
    It happens to me a lot and I am aware I am
    still not accepting, I am fighting trying to understand
    why again.
    However this time what I learned is I stopped
    lying to myself but thinking it is because of my thyroid
    Disease. No I read so many comments here same
    than mine and people don’t have any underlaying
    It takes a lot of practice and patience as Dr. Weekes
    says and other bloggers mention here one of them
    who I love reading his posts is Nolan.
    God bless you all.
    It is a good thing that you had 2 good days think

  887. Bryan Says:

    Nice post Honey. Good advice.

  888. Alz Says:

    hello all..
    my anxiety and obsession make me feel like im seeing things or hearing things. Its obviously very scary but it adds a lot of ” what is real what is unreal”??? i feel like im just robotically passing through life. How do i come to peace or find a teachnique of realizing whats real or shoudl i just go through the motions and ill eventually get over this phase of obsessive imagination (hearing and seeing things)..
    Honey specifically… it cant be the beginning of some other illness can it??

  889. Julie Says:


    I just thought I’d ask here. I have experienced alot of anxiety since my brother attacked me 4 years ago. My family turned their backs on me and made my life hell for the first 2 years as I wouldn’t forgive my brother. It led to anxiety, agoraphobia and the worst intrusive thoughts about harm and my children/myself. It was so frightening. Since I was struck with chronic ill health last year my anxiety returned and agoraphobia crept back in. My health is slowly improving now I am on thyroxine. I am also working hard at the agoraphobia it returned.

    I decided to go back to therapy as my GP thought it would help as a top up since being so unwell for a year and seeing my son going through awful bullying and wanting to end his life. I agreed and I was told I have had PTSD, everything she told me made sense and I felt such a relief to hear that the trauma of what my brother did to me was exactly why I’d been struggling. She said anxiety, agoraphobia, intrusives are perfectly natural after trauma and explained anxiety just like Paul does in his book. It was a huge comfort to me.

    My question is, even if you have PTSD (it’s just a label I know) but is it again ‘just’ anxiety? and you can use self help books or do you need specific therapy for PTSD? I am early into the therapy, only a few weeks in and didn’t really want to ask her if I could help myself rather than pay her lol!

    I know you can have intrusive thoughts like I had with anxiety without having anything like PTSD. My thoughts have been about what my brother did to his children and to me, my therapist that is why I ended up having them about my family and myself. I often worried that I was abnormal for having them so the therapy has comforted me alot so far. I still rave about Pauls book though as it helped me overcome so much. It’s such a shame my thyroid has kicked off my anxiety again but it’s part of the symptoms unfortunately. Here’s to my health improving and again kicking anxieties ass 😉


  890. Melissa Says:


    I haven’t posted on here in a while, but I saw what you wrote and felt the need to respond. Anxiety serves as a means to keep you on your toes. If you were living in the caveman ages and you were being chased by a lion or dinosaur you would want to be extra aware…so that you can avoid being eaten or attacked. You level of anxiety is high for several reasons, one: you’ve been through A LOT in the past few months. Be kind to yourself. Guaranteed if you showed yourself more compassion you would feel a bit better. Two: you’re spending way too much time on this blog looking for outside reassurance. Trust me, there is NOTHING that anyone can tell you on here that will make you feel permanently constantly seeking reassurance you are training your brain to think it needs it to feel better. What you need is to sit with the discomfort and distract yourself with something you love. What do you love?

    I’ve been through every.single.thought. You’ve had. It was terrible. Some days it still is. Butt am sitting with it. Because I am strong enough to over come. And so are you.

  891. Tasnim Says:

    Is it normal to get such vivid thoughts, that its on the edge of feeling like voices. Not really voices, but like your one second, random thoughts are shouting at you, but its only like half a second per thought. Kinda like you are so aware of your racing mind and every few seconds, you’ll “hear” a glimpse of one of your racing thoughts. I don’t know how to explain it, but it freaks me out because I think it’s like the beginning of voices. I only notice late at night mostly though.

  892. Alz Says:

    Thank you so much Melissa!!!!!
    I used to love yoga , listening to music, exercising and going out with my husband :) im trying to reincorporate these into my life again..

  893. Belgian Says:

    Dear all,

    I experienced a little setback these last couple of weeks. I wanted to share with you, why it went away this quickly this time.

    There is no secret. There’s only utter acceptance. Acceptance of the feelings, acceptance of the thoughts.

    The only logic behind anxiety is a body suffering from stress reaction to this in an anxious way.

    Stress is the cause of all your unpleasant feelings and thoughts. We keep reading questions from people about all of their symptoms. I am sure this is because in the back of their head they either don’t understand or can’t accept that this is only caused by stress.

    It is.

    I’m sorry not to give you a more complex answer. Not saying to you that anxious feelings are “messengers surfacing the secrets that you hold in your body.” The issues you are experiencing may be real and something to take into consideration, but not by reacting to it with anxiety.

    Stress magnifies all of our emotions and when it magnifies anxiety, we get scared of it. We get scared of anxiety. And as we get scared of our anxiety, we begin chasing our own tail.

    Don’t feel sorry for yourself now. Don’t think: how stupid must I be not to see this. Or, if you do understand the anxiety trick: why am I so weak I just can’t accept and let go.

    Although the message is quite easy to understand, it’s much more difficult to put this knowledge into practice. You will have to change your learned responses and replace them with the only helpful response: acceptance. You will have to do this, time and time again. It’s not easy, but I promise you: it is not as hard as staying in anxiety mode.

    Also, you don’t have to do this alone. You are never alone. Literally millions of people all over the world are struggling with this. Do ask your questions for the millionth time here. Open up to people you trust completely or to a trained professional. I am in counselling for two years and have a lovely wife who has been my rock and support throughout this. I also take anti-depressants (not everyone agrees that this helps and by no means I am encouraging people to take them. Always see a professional before taking them).

    My point is. There is hope. There really is. My grandmother of 89! has experienced anxiety several times in her life. She survived and looks back at her life without any regret. When you start your road to recovery the right way, recovery is inevitable.

  894. Mark R Says:

    Hi Belgian,

    Sorry to hear you’ve experienced a setback recently. I too have been in a setback of sorts these last two weeks. Yesterday was one of the most brutal days I’ve ever experienced with anxiety. All I could do yesterday was accept, let it do its worst and it sure did. I got through it minute by minute. I feel much better today but battered and bruised.

    It’s always great to read your posts however I have a question. How do you not respond to stress with anxiety? If anxiety follows stress then acceptance of this will lead to anxiety? Changing a response is not accepting isn’t it? I’m sorry if I’ve misread your post but I’d love to be able to change my response when these feelings show up, yesterday was no picnic.

  895. Maggie Says:

    Thank for the great post Belgian!

  896. Alz Says:

    What did you do to help yourself? Is it ok if you could share your email address. Would love some advice..


  897. Melissa Says:

    Hi Alz,

    I don’t think I’m ready to help others yet. Still in treatment, but I literally moved on with my life. I was so sick of being a victim and being sad all the time. Blaming others, blaming life, blaming death. I put energy into doing things that make me happy and enjoying my summer. I am planning a wedding, which also takes up a lot of time and energy.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m still dealing with anxiety, but it’s not as bad and I try to honour my body. Giving myself breaks, eating right, exercising 4-5 times a week. When my anxiety/OCD gets bad, I know I’m pushing myself a lot and I am under a lot of stress so I rest, sleep, clean. I just live my life. I cannot change what happened to me, but I can just move on.

    Also, I stopped coming on the blog, stopped listening to podcasts, stop being part of Facebook groups, STOPPED SEEKING REASSURANCE. That was the biggest one. I made my life about anxiety for too long. It does not deserve that attention anymore. I get it. It’s there. It tries to get my attention all the time l, but I have way more important things to worry about (like how I want my hair to look on my wedding day lol).

  898. Bryan Says:

    Excellent post Melissa. Have my own wedding coming up in Sept. Lucky for me I don’t have to plan much. (Lucky for everyone probably. Lol)

  899. Bryan Says:


    If you refer to my post on July 27th, I address some of your questions.

    At some point… we ask every question we can 10 different ways.

    At some point… as an act of kindness to ourselves… We have to start the work.

  900. Maggie Says:

    Congratulations Melisssa and to you as well Bryan!
    Very good advice Melissa.

  901. Steve b Says:

    Congratulations Bryan! Have a great day.
    Great post Belgian.
    I am 99% recovered..phew! Took about a year and a half so never give up!!

  902. Bryan Says:

    Very happy to hear that for you Steve. Be sure to post your story here about how you did it, how your maintaining etc. it will help a lot of folks.
    Great job.

  903. Beth Says:

    Wow it certainly has been a long time since I’ve been on these blogs! I’m not going to go over my whole story but personally my main anxiety is definitely health anxiety, my dad was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour when I was 12 and passed away about a year and a half ago when I was 16. Generally I am a worrier however I feel as though this has effected me massively as it shook me in a way which I realised and was shown first hand that bad things do happen. You hear about other people going through cancer or losing a parent but you never imagine it’ll actually happen to you. For the past year and a half since finding Paul’s book I have been trying to put his work into practice and allowing everything but I think when it comes to my health anxiety that’s where it gets me into the dreaded cycle. Everything I feel or whenever I’m sick in my head I’m dying. Any little problem that would annoy a normal person but they’d still get on with their lives I become fixated on and have to find out why I’m feeling that way and how to fix it. I have overcome so much since finding Paul’s book and this site I no longer have panic attacks about going into crowded areas and I’m definitely a lot more of a confident person. I go places on my own and go out on my own. when a few years ago I could even go to school without fearing I would pass out I couldn’t go anywhere and feel comfortable without my mum. But all that has changed and I can do so much more but I am constantly 24/7 fixated on my health and being healthy and whenever I don’t feel well I have to find out what it is and try fix it. For a while now I’ve noticed I’m quite shaky in my hands and of course I have googled and convinced myself I have Parkinson’s or ms or a brain tumour but it hasn’t bothered me in any way and I’ve got on with stuff however recently I have been feeling quite weak and tired and I had a bloodtest done and I was low in vitamins b and d. After a checkup last week my vitamin b is fine now but I’m still slightly low on vitamin d. (Just including that information bc could that cause shakiness and weakness?) any who this past week I don’t know what’s wrong with me but my anxiety is the highest it’s been in a while. I have this disgusting taste at the back of my throat and of course I’m coming up with every illness and reason under the sun as to what it is. I’m also really weak and my left arm and leg are a bit numb and feel weird. I know anxiety can cause this as the whole of last summer I basically spent with half of my face being numb but I just can’t get my head in the right place I’m convinced I have ms or something seriously wrong with me and I hate it I don’t want to live constantly analysing my health to death like I do ? can anyone help me specifically with health anxiety?? Sorry this is so long and if anyone has actually read this any reply would be very appreciated X

  904. Alz Says:

    Bryan and Melissa thanks a lot !!!
    Congrats to both of you on your big days! But i mean today while i was with my husband i was questioning if he is my husband and what if i ask him that … my thought pattern has me worried a lot. Yesterday i was questioning why i was calling up my boss and telling her i am delusional.. is that also anxiety playing its tricks??? i mean questioning if my hubby is my hubby??? :(
    can anxiety be so brutal??????

  905. Melissa Says:

    Hi Alz,

    What would happen if you just threw those thoughts into the anxiety bag and assumed that they were intrusives and distracted yourself by doing something else?

    Can you try doing that?

  906. Alz Says:

    yes Melissa …
    i did but it kept on bugging me… questioned things like am i going psychotic .. maybe this is the beginnign… how can i even think like that yada yada..

    what i didnt do was distract myself ….i kept on thinking and worrying about it…
    Melissa what about the feeling of unreality? Also put that in the anxiety bag? and questioning everything -if what im doing is sane or insane.. again anxiety bag? Did you have these feelings too?

  907. Melissa Says:

    I had every single symptom. Every. Single. One. Many people on here have. Your anxiety isn’t different than anyone else’s. It’s all the same. Our mind will make up some crazy stuff, it’s up to decide if we want to entertain it or not. I work with kids and I treated my anxiety like a kid having a tantrum. Walk away. Come back later. Guaranteed it won’t be as strong.

  908. Steve b Says:

    95% recovered! Having a blip!haha
    Basically I got ill about 18 months ago after accepting a job offer to work in Hong Kong. I have worked there before but this time my body just went, no way. And basically collapsed.
    I have had episodes in the past but never knew it was anxiety. I just muddled through and it went away after a year or so.
    This one was the big one.
    I was so bad I couldn’t leave my bed for 3 months. Had every symptom you can imagine. Mental and physical. It was hell on earth. I also came off a drug called seroxat which I think made it even worse.
    So anyway, slowly very slowly I have been in recovery. Using Paul’s advice.
    Underlying my anxiety is the fear of death and as you can never get away from that its a hard nut to crack. What I have learnt though is that you can still have your fears but you can still recover. Again, by accepting your fears.
    It would be so easy for me to develop health anxiety but I REFUSE to go down that route. Every time my body sends an alarm that something is wrong with me I acknowledge it. Say, thanks very much. And ignore it. Completely.
    Do not Google!
    I am still up and down and having a blip now but it will pass.
    The hardest thing for me is the worry it will come back. Especially as I get older and if ever had a real illness.
    It nags at me all day and I am still working on that.

  909. Alz Says:

    Melissa ,
    what helped you along the way? especially when your anxiety was really high?

    Steve b..
    congrats.. seems like you’ve figured it out…

  910. Melissa Says:


    What helped me feel better was actually the opposite of what helped me get better. What helped me feel better was talking about it, coming on this blog, going on facebook pages about anxiety, reading articles about anxiety and making my whole life about anxiety.

    What ACTUALLY helped it go away, was to go on with my life and do things that I used to love. I would swim, workout, watch movies, go for walks, spend time with friends, eat good food, be intimate with my partner, all of the things that make life worth living. Did I still get anxious? Yes. Do I still get anxious now? Yes. I also see a therapist once every two weeks that helps me expose myself to my fears (schizophrenia and other mental health disorders). That helps me too, but its expensive. I saw four therapists before I met the one that I am with now. Healing takes time, but it will take more time if you keep asking the same questions and not just moving on with your life.

    Alz, I know it is hard. But you have been through WAY worse in the past few months. Instead of fighting the anxiety, let it be there. Embrace it. Your body wants to protect you. It loves you. Anxiety is not the enemy…although it feels like. It is your body’s way of stopping you from doing whatever stressful stuff that got you here to begin with.

  911. Alz Says:

    Thanks Melissa !
    Getting on with my life -gymming, working etc r things iv started but there is so much anxiety even before doing those things… Yes ur right anxiety will be there .. It won’t go away . I just have to learn to befriend it . ur right .., I have been through a lot and healing does take time …. I am on meds and therapy once a week – which is expensive yes but at the end of the day my therapist is not sitting in my mind and only I know what I’m going through. She can help lessen the anxiety during the session but afterwards I hv to face each day …
    Anyway thanks for taking out the time to write these posts .. Means a lot . Xx

  912. Andy J Says:

    Hi Beth,

    I have been through Health Anxiety and come out the other side.

    So straight away, there is proof that it can be overcome. I still suffer from other forms of anxiety but my health no longer concerns me any more than it would your regular guy on the street.

    What anxiety is very good at, is making you think the worst. Things people would pass off as being ‘a weird shooting pain’ and then getting on with it, become all the things you have mentioned to those of us with anxiety.

    First thing you have to stop doing is using Doctor Google. Everything you fear will be displayed in front of you. Try putting something strange like ‘aching toe nail cancer’ and see what comes back.

    The things you have been through will have been tough. I’d say its only natural that you are feeling the way you do. If you want to have a small bit of reassurance, why don’t you visit your GP? Speak to them about your specific concerns. I’m sure they will be more than happy to indulge you.

    You can do this. I did it, and I thought I had every illness under the sun, including the ones you mention.

    To every one else, I’m still really struggling with where I am and have been for the past two years. My intrusive thoughts are still as regular and having a significant impact on my life. I seem to get stuck in a loop. I do OK for periods of time then all of a sudden ill be plunged back in to it. Various things ‘trigger’ them. At that point I am unable to see them as being merely anxiety and that they are actually a real representation of who I am. I think because they have been ongoing for a significant time period, I have become desensitised which means that I am now afraid of not being as shocked by them. Does any one have tips of how to address them as the thoughts they are? Like the actual mechanics of allowing/dismissing etc?



  913. Rik Says:


    You need to simply put these thoughts aside. When they pop up just let them blow themselves out. I have been doing very well recently. Today has not been as good however. Like you and melissa I have a strong fear of mental illness. This has been a recurrent theme each time I have had anxiety. Each time it manifests in a different way or rather I scare myself in a different way.

    As you know I also had severe DP/DR this time round.

    I would say that I am still in the process of recovery but doing so much better than I was. Today I am pretty tired and with that usually comes intrusive thoughts etc. I get them more often when tired most likely because I worry about it more or observe the way I feel more. The same with the thoughts and feelings of DP. I have come to expect this and rather than panic I am just going to get through the day and get a good nights sleep this evening. My weekend was excellent. I did so many great things. I even ran almost 3km yesterday on only my second time of trying. I am going to use my goal of running a 5km race at the end of september as a new focus for myself.

    I am simply doing my best to let the thoughts go when they arise. It isnt easy at times but it is the only way. Anxiety being what it is makes thoughts seem so important. We feel compelled to look at them and compelled to fear them as this is the fear we have developed. We even feel compelled to see just how weird they can be but the problem with imagination is it is unlimited and so you just end up finding new ways to scare yourself. That is why it is important to just let go and stop fearing your own thoughts and instead learn to ignore the rubbish.

    I urge you to start letting these thoughts come and go without getting tied up in them. I know it is hard. I am going through the same still myself at times. But you have to start somewhere or you will be trapped in the anxiety cycle for a very long time.

  914. Rik Says:


    The best advice I can give you is something I learnt by watching some youtube videos by a lady called Katy Daath. She says to see your thoughts like a train arriving on a station. You have a choice about whether or not to get on the train. That choice is the key factor here. You can choose to indulge these thoughts by inspecting them and becoming afraid of them or you can simply decide not to get on the train anymore and let it pass. You will find that the train eventually pulls away and is gone. You may need to do this hundreds of times in a day but if you are consistent and stick to it then in time these thoughts come less and less as you are no longer interested in them. This really does work as last time I overcame obsessive thoughts this is what I did.

  915. Alz Says:

    im starting to also see that when im overworked.. or see someone else’s life better than mine then my intrusive thoughts are more… self harm thought today for example because of the way im feeling… its very tiring.. ur mind constantly running and what iv realised is that though i love taking afternoon naps, im worse off when i wake up… i feel more out of it..
    thing is … im making so many thought bubbles…that the sky’s probably full of them… except when some thoughts are SO SO strong… i guess keep on making bubbles.. :)
    so rik.. instead of the train bit.. i try the bubbles strategy.. my mom thinks its absurd .. eheh … anyway .. congrats on the big run!!! iv not left out the gym for even one day since i came back to my hubby.. it might not help now but in the longer run i have to take care of my body…

  916. Tim Says:

    Is anyone else so depleted that they can’t do a lot or the symptoms become worse? Really physically ill. It’s all to do with hormones and sleep being out of whack.
    I’m so stuck, I’ve had to move back in with my parents 7 years ago and I’m still almost as ill as I was then. I’m 36 now. The fact that I am still so ill is what worries me the most. Yes it’s a loop, I worry about all of this and it creates stress hormones which in turn create exhaustion and intolerance to physcical activities (inspanningsintolerantie in dutch).
    I have anxiety and depression, I’ve concluded that if ur in this cycle for too long and too deep u can develop what some people call ME/CFS. I suspect (hope) ME/CFS is actually just symptoms of extreme depletion and exhaustion and out of whack hormones caused by prolonged and intense anxiety and depression.
    Sorry for ranting.

  917. Tim Says:

    Please support me, sometimes i dont think i can continue anymore, I get thoughts of having to be put away in an institution and it creates floods of worries and..yes makes all the symptoms worse.
    I’ve had therapy for a year 6 years ago and it made everything worse. It just makes me analyze and think so much more while I have experienced that letting go (when it actually happens which is rare) brings relief.
    I’m so scared I will have to be put into contact with “professionals” again, my parents think I need it, but it does me so much worse.

  918. Simon Says:

    Hi all…. I recovered and had been depression and anxiety free for 4 years!!

    I just wanted to let you all know without going into a mass of details that this method realy did work for me, I had anxiety and depression for 2 years and what a complete nightmare I felt I was in, this illness (condition) robbed me of every single thing (or I thought it had). However following the advise that Paul gave me I recovered enough to be able to move forward with my life and boy did it work. Yes you always have that little bit of doubt in your head when your feeling good, you do think hang on I can’t be this happy because it’s going to come back soon….. well it didn’t come back to me for 4 years, I went through redundancy, got a job that I think I wasn’t good enough for, had heart surgery at 47 and few other stresses along the way, but did it effect me, well NO I DIDN’T THINK SO, but perhaps I was a little nieve thinking that I did not need to follow what I had been taught by both Paul and Dr Claire Weekes.

    Well truth be know, yes I think I should have listened to my body over the last year when it was pushing to do things, feeling good and not properly taking time out for myself.

    So here I am with some of the old symptoms back, slight depression, anxious at incredably stupid things (heads going to explode because its grey outside…. realy!!) you all know what I mean. Am I scared, YES I AM, should I be, NO I SHOULD NOT!!

    I know this method workks, it worked before, before I became complacent with my own feelings…. So this is not a story of ultimate success, but so VEY VERY CLOSE. It’s a lesson to tell me that I must pay more attention and not take for granted what I was told by Paul.

    However like I said I am scared, I do get some of the feelings that destroyed me (I thought), I am trying to stay positive and go with the method but I have one question that confuses me and I may just need to be better reminded.

    If I am NOT to ignore my feelings, not run away from them and not be too alarmed by them, not to push them away but accept them no matter how I feel, how can I stay possitive enough for me to make my sadness reverse?

    Hope this makes sense….. and please believe me when I say no matter how down and low you feel…. IT DOES GO…. IT REAL DOES!!!!!


  919. Bryan Says:

    Congrats again Steve B. Love reading your insight and progress. Keep it up.

  920. Alz Says:

    How can an intrusive such as me questioning if my husband is really my husband come to my mind ?!?? It’s really bugging me and scaring me … Can anxiety create such thoughts as well ??!! I live with him , I love him and I’m getting such thoughts .. I’m about to cry … Melissa when u had such thoughts what did u do?

  921. Melissa Says:

    I just let them be there, and I kept pending time with my fiance. I know that anxiety can create the worst stories. If I start believing them, then I am letting it win. Just let them be there. Stop fighting it. Fighting it makes your brain think there is something to be afraid of.

    You are not going crazy.

  922. Jamie Says:

    Bryan (or anyone else who has been through a divorce in the midst of your anxiety)

    You mentioned earlier in this blog you had been through a divorce at your worst and I wanted to ask you about it if you don’t mind, as I am going through the same thing.

    In brief, my marriage went South at the end of 2013 and one of the reasons my ex said she wanted a separation was due to my anxiety. Now someone saying this to an anxiety sufferer obviously sent my anxiety through the roof. This it turns out was a complete cop out as she had met someone else at work, cheated on me and is now living with him (and his kids).

    I had months off work but got back to work eventually. We have a daughter who is nearly 9 so I have to regular dealings with my ex to sort out money, seeing my daughter etc etc. I would have found the whole episode a whole lot easier to deal with if I never had to see or talk to my ex ever again but with kids, this is not an option obviously. I have my daughter 2 nights in the week and see her every weekend.

    My ex was never really understanding / sympathetic / supportive with my anxiety and just used to shrug her shoulders basically as she had never suffered with it. She is now (she was to an extent when we were together but is a whole lot worse now) just a cold and emotionless individual and treats everything as just a business transaction. She never says thanks for anything and only texts when she wants something or wants to rant.

    She first mentioned starting divorce proceedings just as we had lived apart for 2 years, at the start of this year. As soon as she mentioned it (via text), it made me incredibly anxious. I agreed to start proceedings and then it went quiet.

    I then got the divorce papers through – cue more anxiety. She had applied for a “financial order”. What does this mean ? Is she after my money (I don’t have any!) ? What has she got planned for my daughter ? How will I pay for the divorce ? How would I pay for a solicitor if I need advice ? Cue more anxiety.

    She has text me today saying she is going to send me an email about the divorce as there are things to sort out. Cue my anxiety kicking off again. She has been on at me for a while to agree to having my daughter weekend on/weekend off but I have refused as I do not want to go a whole weekend not seeing my daughter. What is the email going to say ? Can she dictate the arrangements ? Is she going to ask for more money ? These are all the questions that are washing around my head and getting me in a tizz.

    My story was a bit longer than I planned so I apologise for that.

    Bryan – I wondered if you would share any bits of your story to help (please tell me if you don’t want to get into it) but I hate the fact that almost any contact with my ex (text, face to face, phone) causes me varying anxiety and I really dislike myself that she still has this effect over 2 and a half years after we first split up.

  923. Bryan Says:

    Hi Jamie,

    I’m an open book, don’t mind sharing. My only thought in reading your post is… there is SO much that went on in this regard, it would take me forever to post it here and frankly may bore people as it’s a bit off topic. But, I’ll cover a few quick bullet-points from your questions…

    -Are you sure we don’t have the same ex? Haha.

    Doesn’t surprise me that you found out what you did. Times of difficulty bring out people’s true colors. You and I made bad choices. We didn’t know that at the time. But, we both were blessed with great kids and that’s where I put my focus.

    Your ex sounds a lot like mine. Underdeveloped, self-involved and not a true partner. That’s her right to be that way. Doesn’t make her a bad human per se, but it makes her a bad partner.

    -Be happy about your freedom!

    When it first went down for me, I was of course in the muck and worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle it all. I wanted to solve it all. But, I worked with a therapist who asked me a few questions and one of them was… “Bryan, dod you think this is the last time you’ll ever be sick?” I knew what she meant. In our first real test as a couple that involved ME needing help (I had been the caretaker up until that time )… my partner failed miserably. The therapist helped me see quite easily that I deserved better. I don’t have low self esteem or self image, yet… I was fooled into thinking I had to “gut it out” for the family. At a certain point, you can’t make that decision by yourself. A family cannot be a 1-person operation.
    So, I feel absolutely blessed that I am out of that situation. I was miserably under-served, even when not dealing with stress illness. So, I literally thank God regularly for getting me out of that. lol.

    -I came out on top

    I’m still dealing with lingering on and off stress disorder, but it all worked out in my favor and I suspect it will for you too. Life almost instantly improved for me once I was single. I was in control of my finances again. (She was a financial black hole.) I was able to keep a happy tone around my household. I was able to focus on recovery. And I eventually started dating again and now 5-6 years later… I’m set to be remarried in September to a brilliant, beautiful professional woman and mother who shares my outlook on life and is a true partner in every sense.

    -The Aftermath

    I worked tirelessly to learn my rights. Quick question… who made the money?
    Whoever made the money is the person in line to be ####ed. So, if you made the money, you need to start reading up and speak to your attorney. Because society punishes men OR WOMEN who choose to work so their partner can stay home as a full time mom or dad. In my case, I worked two jobs so my ex could stay home… and she tried to exploit that later when we were divorced. Luckily, I knew my rights, worked very hard and pounded out an arrangement that allowed me to keep my financial solvency. (And flourish actually.) As for child custody, there is no reason you can’t have a 50/50 regarding your daughter unless there is info you are not telling me. I have had my daughter a higher percentage of the time and am the primary parent in most regards, ever since.

    In any case, this is just scratching the surface but there are a few bits of info for you.
    Don’t get fearful about her wanting to work out arrangements, but DO PREPARE for her to try to take advantage of you… or the situation, because judging by how you describe her, I speak from experience in saying… that is what’s coming. No need for fear, just a need for calm, vigilant preparation.

    thenukes at the email service

    You can email me there if you have more questions. Like I said, tons more I could go into but might be beyond the pale of the board as it relates to stress disorder.

    Hope that helps.

  924. Doreen Says:

    Jamie – like Bryan I don’t want to move the topic away from anxiety but if you are in England try to access Family Mediation. They are there to exactly work with the ‘practical’ issues you list and are impartial and fair.

  925. Mark R Says:

    I’m at a very low ebb this morning and having a tough time at the moment. After 4 months of very good progress with many good days I hit a kind of wall a few weeks ago where the old symptoms came back at full force. I’m trying to carry on and stick to my routine but I feel like utter s**t. Each day feels different….one day teary, one high anxiety, one normality….its all very frustrating and confusing. Saturday I was great and happy, drove 130 miles to Liverpool to watch Everton play, today I feel low, tense and tired.
    …..the dreaded thoughts….’What if you’re back at the start?’ ‘What if all the progress has gone?’ ‘This always happens’. Yuck.
    I know this is very negative but if anyone has a bit of advice hay would be greatly appreciated.


  926. Belgian Says:

    Mark & others who are struggling with the concept of acceptance,

    Indeed. Acceptance of the feelings means to allow the anxiety to be present. To do their worst without you hiding from it or trying to block it. To feel the adrenaline do its work, without you adding more to it.

    Where a lot of people go wrong is where they expect that practicing acceptance means their anxiety will immediately fade and go away.

    This could be the case, but rarely is. What acceptance means is that you make room for your anxiety to be there without you being too involved with it. Like a log on water, you’ll be able to drift on the river. Passing by the different landscapes. Past the storms.

    Acceptance is no pill that numbs you. Acceptance is a way of looking at your emotional life.

    All of this is not easy. I truly believe that everyone – also non anxiety sufferers – experience difficult times in their life in which they feel they are trapped. Acceptance means that you accept this. That you accept that your life will not always be a picnic. Accept that it will be crap from time to time. Accept (a little bit) of unhappiness.

    Accept even that acceptance is not always easy and you will not always be able to practice it. Accept it and float through it. Don’t make it your life goal to always be in acceptance mode to avoid anxiety. This is not what acceptance is about. This is not what life is about. Life means going through the storms that shape your identity, the hardship of making choices, the losses we endure.

    Always going through it and sailing to yet another time of exhilarating happiness or refreshing calmness.

    Trust me my friend, I know how difficult this all sometimes is. How easily we can fall back in the anxiety trap. How easy we tend to forget what we’ve learned.

    I will always try to remember one word though. One simple word. Accept.

    Mark, you can do this.

    Remember, you are not alone.

  927. Simon Says:

    Hi Mark, firstly I feel a bit of a fraudster… giving advice to others when I too need some reassurance, However I tell myself that I should and can practice what I preach.
    I say the following to you that I learned from both Paul and Dr Claire Weeks (I am sure Paul would not mind me mentioning Claire) “What IF!!” although is just a word, it’s also a statement of your attitude. I know it’s hard to accept, but acceptance really did work for me all those years ago when I was crying in frustration each and every day for 18month solid (before I came across Paul’s book).
    How did it work for me…. Well I practiced acceptance. Some days would be good, some bad, some damn right dreadful and some days when you feel good, you also think “I’m ok now, but it’s all going to change again”. These can last minutes, hours, days and even weeks, but just let the feeling come, don’t be too frightened about them, don’t go searching for answers and don’t try pushing them away by getting busy trying to ignore them. Do your normal daily stuff, don’t hide away from your thoughts that are creating the feeling, but DON’T add more fear by being so alarmed by them.
    Eventually and I say eventually over time things will become better, you begin to laugh at your thoughts and think “why on earth did that particular thing bother me”, please trust me I had thoughts that scared me that would make you laugh. But over time it does weaken, the thoughts may come but because you’re not concerned anymore they don’t make you feel anxious, strange or whatever other feeling you get.
    Regards negativity …. Again, accept you’re going to feel somewhat negative, but again just go about your day, let it be there, but every now and then have a laugh and smile to yourself., it may be a fleeting moment but it’s worth it.
    I guess you’re sat at your screen pressing F5 waiting for someone to respond…. Yes we all do it, accept this, but at some point be strong enough to walk away and wait patiently.

    Like I said, I feel I need help myself at the moment, but all I after is reassurance that everything is fine and I will come out of this. Actually my first episode all those years ago I was a real state…. Proper depressed and anxious about life FULL STOP. This time I am not so bad, yep I don’t like the feelings and thoughts I am getting but I’m, letting them have their time!!

    Stay strong in spirit… the mind will work it out ?


  928. Mark R Says:

    Belgian, Simon,

    Thankyou for your kind words.

    I’m well versed on what acceptance is and how it works. I know not to try and change my experience but to sit with the discomfort, feelings, thoughts etc and just get on. I have been doing that these last few weeks despite the anxiety being as strong as ever.

    Admittedly what I am struggling with is the change how I view things. What I mean when I say that is that I went through a god awful time between October and February last year. Slowly, very slowly with acceptance life became meaningful again and the last five months or so had been relatively easy in comparison to the preceding five. My inner voice is telling me that this will blow over, a passing storm and I will be able to progress once again……but then the doubt…..will it be another 5 months of utter hardship? However I know these are part of the anxiety state….as I said in my prior post I felt great on Saturday, none of these doubts were present.

    Like you Simon I get the urge to seek reassurance. I’m not as bad as hitting F5. I know there is no perfect answer, no instant cure but just some words of wisdom can help. I’m not trying to get anywhere but my mind is wishing I could feel as good as I did a month ago, even 2 days ago.

    Belgian, can I just ask when you had a tough time a few weeks back what were your thought processes? Was there a lot of doubt as to whether things would settle or was it more ‘Meh, it will pass’?

    Thanks to you both again for your replies.

  929. Andy J Says:

    Hi Rik,

    Thanks very much for pointing in me that direction. I will give them a watch.

    To every one else having a bit of a hard time, I often find it effective to reread Paul’s work as a refresher. To remember that this is all normal and that the key thing to do is ‘nothing’.

    You can not think yourself out of this. Get on with life and if anxiety comes, then so be it. You do not have any other choice.


  930. Jamie Says:

    Thanks a lot for replying Bryan. I will email you if that is ok as I don’t want to take the blog off on a tangent.

  931. Bryan Says:

    Sounds good Jamie. No problem.

  932. Jamie Says:

    And thanks Doreen

  933. Julie Says:

    I am 5 weeks into therapy for this relapse and so far it has been helpful teaching me to accept my chronic illness and go easy on myself but anxiety wise I feel no better. As you all know I started with anxiety 4 years ago after my brother attacked me and my family resented me for not forigiving him. I had my world turned upside down and lost my grandmother too. My anxiety hit as panic attacks, agoraphobia, general anxiety and a year later intrusive harm thoughts. My therapist has now said I have PTSD and it’s why I have been struggling so much. It makes sense but having the PTSD label hasn’t helped me.

    My therapists teachings are very much like Pauls book and A Letter to Myself which is great and just what I want. We did a few weeks talking about my background and now we are discussing ther therapy. My issue is I was doing so well, my anxiety was almost recovered up until last summer when I started with ill health and was constantly being told I was just anxious. My GP has since diagnosed an underactive thyroid that went missed for way too longn and CFS/ME. Developing these chronic illnessses led to me being stuck at home so unwell. Which has definitely triggered health anxiety. I am improving now on medication for my thyroid but nowhere near 100% as yet. I am grateful to be making progress and being able to get out again. The issue is it triggered my agoraphobia again and general anxiety. I now panic about fainting when i go out due to my faitigue and weakness. I fear over doing things incase I crash (what I call poor energy days). It’s horrible and it’s all ignited my anxiety again but differently. I admit I am struggling a little. I get anxious due to how awful I feel some days which I am sure does make it worse. If I feel some physical symptoms instead of thinking it’s just anxiety I worry how do I know it’s anxiety, could I be about ot faint? could it be my health? It really has been horrible. I was so very unwell over the winter that I live in fear of being that ill again and it’s why I am struggling with anxiety. My therapist agrees it’s been a shock, made me lose my confidence all over again and now I feel lost because my anxiety was not like this before. She is right.

    Can anyone relate? Has anyone had their anxiety ignited by trauma and ill health? I am reading Pauls book again as it ties in with my therapy but I worry if I had PTSD and these chronic illnesses can it really help me? My husband says many people have chronic ill health but dont feawr going to the doctor or needing to go to hospital where as it’s ignited those fears in me. I had a panic attack when ill at the doctors last year and since then I avoid appointments, GP visit me at home over the winter and now we just speak on the phone about my results and I have had my bloods done at home. I feel so silly and a complete idiot that it’s made me afraid to do normal things.

    I am getting out more, I took the kids on holiday an hour away a month ago. We do days out up to an hour away. I do small shops now with the kids and parks but alone I am afraid to do anything due to my health. I just wanted to post because I feell a tad lost and wondering whether this can help me if I have chronic illness scarng me.

    I sorry it got long and I hope it’s ok I posted about my health. I dont want to spike anyone mentioning my fears.


    PS sorry I put my wrong details in the first attempt so it says awaiting moderatoin, so feel free to delete that one. Sorry about that. My laptop has broken and I can’t see all the screen.

  934. Alz Says:

    How do I convince myself that I what I’m doing is normal ? I know this sounds weird BUT everything I am doign I’m questioning .. Is this normal ? I feel like I’m in a dream .. My mind is so exhausted . For example .. If I’m praying I question – what if I start praying incorrectly, then my office pw isn’t working and i entered it atleast ten times thinking myb I’m going mad and iv entered the pw wrong … It still doesn’t work and then my mind scares me with the thought what if I changed the pw and don’t remember changing it ?! If I’m talking I’ll think later .. How did I say that right ? How am i functioning normally and If I am then y haven’t I lost it yet .. Don’t know if what iv just blabbered makes sense but hope somebody understands and can give me reassurance — it does help especially when ur in the thick of it ( although evone who’s recovered says just live ur life like u would sans anxiety and that reassurance won’t really solve the problem – we have to do it ourselves )

  935. KM Says:

    Hi All,
    I haven’t been on this blog in a while, I’ve been pretty much anxiety manageable for the past five years. I used to use this blog five years ago after a stressful life event flicked me over into a severe stress response.
    I thought I had it all figured out, all in the bag, then this year, I’ve had one series of events after the other knock me sideways. Still I managed without letting anxiety tip me over. I’ve had huge health problems this year with an úndiagnosable virus’that has struck me down a few times a year leaving me bed ridden and with no answers from all the health professionals. My life is full on I’m a law student and have a full time job and am a single mum so its fair to say, I’ve taken on too much, but this has been my workload for the past four years, and despite having ‘stressful periods with anxiety’ I’ve managed to cope ok.
    Then several weeks ago my health started acting up again, and I became obsessed with my health and getting sick again. This in turn increased my anxiety to levels I was very uncomfortable with and then without warning, I’m in the biggest setback I’ve had since five years ago. I’m not sleeping, eating, and have 24hr intrusive thoughts, feeling out of my body (symptoms that freaks me out the most), dry retching, dread, and feeling really really flat. Normally I can let these things ride out, but not this time, I feel back to square one and completely at its mercy! I never thought I’d feel this way again, I thought I had it mastered. I’m practicing Pauls methods of taking it with me, welcoming it in, and floating through, but my god its hard. I swing between feeling like I’m in for another 12-18 months of hell, rather than just a few bad days. I know I’m scaring myself but I cant seem to shake it, and it hasn’t been this bad in years. I know the game I’ve been here before, I’m back in my counsellors office, with her telling me to let it be there and just get on with my day. I look at pictures of me from a month ago and think I was a totally free woman and now I feel I could be locked up at any minute about to be carted off to a psych ward. I’d forgotten how physical it was, to have no appetite for two weeks, no real sleep and such despair, seemingly come out of no where, has hit me for six.
    I really appreciate all the advice people share on here and it really helps me get through the darkest times.
    I can see I’m focusing on it too much, but it seems to have me in its grips!
    I know I have to move through this period, but I don’t have the patience for the suffering it brings, and my main thoughts are ‘go get on antidepressants’ which has always been my biggest fear, the side effects and being reliant on them. I know I’ve got through major depression/anxiety before, but it just takes so long, that I cant deal with that thought of suffering for months on end!
    I know I’m after a quick fix, as before in the past I’ve been able to brush it off and feel ok in a day or so, but not this time, it has me by the short and curlys!
    Any advice would be appreciated from those who thought they’d recovered only to find themselves knee deep in it again

  936. Belgian Says:


    it’s definitely not a: ‘meh, it will pass’.

    Accepting doesn’t mean that you don’t “feel” still crap. As I’ve already said, I too have problems to accept sometimes.

    But, I accept this. It’s in my nature to ‘struggle’ as it is for so many people. Anyway, I try not to waste energy by analyzing this. It would not help me at all. I guess that only some kind of Buddha is able to always keep the necessary ‘distance’ from his/hers thoughts. I can assure you, I am not a Buddha 😉 .

    But, I wasn’t riddled with thoughts whether or not this would pass either. I know for a fact that this will pass. Why? Because it always does! Even I have a million ‘what if’s’ about it (which I have) , this wouldn’t change this truth.

    My advice to you would be that you shouldn’t be too hard on or for yourself. It’s okay to feel anxious, miserable and unhappy at times. These feelings are only prolonged if we don’t allow them to be there. Let these feelings do their work, but always understand and believe that if you would let them pass, they will.


    this advise goes for you as well. We all have these moments at which the old dreaded feelings seem to come back to haunt us once more. Even years after when we thought we’d recovered. Claire Weekes herself said it one time. She still felt the same sensations from time to time. But they didn’t matter to her. Why? Because she understood and believed that these feelings were nothing more than the reaction of a sensitized body. Nothing more than the working of adrenaline. A completely logic bodily reaction without any mystery behind it. She knew that when she accepted them, they would pass. And they did.

    It seems that you are sensitized once more. You even indicate yourself where this comes from. Prolonged stress. It’s a biological Law. As you are a Law student, you must know that you must comply with the Law. Fighting against it, will not help you, but you can ‘use’ it to your advantage. This is your cue to take it more easy. To rest and to accept like you did before. There is no other mystery. Take it from a trained Legal Counsel 😉 .

    Good luck!

  937. Mark R Says:

    Thanks Belgian.

    I’m letting the feelings do what they need to do but it’s very, very hard as you and everyone on here knows. I’m sticking to my routine but I’m shuffling round work feeling miserable with zero concentration or interest. When my lunch hour comes I tend to have a cry. I’m having 3/4 rough days at a time then 3 good ones which is odd. I don’t want to analyse too much but I tend to lose perspective and flounder if I don’t keep a bit of a track.
    I’ve never been very good at dealing with setbacks.

  938. Jessica Says:


    I know exactly how you feel, just when you think you got it all figured out and then wham it slaps you in the face. I too had gotten over anxiety for many years and then it all slowly crept back up on me when I too had some health issues pop up and its like, I never quite made it back to myself so, I feel like im at square 1 again and having to relearn myself again and how to just be in iy for that moment even though it feels like sh*t and boy does it feel like sh*t, but I know it wont last forever cause over the weekend was perfect I felt like the old me with not a care in the world just moving along with life and then comes Monday and I return to work and the feeling returned also, so im learning to roll with the punches and Bryan, Rik, Nolan and Melissa give me such hope that I will be Okay and be able to move on from this as I did twice before. Dont give in, get on with life ad enjoy your kid(s), cause you dont get that time back. Trust me I know, I wasted my families whole summer being stuck in anxiety thoughts and feeling sorry for myself. Move on KM, you wont regret it at all.

  939. Mark R Says:


    Boy it does it feel like s**t is so true.

    I had 3 great days Friday, Saturday and Sunday like you so it just shows how temporary it all is. Keep your chin up.


  940. Lata Says:

    Hi all..i m having a new symptom now..its quite scarry..i m getting clicking sounds from my mouth when i swallow..sometimes it feels its coming from my throat and sometimes from sides of the ears..i really dont know whats happening…does anyone have or had this symptom..any advice would be appreciated…

  941. Maggie Says:

    KM I swear to God reading your post is me right at this moment.
    One of the worse setbacks, I am trying to practice everything I learned from Paul’s book to suggestions from people here.
    Mornings are the worse as I have jelly legs and can not put anything in my mouth.
    You named them, no need to repeat your words.
    The scary thoughts are the ones sending me in a vicious anxiety cycle especially ending up in the Mental Hospital.
    Any suggestions guys?

  942. Bryan Says:


    As I read your post, it feels very similar to your prior posts… only each time, you’re adding more labels, and identifying with the symptoms more and more.

    Let me say first, I’m still working through recovery. Doing very well, but still some rocky times for sure. So, I relate to feeling horrible. I empathize with you completely. It’s for that reason that I offer a bit of perspective on what helped me…

    It sounds to me like you do indeed need to be working with someone and that is fine. Paul himself talked about working with someone. Jim Folk knows more than anyone on earth about anxiety and he worked with someone at his worst. So, no big deal there.

    What I would say in reading your posts is that it seems you are asking the same questions each time, and each time… going deeper into these symptoms being your identity. Each post, you re-tell your story of your brother. While I understand that this was traumatic for you, at some point… do you feel like repeating the story may be keeping you from finding peace and moving forward?

    My fiancé works in advanced medicine and surgery. She’s surrounded with TRULY sick people every day, and one thing I notice form her stories is that it’s amazing the difference between most of those people… and most anxiety personalities.
    When you start to hear stories like this every day, you realize just how much of our reaction to these things is a CHOICE. Now, it may not be a choice we purposely make. We may be generically inclined towards worry. (etc.) But, it is still a choice, and to see the massive health complications these folks have met with such a calm, positive disposition really points out the difference in how I reacted to things for a long time.

    My brother in law has had multiple brain tumors. He’s had 10 surgeries. He’s partially disabled. He can’t have sugary anymore and he’s now having more seizures and complications. These things will be terminal at some point and he knows it, and he’s led life with them for a long time. Yet, when I hear his story… and see how he lives, he’s far less anxious about his life than folks around here who have a little dizziness or a panic attack. I’m not criticizing anyone. I was one of those people for a long time. Still am some days! lol.

    But the point is, we have a choice with how we identify and what I see in your posts is what almost sounds like a comfort in medical jargon, labels, acronyms, etc.
    An under-active thyroid is certainly something to monitor and treat, but my friend’s wife had hers REMOVED and uses hormone therapy to treat and is 100% fine. No worries, no anxiety, no stress over it. She just got on with life. Again, this isn’t to criticize… but you see how she had a choice? She was determined not to be defined by her health condition. She’s traveling to Romania again tomorrow with her family.

    Here are some words found in your post….

    -Relapse (A scary sounding, medical way to describe just simply not feeling well)

    -Chronic Illness (Again, a scary, dire description of a health issue.)





    -CFS (Btw – most therapists think this is just another expression of stress and anxiety.)






    And on and on.

    My goodness, those words above scare ME when I read them and I’m not even in your situation. I can imagine how much the use of those words and mindsets regularly are scaring you.

    I reiterate here yet again, this is not a criticism of you… this is an observation.

    At my worst, I got ver into the “labeling” and medical jargon thing. It almost gave me a sense of identity at times. It helped me make sense of things. There is oddly some kind of bizarre “safety” we feel in wrapping ourselves in medical doctors, jargon and this overall blanket of sickness. Maybe it’s so people can rescue us? Maybe it’s because we feel like no one understand? But, there IS some kind of twisted comfort we feel in all of this.

    The problem is, as you can probably guess… when you make this who you are… well, it’s who you are! You become what you project and as I mentioned with the truly sick and dying people my fiancé works with, we DO have a choice of how we represent ourselves. Human beings are incredibly resilient when we decide to be. But, we have to make that choice. You have a choice here for sure. It doesn’t mean you’ll feel better right away… but from an outsiders’ perspective its sure seems like there are other choices you could make with your approach.

    If I were you, this topic is one I would explore in depth with your therapist.

    Who do you want to be?

    Do you want to be “chronically ill?” (By the way, there is no proof that you will be or even are technically.)

    Or, do you want to be someone who got fed up with the labels, fed up with living inside of a bubble of a healthcare bubble?

    You have choices here. I’m not saying you’ll always feel perfect. But you have the choice to simply be DONE with all of this stuff and get on with your life. Many of us here have done it. Some recovered 100%, some like myself a work in progress.

    Just my two cents.

    Wishing you the best in recovery and a full life.

  943. Alz Says:

    Can someone give me some hope too?! I just posted above

  944. Julie Says:


    Thank you for your reply. I appreciate it.

    I agree, I’ve been stamped with so many labels these last few years and honestly I do not want them. They don’t define who I am even if I am struggling with them. When my therapist told me I had in fact been struggling with ptsd it made sense but also made me worry is that just anxiety or something worse.

    The issue I have is that my thyroid is not optimally medicated as yet so I daily feel unwell. I do my job as a very busy mother to 3 children and wife to a wonderful man and I like to think I keep them all smiling. My husband even says I come across so calm and happy, I keep my worries and anxiety inside most of the time and I do carry on with life but since being ill physically it’s had a huge effect on me mentally. This is because it really did make me very unwell, bed bound at one point and it ignited fear of being ill. Also feeling unwell i lost all confidence going out because I felt so very ill going out, hence why I’m working on getting out again. I do find having an illness tough on my anxiety and it can be quite an obstacle when working on getting out and about alone as I feel ill most days but that is improving day by day which I am so grateful for. My gp monitors my thyroid closely now. It’s just feeling ill it can stop me getting out and it adds anxiety to going out when I do all because I at my worst earlier this year would feel faint and weak going out, I guess that’s stuck in my head. I do need to find a way to not fear my health when I go out but I find that difficult when I am feeling heavy and fatigued. That I’m going to faint away from home, thought hits me hard.

    It’s basically all been a huge knock to my confidence. I know in time my thyroid will improve and I will feel much better which will give me a boost. I am hoping I can then work even more on my anxiety and get back out to our appointments and socialising. I do feel very silly I won’t go to appointments right now and I have let 1 panic attack in the autumn prevent me from going to any since and it does make me live in fear of needing to go to hospital or even something simple like the dentist. Everything I could do again. I’m determined I will get back out there once this fatigue and thyroid issues lift.

    I have always said to my husband that people who have illnesses such as cancer are not anxious like me, they can do appointments and not have panic attacks that stop them. I’ve said this to my therapist and she has said well we are all walking different paths, not everyone has been through what I have and reacts differently. My auntie has a condition that causes brain tumours, has diabetes and a thyroid issue. She is so relaxed and always laughing. It’s true it’s all about how you react to your situation. It’s how you look at life and what is thrown at you. Therapy has also taught me that. My adrenaline switch has been switched back on since being unwell but I’m hopeful that overtime as my health improves that switch will turn off again. I’ve just found this setback a tough one and I do believe if my health hadn’t taken this turn it would not have happened. It’s very different to my previous anxiety as it’s more physical and fears of going out because of my health. I jist need to accept where I am and work with it and show myself I can still do the things I’d worked towards and I don’t need to live in fear of my health making me end up in hospital, or needing to go to the gp. I do not want the agoraphobia to rule me like it did a few years ago for a while.

    I do get out. I’m out most days either at the park, duck pond, in the garden with my kids, shopping at the weekend again and we did a trip to the beach and arcades at the weekend. I do anything for my children to experience life. My problem is doing things alone, driving alone, appointments but they are still an issue with my husband this time. It’s all a huge loss of confidence. I love my life and I’m so blessed. I just need to work on project me getting over this setback and the fears it’s ingrained in my mind. I have have the life I want. I’m very content and happy. The only thing I’d like to change is my anxiety and being able to get back doing all I was before I became unwell. It’s funny you don’t realise how well you were until you set back. Now I realise I was very much recovered.

    Thanks again for your reply. I could resonate with alot of it and agree on many of your points.


  945. Bryan Says:


    Also be aware… fatigue is a regular complication of anxiety itself. Very common.
    I have a perfectly functioning thyroid and I have stretches of fatigue when things flare up. Big-time fatigue.

    As for PTSD… I’ve been told the same, that I’ve suffered some going through what I did over the past 5-6 years. I’m sure many of us have. Though, I’m not sure how useful it is to put another label on it. This is why I just call it “stress disorder.” That’s it. It covers everything. I don’t just have “anxiety”… because half the time I’m not anxious and still have symptoms. I don’t have “panic disorder” because I rarely have ONLY panic attacks and they don’t bother me much.

    So, I just go with stress disorder. Covers it all, and it’s NOT a medical jargon which makes me like it even more. Stress affects us all, it just affects some of us more intensely and our reactions make it worse. (Because of our programming, behavior, etc.)

    100% of the cause of all of our symptoms is stress. In your case, thyroid may be contributing a bit… but I guarantee you if you had no worry, stress or anxiety… you’d be able to deal with a thyroid issue without any problem at all.

    Anyway, you really sound like you get it at a core level Julie. I know you’ve been around the block with this thing a few times. I urge you to dig deep with some of these issues… labeling… self-image… acceptance… and find that part of you that has just had enough, and wants to leave it all behind enough to make the hard choices.

    Keep moving forward. You’ll get there.

  946. Maggie Says:

    Yes Julie I agree with Bryan. I have thyroid issue
    it is under control. It is not the one behind
    my anxiety

  947. Jamie Says:

    Great posts Bryan

  948. KM Says:

    Hi Maggie,
    Thanks for your reply and others on here so quick to lend support and advice. I know hanging about this blog isn’t going to do the trick and all I ever remember about the key to recovery is just getting back out into the world and live alongside anxiety and don’t make it your attentional focus.
    What people fall into especially for us suffering from acute anxiety’ is that this is in fact impossible, our brains are over run by adrenaline and stress and this is what its meant to feel like, so expecting anything else is like expecting a broken leg not to hurt. You do what you can to rest, try keep your focus on other things (which is why going to work is vital), and try to work on under reacting to the symptoms.
    I’m in my third or fourth week of it being ácute’ after a very long protracted year of many stressors, health, work, study, sole parenting, family issues etc.
    For me I guess the shock came as I didn’t ever think I’d get this bad again and I’m now angry at myself for not managing my stress better and now I have to climb out of this dark hole!
    I’m sure it wont last as long as it has before, as I am wiser to its tricks and I know I have to put myself out there and JUST KEEP GOING!
    Maggie I haven’t got the wobbly legs, but the morning dread (yep this bores me and is predictable) , cant eat (but I wait till im hungry), feelings of derealisation (yep boring too, as its just my imagination going mental and it only happens when I’m consciously thinking about it), anticipatory anxiety (yep this one held onto me for a while, but it can go flog itself too), cant be with people (I love people so I dam well will be), cant be alone ( I like my own company, at least if my cats are around) etc etc etc…
    I had the worst few hours yesterday, I felt like I had a seriously heavy rock on my back, thoughts were all you’ll never get better until you take meds’, you’ll end up at your GP in a total mess worse than you are now etc etc. I just went back to work and spent a few hours doing work, and not one of those thoughts entered my pea brain and by the time I left work, I was almost laughing at how silly they were??? Yet at other times they have me in their vice!!
    Heres hoping I catch on quicker than other times and let go of this dragon!

  949. Alz Says:

    Reposting since No one has replied :( How do I convince myself that I what I’m doing is normal ? I know this sounds weird BUT everything I am doign I’m questioning .. Is this normal ? I feel like I’m in a dream .. My mind is so exhausted . For example .. If I’m praying I question – what if I start praying incorrectly, then my office pw isn’t working and i entered it atleast ten times thinking myb I’m going mad and iv entered the pw wrong … It still doesn’t work and then my mind scares me with the thought what if I changed the pw and don’t remember changing it ?! If I’m talking I’ll think later .. How did I say that right ? How am i functioning normally and If I am then y haven’t I lost it yet .. Don’t know if what iv just blabbered makes sense but hope somebody understands and can give me reassurance — it does help especially when ur in the thick of it ( although evone who’s recovered says just live ur life like u would sans anxiety and that reassurance won’t really solve the problem – we have to do it ourselves )

  950. Mark R Says:

    Great attitude KM. I had a terrible time yesterday at work, and then cried for half an hour in the park because I felt so bad. I’ve not really felt any relief now since Sunday but realised I need to change my attitude a bit. Okay, anxiety has cranked up for whatever reason, it feels terrible, it hurts but I need to drop any self pity here otherwise I’m going to be a bit stuck. I’m playing cricket this afternoon for work, something that I talked myself out of but you know what anxiety……go swivel. Even if I’m crying in the outfield I’m going to play.
    I’ve never been good with compassion, especially to something that makes me feel like s**t. Switch to ignore.
    I’m letting this tell me all my progress has gone, but everything about anxiety is a lie….I’m old and wise enough to know better than that. Unfortunately this period is going to have to be a write off in my recovery, just the way things are.

  951. karen Says:

    Anybody read any good books or best tips about dealing with worry …. anticipation. I am aware that when I actually do the stuff it’s always okay in the end. I looked at my calendar and there are several things in the next couple of months that push me out if my comfort zone. I am fed up of lurching from one anticipation to the next and want to try reign in the very unhelpful habit. I have tried being present but find it really difficult. Thanks x

  952. karen Says:

    Something that works with acceptance rather than forcing positive!

  953. Alz Says:

    I’m still having the scary thought of my husband is my husband .. I’m feeling weird all day and I’m actually feeling mad… I’m
    Working after a year since I lost my child . Noones replied to my posts … How can I get such a scary thought ?! I’m questioning every normal act and I feel soon I just won’t know the difference :(

  954. KM Says:

    What you are experiencing is very normal. It’s just intense introspection. Your watching and analysing your thoughts, we all do this, and we all become afraid of them. The only difference is that we choose different things to be afraid of, our fear attaches to what frightens us the most. Your anxiety is very run of the mill normal. Try to not be so impressed by them and shift your focus and you’ll find they lose their intensity and impact.
    Take care :)

  955. Alz Says:

    KM thanks a lot :)))) I know I’ve been eating evones head here but it just gives me so much reassurance that I can move forward and not feel fearful …

  956. Melissa Says:


    The problem is that you are constantly seeking reassurance. Reassurance provides instant gratification, but it becomes a compulsion. You feel better for a bit and then you feel worse….it is because you are not training your body or mind with being okay with not feeling okay.

    You are fine. There is NOTHING wrong with you. There is also NOTHING anyone on here can tell you that you have not already heard or read somewhere. I suggest you take a break from this blog for a bit and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Stop running away from how crappy you are feeling and embrace it…move past it by living your life. It is hard, but it will be worth it.


  957. Jessica Says:


    Are you sure your not my twin everything you explain about how you feel is me exactly. Finally someone who is expirencing my exact feelings. I too have been just letting all the intrusive thoughts just roll on like oh well I wanna enjoy myself so im jus going to go do it even with anxiety. All the things I have worried about or thought of due to intrusive have yet to happen so now im at the point where im just over it all.


    You have got to stop seeking reassurance just go and reflect on your old post, where u have asked the same question and recieved the same answer from someone on the blog. These are all natural things whrn expirencing anxiety. I see your questions and some of your responses and you are scared, yet you give great advice to others. Why cant you seem to take your own good advice it definately Wont backfire on you. Sometimes you have to go in a quiet space and talk the Anxiety monster down and go and tackle your life. Alz heres to moving on with life and our families. You can do it, Encourage yourself instead of looking for encouragement here, because you will always keep coming back. Encourage yourself.


  958. Belgian Says:


    On the contrary. Seems to me that you are good in handling setbacks. You talk in plural so this must mean that they have lifted in the past. You are better at dealing with them than you think.

    When the feelings get too intense, I try to practice floating through them. I literally let my body sag and let it all go. In fact, I do this even whenever not experiencing setbacks but when there’s a lot of stress. It does help me.

  959. Belgian Says:


    What is common to all posts here? We all struggle with anxiety. Some of us struggle with physical symptoms, others with mental symptoms. Some people struggle with both.

    Why do I say struggle? Well, we don’t like what we feel, what we think and we want to do something about these thoughts and feelings. We start trying to worry ourselves out of imaginary problems.

    I say imaginary, because this is what they are. I know they are. Here’s why: Every time I come back from a setback, I know for a fact that all my fears did not come true.

    I read a lot about ‘health’ anxiety. For years this was my topic of preference. I worried myself sick about having cancer (brain tumor, long cancer, leukemia, ..) , having AIDS or other STD’s, mental illnesses (schizophrenia), tinnitus and all other terrible medical scenarios.

    Two years ago, my focus shifted from my health to my relationship. In these two years, I have not once truly worried about cancer nor have I seen my GP for any other – even minor – health related issues! This is remarkable, because in the past I could not even write the word cancer without a sense of dread.

    As my focus is now on my relationship, at times I find myself in the same loophole as I did when I was struggling with health related issues. Can you see the pattern? Can you see what is common in these experiences?

    It’s anxiety. The adjective you put in front of it to describe your personal suffering is completely irrelevant and just ‘the topic’ of the day (or for some the year.) Understand that these are symptoms of our anxiety. Nothing more although this might ‘feel’ different for you (at first).

    As long as we keep getting stuck in fighting of symptoms. As long as we are trying to worry ourselves out of them or trying to numb the pain, we are not tackling our anxiety directly.

    This is so important. Because when you truly understand that the topic of your anxiety is nothing more than a symptom, you’ll finally be more able to go towards your anxiety. You’ll find yourself more able to experience your anxiety, to go through your anxiety. To let it do its worst to you.

    In the end, this is the way to recovery. By going towards, through anxiety and reaching the other end. By experiencing the lie behind it. Recovery lies on the other side of panic.

    The only thing we can do is show each other the way. It’s up to each of us to walk down the road. That is why always seeking comfort doesn’t work. It prevents you to go towards your anxiety. I know this isn’t easy, but we are all rooting for you.

  960. Jamie Says:

    Did you receive my email Bryan ?

  961. Mark R Says:

    Hi Belgian,

    The setbacks always end though don’t they? Its a fact. I always get through them, I just don’t think i do in the right way. After a good period when the symptoms flare up again I get so upset and disappointed. Rather than see it as part of the course I tend to feel stuck.

    Just looking at your second post (great timing btw) the ‘topic’ of all my setbacks as i mentioned in my previous posts is ‘How long is it going to last?’ etc. My anxious mind then wants to be appeased but I know this is futile. How long it will last will depend on how quickly I accept it and keep moving forward.

    I’ve felt dreadful today, the symptoms have raged but I’ve managed to enjoy the cricket I played in. Even managed to stay in the whole innings which is pretty good for me as I’m terrible!!

  962. Jamie Says:


    You’re feeling dreadful each day but you’re continuing to go to work each day and even socialise in the evening. The easy option would be to say you don’t feel well and go home or phone in sick each day. You should congratulate yourself for that. You’re not letting it affect what you need and want to do. That is a big positive.

  963. Tasnim Says:

    Does anybody experience “brain zaps.” Mainly when I’m falling asleep or lying down, and sudden sounds I hear will cause my “brain to zap,” like as though my brain is experiencing a jolt of shock or electricity. Also when I’m going to bed, I’ll get that constant feeling of as if I’m falling. I know everyone gets this, but it happens several times for every time I try to sleep.

  964. Steve b Says:

    Are you taking anti depressants Tasmin?..brain zaps are common if you are. I had them bad when coming off seroxat.

  965. KM Says:

    Yes I’ve had these symptoms off and on they don’t bother me at all, the falling feeling is quite relaxing, and the brain zaps only last a second!

  966. Susie Says:

    Hello, this is my first post. I have just finished reading Paul’s book (and Claire Weeke’s too). I feel both inspired and confused by both and wondered if anyone here could help me with a question? I have been anxious since I was a child and have recently realised that it comes under the Health Anxiety spectrum. After some extremely stressful/traumatic events, I began to develop physical symptoms such as stomach pain, breast discomfort, pelvic pain and now (as well as all these) back pain. The nasty little twist to my Health Anxiety is that I have developed a phobia about going to the doctor, so have felt unable to get any of these things checked out. I am in chronic pain every day. So it’s not (realistically) convincing to me to say ‘this is just anxiety’ and accept it. And I’m not sure how I can use Paul’s book to move forward. Does anyone have any thoughts? Many thanks.

  967. Jessica Says:


    I have this too, I was just noticing that I have moments when the least little sound will do that like it zaps and grabs my full attention and I too and slowly coming off Buspar which is what causes my ears to ring ugh, so I guess is Normal.

  968. Bryan Says:


    I did get your mail though I had missed it until just searching again. Replied to you just now.

  969. Nick Christy Says:

    Hello everyone,

    I know that this is my fifth post- I just havent had any luck from anyone as a response.

    and I know that we are all going through the same thing. But I cannot stop sweating, and getting frustrated about sweating.

    I try and shrug my shoulders to it, but I still sweat and it gets to me subconsciously.

    Thank you guys!

  970. Jessica Says:

    Sound sensitivity anyone?

  971. Tasnim Says:

    Steve b,

    No I don’t take any medications, which is why I wasn’t sure if it can be caused purely by anxiety.

  972. Mark R Says:

    Thanks Jamie, although phone in ‘stuck’ seems more at the moment.

    It’s true I’m continuing to do things despite how I feel. Ive always been very good at that so should give myself credit.
    When I was playing cricket yesterday the symptoms were raging, also when I came home but I felt strangely calm…as if I didn’t care any longer.

  973. Mark R Says:


  974. Jamie Says:

    Small steps Mark. It’s not stopping you and you should pat yourself on the back for that.

    Just a thought – try staying off this blog for 3 or 4 days. I find when I check this blog every day (usually more than once), my anxiety generally gets worse. This is probably because it’s one of my main focuses for my day by scanning the blog for reassurance and that ‘silver bullet’.

    I’m not practicing what I’m preaching at the moment as I’m on here quite a lot but give it a try and see what the result is ? When I’ve stayed away previously, I have generally felt calmer/better.

  975. Mark R Says:

    I’ll try Jamie. I only come on when things get rough for me. The small steps is frustrating me as during the summer I was taking Elepnant size steps and generally feeling a hell of a lot better.

    How are you doing by the way?

  976. Alz Says:

    So i guess you’re right .. no one can reassure me..
    Everyday i feel like ill wake up mad the next day… but im now working .. if i have the continuous thought that my husband is not my husband .. im letting it be… im still hanging out wiht him.. if im at work and im thinking i wont ever recover im continuing with work. I feel like im in a dream.. i talk to my mother and feel like its not her… im so far away from the real world… but im continuing to talk to her, to talk to my brother.. to do the things that are scaring me.. I feel like my baby’s loss didn’t happen.. when i talk about it its unreal.. evrything is seeming strange but im carrying on.. its the worst thing to get thoughts about the people you are closest to you and how the mind can get so twisted…

  977. Alz Says:

    Problem however is that the thought of my husband not being my husband is so strong that I’m actually questioning it :( people here are sayin it’s a normal obsessive thought but I’m scared I’m starting to believe it .. Everything feels strange

  978. Jamie Says:

    Hi Mark

    I went out for drinks with some of my friends yesterday afternoon/evening so that is good. Although I felt a bit anxious about not having too much to drink, I felt ok about being out and enjoyed myself.

    Today I have not had a great day. Having a day at home does not do me much good I have realised.

    1) I spent about 1 and a half hours on the internet trying to find ways to watch English football for free. This made me anxious but still I did it. Why do I do it to myself ?
    2) I then went to the cinema and then spent most of the film worrying about the fact I needed the loo but there were people between me and the aisle and I was worried about asking them to move or waiting until the end. I had almost a full on panic attack at one point but it passed.
    3) In the evening, I flicked between Netflix/Nowtv/Amazon Prime trying to find the ‘perfect’ movie / film to watch. Too much choice just makes my mind spin. By the time I actually chose something, it was time to go to bed.

    All of the above is ridiculous and just laughable. I can get myself in such a state on a Sunday over such unimportant things is just stupid. All of this is self-created by my own thoughts and actions though.

    I have good days and bad days like most of us Mark but I just need to distance myself from my thoughts and just laugh at them as 99% are absolute rubbish.

  979. KM Says:

    Hi All,
    I’m in struggle town and hit rock bottom.
    My anxiety is so bad I cant tell the difference between me and it.
    My introspection is so bad I cant look at myself in the mirror because of all the ‘who are you’ type of derealisation thoughts.
    I’ve been like this for over a month, not sleeping, poor appetite, cant concentrate or distract myself for long and having severe panic attacks daily.
    This morning it was so bad I had to pull the car over and throw my guts up, my breakfast was all over me, the car and the road. My poor partner was on speaker phone at the time, and he was despairing too and the thought of what I was going through on the side of the road on my own. Sick but not sick… I feel in the darkest most isolate place and feel like i’ll never come out..
    I’ve made an appointment to see my GP tomorrow, as I don’t want to suffer this much any longer. I’ve recovered in the past using Pauls method but it takes a long time, I don’t feel I’ve got the strength or reserves to do that. I’m not asking for advice just venting as I feel incredibly alone. :(

  980. Doreen Says:

    KM – Good luck with your visit to your GP. Mine was very empathetic and just having that listening ear on a weekly basis for a while helped. And you are certainly not alone. I know you are not asking for advice but when I start to slide (as at the moment with very stressful family problems) I remind myself that I CAN live with this rather than fight against it. Won’t say any more as just now seems you need your ‘hand being held’ rather than words. Very best wishes

  981. KM Says:

    Thanks Doreen
    I don’t mind advice in fact any would do.
    I just feel I’ve let myself down getting this unwell again, and can’t seem to get on top of it as I’m so exhausted. Then when I threw up from so much anxiety all over myself I thought this is so undignifying, I don’t deserve to feel like this, and i don’t want to fear this happening, so I booked an appointment. Funnily enough I’ve felt really calm all afternoon since making the decision.

  982. Mark R Says:


    It’s hard hitting that place again, especially after being well for so long. Just to let you know though although you may feel alone you aren’t. You’ve got the support of your partner and people on this board. Seeing your GP is definitely the right thing to do. If you had a therapist or councillor in the past it may be worth booking an appointment with them to just chat a few things through.

    Remember though, how you feel now IS temporary.


  983. Rik Says:

    Hi KM,

    I am going through a little tough patch again very much like yourself. The derealisation and dp is what gets me the most too. It is incredibly difficult to work through but if we keep reminding ourselves that it will settle down again in time then we give our minds the rest they need. I know how hard it is as like I said I am right there with you. All the best with your GP appointment.


  984. KM Says:

    Thanks Mark and Rik
    I know it’s temporary and my body is dying to go back to its homeostasis if I let it be! The good news is I was doing so well for past five years, so I know I can, I just think that gave me a false sense of being bullet proof, and I neglected the signs, took on too much, pushed myself to the limits and am now paying a big price! I’ve had a really hard year with a chronic illness that’s now in remission and this happens! It’s like I can’t get a break, what next!

  985. Belgian Says:


    It sounds like you are suffering from anxiety as most people on this forum. Your thoughts are intensified due to your anxiety. It sure also sounds like DP which has been discussed in detail in Paul’s book as well as in Claire Weekes’ book.

    First of all, congratulations that you are not avoiding and you’re still doing things. That is really something to be proud of. Just make sure you are building in enough rest. Rest – true rest – is what your body needs now.

    All you need to know about anxiety, you already know. Unfortunately there is nothing I can say that will make all of your suffering go away in a heartbeat. I can tell you though without any doubt that this WILL go away in time.

    If you feel you need help to cope with your loss, I do suggest you make an appointment with a trained professional to assist you with this. You don’t have to go through this alone.

    Take heart!


  986. Mark R Says:


    Don’t beat yourself up….at the end of the day you lived your life. Sometimes these times happen for very slight reasons. Someone posted on here once that avoiding the triggers is almost impossible, the important thing is how you deal with anxiety when it returns.

    Rik, we sound in a similar place at the moment. Everything has become difficult and once again I’m dealing with very harsh symptoms. I’m doing life but have very little interest. My mind is continually trying to go down the worst case scenario route but I’m not playing ball. I have some rationality and I know prior to hitting turbulence I’ve been doing very well so that’s a big plus.

  987. Belgian Says:


    I totally understand your suffering, but at the same time I feel you are handling this very well! It seems that you are finally beginning to accept that your body is sensitized and you’re taking action accordingly.

    You can think you have let yourself down as thoughts really don’t matter that much. But I don’t think that this is true. In reality, it seems to me that you have learned yet again a valuable lesson. That warning signs mean: calm down :-). Also, relapses or setbacks like this are very common and normal. It doesn’t mean you haven’t already recovered. It just means you’ve gotten once more scared of the intensity of your feelings.

    But hey: isn’t this what life’s about? To fall and get back up again. Bruised, maybe. But definitely more wise!

  988. Rik Says:


    That is how it has been going for me. I have had some good periods and some setbacks such as now. It is so hard with DP/DR to get back to that good place but I am determined to do so. Even as recently as last week I was feeling pretty good but then things can come again. It is usually the obsessive thoughts and DP/DR that get me. The lack of interest is very hard to get past but I have done it before so will do it again. I have to remember though that even as bad as I feel right now it is still not as bad as I felt 2 months ago (that is something I just remembered) so the progress is still there somewhere.

    I think it is so easy to despair again and to slip straight back into bad habits and doing the things that dont help such as ruminating and paying attention to thoughts or feelings. At one point a week or two ago I thought I had cracked it. I even put myself forward for a new job but now I am not so sure this was a good idea given my state now.

  989. Alz Says:

    Thanks Belgian !
    Yes I have started working and the stress at work is a lot . But iv never had such strange thoughts before and the scary bit is I’m starting to question when I got married etc ? I think my brain is just super tired . The fact that I know this is odd means rationality is still there in my head … I just can’t however not believe the thoughts at some point – it’s been a week. Anyway I do get therapy once a week but my therapist is saying its complete dissociation or whatever the hell .. I’m just going to continue with life – dream or no dream .. Thoughts or no thoughts

  990. Jessica Says:

    How are/do any of you guys handle sound sensitivity? I feel that once this goes away I will be back to my old natural self. I find myself paying attention to every sound I here to make sure its legit. Any suggestions/support

  991. Mark R Says:

    Hi Rik,

    Yes I remember your post about a month ago which was very positive. It’s very easy to fall back into the mire and the anxiety trap. I can’t help but feel ive taken a few steps back though. Although like yourself this doesnt feel AS bad as it did in October when things got ugly again I am feeling it. Im managing to carry on with a mind full of mud and a body that feels awful. I don’t think I’ve gone a day or so without crying these last 3 weeks.
    But yeah, lots of progress before this bump. Noone can take that away but I feel far from feeling that at the moment.

    Keep going pal.



  992. Alz Says:

    Jessica ,
    My therapist said u just check once then ignore .. Don’t continue checking for the noise . Also I think Tasnim goes through a somewhat similar thing .

  993. Jessica Says:

    Tasnim(Are you familar with this issue below) Others can respond to Thanks for any help

    How are/do any of you guys handle sound sensitivity? I feel that once this goes away I will be back to my old natural self. I find myself paying attention to every sound I here to make sure its legit. Any suggestions/support

  994. Alz Says:

    Melissa if you could reply to my posts above .. I’m questioning everyone and trying to convince myself they are husband for eg or my mom … Can’t differentiate at this point rbetween the thoughts and reality … Perhaps I need a break…

  995. Alz Says:

    Km good luck … We’re all there for you .. Remember this is what so many people have gone through on this forum AND recovered

  996. Melissa Says:

    Hi Alz,

    You just have to let your mind question and keep going about life. What did your therapist mean when he said you are in complete disassociation?

  997. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    I’m sorry but this is going to be a rant….

    I’m putting a brave face on things at the moment but a brave face can only last so long. I feel so down and fed up at feeling like this, somedays I don’t feel like I can face another day feeling as bad as I do.
    I’ve been to this tough place far too many times in my life, having dealt with anxiety on and off for 15 years. My first bout was 18 months, then 2 years but these last 6 years have been the hardest. At least years ago I could recover and go for years at a time feel great but now I don’t even have the luxury of that. This started in October 15 and it took about 4/5 months of feeling bad to start having ‘okay’ days. I had 3 measly months where I felt a sort of normalcy until 3 weeks ago when I started to get the vile symptoms again. Now I feel like I’m facing another 4/5 months to crawl out of a dark place. At least in the past I could see my triggers, now I seem to hit s**t street for no reason.
    What pains me most is that externally everything is good. I’ve got load of friends, a good job, and I’ve just moved into my own flat. I’ve invested so much time into getting everything right and now I can’t enjoy it. It seems everytime life gets better for me, internally things go south.
    I know there is self pity in this but I feel dreadful and I’ve lost perspective so Im hoping someone can provide it for me.

    Sorry in advance to neg people out.